Today – September 8

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Today’s Memorable U. S. Event

The founding of St. Augustine, Florida (Sept. 8, 1565) – the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the United States.

English: Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avi...
Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés (1819-1574) by Francisco de Paula Martí (1762-1827) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The vicinity of St. Augustine was first explored in 1513 by Spanish explorer and governor of Puerto Rico, Ponce de Leon, who claimed the region for the Spanish crown.  Prior to the founding of St. Augustine in 1565, several earlier attempts at European colonization in what is now Florida were made by both Spain and France, but all failed.

The FoundingPedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted land on August 28, 1565. As this was the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, the territory was named San Agustín. The Spanish sailed through St. Augustine inlet into Matanzas Bay and disembarked near the Timucua town of Seloy on September 7.  Menéndez’s goal was to dig a quick fortification to protect his people and supplies as they were unloaded from the ships, and then to take a more proper survey of the area to determine the best location for the fort. The location of this early fort is unknown, but may be at the grounds of what is now the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. It is known that the Spanish occupied several structures in Seloy, the chief of which, known as Chief Seloy, was friendly with the Saturiwa, Laudonnière’s allies. It is possible, but undemonstrated, that Menéndez fortified one of the occupied Timucua structures as this first fort at Seloy.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Prior to the Colonial Cycle – Elizabethan Renaissance Era – First Turning, High (1589-1620)

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