© Latinas in History 2008

Convicted of five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, the staunch supporter of Puerto Rican independence, Lolita Lebron, was sentenced to serve sixteen to fifty years at a U.S. Federal Correctional facility. An icon of Puerto Rican nationalism, Lebron became involved in the island’s National Party’s New York chapter in the early 1940s. She served as secretary of the chapter and president of the Feminine Chapter of the Pro-Liberation Committee. In 1954, the young mother of two planned and led an attack from the visitor’s galley of the U.S. House of Representatives wounding five Congressmen. In her own words, “Attacking the U.S. in its own heart, its own entrails, was Puerto Rico’s last recourse…because the island could not arm itself… and confront he U.S. in a traditional war. We made our war the only way we’re able to.” She and her compatriots were pardoned in 1977 by then President Jimmy Carter.


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