Historic City News readers are aware that, four-hundred and forty-nine years ago, on September 8, 1565, Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés stepped ashore at Matanzas Bay and founded St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest, continuously occupied, European city, port, and parish in the continental United States.
That day saw the establishment of the first permanent European colony and municipality, the institution of European government and law, and the first community act of religion and thanksgiving in the first permanent, European settlement in the land.
Florida Living History, Inc. in partnership with the Diocese of St. Augustine and Mission Nombre de Dios, is pleased to announce our initial, 2015 plans to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the founding of the City of St. Augustine.
On September 5-6, 2015, at the request of the Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, Bishop of St. Augustine, and the Diocese of St. Augustine, FLH will host heritage events and activities at Mission Nombre de Dios – the site of Menéndez’ original landing – in St. Augustine, Florida.
On Saturday, September 5, 2015, our “Founding Day” commemorations will feature:
-the historical re-enactment of Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ landing in 1565 by Florida Living History, Inc., at Mission Nombre de Dios;
-a Grand Procession from Mission Nombre de Dios to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, linking the site of the actual founding to the heart of the present-day city.
The 450th Anniversary Grand Procession will culminate in a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.
On Saturday, September 5, and Sunday, September 6, FLH will present “St. Augustine: A Journey of 450 Years”, with exhibits and demonstrations illustrating St. Augustine’s rich heritage. This living-history time-line will take place at Mission Nombre de Dios, in the Field of the Great Cross.
Florida Living History, Inc., believes that these 450th-anniversary heritage events will enhance the national and international significance of St. Augustine, the Mission Nombre de Dios, and Fountain of Youth Archeological Park site as the Birthplace of America and Cradle of Christianity in the continental United States.
Photo credits: © 2014 Historic City News contributed photograph by Stacey Sather, courtesy of Florida Living History, Inc.