St. Augustine, Fla., August 07, 2015 – On September 8, 1565, 800 Spaniards gathered on the shores of a Florida salt marsh at the site of a large Native American village known as Seloy. Soldiers and sailors were joined by more than 100 civilians; married men and women, artisans, tradesmen and children, when Captain General don Pedro Menéndez de Aviles stepped ashore from his longboat. Kneeling and kissing the cross carried by Father Lopez, Menéndez and his officers swore allegiance to God and King and proclaimed this place as “St. Augustine.”
That day marked the beginning of 450 years of a diverse collection of people living, working and raising families in the Nation’s oldest city.