Virgin Islands – Puerto Rico Friendship Day is a public holiday celebrated in the Virgin Islands of the United States on the second Monday in October. Established in 1964 by Governor Paiewonsky, it honors Puerto Ricans who reside in or who have made substantial contributions to the Virgin Islands. The mainland of Puerto Rico lies approximately 40 miles from the US Virgin Islands with the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques in between and many Puerto Ricans have lived in the Virgin Islands since at least the turn of the twentieth century. As of 2010, around 10% of the population of the United States Virgin Islands. The date was chosen to fall on the same day as Columbus Day.
A large migration of Puerto families settled in the Virgin Islands starting in the 1920s. Earlier, Puerto Rican intellectual, medical doctor, and independence advocate Ramón Emeterio Betances took refuge from political discourse on the islands of St. Thomas. Betances penned the famous proclamation, "Los Diez Mandamientos de Los hombre Libres" (The Ten Commandments of Free Men), in Saint Thomas while in exile in November 1867. The proclamation is directly based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, adopted by France's National Assembly in 1789, which contained the principles that inspired the French Revolution.