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Puerto Rico and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade



Puerto Rico and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.19

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    costal, referendum, relinquish, full-fledged, sovereignty, invasion, commonwealth, inspirational, nationwide, recognition, colonize, cultural, status, enhance, cede, majority
     content words:    National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Puerto Rican Day Parade, Rican Day Parade, New York Puerto Rican Day Parade, Spanish Harlem, El Barrio, Puerto Rican Day, New York, Day Parade, Fifth Avenue


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Puerto Rico and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade
By Vickie Chao
  

1     New Yorkers really know how to have a good time! Every weekend, there is always something going on around town. The event can be small. Or it can be big. Among them, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade is definitely one of the most popular activities.
 
2     New Yorkers have had a long history of holding the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The very first event took place on April 12, 1958. It was on a Sunday. Back then, it was not called the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. Rather, it was called the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade. At the time, the celebration was limited to a small area in Manhattan known as Spanish Harlem or El Barrio. But over the years, things have changed quite a bit. Today, while many other cities across the U.S. also have their own Puerto Rican Day parades, the one in New York is still the largest and most famous. (To reflect its nationwide status, the event's organizer gave the parade a new name -- the National Puerto Rican Day Parade -- in 1995.) Just this year (2006), there were over 80,000 people joining the march which falls on the second Sunday of every June. They walked along Fifth Avenue between 44th and 86th Streets. Along the way, they were cheered on by more than 2 million people. The entire event was televised live for three hours. In recent years, the parade has also invited many famous people to be its "International Grand Marshals." Some of those famous people are singers. Some are movie stars. Their appearances help to create a national awareness of the Puerto Rican culture. As the event's organizer (the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc.) states on its website, its mission "is to enhance the self-esteem of our people and use their pride to promote economic development, education, cultural recognition, and advancement."
 
3     Of course, such an inspirational goal is not something that can be achieved overnight. To get started, let's understand a bit about Puerto Rico and its rich history.

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