Today in the Middle Ages: July 1, 1520

Hernan Cortes and his soldiers fled the city of Tenochtitlan on July 1, 1520, an event traditionally remembered as "La Noche Triste."

The Aztecs in the city had risen against the Spanish occupation, and Cortes and his men barely escaped with their lives. Cortes is supposed to have spent the night weeping beneath a tree. However, he eventually managed to retake the empire with the help of the Aztec's traditional enemies, the Tlaxcala.