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VALLEY FOCUS | North Hollywood

Fiesta Will Celebrate Treaty of Cahuenga

January 05, 1998|TOM BECKER

On Jan. 13, 1847, American soldier John C. Fremont didn't follow orders and instead helped produce the unofficial end to the Mexican-American War.

Lt. Col. Fremont and Mexican Gen. Andres Pico signed the Campo de Cahuenga treaty, ending hostilities between the two nations and setting the wheels in motion for California to become part of the United States.

Fremont was arrested and jailed for his actions, and although he was pardoned by President James K. Polk, he probably could not have imagined that, 151 years later, Californians would be celebrating his act of insubordination.

On Sunday, the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Assn. will host its 47th annual celebration of the signing of the treaty at Campo de Cahuenga, 3919 Lankershim Blvd. The day will be marked with a fiesta like the one Fremont and Pico had after they signed their names into history.

"It was a very important day in the history of this country. A day that must be remembered," said Guy Weddington McCreary, association president.

The fiesta, which will begin at 1:30 p.m., will include traditional music, dancing and food. Special attractions will include Dale Himebaugh's Living History Individuals--a group of performers clad in 1840s garb--and the Yesteryears Dancers.

The historical ramifications of the event will also be reviewed. Besides unofficially ending the war, the pact was the forerunner of the formal Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 and established Campo de Cahuenga as the unofficial birthplace of California's entry into the union, McCreary said.

"I don't think people realize the implications of the treaty," McCreary said. "It had a huge impact on this great country's future."

The free event is open to the public. Parking will be provided at Universal's Texaco parking structure. For directions and more information, call (818) 762-3998.

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