On This Day

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado

Explorer and Conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado

Profession: Explorer and Conquistador


Biography: Francisco Vázquez de Coronado is remembered for the expedition he led through Mexico and the South West of the United States, becoming the first European to discover the Grand Canyon.

Born in Spain, Coronado arrived in New Spain (Mexico) in 1535 and was later made Governor of one of its provinces.

In 1540 after reports by a Franciscan Friar of the existence of 7 golden cities he led a large expedition north in search of riches. Finding just villages, his expedition continued on, discovering the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

Returning to New Mexico in 1842 without finding sources of wealth Coronado's expedition was considered a failure.

Birthplace: Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Died: September 22, 1554
Cause of Death: Disease

Historical Events

  • 1540-02-23 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado's expedition sets off from Mexico in search of the 7 cities of Cibola