Today in History
439 The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
1216 King John of England dies at Newark and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
1448 The Ottoman Sultan Murat II defeats Hungarian General Janos Hunyadi at Kosovo, Serbia.
1466 The peace of Torun ends the war between the Teutonic knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia.
1739 England declares war on Spain over borderlines in Florida. The War is known as the War of Jenkins' Ear because the Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins.
1781 Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis surrenders 7,157 troops, including sick and wounded, and 840 sailors, along with 244 artillery pieces. Losses in this battle had been light on both sides. The Revolutionary War is effectively ended.
1812 Napoleon Bonaparte begins his retreat from Moscow.
1848 John "The Pathfinder" Fremont moves out from near Westport, Missouri, on his fourth Western expedition–a failed attempt to open a trail across the Rocky Mountains along the 38th parallel.
1864 At the Battle of Cedar Creek, Va., a narrow victory helps the Union secure the Shenandoah Valley.
1873 Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Rutgers universities draft the first code of football rules.
1914 The German cruiser Emden captures her thirteenth Allied merchant ship in 24 days.
1917 The first doughnut is fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in France during World War I.
1942 The Japanese submarine I-36 launches a floatplane for a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. The pilot and crew report on the ships in the harbor, after which the aircraft is lost at sea.
1949 The People's Republic of China is formally proclaimed.
1950 The North Korean capital of Pyongyang is captured by U.N. troops.
1954 Egypt and Britain conclude a pact on the Suez Canal, ending 72 years of British military occupation. Britain agrees to withdraw its 80,000-man force within 20 months, and Egypt agrees to maintain freedom of canal navigation.
1960 Canada and the United States agree to undertake a joint Columbia River project to provide hydroelectric power and flood control.
1973 President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court demand to turn over the Watergate tapes.
1987 In retaliation for Iranian attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. navy disables three of Iran's offshore oil platforms.
Born on October 19
1784 Leigh Hunt, English journalist, essayist, poet and political radical.
1817 Tom Taylor, British playwright whose play Our American Cousin was being performed at Ford's Theater when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
1833 Adam Lindsay Gordon, Australian poet.
1858 Alice Josephine McLellan Birney, child welfare worker whose ideas evolved into the PTA.
1895 Lewis Mumford, American writer, urban planner and social critic (The City in History).
1931 John Le Carré, English suspense and spy novelist.