The De Soto National Memorial was formed in 1948, good four centuries after Hernando de Soto landed in Bradenton, Florida. His expedition was the first extensive organized exploration held by a European government in the United States.
De Soto?s trip to Florida was mostly a plan to find gold and treasure in the area. However, they were also ordered by King Charles V to populate, conquer, and pacify the territory. They executed the orders well, pillaging one village after another, enslaving the locals, taking their food, and killing some locals. The expedition also helped in changing Spain?s perception of the New World,
Today, the De Soto National Memorial is under the care of the National Park Service, offering various activities and attractions on the site.