Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Santiago de Cuba

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, a city, seaport, and capital of the province of the Oriente, Cuba; on a beautiful harbor opening through a narrow pass into the Caribbean Sea. It was made famous in the American-Spanish War by the splendid victory achieved by the American fleet outside of its harbor, and the later occupation of the city by American troops on the surrender of the Spanish army. The Spaniards claim that it is the oldest city in North America. It was founded in 1514 by Diego Velasquez, the conqueror. Among the city's notable buildings are Morro Castle (1640); the Cathedral, Government House, the military barracks and hospital. When the American Government assumed control, July 17, 1899, of that portion of the province of Santiago included in the surrendered territory, industries were at a standstill and estates generally destroyed. Under American rule all was changed. Sanitation was introduced, schools and houses were built in destroyed towns, while public works supplied all willing to work with means for subsistence. Trade revived, estates were restored to a flourishing condition and prosperity returned to the city and province. Pop. (1919) 70,232.