On This Day

What Happened in October 1781

Historical Events

Surrender at Yorktown

Oct 9 Americans under George Washington and the French under comte de Rochambeau begin bombardment of Yorktown, the last battle of American Revolutionary War

Historic Event

Oct 19 British forces under General Charles Cornwallis sign terms of surrender to George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown at 2 pm, ending the US Revolutionary War

  • Oct 19 Edict of Toleration issued by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, providing limited freedom of worship for non-Roman Catholic Christians

Famous Birthdays

  • Oct 1 James Lawrence, American naval hero (War of 1812-"Don't give up the ship!"), born in Burlington, New Jersey (d. 1813)
  • Oct 5 Bernard Bolzano, Czech mathematician and philosopher, born in Prague, Bohemia (d. 1848)

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 9 Thomas Erskine, 6th earl of Kellie, Scottish composer and musician, dies at 49
  • Oct 16 Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, British naval officer (b. 1705)
  • Oct 27 Herman-Francois Delange, Belgian composer, dies at 66