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Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

September 11, 2001: The Day America Cried

One of the most devastating attacks to have occurred on the soil of the United States of America, happened on the morning of September 11th, 2001. The events that occurred that day would change life for many Americans for years to come. Members of the Islamic militant group knowing as al-Qaeda, under the direction of Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden boarded four planes headed for California. Upon each flight it would take the militants less than 46 minutes to overpower the flight crews, take control of the planes, and turn them into weapons.

  • American Airlines Flight 11 departed Logan International Airport bound for Los Angeles at 7:49 am, at 8:46 am the flight struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center killing all 87 souls on board.
  • United Airlines Flight 175 departed Logan International Airport bound for Los Angeles at 8:14am, at 9:03am the flight struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center killing all 60 souls on board.
    • These two flights would result in another 2,606 casualties on the ground from civilians in the towers when they fell.
  • American Airlines Flight 77 departed Washington Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles at 8:20am, at 9:37am the flight struck the West wall of the Pentagon killing all 59 souls on board.
    • This flight would result in another 125 casualties on the ground from inside the Pentagon when the plane hit.
  • United Airlines Flight 93 departed Newark International Airport bound for San Francisco at 8:42am, at 10:03am the flight was brought down by passengers who overtook the hijackers in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, PA killing all 44 souls on board.
    • The speculated target for this flight was either the White House or the Capitol Building.
  • Another 412 emergency workers would die as a result of fulfilling their duties at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

"This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world." - President George W. Bush in his Address to the Nation on the September 11 Attacks (page 65 of the pdf file).

Photographer: Richard Drew. Twin towers [Internet]. Supplier: AP, Supplierr: NTB scanpix.
Retrieved from: Accessed: 23.08.2021

Credit: Robert Harbeck, September 11, 2001 Lecture Presentation.

September 11, 2001: Twenty Years Later

September 11th Oral History Project

The September 11th Oral History Project has been created to record memories of Winthrop University’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, and York County community to preserve the local, and community, impact for future generations of researchers. The tragedy of the events that happened on the morning of September 11, 2001 were events that are a seminal moment in American History, and should be remembered in the hope that such an attack on the United States never happens again. This project is being conducted in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the attacks to document these memories for posterity and future researchers.

Creating an exhibit to document this momentous tragedy during a global pandemic has been challenging. The Pettus Archives has come up with a virtual exhibit in order to create a lasting memorial that can be built on as more oral histories are added. Below are links to the oral histories collected and transcribed to date.

Winthrop Close-Up: September 11, 2001

The video was done for a Winthrop Close-up news story on September 11, 2001. A special thanks to Trent Faris who posted the recording and please support his channel.

Photographs of ZaDonna Slay's visit to the 9/11 Museum in NYC

Continuing the Project

The Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections would like to continue building on this project. If you would like to add your memories of September 11th, please reach out to