Date in History:
1565 – Pedro Menendez de Aviles received his “asiento” or settlement orders from the Spanish government to travel to La Florida on this date. Two years earlier, Don Juan Mendedez, Pedro Menendez’s only son was lost in a wreck near the Bahamas and Menendez was determined to find him. He was also instructed to reconnoiter the gulf and east coasts, making detailed observations about the ports, currents, hazards, etc., and settle the new territory. The Spanish government also tasked Menendez with driving the French settlers out of La Florida. Later that year he sailed from Spain and landed in what is now north Florida, establishing the settlement of St. Augustine. He marched to the French Fort Caroline and captured it for Spain, thus beginning almost two centuries of Spanish colonial rule in Florida.