September 28, 1542, was the day Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo entered San Diego Bay. On that day they became the first Europeans to set foot on the California shores.
It was not until 1769 that the Spanish decided to settle there permanently. This is when we hear of Father Junipero Serra and his quest to establish a series of missions.
The plan was to establish their Spanish presence and to “civilize” the local people and convert them to Christianity. The series of missions, presidios and pueblos extended from San Diego to north of San Francisco, at Sonoma.
Almost at the same time, Emperor Peter the Great ordered the exploration of the North Pacific. They over hunted their own country of fur bearing animals. Peter the Great looked to the Pacific Northwest as a new source.
It was a conflict in the making. The United States was not even a country, yet the people on the east coast were already taking an interest in the west coast.
Welcome to the whirlwind.