National Geographic : 1916 Jul
FORTIFICATIONS AT ACAPULCO, MEXICO Acapulco is one of the principal west coast cities of Mexico, with harbor accommodations for Ioo ocean steamships and 200 lighter craft. Bret Harte, in his "Last Galleon," sings of the day in 1641 when the regular yearly galleon was due to arrive in Acapulco, while the limes were ripening in the sun for the sick on board. ity soon made them formidable to their masters. THE FOUNDING OF TENOCHTITLAN After a series of wanderings and ad ventures, which need not shrink from comparison with the most extravagant legends of the heroic ages of antiquity, they at length halted on the southwestern borders of the principal lake in the year 1325. They there beheld, perched on the stem of a prickly pear, which shot out from the crevice of a rock that was washed by the waves, a royal eagle of ex traordinary size and beauty, with a ser pent in his talons, and his broad wings opened to the rising sun. They hailed the auspicious omen, an nounced by the oracle as indicating the site of their future city, and laid its foun dations by sinking piles into the shallows, for the low marshes were half buried under water. On these they erected their light fabrics of reeds and rushes, and sought a precarious subsistence from fishing and from the wild fowl which frequented the waters, as well as from the cultivation of such simple vegetables as they could raise on their floating gar dens. The place was called Tenochtitlan, in token of its miraculous origin, though only known to Europeans by its other name of Mexico, derived from their war god, Mexitli. The legend of its founda tion is still further commemorated by the device of the eagle and the cactus, which form the arms of the modern Mexican Republic.