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San Diego.

San Diego History

San Diego has a long and rich history. In the beginning, the area was inhabited by the Native Americans long before being discovered by the westerners in 1542. The first European to visit the area was Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo from Spain. He named it San Miguel. The area of present-day San Diego was given its current name by Sebastian Vizcaino when he was mapping the coastline of California for Spain in 1602. These explorers were

camping near a Native American village and celebrated mass in honor of San Diego de Alcala.

In 1769, Gaspar de Portola and his expedition founded a military post and begin establishing the first mission in California, Mission San Diego de Alcala. Soon after, colonists began arriving, which caused the natives to rebel. The natives burned the mission down and killed a priest and two others. However, one of the westerners began rebuilding and two years later, a fire-proof adobe structure was constructed. In 1979, the mission was the largest in all of California.

In 1821, Spain recognized Mexico’s independence. The governer of Alta California and Baja California moved the capital from Monterey to the area of San Diego. The colonists petitioned to form a town and it soon became endorsed. Juan Maria Osuna was elected the first mayor; however, the population of the town shrank to just over 100 people and by the late 1830s, it lost its township. In 1850, the province of Alta California became part of the United States following the Mexican defeat in the Mexican-American War and the city returned. This village was designated a seat in the new San Diego County and was incorporated.

In 1885, San Diego was linked with a railroad to the rest of the country, which was just the beginning of its growth. A few years later, the U.S. Navy began its heavy prescence in this region with a Navy coaling station. In 1915 and again in 1935, San Diego hosted two World’s Fairs, drawing attention from across the globe.

Since World War II, the military played a leading role in boosting San Diego’s economy. However, that changed after the end of the Cold War and the military’s prescence began to diminish. However, the city has become a center for the biotech and telecommunications industry.

Beginning in 2003, the public learned of a fund scandal that left the city with an estimated $1.4 billion pension fund gap. Controversy has ensued during the mayor elections since this time. Mayor Dick Murphy announced his intent to resign in 2005 due to mounting pressure over controversies. A few days after his resignation, two city councilmembers were convicted for taking bribes and both resigned.


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