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This Day in History: September 11


1609 – Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there.

1775 – Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec leaves Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1776 – British–American peace conference on Staten Island fails to stop nascent American Revolutionary War.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Brandywine: The British celebrate a major victory in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

1786 – The beginning of the Annapolis Convention.

1789 – Alexander Hamilton is appointed the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

1813 – War of 1812: British troops arrive in Mount Vernon and prepare to march to and invade Washington, D.C..

1814 – War of 1812: The climax of the Battle of Plattsburgh, a major United States victory in the war.

1826 – Captain William Morgan, an ex-freemason is arrested in Batavia, New York for debt after declaring that he would publish The Mysteries of Free Masonry, a book against Freemasonry. This sets into motion the events that lead to his mysterious disappearance.

1830 – Anti-Masonic Party convention; one of the first American political party conventions.

1847 – Stephen Foster's song "Oh! Susanna" is first performed at a saloon in Pittsburgh.

1857 – The Mountain Meadows massacre: Mormon settlers and Paiutes massacre 120 pioneers at Mountain Meadows, Utah.

1903 – The first race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.

1919 – U.S. Marines invade Honduras.

1931 – Salvatore Maranzano is murdered by Lucky Luciano's hitmen.

1939 – World War II: Canada declares war on Germany, the country's first independent declaration of war

1941 – Ground is broken for the construction of The Pentagon.

1941 – Charles Lindbergh's Des Moines Speech accusing the British, Jews and the Roosevelt administration of pressing for war with Germany.

1943 – World War II: German troops occupy Corsica and Kosovo-Metohija.

1943 – World War II: Start of the liquidation of the Ghettos in Minsk and Lida by the Nazis.

1944 – World War II: The first Allied troops of the U.S. Army cross the western border of Germany.

1944 – World War II: RAF bombing raid on Darmstadt and the following firestorm kill 11,500.

1945 – World War II: Australian 9th Division forces liberate the Japanese-run Batu Lintang camp, a POW and civilian internment camp on the island of Borneo.

1950 – Korean War: President Harry S. Truman approved military operations north of the 38th parallel.

1954 – Hurricane Edna hits New England as a Category 1 hurricane, causing significant damage and 29 deaths.

1961 – Hurricane Carla strikes the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest storm ever to hit the state.

1972 – The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system begins passenger service.

1974 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashes in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 69 passengers and two crew.

1985 – Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb's baseball record for most career hits with his 4,192nd hit.

1992 – Hurricane Iniki, one of the most damaging hurricanes in United States history, devastates the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu.

1997 – NASA's Mars Global Surveyor reaches Mars.

2001 – Two hijacked aircraft crash into the World Trade Center in New York City, while a third smashes into The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, and a fourth into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in a series of coordinated suicide attacks by 19 members of al-Qaeda. In total 2,996 people are killed.

2012 – The U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya is attacked, resulting in four deaths.


1838 – John Ireland, Irish-American archbishop (d. 1918)

1862 – Hawley Harvey Crippen, American physician (d. 1910)

1862 – O. Henry, American pharmacist and author (d. 1910)

1913 – Bear Bryant, American football player and coach (d. 1983)

1916 – Ed Sabol, American film producer, co-founded NFL Films (d. 2015)

1921 – Leaford Bearskin, American tribal leader and colonel (d. 2012)

1924 – Tom Landry, American football player and coach (d. 2000)

1939 – Charles Geschke, American businessman, co-founded Adobe Systems

1940 – Brian De Palma, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter

1942 – Lola Falana, American actress, singer, and dancer

1967 – Harry Connick, Jr., American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor


1965 – Ralph C. Smedley, American educator, founded Toastmasters International (b. 1878)

1966 – Collett E. Woolman, American businessman, co-founded Delta Air Lines (b. 1889)

1972 – Max Fleischer, American animator, director, and producer (b. 1883)

2002 – Johnny Unitas, American football player and sportscaster (b. 1933)

2003 – John Ritter, American actor and producer (b. 1948)

2009 – Larry Gelbart, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1928)