Today in History: October 19 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 19

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
October 19

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   The Union Army under Major General Philip Sheridan destroys a Confederate Army under Lieutenant General Jubal Early at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The battle effectively ends the final Confederate invasion of the North. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
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.
1988   The British government bans TV and radio interviews with members of the Irish political group Sinn Fein and 11 paramilitary groups.
1989   The 1975 conviction of the Guildford Four is overturned by British courts; the 4 men had been convicted in the 1974 Guildford pub bombings.
2003   Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II for her work among “the poorest of the poor” in India.
2005   Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s trial for crimes against humanity begins in Baghdad.
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.
1932   Robert Reed, actor; best known for his role as Mike Brady on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch, he received Emmy nominations for his appearances in Medical Center, Rich Man, Poor Man, and Roots.
1934   General Yakubu “Jack” Gowon, leader of Nigeria 1966-75; his government prevented Biafran secession during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70).
1937   Peter Max, illustrator and graphic artist whose use of psychedelic shapes and bright colors made him popular in the 1960s.
1944   Peter Tosh, reggae musician; member of The Wailers before establishing a successful solo career.
1945   John Lithgow, actor (The World According to Garp; Terms of Endearment; 3rd Rock from the Sun TV sitcom).
1945   Jeannie C. Riley, country and gospel singer, whose 1968 hit “Harper Valley PTA” (penned by Tom T. Hall) reached No. 1 on both the Pop and Country charts of Billboard magazine.
1948   Patrick Simmons, guitarist and vocalist for The Doobie Brothers band.
1956   Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform political group, which opposes all tax increases.
1962   Evander Holyfield, professional boxer; held the Undisputed World Champion title in both cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions; known as “The Real Deal.” In a 1997  bout, challenger Mike Tyson bit off part of one of Holyfield’s ears.
1963   Prince Laurent of Belgium.
1967   Amy Carter, daughter of American president (1977-81) Jimmy Carter, she engaged in social activism in the 1980s.
1969   Trey Parker, actor, animator, screenwriter, director, musician; co-creator of animated TV series South Park; co-wrote, co-directed multiple–Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon.