The year 2019 marks the 250th commemoration of the founding of San Diego and California. Today, San Diego is the 8th largest city in the nation known for its beautiful beaches, active lifestyle and diverse, vibrant communities. The area was home to the Kumeyaay Nation and their ancestors for tens of thousands of years, and they continue to be part of the region’s cultural fabric. The first Europeans to arrive on the West Coast sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542 and named the land Alta California. This became the starting point for an exploratory expedition northward. Early settlers relied on the help of the Kumeyaay, and much of the exploration of California occurred over native trails. The San Diego of today began on July 16, 1769, with the dedication of Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of 21 California missions. This first mission was established near the ancient Kumeyaay village of Kosa’aay (Cosoy), known today as Old Town San Diego. Special events to celebrate the 250th anniversary are being held throughout the year.
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