As discussed in an earlier blog post, Menendez made first landfall on our shore on September 7th, exactly 446 years ago today, and on the following day he formally founded the settlement that would last, becoming the oldest city and port in the nation.
This momentous occasion is being celebrated this year on Saturday, September 10th, with an exciting annual heritage event. Hosted by our friends at Florida Living History, Inc along with the Mission Nombre de Dios, the planned activities include:
• the historical re-enactment of Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ landing in 1565.
• a grand procession to the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum following the Mass of Thanksgiving.
• a lecture on the founding of St. Augustine by Dr. Michael Gannon will follow the Mass and procession.
More information on the event is below . . .

(from the Florida Living History press release)
CONTACT: Mark Schmitt
La Compañía de Santiago / The Company of St. James (c. 1565)
Telephone (toll-free): 1-877-FLA-HIST (1-877-352-4478)
Saturday, September 10, 2011
St. Augustine, Florida
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – September 6, 2011 – Four hundred and forty-six 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 and port in the continental United States. On Saturday, September 10, 2011, the annual, historical re-enactment of Menéndez’ landing and 446th anniversary
commemorations will be held at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine, Florida.
• WHEN: Saturday, September 10, 2011 / 10AM to noon
• WHERE: Mission Nombre de Dios and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, 27 Ocean Avenue, St. Augustine, FL
• COST: Admission to this heritage Event is free
The “Founding Day” heritage Event will feature:
• the historical re-enactment of Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ landing in 1565
• a proclamation by the Honorable Leanna Freeman, Vice-mayor and Commissioner of the City of St. Augustine
• a Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by Fr. Terrence Morgan
• a grand procession to the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum; on loan to the Mission from the City of Avilés, Spain – sister city of St. Augustine – are replicas of the swords of Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, which will be carried in the procession; these swords will be on display in the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum through September 25th
• a presentation on the founding of St. Augustine – “The Altar Was Older Than the Hearth” – by Dr. Michael Gannon, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Florida and Knight Commander of Spain’s Order of Isabella the Catholic, will follow the grand procession; this lecture is funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Additional activities will take place next door at Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park (904-829-3168) following Dr. Gannon’s presentation.
This heritage Event is sponsored by Mission Nombre de Dios and Florida Living
History, Inc
. Support is provided, in part, by the St. Johns County Tourist
Development Council and the Florida Humanities Council. For more information on La Compañía de Santiago,
please contact or phone toll-free 1-877-FLA-HIST (1-877-352-4478)!
La Compañía de Santiago is a member unit of Florida Living History, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the support of living history activities, events, and portrayals related to the history of colonial Florida.