The San Salvador under the command of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, arrived at the port we now call San Diego on September 28, 1542, before proceeding further north in search of new trade routes that would link Mexico to Asia and Europe. She was the first recorded European vessel to sail along Southern California, and survey its coastline. Her expeditionaries established a generally friendly first contact with the indigenous peoples of that coast. The San Salvador must be considered the founding ship of San Diego and of the State of California. As such she functions as an “origin symbol” ship for San Diego in much the same way as the Mayflower is the origin symbol ship of New England. Her story represents the beginning of a common heritage for the peoples of California, both past and present.