Did you know Monterey (California) was once Argentinian?
The location of HBO series "Big Little Lies" is set on a territory that once belonged to Argentina.
"Big little lies" returns to HBO. Filmed in Monterey, California, the drama series winner of 8 Emmys and 4 Golden Globes awards stands as one of the most important female stories at the moment.
In this second season, "The Monterey Five" (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, and Laura Dern) try to continue with their lives despite the incident from the first season. But the past keeps chasing them, and Meryl Streep will make things even harder.
Curiously, Monterrey, California (where the story is set) has also a turbulent past.
Monterrey was the capital of California from 1777 to 1849. It was also the territory of Spain, Russia and, finally, Mexico until 1948, when Alta California joined the United States after winning the war against Mexico.
But what few know is that the Argentine flag waved for almost a week in Monterey.
Yes. California was Argentinian.
Let's check the facts:
Hipolito Bouchard was a French corsair who fought at the high seas for his country for years. In 1809 he arrived in what is now Buenos Aires, Argentina, and immediately enlisted in the ranks of General José de San Martín in the Latin American independence fight. His loyalty to the Republic was such that he even joined the Regimiento de Ganaderos a Caballo in 1812, receiving the citizenship in 1813, after the Combat of San Lorenzo. Soon after, he went back to the high seas to fight against the Spanish crown.
On the frigate "La Argentina," which could deploy 42 guns and carry 250 men, he would fight through several years against Spanish ships and slave traders with any flag, since he was not only a liberal anti-monarchist but also an enemy of slavery.
He won victories against what is now Madagascar, Indonesia, and the Philippines in favor of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, a territory that would become Argentina.
He also got an alliance with the King of Hawaii, Kamehameha I, which became the first international recognition of the independence of the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata.
He then left to California on October 25th, 1818. He approached the San Carlos Bay of Monterey on November 22nd to continue fighting against the Spanish crown, although the Spanish representative of the region evacuated the area before of Bouchard's arrival. The Spanish artillery was small, and the fort was finally captured on November 24th.
That day the Argentine flag waved in California.
And it did so for the next five days, during which time Bouchard and his men destroyed the fort, seized all the valuables of the Spanish Empire, burned their buildings, and pardoned the Americans allies.
Once its mission was accomplished, the Argentine infantry left Monterey and followed its libertarian expedition through Central America, where its impact would be forever immortalized in the flags of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.