Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. This event marked the first time that a European expedition had set foot on what later became the West Coast of the United States. On October 14, 1913, by presidential proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) of Fort Rosecrans for "The Order of Panama . . . to construct a heroic statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo." By 1926 no statue had been placed and the Order of Panama was defunct, so Calvin Coolidge authorized the Native Sons of the Golden West to erect a suitable monument. The heroic statue of Cabrillo, looking out over the bay, was executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree for the Portuguese Government in 1939, who then donated it to the United States. The sandstone monument is 14 feet (4.3 m) tall and weighs 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg). The adjacent museum screens a film about Cabrillo's voyage and has exhibits about the expedition. The area of the national monument was enlarged significantly by Presidents Eisenhower and Ford. As with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
By kjfitz @ 2010-11-03 10:01:10