On December 9, 2014, the United States Congress granted honorary citizenship to a Spaniard: Bernardo de Gálvez, thus becoming one of the seven who has received this distinction throughout the history of this country, together with Lafayette, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Winston Churchill.
There is a great lack of knowledge about the role Spain had in the United States’ fight for independence, which was crucial for the success of the American Revolution, as they were provided with important military and economic aid. At the initiative of Teresa Valcárcel, a Spaniard living in Washington and member of the Bernardo de Gálvez Association, the portrait of Bernardo de Gálvez was hung in the United States Congress, thus complying with an old resolution passed by the Congress in 1778 that had not been carried out.
Bernardo de Gálvez, born in Macharaviaya (Málaga) in 1746, was a Spanish military man who actively participated in the “Revolutionary War” with 7500 of his recruits. He took the Port of New Orleans and defeated the British in the battles of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Natchez, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama. The Siege of Pensacola granted the control of the Mississippi River, thus allowing them to supply necessities to the rebels fighting against the British.
The Gálvez family was an Enlightened family of humble origins, but they came to hold some of the most important positions in the reign of Carlos III. Matías, father of Bernardo, was Viceroy of New Mexico and his uncle became the all-powerful Minister of the Indies who controlled a territory 20 times larger than Spain.
Every 4th of July, Independence Day of the USA, is celebrated in Macharaviaya, the birthplace of the Gálvez family. It is the only town in Europe where it is celebrated. On the other side of the ocean, in the state of Florida, the Siege of Pensacola is reenacted and commemorated, and homage is paid to Bernardo de Galvez. Cities such as Galveston (Texas), Galveston County (Texas), Galvez (Louisiana) and San Bernardo Parish (Louisiana) owe their names to Bernardo de Gálvez.
This documentary is a historical journey that explores who this man was and what his figure represents today.