The White House has announced that President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania will host King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain at The White House on 19 June.
But rather than making history with a visit, like he has been with North Korea, this a visit to acknowledge history and the part Spain played in the founding of the Southern States. Which have resulted in the strong foundation for their deep partnership and friendship today.
During their visit to America, King Felipe and Queen Letizia will visit New Orleans and San Antonio which this year will be celebrating three hundred years since they were founded.
New Orleans was founded by the French Mississippi Company in 1718 and takes its name from the Phillipe II, Duke of Orleans who was Regent in France at that time. New Orleans was within Louisiana (or New France), and that state was ceded to the Spanish in 1763 by the Treaty of Paris, and during the American Civil War, it was one of the ports that arms were smuggled in. The political climate was also changing in France, and the French Revolution brought Napoleon Buonaparte, and he took back Louisiana from Spanish control. Before selling it to the United States of America as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Quite a few of the properties in the French quarter of New Orleans was built while the Spanish were in charge.
San Antonio is the oldest municipality in Texas, as well now being the second largest. The area was discovered in 1691, on 13 June the feast day of St Anthony of Padua – hence the name. The Spanish wished to build a Christian mission there, but there were delays and the possible encroaching of the French from Louisiana spurred them into action. The mission was built, the Mission de San Antonio de Valero with the help of the local Payaya Indians, but the mission is better known by another name and a famous siege that now sees the buildings as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Alamo. Now, who is going to draw the short straw to mention to President Trump that the person leading the siege was an invading Mexican General – Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna?
I am sure that what will please King Felipe about the story is the fact that the Spanish worked with the local tribes to develop San Antonio.