Notable September 11ths in history
Being a historian, I have always been fascinated by dates, specifically what events happened on the same day throughout history. I have looked at my birthday, birthdates of family and friends, looking for interesting facts or people who share that same date. With the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this month, I decided to look at other historical September 11ths in history.
For those who consider themselves movie buffs, the movie “Braveheart” recounts the historic events surrounding Scottish revolutionary William Wallace’s fight to free Scotland from English rule. On Sept. 11, 1297, Wallace led more than 15,000 Scots to a victory over the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
In 1776, after the fall of New York to the British, a peace conference was held in an attempt to end hostilities. The British commander, Maj. Gen. Sir William Howe, thought he was entitled to a peace settlement. The Americans, considering separation from England non-negotiable, rejected Howe’s offer Sept. 11, 1776. The American Revolution would continue for another seven years.
Exactly one year after the failed peace conference, George Washington and the Continental Army lost to the British in the Battle of Brandywine Creek on Sept. 11, 1777. This battle is regarded as the first time where Americans carried the American flag into battle.
On Sept. 11, 1782, the siege of Fort Henry began near the current day city of Wheeling, W.Va. The attack was launched by 300 Native Americans, led by a company of British troops. It was the start of the last major conflict of the American Revolution.
Recent examples have terrorism links. On Sept. 11, 1972, the Munich Olympic games ended when 11 Israeli Olympic athletes were killed by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. President George H. W. Bush addressed Congress on the Persian Gulf crisis Sept. 11, 1990, vowing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would fail in his occupation of Kuwait. Eleven years later, to the day, his son, George W. Bush, would face the worst attack ever committed on American soil.
While doing my research, I found two incidents that stood out to me when put into the context of the 2001 attacks. On Sept. 11, 1609 the explorer, Henry Hudson, sailed into New York Bay and to the mouth of the river that would eventually bear his name. He dropped anchor next to an island at the mouth of the Hudson River, and spent several days trading with the Native Americans on that island, now known as Manhattan. Four hundred years later it would see the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Another event also stands out when referenced with the 9/11 attacks. On Sept. 11, 1941, construction began on a building near Washington D.C. which was meant to help ease the overcrowding at the War Department during World War II. Sixty years to the day of that ground breaking, the Pentagon was hit by American Airlines Flight 77.
So while we mourn and remember the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks, we look into history and find some very curious coincidences. History is an interesting subject, and something we should never forget.
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