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September 11 Attacks: Videos

September 6, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Watch videos about the attacks of 9/11 and the aftermath.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four U.S. commercial airplanes that had taken off with full fuel tanks for the West Coast. The hijackers deliberately crashed the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and onto a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The losses were devastating: A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Watch HISTORY videos below about the devastating attacks on that day and the aftermath.

Remembering 9/11: The Photo Archive

Remembering 9/11: The Photo Archive (TV-PG; 3:37)

9/11 Timeline

9/11 Timeline (TV-PG; 4:45)

Remembering 9/11: The Elevator Motor

Remembering 9/11: The Elevator Motor (TV-PG; 4:36)

The 9/11 Flag: Lost and Found

The 9/11 Flag: Lost and Found (TV-PG; 4:53)

Remembering 9/11: The Ground Zero Cross

Remembering 9/11: The Ground Zero Cross (TV-PG; 3:47)

Remembering 9/11: The Ground Zero Bible

Ground Zero (TV-PG; 3:57)

Remembering 9/11: Karyn’s Wings

Remembering 9/11: Karyn’s Wings (TV-PG; 5:14)

Remembering 9/11: Pentagon Employee Bruce Powers

Stories From 9/11: Pentagon Employee Bruce Powers (TV-PG; 2:29)

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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13 coal miners are trapped in Sago Mine disaster; 12 die

September 6, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

An explosion rocks the Sago Mine in Sago, West Virginia on January 2, 2006. 13 coal miners were trapped, and all but one eventually died. The tragedy, exacerbated by false reports that 12 of the miners had been rescued, brought scrutiny upon the media, the company that owned the mine and the administration of then-president George W. Bush.

The explosion occurred early in the morning of January 2, as two groups of miners entered the mine. The cave-in trapped the first group of 13 inside the mine, and the group behind them soon found the air too contaminated with carbon monoxide for them to attempt a rescue. According to the account of the lone survivor, Randal McCloy, Jr., the trapped miners were equipped with emergency oxygen “rescuers,” but several of them failed to function. As crews above tried and failed to locate the miners, those trapped took emergency action to shield themselves from the fumes but were eventually overcome. McCloy recalled the group praying together and writing letters to their loved ones as, one by one, they lost consciousness.

When rescuers finally reached the miners over 40 hours after the explosion, they found McCloy in critical condition and the others dead. He was rushed to a hospital, where he remained unconscious for days. The source of the rumors is still unknown, but it was widely reported that 12 miners had survived, prompting newspapers and networks across the country to spread the false story of a “miracle.” The national media had quickly descended upon Sago, with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera filming live from outside the mine, and locals later accused the national media of inflicting emotional damage by running with unverified reports.

Just as the source of the false news has not been identified, the cause of the explosion has never been determined. Some believe a lightning strike or seismic activity was to blame, while others suspect sparks from the re-starting of equipment after the New Year’s holiday ignited the explosion. Multiple investigations and hearings sought to determine who was responsible, with many focusing on the fact that the Bush Administration had staffed regulatory positions with former lobbyists and executives from the coal industry. In particular, critics blamed former mining executive Dave Lauriski, Bush’s appointee to lead the Mining Health and Safety Administration, who had struck down a proposed rule requiring mines to maintain two functioning escapeways …read more

Source: HISTORY

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The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect

September 6, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

On the first day of 1994, one of the largest and most significant trade pacts in world history comes into effect. The North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico removed most of the trade barriers between the three countries, but it has been controversial in all three since its inception.

Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to propose a trilateral free trade agreement between the nations of North America. His successor, George H.W. Bush, opened negotiations with Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, which Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney later joined. The goal was to do away with most tariffs and barriers to the movement of people and products across the three countries’ borders. The debate over ratification of the treaty was heated in all three countries, with critics warning that it would have adverse affects on the ability of workers to organize and, as a result, depress wages. There were also environmental concerns, which were addressed by a side deal. All three nations ratified NAFTA in the end, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993. it took effect on New Year’s Day 1994.

The most immediate of all effects of NAFTA was a guerilla uprising in the Mexican state of Chiapas. NAFTA had forced the Mexican government to remove an article from its constitution that protected communal indigenous lands from privatization, viewing it as an intolerable barrier to investment. Rather than assent to the potential selling-off of their lands, the mostly-indigenous Zapatista Army of National Liberation rose up and occupied roughly half of Chiapas overnight, just as the treaty came into effect. The standoff with the Mexican government and de facto rule of the rebels continues to this day.

Since 1994, NAFTA has greatly increased the volume of trade between the three countries. Other effects are disputed, although many credit it with boosting industry in Mexico and small businesses in the United States, while critics often argue that it has hurt Mexican farmers and cost America jobs. In 2016, both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who voted against ratification, made their criticism of NAFTA a major part of their campaigns.

Once in office, Trump forced a re-negotiation of NAFTA. The new arrangement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is somewhat more protectionist and kinder to American industries, most notably pharmaceutical …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Before Drafting the Bill of Rights, James Madison Argued the Constitution Was Fine Without It

September 6, 2019 in History

By Lesley Kennedy

The founding father worried that trying to spell out all of Americans’ rights in a series of amendments could be inherently limiting.

Freedom of speech, religion and the press. The right to assemble, bear arms and due process. These are just some of the first 10 amendments that make up the

Madison and many of the framers also worried that an explicit guarantee of rights would be too limiting, Brettschneider adds.

“They believed the structure of the new Constitution by itself placed limits on government, so they were concerned that by listing some rights, the government might think it had the power to do anything it was not explicitly forbidden from doing,” he says.

Virginians, however, didn’t trust that Article I and Article II would protect their rights, and demanded such a bill, according to Brettschneider. Madison, partly for political survival, eventually campaigned on introducing a Bill of Rights, and won his election against James Monroe.

Tony Williams, senior teaching fellow at the Bill of Rights Institute, says Thomas Jefferson, through a series of letters written from Paris, helped persuade Madison to change his mind, as well.

“A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against any government on earth, general or particular, and what no government should refuse, or rest on inference,” Jefferson wrote to Madison in a letter from December 20, 1787.

But more importantly, Williams says, Madison wanted to quell the opposition of the anti-Federalists to the new government by proposing a Bill of Rights in the First Congress.

“The Federalists had also promised the anti-Federalists amendments protecting rights during the ratification debate, and he wanted to fulfill that promise,” he says.

Madison, tasked with writing the new amendments, addressed some of his concerns by including the Ninth Amendment, that states rights are not limited to those listed in the Constitution, and the 10th Amendment, which limits the federal government’s powers to those granted specifically in the Constitution and its amendments.

“The Bill of Rights are important assertions of natural and civil rights of the individual, and the critical Ninth Amendment is a reminder that the people have other rights not listed in the first eight amendments,” Williams says.

The Virginia Bill of Rights drafted by George Mason and adopted at the 1776 Convention of Delegates.

Drawing on Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, as well as Britain’s Magna Carta and other documents, Madison introduced …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American elected to the U.S. Senate

September 6, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Charles Curtis of Kansas becomes the first Native American to be elected to the United States Senate on January 23, 1907. His tenure later as Herbert Hoover’s vice president made him the highest-ranking Native American ever to serve in the federal government.

Curtis was born in the Kansas Territory shortly before it became his state. His mother, Ellen Papin, was of French, Kaw, Osage and Potawatomi heritage, making him 3/8 Native American. As a child, he learned both French and Kansa, the language of the Kaw people, and spent much of his time on the Kaw reservation. He studied law and opened a practice in Topeka, eventually becoming a prosecutor and securing election to the House of Representatives in 1893.

Curtis’ experience made him a proponent of Native American assimilation into American society. He successfully sponsored the Curtis Act of 1898, a law which stripped many Native American communities of their autonomy and paved the way for the selling of their communal lands to private individuals. Still a member of the Kaw nation, he was entitled to and received an allotment of land when his tribe’s lands were divided up.

As Americans did not directly elect their senators until 1914, Curtis was first elected to the Senate by the Kansas legislature. After the 17th Amendment introduced direct election, the people of Kansas elected him three consecutive times. A gregarious man who valued personal connections, he developed a reputation both as a leader within the Republican Party and as a consensus builder. He held every leadership position during his tenure in the senate and was instrumental in securing passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. In 1923, he sponsored the first of several unsuccessful attempts to pass the Equal Rights Act.

Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover named Curtis as his running mate for the 1928 election, which he won in a landslide. Despite his groundbreaking career, near-unanimous respect from his colleagues, and his commitment to women’s rights, Curtis is often overshadowed by Hoover, whose name became synonymous with the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression.

READ MORE: 20 Rare Photos of Native American Life at the Turn of the Century

…read more

Source: HISTORY