9/11 History

A short Timeline - 1971 - Present


The Twin Towers 1971 -2001

Construction began on The Twin Towers aka The World Trade Center (WTC) in the 1960’s in New York City. A man named Minoru Yamasaki started the project in 1962 with the belief that the buildings would inspire faith, pride and optimism in the hearts of Americans. By 1964, he composed the first drawings of the towers and within a couple of years, construction on the towers officially began. The people involved with it’s construction encountered issues right off the bat. When builders started digging they discovered no pasture stone present at the site. Instead they uncovered “artificial soil” a blend of pebbles and sand. This discovery meant they would have to order more materials than previously anticipated, and change strategy on the towers construction. New York skyscrapers were generally built on a stone base until the Twin Towers changed everything. Later they encountered more issues involving the underground railroad and underwater path to New York to New Jersey. This meant big trouble for thousands of New Yorkers and tourists using New York public transportation. Roads closed due to the massive construction project proved to be disruptive to commuters above and below ground. This probably added extra incentive for it’s creators to work quickly and efficiently through the process of erecting these massive buildings. The World Trade Center designed to be a power house. Strong, safe and reliable from the inside, out. It’s unprecedented height meant it need plenty of stability and electrical power. It was fitted with electrical cable networks that could stretch for 3,000 miles and electricity networks with a total capacity of about 80,000 kilowatts. Due to it’s amazing height of 1476 feet, it was important that the foundation were buried deep, so they were put in the ground at a depth of about 75 feet. Steel beams extended throughout for mounting internal elevators and 200 thousand tons of rolled steel for it’s frames. They were the first high-rise buildings constructed without masonry, which they compensated for in a unique fashion. The towers interfloor floors were constructed of hard concrete slabs and special corrugated steel. It’s “skin” was adorned with frames of steel and modular aluminum sections upon them. It’s outer appearance was also made with a specific function: to withstand the strong winds since they stretched so high up into the sky. The Twin Towers ascended despite the challenges faced by it’s builders. The North Tower was complete by 1971 and The South Tower was done by 1973.

The World Trade Center’s Official Opening Date: April 4, 1973

The hard work paid off. The Towers quickly became a New York landmark, marking the city skyline in a unique way. The buildings took a relatively short amount of time to complete at an astounding 110 stories tall. They were featured in countless movies, music videos and other press worldwide.

Image by  MonieLuv  from  Pixabay

Image by MonieLuv from Pixabay

Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

February 26, 1993

In September of 1992, a man named Ramzi Ahmed Yousef boarded a flight from Pakistan to New York City. Not to pursue the American Dream, but in attempt to destroy it. He and his cohort and dutiful follower, an Egyptian born man named Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman devised a plot to topple the World Trade Center, and murder innocent people. The two men rented a storage locker in New Jersey where they stockpiled a plethora of explosive ingredients such as urea, nitric acid, sulfuric acid. Next they scouted for nearby apartments to set up a nitroglycerin trigger to detonate the bomb and also scouted the World Trade Center’s underground parking floors. After months of careful planning, on February 26, 1993, the men loaded their approximatly 1,200 pound bomb into a rented yellow Ford Econoline van in New Jersey and drove over to New York City to execute their plan. After arriving in New York, they parked in a parking garage between a hotel and the north tower, proceeded to lite four 20-foot fuses, and escaped in a getaway car that had followed them there. Shortly after, at 12:17 p.m the bomb went off and injured over 1,000 people and killed six people, including a pregnant woman. Smoke engulfed the elevator shafts and the explosion knocked out the World Trade Center’s generators, sprinklers, emergency command center, elevators, public address system and a great portion of the high-voltage lines for feeding the complex with power. The buildings were damaged, but still standing. Quickly 1st responders began searching for survivors in the rubble and victims of the attack proceeded to leave as quickly as possible. One woman was carried down by two friends, because she was in a wheelchair and a choir of kindergartners made their way from 107th floor after being there for five hours. Another group of people inside the building during the attack, were engineers locked in one of the elevators. They used car keys to cut a hole in the sheetrock, which lead to a 58th-floor women’s bathroom, and their freedom. The vehicle identification number for the rental van was discovered among the rubble by investigators. Which quickly led them to Mohammad Salameh who had actually rented the van in his own name and had the audacity to return to Ryder dealership request his $400 deposit back. Mohammad Salameh’s arrest led to many others involved in the attack, four such men are: Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmoud Abouhalima. A federal jury convicted them, and sentenced each man to life behind bars. Investigators learned that followers of Sheikh Abdel Rahman planned to attack many more New York City landmarks such as: the United Nations headquarters and the George Washington Bridge, as well as others. Sheikh Abdel Rahman and nine of his loyal followers/co-defendants were found guilty of multiple terrorism and conspiracy charges. In 1995 the “ringleader” Ramzi Ahmed Yousef was finally captured in Pakistan and his cohort/getaway driver was also arrested in Jordan. Only one person involved in the case remains to face justice: Abdul Rahman Yasin. Unfortunately he was questioned and released by the FBI and thus escaped to Iraq soon after.

A short Timeline - Continued


Kandahar, Afganistan 1998

During his presidency, Bill Clinton had a unique opportunity to eliminate Osama Bin Laden from “The Chess Board” but was unable to carry out the mission due to the terrorist’s convenient location near innocent women and children. His decision to spare Kandahar, Afganistan and the innocents was a moral and noble one, he could not have anticipated the plans Osama Bin Laden had in store for us in the coming years.

September 11, 2001

On Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001, America and the world…changed forever. Under everyone’s noses, 19 men associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes. Intent on attacking us where it hurts most - our hearts, they boarded these airplanes they’d ironically learned to fly in own our country, with the knowledge that they and the other passengers would never physically exit the aircraft.

Their targets were: The Twin Towers and The Pentagon.

The last suspected target was…The White House.

Photo by  History in HD  on  Unsplash

Image by  Oliver Kepka  from  Pixabay

Image by Oliver Kepka from Pixabay

A short Timeline - Continued


The Twin Towers

Two of the airplanes were deliberately flown into the north and south towers of The World Trade Center. The North Tower was struck at 8:45 a.m and the South Tower at 9:03 a.m. In a matter of minutes, the race was on to evacuate the buildings as quickly as possible. No one could believe what happened next. Less than 15 minutes later, the South Tower collapsed in front of our eyes as many of us stayed glued to the television screen. At 10:30 a.m., the North Tower collapsed. Almost 10,000 people were treated for injuries, some mild and many severe. Just six people who were inside of the towers at the time of their collapse survived.


  • 343 Fire Fighters and paramedics Killed

  • 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers Killed

  • 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks at The World Trade Center, The Pentagon & Flight 93 in total

A short Timeline - Continued


The Pentagon

Meanwhile at 9:45 a.m the third highjacked aircraft American Airlines Flight 77, made impact on the Pentagon, killing 189 people, 64 of the people killed were on the flight.

United Flight 93

The fourth aircraft, didn’t go where the militants had intended. A significant delay in takeoff enabled some of the passengers to be alerted by concerned loved ones via Airfone and cellphone, about the news in New York and D.C. After about 40 minutes after flying out of Newark, New Jersey the terrorists hijacked the plane and informed the passengers they would be landing at an airport. The plane’s delay gave the people aboard the insight of what was to come and just enough time to start planning an uprising. With the hidden knowledge that the hijackers were making false claims in regards to landing, a group of passengers and flight attendants stood their ground, allied together…and won. It’s been suggested that the passengers were able to storm the cockpit and attack the four hijackers with a fire extinguisher.

Photo by  Ged Lawson  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ged Lawson on Unsplash

Image by  A. H.  from  Pixabay

Image by A. H. from Pixabay

A short Timeline - Continued


“Let’s Roll”

United Flight 93 continued

United Flight 93 crashed at 10:10 a.m in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania after it flipped in the air and approached the ground at over 500 miles per hour. The attack on The White House was successfully thwarted by a few brave people on United Flight 93. Thanks to their bravery, quick thinking and most importantly unity of passengers aboard the doomed Flight 93, these men were unable to carry out this portion of their attack. Sadly, all 44 people on flight 93 still lost their lives when the plane crash-landed in Pennsylvania, but they live on in our memories and hearts as an example of what true selflessness and bravery is.

“One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger—Todd Beamer—was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”


A short Timeline - Concluded


May 1, 2011

On the evening of May 1, 2011, former President Barack Obama took to his podium and announced that finally - Osama Bin Laden had been found, “hiding” in Pakistan. After resisting arrest, he was shot and killed by U.S. Special Forces.

“In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.” - NEW YORK TIMES

Image by  skeeze  from  Pixabay

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

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Erick Robertson