The Azorean Refugees Act of 1958 was a law that allowed the Faialense to immigrate to the US after the eruption of the volcano of Capelinhos. It was sponsored by Senators John F. Kennedy and John Pastore. The law marked the first time Congress passed legislation for people seeking shelter in the US after a natural disaster. The eruption of Capelinhos had catastrophic consequences for the population of Faial, as a result almost 30% of the island’s population emigrated in the subsequent years. The majority of the emigrants choose the States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island as their new home. Until today the refugees and their descendants are keeping close links with their homeland.

The 65th Anniversary of the Azorean Refugees Act is celebrated at the interpretation centre of the volcano of Capelinhos with the presence of Jon Mitchell the Mayor of New Bedford MA.

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Azorean Refugees Act, Celebration, Capelinhos, Faial, Azores