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Early San Diego History

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portugese explorer sailing under the flag of Spain, leaves Navidad, Mexico and sails into San Diego Bay three months later. The ships sail farther north and then returns to Mexico.


Spain launches a second expedition lead by Sebastian Vizcaino, who names the area "San Diego."

Another Spanish expedition, including Father Junipero Serra, comes to San Diego, and July 16, 1769 is now considered the formal birthday of San Diego.

Spanish rule ends, and a Mexican flag flies over San Diego for about 25 years.

The first American flag is raised.

California becomes a state, and entrepreneurs begin arriving, who forever make their mark on the thriving new city.


Alonzo Horton, the father of new San Diego, sells parcels of land south of Old Town, to which settlers and businesses migrate following an 1872 fire that destroys Old Town.

Entrepreneurs Elisha Babcock and H.L. Story build the world-famous Hotel del Coronado, which today remains the largest wooden oceanside structure in the world.

The U.S. Navy makes San Diego its home and San Diego currently contains one of the largest military complexes in the world. Its residents have become accustomed to the military presence - from powerful Navy jets thundering in low over the surf to the massive Navy ships anchored in the bay.

San Francisco earthquake changes the course of the Colorado River to empty into the Bay of Cortez instead of the San Diego River.

The world-famous San Diego Zoo came into being when animals imported for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition were quarantined and not allowed to leave.

Once a sleepy mission town, the city of San Diego now is home to more than 2.7 million people and has become a rich, vibrant, cultural center, as well as California's second-largest city after Los Angeles. The San Diego Tijuana Border Crossing is the worlds busiest ports of entry.

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Monday, January 22, 2018


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