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Doris writes a weekly column for LaGaceta, the nation's only trilingual newspaper, which has pages in English, Spanish, and Italian.  Begun in 1922 for Tampa's immigrant community, it continues to thrive more than a century later.  Her column is titled "In Context," as it aims to put contemporary issues in the context of the past.

January, 1943

Because Hubby was born in 1943, I gave him a calendar for that year from one of those too-many catalogs that you get in the pre-holiday mail. I’ve read the January anniversaries and marked some to share with you.

• On January 3, the Marine Corps air base in Guadalcanal was renamed Henderson Field. The calendar’s caption said merely that Marines had been fighting there since the previous August, so I researched “Henderson Field.” I was curious because the World War II air base that now is the University of South Florida also was called Henderson Field. Apparently both were named for Marine Major Lofton Henderson, who was the corps’ first aviator killed in World War II. He died August 7, 1942, in the Battle of Midway, which was key to winning the war in the Pacific. That Henderson Field now is grandly named Honiara International Airport – and if you haven’t heard of it, you are excused. It’s tiny and only “international” because it sits way out in the Solomon Islands. So in 1943, Major Henderson had two air fields named for him, and now he has none. And no, Tampa’s Henderson Avenue isn’t for him. I’d have to research for whom it is named, but it was there long before 1943.

• On January 14, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first president to fly in an airplane during his time in office. FDR flew to what then was French Morocco to confer with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill about Allied plans to move troops from North Africa to Europe. Of particular interest to Floridians, FDR’s flight departed from Miami, the shortest distance to Casablanca.

• On January 31, the Army opened to volunteers of Japanese descent. Their families, however, would remain in several relocation centers in the West and the South, while their homes and businesses deteriorated. If it’s possible to have such contradictory values in a statement, I’d say that the calendar was both candid and misleading in calling these “concentration camps.”

A Really Quick History of Spain

Our neighbors made their first trip to Spain recently, so I dragged out my old Time Tables of History and created a chronology for them. Here’s a condensed version for you.

1469 – Isabella of Castile marries Ferdinand of Aragon, beginning modern Spain

1492 – Jews are expelled from Spain; Queen Isabella funds the voyage of Italian Christopher Columbus

1501 – Granada is declared Christian, even though Moors (Muslims) there resist the Spanish army

1503 – Colonial office begins in Madrid to deal with American colonies

1504 – Isabella dies; daughter Juana becomes co-equal monarch with her father Ferdinand

1509 – Catherine of Aragon marries Henry VIII of England; he will divorce her to marry Ann Boleyn, with the result that Spain and England become long-time enemies

1513 – Ponce de Leon sails from Puerto Rico to Florida

1525 – The first use of muskets, by Spain against France

1533 – Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, becomes queen of England; her marriage to Phillip II of Spain makes her very unpopular with her subjects

1565 – Hundreds of colonists, including women, sail with Pedro de Aviles from Spain; they begin American settlement at St. Augustine

1574 – Spain loses Tunis, in North Africa, to the Turks

1576 – Spanish soldiers attack Antwerp in Holland

1588 – The “invincible” Spanish fleet is destroyed by England under Elizabeth I, a Protestant who became queen when Catholic “Bloody Mary” died

1597 – A second Spanish armada heads for England, but is lost in storms

1665 – Allied forces of Britain and Portugal defeat Spain to secure the independence of Portugal

1701 - When the Spanish king dies without an heir, the War of Spanish Succession begins; royal families in Austria and France have claims, and the fighting (mostly outside of Spain) lasts more than a decade

1714 – Philip V marries Elizabeth Farnese, from the Italian province of Parma; she will be the de facto ruler of Spain for many years

1763 – Spain loses Florida to Britain as part of the settlement of what Americans call the French and Indian War

1778 – Spain loses Gibraltar, the gateway to the Mediterranean, to Britain

1783 – Spain regains Florida with the treaty that ends the American Revolution

1808 – French armies invade Spain, take Barcelona and Madrid, and put Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother, on the throne

1810 – Venezuela is the first American colony to revolt against Spain; Paraguay follows the next year

1813 – Mexico declares independence from Spain; Peru follows in 1824; all of these revolutions are led by Simon Bolivar; others will follow

1819 – Spain is incapable of governing Florida, and the US buys it for $5 million

1833 – Isabella II proclaimed queen of Spain

1870 – Isabella is deposed and abdicates in favor of her son, Alfonso XII, but civil war follows

1885 – King Alfonso XII dies; his wife, who is pregnant, becomes regent for their unborn child

1895 – Revolution begins in Cuba

1898 – Spain loses the last of its colonies, as the US joins Cubans in supporting the revolution there; Spain cedes not only Cuba, but also Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam for $20 million

1931 – King Alfonso XIII goes into exile, as military right-wingers led by Francisco Franco begin to take over

1936 – Spanish Civil War begins; many Americans, including novelist Ernest Hemingway, go to Spain to fight for democrats, but Franco’s fascist forces will win in 1939

1937 – Hitler’s air force supports Franco, as portrayed in Pablo Picasso’s painting of the bombing at Guernica

1939 – World War II begins and Spain ostensibly is neutral; in fact, the government supports Hitler

1975 – Francisco Franco finally dies and Spain begins to become a democracy, although – like Britain – it has a ceremonial monarchy

1976 - “Saturday Night Live” repeatedly issues bulletins informing us that Franco is “still dead.”

1988 – Final, personal note: Spanish guards still resented English control of Gibraltar; when we lived in Portugal and had a yen for English food, they would hold us up for hours at the border


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