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Juan Santamaría facts for kids

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Juan Santamaría Rodríguez (August 29, 1831 – April 11, 1856) was a drummer in the Costa Rican army, officially recognized as the national hero of his country for his actions in the 1856 Second Battle of Rivas, in the Filibuster War. He died in the battle carrying a torch he used to light the enemy stronghold on fire, securing a victory for Costa Rica against American mercenary William Walker and his imperialist forces. Thirty five years after his death, he began to be idealized and was used as a propaganda tool to inspire Costa Rican nationalism. A national holiday in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaría Day, is held annually on April 11th to commemorate his death.

Juan Santamaría
Statue of Juan Santamaría in Alajuela.

On September 15, 1891, a huge bronze statue of the hero was erected in Juan Santamaría de Alajuela Park in his home town, Alajuela. Later, the main airport of Costa Rica, and the historical museum of Alajuela were named after him, and many literary, musical, and art works have been created in his honor. Along with commemorating his heroic acts, many historical studies have been done to investigate the true identity and actions of Juan Santamaría.

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Juan Santamaría Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.