“Beyond the historical facts with all it’s slights and it’s shadows, we celebrate a deed that marked the connection with Spain to what was to become the Americas, a deed that forever changed the way our nation is and the way we look at the world,” Ramón Gil-Casares, The Ambassador of Spain, told guests at his residence on the duel occasions of both Columbus Day and Spanish National Day.
The deed was a reference to Bernarado de Gálvez, a Spanish military leader and colonial administrator whose name is not as familiar in American history as it is in Spain. According to history buffs, Gálvez aided the American Thirteen Colonies in their quest for independence and led Spanish forces against Britain in the Revolutionary War, defeating the British at the Siege of Pensacola (1781) and reconquering Florida for Spain. He spent the last two years of his life as Viceroy of New Spain. The city of Galveston, Texas, was named for him although most of us recognize the town through the musical lens of Glen Campbell’s 1969 country western hit song “Galveston,” the lyrics of which have nothing to do with Gálvez that we know of, but a memorable song.