BEAUFORT, SC (WMBF) – A reason to celebrate as April marks the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Spanish settlement of Santa Elena on what is now the South Carolina coast. The Santa Elena Foundation is observing the occasion that commemorates Santa Elena, which was founded in 1566 to protect Spanish shipping interests. Santa Elena was the first capital of Spanish colonial Florida.
The site of the settlement was rediscovered in the 1970s beneath a golf course at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. A symposium on April 15th focuses on the significance of the settlement. An exhibit about the settlement entitled "America's Untold Story" opens April 30th at the Santa Elena History Center in downtown Beaufort.