Today in history on July 30th a riot ensued during the day which became a massacre against the Europeans and their native levies whom Hernan Cortes had employed in his army during the campaign to conquer Mexico from 1518-1522. The Night of Sadness would become both the defining moment of the early exploration of the New World as well as one of its most tragic consequences.
Hernan Cortes, the Conquistador
This massacre came to be known as The Night of Sadness (La Noche Triste) and it had a very important impact in regards to the
the Aztec culture, and the end of the greater Aztec dynasty in Mexico. Today it is arguably the defining moment of Cortes legacy in relation to his relations with what would become New Spain.
Aztec warriors circa 1500
The great Aztec King Montezuma II was killed either the night before or the night of Cortes’ retreat from
Tenochtitlan, by the Spanish or his peoples
who had risen in open revolt against the Spanish and their King. Cortes was
wounded and most of his Spaniards killed during the ensuing retreat. Many
casualties were caused when a ship overloaded with conquistadors and their Aztec
plunder sunk killing many weighed down by their European made heavy armor.