The Province of Aurora, with Baler as its capital, was founded by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in August 13, 1979 by virtue of Batas Bambansa Blg. 7. This act was the fulfillment of the prayers of the people of the former Municipalities of Baler and Casiguran to be truly independent from the Province of Quezon for the first time since the Spanish occupation.
In 1572, the Spanish explorer Juan de Salcedo became the first European to visit the region that would be known as Aurora while he was exploring the northern coast of Luzon. Salcedo reportedly visited the towns of Casiguran, Baler and Infanta.
In the early days of the Spanish colonial period, Aurora was ecclesiastically linked to Infanta, which today rests further south in the Province of Quezon. The earliest missionaries in the province were the Franciscans, who had established missions in Baler and Casiguran in 1609. Due to lack of available personnel, the region was given to the jurisdiction of the Agustinians and Recollects in 1658, but was returned to the Friars Minor in 1703. Other early missions included Dipaculao, established in 1719, and Casiguran, in 1753.
The early history of Aurora is linked to Quezon Province, of which it originally formed a part, and Nueva Ecija. In 1591, Quezon (then named Kalilaya) was organized into a district that included a good portion of what now constitutes the Provinces of Laguna and Nueva Ecija.
The original capital of Quezon was Kalilaya, now known as Unisan. In 1701, Nueva Ecija was split from Kalilaya Province. Around 1749, the provincial capital was transferred from Kalilaya to the town of Tayabas. The entire province then took on the name of Tayabas as well.