Spanish ‘Discovery’ of San Diego, California 1542

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer working for the Spanish government, was the first European to navigate the area that became San Diego, California.  Cabrillo and his crew arrived on September 28, 1542, during their voyage to document the coast of California. The Cabrillo National Monument now commemorates this event near modern San Diego, located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula.