Born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico (July 17, 1859 – November 15, 1916), Munoz Rivera studied in local schools and entered politics in 1887. He became a leader of the Autonomist Party and in 1890 founded its newspaper La Democracia, was a Puerto Rican poet, journalist and politician. He was a major figure in the struggle for political autonomy of Puerto Rico. In 1893 he journeyed to Spain to learn about its political system. When he returned to Puerto Rico, he participated in the writing of the Plan de Ponce which proposed administrative autonomy for the island. In March 1895 he returned to Spain as part of a commission that met with Liberal leader Praxedes Mateo Sagasta. That political group accepted the commission’s views and in November 1897 Sagasta granted the Autonomist Charter. Munoz Rivera served as Secretary of State and Chief of the Cabinet for the newly-independent Government of Puerto Rico until U.S. troops invaded the island in July 1898. On August 13, 1898, the Treaty of Paris transferred possession of Puerto Rico from Spain to the United States and a military government was established.
In 1899 Munoz Rivera founded the newspaper El Territorio, the voice of landowners hurt by a U.S.-imposed blockade. Just as he had done in Spain, Munoz Rivera travelled to the United States to argue for the establishment of free trade between the island and the mainland. He then resettled in New York where he founded the bilingual newspaper Puerto Rican Herald in 1901. Upon his return to Puerto Rico in 1904, Munoz Rivera founded the Unionist Party and was elected in 1906 to the House of Delegates where he served until 1910 when he became Resident Commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives. Although he was largely responsible for the Jones Act (signed March 4, 1917), granting U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans and creating a bicameral legislature modeled on the U.S., he died in Luquillo before the act was enacted into law.
In 1909, he was elected as Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico and participated in the creation of the Jones-Shafroth Act, proposing amendments before its final approval. Shortly after, Munoz Rivera contracted an infection and traveled to Puerto Rico, where he died on November 15, 1916. His son, Luis Munoz Marin would subsequently become involved in politics, becoming the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
Luis Munoz Rivera Birthday is celebrated in Puerto Rico on 3rd Monday in July.
Source: loc.gov | wikipedia.org
In 2018 Luis Munoz Rivera Birthday in Puerto Rico in USA falls on July 16.