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T.T. Wentworth Museum Honors Galvez

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T.T. Wentworth Museum

Bernardo de Galvez , the Spanish general who defeated the British at the Battle of Pensacola in 1781, becomes a permanent part of the T.T. Wentworth Florida State Museum on Thursday.

Congressman Jeff Miller will present a Nina Fritz portrait of Galvez to the museum, which itself sits near the battle site in downtown Pensacola. Last summer, he took to the House floor to urge passage of House Joint Resolution 105, granting Galvez honorary American citizenship.

“An extraordinary recognition, granted to foreigners who have rendered great service to the United States of America,” said Miller. “Only seven individuals have been granted honorary citizenship, including two Revolutionary War heroes: the Marquis de Lafayette, and General Casimir Pulaski.”

HJR 105 was passed by the House last July and the Senate in December. Others in that rarefied atmosphere include former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg, and Mother Teresa. Miller spoke of Galvez’ army taking victories in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, before embarking on the siege at Fort George.

“Where he captured the capital of British West Florida after a bloody, two-month-long battle, during which he, in fact, was wounded by gunfire” said Miller. “General Galvez’ victory left the British with no naval forces or bases along the Gulf Coast, and prevent British troops and supplies from reaching the battles along the Eastern Seaboard.”

Galvez' victories were recognized by George Washington as a deciding factor in the Revolutionary War. May 8th has been proclaimed “Galvez Day” in Pensacola. Last year’s edition included a reenactment of the battle, which was won again by the Spanish.

Besides the Galvez portrait at the Wentworth, another one hangs on the wall of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee room inside the U.S. Capitol. That painting joins a statue of the General outside the State Department.

The ceremony , free and open to the public, kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning at the T.T. Wentworth Museum.