Sunday, September 11, 2016

This day in history...

Don't blink because these people are about to disappear. One of the first actions of Chile's military government after the 11 September 1973 coup was to round up every enemy of the state, real or imagined. They were placed initially in the National Football Stadium. From here only a few people know where they went—they were never seen again. To this day, this ally and trading partner of the United States, who played important roles in instigating and the coup and supporting the junta, has not accounted for the missing, presumed dead, nor has it held any sort of truth & reconciliation commission. The relatives of the desaparecidos still plead for knowledge of what happened to their loved ones. It's common to see a flyer in public places with a picture and a message: "Do you know what happened to my son [daughter/husband/wife/father/mother]? S/he was last seen on 11 September 1973." Photo by Pedro Encina.
I thought it might be nice for a change to see that many things have happened on this day in history and not just the events of 2001. So here's a short list of some of the interesting things. News focuses on the bad because all too often, good news would read something like "Nothing happened." No news is good news, so this list slouches to the negative side, but I have thrown in some events that I consider positive.

Also, please don't presume that I am hinting at any interconnectivity among events that happened on the 11th of September. That is not my intention, and I suspect that any day of the year has a similar distribution of good and bad news. My primary source is Wikipedia, which has an entry for every day of the year.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 1792 – The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other French crown jewels when six men break into the house where they are stored.
  • 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.
  • 1829 – Surrender of the expedition led by Isidro Barradas at Tampico, sent by the Spanish crown in order to retake Mexico. This was the consummation of Mexico's campaign for independence.
  • 1830 – Anti-Masonic Party convention; one of the first American political party conventions.
  • 1850 Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," gave her first concert in the United States, at Castle Garden in New York.
  • 1851 – Christiana Resistance: Escaped slaves stand against their former owner in armed resistance in Christiana, Pennsylvania, creating a rallying cry for the abolitionist movement.
  • 1852 – The State of Buenos Aires secedes from the Argentine Federal government, rejoining on September 17, 1861. Several places are named Once de Septiembre (11th of September) after this event.
  • 1857 – The Mountain Meadows massacre: Mormon settlers and Paiutes massacre 120 pioneers at Mountain Meadows, Utah.
  • 1916 – The Quebec Bridge's central span collapses, killing 11 men. The bridge previously collapsed completely on August 29, 1907.
  • 1921 – Nahalal, the first moshav in Palestine, is settled as part of a Zionist plan to colonize Palestine and creating a Jewish state, later to be Israel.
  • 1931 – Salvatore Maranzano is murdered by Lucky Luciano's hitmen.
  • 1932 – Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura, Polish Challenge 1932 winners, are killed when their RWD 6 airplane crashes during a storm.
  • 1939 – World War II: Canada declares war on Germany, the country's first independent declaration of war
  • 1941 Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration" for trying to draw the United States into World War II.
  • 1944 – World War II: RAF bombing raid on Darmstadt and the following firestorm kill 11,500.
  • 1944 – World War II: The first Allied troops of the U.S. Army cross the western border of Germany.
  • 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.
  • 1954 – Hurricane Edna hits New England as a Category 1 hurricane, causing significant damage and 29 deaths.
  • 1957 – Born: Jeh Johnson, current secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • 1961 – Hurricane Carla strikes the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest storm ever to hit the state.
  • 1962 The Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," at EMI studios in London.
  • 1965 – Born: Bashar al-Assad, Syrian marshal and politician, 21st President of Syria
  • 1965 – Indo-Pakistani War: The Indian Army captures the town of Burki, just southeast of Lahore.
  • 1968 – Air France Flight 1611 crashes off Nice, France, killing 89 passengers and six crew.
  • 1970 – The Dawson's Field hijackers release 88 of their hostages. The remaining hostages, mostly Jews and Israeli citizens, are held until September 25.
  • 1973 – A coup in Chile headed by General Augusto Pinochet topples the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. Allende dies during the process. Pinochet exercises dictatorial power until ousted in a referendum in 1988, staying in power until 1990.
  • 1974 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashes in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 69 passengers and two crew.
  • 1976 – A group of Croatian nationalists plant a bomb in a coin locker at Grand Central Terminal. After stating political demands, they reveal the location and provided instructions for disarming the bomb. The disarming operation are not executed properly and the bomb explodes, killing one NYPD bomb squad specialist.
  • 1978: Georgi Markov Umbrella stab victim dies. Writer and broadcaster Georgi Markov dies of blood poisoning, four days after he said he was stabbed with an umbrella at a London bus stop.
  • 1980 – Voters approve a new Constitution of Chile, later amended after the departure of president Pinochet.
  • 1980: Famous gem grabbed in armed raid. The Marlborough diamond is stolen from a London jewellers in a bold £1m robbery.
  • 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 of the Cincinnati Reds recorded his 4,192nd hit, breaking Ty Cobb's career record.
  • 1987—Emergency Number Day proclaimed by President Reagan on August 26 in 1987. (United States communities, particularly the local emergency services)
  • 1989 – Hungary announces that the East German refugees who had been housed in temporary camps were free to leave for West Germany.
  • 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.
  • 1997 Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.
  • 1998 Congress released Kenneth Starr's report, which offered graphic details of President Bill Clinton's alleged sexual misconduct and leveled accusations of perjury and obstruction of justice.
  • 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.
  • 2003: Anna Lindh (copyright: AP) Anna Lindh dies of stab injuries. The Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, dies of her injuries after she is stabbed in a Stockholm department store.
  • 2005:Soldiers fold away Israeli flag Last Israeli troops leave Gaza. Thirty-eight years of military rule come to an end as Israeli soldiers lower the flag and pull out.
  • 2009 Michael Jordan was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame.
  • 2015 – A crane collapses onto the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Saudi Arabia, killing 111 people and injuring 394 others.
A woman lights a candle at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, in remembrance. The signs say, "Where are they? I am still waiting for justice." ©2013 LA Times