image courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives & History http://www.alabamaheritage.com/BecomingAlabama/index.htm
Back in late March, Courtney Haden of Birmingham's WELD Magazine interviewed me concerning my plans to promote the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in the Gulf South during the next few years.
In that interview I mentioned my intentions to promote events related to the Bicentennial of the Advent of the American Flag over the Port of Mobile which will occur on Monday, April 15, 2013. Please consider this website as your source for all information concerning the commemoration and celebration of this important Alabama anniversary. FLAG OF SPAIN 1808-1813
image courtesy of Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bandera_de_Espa%C3%B1a_1808-1813.svg THE FLAG OF JOSEPH BONAPARTE, KING OF SPAIN
image courtesy of Wikipedia article about Joseph Bonaparte,eldest brother of Napoleon & King of Spain in 1813 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Bonaparte
Bonaparte was King of Spain on the day the Spanish withdrew from Mobile but he would hold onto the throne for only a little more than two more months. He abdicated the throne after the defeat of his army by the British allies under Wellington at THE BATTLE OF VITORIA on June 21, 1813. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vitoria
Many of the British troops who won this victory would later participate in the British burning of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., the assault on Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, the 1st and 2nd Battles of Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point and the Battle of New Orleans.
image courtesy of the Military Society of the War of 1812 http://www.militarysocietyofthewarof1812.com/history.html
The Spanish District of Mobile west of the Perdido River was the ONLY land permanently acquired by the U.S. during the War of 1812.
At 5 o'clock on Thursday afternoon,April 15, 1813, the U.S. Army and Navy under the command of Major General James Wilkinson raised the American flag of 15 stars and 15 stripes above Mobile's Fuerte Carlota for the first time and two centuries of progress began that have advanced all of mankind.
Please join with us next Monday, April 15 as we celebrate 200 years of American achievement at the Port of Mobile.
A letter supporting our celebration by Forrest Latta published in the Tuesday, April 17, 2012 edition of the Mobile Press-Register:
Mobile should celebrate its history on April 15
Few days are more meaningful and less remembered in Mobile than April 15, one whose enshrinement is nearly 200 years overdue. The reason, while involving Uncle Sam, has nothing to do with taxes.
It was on this day in 1813 when an American flag was raised over the city. We like our July fireworks and rightly so, but Mobilians forget that we watched from the British side originally.
Next, it was the Spanish who landed at Choctaw Point in 1780, winning Mobile after a fierce battle. When the Louisiana Territory was sold by Napoleon in 1803, some Washingtonians thought it included Mobile.
Except nobody told the Spaniards. Within 10 years American forces sent by President James Madison arrived by land and sea. The Spanish captain surrendered and American colors were raised on April 15, 1813.
Our springtime Liberation Day on April 15 could be a wonderful "reverse" July 4th, meaning not when Mobilians celebrate America but when Americans celebrate Mobile. It’s a day to remind ourselves what a prize we are — fought over by nations for our city’s location, splendid resources and colorful charm.
Mobile’s history and its future will be forever defined by its map coordinates.
What American city of this description would fail to tell such a story by celebrating its own liberation?
So, how about April 15 for our own special party July Fourth-style?
Let’s invite the world to join us.
FORREST LATTA Mobile