Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

This Week in History – Week of Sep. 19

Calli Recore

Find out past events from the days of this week; births, deaths and important moments from all corners of the globe and all eras of history. 

Sept. 19, 1985: An earthquake devastated Mexico City. 

The epicenter of the magnitude 8.1 earthquake originated in the state of Michoacan to the west of Mexico City. The earthquake’s destruction reached its heights in the capital city, which has soft soil foundations built on the dry bed of the drained Lake Texcoco. An aftershock of a 7.5 magnitude struck the area the following day, adding to the destruction. Over ten thousand people were killed as a result of the earthquake, with thousands more injured and around 250,000 left homeless. Over 400 buildings collapsed, including part of the Hospital Juarez de Mexico, killing over a thousand patients and hospital workers. In the aftermath, people blamed the lax building safety codes and the president’s inadequate response to the disaster for the scale of the devastation. 

Sept. 20, 2011: The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed. 

During World War II, a ban was established that forbade homosexuals from serving in the armed forces. DADT was signed into law by the Clinton Administration in 1993, allowing homosexual Americans to serve in the armed forces as long as their sexual orientation remained private, or else they would be discharged. The policy was repealed by both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in Dec. 2010, with former President Obama signing the legislation later that month. The policy remained in place until Sept. 2011 and the statutory ban on queer servicemen was lifted, drastically reducing the number of military discharges. 

Sept. 21, 19 B.C.E.: The Roman poet, Virgil, died. 

Born Publius Vergilius Maro, Virgil is considered Rome’s greatest poet and his best-known work is the “Aeneid,” which tells the story of the birth of Rome and was left unfinished at the time of his death. He was born in modern-day Mantua, Italy on Oct. 15, 70 B.C.E. during the time of the Roman Republic, although his career reached its peak during the time of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. He was educated in various cities, including Rome, and managed to become a Roman citizen as his fame grew. Always having a sickly disposition, he died of a fever in modern-day Brindisi, Italy at age 50.

Sept. 22, 1776: American revolutionary hero, Nathan Hale, was hanged by the British as a spy. 

Executed at just 21 years old, Captain Nathan Hale was one of the first spies for the Continental army during the American Revolutionary War. Born on June 6, 1755, Hale volunteered to cross enemy lines on Long Island to obtain information about troop movements for General George Washington. Though his mission was successful, he was captured while sailing back to American territory on Sept. 21 and was executed the next day. Celebrated as an American martyr, it was recorded by a present British officer that Hale’s last words were “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Sept. 23, 1215: Mongolian emperor of China, Kublai Khan, was born. 

Kublai Khan was the grandson of the Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan, who united the Mongolian tribes into a united empire. Kublai Khan was the fifth emperor of the Mongols and established the Yuan Dynasty, the first foreign-led imperial dynasty of China, after becoming the first Mongol to rule the whole of China after defeating the Song Dynasty in 1279. He established his capital in Beijing, which would remain the capital until the defeat of the Yuan to the Ming Dynasty in 1368, who moved the capital to Nanjing. During his reign, he formed a relationship with the Venetian explorer Marco Polo, who provided some of the earliest information about China to Europeans when he wrote about his experiences in the East after returning from his travels. Kublai Khan ruled under the reign name Shizu from 1260 until his death at age 79 on Feb. 18, 1294. 

Sept. 24, 1906: Devils Tower is declared the first national monument of the United States. 

Devils Tower is located in northeastern Wyoming and is a sacred site to the Indigenous Lakota, Kiowa, Crow, Cheyenne and Arapahoe groups. Best known for the vertical formations on its rockface, most oral histories about Devils Tower tell the story of a giant bear or bear-like creature that scratched its surface. It was declared the first national monument of the U.S. by former President Theodore Roosevelt, a conservationist and lover of nature. 

Sept. 25, 1711: Emperor Qianlong, the fifth emperor of the Qing, was born. 

Born Hongli, Qianlong was the grandson of the Kangxi Emperor, the son of the Yongzheng Emperor, and the fifth Qing emperor altogether. His reign was the longest in Chinese history, lasting from 1736 to 1799, and fortified Chinese interests both domestically and abroad. The Qing military prowess and continuous success under Qianlong maintained and reinforced Chinese authority in Central and East Asia by defeating foreign threats such as the Mongols and Turks and warning off others such as Russia. He also vastly expanded the empire with the New Province in the far west, known today as Xinjiang. Qianlong was a patron of the arts and fostered traditional and developed new aspects of Chinese culture. He was a dedicated poet, supposedly producing nearly fifty thousand original words, and was trained in painting and calligraphy. He died aged 87 on Feb. 7, 1799 and was succeeded by the Jiaqing Emperor. 

Sept. 26, 1969: Abbey Road, the last recorded album and penultimate release of The Beatles, was released. 

The Beatles was an English band that originated in Liverpool composed of members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Their first studio album “Please Please Me” was released in 1963 and launched into global success. Although “Let It Be” (1970) was their last release, their final recording was “Abbey Road,” recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London. It featured 17 tracks, with 14 by Lennon and McCartney, two by Harrison and one by Starr. A double A-side single was released with “Come Together” by Lennon and McCartney and “Something” by Harrison. The cover features the four members walking across a zebra crossing on Abbey Road. 

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About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Calli Recore, Graphic Artist

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    PaolaSep 20, 2023 at 8:36 am

    So interesting!