Eight months after two hijacked jets tore into Manhattan’s lofty Twin Towers and toppled them, New Yorkers marked the end of the recovery effort with a sombre ceremony at Ground Zero. The service, marking the official end to the clean-up, got underway the exact moment the second of the 110-story World Trade Centre towers collapsed after being hit on September 11, 2001 — with 20 peals of a silver fire bell, the traditional number sounded when a firefighter has died. The other tower, also struck by a hijacked airliner, had collapsed moments earlier. More than 2,800 people were killed in the New York attacks. The skyscrapers’ last-standing steel girder, cut down and draped in an American flag, slowly left the pit on the back of a flatbed truck, followed by an empty flag draped stretcher — memorialising some 2,000 victims whose remains have never been found — which had been carried silently by firemen to a waiting ambulance for its final journey.
Other important events:
1814 First Treaty of Paris is signed between European countries and France.
1854 Nebraska and Kansas are established as American territories.
1904 Japanese forces occupy Dalmy (Darien) in Russia.
1911 Ray Harroun wins the first long-distance auto race in Indianapolis.
1925 British police kill 13 demonstrators in Shanghai, provoking months of demonstrations and boycott of British goods in China.
1957 Britain relaxes its restrictions on trade with China.
1961 Rafael Trujillo, dictator of Dominican Republic, is assassinated by machine-gun fire while driving.
1966 US launches Surveyor 1 to Moon.
1967 Egyptian President Jamal Abdul Nasser and Jordan’s King Hussain sign a defence treaty.
1975 European Space Agency is formed.
1982 Spain becomes 16th member of Nato.
1989 Student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing erect a 33-foot statue they call the ‘Goddess of Democracy’.
1991 Car bomb explodes near Civil Guard barracks in Vic, Spain, killing at least nine people and injuring 50.
1992 UN Security Council imposes trade sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro.
1994 Israel releases hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as part of its autonomy agreement with the PLO.
1998 A powerful earthquake kills about 5,000 in northern Afghanistan.
2001 Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is awarded the Great International Cannes Prize in Cannes.
2002 The National Liberation Front headed by Prime Minister Ali Benflis sweeps Algeria’s legislative elections.
2003 The last Air France Concorde commercial flight for New York is left Paris, an emotional end to a pioneering chapter in aviation.
2006 UAE diplomat Naji Al Nuaimi is released in Iraq after two weeks kidnap.
2007 Ban on smoking in public places in Dubai is enforced.
2008 Zimbabwe’s main opposition group declares itself the country’s new ruling party.
2012 Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for arming and supporting rebels in Sierra Leone.
2014 Bolivia launches the world’s highest cable railway line, carrying passengers from city to city at up to 4,000 metres above sea level.
2016 A special court in Senegal sentences former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre to life in prison for war crimes.