The Mayflower Had a Better PR PERSON!

A replica of the ship that actually settled California — and it was long before the Mayflower in Massachusetts, it was the ship San Salvador in San Diego. Some Massachusetts people know that the Mayflower was not the first ship, but they contend that the Mayflower brought the first continually occupied territory — as if other cities didn’t exist. The Mayflower just had better Public Relations!
The Mayflower touched just north of Cape Cod, at Plymouth, Mass in 1620. (My wife is from a Mayflower family, and there are six families in Marshfield, Mass. still living on the original grants, including my wife’s family.)

So, imagine my wife’s surprise to learn that Juan Cabrillo arrived in San Diego Bay in 1542!

Yep! That’s before Jamestown, Va., also, 1607.

The San Salvador, a light 200 ton ship of only 100 feet, was not a usual sea-going ship, but rather what we would call a costal ship. Although there is a spot on San Diego Bay called Cabrillo Landing, it is a lot like the Plymouth Rock. It is unlikely either vessel landed at either point — the most likely point in San Diego Bay is called Ballast Point, currently the site of the Submarine Base. I served aboard three submarines stationed at Ballast Point.

The first European to touch what is the continental U.S. was Ponce de Leon, and the first cities were Saint Augustine, Florida, and Sante Fe New Mexico — both were settled cities before the Mayflower was even considered.

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