Ken Salazar Declares Sir Francis Drake Landing Site "Settled History"
Historians can't agree, but Ken Salazar knows better than they do.
The federal government has quietly ended a 433-year-old historical controversy by officially recognizing a cove on the Point Reyes Peninsula as the site where Sir Francis Drake landed in 1579 and claimed California for England.
The mystery of where England's most famous and feared sea captain landed has long intrigued maritime scholars. Many of them claimed Drake landed in a cove near Point Reyes in what is now Marin County, but others cited what they said was evidence that Drake put ashore in spots ranging from San Francisco Bay to Alaska, Oregon, British Columbia or several other sites on the California coast.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar apparently put the controversy to rest this week when he designated 27 national historic landmarks as "places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States."
Three of the 27 are in Northern California - the Drake site, the U.S. post office and Courthouse at Seventh and Mission streets in San Francisco, and the Knight's Ferry covered bridge in Stanislaus County.
The designation of the San Francisco post office and the Knight's Ferry Bridge were not controversial. But arguments about where Drake landed have been going on for years.