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San Diego County history:
The area which is now San Diego County has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years by Kumeyaay (also called Diegueño), Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians.
European settlement in what is now San Diego County began with the founding of the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, by the Spanish, in 1769. The county was part of Alta California under the Viceroyalty of New Spain until the Mexican revolution. From 1821 until 1848 the area was part of Mexico.
San Diego County became part of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, ending the U.S.-Mexican War. This treaty designated the new border as terminating at a point on the Pacific Ocean coast which would result in the border passing one Spanish league south of the southernmost portion of San Diego Bay, thus ensuring that the United States received the natural harbor.
San Diego County was one of the original counties of California, and was created at the time of statehood in 1850. It was named after San Diego Bay, which had been rechristened in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno in honor of the Franciscan St. Didacus of Alcalá, known in Spanish as San Diego de Alcalá de Henares, and whose name was borne by Vizcaíno's flagship.
As originally created in 1850 San Diego County was quite large and included most of southeastern California south and east of Los Angeles County. As such it included major parts of what are now Inyo, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial counties.
The later part of the 19th century witnessed numerous realignments of county boundaries. The most recent changes were the creation of Riverside County, in 1893, and Imperial County, in 1907.