Cabrillo was born in either Portugal or Spain at the end of the 15th century. Regardless, his birthplace clearly didn’t instill a strong distaste for genocide, as he helped Hernán Cortés eradicate the Aztec Empire as his Captain of Crossbowmen.
A decade of ethnic cleansing later and Cabrillo was one of the richest conquistadores in Mexico thanks to the hundreds enslaved Indigenous laborers he forced to work in his gold mines and encomiendas.
Cabrillo led an expedition of three ships from Manzanillo to look for the fabled cities of Cibola to plunder. He instead claimed San Diego Bay for Spain, to which its inhabitants responded with a “sure, Jan,” as the Spanish wouldn’t build a permanent base in the area for another 200 years.
After completely missing San Francisco Bay, Cabrillo fell onto a rock and broke his shin while fighting Tongva warriors who did not appreciate his habit of claiming every stone and tree that didn’t belong to him. The wound grew gangrenous, killing him in 1542.