The Birthday of Jose de Diego, or José de Diego Day, is celebrated on April 16. The poet, journalist, and politician is best remembered for his prolific contributions to the cause of Puerto Rican Independence. A leader of the masses, de Diego was named ‘Caballero de la Raza’ by his admirers in Latin America. The day is celebrated across Puerto Rico with great vigor. Lessons of his candor and intellectual prowess are taught in schools, and people celebrate Puerto Rico’s independence by reading his poems.
History of Birthday of Jose de Diego
The Birthday of Jose de Diego is on April 16 and is also known as José de Diego Day. It is celebrated across Puerto Rico to honor the Father of the Nation, José de Diego. He is a household name on the island. Some of the best schools, colleges, and public institutions are named in his honor. In his quest for Puerto Rican independence, de Diego called up many citizens to arms and brought forward millions of patriots to fight for the cause.
In 1990, a group of leaders and legislators led by de Diego took up the cause of gaining independence from the U.S. He was one of the first intellectuals who voiced an opinion about the complete autonomy of Puerto Rico. Soon after Puerto Rico’s liberation from the Spanish Empire, many leaders, including de Diego, were in favor of the U.S.’s occupation of the island at first. After a while, he realized that it is better to remove American influence from Puerto Rico and unite the Caribbean islands under a common social, defense, and economic umbrella. The struggle for Puerto Rico’s independence continues to this day. 21st-century freedom fighters seek guidance from the writings left behind by de Diego, who wrote extensively on the subject.
He is remembered fondly as ‘El caballero de la Raza,’ which translates to ‘The Knight of the Race.’ Historians have described him as an eternal optimist and a forward thinker.
Birthday of Jose de Diego timeline
José de Diego is born to a Spanish Army Officer and a native Puerto Rican woman in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
De Diego completes his law degree and sets up his law practice.
De Diego is appointed to the Executive Cabinet by President William McKinley.
De Diego resigns from the cabinet and co-founds the Unionist Party alongside revolutionaries Luis Muñoz Rivera, Eduardo Geogetti, and Antonio R. Barceló.
De Diego succumbs to endocarditis in New York City.
Birthday of Jose de Diego FAQs
Is Puerto Rico an independent country?
Puerto Rico is one of the 16 territories under the United States.
Is José de Diego Day a public holiday?
José de Diego Day is not a public holiday in Puerto Rico.
What happened on José de Diego Day?
José de Diego Day is celebrated on the birthday anniversary of Puerto Rican legend, José De Diego.
How to Observe Birthday of Jose de Diego
Take up a worthy cause
José de Diego cemented his place in Puerto Rican history by standing up for a cause that didn’t have many supporters. He was one of the first public figures to fight for a liberated Puerto Rico. This position came at a great personal and professional cost, but the fearless revolutionary persevered. There’s no better way to celebrate his birth anniversary than by supporting something you believe in.
Read De Diego’s poems
De Diego mastered the art of channeling his pain into timeless art. His poems are available in the public domain. Every emerging Puerto Rican writer seeks inspiration from the soulful writing of De Diego, who touched on topics such as lost love, pain, poverty, class, and colonization.
Visit Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico welcomes millions of tourists each year. The stunning beaches touching golden sand, ethereal nightlife, and clubs paint a picture just out of a Luis Fonzi music video.
5 Enduring Lessons Of José De Diego
Stand up for what you believe in
If you believe in something, pursue it and try to do right by it.
Channel your sorrow into art
Use the power of your pen to translate your hurt into prose so that the world can be a witness to your angst.
Invest in relationships
Your peers are your natural allies, and it pays to invest in those relationships.
Get involved in the struggles
It is not enough that you support something from the sidelines — when you advocate for the things you believe in, you must come forward and volunteer for action.
Build your credibility
Watch your reputation and build an image for yourself.
Why Birthday of Jose de Diego is Important
He’s the Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement
José de Diego’s instrumental contribution to the cause of Puerto Rico’s self-determination and autonomy became a source of inspiration for millions of people. When the tales of his bravery reached the ears of the American government, President Mckinley made efforts to sway his advocacy toward strong relations with the U.S., which was swiftly rejected by de Diego.
He continues to inspire
De Diego’s public advocacy for the liberation of Puerto Rico is the bedrock of the present-day independence movement. The Independence Party is one of the major political parties on the island, garnering 13.6% vote in the latest national election.
He was an inspirational writer
In his final years, de Diego settled in New York and ventured into a literary career in poetry. His work in landmark books such as “Pomarrosas,” “Jovillos,” and “Cantos del Pitirre” earned him the title of the Father of the Modern Puerto Rican Poetry Movement.
Birthday of Jose de Diego dates