On December 6, 1534, Sebastian de Benalcazar and 200 or so other Spaniards formally founded the city of San Francisco de Quito. Today, the bustling city is the capital of Ecuador and is popular with tourists for the old historic center of town. Every December 6, the people of Quito celebrate with games, parties and events.
On December 5, 1814, Tomas "Taita" Boves, the ruthless, bloodthirsty Spanish warlord, was killed in battle at the Battle of Uriza. So ended a reign of terror the likes of which Venezuela has not seen before or since.
On December 4, 1511, Antonio de Montesinos, an unassuming Dominican priest, stepped to the pulpit in Santo Domingo...and let the settlers have it with both barrels. Montesinos harangued the Spanish colonists for their brutal mistreatment of the natives. "Tell me, by what right or by what interpretation of justice do you keep these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? By what authority have you waged such detestable wars against people who were once living so quietly and peacefully in their own land?" he asked. The settlers were enraged and Montesinos was reprimanded, but the battle for native rights in the Americas had begun.
On December 1, 1822, Pedro I of the House of Braganza was crowned Emperor of Brazil. Imperial rule in Brazil would continue for decades and be one of the more stable times in Brazil's tumultuous history.
On November 28, 1520, Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean. he wasn't the first European to get there from the east: Balboa had seen it on an overland expedition from Panama years before. But Magellan had a ship and he boldly headed west, as part of what would eventually become the first round-the-world journey.
On November 25, 1956, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Raul Castro and 79 other revolutionaries piled onto the Granma, a yacht originally designed for twelve people. They had weapons, food and gasoline for a trip to Cuba, where Fidel would try once again to topple the crooked regime of Fulgencio Batista. The week-long voyage has since become part of Cuban lore.
The Olmec Culture, the foundational civilization of Mesoamerica, is remembered for many things, including the first major cities, trade and commerce and a diverse pantheon of gods. What most people think of when they consider the Olmecs, however, is their art and sculpture, which was centuries ahead of its time.
Francisco I. Madero should have won the 1910 election for President of Mexico, but entrenched dictator Porfirio Diaz was having none of it, sending Madero into exile. An irate Madero called upon the people of Mexico to rise in revolution on November 20, 1910. And rise they did. Led by ruthless, ambitious men like Pancho Villa, Venustiano Carranza and Alvaro Obregon, the Mexican Revolution soon gained momentum of its own, spinning out of the control of the hapless Madero and changing Mexico forever.
On November 17, 1717, Blackbeard attacked and captured the Concorde, a French slaving ship. It was love at first sight. The legendary pirate evicted the French and their slaves and began modifying the massive ship into the perfect pirate vessel. When he was done, he renamed the 40-gun monster the Queen Anne's Revenge after Queen Anne of England (1665-1714). In command of one of the greatest pirate ships of all time, Blackbeard was ready to begin an unparalleled reign of terror in the Caribbean and along the eastern coast of England's American colonies.
On November 16, 1532, Atahualpa, master of the Inca Empire, agreed to meet with some bedraggled foreigners who had arrived overland from the west to the town of Cajamarca where he was staying. Little did Atahualpa know that these men were ruthless Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro, and they had murder and kidnapping on their minds.