St. Augustine chafes at Jamestown's celebrity





ST. AUGUSTINE - This city almost erected a billboard outside Jamestown, Va., to congratulate it on its 400th birthday - and remind everyone St. Augustine passed that milestone four decades ago.

It would have said, "Happy birthday to our younger brother,'' former Mayor George Gardner said.

Jamestown is celebrating the anniversary of its founding on May 14, 1607, making it the oldest English settlement in the nation. Queen Elizabeth paid a visit, greeted by Vice President Dick Cheney. Time magazine trumpets "America at 400.''

But St. Augustine is the nation's oldest city and its historians and officials wonder what all the Jamestown brouhaha is about. Their city was founded Sept. 8, 1565, by Spaniard Pedro Menendez de Aviles and his expedition of 500 soldiers, 200 sailors and 100 farmers and craftsmen. Some brought their wives and children. They, not the Pilgrims, celebrated the first Thanksgiving in the New World. The first schools, hospitals and banks in what is now the United States were built here.


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