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Firefighters on 9/11

Major historical anniversaries in September

Image Credit: Anthony Correia / | Above: New York City firefighters work near Ground Zero after the September 11th attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, USA.

From the Great Fire of London to the 9/11 attacks, discover what major historical events have taken place in September.

1 September

The wreck of the Titanic is found (1985)

Famously sinking in the North Atlantic in 1912 after striking an iceberg, the Titanic remained undiscovered at the bottom of the ocean for over 70 years. In 1985, an American-French expedition discovered the site of the wreckage 400 miles east of Newfoundland and 13,000 feet below the surface of the water. An experimental submersible captured images of the doomed liner for the very first time.

World War II begins (1939)

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany triggered WWII when his forces invaded neighbouring Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

2 September

J. R. R. Tolkein dies (1973)

The famous English writer was the author of the incredibly popular fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The Great Fire of London starts (1666)

Shortly after midnight, the Great Fire of London began in a bakery in Pudding Lane near London Bridge and the Tower of London. Strong winds helped it spread quickly and it wasn’t long before it had turned into a firestorm. Four days later, it was finally brought under control. In total 13,000 houses had burnt to the ground, but miraculously only six people were killed.

The end of WWII (1945)

Almost six years to the day after it had begun, WWII finally ended with the surrender of Japan. The conflict had been the deadliest in history with an estimated 70-85 million people killed.

4 September

The Western Roman Empire falls (476 AD)

After centuries of domination, the mighty Roman Empire eventually fell in 476 AD after the German chieftain Odoacer toppled the last emperor of the Western Empire. Roman rule continued in the East but the sun had set on the original empire.

5 September

The Munich Massacre (1972)

Disguised as athletes and carrying gym bags filled with machine guns and grenades, eight terrorists associated with Black September – an extremist faction of the Palestinian group ‘Fatah’ – stormed the apartment complex that housed Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The attack led to the deaths of 11 Israelis.

6 September

The first tank is produced (1915)

Known as ‘Little Willie’, the world’s first tank rolled off the production line in England on this day in 1915. Although it struggled to perform correctly, the creation of an armoured fighting vehicle heralded a new age of battlefield weaponry that changed the course of warfare forever.

7 September

Tupac is shot (1996)

American hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur was shot multiple times whilst riding in a car after watching a boxing match in Las Vegas. He died in hospital a few days later. No one has ever been convicted of his murder.

The Blitz begins (1940)

Nearly 400 German bombers and 600 fighters began targeting docks in the East End of London. It marked the start of ‘The Blitz’ and the beginning of 57 consecutive nights of German bombing on the capital city, as Hitler attempted to pummel Britain into submission.

Brazil gains independence (1822)

After 322 years as a colony of Portugal, Brazil gained independence with Pedro being declared the country’s first emperor.

8 September

Queen Elizabeth II dies (2022)

The longest-reigning British monarch passed away at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne. Her eldest son Prince Charles acceded to the throne as King Charles III.

11 September

9/11 terror attacks (2001)

It was the deadliest terrorist attack in American history. Members of al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial aeroplanes and flew two of them into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Centre, and a third into the Pentagon. The final plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day.

15 September

Agatha Christie is born (1890)

English writer Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time having sold around two billion copies. Penning 66 novels, her works have spawned more than 30 movies and countless television adaptations.

16 September

Mayflower sets sail for the New World (1620)

The English ship known as the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth on a voyage to America. Onboard were 102 passengers seeking a new life in the New World. The ship took 10 weeks to cross the Atlantic before dropping anchor near Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

21 September

The monarchy is abolished in France (1792)

After beginning in 1789, the French Revolution finally got rid of the monarchy in 1792. After its abolition, France became a Republic.

26 September

Concorde’s inaugural crossing of the Atlantic (1973)

Concorde, the world's first supersonic passenger plane, made its first transatlantic crossing in a record-breaking time; 3 hours and 32 minutes.

27 September

Sylvia Pankhurst dies (1960)

Driven by a strong social and moral conscience, Sylvia Pankhurst (daughter of famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst) spent a lifetime fighting political oppression, suffrage, violence, poverty, and injustice whilst promoting worldwide human rights. She was one of the great activists of the 20th century. She passed away in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1960, aged 78.

28 September

William the Conqueror invades England (1066)

700 Norman ships arrived at Pevensey, Sussex and the disembarked troops quickly set about devastating the local area, before advancing on Hastings. Edward the Confessor’s distant cousin, Duke William of Normandy, spearheaded the invasion as he vied for the English throne. The invasion led to the most famous battle in English history, the Battle of Hastings.