1783: The 28-gun frigate HMS Sybil under Captain James Vauchon pursued two American vessels carrying 72,000 in Spanish silver dollars from Havana, Cuba, to Philadelphia. As Sybil closed on the slower 20-gun Duc de Lauzun off Cape Canaveral, Captain John Barry aboard the 36-gun frigate Alliance suddenly reversed course and catched Sybil in a broadside. After less than an hour of fighting the damaged, outgunned Sybil disengaged and withdrew, ending the last naval battle of the Revolutionary War. Find out how the Spanish helped the American war effort on HistoryNet.com.
A woman looks out to sea near the scene of the final naval battle of the American Revolution, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Photo Credit: Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images
Also in history today:
241 B.C.: The Roman navy sank a Carthaginian fleet in the Battle of the Aegates Islands, which brought the First Punic War to an end.
1831: La Légion Étrangère is established by King Louis Philippe of France to support his war in Algeria.
1905: After the largest battle fought prior to World War I, the Japanese took Mukden (Shenyang) from the Russians.