On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked in the United States and turned into missiles destined for major American landmarks. Two hit the World Trade Center towers. One hit the Pentagon, causing a portion of the historic landmark to collapse. One was probably destined for either the White House or the Capitol Building but passengers prevented the plane from reaching its destination. Below is a timeline of key events.
7:59 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 takes off from Boston’s Logan Airport.
8:13 a.m. The last official communication between American Airlines Flight 11 and ground controllers occurs and the transponder stops transmitting. The hijacking occurs at about this point.
8:14 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 takes off from Boston’s Logan Airport.
8:20 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 begins going off course.
8:20 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 leaves Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
8:42 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 takes off from Newark Airport.
8:43 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 is hijacked.
8:46:26 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center with an estimated 10,000 gallons of fuel and traveling 470 mph.
8:50 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 begins heading towards New York City.
8:55 a.m. President Bush is notified of the first crash and replies, “What a horrible accident!”
8:56 a.m. The last official communication with American Airlines Flight 77 occurs and the plane’s transponder is turned off. Presumably the hijacking occurs at this time.
9:02:54 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 hits the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes.
9:06 a.m. President Bush is notified of the second crash, but remains in the school classroom in Florida where he is doing a photo-op for his educational policies.
9:16 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 is probably hijacked about this time.
9:17 a.m. The Federal Aviation Administration closes all New York City area airports.
9:21 a.m. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
World Trade Center, New York City, September 11, 2001
Photo from the National Park Service
9:29 a.m. President Bush addresses students and teachers at Booker Elementary School about the terrorist attacks.
9:30 a.m. President Bush, speaking in Sarasota, Florida, announces that the country has suffered an “apparent terrorist attack.”
9:36 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 turns and begins heading towards Washington D.C.
9:38 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.
9:40 a.m. The FAA ends all flight operations at U.S. airports, the first time in U.S. history that nationwide air traffic nationwide is stopped.
9:45 a.m. The White House evacuates.
9:57 a.m. Bush leaves Florida.
10:05 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:10 a.m. A portion of the Pentagon collapses.
10:10 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh.
10:13 a.m. The United Nations building evacuates.
10:24 a.m. All inbound transatlantic flights to the United States start being diverted to Canada.
10:28 a.m. The north tower of the World Trade Center collapses from the top down.
10:35 a.m. Air Force One heads for Barksdale Air Force base near Shreveport, Louisiana.
10:45 a.m. All federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated.
10:57 a.m. New York Governor George Pataki closes all state government offices.
11:45 a.m. President Bush lands at Barksdale Air Force base near Shreveport, Louisiana, rather than return immediately to Washington, D.C.
1:27 p.m. A state of emergency is declared by the city of Washington, D.C.
1:44 p.m. The Pentagon announces that five warships and two aircraft carriers will leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, to protect the East Coast from further attack.
1:48 p.m. Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base and heads for Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
4:30 p.m. The president departs Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska aboard Air Force One and returns Washington, D.C.
5:20 p.m. The 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex collapses.
Many people remember what they were doing that morning when they heard the news. This is a day America will never forget. What were you doing September 11, 2001?