Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sights Florida

On August 28, 1565, Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted the verdant, palm covered land that eventually became the US state of Florida.  This date was the feast day of Saint Augustine, and Aviles named the territory after him. The land was already civilized and owned by the First Nation of the Seminoles, but the Spanish ignored that detail. The Spanish built a town and then a fort at the site that still stands. Saint Augustine is the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the US, predating Jamestown, Virginia.  On September 8, 2015, the city will celebrate its 450th anniversary.

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