San Diego Spring – May 2019

Its about time that I said a bit about the city of San Diego.

The original inhabitants of this area between 8,000 BC and 500 AD are now known as the San Dieguito and La Jolla peoples.

Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed the bay for Spain in 1542 and named it San Miguel. In 1602, Sebastian Vizcaino was sent to map the coast, *under instruction not to rename any places already named.* He immediately changed the name to San Diego for Saint Didicus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego de Alcala. *At the time, the area was primarily desert and both explorers sent word back to Spain “Do Not Colonize”.*

In 1769. permanent colonization began on a hill near the San Diego River (the Presidio), with 4 contingents of Spaniards from New Spain and the Baja California peninsula. Franciscan friar Junipero Serra established the Mission San Diego de Alcala at the same time.

In 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain and San Diego became part of the Mexican territory of Alta California. In 1846, the United States went to war with Mexico for the California territory. Early on, they had an easy time of it, but Mexican resistance stiffened and there were victories on both sides. In 1848, the area was ceded to the United States, under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico wanted to retain San Diego, but the border was eventually established one league to the South.

In 1860, the city was moved away from the Presidio to the bayside area. The city did not really grow, until the arrival of the railroad in 1878. San Diego hosted two world’s fairs in the early 20th century, resulting in the construction of most of the the Spanish Baroque buildings that remain in Balboa Park to this day.

The city went through some tough times in the 1960s and 1970s but has seen a resurgence since the 1980s. The 2017 population was estimated at 1,419,516 making it the 8th largest city n the U.S. and the second largest in California.

(Source:Wikipedia) (words enclosed by ** are from commentary by our tour guide at Old Town State Park.)

The following photos will show how this former desert area has changed with the addition of some trees, since colonization started.

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