19th October
It was on this day...
1781 British Defeated At Yorktown

It was the defeat that effectively ended the American War of Independence with the British.

8000 soldier's (7,087 officers and men, 900 seamen, 144 cannons, 15 galleys, a frigate, and 30 transport ships), under General Lord Cornwallis, surrendered to the American/French forces.

Cornwallis had moved his men to Yorktown with the intention to reinforce his forces and give them time to rest.

General George Washington gave orders to the Marquis de Lafayette to block the British exit from Yorktown by land. A French fleet would then block the British from the sea.

Sea reinforcements were denied to Cornwallis after the French defeat of the British in the Battle of Virginia Capes.

The British were completely encircled by over 14,000 troops and, over time, the fortified British positions were being reduced. A 7,000 men British reinforcement was on its way, but failed to arrive on time.

The American War of Independence continued on the seas, but this was the final major land battle.

On 3rd September 1783 The Treaty of Paris recognized the USA as an independent country.

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1812 Napoleon begins his retreat from the burning Moscow.

1939 James Stewart's 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' premieres.

1982 John DeLorean is arrested for drug dealing after $24mn worth of cocaine is allegedly found in his suitcase.

1987 508 point fall on the Dow stock index.

1989 The Guildford Four, convicted for a pub bombing in the UK in 1975, are cleared, after 15 years in prison.

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