Today in History:  On October 19, 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered his army of some 8,000 men to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.

Ealier in the summer Cornwallis had marched his army into the port of Yorktown with the expectation of reinforcements and supplies arriving on British ships. The ships never came. Washington, with the help of French General Rochambeau, surrounded the town with an army of 17,000 American and French troops.

With food and ammunition running out, and no way to escape, Cornwallis finally had to give up. The Revolutionary War was over.  Cornwallis and his army marched out of Yorktown to the tune of “The World Turned Upside Down.”

The fighting was over, but the war lingered for another two years. The Treaty of Paris, which officially brought the war to an end, was signed on September 3,1783.

So in addition to July 4th, let’s celebrate October 19th as a date of freedom in American history. And if you want to know more about Yorktown, George Washington, or the American Revolution, come to the library and read all about it.

Posted by Nancy