Cabrillo National Monument celebrates 100 years - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

Cabrillo National Monument celebrates 100 years

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(CBS 8 photos/Dominic Garcia) (CBS 8 photos/Dominic Garcia)

SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - The 100th anniversary celebration of the Cabrillo National Monument that was postponed in October by the federal government shutdown will take place this weekend.

The two-day event will include tours of the Point Loma lighthouse, World War II air raid drills, nature hikes and a 1940s swing dance.

The anniversary celebration is being combined with the monument's third annual World War II-Fort Rosecrans Goes to War event, which is held on a weekend in early December. Saturday is the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"Combining the centennial events with our annual military history tribute will make this a very special and memorable weekend for staff, volunteers and visitors," said park Superintendent Tom Workman. "We invite the public to come and celebrate San Diego's only national park."

Most the people CSB News 8 met were from out of towners taking in the view from under the statue of Juan Cabrillo, one of the first Europeans on the West Coast, known for charting it out for future adventurers. 

"This is great, we're from Florida and we don't have scenery like this, I mean this is fantastic," Kevin Wright said. 

But perhaps the biggest attraction was the lighthouse, usually only open a few days a year. 

"Oh I like the lighthouse, you rarely get a chance to come up here so this is fun," San Diego resident Cathy Perry said. 

It's funny because in the early 1900's the lighthouse was actually supposed to be demolished. 

"With World War I and World War II getting under way, the Army didn't want to tear down the lighthouse, they actually put money into refurbishing it and using it as a signal station," park ranger Emily Floyd said. 

And so it was fitting that Saturday's celebration took place in conjunction with the "Fort Rosecrans Goes to War" event -- a re-enactment where everything from the clothes to the cars was authentic. 

"The amazing thing is this was where news of the attack on Pearl Harbor was first relayed. The initial radio station up in San Francisco because of atmospheric conditions the news actually couldn't get through. For 72 hours after the attack the country found out about the attack through Fort Rosecrans," Daniel Sutton said. 

The sight is historically special for a number of reasons and even though the celebrations may be over, every visit is a way to honor the past. 

"The national parks belong to all of us, American citizens. Getting the opportunity to get out and explore them will help us to reconnect with our American history," Floyd said. 

The park opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, with tours of the lighthouse starting at 10 a.m. The swing dance is at 6 p.m.

The monument opens at 9 a.m. Sunday, with a centennial ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m.

Cake will be served at 1 p.m. each day.

The monument commemorates Juan Rodri­guez Cabrillo's landing at San Diego Bay in 1542.

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