A Brief History of San Diego, CA
San Diego, CA is a popular destination in the United States. It’s south of Los Angeles and is adjacent to Mexico’s border. It’s one of the top 10 largest cities in the nation. You’ve probably heard of it, but know little of how the big city came to be. Here is a brief history of San Diego, California.
The Foundation of San Diego, CA
Among the first Europeans to explore the region was Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. Cabrillo was the leader of an expedition that traveled along the coast of California in 1542. It was late June of that year that Cabrillo began his journey, starting from Navidad, New Spain (now Mexico). It took him three months to make it to the now San Diego Bay. He claimed the site for the Spanish Empire and deemed it San Miguel. It would another two hundred years though before anyone settled the region. It was in 1769 that the Spanish founded the Fort Presidio of San Diego and built a series of missions across the state. Fifty-six years later Mexico got its freedom from Spain and in 1846 the United States annexed California.
San Diego, CA in the Late 19th Century
San Diego, CA only had a population of a few several hundred people when it was incorporated in 1850. The city was slow to develop. Some notable things that happened in the 19th century include the Colorado House being built in 1851. Four years later the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was built. In 1856 the Whaley House was built, the first two-story house made of brick built in California that’s also rumored to be haunted.
The city experienced rapid growth in the next decade growing in population by 1,569 people in the years between 1860 and 1870.
San Diego, CA in the 20th Century
During the early parts of the 20th century, the city became a major naval base. There was a boiler explosion on the USS Bennington. The ship was docked in the city in July 1905 and the incident killed 66 men and injured several others. Thanks to the base, the city suffered less from the Great Depression than others in the United States.
The population experienced another boom during this time and, by 1940, the population totaled 203,000. By 1970 that number tripled and the city continued to flourish.
A few things that happened around the city during the 20th century include the Maritime Museum opening in 1948, a new public library being built in 1954, SeaWorld opening in 1964, and the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge opening in 1969.
Today the city continues to grow and prosper greatly. Many conventions are held in the convention center that was built in 1989, including a very popular one that is known as Comic-Con. It’s now the second largest city in California. It’s a great city with a blend of diversity, plenty to do, and a history that details progress. The climate is perfect and the attractions around town are worth every penny.
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