While much of us are aware of the tragedy that occurred today 15 years prior, it wasn’t the first world-changing event to unfold on this month. In our article, we highlight the 11 major historic events that occurred in September.
One of the worst days of America’s history saw some of its bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. – Gorge W. Bush
September 11, 2001: What seemed like a usual morning in America was suddenly met with the crashing of passenger airliners in the World trade center as well as the Pentagon. A fourth attack on the White House was only thwarted by the brave passengers on board Flight 93, who tried overcoming the hijackers and crashed the plane in an empty field.
Carried out by the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, it targeted the US centers of economic, military and political power. It took the lives of nearly 3000 people and injured 6000 more. The attack sent shock waves across the world markets. It would cost the US more than 3 trillion dollars in total. The global geopolitical landscape was never to be the same again.
2. Start of World War ll
September 1, 1939: Hitler orders the invasion of Poland following the execution of Operation Himmler. France and the British Commonwealth would declare war on Germany just a few days after, starting the bloodiest conflict in human history.
The War would last for 6 years and take the lives of nearly 50 million people. By its ends, the Great powers of Europe were greatly weakened and the United State and the Soviet Union emerged as the world’s first superpowers.
3. The Great fire of London
September 2, 1666: What started as a minor fire incident in a bakery quickly turned into a firestorm that swept across the central parts of London. Thanks to the Lord Mayor of London, proper measures to contain the fire could not be implemented in time and the fire raged on for 3 more days.
The fire destroyed nearly 14,000 buildings and rendered 70,000 of city’s inhabitants homeless. Surprisingly, despite the scale of destruction, only 6 deaths were verified.
Even though the fire was a result of an accident, suspicion of foreigners was all time high amongst the city dwellers. In the end, a mentally challenged and crippled Frenchman was made a scapegoat and sentenced to hanging.
4. The burning of Moscow
September 14, 1812: As Napoleon triumphantly entered into Moscow, confident that Tsar will finally yield to him, he did not expect to see it ablaze. Count Rostopchin has ordered his retreating army to set fire to the city. The fire quickly engulfed major portions of the city and threatened the Kremlin, causing Napoleon to move out to the suburbs. After he left, discipline broke down amongst his soldiers and began to plunder the burning city.
The burning of Moscow was a pivotal point in the life of Napoleon and the Napoleonic wars. Out of supplies and with the winter approaching, most of his army would perish in the retreat. Out of the 680,000 soldiers that took part in the invasion, 27,000 effectively remained by the end of the campaign.
5. The battle of Ain Jalut
September 3, 1260: Pitting the greatest medieval cavalries against each other, it saw the Mamluk Sultanate clash with the Mongol Empire. Using the Mongol’s own tactics against them, the Mamluks feigned a retreat and lured the Mongols into an ambush.
The battle was fierce and by the end, virtually of the Mongol forces had perished. It marked the end of Mongol expansion in the region and was the first time in history that a Mongol advance was permanently stopped.
6. Fall of the Western Roman Empire
September 4, 476: Odoacer deposes the young emperor Romulus Augustulus and proclaims himself as the “king of Italy”. Although it wasn’t until 480 that the last Western Roman Emperor would die, the empire had all but ended at that point.
However, the legacy of Rome would survive with the Eastern Roman Empire for another thousand years, finally ending with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.
7. The Great Kanto Earthquake
The smiles vanished and for an appreciable instant, everyone stood transfixed by the sound of unearthly thunder – Ellis M. Zacharias
September 1, 1923: In mid-day, a magnitude 8.2 earthquake devastated Tokyo and adjoining areas, destroying many buildings in the Kanto region. However even worse was to come after.
Fires erupted in many areas and quickly swept across cities, burning houses as well as people. The worst was the formation of a fire tornado in downtown Tokyo, which incinerated many survivors taking shelter there.
A strong typhoon later struck the coastal area the same day and in the mountains, villages were buried away by landslides. Simultaneously, a 12 m Tsunami caused by the quakes further contributed to the overall destruction. In total, an estimated 105,385 people perished in the disaster. It destroyed over 570,000 homes and left nearly 2 million people homeless.
In the days that followed, angry mobs massacred thousands of Koreans after rumor spread of them supposedly poisoning wells and committing arsons. It didn’t help that some of the authorities sent in to help partook in the killings themselves.
8. Aktion T4
September 1, 1939: Adolf Hitler signs the infamous Aktion T4, beginning the systematic killing of the mentally ill and disabled. The order ran till August 1941, during which time an estimated 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers in Germany and Austria as well as occupied Poland. It would later give way to an even more sinister experiment, the implementation of the Holocaust.
9. End of American Revolutionary War
September 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris is signed between Great Britain and the United States on generous terms to the new country. With its signing United States ‘Independence is recognized by Great Britain and officially marks the end of the American Revolutionary War.
The British had by then, realized the potential of establishing close economic ties with the new country. They were deliberately generous in their agreement with the US so to facilitate the growth of lucrative markets for British merchants.
10. Battle of Sedan
September 1, 1870: The Battle of Sedan was a decisive battle fought between the French and Prussian armies during the War of 1870. It concluded with heavy losses amongst French forces and the capture of Napoleon III, Emperor of France. Two days later the Second French Empire collapsed and out of the ashes formed the Third Republic.
Although the new French government would continue the war for five more months, the battle had already decided the war’s outcome in Prussia’s favor.
11. Assassination of Pompey
September 29 48 BC: Pompey, defeated and pursued by Caesar, arrives in Egypt to seek refuge. Unbeknownst to him, the Royal court fearing the political outcome of his arrival decides to eliminate him. Upon landing in the kingdom, he is murdered on the King’s orders. He dies on his birthday, with his death witnessed by his wife still on board the ship.