California’s first church was dedicated by Father Serra, 5′ 2″ and 120 pounds, in 1769. He had arrived on the ship San Carlos from New Spain (Mexico). Two other ships and two separate land expeditions accompanied him with a total of 219. Over half died in the successful effort to establish a small foothold here in Baja California.
California 4th graders build models to learn about the role played by missions founded in the 1700s in the states development. Mission San Diego de Alcala was founded on July 16, 1769 as the first of the 21 Alta California missions. Interesting to note that the Bougainvillea decorating the grounds was first discovered just the year before, 1768, in Brazil by a French Navy admiral.