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Posts Tagged ‘Antonio de Mendoza

Fables that have been agreed upon*…

From College Humor.  Click on the image above, or here

* “All the ancient histories, as one of our wits says, are just fables that have been agreed upon. ”  – Voltaire, Jeannot et Colin

As we try to find alternatives to Arthur on the afternoon television schedule, we might recall that it was on this date in 1542 that Portuguese explorer João Rodrigues Cabrilho discovered Santa Catalina Island, while exploring the coast of California for the Spanish, for whom he was sailing.  Cabrilho (“Juan Rodriguez Cabillo,” as he was known in Spanish) had made his fortune with Hernán Cortés in Mexico (then called New Spain) and later, mining gold in Guatemala. But as enough is never enough,  when the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, tapped him to lead an expedition up the Pacific Coast, he leapt at the opportunity to search for a way to China (the full extent of the northern Pacific was still unknown) and to find the mythical Strait of Anián (the Northwest Passage) connecting the Pacific Ocean with Hudson Bay.  While he found neither of those, he did discover familiar landmarks up the Golden Coast (San Diego Bay, San Pedro, San Clemente), all the way to the Russian River– though he sailed unawares past San Francisco Bay, making for Point Reyes…

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