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October 19th - History On The Way To Today at UselessKnowledge.com

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On The Way To Today...   October 19th

1781 - Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American Gen. George Washington at Yorktown in Virginia, signaling the end of the American Revolution.

1813 - Napoleon was defeated by the Allies at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig.

1872 - The Holtermann Nugget, a slab of slate weighing 235.14 kg, was found in New South Wales, Australia. It contained 82.11 kg of gold, the largest mass of gold ever found.

1901 - Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator, flew an airship around the Eiffel Tower. The trip took 30 minutes and he was awarded the Deutsche Prize.

1914 - For the first time, United States government-owned vehicles were used to pick up mail in Washington, DC.

1915 - Italy and Russia declared war on Bulgaria.

1933 - The Berlin Organization Committee introduce basketball to the 1936 Olympic Games.

1935 - The League of Nations imposed sanctions against Italy following its invasion of Ethiopia.

1937 - "Womanís Day", a magazine designed for the A&P store chain, was first published. 20 years later, A&P (the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company) sold "Womanís Day" to Fawcett Publications.

1937 - The radio classic, "Big Town", debuted on CBS radio. Star reporters at the "Illustrated Press", Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne, were portrayed by Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor. The theme song was "Tell the Story". Sponsors included Ironized Yeast tablets and Lifebuoy soap.

1938 - For Decca records, the Bob Crosby Orchestra recorded "Iím Free". Trumpet was provided by Billy Butterfield. A few years later the song would be retitled, "Whatís New".

1939 - One of Frank Capra's finest films, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, opened in the United States. Starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Harry Carey, Sr., and Edward Arnold, the film about a young idealist who discovers nothing but corruption in the government did well at the box office. It received many Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director, but was knocked out of most at awards' time due to Gone with the Wind's sweep; it did snag, however, Best Writing, Original Story for writer Lewis R. Foster, and Stewart received the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor.

1943 - The Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers began, aimed at improving allied relations with the Soviet Union.

1944 - Marlon Brando made his New York stage debut at age 20 in the hit Broadway play, I Remember Mama. Playwright John Van Druten adapted Kathryn Forbes' novel, Mama's Bank Account.

1950 - United Nations forces entered the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang.

1951 - United States President Harry Truman signed an act officially ending the state of war with Germany.

1953 - Popular singer of her time, Julius LaRosa, was fired on the air by Arthur Godfrey. "Julie lacks humility," Godfrey told the stunned audience, while putting his arm around LaRosa adding, "So, Julie, to teach you a lesson, youíre fired!"

1954 - Britain and Egypt signed a new Suez Canal pact, calling for withdrawal of British troops from the canal zone within 20 months.

1959 - The Miracle Worker, based on the childhood training of deaf and blind Helen Keller, and starring Anne Bancroft and 12-year-old Patty Duke, opened on Broadway to favorable reviews.

1960 - The United States State Department embargoed the shipment to Cuba of all goods except medicine and food.

1970 - British Petroleum made the first major oil find in the British sector of the North Sea.

1973 - Elvis and Priscilla Presley divorced after six years and one child, Lisa Marie.

1974 - Late-night television welcomed Lloyd Dobins, Garrick Utley and Linda Ellerbee to the, "Weekend" news program, which debuted on NBC.

1978 - Rhodesian troops attacked suspected guerrilla camps in neighboring Zambia, killing 300 people.

1981 - LA Dodger Rick Monday hit a two-out homer in the ninth inning, leading the Dodgers to a 2-1 win over the Expos in the 5th game of their championship series. The Dodgers would win the World Series title.

1982 - The Northern Ireland Office announced the closure of the De Lorean car plant in Belfast, after John De Lorean's arrest on drug charges in the United States.

1983 - The United States Senate passed a bill making Martin Luther King's birthday a public holiday.

1985 - "Take on Me", by a-ha, hit number one on the pop music charts. The video for the song was in regular rotation at MTV.

1986 - President Samora Machel of Mozambique and 30 of his staff were killed in a plane crash near the South African border.

1987 - "The Wall Street Journal" said it all: "Stocks Plunge 508 Amid Panicky Selling; Percentage Decline Greater Than in 1929..." The Dow Jones industrial average (DJIA) closed down 22.6% today on what would come to be called Black Monday. Volume was 604.3 million shares, almost double the previous record of 338.5 million shares set the previous Friday. The DJIA was down 36.7% from its closing high less than two months earlier.

1989 - The murder convictions against Britain's "Guildford Four," jailed since 1975 for IRA attacks on public houses at Guildford and Woolwich in 1974, were quashed.

1990 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev won parliamentary approval for a plan to switch from old-style Communist central planning to a market economy.

1993 - Benazir Bhutto was returned to the premiership of Pakistan.

1994 - A suspected Muslim suicide bomber blew up a bus in the heart of Tel Aviv, killing 22 people and wounding more than 40.

1998 - Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson got his boxing license back after he lost it for biting Evander Holyfield's ear.

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