Before the terrorist attacks in 2001, plenty of notable events occurred on September 11th. Let's take a look at some other newsworthy September 11th happenings from previous years.
1. William Wallace Defeats English Forces // 1297
Scottish hero William Wallace defeats the army of the English crown in the Battle of Stirling Bridge. As anyone who's seen Braveheart knows, the party doesn't last long for Wallace, but the Scots did regain their independence in 1328.
2. Henry Hudson Explores the Hudson River // 1609
English explorer Henry Hudson sails up a river on the coast of eastern North America as commander of the Dutch vessel Halve Maen (Half Moon). In the process he encounters the island of Manhattan. He successfully navigates the river that now bears his name all the way to present-day Albany, New York.
3. Alexander Hamilton Becomes Treasury Secretary // 1789
Alexander Hamilton receives his appointment as first secretary of the U.S. Treasury. One of his first acts is to suggest that the federal government assume the debt incurred by the states during the Revolutionary War. He proposes a whiskey tax that inspires a rebellion a few years later—an insurrection he personally accompanies federal troops to stamp out.
4. The Hope Diamond Disappears // 1792
During the early days of the French Revolution, the Hope Diamond (originally known as the Blue Diamond of the French Crown) is stolen while Louis XVI is under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace. Although rumors abound about what happens to the diamond in the intervening years, it cannot be definitively placed again until 1812. In September of that year it surfaces in London, almost 20 years to the day from its disappearance and two days after a statute of limitations on revolutionary crimes expires. The diamond is hardly as good as new, though; over the course of two decades, someone had lopped the stone in half.
5. Americans Win the Battle of Plattsburgh // 1814
In the War of 1812, the Battle of Plattsburgh ends in a decisive American victory. This marks the end of a British invasion into the northern states of the U.S. The redcoats retreat into Canada. The two sides sign a peace treaty in Ghent several months later.
6. Settlers Are Killed in the Mountain Meadows Massacre // 1857
Mormon residents in Utah, wary of the wagon trains traveling through their territory, team up with Paiutes and viciously attack a band of California-bound settlers. After several days under siege, the settlers allow several members of the Utah militia inside their defenses. Despite assuring the settlers of their safety, the militia kills over 100 unarmed people. Seventeen children are spared and taken to live with Mormon families. Controversy continues to this day about whether Mormon leader Brigham Young had a hand in the events.
7. Builders Break Ground on the Pentagon // 1941
8. The Beatles Record “Love Me Do” // 1962
The Beatles record the third and final version of what will be their first single, "Love Me Do," at EMI Studios on Abbey Road. The first two recordings are deemed unsatisfactory due to Ringo Starr's drumming. His replacements on the other recordings are Pete Best and Andy White. On the third and final cut, Ringo is relegated to playing tambourine.
9. Chilean President is Overthrown // 1973
Salvador Allende, a democratically elected president, is overthrown in Chile with the help of the CIA (which disagrees with his Marxism). Taking his place is General Augusto Pinochet, who becomes known as one of the most malevolent dictators in the history of the Western governments. The event becomes a major blight on the reputation of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
10. Pete Rose Breaks All-Time Hits Record // 1985
During a game against the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose breaks the record for number of all-time hits with a single to left-center. It is his 4192nd hit, breaking the mark previously set by Ty Cobb. Less than four years later, Major League Baseball bans Rose for betting on games.
11. The Starr Report is Released // 1998
Independent Council Kenneth Starr releases the infamous Starr Report, which details his investigation into the Whitewater controversy. During the course of his research, Starr began probing President Bill Clinton's sexual improprieties in office, which led to Clinton’s eventual impeachment.
A version of this story ran in 2011; it has been updated for 2021.