House of the Ponce Massacre – Remembering a Puerto Rican Tragedy

The Casa de la Masacre de Ponce, or the House of the Ponce Massacre, was built in remembrance of a tragic event that occurred in Ponce on the 21st of March 1937. That day has been named one of the bloodiest political events ever to take place in Puerto Rico.

On this fatal day a large group of Puerto Rican Nationalist Party students decided to hold an illegal demonstration in front of the former office of the Nationalist Party in the southern city of Ponce. The group had previously tried to gain a permit to hold the demonstration, but they were denied one at the very last minute. Determined, the group decided to put black shirts on and gather in front of the building even though they did not have a permit. The students were determined to march for independence from the United States of America even with one hundred and fifty policemen surrounding the offices.

As the group marched to the national anthem of the island of Puerto Rico, a shot was fired. The source of the shot was never ascertained, but it did cause an exchange of gunfire to occur. The gunfire took place between the police and the Nationalist activists and led to hundreds of spectators and demonstrators being injured and twenty fatally wounded in the back. Two of the dead were police officers.

The Casa de la Masacre de Ponce is a small museum that reminds people of this tragic event which occurred all those years ago. The museum takes people through the events that took place that day between the Nationalist Party and the armed policemen. There are a number of related artifacts and photographs that make the presentation livelier. There is also an area near the Casa de la Masacre de Ponce that has been solely dedicated to Don Pedro Albizu Campos who was the leader of the Nationalist group.

You can find the Casa de la Masacre de Ponce museum on Marine Street on the corner of Aurora in Ponce. The museum is open every Tuesday to Sunday from 08:30 am to 16:20 pm. You can contact the museum by phone at (787) 844-9722.

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