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.