La Entrada


Ponce de Leon voyage and discovery of La Florida

1510 - 1513

His ships landed on Florida's east coast near present-day St. Augustine. He claimed the land for Spain. Since he had discovered this country he was entitled to name it. He named it La Florida or "place of flowers."

Narvaez expediton of Florida

1527 - 1528

The exploration was led by Pánfilo de Narváez, who was appointed to rule as adelantado. The crew initially numbered about 600, including men from Spain, Portugal and Italy. Making stops along the way to Florida at Hispaniola and Cuba, the expedition suffered a hurricane, among other storms. After landing near Tampa Bay, they were subject to attacks by American Indians, and suffered the effects of poor food and disease. By September 1528, following an attempt to sail from Florida to Mexico, only 80 men survived after being swept onto Galveston Island, Texas. Over the next few years, more men died, and only four of the original party survived.

Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's journey

1534 - 1536

In 1534, he and the other Spanish survivors, Alfonso de Castillo, Andres Dorantes, and Esteván or Estebanico, started west across Texas and Mexico. With the help of many native Americans along the way, they crossed the Pecos and Colorado rivers and made their way towards Spanish outposts by 1536.

Fray Marcos de NIza and the 7 cities of Cibola


The black explorer Estevanico accompanies Fray Marcos de Niza as a guide in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola in western New Mexico. Estevanico is killed by the natives in Hawikuh, New Mexico and Fray Marcos de Niza is forced to return to Mexico City where he publishes an account of his journey, relating what he had heard of the "Seven Golden Cities of Cibola"

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's exploration


Francisco Vazquez de Coronado begins his exploration of south-western North America in search of the Seven Cities of Gold. The expedition leaves from Compostela (Senora) and Fray Marcos accompanies the expedition as a guide. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado leads the expedition which consist of 340 Spanish, 300 Indians, 1000 horses, 1000 slaves and six swivel guns indicating that the purpose was to colonise as well as explore. In the end Coronado reaches Cibola but it was not El Dorado the gleaming city of wealth described by Fray Marcos.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails

1542 - 1543

crossed the Sea of Cortes to the Baja California peninsula. Sailing north along the west coast of Baja California, the ships arrived at the bay of present-day San Diego, which Cabrillo named the bay of San Miguel, on September 28, 1542. They established Spanish claim to the California coast, naming various sites and occasionally going ashore to take possession of the land in a formal ceremony. On November 14 the ships arrived at Northwest Cape near Fort Ross just north of present-day Santa Rosa. A storm forced them to turn back and return to San Miguel Island in California. Cabrillo was injured in a fall at their winter camp and died there from gangrene in January 1543.

Pedor Menendez do Aviles establishes St. Augustine


St. Augustine was founded by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on September 8, 1565.

British pirates and Sir Francis Drake


He planned an attack on the Isthmus of Panama, known to the Spanish as Tierra Firme and the English as the Spanish Main. This was the point at which the silver and gold treasure of Peru had to be landed and sent overland to the Caribbean Sea, where galleons from Spain would pick it up at the town of Nombre de Dios. Drake left Plymouth on 24 May 1572, with a crew of 73 men in two small vessels, the Pascha (70 tons) and the Swan (25 tons), to capture Nombre de Dios.

Juan de Onate settles in New Mexico


In July 1598 he established the headquarters of the New Mexico colony near San Juan Pueblo at La Villa de San Gabriel, thus effectively extending the Camino Real by more than 600 miles.

Santa Fe is founded


Santa Fe is at least the third oldest surviving American city founded by European colonists, behind the oldest St. Augustine, Florida (1565).

Father Kino establishes a Spanish mission


A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692.

spanish priests and soldiers settle in San Antonio


San Antonio was permanently settled on May 1, 1718, when the Spanish governor of Coahuila and Texas, Martin de Alarcón, founded the presidio of San Antonio de Bejar and the mission of San Antonio de Valero on the site of a Coahuiltecan Indian village.

Father Junipero Serra

1767 - 1769

Junípero Serra, the founder of the Missions, which were the first settlements of civilized man in California. He was appointed to the charge of the Missions to be established in Upper California. He arrived at San Diego in 1769, and, with the exception of one journey to Mexico, he spent all the remainder of his life here. He died at the Mission of Carmel.