September 28

This Day in History

General Interest

Sep 28, 1542:

Cabrillo encounters California

Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails into present-day San Diego Bay during the course of his explorations of the northwest shores of Mexico on behalf of Spain. It was the first known European encounter with California.

At San Diego, Cabrillo landed at Point Loma Head, now part of the Cabrillo National Monument. He then sailed on to explore much of the rest of the California coast. During one landing, he broke his leg and apparently fell sick with complications from the injury. He died in January 1543, probably on San Miguel Island off the Santa Barbara coast. Despite his reports of the appealing California coastline, the first Spanish settlement was not established in California until 1769, when Father Junipero Serra founded his mission at San Diego.

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