Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Feels Like . . .

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. . . a laid-back week to close out the month.

So gear up for a busy Thursday,

which offers a Mad Money review at 2 p.m. in the 2nd floor theater,

followed by our regular Thirsty Thursday respite at 3 p.m. in the bistro

before the Lou Malati’s Pizzeria tasting

in the dining room at 5 p.m.

Check your monthly calendar and fliers in the mail room for further details.

= = = = =

San Diego Cradles California History

There’s more to San Diego than the zoo.

The history of California and, as follows, that of the western United States is rooted in a promontory overlooking the bay that Spanish conquistadors first sailed into what has become the nation’s southwestern-most metropolitan complex of more than 3 million people.

Whether you drop down into San Diego on I-5 from the Los Angeles megalopolis or slide in along I-8 from the great Southwest, the two freeways meet at the Presidio.

Parked around a solid early-Californio tower is what is now a 40-acre Presidio Park that anchors the 21-mission chain that forms the backbone of the Golden State.

The park is the home of the museum that honors Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra who planted a cross on the hill that might have been intended to be the site of the first U.S. mission but gave way to rebellious Kumeyaay Indians who resented the Spaniards’ iron hand.

The first permanent mission, San Diego de Alcala, was built about five miles up the San Diego River in 1769 to soften relations between the intruders and the natives.

The growth of Alta California grew out of the presidio, however, as the Franciscans accompanied the Spanish soldiers and built the mission chain over the next half century until Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821.

The Mexican government secularized the missions a decade later and rich rancheros came north to claim the spoils. San Diego’s Old Town at the base of the hill crowned by the Presidio became a trade center as Mexico encouraged foreign trade. Today, it attracts both locals and tourists to its shops, restaurants and 19th century shop workers, such as blacksmiths and woodworkers.

Presidio Hill became a military fort and garrison in the nid-1840s after a combined force of Commodore Robert Stockton and Gen. Stephen Kearney won control of Alta California.

The Mormon Battalion Monument honors the Mormon men and women who volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War, effectively opening stage routes west and securing those Mexican territories for the States. Brigham Young was looking for help with his westward migration plans and enlisting his followers in the army paid for wagons, horses, and other necessities for his grand exodus.

Accompanying the 550-man battalion were 33 women, many serving as laundresses, and 51 children. They earned the church a total of $30,000 in donated salaries, the only religiously based military unit ever established in U.S. history.

Marked trails all around the Mormon monument take you past ruins of the original structures, a bronzed statue of the Friar Serra, and the Indian – an statue of a Kumeyaay brave with a freshly killed cougar.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 27, 2023 at 6:20 pm

Posted in Travel

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