Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo on the West Coast of the United States. The park may be dedicated to telling the story of Cabrillo and his exploration of the West, but it is also home to many cultural and natural treasures.
Cabrillo National Monument is found within the beloved national park with the same name and is located in San Diego, California. The monument and the location for the statue of Cabrillo was initially dedicated in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson and was merely half an acre. However, no statue was built, so in 1926, President Calvin Coolidge also made an attempt to erect a statue on the monument honoring Cabrillo, but was not successful either.
But, in 1935, a major renovation of the monument where the statue was meant to stand was completed. A new road was built leading to the monument and the nearby lighthouse, Old Loma Point Lighthouse, was also refurbished. This renovation generated a genuine feeling of hope that this monument could be realized. So in 1939, the Portuguese government commissioned a statue honoring Cabrillo as a gift to the United States, and it is still standing proudly today.
Cabrillo was one of the first Portuguese explores to make landfall in California. He arrived in the San Diego bay area in 1542 and discovered a diverse and thriving land with vast amounts of plants and animals. Through centuries of European growth and development, the environment has been altered greatly from his first landing, making the land that Cabrillo discovered one of the rarest ecosystems in the world.
During World War II, the monument was closed to the public and used as a military tactical point. However, in the years after the war, both President Eisenhower and President Ford enlarged the monument which is now currently over 140 acres. Photo: Natalia Bratslavsky/Fotolia
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Things to Do in San Diego: Cabrillo National Monument
- Perfect Combination of Nature & Culture, Photo: Courtesy of M RCP Photo - Fotolia.com
- More Nature, Photo: Courtesy of mrbrant - Fotolia.com
- Plan Your Visit, Photo: Courtesy of rruntsch - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Natalia Bratslavsky - Fotolia.com