Honorary U.S. citizens: Lafayette, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa. And soon, perhaps, Bernardo de Galvez.
Legislation to make the Spanish hero of the
The effort has been pushed by Florida’s congressional delegation, led by Rep.
Galvez was governor of Louisiana during the reign of King Carlos III. He sent arms and supplies to the colonists and, after Spain's entry into the war in 1779, led attacks on British outposts in the Gulf Coast area.
"I would be less than candid if I say this is a familiar name in American history," said Rep.
The last time
Galvez’s contributions compare favorably with those of Pulaski and the Marquis de Lafayette, who have been granted honorary citizenship, said committee chairman
Others conferred the honor include Pennsylvania founder William Penn and his wife, Hannah; and Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands of Jews from Nazi death camps.
The effort comes as a Spanish immigrant has worked to display a donated portrait of Galvez in the U.S. Capitol to fulfill a promise made in 1783.
Teresa Valcarce said Thursday that she is hopeful of presenting the portrait soon, perhaps during
She hopes the portrait will be presented by Spain’s King Felipe VI.