Oct 19, 1812: Napoleon retreats from Moscow
One month after Napoleon Bonaparte's massive invading force entered a burning and deserted Moscow, the starving French army is forced to begin a hasty retreat out of Russia.
Following the rejection of his Continental System by Czar Alexander I, French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Russia with his Grande Armée on June 24, 1812. The enormous army, featuring more than 500,000 soldiers and staff, was the largest European military force ever assembled to that date.
During the opening months of the invasion, Napoleon was forced to contend with a bitter Russian army in perpetual retreat. Refusing to engage Napoleon's superior army in a full-scale confrontation, the Russians under General Mikhail Kutuzov burned everything behind them as they retreated deeper and deeper into Russia. On September 7, the indecisive Battle of Borodino was fought, in which both sides suffered terrible losses. On September 14, Napoleon arrived in Moscow intending to find supplies but instead found almost the entire population evacuated, and the Russian army retreated again. Early the next morning, fires broke across the city set by Russian patriots, and the Grande Grande Armée's winter quarters were destroyed. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoleon, faced with the onset of the Russian winter, was forced to order his starving army out of Moscow.
During the disastrous retreat, Napoleon's army suffered continual harassment from a suddenly aggressive and merciless Russian army. Stalked by hunger and the deadly lances of the Cossacks, the decimated army reached the Berezina River late in November but found its route blocked by the Russians. On November 26, Napoleon forced a way across at Studienka, and when the bulk of his army passed the river three days later, he was forced to burn his makeshift bridges behind him, stranding some 10,000 stragglers on the other side. From there, the retreat became a rout, and on December 8 Napoleon left what remained of his army to return to Paris with a few cohorts. Six days later, the Grande Armée finally escaped Russia, having suffered a loss of more than 400,000 men during the disastrous invasion.
Oct 19, 1781: Victory at Yorktown
Hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.
Lord Cornwallis was one of the most capable British generals of the American Revolution. In 1776, he drove General George Washington's Patriots forces out of New Jersey, and in 1780 he won a stunning victory over General Horatio Gates' Patriot army at Camden, South Carolina. Cornwallis' subsequent invasion of North Carolina was less successful, however, and in April 1781 he led his weary and battered troops toward the Virginia coast, where he could maintain seaborne lines of communication with the large British army of General Henry Clinton in New York City. After conducting a series of raids against towns and plantations in Virginia, Cornwallis settled in the tidewater town of Yorktown in August. The British immediately began fortifying the town and the adjacent promontory of Gloucester Point across the York River.
General George Washington instructed the Marquis de Lafayette, who was in Virginia with an American army of around 5,000 men, to block Cornwallis' escape from Yorktown by land. In the meantime, Washington's 2,500 troops in New York were joined by a French army of 4,000 men under the Count de Rochambeau. Washington and Rochambeau made plans to attack Cornwallis with the assistance of a large French fleet under the Count de Grasse, and on August 21 they crossed the Hudson River to march south to Yorktown. Covering 200 miles in 15 days, the allied force reached the head of Chesapeake Bay in early September.
Meanwhile, a British fleet under Admiral Thomas Graves failed to break French naval superiority at the Battle of Virginia Capes on September 5, denying Cornwallis his expected reinforcements. Beginning September 14, de Grasse transported Washington and Rochambeau's men down the Chesapeake to Virginia, where they joined Lafayette and completed the encirclement of Yorktown on September 28. De Grasse landed another 3,000 French troops carried by his fleet. During the first two weeks of October, the 14,000 Franco-American troops gradually overcame the fortified British positions with the aid of de Grasse's warships. A large British fleet carrying 7,000 men set out to rescue Cornwallis, but it was too late.
On October 19, General Cornwallis surrendered 7,087 officers and men, 900 seamen, 144 cannons, 15 galleys, a frigate, and 30 transport ships. Pleading illness, he did not attend the surrender ceremony, but his second-in-command, General Charles O'Hara, carried Cornwallis' sword to the American and French commanders. As the British and Hessian troops marched out to surrender, the British bands played the song "The World Turned Upside Down."
Although the war persisted on the high seas and in other theaters, the Patriot victory at Yorktown effectively ended fighting in the American colonies. Peace negotiations began in 1782, and on September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally recognizing the United States as a free and independent nation after eight years of war.
Oct 19, 1935: Ethiopia stands alone
The League of Nations votes to impose deliberately ineffectual economic sanctions against Fascist Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia. Steps that would impede 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.
In the first loss of Ethiopian independence in its long history, tens of thousands of Ethiopians were killed as the Italian army employed poison gas and other modern atrocities to suppress the country. By the end of 1936, the Italian conquest of Ethiopia was complete. Ethiopia's leader, Emperor Haile Selassie, went into exile but returned in 1941, when British and Ethiopian troops liberated the country. Ignoring the British occupation authorities, Selassie quickly organized his own government.
Oct 19, 1796: Editorial accuses Jefferson of affair with slave
On this day in 1796, an essay appears in the Gazette of the United States in which a writer, mysteriously named "Phocion," slyly attacks presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson. Phocion turned out to be former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. The essay typified the nasty, personal nature of political attacks in late 18th-century America.
When the article appeared, Jefferson was running against presidential incumbent John Adams, in an acrimonious campaign. The highly influential Hamilton, also a Federalist, supported Adams over Jefferson, one of Hamilton's political rivals since the two men served together in George Washington's first cabinet. According to Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow, Hamilton wrote 25 essays under the name Phocion for the Gazette between October 15 and November 24, lambasting Jefferson and Jeffersonian republicanism. On October 19, Hamilton went further, accusing Jefferson of carrying on an affair with one of his slaves.
This would not be the last time such allegations would appear in print. In 1792, publisher James Callendar—then a supporter of Jefferson's whose paper was secretly funded by Jefferson and his Republican allies--published a report of Alexander Hamilton's adulterous affair with a colleague's wife, to which Hamilton later confessed. However, in 1802, when then-President Jefferson snubbed Callendar's request for a political appointment, Callendar retaliated with an expose on Jefferson's "concubine." He is believed to have been referring to Sally Hemings, who was part black and also the likely half-sister of Jefferson's deceased wife, Martha. Further, the article alleged that Sally's son, John, bore a "striking...resemblance to those of the President himself." Jefferson chose not to respond to the allegations.
Rumors that the widowed Jefferson had an affair with one of his slaves persist to this day and have spawned years of scholarly and scientific research regarding his and Hemings' alleged progeny. In 2000, a research report issued by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation used DNA test results, original documents, oral histories, and statistical analysis of the historical record to conclude that Thomas Jefferson was probably the father of Sally Hemings’s son Eston and likely her other children.
Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:
202 BC - Battle of Zama: Hannibal Barca, leader of the invading Carthaginian army, defeated by Roman legions under Scipio Africanus.
439 - The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
615 - St Deusdedit I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1031 - Abbot Humbertus van Echternach opens grave of Saint Willibrord
1216 - King John of England dies at Newark-on-Trent and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
1298 - Rindfleisch-140 Jews of Heilbron Germany are murdered
1453 - 2nd Battle at Castillon: France beats English, end of hundred year war
1466 - The Thirteen Years' War ends with the Second Peace of Thorn, Germany
1492 - Columbus sites "Isabela" (Fortune Island, Bahamas)
1512 - Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology (Doctor in Biblia).
1576 - Dutch provinces begin consultation about Spanish existence
1630 - In Boston the 1st general court is held
1634 - Beach Island in North sea destroyed by a heavy storm flood
1682 - English Lord Shaftesbury flees to Holland
1722 - French C Hopffer patents fire extinguisher
1739 - England declares war on Spain [OS=Oct 30]
1765 - Stamp Act Congress met in NY, wrote decl of rights & liberties
1781 - Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2 PM; Revolutionary War ends
1812 - Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow
Founder of Protestanism Martin LutherFounder of Protestanism Martin Luther 1818 - US & Chicasaw Indians sign a treaty
1822 - In Parnaíba; Simplício Dias da Silva, João Cândido de Deus e Silva and Domingos Dias declare the independent state of Piauí.
1845 - Richard Wagners opera "Tannhäuser," premieres in Dresden
1853 - 1st flour mill in Hawaii begins operations
1856 - James Kelly & Jack Smith fight bareknuckle for 6h15m in Melbourne
1859 - Wilhelm Tempel discovers diffuse nebula around Pleid star Merope
1863 - Battle of Buckland Mills, VA
1864 - Approx 25 Confederates make surprise attack on St Albans, Vermont
1864 - Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia, Union beats back Conf attackers
1864 - US brig-gen Emory Upton (25) promoted to general-major
1870 - 1st (4) blacks elected to House of Reps
1870 - British cargo-passenger steamship SS Cambria wrecked off the north-west of Ireland with the loss of 178 lives
1872 - World's largest gold nugget (215 kg) found in New South Wales
1879 - Afghan's emir Mohammed Yakub forced to resign
1879 - Thomas Edison demonstrates electric light
Inventor Thomas EdisonInventor Thomas Edison 1882 - Pierre de Brazza meets Henry Morton Stanley
1888 - Moshav Gederah is attacked by Arabs
1900 - Henry O Tanner, painter, wins Medal of Honor at Paris Exposition
1900 - South African President Paul Kruger departs for Europe
1901 - Edward Elgar's "Pomp & Circumstance March," premieres in Liverpool
1901 - Santos-Dumont proves airship maneuverable by circling Eiffel Tower
1904 - Polytechnic University of the Philippines founded as Manila Business School through the superintendence of the American C.A. O'Reilley.
1906 - Georges Chemenceau succeeds Sarien premier of France
1907 - 1st printing of Dutch Tribune (Wijnkoop/Van Ravesteyn/Ceton)
1911 - Royal Mint in London sends dies for $1 coin to Ottawa Branch
1912 - Tripoli (Libya) passes from Turkish to Italian control
1914 - US post office 1st used an automobile to collect & deliver mail
1915 - Russia/Italy declares war on Bulgaria
1917 - Love Field in Dallas, Texas is opened.
1919 - 1st Distinguished Service Medal awarded to a woman
1919 - Reds beat White Sox, 5 games to 3 in 16th World Series. This series is known as black sox scandal as 8 White Sox throw series
1921 - Portuguese Prime Minister António Granjo and other politicians are murdered in a Lisbon coup.
1923 - Ban Johnson persuades AL owners to prohibit boxing in their parks
1923 - Beierse government refuses to prohibit NSDAP newspaper Völkischer Beobachter
1924 - General Christian Worker's union demands 8 hr work day in Belgium
1925 - Italian army takes Somalia
1926 - John C Garand patents semi-automatic rifle
Russian Revolutionary Leon TrotskyRussian Revolutionary Leon Trotsky 1926 - Russian Politburo throws out Leo Trotsky & followers
1930 - Jules Ladoumègue runs world record 1 km (2:23.6)
1932 - Austria forbids demonstration by nazi's & anti fascists
1932 - British government signs trade agreement with Soviet Union
1932 - Henry Ford gives his 1st radio speech
1932 - Jimmie Foxx wins AL MVP & Chuck Klein wins NL MVP
1933 - Berlin Olympic Committee vote to introduce basketball in 1936
1935 - Mao Tse Tung's army reaches Shanxi
1936 - HR Ekins of "NY World-Telegram" beats 2 other reporters in a race around the world on commercial flights, by 18½ days
1939 - Hermann Goering begins plunder through Nazi's occupied areas
1941 - 1st woman jockey in North America, Anna Lee Wiley in Mexico
1943 - Conference of foreign ministers in Moscow
1943 - Theater Guild presentation of "Othello" opens at Shubert
1943 - Yankee 2nd baseman Joe Gordon announces retirement (hates NY)
1943 - Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, is isolated by researchers at Rutgers University.
Soldier, author, journalist, politician Winston ChurchillSoldier, author, journalist, politician Winston Churchill 1944 - British premier Winston Churchill flies back to London from Moscow
1944 - Canadian troops liberate Aardensburg
1944 - John Van Druten's "I Remember Mama," premieres in NYC
1944 - Navy says black women can join WAVES
1944 - US forces land in Philippines
1947 - De Gaulles RPF wins French municipal elections
1948 - "My Romance" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 95 performances
1949 - A's trade 2nd baseman Nellie Fox to White Sox for Joe Tipton
1949 - Yanks trade Joe Gordon to Cleveland for Allie Reynolds
1950 - Bird Building at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is dedicated
1950 - UN forces entered Pyongyang, capital of North Korea
1951 - Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins LPGA Texas Women's Golf Open
1951 - Pres Harry Truman formally ends state of war with Germany
1952 - Louise Suggs wins LPGA Betty Jameson Golf Tournament
1953 - 1st jet transcontinental nonstop scheduled service
Nazi Politician Hermann GoeringNazi Politician Hermann Goering 1953 - Singer Julius LaRosa is fired on TV by Arthur Godfrey
1954 - Egypt & Great Britain sign treaty; British troops departs
1954 - KAKE TV channel 10 in Wichita, KS (ABC) begins broadcasting
1954 - First ascent of Cho Oyu
1957 - "Damn Yankees" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 1,022 performances
1957 - Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Mont, became 1st NHLer to score 500 goals
1958 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1959 - Florence Henderson joins Today Show panel
1959 - William Gibson's "Miracle Worker," premieres in NYC
1960 - France grants Mauritania independence
1960 - KWCS (now KOOG) TV channel 30 in Ogden, UT (IND) begins broadcasting
1960 - Martin Luther King Jr arrested in Atlanta sit-in
1960 - US imposes embargo on exports to Cuba
1962 - Stalin-monument removed in Prague
1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
Clergyman and Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.Clergyman and Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr. 1963 - Beatles record "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
1966 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1966 - Yardbird 1st US tour (NYC)
1967 - Igor Ter-Ovanesyan of USSR, sets then long jump record at 27' 4 3/4"
1967 - Mariner 5 makes fly-by of Venus
1968 - Golden Gate Bridge charges tolls only for southbound cars
1969 - J Bock & S Harnicks musical "Rothschilds," premieres in NYC
1969 - Mary Mills wins LPGA Quality Chekd Golf Classic
1969 - Oakland Darryle Lamonica passes for 6 touchdowns vs Buffalo (50-21)
1970 - "Rothschilds" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 505 performances
1970 - Amdahl Corp forms at Sunnyvale Calif
1970 - John Frazier kills Ohta's declares WW 3 has begun
1971 - Last issue of "Look" magazine is published
1972 - "Mother Earth" opens at Belasco Theater NYC for 12 performances
1973 - Ringo releases "Photograph"
1974 - Det Red Wing Mickey Redmond scores 1st hat trick against Wash Caps
1974 - Detroit Pistons beat Trailblazers in Portland (next win 6-1-90)
1974 - Niue becomes self-govering colony of New Zealand
1975 - "Chorus Line" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 6137 performances
1975 - Cleveland Browns' Don Cockroft kicks club record 5 field goals
1975 - Hamlisch & Klebans musical "Chorus Line" premieres in NYC
1975 - Shelley Hamlin wins LPGA Japan Golf Classic
1976 - Battle of Aishiya in Lebanon. The same day, the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is placed on the List of Endangered Species.
1977 - Corpse of kidnapped West German, H M Schleyer, found
1977 - Supersonic Concorde jet's 1st landing in NYC
1980 - Steve McPeak rides 101'9" unicycle
1981 - LA Dodgers beat Montreal Expos for NL pennant
1981 - Nicolaas Bloembergen & Arthur Schawlow win Nobel for physics (laser)
1982 - Automaker John DeLorean arrested on cocaine charges (Not guilty)
1983 - Columbia moves to Orbiter Processing Facility
1983 - Grenada general Hudson Austin forms "revolutionary council"
1983 - Phila Flyers begin 13 NHL game win streak
1983 - Senate establishes Martin Luther King Jr federal holiday
1986 - "Flamenco Puro" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 40 perfs
1986 - "Raggedy Ann" closes at Nederlander Theater NYC after 5 performances
1986 - Allan Border scores the 1,000,000th run in Tests (v India, Bombay)
1986 - USSR expels 5 US diplomats
1987 - "Anything Goes" opens at Beaumont Theater NYC for 804 performances
1987 - "Black Monday" Dow Jones down 508.32 points, 4½ times previous record
1987 - Dow Jones Index drops 508.32 points (22%) (record)
1987 - US warships destroy 2 Iranian oil platforms in Persian Gulf
1987 - Woody Woodward resigns as NY Yankee GM, Lou Piniella is named GM & Billy Martin is named NY Yankee manager for 5th & final time
1988 - 3 Americans win Nobel in physics; 3 W Germans win chemistry Nobel
1988 - Britain bans broadcast interviews with IRA members
1988 - Car bomb kills 7 Israelis, wounds 11 near Lebanon border
1988 - Roxette releases "Roxette Look Sharp!" album
1988 - S Afr anti-apartheid leader Sisulu wins $100,000 Human Rights prize
1988 - Senate passes bill curbing ads during children`s TV shows
1989 - "Dangerous Games" opens at Nederlander Theater NYC for 4 performances
1989 - Astor Piazzolla & Wm Finn's musical "Dangerous Games" premieres in NYC
1989 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1990 - HCA, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, forms in Prague
1991 - Longest NCAA football game (3:52) as RI beats Maine 52-30 (6 OTs)
1991 - Lonnie Glieberman purchased Ottawa Rough Riders from CFL
1993 - UN authorizes arms, milt & police supply embargo against Haiti
1994 - 160 killed at battles in Tsjetsjenie
1994 - Palestinian bomb attack on bus in Tel Aviv, kills 22
1995 - "Hello Dolly!" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 118 performances
1996 - Braves beat NY Yanks by record tying 11 runs, 12-1 in a World Series
1997 - "Annie," closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC
1997 - 700th World Series home run (Sandy Alomar, Cleve Indians)
1997 - David Duval wins Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Golf Classic
1997 - Hyatt Regency Maui Kaanapali Senior Golf Classic
1998 - The Earth Liberation Front sets fire to the Vail Mountain ski resort in Vail, Colorado, causing $12 million in damage.
2001 - SIEV-X, an Indonesian fishing boat en-route to Christmas Island, carrying over 400 asylum seekers, sank in international waters with the loss of 353 people.
Catholic Missionary Mother TeresaCatholic Missionary Mother Teresa 2003 - Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II.
2004 - Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt is ousted and placed under house arrest by the SPDC on charges of corruption.
2004 - Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan is kidnapped in Iraq.
2005 - Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.
2005 - Hurricane Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb.
2007 - Philippines. Amidst corruption controversies hounding the Arroyo administration, a bomb explosion rocked Glorietta 2, a shopping mall in Makati, which killed 11 and injured more than 100 people.
2012 - 8 people are killed and 78 injured by a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon
1765 - In the U.S., The Stamp Act Congress met and drew up a declaration of rights and liberties. 1781 - British General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to U.S. General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia. It was to be the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. 1812 - Napoleon Bonaparte's French forces began their retreat out of Russia after a month of chasing the retreating Russian army. 1914 - In the U.S., government owned vehicles were first used to pick up mail in Washington, DC. 1915 - The U.S. recognized General Venustiano Carranza as the president of Mexico. The U.S. imposed embargo to all parts of Mexico except where Carranza was in control. 1933 - Basketball was introduced to the 1936 Olympic Games by the Berlin Organization Committee. 1937 - "Woman's Day" was published for the first time. 1937 - "Big Town" made its debut on CBS. 1943 - The Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers began in Russia during World War II. Delegates from the U.S.S.R., Great Britain, the U.S., and China met to discuss war aims and cooperation between the nations. 1944 - The play "I Remember Mama" opened on Broadway. Marlon Brando made his debut with his appearance. 1944 - The U.S. Navy announced that black women would be allowed into Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES). 1950 - The United Nations forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. 1951 - U.S. President Truman singed an act officially ending the state of war with Germany. 1959 - Patty Duke, at the age of 12, made her Broadway debut in "The Miracle Worker." The play lasted for 700 performances. 1960 - The United States imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products. 1969 - U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew referred to anti-Vietnam War protesters "an effete corps of impudent snobs." 1974 - The news program "Weekend" debuted on NBC. 1977 - The Concorde made its first landing in New York City. 1983 - The U.S. Senate approved a bill establishing a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. 1984 - Four U.S. employees of the CIA were killed in El Salvador when their plane crashed. 1987 - The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 508 points. It was the worst one-day percentage decline, 22.6%, in history. 1989 - The U.S. Senate rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that barred the desecration of the American flag. 1993 - Benazir Bhutto was returned to the premiership of Pakistan. 1998 - In Washington, DC, Microsoft went on trial to defend against an antitrust case. 1998 - Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson got his boxing license back after he had lost it for biting Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight. 2003 - In London, magician David Blaine emerged from a clear plastic box that had been suspended by a crane over the banks of the Thames River. He survived only on water for 44 days. Blaine had entered the box on September 5. 2006 - The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day at 12,011.73. It was the first close above 12,000.
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.
The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry: