October 19 - 1781 - Cornwallis Surrenders after the Siege of Yorktown.
The actual fighting of the American Revolutionary War ended after the Siege of Yorktown, where British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to American General George Washington. Yet the war was not officially over until the Treaty of Paris was signed two years later. The symbolism of the moment was not lost on anyone in the moment, however. Legend has it that the British marched out of Yorktown to a ballad called "The World Turned Upside Down." In reality, the world turned much like it always had before Yorktown. The British government was dissolved, but then a new a Parliament was called without causing a Constitutional crisis. The Americans had crafted the Articles of Confederation months before. The world would truly turn upside down in France seven years later, thanks to the aftereffects of Yorktown.