Sharing the North Atlantic: Horta and the Atlantic Routes of the Azorean Emigration

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the eruption of the Capelinhos Volcano and the resulting Azorean Refugee Act of 1958

Presented by the Mayor of Horta, Faial, and the Capelinhos Volcano 60th Anniversary Executive Committee

Sunday, September 9, 2018
3 pm – 7 pm

At the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Tickets: Free but RSVP was requested.

graphic from invitationIn the 19th century, the port of Horta, Faial, became an important port of call for the American whaling fleet. The Azores were one of the first landfalls for whalers where they would offload whale oil, resupply their vessels, and pick up new crew members. This marked the beginning of the first wave of Azorean emigration to the U.S. – mostly to the East Coast and, in particular, to New Bedford.

The relationship between the U.S. and the Azores, particularly with the city of Horta, was crucial for the opening of the second wave of Azorean emigration, which took place in 1957 when the Capelinhos volcano erupted on the island of Faial. This natural disaster led to the Azorean Refugee Act of 1958, spearheaded by then Senator John F. Kennedy and Senator John O. Pastore (D-Rhode Island). The legislation authorized visas for displaced Azoreans affected by the volcano.

New Bedford and Horta have a shared legacy through the whaling industry and a common cultural heritage still today.


3 pm – 4 pm
Reception & Exhibition Opening: “Sharing the North Atlantic”

4 pm – 5:30 pm 

  • Remarks by the Mayor of Horta
  • Film of the Parque Natural do Faial
  • Sister City Agreement commemoration
  • Tribute to the Dabney Family
  • Lecture by Dr. Ricardo Madruga da Costa
  • Lecture by Dr. Onésimo Teotónio de Almeida

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Closing reception