Events of the Day
What happened on the morning of September 11, 2001?
On September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists associated with al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist group, hijacked four commercial airplanes scheduled to fly from the East Coast to California. In a coordinated attack that turned the planes into weapons, the terrorists intentionally flew two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, a global business complex in New York City, causing the towers to collapse. They also flew a third plane into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, in Arlington, Virginia. Passengers and crew members on the fourth plane launched a counterattack, forcing the hijacker pilot—who was flying the airplane toward Washington, D.C.—to crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, near the town of Shanksville.
The 9/11 attacks killed 2,977 people. This was the single largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil. The attacks caused the deaths of 441 first responders, the greatest loss of emergency responders on a single day in American history.
These primary resources include speeches, executive orders, legislative acts and debates, and government reports.
September 11, 2001
Remarks by U.S. President George W. Bush After Two Planes Crash into World Trade Center
Remarks by U.S. President George W. Bush Upon Arrival at Barksdale Air Force Base
Statement by U.S. President George W. Bush in his Address to the Nation
Suggested Reading List
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
Maira Kalman. Puffin Books, 2005.
The Man in the Red Bandanna
Honor Crowther Fagan (author) & John Crowther (illustrator). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
Immigrant, American, Survivor: A Little Boy Who Grew Up To Be All Three
William Jimeno (author), Charles Ricciardi (illustrator). Charles Ricciardi, 2021.
America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell
Don Brown. Squash Fish, 2014.
Nora Raleigh Baskin. 2011, Atheneum Books for Young Readers
National Geographic Kids. 2021.
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation
Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon. Hill and Wang, 2006.
The Red Bandanna: A Life, A Choice, A Legacy
Tom Rinaldi. Penguin Press, 2016.
Out of the Blue: A Narrative of September 11, 2001
Richard Bernstein. New York: Times Books, 2002.
Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11
Patrick Creed and Rick Newman. Presidio Press, 2008.
102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Flight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. New York: Times Books, 2004.
Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back
Jere Longman. Harper Perennial, 2003.
The 9/11 Commission Report
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. WW Norton: 2004.
Running toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11
The Newseum. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2002. Select sections
The Only Plane in the Sky
Garrett Graff. Simon & Schuster, 2019.
Alfred Goldberg. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2007.