Here’s a test of your nostalgic memory. Do you remember any of these historical events from Septembers past?
September 1, 1939 — Germany launched its Polish campaign, attacking from the west, south and north. The invasion of Poland started the Second World War. Britain and France declared war against Nazi Germany on September 3, while Canada entered the war on September 10.
September 2, 1998 — A runaway weather balloon finally touched down in Finland after a 9,000-kilometre journey. The 25-storey helium-filled balloon was launched in Saskatchewan, drifted across the country and then the Atlantic. Because of this “flight-gone-screwy,” international commercial air traffic had to be rerouted by controllers.
September 3, 1783 — The signing of the Treaty of Paris formally ended the American Revolutionary War.
September 4, 1972 — Mark Spitz won his seventh swimming gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, becoming the first Olympian to win seven gold medals at the same Olympic Games.
September 8, 1900 — The Great Galveston Hurricane, one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes, struck Galveston, Texas, killing at least 6,000 people.
September 11, 2001 — The day that changed the world. Nineteen terrorists walked through security at U.S. airports and hijacked four passenger jets, crashing two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, causing both buildings to collapse shortly afterward. The third jet smashed into the side of the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside when passengers apparently attacked the hijackers.
About 3,500 innocent people lost their lives in those harrowing terrorist acts, including 24 victims who were Canadians.
There is a weird numerical oddity relating to all this which involves the number 11.
• The date of the terrorist attack: 9/11 — 9+1+1 = 11.
• September 11th was the 254th day of the year 2001 — 2+5+4 = 11.
• After September 11/01, there were 111 days left until the end of that year.
• 119 is the telephone area code to Iraq and Iran — 1+1+9 =11.
• The Twin Towers, standing side by side, looked like the number 11.
• The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11.
• Flight 11 had 92 people on board — 9+2 =11.
• Flight 77 had 65 people on board — 6+5 =11.
• The State of New York was the 11th state to enter the Union.
• New York City has 11 letters.
• Afghanistan has 11 letters.
• The Pentagon has 11 letters.
• Ramzi Yousef has 11 letters. He was convicted of orchestrating the 1993 bomb attack on the World Trade Center.
September 15, 1835 —Aboard HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin reached the Galápagos Islands where he began to develop his theories of evolution.
September 20, 1917 — Some Canadian women were allowed to vote in federal elections, thanks to the Military Voters Act that gave the vote to women serving in the military, such as Nursing Sisters. With Royal Assent of the War-time Elections Act, women who were close relatives of men in the armed forces could also vote. They had to be a British subject and over 21.
September 23, 1992 — Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play professional hockey when she joined the men of Tampa Bay Lightning to play the St. Louis Blues. Born in Lac Beauport, Québec, the Canadian athlete started playing hockey at the age of five and excelled at the sport.
September 26, 1957 — West Side Story, a musical written by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, and produced and directed by Jerome Robbins, made its debut on Broadway. The musical made entertainment history by becoming a huge success from a bygone era.