Oct 12 was to be the start of a weekend celebration to mark the Centennial year of the Cabrillo National Monument. However due to the 'shutdown' of the U S Government this historic event has been cancelled.
The Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula with the nearest city being San Diego. The statue was erected to commemorate the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in San Diego Bay on Sept 28 1542. Cabrillo was a Portuguese Explorer and was the first European to navigate the coast, of what is, 'present day' California and who on Sept 28 1542 landed an expedition.
The erection of a statue, to commemorate this event, was first ordered by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913, which was not done. It was again authorized by President Calvin Coolidge but by 1926 no statue had been built. Finally it was executed by sculptor 'Alvaro de Bree' for the Portuguese Government and donated to the United States in 1939.
The statue is 14-feet tall and weighs 14,000 pounds, standing at the tip of Point Loma it offers views of San Diego Harbor and skyline, Coronado, the Naval Air Station North Island, and on a clear day a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Visitors to the park can also visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which has been there since 1851, a year after California entered the Union. The first location chosen was 422-feet above sea level overlooking the bay and ocean, and was to serve as both a harbor light and coastal beacon. The location however got fog and low clouds making the light difficult to be seen by passing ships. In 1891 the flame was extinguished and a new lighthouse, which is still active, was built at a lower elevation.
Visitors can visit the old lighthouse which is now a museum, the new lighthouse, various military installations, a former army building that has an exhibit of the military history of Point Loma, and the Visitors center where they can learn the park's history, communicate with Park Rangers and volunteers, get the weather readings and time of low tide, have a National Park Passport stamped, visit the 'Age of Exploration' exhibit and take guided tours. But before that becomes possible we need the park to re-open, which needs our government to be back up and active.
Unfortunately the Centennial remains closed this weekend.