Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, Assemblywoman Joann Downey, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin and Senator Vin Gopal, introduced legislation designating March 15 of each year as “Peter Francisco Day” in New Jersey.
The proposed holiday recognizes Peter Francisco’s many acts of bravery and contributions during the Revolutionary War.
“We are proud to represent such a large community of Portuguese-Americans and feel fortunate to be involved in establishing this holiday celebrating a significant aspect of not only their culture but American history as well. We look forward to this bill being signed into law and celebrating the first annual Peter Francisco Day, ” said Assemblyman Houghtaling.
“It is imperative that we celebrate the diverse cultures and communities that make up our great State. Peter Francisco Day would be an ideal way to celebrate our Portuguese-American residents while learning more the contributions that individuals of Portuguese descent have made to our great nation,” said Assemblywoman Downey.
“Peter Francisco is an iconic figure within the Portuguese-American community and is entirely deserving of a holiday recognizing all of the contributions he has made to our country. We are so extremely proud to represent all cultures and ethnicities here in New Jersey and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Portuguese-American residents,” said Assemblywoman Pintor Marin.
“We have a large community of Portuguese-Americans in my district who proudly celebrate their rich culture. Peter Francisco is a great source of pride in this community and should be for individuals of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. His contributions to this country are well deserving of recognition and we are honored to be champions of this holiday,” said Senator Gopal.
Known as a giant of a man, Francisco, a man of Portuguese descent, stood at six feet, six inches tall, approximately one foot taller than the average man at the time. His strength and size gained him much notoriety during the war, and his courageous nature led to incredible stories of his life, some impossible to verify, being told and retold for many generations.
Francisco fought through several battles while sustaining injuries, and he made daring escapes from seemingly impossible situations. His contributions have already been recognized by other states, and it is fitting for New Jersey to recognize them as well.