October 19

1781

British General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Va., bringing an end to the last major battle of the American Revolution.

1812

French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte began their retreat from Moscow.

1960

The United States imposes a partial embargo on goods exported to Cuba.

1983

The Senate passed a bill (78–22) making Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, birthday a public holiday.

1987

The stock market crashed on what came to be known as "Black Monday." Stocks dropped a record 508 points, or 22.6%, topping the drops on October 28 and 29 in 1929 that ushered in the Great Depression.

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