06/27/2012 07:57 pm ET

Happy Birthday San Francisco! The City Celebrates 236 Years (PHOTOS)

Every history buff knows what happened in the United States in 1776.

San Francisco was founded, obviously!

Though people have lived on the land for thousands of years (archaeological evidence dates back to 3000 BC), today, the City by the Bay celebrates its official 236th birthday. (Looking good!)

According to the Museum of the City of San Francisco, Spanish troops arrived in San Francisco for the first time on June 27, 1776.

Father Francisco Palou, a Franciscan missionary, described the arrival:

“On June 27, the expedition arrived near its destination. The commander, therefore, ordered the camp to be pitched on the bank of a lagoon which Señor Anza had named Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, and which is in sight of the Ensenada de los Llorones, and of the bay or arm of the sea that extends to the southeast. Here all were to await the transport ship to mark out the site on which to locate the fort and presidio while the country was being explored.”

(Fun fact: Anza's Nuestra Señora de los Dolores was a lagoon until it was filled in the 1870s. It is currently downtown Mission.)

Two days later, Fathers Palou and Cambon held mass at the Dolores camp, officially founding Mission Dolores just days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Needless to say, 1776 was an exciting year. The American Revolution also happened. Yawn.

Since then, we San Franciscans have been Mexicans (1821), Californians (1846), Americans (1848), 49ers, conservatives, artists, beatniks, hippies, liberals, activists, techies, yuppies and everything in between.


Here's to 236 more years, San Francisco. Keep 'em coming.

In celebration, here are a few spots in town to get a San Francisco birthday treat: