National Geographic : 1942 Jan
San Diego Can't Believe It I'red Masters Here on Point Loma, American Sailors Hoisted Their "Shirt-tail Flag," the First Old Glory to Fly in California Covering only one-half of an acre, this National Monument honors the memory of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who in 1542 was the first white man to see San Diego harbor (page 69). Now the Coast Artillery uses the abandoned lighthouse as a lookout station. This site commands a remarkable view. From here you can see, spreading far, San Diego and its splendid harbor, North Island, Coronado Islands, and the mountains down in Mexico. Then Viscaino upped his mud hooks, and sailed out of history. Whites didn't reappear for 167 years. They came again in 1769 only because King Carlos of Spain was jealous of English and Russian seamen creeping down the Pacific coast from Alaska. To halt these explorers and fur trappers from the north, Spain ordered San Diego and Monterey to be occupied and fortified. On this "sacred expedition," sent by Jose de Gilvez, came Gaspar de Portola, along with Father Junipero Serra, sent to Christianize the Indians. Reaching San Diego in 1769, these Spaniards brought with them tools, skilled workers, cattle, sheep, goats, horses, mules and mission bells. These bells were symbolic of a new way of life, strange and unknown to the Indians. Their ringing was a sound they had never heard, musical and yet authoritative. In so great awe did the superstitious savages hold the mission bells that they are thought to have buried them during the despoiling of the mis sions to escape their reproachful tones. Junipero Serra, pioneer priest, took his place among the conquerors of the coast. He's bet ter known than any other ecclesiastic in Cali fornia history; today the devout kneel to pray beside his sculptured tomb near Carmel.