On This Day

Hernán Cortés

Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés

Profession: Spanish Conquistador


Biography: Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition to Mexico during the 16th century that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire.

Cortés was one of the first Spanish explorers, beginning the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Birthplace: Medellin, Castile, Spain

Died: December 2, 1547
Cause of Death: Pleurisy

Historical Events

  • 1519-02-18 Hernán Cortés leaves Cuba for the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico with 11 ships and 500 men
  • 1519-09-05 Second Battle of Tehuacingo, Mexico: Hernán Cortés vs Tlascala Aztecs
  • 1519-11-08 1st meeting of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II and Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés in Tenochtitlan, Mexico
  • 1520-06-30 Spanish conquistadors are expelled from Tenochtitlan following an Aztec revolt against their rule under Hernán Cortés during "La Noche Triste" (the Night of Sadness). Many soldiers drown in the escape, and Aztec emperor Moctezuma II dies in the struggle
  • 1520-07-07 Battle of Otumba, Mexico: Hernán Cortés and the Tlaxcalans defeat a numerically superior Aztec force
  • 1521-08-13 Spanish conquistadors under Hernán Cortés capture Aztec Emperor Cuauhtémoc in Tenochtitlan marking the end of the Aztec Empire
  • 1522-10-15 Emperor Karel I names Hernán Cortés governor of Mexico

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