Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
September 11 is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 111 days remaining until the end of the year. It is usually the first day of the Coptic calendar and Ethiopian calendar (in the period AD 1900 to AD 2099).
On this day in 1941, ground is broken for the construction of The Pentagon.
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, “the Pentagon” is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.
Designed by the American architect George Bergstrom (1876-1955), and built by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, general contractor John McShain, the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, after ground was broken for construction on September 11, 1941. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motive power behind the project; Colonel Leslie Groves was responsible for overseeing the project for the Army.
The Pentagon is the world’s largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (604,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (344,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi (28.2 km) of corridors. The Pentagon includes a five-acre (20,000 m2) central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon and informally known as “ground zero”, a nickname originating during the Cold War and based on the presumption that the Soviet Union would target one or more nuclear missiles at this central location in the outbreak of a nuclear war.
On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the building’s groundbreaking, hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 189 people, including five hijackers, 59 others aboard the plane, and 125 working in the building.
9 – The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest ends.
506 – The bishops of Visigothic Gaul meet in the Council of Agde.
1226 – The Roman Catholic practice of public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass spreads from monasteries to parishes.
1297 – Battle of Stirling Bridge: Scots jointly-led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeat the English.
1390 – Lithuanian Civil War (1389-1392): the Teutonic Knights begin a five-week siege of Vilnius.
1541 – Santiago, Chile, is destroyed by indigenous warriors, lead by Michimalonko.
1609 – Expulsion order announced against the Moriscos of Valencia; beginning of the expulsion of all Spain’s Moriscos.
1609 – Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there.
1649 – Siege of Drogheda ends: Oliver Cromwell’s English Parliamentarian troops take the town and execute its garrison.
1683 – John III Sobieski of Poland arrives on Kahlen Hill, leading to the Battle of Vienna the following day.
1697 – Battle of Zenta.
1708 – Charles XII of Sweden stops his march to conquer Moscow outside Smolensk, marking the turning point in the Great Northern War. The army is defeated nine months later in the Battle of Poltava, and the Swedish empire ceases to be a major power.
1709 – Battle of Malplaquet: Great Britain, Netherlands and Austria fight against France.
1714 – Barcelona surrenders to Spanish and French Bourbon armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.
1758 – Battle of Saint Cast: France repels British invasion during the Seven Year’s War.
1773 – The Public Advertiser publishes a satirical essay titled Rules By Which A Great Empire May Be Reduced To A Small One written by Benjamin Franklin.
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 Revolution: 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.
1792 – The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels when six men break into the house used to store them.
1802 – France annexes the Kingdom of Piedmont.
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.
1829 – Surrender of the expedition led by Isidro Barradas at Tampico, sent by the Spanish crown in order to retake Mexico, This was the final consummation of Mexican independence.
1847 – Stephen Foster’s well-known song, Oh! Susanna, is first performed at a saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1857 – The Mountain Meadows Massacre: Mormon settlers and Paiutes massacre 120 pioneers at Mountain Meadows, Utah.
1858 – First ascent of Dom, the third highest summit in the Alps.
1888 – Death of the Argentine politician Domingo Sarmiento, after whom the Latin American Teacher’s Day is chosen.
1891 – The Jewish Colonization Association is established by Baron Maurice de Hirsch.
1893 – First conference of the World Parliament of Religions is held.
1897 – After months of pursuit, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia capture Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom.
1903 – The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.
1906 – Mahatma Gandhi coins the term “Satyagraha” to characterize the Non-Violence movement in South Africa.
1914 – Australia invades New Britain, defeating a German contingent at the Battle of Bita Paka.
1916 – The Quebec Bridge’s central span collapses, killing 11 men. The bridge initially collapsed in toto on August 29, 1907.
1919 – U.S. Marines invade Honduras.
1921 – Nahalal, the first moshav in Israel, is settled.
1922 – The British Mandate of Palestine begins.
1922 – The Treaty of Kars is ratified in Yerevan, Armenia.
1922 – One of the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia’s predecessor papers The Sun News-Pictorial is founded.
1926 – An assassination attempt on Benito Mussolini fails.
* 1940 – George Stibitz pioneers the first remote operation of a computer.
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: Liberation of the Japanese-run POW and civilian internment camp at Batu Lintang, Kuching, Sarawak on the island of Borneo by Australian 9th Division forces. Over 2,000 prisoners, including women and children, were due to be executed on September 15.
1956 – People to People International is founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1960 – The Young Americans for Freedom, meeting at home of William F. Buckley, Jr., promulgate the Sharon Statement.
1961 – Foundation of the World Wildlife Fund.
1961 – Hurricane Carla strikes the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest storm ever to hit the state.
1965 – The 1st Cavalry Division of the United States Army arrives in Vietnam.
1971 – The Egyptian Constitution becomes official.
1972 – Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco, California begins regular service.
1973 – A coup in Chile headed by General Augusto Pinochet topples the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. Pinochet remains in power for almost 17 years.
1974 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashes in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 69 passengers and two crew.
1978 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel meet at Camp David and agree on the Camp David Accords a framework for peace between Israel and Egypt and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
1980 – Voters approve the present Constitution of Chile.
1982 – The international forces that were guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian refugees following Israel’s 1982 Invasion of Lebanon leave Beirut. Five days later, several thousand refugees are massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
1985 – Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s baseball record for most career hits with his 4,192nd hit
1989 – The iron curtain opens between the communist Hungary and Austria. From Hungary thousands of East Germans throng to Austria and West Germany.
1992 – Hurricane Iniki, one of the most damaging hurricanes in United States history, devastates Hawaii, especially the islands of Kauai and Oahu.
1996 – The Southern Pacific Railroad is absorbed into the Union Pacific Railroad system.
1997 – NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor reaches Mars.
1997 – After a nationwide referendum, Scotland votes to establish a devolved parliament, within the United Kingdom.
2001 – The September 11 attacks take place in the United States. Airplane hijackings result in the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City, destruction of the western portion of The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a passenger airliner crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
2003 – Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh dies after having been assaulted September 10.
2004 – All passengers are killed when a helicopter crashes in the Aegean Sea. Passengers include Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria and 16 others (including journalists and bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria).