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Interpreting the Evidence

Pan American World Airways Advertisement in Spanish, Puerto Rico to New York, n.d.

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Era:

    The Great Depression and WW II (1929 - 1945)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    New York City
    New York State
    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Pan American World Airways Advertisement in Spanish, Puerto Rico to New York, n.d. in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Pan American World Airways advertisement, in Spanish, for flights from Puerto Rico to New York, in Spanish, n.d.
Historical Context
The first direct air service between San Juan, Puerto Rico, and New York City began in 1945. This service made it easier for Puerto Ricans to take advantage of their American citizenship and travel freely between the two countries. In New York, the neighborhood of Spanish Harlem was well established, and Latino communities in the South Bronx and Brooklyn were also forming. By 1970, there were roughly 800,000 Puerto Ricans living in New York City, which came to about 10% of the population. During this time period, Puerto Rican communities also took root in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the Midwest.

American citizenship also allowed Puerto Ricans to take advantage of economic opportunities in America. Although many Puerto Ricans immigrated permanently to New York and the United States, some did live partly in both countries.
Essential Question
How does human migration impact societies?
Check for Understanding
Identify the main purpose of this poster and explain why this service was in demand.
Historical Challenges
Pan American World Airways no longer exists. What happened to this airline and why? When did it go out of business?
If you wanted to go to Puerto Rico today, what airline might you use? How much would it cost?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: If Puerto Ricans in New York City numbered 800,000, or 10% of the population, in 1970, what was the total population of New York at that time?
Math: How many aeronautical miles is it from San Juan to New York City? If it took the plane five hours to complete the trip, how many miles per hour did the plane travel?
Foreign Language/ESL: Translate the advertisement into English.