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SAN DIEGO ATTRACTIONS - SAN DIEGO TOURISM

San Diego History - Mission San Diego de AlcalaSan Diego History - San Diego’s history is very distinct. Many events and even a greater number of people have influenced San Diego’s progression. From Junipero Serra, Alonzo Horton, and John Spreckels many people have played major roles in shaping San Diego into what is now “America’s Finest City.”

With sights such as Old Town, Presidio Park, and Balboa Park San Diego’s history is interesting and fun to explore. Below is a brief timeline of San Diego’s historic past.

1542 – Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails into the bay and names his discovery San Miguel.
1602 – Sebastian Vizcaino arrives in San Miguel and renames it San Diego de Alcala.
1769 - Gaspar de Portola and Junipero Serra arrive in San Diego. Presidio Hill becomes the site of California’s first mission – Mission San Diego de Alcala.
1846 – U.S. forces seize San Diego from Mexico. Captain Samuel F. Dupont orders U.S. flag raised.
1850 – California admitted to Union. With a population of 650 San Diego becomes the state’s first county. William Heath Davis attempts to build a new waterfront city – a failure forever known as “Davis’ Folly.”
1867 – Alonzo Horton purchases 960 acres that will ultimately be developed into New San Diego.
1886 – Construction begins on the Hotel Del Coronado.
1906 –John D. Spreckels and others form a corporation to build San Diego & Arizona Railroad.
1915 – Balboa Park is built as a temporary site to host the Panama-California International Exposition.
1927 – Charles Lindbergh completes his flight from New York to Paris in Spirit of St. Louis, which was built in San Diego. The following year Lindbergh Field (San Diego’s municipal airport) is dedicated in his honor.
1935 – Balboa Park hosts the city’s 2nd exposition, the California-Pacific International Exposition.
1942 – U.S. Navy purchases Camp Pendleton for use as a Marine base.
1962 – Salk Institute opens in La Jolla.
1968 – The San Diego Padres become a Major League Baseball team. They play their first game in the new $27 million San Diego Stadium, which opened the previous year.
1969 – The Coronado Bay Bridge opens.
1970 – With a population of 697,471San Diego becomes California’s 2nd largest city.
1978 – Two separate arson fires a week apart destroy Balboa Park’s Old Globe Theatre and Aerospace Museum.
1980 – The San Diego Trolley gives its first ride.
1996 – San Diego hosts the Republican National Convention, the first political convention in the city’s history.
2003 - Fires ravage San Diego County. Three fires simultaneously burn over 380,000 acres, destroyed 2,400 homes and left 16 people dead. President Bush visits San Diego to access damage and visit with victims.

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