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 Oct. 3

This+week+in+history
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. 

Oct. 10, 1911: The 1911 Revolution began in China.
The Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China, came to an end as a result of the Republican Rebellion, also known as the Xinhai Revolution. The Qing Dynasty was officially overthrown on Feb. 12, 1912, when the boy emperor Xuantong, also known as Puyi, was forced to abdicate. The revolution began after a series of Chinese defeats in the first Opium War (1838-42), the Anglo-French War (1856-58), the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. The Qing Dynasty lasted for almost three centuries, from 1644 to 1911. Following the abdication of the Qing emperor, a provisional republican government came into being under Yuan Shikai, who served as the provisional President of the Republic of China from 1912 until he died in 1916 at age 56.

Oct. 11, 1809: American explorer Meriwether Lewis died. 

Meriwether Lewis was born to plantation owners William Lewis and Lucy Meriwether on Aug. 18, 1774, near Charlottesville, Virginia. His father died in 1779 while serving in the Continental Army. Lewis also pursued a military career, joining the Virginia militia in 1794 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1801, he became the personal secretary of President Thomas Jefferson. Following the Louisiana Purchase, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned his secretary to lead an expedition to the territory. Lewis recruited William Clark, who had gained frontier experience as a soldier in the U.S. Army. Guided by Shoshone woman Sacagawea and accompanied by a party that included her husband, her child, the famous dog Seaman and the enslaved man York, Lewis and Clark traversed the territory and beyond until they reached the Pacific. On the return journey, the two briefly separated to investigate different territories. Lewis died on Oct. 11, 1809, at age 35 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Clark named his son Meriwether Lewis Clark in his honor. 

Oct. 12, 1492: Christopher Columbus makes landfall in Guanahaní.

Columbus, whose real name was Cristoforo Colombo, was an Italian explorer born in Genoa, modern-day Italy, who set out on a transatlantic voyage on Aug. 3, 1492, hoping to reach the trading ports along India and China. After a two-month voyage, he made landfall in the Caribbean on Oct. 12 and named the island of his arrival San Salvador, in the modern-day Bahamas. The native Lucayan people, a branch of the Taíno people, called the island Guanahaní. Following his arrival, Columbus and his men abused the natives of Guanahaní and the people living in the neighboring islands of modern-day Cuba and modern-day Dominican Republic. The Lucayan people were enslaved, tortured, raped, killed and forcibly converted to Christianity. The arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean started an era of exploitation and colonization that crippled dozens of native civilizations. 

Oct. 13, 1706: Emperor of Ethiopia Iyasu I died.

Born Adyam-Saggad I, Iyasu the Great was born around 1658 to Emperor Yohannes I and his wife Sabla Wangel. He reigned as emperor of Ethiopia from 1682 until 1705, when he was deposed by supporters of his son, Takla Haymanot. He was murdered on his son’s orders on Oct. 13, 1706, on the island of Lake Tana, where he had retreated after the death of his favorite concubine. His reign was marked by his partisanship of the arts, victorious military campaigns, revolutionary political reforms and attempts to reconcile different religious groups within his empire.

Oct. 14, 1644: The founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, was born.

William Penn was born in London to an admiral in the British military. He was introduced to Quakerism, a religious denomination under Protestant Christianity, also known as the Society of Friends, while living in Ireland as a young man and converted in 1666. The Quakers were persecuted by the English government as heretics who preached blasphemy, and Penn was imprisoned four times for preaching his beliefs publicly. In 1681, Penn was granted a charter to found a new colony in the Americas, where Penn made landfall in Oct. 1682. There, he founded Philadelphia as the capital of the colony of Pennsylvania, which would act as a refuge for persecuted religious minorities and also as the first capital of the United States a century later. Today, Pennsylvania is the fifth-most populous state in the U.S. 

Oct. 15, 1542: Akbar the Great was born.

Abū al-Fatḥ Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar was born in India on Oct. 15, 1542, to Emperor Humayun. He is the third and greatest of the Mughal Emperors and was the grandson of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty. He was made governor of the Punjab region at age 13 and ascended to the throne at age 14, coming into power in an unstable territory. He forced his chief minister to retire in 1560 and began to rule on his own since then. Akbar is known for expanding the Mughal Empire to cover most of modern-day India and other territories to the north and for creating a strong central government. He was Muslim but was interested in other religions. In order to reduce tensions between his Muslim and Hindu subjects, he created the “Divine Faith” and sought to gain the loyalty of the Hindu people. He abolished the non-Muslim tax in lieu of military service. He died on Oct. 25, 1605, at age 63.

Oct. 16, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis began.

The Cuban Missile Crisis is the name given to the October 1962 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, which almost resulted in nuclear war. Following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the U.S.’ attempt to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba, the U.S. moved American Jupiter ballistic missiles into Italy and Turkey. The range of the missiles would allow for a strike on Moscow. In response, the USSR sought to move their missiles into Cuba with the support of the Castro Regime as a deterrent to further U.S. intervention. On Sept. 4, 1962, President Kennedy publicly warned against this action. The missiles were sent out anyway, and on Oct. 16, Kennedy was shown photographs of the missile installations in Cuba. The U.S. put up a blockade around Cuba in an attempt to stop any Soviet ship containing weapons from crossing. If the USSR placed and fired missiles from Cuba, it would be seen as an attack on the West, and the U.S. would respond. The leader of the Soviet Union at the time, Nikita Khrushchev, responded to Kennedy that the ships would cross the blockade, with any attempt to stop them being taken as an act of aggression. If there was any interaction between their ships, it would mean nuclear war. There was never an interaction. On Oct. 28, the Soviet Union proclaimed that its missiles would be dismantled and removed from Cuba. The U.S. ended the blockade on Nov. 20 of that year and removed its missiles from Turkey in April 1963.

Oct. 17, 690: Empress Wu Zetian of China established the Southern Zhou Dynasty.

Wu Zetian was born on Feb. 17, 624, and was the empress consort of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty. Following her husband’s death, Empress Wu ruled China as empress dowager through her sons, puppet Emperors Zhongzong and Ruizong. She usurped her son Emperor Ruizong in 690, established the Zhou Dynasty with her as Huangdi, meaning Emperor, and gave herself the reign name Wu Zhao. Her rule, best known for her partisanship of Buddhism, has been historically demonized, although recent studies seek to provide a more complete image. The dynasty lasted until she was forced to yield the throne back to her son Li Xian, the Zhongzong emperor, who officially took back the throne on Feb. 23, 705. She died on Dec. 16 of the same year and was buried with her husband in the Qianling Mausoleum.

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About the Contributors
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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