Hernán Cortés & His Conquest of the Aztec Empire

On March 4, 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived in México in search of the Aztec civilization and its wealth. The expedition (entrada) of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland México under the rule of the King of Castile in the early … Continue reading Hernán Cortés & His Conquest of the Aztec Empire

The Founding of Rio & Its Subsequent History

On March 1, 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was formally founded by the Portuguese who had first encountered Guanabara Bay on January 1, 1502 (hence the name, “January River”), Today, Rio is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of … Continue reading The Founding of Rio & Its Subsequent History

Napoléon Makes His Prison Break

On February 26, 1815, Napoléon Bonaparte escaped from the island of Elba. The French emperor had been exiled there after his forced abdication following the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1814. He arrived at Portoferraio on May 30, 1814, and was allowed to keep a personal guard of 600 men. Napoléon was nominally sovereign of Elba, although the nearby sea was patrolled by the French and … Continue reading Napoléon Makes His Prison Break

U.S.A. Wins the Gold!

On February 24, 1980, at Lake Placid in upstate New York, the United States Olympic Hockey Team defeated Finland 4–2 to win the gold medal. The U.S. team had beat the team from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) two nights previously in a game since called the “Miracle on Ice.” The final rankings were based on points accumulated in matches against the other … Continue reading U.S.A. Wins the Gold!

John Glenn and his Orbital Flight aboard Friendship 7

On February 20, 1962, while aboard Friendship 7, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in four hours, 55 minutes. He was one of the Mercury Seven, military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA as the nation’s first astronauts. Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, running from 1958 through 1963. An … Continue reading John Glenn and his Orbital Flight aboard Friendship 7

Huckleberry Finn

On February 18, 1885, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published in the United States after initially being published in the United Kingdom and Canada on December 10, 1884. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the … Continue reading Huckleberry Finn

Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag

On February 15, 1965, a new red-and-white maple leaf design was adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. The flag of Canada, or in French Le drapeau du Canada, often referred to as the Canadian flag, or unofficially as the Maple Leaf and l’Unifolié (French for “the one-leafed”), consists of a red field with a white square at its … Continue reading Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag

Leonardo & the Madrid Codices

On February 13, 1967, American researchers discovered the Madrid Codices by Leonardo da Vinci in the Biblioteca Nacional de España (National Library of Spain) in Madrid. The Madrid Codices I–II (I – Ms. 8937 i II – Ms. 8936) are two manuscripts discovered by Dr. Jules Piccus, Language Professor at the University of Massachusetts. The Madrid Codices I was finished during 1490 and 1499, and … Continue reading Leonardo & the Madrid Codices