On Oct. 19, 1781, British troops under Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, as the American Revolution neared its end.
In 1789, John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
In 1944, the U.S. Navy began accepting Black women into WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
In 1950, during the Korean Conflict, United Nations forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
In 1953, the Ray Bradbury novel “Fahrenheit 451,” set in a dystopian future where books are banned and burned by the government, was first published by Ballantine Books.
In 1960, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested during a sit-down protest at a lunch counter in Atlanta. (Sent to prison for a parole violation over a traffic offense, King was released after three days following an appeal by Robert F. Kennedy.)
In 1966, The Yardbirds arrived in New York for their first US tour with Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitars. After two dates of the tour, Beck developed acute tonsillitis and quit the group. He would go on to form The Jeff Beck Group, that gave Rod Stewart his first major exposure.
In 1977, the supersonic Concorde made its first landing in New York City.
In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value (its biggest daily percentage loss), to close at 1,738.74 in what came to be known as “Black Monday.”
In 2002, in York, Pa., former mayor Charlie Robertson was acquitted and two other men were convicted in the shotgun slaying of Lillie Belle Allen, a young Black woman, during race riots that tore the city apart in 1969.
In 2001, U.S. special forces began operations on the ground in Afghanistan, opening a significant new phase of the assault against the Taliban and al-Qaida.
In 2003, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa during a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square.
In 2010, the Pentagon directed the military to accept openly gay recruits for the first time in the nation’s history.
In 2015, Canadians voted for a sharp change in their government as the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau, the son of a former prime minister, won a landslide victory to end Conservative Stephen Harper’s near decade in office.
On October 5, 1892, the Dalton Gang, notorious for its train robberies, was practically wiped out while attempting to rob a pair of banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised White House address as he spoke on the world food crisis.
1953, Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th chief justice of the United States, succeeding Fred M. Vinson.
In 1958, racially-desegregated Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, was nearly leveled by an early morning bombing.
In 1983, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa (lek vah-WEN’-sah) was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1989, a jury in Charlotte, North Carolina, convicted former P-T-L evangelist Jim Bakker of using his television show to defraud followers. (Sentenced to 45 years in prison, Bakker was freed in December 1994 after serving 4 1/2 years.)
In 1994, 48 people were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide carried out simultaneously in two Swiss villages by members of a secret religious doomsday cult known as the Order of the Solar Temple.
In 2001, tabloid photo editor Robert Stevens died from inhaled anthrax, the first of a series of anthrax cases in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Washington.
In 2005, defying the White House, senators voted 90-9 to approve an amendment sponsored by Republican Sen. John McCain that would prohibit the use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” against anyone in U.S. government custody.
In 2011, Steve Jobs the Apple founder and former chief executive who’d invented and master-marketed ever sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, died in Palo Alto, California at age 56.
In 2015, the United States, Japan and 10 other nations in Asia and the Americas reached agreement on the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
In 2017, Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein announced that he was taking a leave of absence from his company after a New York Times article detailed decades of alleged sexual harassment against women.
In 2018, a jury in Chicago convicted white police officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald.
In 2020, President Donald Trump made a dramatic return to the White House after leaving the military hospital where he was receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19.
In 2021, a former Facebook employee, data scientist Frances Haugen, told a Senate panel that the company knew that its platform spread misinformation and content that harmed children, but that it refused to make changes that could hurt its profits.
In 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the final papers to annex four regions of Ukraine while his military struggled to control the new territory.
On October 4 1777, Gen. George Washington’s troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pennsylvania, resulting in heavy American casualties.
In 1887, the International Herald Tribune had its beginnings as the Paris Herald, a European edition of the New York Herald.
In 1940, Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps.
In 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit the Western Hemisphere as he addressed the U.N. General Assembly.
In 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room at age 27.
In 1990, for the first time in nearly six decades, German lawmakers met in the Reichstag for the first meeting of the nation’s reunified parliament.
In 1991, 26 nations, including the United States, signed the Madrid Protocol, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.
In 2001, a Russian airliner flying from Israel to Siberia was accidentally downed by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile over the Black Sea, killing all 78 people aboard.
In 2002, “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh received a 20-year sentence after a sobbing plea for forgiveness before a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. (He was released from prison in May, 2019.) In a federal court in Boston, a laughing Richard Reid pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives in his shoes (the British citizen was later sentenced to life in prison).
In 2004, the SpaceShipOne rocket plane broke through Earth’s atmosphere to the edge of space for the second time in five days, capturing the $10 million Ansari X prize aimed at opening the final frontier to tourists.
In 2010, the Supreme Court began a new era with three women serving together for the first time as Elena Kagan took her place at the end of the bench.
In 2013, Vo Nguyen Giap, the military commander who’d led Vietnamese Communist forces against the French and then the Americans, died in Hanoi at age 102.
In 2017, President Donald Trump visited hospital bedsides and a police base in Las Vegas in the aftermath of the shooting rampage three nights earlier that left 58 people dead.
In 2020, infected and contagious, President Donald Trump briefly ventured out in an SUV from the hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19 to salute cheering supporters. Trump’s medical team reported that his blood oxygen level had dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick.
In 2022, Elon Musk abandoned his legal battle to back out of buying Twitter and offered to go through with his original $44 billion bid for the social media platform.
On Oct. 3, 1941, Adolf Hitler declared in a speech in Berlin that Russia had been “broken” and would “never rise again.”
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. Army troops cracked the Siegfried Line north of Aachen, Germany.
In 1951, the New York Giants captured the National League pennant by a score of 5-4 as Bobby Thomson hit a three-run homer off Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the “shot heard ’round the world.”
In 1961, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” also starring Mary Tyler Moore, made its debut on CBS.
In 1970, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was established under the Department of Commerce.
In 1974, Frank Robinson was named major league baseball’s first Black manager as he was placed in charge of the Cleveland Indians.
In 1981, Irish nationalists at the Maze Prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended seven months of hunger strikes that had claimed 10 lives.
In 1995, the jury in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles found the former football star not guilty of the 1994 slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later found liable for damages in a civil trial).
In 2001, the Senate approved an agreement normalizing trade between the United States and Vietnam.
In 2003, a tiger attacked magician Roy Horn of duo “Siegfried & Roy” during a performance in Las Vegas, leaving the superstar illusionist in critical condition on his 59th birthday.
In 2008, O.J. Simpson was found guilty of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room. (Simpson was later sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison; he was granted parole in July 2017 and released from prison in October of that year.)
In 2011, an Italian appeals court freed Amanda Knox of Seattle after four years in prison, tossing murder convictions against Knox and an ex-boyfriend in the stabbing of their British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
In 1869, political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a serious stroke at the White House that left him paralyzed on his left side.
In 1941, during World War II, German armies launched an all-out drive against Moscow; Soviet forces succeeded in holding onto their capital.
In 1944, German troops crushed the two-month-old Warsaw Uprising, during which a quarter of a million people had been killed.
In 1959, Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” made its debut on CBS-TV with the episode “Where Is Everybody?” starring Earl Holliman.
In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court as the court opened its new term.
In 1970, one of two chartered twin-engine planes flying the Wichita State University football team to Utah crashed into a mountain near Silver Plume, Colorado, killing 31 of the 40 people on board.
In 1984, Richard W. Miller became the first FBI agent to be arrested and charged with espionage. (Miller was tried three times; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was released after nine years.)
In 2006, an armed milk truck driver took a group of girls hostage in an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, killing five of them and wounding five others before taking his own life.
In 2016, Colombians rejected a peace deal with leftist rebels by a razor-thin margin in a national referendum, scuttling years of painstaking negotiations and delivering a stunning setback to President Juan Manuel Santos. Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully signed off for the last time, ending 67 years behind the mic for the Dodgers, as he called the team’s 7-1 loss to the Giants in San Francisco.
In 2019, House Democrats threatened to make White House defiance of a congressional request for testimony and documents potential grounds for an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged for the first time that he had been on the phone call in which Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate Democrat Joe Biden.
In 2020, stricken by COVID-19, President Donald Trump was injected with an experimental drug combination at the White House before being flown to a military hospital, where he was given Remdesivir, an antiviral drug.