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Antonio Garra Day- January 12

A celebration of the life of Antonio Garra

Noon to 4:00pm at Old Town San Diego Courthouse

San Diego CA— A celebration of Antonio Garra’s life and others who fought to secure the future of the California Indians during the post-Father Serra era will take place at the First San Diego Courthouse Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

The celebration tales place from 12:00-4:00pm with testimonies given for the celebration of life along with performances by noted local birdsingers. The event will be broadcast live on Rez Radio 91.3 and its live stream on iHeartRadio, and at www.RezRadio.FM .

Leader of the Cupeño Indians at Warner Springs in the mid-1800s, Antonio Garra was a Native American Patriot who fought for southern California and Northern Baja Tribal rights and Sovereignty. Garra was educated at Mission San Luis Rey and could read and write English, Spanish, Latin and several native dialects.

He and his people assisted weary immigrants who’d crossed the Borrego desert.  He gave aid and comfort to General Kearney and his troops during the Mexican-American War, but also led his people and other Southern California tribes against injustices and unfair taxes brought upon native peoples by the newly created state of California.

Garra was executed on January 10, 1852 illegally by the citizens of California during a mass hysteria at the beginning of statehood for having been the leader of violence at Warner Ranch.  When Garra was asked to state any last words, he replied, “Gentlemen, I ask your pardon for all my offenses, and expect yours in return.”  One witness recounted, “No man could have met his fate in a more brave and dignified manner than did Antonio Garra.  I could not but feel a sort of sympathy for him, notwithstanding his crime.”