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Wise wrote, "I regard the half year past as among the most contented in my
existence, and shall ever refer with many a yearning to those pleasant days in
In 1864, the French bombarded the port and the British occupied it in 1871.
Mazatlán served as the capital of Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873.
Without the Monroe Doctrine, Europeans would have intervened in Latin
America, as they did in Africa and Asia. Despite that, Lord Palmerston, the
British Foreign Minister, couldn't help giving arms to the Mayas in an attempt
to gain independence from Mexico and annexation to Britain.
Between 1876-1910, Mazatlán enjoyed a period of prosperity. The port and
lighthouse were remodeled, the railroad arrived, making shipping inland less
costly, and the cathedral was completed. Education, journalism and the arts
flourished. The opera house, Teatro Rubio, was completed in the 1890s.
Mazatlán was heavily damaged during the revolution of 1910-17. In 1924,
Mazatlán was only the second city in the world to be bombed from an airplane
(the first was Tripoli). General Venustiano Carranza had a biplane bomb the
ammunition depot atop Cerro de Neveria (Ice Box Hill), near the city. The pilot
missed the target and the crude bomb, filled with nails and other metals land-
ed in the city killing two civilians and wounding several others.
Many noteworthy Americans have experienced Mazatlán and returned
many times. Among notable scientists who visited Mazatlán were Josiah Gregg
in 1849 and again in 1894, and David Starr Jordan, the first president of
Stanford University, and a founding member of the Sierra Club. The great
ornithologist, Andrew Greyson, lived in Mazatlán for a decade, working on his
"Birds of the Pacific Slope." The famous American photographer Edward
Muybridge took some classic photos in Mazatlán in 1875. It was the American
Edward Weston, who visited Mazatlán with Tina Mendotti in 1923, who was
so impressed with his trip abroad. He wrote, "We found life both gay and sad,
but always life--vital, intense, black and white but never gray." Weston made a
historic photo, which was a classic called "The Great White Cloud in
Another well-known celebrity-visitor to the "Pearl of the Pacific," was Anais
Nin, Henry Miller's lover. She loved Mexico and was a regular at the Hotel
Belmar. Actors John Barrymore, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Yul Bryner, and
Tyrone Power were also among the Mazatlán visitors. Lately, writers like Vicky
Baum, Richard Willis, Emma Lindsay, E. Howard Hunt, and Lee Parker, among
others have chosen Mazatlán as either the title or the setting for their novels.
During the 1920s-30s, Mazatlán prospered, but shortly thereafter was
plunged into the depression. Following World War II, port improvements and
M a z a t l a n I S P a r a d i s e