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On this day in history, September 11

Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center billow smoke after hijacked airliners crashed into them early today, back in 2001. Picture: AFP

Published Sep 11, 2023


Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.

1773 US founding father Ben Franklin writes, ‘There never was a good war or bad peace’.

1896 Johannesburg is named after Johann Friedrich Bernhard Rissik and Christiaan Johannes Joubert. Rissik was a principal clerk attached to the office of the surveyor-general of the ZAR, while Joubert was a member of the Volksraad and head of the government’s office of mines. It was on the recommendation of these two men that the land involved was declared a public gold-field, while they also suggested the town to be laid out either on the farm Randjeslaagte (Randjieslaagte) or a section of the farm Doornfontein.

1930 Sicily’s Stromboli volcano erupts and sends 2-ton rocks hurtling 3.2km high.

1944 An RAF raid on Darmstadt, Germany, causes a firestorm that kills 11 500 people.

2001 The September 11 attacks: A series of co-ordinated suicide attacks which kill 2 996 people, including the 19 hijackers who committed suicide/murder using four hijacked airliners. Two bring down the World Trade Center towers in New York City; a third crashes into The Pentagon near Washington; and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania after a fight-back by passengers. More than 6 000 other people are directly injured by the attacks – the deadliest terrorist act in history, and the most devastating foreign attack on US soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. (An unknown number of people survived the initial collapse to the “twin towers”, but were buried in air pockets beneath the rubble and could not be rescued in time.) Owing to the large amount of toxic dust around Ground Zero, 33 000 rescue workers are forced to seek treatment in the years to come for long-term health problems – many of them fatal. The attacks spawn America’s longest war which ends on August 31, 2021 when US forces leave Afghanistan.

2012 Fires at factories in Pakistan kill 315.

2015 A crane falls on to a mosque in Saudi Arabia, killing 111 people and injuring 394.

2019 Water is detected for the first time on a planet outside our solar system, on exoplanet K2-18b, 110 light-years away, in findings published in Nature Astronomy.