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Westside Digest

Malibu : Historic Status Denied Lagoon

May 14, 1987

The California State Historical Resources Commission has rejected a request to designate Malibu Lagoon as the site where explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed California for the King of Spain in 1542.

The eight attending members of the board unanimously decided "the evidence was not totally convincing," said commission Chairman John H. Kemble, a retired Pomona College history professor.

Local historian Ronald Rindge presented research based on Cabrillo's log showing that the lagoon fits the explorer's description of the mouth of a broad valley where he landed after leaving what probably was San Pedro. But Kemble said the valley may have been Point Mugu instead.

"Mr. Rindge did a tremendous piece of research on this, but it's our policy not to say so and so happened if we're not absolutely sure," Kemble said. "He can always come back. We're always happy to listen and to read more evidence."

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