This Day in History - October 19

October 19

439 – King Gaiseric and his Vandals take Carthage in North Africa

1216 – King John of England dies in Newark and is succeeded by Henry, his nine-year-old son

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

1682 – English author, Thomas Browne, dies

1739 – England declares a war on Spain over borderlines in Florida, known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear because the Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins

1745 – Irish author, Jonathan Swift, dies

1781 – The Revolutionary War is effectively ended when Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Virginia

1784 – English journalist, essayist, poet, and political radical, Leigh Hunt, is born

1796 – An article appears in the Gazette of the United States in which a writer, mysteriously named “Phocion,” slyly attacks presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson, by accusing him of having an affair with a slave. Phocion turned out to be former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton

1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte begins his retreat from Moscow

1813 – Polish general, Jozef Poniatowski, dies

1817 – British playwright whose play Our American Cousin was being performed at Ford’s Theater when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, Tom Taylor, is born

1833 – Australian poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon, is born

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

1858 – Child welfare worker whose ideas evolved into the PTA, Alice Josephine McLellan Birney is born

1864 – A narrow victory is won by the Union to secure the Shenandoah Valley at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia during the Civil War

1869 – The famous mining engineer, Adolph Sutro, begins work on one of the most ambitious western engineering projects of the day: a four-mile-long tunnel, known as the Sutro Tunnel, through the solid rock of the Comstock Lode mining district in Virginia City, Nevada

1893 – American activist, Lucy Stone, dies

1895 – American writer and social critic, Lewis Mumford, is born

1914 – The German cruiser Emden captures her thirteenth Allied merchant ship in 24 days during World War I

1914 –Allied and German forces begin the first, the Battle of Ypres, of what would be three battles to control the city and its advantageous positions on the north coast of Belgium during World War I

1917 – The first doughnut is fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in France during World War I

1931 – English novelist, John Le Carre, is born

1932 – Actor, Robert Reed, is born

1934 – Leader of Nigeria 1966-75, General Yakubu “Jack” Gowon, is born

1935 – The League of Nations votes to impose deliberately ineffectual economic sanctions against Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia. Things that would make difficult the progress of the invasion, such as banning the sale of oil to Italy and closing the Suez Canal, were not taken, out of fear of igniting hostilities in Europe

1937 – Illustrator and graphic artist whose use of psychedelic shapes and bright colors made him popular in the 60’s, Peter Max, is born

1942 – The Japanese submarine I-36 launches a floatplane for a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor, where the crew reports on the ships in the harbor before the aircraft is lost at sea during World War II

1943 – Local Chinese and native Suluks rise up against the Japanese occupation of North Borneo during World War II. The revolt, taking place in the capital, Jesselton, left 40 Japanese soldiers dead

1944 – Reggae musician, Peter Tosh, is born

1945 – Actor, John Lithgow, is born

1945 – Country and gospel singer, Jeannie C. Riley, is born

1946 – English author, Philip Pullman, is born

1948 – Guitarist and vocalist for The Doobie Brothers, Patrick Simmons, is born

1949 – The People’s Republic of China is formally proclaimed

1950 – The North Korean capital of Pyongyang is captured by UN troops during the Korean War

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

1956 – Founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform political group, Grover Norquist, is born

1957 – Maurice “Rocket” Richard of the Montreal Canadians becomes the first N.H.L. player to score 500 goals in his career

1958 – In Brussels, Belgium, the first world’s fair held since before World War II closes its doors, after nearly 42 million people have visited the various exhibits

1958 – 7th Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, is born

1960 – Canada and the United States agree to undertake a joint Columbia River project to provide hydroelectric power and flood control

1962 – Professional boxer, Evander Holyfield, is born

1963 – Prince Laurent of Belgium is born

1965 – North Vietnamese troops launch a major assault on U.S. and South Vietnamese Special Forces Camp at Plei Me in the Central Highlands during the Vietnam War

1967 – Daughter of American president Jimmy Carter, Amy Carter, is born

1969 – Actor, animator, screenwriter, director, musician, and co-creator of South Park, Trey Parker, is born

1972 – Henry Kissinger and U.S. officials hold meetings in Saigon with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to discuss the proposed peace treaty drafted by Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the chief North Vietnamese negotiator in Paris

1973 – President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court demand to turn over the Watergate tapes

1982 – Automaker John Z. DeLorean is arrested and charged with conspiracy to obtain and distribute 55 pounds of cocaine

1985 – The first Blockbuster video rental store opens in Dallas, Texas

1987 – In retaliation for Iranian attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the US navy disables three of Iran’s offshore oil platforms

1988 – British government bans TV and radio interviews with members of Irish political group Sinn Fein and 11 paramilitary groups

1989 – The 1975 conviction of the Guilford Four overturned by British courts; the men had been convicted in the 1974 Guilford pub bombings

1991 – A fire begins in the hills of Oakland, California. It went on to burn thousands of homes and kill 25 people

2003 – Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II for her work among “the poorest of poor” in India

2005 – Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s trial for crimes against humanity begins in Baghdad


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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