WJFD 97.3 FM in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is the only 50,000 watts FM radio station broadcasting in the Portuguese language 24/7/365 in the United States. Travis was a featured guest in June. Click the audio player below to listen to the interview.
For nearly 60 years, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia have observed March 15 as Peter Francisco Day to honor my ancestor, the Portuguese-born patriot, who was kidnapped and abandoned by pirates, then bought as a slave. He won his personal freedom and, ultimately, that of a nation, by enlisting and serving in the Continental Army. March 15, 1781, was the date of the Battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina, during which Peter Francisco fought with fury unparalleled in military history. Wielding the incredible six-foot broadsword fashioned for him by George Washington, Peter cut down eleven British Grenadiers.
The Honorable Edmond Dinis of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Peter Francisco Square stands, was the first to file legislation designating the date in 1953. Dinis realized that despite Peter Francisco’s heroic contributions for American freedom and independence, he was becoming a "forgotten man." He also knew that those in the area, including thousands of Portuguese-Americans, would wish to remember and honor those whose sacrifices established the United States of America.
Then-Governor John A. Volpe signed the proclamation into law, proclaiming the first Peter Francisco Day on March 15, 1962. Rhode Island and Virginia soon followed. As a sixth generation descendant of Peter Francisco and North Carolina resident, I have been lobbying for the same legislation to be passed in that state.
Peter Francisco – Hercules of the Revolution
Peter Francisco was called the "Hercules of the Revolution" because of his enormous size, massive strength, and unbelievable bravery. George Washington had a six-foot broadsword made for him and even made the claim that we would have likely lost the whole Revolutionary War without Peter Francisco. His legacy continues today with five monuments that stand in his honor and a US bicentennial stamp that enshrined him in 1976, in addition to the three states that observe Peter Francisco Day. "Peter Francisco’s story is not just another legend from the battlefields of the Revolution," says bestselling author and film producer Robert Whitlow. "This truly is the American Braveheart story!"