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Lost in the Fog of History: Portola Expedition Snafus

The Portola expedition’s accidental discovery of San Francisco Bay was celebrated with a giant exhibition in the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo. Now S.F. Chronicle columnist Gary Kamiya tells the dramatic story of the Spanish explorers who landed on the beach in what is now Linda Mar, hiked up the hill in full body armor, and spotted the bay, mistakenly thinking they were on an island off the coast of California. Kamiya says, “That discovery was in fact of comedy of errors…(they had) no idea what they were looking for, (didn’t) recognize it when they found it, and returned to camp to receive a tongue-lashing from none other than Father Junipero Serra.”

Gary Kamiya

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I always wonder about the word "discover" used without qualification when there are already people living in a place -- thousands of people, in the case of the Bay Area.

That's better than the native people got!

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