As a result of this expedition, what has been truly characterized by historians as one of the greatest land expeditions the world has known, a new civilization was established in the great American Southwest reported the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1939. To commemorate permanently the explorations of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado would be of great value in advancing the relationship of the United States and Mexico upon a friendly basis of cultural understanding, stated E. K. Burlew, Acting Secretary of the Interior in 1940. It would stress the history and problems of the two countries and would encourage cooperation for the advancement of their common interests.
The site was first designated Coronado International Memorial in 1941 in the hope that a comparable adjoining area would be established in Mexico. Despite interest by the government of Mexico, the Mexican memorial was never created; therefore, Coronado National Memorial was established by Harry S. Truman in 1952.