History Happened Here

A campaign commemorating Florida's diverse cities.
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St. Augustine

Saint Johns County

Year Founded: 1822


Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a Spanish conquistador, founded St. Augustine in 1565. This represented the first permanent settlement by Europeans in Florida. St. Augustine was so named by Menendez because land was sighted on August 28, the feast day of Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo). The city was occupied by Spanish rule from 1565 until 1822, except for a short 20-year span from 1763 to 1784 when British rule prevailed. During the British rule, St. Augustine served as capitol for British East Florida, stretching from the Atlantic to the Apalachicola River. St. Augustine was incorporated by the U.S. Territorial Acts of 1822, 1824, 1889, 1915, 1921, 1923 and 1925 when the present Charter was enacted by the Florida Legislature. St. Augustine is situated on the Matanzas River, a saltwater river, where it runs into the North River, also a saltwater river. In or near St. Augustine were the missions of Nombre de Dios, San Sebastian, Nuestra Senora de la Leche and San Diego de Salamototo. St. Augustine is the county seat.

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