• On Oct. 24, 1775, a British naval fleet of six ships sails up the James River to destroy the town of Norfolk, Virginia. Expecting the Patriots and local militia to come charging and to engage in open combat, the British were surprised to come under fire from expert riflemen, who began striking down British troops at a distance.
• On Oct. 19, 1781, hopelessly trapped at Yorktown, Virginia, British Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrenders, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution. He 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.
• On Oct. 23, 1921, in France, American Sgt. Edward Younger selects from four caskets the body of the first “Unknown Soldier” to be honored among the approximately 77,000 U.S. servicemen killed during World War I.
• On Oct. 22, 1934, Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd is shot by FBI agents in Ohio. Floyd, who had been hunted for four years, used his last breath to deny his involvement in the infamous Kansas City Massacre, in which four officers were shot to death at a train station.
• On Oct. 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in Hollywood. Some witnesses — including studio honcho Walt Disney — gave the committee names of colleagues they suspected of being communists.
• On Oct. 25, 1973, President Richard Nixon vetoes the War Powers Resolution, which would limit presidential power to commit armed forces abroad without Congressional approval. Congress passed the law over Nixon’s veto.
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