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. 17

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

Wu Zetian was born on Feb. 17, 624 C.E., 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 C.E., 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 C.E. She died on Dec. 16 of the same year and was buried with her husband in the Qianling Mausoleum. 

Oct. 18, 1685: The Edict of Nantes was revoked.

The Edict of Nantes was signed into being on April 13, 1598, by Henry IV, the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, the father of Louis XIII and the grandfather of Louis XIV. It granted religious liberty to the French Huguenots, who were Protestants in a Catholic country. Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal et duc de Richelieu, also known as l’Éminence Rouge, was chief minister to Louis XIII. He annulled the Edict’s political and military clauses. Louis XIV, also known as Le Roi Soleil, revoked the Edict of Nantes on Oct. 18, 1685, in the midst of conflict with Protestant countries. This led to a mass migration of Huguenots out of France and to the loss of France’s commercial class.

Oct. 19, 1945: Former Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles died.

Born Francisco Plutarco Elías Campuzano on Sept. 25, 1877, in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, Calles was a soldier and politician who served as the 47th president of Mexico from Dec. 1, 1924, to Nov. 30, 1928. He served under Venustiano Carranza and Francisco Madero during the Mexican Revolution, which propelled him into a career in politics. He served as governor of Sonora from 1915 to 1919 and then succeeded Álvaro Obregón as president in 1924. After his term, Obregón ran for president again and won but was assassinated shortly afterward. Calles then founded the Institutional Revolutionary Party and ruled as Mexico’s de facto leader from 1929 to 1934. He died in Mexico City on Oct. 20, 1945, at 68, of a hemorrhage following surgery. 

Oct. 20, 1964: Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover died.

Herbert Clark Hoover was born on Aug. 10, 1874, in Iowa to a Quaker family. After graduating from Stanford University in 1895, Hoover pursued a successful career as a mining engineer. During World War I, he served as chair of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, which provided food for the occupied territory. After the war, he served as director of the U.S. Food Administration from 1917 to 1918, then as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1928. He won the election to become the 31st President of the United States in 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression, which he mishandled and infamously blamed Mexican Americans for. He lost the next election to Franklin D. Roosevelt and vocally disapproved of his policies during retirement. He died in New York City at age 90 on Oct. 20, 1964.

Oct. 21, 1984: Formula 1 racer Niki Lauda wins his third World Championship.

Born Andreas Nikolaus Lauda in Vienna, Austria, on Feb. 22, 1949, to a wealthy business family, Niki Lauda was a world-renowned Formula One racer, aviation entrepreneur and racing consultant. He won his first world championship in 1975, racing for Ferrari, and was on his way to winning the title again in 1976 when a life-threatening crash at the German Grand Prix put him in the hospital and left him scarred for life. He recovered in six weeks to continue the season and lost the championship by one point to McLaren’s James Hunt. Lauda won the world championship again in 1977 with Ferrari and went into a brief retirement in 1978. He returned to racing in 1982 and won his third and final world championship in 1984 with McLaren. He died in his sleep on May 20, 2019, at age 70 in Zurich, Switzerland due to kidney problems.

Oct. 22, 1836: Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

Sam Houston was born on March 2, 1793, in Virginia as the fifth child of a plantation-owning family. In his youth, he ran away from home and joined the Cherokee tribe of Chief Oolooteka, where he was named Colonneh. Houston would remain an activist for Native rights for the rest of his life. Before arriving in Texas, he was a representative and negotiator of the U.S. government in dealings with the Native peoples. He arrived in Texas, then Mexican territory, on Dec. 2, 1832, and quickly joined the Anglo-Texan rebellion movement. Houston is most celebrated as the hero of the battle of San Jacinto, where he achieved the decisive victory for Texan independence against Mexican general Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on April 21, 1836. He was elected president of the Republic of Texas on Sept. 5 of that same year and was inaugurated a month later. 

Oct. 23, 42 B.C.E.: Marcus Junius Brutus, a Roman politician, committed suicide.

Brutus was a Roman politician born around 85 B.C.E., best known for his role in the assassination of the dictator Julius Caesar. He was raised by his uncle Cato the Younger and was taught the principles of Stoicism, a school of ancient philosophy that originated in Athens. Brutus’ mother Servila became a lover of Julius Caesar when he was a young man, thus granting him Caesar’s favor. Brutus was a loyal supporter of the man until he declared himself perpetual dictator of Rome and was deified by the senate; afterward, Brutus joined forces with his brother-in-law Gaius Cassius Longinus to assassinate Caesar on March 15, 64 B.C.E. Brutus committed suicide nearly two decades later after he was defeated by Marcus Antonius and Octavian, supporters of Julius Caesar, in the second battle of Philippi. 

Oct. 24, 1929: The stock market crashed on what was called “Black Thursday

The stock market crash of 1929 was a sudden decline in stock prices that contributed to the Great Depression. Black Thursday was the first day of the crash on Oct. 24, when a record number of shares were traded in a frenzy of panic selling after the decline. Millions of dollars were lost and the free fall of the market was kicked off. The period known as the Great Crash lasted for four business days, from Black Thursday to Black Tuesday.

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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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