Yorktown Day


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Yorktown Day

October 19
On October 19, 1781, Lord Cornwallis surrendered his British and German troops to General George Washington's Allied American and French troops at Yorktown, Virginia. Although the peace treaty recognizing American independence was not ratified until January 14, 1784, the fighting was only sporadic in the intervening two years, and the Battle of Yorktown is widely considered to mark the end of the Revolutionary War.
There has been some sort of patriotic observance of this day since its first anniversary in 1782. But since 1949, Yorktown Day activities have been planned and sponsored by the Yorktown Day Association, composed of representatives from 13 different patriotic and government organizations.
Events held at the Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown include a commemorative ceremony at the French Cemetery and the placing of a wreath at both the French Monument and the Monument to Alliance and Victory. There are other patriotic exercises, 18th-century tactical demonstrations, a parade of military and civilian units, and musical presentations by fife and drum units from all over the eastern United States. The events are often attended by visiting French dignitaries.
CONTACTS:
Colonial National Historic Park, National Park Service
P.O. Box 210
Yorktown, VA 23690
757-898-2410; fax: 757-898-6346
www.nps.gov
Liberty! Chronicle of the Revolution
Public Broadcasting Service
1320 Braddock Pl.
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-739-5000
www.pbs.org
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, pp. 60, 722