October 19, 1781
BRITISH SURRENDER AT YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA
Yorktown, Virginia (JFK+50) Having been forced to the Virginia coast in his failing Southern campaign, British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered today here at Yorktown.
The British under Cornwallis had been under siege by the combined forces of Americans under General Washington & French under General Rochambeau since late September.
At noon, the French & American troops lined up on opposite sides of the Yorktown road. About 2 p.m., the British marched in between with flags furled & their band playing “The World Turned Upside Down”.
Cornwallis sent out his 2nd in command, Brigadier General Charles O’Hara to offer the sword of surrender but when he attempted to do so to General Rochambeau, he was instead directed to surrender to Washington’s 2nd in command, Major General Benjamin Lincoln.
*Yorktown was the last major battle of the Revolutionary War & by the Treaty of Paris 1783, Great Britain officially recognized the United States of America.
“Surrender of Lord Cornwallis”
by John Trumbull (1820)
October 19, 1796
GAZETTE SAYS JEFFERSON HAD AN AFFAIR WITH HIS SLAVE
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) The Gazette of the United States published an editorial by Phocion today which accuses Thomas Jefferson of having had an affair with one of his own slaves.
Mr. Jefferson, former Secretary of State under President Washington & author of the Declaration of Independence, refused to comment about the charge.*
*Phocion was actually former Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, who wrote 25 essays critical of Jefferson & his Republicanism between Oct 15 & Nov 24, 1796. Hamilton was a staunch Federalist & supporter of John Adams.
The slave mentioned in the editorial was most likely Sally Hemings.
Gazette of the United States**
**Originally published in New York City in 1789 by Editor John Fenno.
October 19, 1958
“EXPO ’58” CLOSES IN BRUSSELS
Brussels, Belgium (JFK+50) After having entertained more than 42 million visitors, the Brussels Universal & International Exhibition closed today.
The theme of the Expo was “A World View, A New Humanism”. The fair sought to promote world peace during the Cold War.
Ironically, the exhibition halls of the USSR & USA were located directly across from each other.
The Soviet exhibit emphasized the nation’s space accomplishments with a replica of Sputnik I while the US exhibit focused on daily life in America including women’s fashions, home furnishings & appliances.
*The work of Andrew Waterkeyn forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The spheres contained exhibit halls & the top sphere provided a panoramic view of the city.
October 19, 1963
JFK SPEAKS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
Orono, Maine (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy spoke today at the University of Maine where he was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
“We have achieved new opportunities which we cannot afford to waste. We have concluded with the Soviets a few limited, enforceable agreements of mutual benefit to both sides & the world.”
JFK at the University of Maine
October 19, 1963
Folger Library Special Collections
Later in the day, the President attended the football game between Harvard & Columbia played at Harvard Stadium.
After the game, JFK paid a visit to Hollyhood Cemetery in Brookline where his son, Patrick, who died 2 months ago, is buried.