On March 16th some OBHS Board Members were guests of the House of Spain for the celebration of “Battle of San Diego Bay.”
The Fuerte Guijarros Museum Foundation & Naval Base Point Loma presented the event.
Master of ceremonies Pedro Catala (President of Casa de Espana) presided over the affair with Captain Mark D. Patton (Commanding Officer Naval Base Point Loma), Ronald May (Chair Fort Guijarros Museum), Michael Aguirre (San Diego City Attorney) & Maria Angeles Olson (Honorary Consul of Spain).
On March 17th, 1803 Captain William Shaler & Captain Richard Cleveland sailed into San Diego Harbor on the American brig “Leila Byrd” to buy sea otter pelts.
The Spanish Commander forbade such trading, but the Americans persisted.
Some crewmen were captured at the beach. Later, they were escaped.
Fort Guijarros fired its nine pound cannons to prevent the American escape.
The Leila Byrd crew mounted six three pound swivel guns on the rail & fired two broadside at the fort.
A hat was waved & both parties ceased firing, bringing the battle to a peaceful ending that lead to a celebration.
The ceremony, the OBHS board members attended, featured “ A taste of Spain” with food, drink, Spanish dancing and a lecture on the history of the battle.
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