Skyline twin towers sander lamme

The World Trade Center's History Timeline

By JP333
  • Dedication of the World Trade Center

    After nearly seven years of construction, on April 4, 1973, a dedication ceremony celebrates the completion of the World Trade Center, a 16-acre complex. The site features the Twin Towers, two 110-story skyscrapers. When they open, the towers are the tallest buildings in the world. The North Tower stands 1,368 feet tall, and the South Tower stands at 1,362 feet.
  • Port Authority Asses Security Threat

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey holds a drill at the World Trade Center based on the scenario of a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers. They simulates the “total disaster” of “the airplane hitting the building.
  • Port Authority Establishes Office of Special Planning

    Port Authority Establishes Office of Special Planning
    Peter Goldmark, the executive director of the New York Port Authority, is concerned that, in light of terrorist attacks occurring around the world. Therefore, he creates a unit called the Office of Special Planning (OSP) to evaluate the vulnerabilities of all Port Authority facilities and present recommendations to minimize the risks of attack.
  • Federal Agents Track Suspects to Calverton Shooting Range

    FBI agents follow and photograph a group of men as they move between a mosque in Brooklyn and the Calverton shooting range on Long Island. Among those photographed are Mahmoud Abouhalima, Nidal Ayyad, El Sayyid Nosair, and Mohammed Salameh, three of whom will later help carry out the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center.
  • Rams Yousef arrives in New York City

    Rams Yousef arrives in New York City
    Terrorist Ramzi Yousef arrived from Pakistan at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, after having learned bomb-making skills in Afghanistan. He hopes that a high-casualty attack in America will pressure the U.S. government into withdrawing support for Israel.
  • 1993 World Trade Center Bombing

    1993 World Trade Center Bombing
    At 12:18 pm, a bomb explodes on the second subterranean level of Vista Hotel's public parking garage, below the 2 World Trade Center building.
  • The Bomb Explodes

    The Bomb Explodes
    An explosion rips through the B-2 level of the belowground parking garage, opening a crater 150 feet wide and several stories deep underneath the North Tower and adjacent Vista International Hotel. People on the top floors of the towers and in surrounding buildings feel the force of the explosion. Six people near the bomb are killed:
  • First Responders

    First Responders
    Several hundred rescue personnel from various agencies, including the FDNY, New York City Police Department (NYPD), Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and New York City Emergency Medical Service (EMS), answer calls to mobilize. The response becomes the largest emergency mobilization in the city’s history. During the rescue operation, 88 firefighters, 35 police officers, and one EMS worker suffer injuries, almost all from smoke inhalation.
  • Rams Yousef Flees the Country

    He uses a fake passport to flee to Pakistan.
  • South Tower Reopens

    With a crew of 2,700 working around the clock to clean and repair the towers, the World Trade Center’s South Tower reopens less than a month after the bombing.
  • North Tower Reopens

    Five weeks after the bombing and two weeks after the South Tower reopens its doors to tenants, the North Tower follows suit. In total, the restoration of both towers costs $250 million.
  • Port Authority Begins Safety and Security Upgrades

    Port Authority Begins Safety and Security Upgrades
    The Port Authority bans public parking in the underground garage, installs bollards around the periphery of the complex, and begins to re-fireproof steel in the towers, among other changes. They aimed to make evacuations faster, safer, and more efficient and worked to reduce evacuation time to less than one hour. Security IDs are now required to check into the front desk.
  • FBI Adds Ramzi Yousef to Most Wanted List

    FBI Adds Ramzi Yousef to Most Wanted List
    The FBI adds him to its Most Wanted list on April 21, 1993. Over the next two years, Yousef will add to his résumé of terrorist activity, including an assassination attempt against the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the bombing of an aircraft to test a larger plot to blow up 11 American commercial airliners over the Pacific, and planned assassinations of U.S. President William J. Clinton and Pope John Paul II.
  • Ramzi Yousef Captured in Pakistan

    Istaique Parker, an associate of Ramzi Yousef's living in Pakistan, contacts the United States embassy in Islamabad to offer himself as an informant.
  • Ramzi Yousef Makes First Court Appearance

    Ramzi Yousef Makes First Court Appearance
    Charged with 11 counts, Ramzi Yousef enters a plea of not guilty in his first appearance in federal district court in New York City. He faces two separate trials: one for his involvement in the Bojinka plot and one for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In opening statements during the World Trade Center bombing trial, prosecutors tell the jury that Yousef wanted to “send a message to Americans that they were at war.”
  • Memorial Dedicated to Bombing Victims

    Memorial Dedicated to Bombing Victims
    A memorial fountain is erected on the World Trade Center’s Austin J. Tobin Plaza, directly above the site of the explosion. New York City–based artist Elyn Zimmerman designs the memorial, which follows the creation of a temporary memorial by Port Authority staff in March 1993. Arrayed around the fountain are the names of the six victims: John DiGiovanni, Robert Kirkpatrick, Stephen A. Knapp, William Macko, Wilfredo Mercado, and Monica Rodriguez Smith and her unborn child.
  • Antiterrorism Bill Becomes Law
    The U.S. government passes the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The law seeks to “deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, [and] provide for an effective death penalty.”
  • Judge Sentences Ramzi Yousef

    Judge Sentences Ramzi Yousef
    A jury finds Ramzi Yousef guilty for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing of 1993. Ramzi Yousef declares, “Yes, I am a terrorist, and I am proud of it. And I support terrorism so long as it was against the United States government and against Israel.” Judge Kevin T. Duffy of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York sentences Yousef to life in prison plus 240 years, factoring in the combined life expectancies of the six people killed in the 1993 bombing.
  • September 11th Attack

    On a clear, sunny day, September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists aboard three hijacked passenger planes carried out coordinated suicide attacks against the World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing everyone on board the planes and nearly 3,000 people on the ground. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing all on board, after passengers and crew attempted to wrest control from the hijackers.
  • 7:59 am

    American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, takes off from Boston’s Logan International Airport en route to Los Angeles.
  • 8:14 am

    United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people aboard, takes off from Boston; it is also headed to Los Angeles.
  • 8:19 am

    Flight attendants aboard Flight 11 alert ground personnel that the plane has been hijacked; American Airlines notifies the FBI. [Transcript Link]
  • 8:20 am

    American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C. The Boeing 757 is headed to Los Angeles with 64 people aboard.
  • 8:41 am

    United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard, takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, around the time of the other hijacked flights.
  • 8:47 am

    Within seconds, NYPD and FDNY forces dispatch units to the World Trade Center, while Port Authority Police Department officers on site begin immediate evacuation of the North Tower. [Transcript]
  • 8:50 am

    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush that a plane has hit the World Trade Center; the president is visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida at the time.
  • 9:03 am

    Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building [Video Link]
  • 9:08 am

    The FAA bans all takeoffs of flights going to New York City or through the airspace around the city.
  • 9:21 am

    The Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
  • 9:24

    The FAA notified NEADS of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 after some passengers and crew aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.
  • 9:31 am

    Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an “apparent terrorist attack on our country.”
  • 9:42 am

    For the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights over or bound for the continental United States. Some 3,300 commercial flights and 1,200 private planes are guided to airports in Canada and the United States over the next two-and-a-half hours.
  • 9:45 am

    Amid escalating rumors of other attacks, the White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated (along with numerous other high-profile buildings, landmarks, and public spaces).
  • 9:59 am

  • 10:28 am

    The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11. [Video Link]
    [Video Link]
  • 1:00 pm

    From a U.S. Air Force base in Louisiana, President Bush announces that U.S. military forces are on high alert worldwide.
  • 2:51 pm

    The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York and Washington, D.C.
  • 5:20 pm

    The 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapses after burning for hours; the building had been evacuated in the morning, and there are no casualties, though the collapse forces rescue workers to flee for their lives.
  • 6:58 pm

    President Bush returns to the White House after stops at military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska.
  • 8:30 pm

    President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks “evil, despicable acts of terror” and declaring that America, its friends, and allies would “stand together to win the war against terrorism.”
  • 9/11 Timeline Video

  • Stories From 9/11: Pentagon Employee Bruce Powers

  • 8:24 am

    Hijacker Mohammed Atta makes the first of two accidental transmissions from Flight 11 to ground control.
    8:24 A.M.: “We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you’ll be okay. We are returning to the airport.”
    Seconds later: “Nobody move. Everything will be okay. If you try to make any moves, you’ll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.”
    8:34 A.M.: “Nobody move please. We are going back to the airport. Don't try to make any stupid moves.”
  • 8:40 am

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) about the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. In response, NEADS scrambles two fighter planes located at Cape Cod’s Otis Air National Guard Base to locate and tail Flight 11; they are not yet in the air when Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower.
  • 8:46 am

    Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building. [Video Link]
    First-Person Accounts:
    [Video Link]
  • 9:02 am

    After initially instructing tenants of the WTC’s South Tower to remain in the building, Port Authority officials broadcast orders to evacuate both towers via the public address system; an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are already in the process of evacuating. [First Hand Account]
    “I literally thought for a moment... I was I going to have to do what I just saw people doing... jump?"
  • 9:37 am

    Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building. [Transcript]
  • 10:07 am

    After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
  • 11:02 am

    Mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls for the evacuation of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street, including more than 1 million residents, workers, and tourists, as efforts continue throughout the afternoon to search for survivors at the WTC site. [Video Link]
  • 12:30 pm

    Group of 14 Survivors Located in Ruins of North Tower’s Stairwell B
  • 2:30 pm

    Rescue Efforts Continue at the World Trade Center Site Within hours of the attacks, some rescue workers and journalists begin referring to the scene of mass destruction at the World Trade Center site as Ground Zero, a term typically used to describe devastation caused by an atomic bomb.
  • 3:00 pm

    FDNY Rescues Survivor at World Trade Center Site Rescuers free Port Authority employee Pasquale Buzzelli from the rubble of the North Tower. Buzzelli had been in the process of evacuating the North Tower when the building began to collapse from above. Situated somewhere between the 22nd and 13th floors, Buzzelli crouches into a fetal position and, hours later, wakes up on a slab in the building debris, 15 feet above the ground.
  • 10:30 pm

    Around this time, rescuers locate PAPD Officer William Jimeno and PAPD Sergeant John McLoughlin, injured but alive in the debris of the World Trade Center. They free Officer Jimeno after three hours of dangerous tunneling work. Sergeant McLoughlin’s rescue will take another eight hours.
    Workers will extricate the 18th survivor, Genelle Guzman, on the afternoon of September 12. She will be the last person rescued. [Video Link]
  • Clearing the Perimeter

    The New York City Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) work to clear the streets around the perimeter of the World Trade Center site. Personnel remove crushed cars, debris, and other large obstacles to allow passage of emergency crews and construction equipment heading to the site. Companies such as Con Edison and Verizon endeavor to restore power and communications services in lower Manhattan.
  • Agencies Act

    Agencies Act Members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) search for survivors while fighting the fires that burn beneath the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center. The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) provides engineering and construction support to the FDNY in this early period and later oversees the entire recovery operation at the site.
  • Ground Zero

    For nearly a year after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, workers continued to remove debris and recover bodies from the ruins of the Twin Towers at Lower Manhattan’s former World Trade Center complex. The 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011.
    [Video Link]
  • Searching for Survivors

    The day after the horrific events of September 11, thousands of construction workers, first responders, and self-dispatched volunteers converge at Ground Zero to search for survivors, improvising “bucket brigades” to remove debris from the mountainous pile formed by the collapse of the World Trade Center.
    At 12:30 p.m., rescuers free Genelle Guzman from the wreckage.
  • Fighting Fires at the Pentagon

    Fires continue to burn along the Pentagon's roof. As the Arlington County Fire Department and firefighters from other regional firehouses battle the blaze, many U.S. Department of Defense employees return to work in the unaffected half of the building. U.S. President George W. Bush visits the Pentagon to thank first responders and others who have arrived to assist. By early evening, the fire is controlled but not completely extinguished.
  • Discovering the Ground Zero Cross

    Volunteer Local 731 construction worker Frank Silecchia finds a steel crossbeam in the rubble of 6 World Trade Center. The steel, which comes to be known as the "Ground Zero Cross," becomes a locus for interfaith religious services and a solace to some workers. It will be moved to different locations as recovery work continues at the World Trade Center site.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush Visits Ground Zero

    President Bush visits Ground Zero to thank workers and volunteers. During his visit, he gives an impromptu speech. When a worker calls out "I can't hear you," President Bush responds, "I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"
  • Last Federal Rescue Team Leaves the World Trade Center Site

    The last Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue team leaves the World Trade Center site. The official mission of the many workers who remain on site shifts to recovery. As remains are recovered, symbolic protocols emerge around the act of removing them from the site.
  • Road Open

    Workers complete the making of road to access​ the World Trade Center site.
  • Memorial Service Held at Ground Zero

    The City of New York City organizes its first official memorial service for victims’ families at Ground Zero. Thousands attend this interfaith service, which takes place on Church Street. Religious leaders offer benedictions and a number of musicians perform. Recovery work stops for this ceremony.
  • Last Column Ceremony Marks the End of Recovery

    The last column of the World Trade Center is removed, marking the end of recovery. After 1.8 million tons of debris and 9 months later, there were no deaths from the recovery process
  • Last Column Ceremony Marks the End of Recovery

    After 1.8 million tons of debris and 9 months later there were no deaths from the recovery process.
  • National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Dedicated

    On the 10th anniversary of the attacks, the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center is dedicated in a ceremony for victims’ families. It opens to the public the next day. The memorial, with its two reflecting pools and rows of swamp white oak trees, was designed by architect Michael Arad with landscape architects Peter Walker Partners. It commemorates the 2,977 victims of 9/11, plus the six victims of the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center.
  • National September 11 Memorial Museum Dedicated

    The 9/11 Memorial Museum welcomes its first visitors. An aboveground pavilion provides the entry to the Museum, which occupies the space below the Memorial that opened in 2011. Core exhibitions are located seven stories below ground​ at bedrock, where recovery workers concluded their excavation of the World Trade Center site in May 2002.