Before it was "September 11”: 15 world events you didn’t know shared the date

Published September 11th, 2014 - 14:56 GMT

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Thirteen years after the horrific events of September 11, 2001, that date is still burned into our collective consciousness. Most people can recall exactly where they were, what they were doing and who they were with when they first saw those unimaginable images of commercial airliners crashing into the World Trade Center towers.

Now, years on, as commemorations continue on the anniversary of “911”, we wonder - is it now time to give that date, which is synonymous with terrorism, a new association? Centuries of human activity can’t compress into an annual calendar; each day is layered with a litany of events that are worth remembering. Some silly, some somber, but each relegated to the background when a more newsworthy event occurs. Continue reading below »

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1609 - Looking for a northeast route to the Orient, harsh weather spurred English explorer Henry Hudson to change course. As a result, he crossed the Atlantic and ended up in current-day New York Harbor. He sailed up the river that now bears his name, and discovered the island of Manhattan.
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Image 1 of 15:  1 / 151609 - Looking for a northeast route to the Orient, harsh weather spurred English explorer Henry Hudson to change course. As a result, he crossed the Atlantic and ended up in current-day New York Harbor. He sailed up the river that now bears his name, and discovered the island of Manhattan.

Enlarge
1792 - The Hope Diamond, the world’s best bling, was stolen from King Louis XVI while he was under house arrest during the French revolution. First sold to King Louis XIV in 1669 (later Marie Antoinette's fave pendant), it vanished in 1792 only to reemerge 20 years on. Allegedly cursed, the blue dazzler is now in the Smithsonian Museum.
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Image 2 of 15:  2 / 151792 - The Hope Diamond, the world’s best bling, was stolen from King Louis XVI while he was under house arrest during the French revolution. First sold to King Louis XIV in 1669 (later Marie Antoinette's fave pendant), it vanished in 1792 only to reemerge 20 years on. Allegedly cursed, the blue dazzler is now in the Smithsonian Museum.

Enlarge
1875 - The first-ever cartoon comic strip appeared in a newspaper on this day. Titled “The Yellow Kid”, this hilarious  (well, at least back then!) little cartoon about a bald, toothy boy who lived in a New York slum was written by none other than Joseph Pulitzer, after whom the famous literary Pulitzer Prize is named.
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Image 3 of 15:  3 / 151875 - The first-ever cartoon comic strip appeared in a newspaper on this day. Titled “The Yellow Kid”, this hilarious (well, at least back then!) little cartoon about a bald, toothy boy who lived in a New York slum was written by none other than Joseph Pulitzer, after whom the famous literary Pulitzer Prize is named.

Enlarge
1922 - On this day the League of Nations (the precursor to the UN) declared the British mandate on Palestine to be official. This mandate allowed Britain to handle the state affairs of Trans-Jordan, an area that the Ottoman empire had lost following the end of World War I.
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Image 4 of 15:  4 / 151922 - On this day the League of Nations (the precursor to the UN) declared the British mandate on Palestine to be official. This mandate allowed Britain to handle the state affairs of Trans-Jordan, an area that the Ottoman empire had lost following the end of World War I.

Enlarge
1936 - The U.S. dam now known as Hoover Dam was dedicated on this day - aimed to tame the mighty Colorado River and convert its power into electricity. Over 21,000 men worked in treacherous conditions to build it. At the time it was the largest project ever undertaken by the US government. It’s credited with giving birth to the city of Las Vegas!
Reduce

Image 5 of 15:  5 / 151936 - The U.S. dam now known as Hoover Dam was dedicated on this day - aimed to tame the mighty Colorado River and convert its power into electricity. Over 21,000 men worked in treacherous conditions to build it. At the time it was the largest project ever undertaken by the US government. It’s credited with giving birth to the city of Las Vegas!

Enlarge
1940 - Buckingham Palace, the most famous house in Britain, was gutted by German bombs while King George IV and the Queen Mother were inside! Both survived and steadfastly refused to leave London, transforming the stammering King (recall the film “The King’s Speech”?) into a public war hero.
Reduce

Image 6 of 15:  6 / 151940 - Buckingham Palace, the most famous house in Britain, was gutted by German bombs while King George IV and the Queen Mother were inside! Both survived and steadfastly refused to leave London, transforming the stammering King (recall the film “The King’s Speech”?) into a public war hero.

Enlarge
1946 - The first-ever car-to-car long distance call connected a driver in Houston, Texas to another in St. Louis, Missouri. The original carphone (as unwieldy as a brick) was a toy for titans and spies until modern cell phones sent it to the old-tech graveyard (where it rests in peace along with 8-track tapes, vinyl albums, and beepers).
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Image 7 of 15:  7 / 151946 - The first-ever car-to-car long distance call connected a driver in Houston, Texas to another in St. Louis, Missouri. The original carphone (as unwieldy as a brick) was a toy for titans and spies until modern cell phones sent it to the old-tech graveyard (where it rests in peace along with 8-track tapes, vinyl albums, and beepers).

Enlarge
1954 - Miss America, the beauty pageant that captured a continent, grew out of a seaside “bathers’ revue”. It started in the 1920’s as a ploy to drum up boardwalk business- what’s not to like about beautiful women? The annual event proved a print-press hit with readers, eventually moving to television broadcast. It premiered on this date.
Reduce

Image 8 of 15:  8 / 151954 - Miss America, the beauty pageant that captured a continent, grew out of a seaside “bathers’ revue”. It started in the 1920’s as a ploy to drum up boardwalk business- what’s not to like about beautiful women? The annual event proved a print-press hit with readers, eventually moving to television broadcast. It premiered on this date.

Enlarge
1962- This is the day that Ringo Starr recorded his first song with the Beatles, “Love me do” which started the craze of screaming, fainting girls (take that, Beiber!). The legendary song writer started out as a sickly teenager called Richard Starkey but got his big Beatles break when he replaced Pete Best as the band’s drummer.
Reduce

Image 9 of 15:  9 / 151962- This is the day that Ringo Starr recorded his first song with the Beatles, “Love me do” which started the craze of screaming, fainting girls (take that, Beiber!). The legendary song writer started out as a sickly teenager called Richard Starkey but got his big Beatles break when he replaced Pete Best as the band’s drummer.

Enlarge
1965 - Bashar al Assad, Syria’s “spare heir”, was born on this day. This quiet second son wasn’t slated to become President of Syria, but when older bro Bassel died in a car crash, eye-doc-to-be Bashar was pulled from medical school and plunked into military school. Six years later, he was president.
Reduce

Image 10 of 15:  10 / 151965 - Bashar al Assad, Syria’s “spare heir”, was born on this day. This quiet second son wasn’t slated to become President of Syria, but when older bro Bassel died in a car crash, eye-doc-to-be Bashar was pulled from medical school and plunked into military school. Six years later, he was president.

Enlarge
1971 - In a public referendum, Egyptians signed into law the country’s first constitution. Amendments were made to its specifics in 1980, 2005 and 2007. And on February 13, 2011, with Tahrir Square filled to the brim with hopeful protesters, the 1971 constitution was suspended for the first time since its creation. Hello Egypt's Arab Spring...
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Image 11 of 15:  11 / 151971 - In a public referendum, Egyptians signed into law the country’s first constitution. Amendments were made to its specifics in 1980, 2005 and 2007. And on February 13, 2011, with Tahrir Square filled to the brim with hopeful protesters, the 1971 constitution was suspended for the first time since its creation. Hello Egypt's Arab Spring...

Enlarge
1972 - The most infamous Summer Olympics came to a close on 9/11 at Munich in what was back then, West Germany. The event, which was originally sloganed “the Happy Games”, was scarred by the shocking massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and one German police officer by Black September terrorists who claimed to be fighting for the Palestinian cause.
Reduce

Image 12 of 15:  12 / 151972 - The most infamous Summer Olympics came to a close on 9/11 at Munich in what was back then, West Germany. The event, which was originally sloganed “the Happy Games”, was scarred by the shocking massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and one German police officer by Black September terrorists who claimed to be fighting for the Palestinian cause.

Enlarge
1978 - This was the day that secret meetings between U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem began at Camp David. 13 days later, negotiations led to the Camp David Accords, which led directly to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty the following year.
Reduce

Image 13 of 15:  13 / 151978 - This was the day that secret meetings between U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem began at Camp David. 13 days later, negotiations led to the Camp David Accords, which led directly to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty the following year.

Enlarge
1982 - A multinational coalition of troops, sent to Lebanon to protect Palestinian refugees after Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, left the country on this date. Unprotected, between 700 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees were slaughtered at the hands of Lebanese Christian militias in the following days at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut.
Reduce

Image 14 of 15:  14 / 151982 - A multinational coalition of troops, sent to Lebanon to protect Palestinian refugees after Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, left the country on this date. Unprotected, between 700 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees were slaughtered at the hands of Lebanese Christian militias in the following days at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut.

Enlarge
1997 - After a nationwide referendum, Scotland voted to establish a devolved parliament within the United Kingdom (UK). Now, during the final weeks before Scotland votes for or against full independence, it’s looking like it may be a case of history repeats itself, which means bye bye UK!
Reduce

Image 15 of 15:  15 / 151997 - After a nationwide referendum, Scotland voted to establish a devolved parliament within the United Kingdom (UK). Now, during the final weeks before Scotland votes for or against full independence, it’s looking like it may be a case of history repeats itself, which means bye bye UK!

Enlarge

1

1609 - Looking for a northeast route to the Orient, harsh weather spurred English explorer Henry Hudson to change course. As a result, he crossed the Atlantic and ended up in current-day New York Harbor. He sailed up the river that now bears his name, and discovered the island of Manhattan.

Image 1 of 151609 - Looking for a northeast route to the Orient, harsh weather spurred English explorer Henry Hudson to change course. As a result, he crossed the Atlantic and ended up in current-day New York Harbor. He sailed up the river that now bears his name, and discovered the island of Manhattan.

2

1792 - The Hope Diamond, the world’s best bling, was stolen from King Louis XVI while he was under house arrest during the French revolution. First sold to King Louis XIV in 1669 (later Marie Antoinette's fave pendant), it vanished in 1792 only to reemerge 20 years on. Allegedly cursed, the blue dazzler is now in the Smithsonian Museum.

Image 2 of 151792 - The Hope Diamond, the world’s best bling, was stolen from King Louis XVI while he was under house arrest during the French revolution. First sold to King Louis XIV in 1669 (later Marie Antoinette's fave pendant), it vanished in 1792 only to reemerge 20 years on. Allegedly cursed, the blue dazzler is now in the Smithsonian Museum.

3

1875 - The first-ever cartoon comic strip appeared in a newspaper on this day. Titled “The Yellow Kid”, this hilarious  (well, at least back then!) little cartoon about a bald, toothy boy who lived in a New York slum was written by none other than Joseph Pulitzer, after whom the famous literary Pulitzer Prize is named.

Image 3 of 151875 - The first-ever cartoon comic strip appeared in a newspaper on this day. Titled “The Yellow Kid”, this hilarious (well, at least back then!) little cartoon about a bald, toothy boy who lived in a New York slum was written by none other than Joseph Pulitzer, after whom the famous literary Pulitzer Prize is named.

4

1922 - On this day the League of Nations (the precursor to the UN) declared the British mandate on Palestine to be official. This mandate allowed Britain to handle the state affairs of Trans-Jordan, an area that the Ottoman empire had lost following the end of World War I.

Image 4 of 151922 - On this day the League of Nations (the precursor to the UN) declared the British mandate on Palestine to be official. This mandate allowed Britain to handle the state affairs of Trans-Jordan, an area that the Ottoman empire had lost following the end of World War I.

5

1936 - The U.S. dam now known as Hoover Dam was dedicated on this day - aimed to tame the mighty Colorado River and convert its power into electricity. Over 21,000 men worked in treacherous conditions to build it. At the time it was the largest project ever undertaken by the US government. It’s credited with giving birth to the city of Las Vegas!

Image 5 of 151936 - The U.S. dam now known as Hoover Dam was dedicated on this day - aimed to tame the mighty Colorado River and convert its power into electricity. Over 21,000 men worked in treacherous conditions to build it. At the time it was the largest project ever undertaken by the US government. It’s credited with giving birth to the city of Las Vegas!

6

1940 - Buckingham Palace, the most famous house in Britain, was gutted by German bombs while King George IV and the Queen Mother were inside! Both survived and steadfastly refused to leave London, transforming the stammering King (recall the film “The King’s Speech”?) into a public war hero.

Image 6 of 151940 - Buckingham Palace, the most famous house in Britain, was gutted by German bombs while King George IV and the Queen Mother were inside! Both survived and steadfastly refused to leave London, transforming the stammering King (recall the film “The King’s Speech”?) into a public war hero.

7

1946 - The first-ever car-to-car long distance call connected a driver in Houston, Texas to another in St. Louis, Missouri. The original carphone (as unwieldy as a brick) was a toy for titans and spies until modern cell phones sent it to the old-tech graveyard (where it rests in peace along with 8-track tapes, vinyl albums, and beepers).

Image 7 of 151946 - The first-ever car-to-car long distance call connected a driver in Houston, Texas to another in St. Louis, Missouri. The original carphone (as unwieldy as a brick) was a toy for titans and spies until modern cell phones sent it to the old-tech graveyard (where it rests in peace along with 8-track tapes, vinyl albums, and beepers).

8

1954 - Miss America, the beauty pageant that captured a continent, grew out of a seaside “bathers’ revue”. It started in the 1920’s as a ploy to drum up boardwalk business- what’s not to like about beautiful women? The annual event proved a print-press hit with readers, eventually moving to television broadcast. It premiered on this date.

Image 8 of 151954 - Miss America, the beauty pageant that captured a continent, grew out of a seaside “bathers’ revue”. It started in the 1920’s as a ploy to drum up boardwalk business- what’s not to like about beautiful women? The annual event proved a print-press hit with readers, eventually moving to television broadcast. It premiered on this date.

9

1962- This is the day that Ringo Starr recorded his first song with the Beatles, “Love me do” which started the craze of screaming, fainting girls (take that, Beiber!). The legendary song writer started out as a sickly teenager called Richard Starkey but got his big Beatles break when he replaced Pete Best as the band’s drummer.

Image 9 of 151962- This is the day that Ringo Starr recorded his first song with the Beatles, “Love me do” which started the craze of screaming, fainting girls (take that, Beiber!). The legendary song writer started out as a sickly teenager called Richard Starkey but got his big Beatles break when he replaced Pete Best as the band’s drummer.

10

1965 - Bashar al Assad, Syria’s “spare heir”, was born on this day. This quiet second son wasn’t slated to become President of Syria, but when older bro Bassel died in a car crash, eye-doc-to-be Bashar was pulled from medical school and plunked into military school. Six years later, he was president.

Image 10 of 151965 - Bashar al Assad, Syria’s “spare heir”, was born on this day. This quiet second son wasn’t slated to become President of Syria, but when older bro Bassel died in a car crash, eye-doc-to-be Bashar was pulled from medical school and plunked into military school. Six years later, he was president.

11

1971 - In a public referendum, Egyptians signed into law the country’s first constitution. Amendments were made to its specifics in 1980, 2005 and 2007. And on February 13, 2011, with Tahrir Square filled to the brim with hopeful protesters, the 1971 constitution was suspended for the first time since its creation. Hello Egypt's Arab Spring...

Image 11 of 151971 - In a public referendum, Egyptians signed into law the country’s first constitution. Amendments were made to its specifics in 1980, 2005 and 2007. And on February 13, 2011, with Tahrir Square filled to the brim with hopeful protesters, the 1971 constitution was suspended for the first time since its creation. Hello Egypt's Arab Spring...

12

1972 - The most infamous Summer Olympics came to a close on 9/11 at Munich in what was back then, West Germany. The event, which was originally sloganed “the Happy Games”, was scarred by the shocking massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and one German police officer by Black September terrorists who claimed to be fighting for the Palestinian cause.

Image 12 of 151972 - The most infamous Summer Olympics came to a close on 9/11 at Munich in what was back then, West Germany. The event, which was originally sloganed “the Happy Games”, was scarred by the shocking massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and one German police officer by Black September terrorists who claimed to be fighting for the Palestinian cause.

13

1978 - This was the day that secret meetings between U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem began at Camp David. 13 days later, negotiations led to the Camp David Accords, which led directly to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty the following year.

Image 13 of 151978 - This was the day that secret meetings between U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem began at Camp David. 13 days later, negotiations led to the Camp David Accords, which led directly to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty the following year.

14

1982 - A multinational coalition of troops, sent to Lebanon to protect Palestinian refugees after Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, left the country on this date. Unprotected, between 700 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees were slaughtered at the hands of Lebanese Christian militias in the following days at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut.

Image 14 of 151982 - A multinational coalition of troops, sent to Lebanon to protect Palestinian refugees after Israeli forces invaded Lebanon, left the country on this date. Unprotected, between 700 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees were slaughtered at the hands of Lebanese Christian militias in the following days at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut.

15

1997 - After a nationwide referendum, Scotland voted to establish a devolved parliament within the United Kingdom (UK). Now, during the final weeks before Scotland votes for or against full independence, it’s looking like it may be a case of history repeats itself, which means bye bye UK!

Image 15 of 151997 - After a nationwide referendum, Scotland voted to establish a devolved parliament within the United Kingdom (UK). Now, during the final weeks before Scotland votes for or against full independence, it’s looking like it may be a case of history repeats itself, which means bye bye UK!

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Perhaps it’s time to respectfully place that dark day into the history books and take a moment to remind oursleves of other events, sad and joyous, minor and momentous, that share the date. 

Did you know, for instance, that on the same day in 1965, Syrian President Bashar Assad was born? Or that on September 11, 1792, the Hope Diamond was stolen from King Louis XVI during the French Revolution? 

With this in mind, can we disempower the tragic associations of 9/11 and free it as a day not belonging solely to terror, but to the rest of larger world history as well?

Here’s a selection of other events that once made headlines on September 11 throughout the years.

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