Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo To Be Officially Recognized As Spanish

A sign for Cabrillo National Monument sits at the entrance of the park in Poi...

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: A sign for Cabrillo National Monument sits at the entrance of the park in Point Loma, Aug. 10, 2017.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo To Be Officially Recognized As Spanish


Iris Engstrand, San Diego historian


This is a big weekend for the legacy of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo.

This Friday, 476 years after he sailed into San Diego Bay, Cabrillo officially becomes Spanish again.

As San Diego historian Iris Engstrand explains a mistake in a 17th-century history book set off a chain reaction that led some to believe Cabrillo was of Portuguese descent. The controversy has been going on for years, even affecting the spelling and pronunciation of his name.

But more recently a Canadian researcher uncovered a document that shows Cabrillo identified as a native of Spain.

Ahead of this weekend’s annual Cabrillo Festival, the Cabrillo National Monument will install plaques that recognize Spain, not Portugal, as the country where Cabrillo was born.

Engstrand discusses the mystery over Cabrillo's heritage Wednesday on Midday Edition.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.