Celebrating Pensacola’s Heritage

WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, and The University of West Florida present an original television production – Yo Solo: Bernardo de Gálvez on the Stage of the American Revolution – premiering on WSRE Tuesday, July 2 at 8 p.m.(encore presentation on Thursday, July 5 at 8 p.m.). Chaz Mena, actor and Florida Humanities Council Scholar, enacts the role of Bernardo de Gálvez in a one-man stage performance. Filmed before a live television studio audience, the documentary includes an introduction and afterword by David Hartman.

Through reenactment of the events leading up to the eventual surrender of the British at the crucial Battle of Pensacola, Mena introduces you to Bernardo de Gálvez, the man. Intertwined with archival photographs, the documentary tells the unfamiliar story of one of the most significant engagements of the American Revolution – pitting Spain, who was allied with the Americans, against the British. Mena’s riveting performance brings Bernardo de Gálvez to life. The vibrant story of Pensacola’s and Florida’s role in the American fight for independence is one that stirs the imagination.

“It’s going to be a story that tells us about our past and also tells us, in many ways, who we are as Floridians,” said Margo Stringfield, the UWF archaeologist and Florida Humanities Council board member who spearheaded this project. “This project, along with several others, will lead us into 2013 when we formally commemorate Florida’s rich heritage,” she said.

“The story of Bernardo de Gálvez is monumental to our nation’s history, yet the pivotal role of Pensacola is so rarely discussed that most Floridians are unaware of its significance,” said Sandy Cesaretti Ray, General Manager of WSRE-TV. “WSRE is proud to play a part in the production of this project to help shine a light on Pensacola’s part in our country’s independence.”

DVDs of this original program will be available through WSRE in August. More information is available at wsre.org/Galvez.