“History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of Human Being.”- Shelley, English Poet.
History is the study of the past; specifically the people, societies, events, and problems of the past as well as our attempts to understand the past. It is a pursuit common to all human communities.
History can take the form of a tremendous story, a rolling narrative filled with ideal personalities and tales of turmoil and triumph. Each generation adds its chapters to history while reinterpreting and finding new things in those chapters already written.
Let’s discover what happened on September 14 in World History:
1847: General Winfield Scott captures Mexico City
On September 14, 1847, the Stars and Stripes flew over a foreign capital for the first time in American history. After winning the last major battle of the Mexican-American War, U.S. General Winfield Scott marched his army into Mexico City and raised the American flag over the Mexican National Palace on the site of the “Halls of Montezuma.” This would later be celebrated in the famous Marines’ Hymn.
While the last major battle was won by September of 1947 and Mexico City was captured, the Mexican-American War did not end until February 2, 1848. On that date, the United States and Mexico agreed to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Under the conditions of the treaty, Mexico agreed to sell California and the rest of its territory north of the Rio Grande for $15 million. The 525, 000 square miles of ceded land would later become the states of New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. Mexico was also forced to recognize the U.S. annexation of Texas.
Fought from 1846 to 1848, close to 79,000 American troops took part in the Mexican-American War. Future Union and Confederate generals Ulysses S. Grant, George Meade, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson were among them. Nearly 13,200 Americans lost their lives in the conflict.
Some in the United States considered the Mexican-American War an unjust land grab. Future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who was an Illinois congressman at the time, was one of the war’s harshest critics. While the justifications for fighting the war were debated then and will still be debated today, we must always remember the bravery and skill displayed by American forces in achieving victory. As always, our troops did what was asked of them. The United States wouldn’t look the way that it does today without the efforts of our military in the Mexican-American War.
1959: Soviet probe reaches the moon
After midnight passed in Moscow, the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 intentionally crashed into the moon on 14th September 1959, becoming the first man-made spacecraft reaches to the moon.
It was the Soviet Union’s second attempt to reach the moon. Luna 1 had missed its target by about 3,700 miles after it launched in January 1959.
Luna 2 carried Soviet pennants, two of which were located in the spacecraft and were sphere-shaped, with the surface covered by identical pentagonal elements. In the center of this sphere was an explosive that slowed the huge impact velocity. Each of the stainless steel pentagonal elements had the USSR Coat of Arms and the date “1959 September” on them.
Reaching the moon first was a highly coveted claim during the Space Race. Unfortunately for the U.S., Luna 2 hit its target just as Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev was due to arrive in the U.S. to be welcomed by President Eisenhower.