#TodayInHistory – October 19
October 19 – Some important events on this day.
202 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Zama: Hannibal Barca and the Carthaginian army are defeated by Roman legions under Scipio Africanus, ending 2nd Punic War
1216 👉🏼 King John of England dies at Newark-on-Trent and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry
1722 👉🏼 Frenchman C Hopffer patents the fire extinguisher
1781 👉🏼 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.
When the British colonial forces were defeated at Yorktown after a month of battle, American independence was essentially guaranteed, and the guns fell silent as the Revolutionary War ended.
The British had been led by Charles Cornwallis, who was backed up by German auxiliary units from the states of Ansbach and Hesse-Kassel. The Americans, commanded by George Washington, were supported by the French. After severely damaging the surrounded British forces in Yorktown, in Virginia, Cornwallis asked for a surrender on October 17, and negotiations were completed on this day. Cornwallis himself was not present for the surrender ceremony, citing ‘illness’, but he did sign the document.
With the surrender, some 7,000 British soldiers became prisoners, and American essentially became an independent state. Having lost the last significant battle on the American continent, the British and American governments began to negotiate a final settlement, which concluded with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Under this agreement Britain recognized the United States as an independent country.
1853 👉🏼 First flour mill in Hawaii begins operations
1901 👉🏼 Santos-Dumont proves airship manoeuverable by circling Eiffel Tower
1926 👉🏼 Russian Politburo throws out Leon Trotsky and his followers
1943 👉🏼 Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, is isolated by researchers at Rutgers University
1985 👉🏼 First Blockbuster store opens
On this day, the first Blockbuster video-rental store opens, in Dallas, Texas. At a time when most video stores were small-scale operations featuring a limited selection of titles, Blockbuster opened with some 8,000 tapes displayed on shelves around the store and a computerized check-out process. The first store was a success and Blockbuster expanded rapidly, eventually becoming one of the world’s largest providers of in-home movies and game entertainment, before eventually filing for bankruptcy in 2010.
1987 👉🏼 Black Monday: Stock markets around the world crash, including the Dow Jones stock index, which falls 508.32 points (22%), 4½ times the previous daily record
2015 👉🏼 US scientists from University of California find evidence life on earth may have begun 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million earlier than previously thought