Sir Francis Drake landmark designation sparks debate

Posted: 05/25/2012 in all marine news

Colin Fogarty –

Oregon and California are locked in a dispute over something that happened 433 years ago.

That’s when Sir Francis Drake became the first British explorer to make contact with Native Americans. It happened on what is now the American West Coast.

The question is where. Oregon or California ?

The National Park Service is poised to officially recognize one state’s claim and not the other’s.

Sir Francis Drake was the prototypical swashbuckling British ship’s captain. Ferdinand Magellan died on his circumnavigation.

Drake survived his trip around the world and helped make England a global power. Erika Martin Seibert is an archaeologist with the National Park Service.

She says Drake’s voyage, was the “moonshot” of its time. “He was a rock star,” Seibert says.

“He did something that people thought was impossible.” It was a three-year journey.

And in 1579, Drake spent five weeks repairing his ship and interacting with West Coast tribes.

Garry Gitzen believes that happened on the northern Oregon coast.

He’s an amateur historian whose house overlooks Nehalem Bay.

Full story…

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