What Happened in October 1781

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Historical Events


BattleBattle of Interest

Oct 6 Americans under George Washington and the French under Comte de Rochambeau begin the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown; last battle of American Revolutionary War

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
Military Leader Comte de Rochambeau
Military Leader
Comte de Rochambeau

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 19 British General Charles Cornwallis, head of British forces capitulates at Yorktown

General and Colonial Administrator Charles Cornwallis
General and Colonial Administrator
Charles Cornwallis
  • Oct 19 British forces under General Charles Cornwallis sign terms of surrender to George Washington and comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown at 2 pm; US Revolutionary War ends
  • Oct 20 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy.

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