This Day In History, September 11th

What happened on this day in history: The Hope Diamond is stolen during the French Revolution, Al-Qaeda launches the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, and more.

1792: The Hope Diamond Is Stolen

The Hope Diamond, then called the French Blue, is stolen among other crown jewels during the French Revolution. It reappeared in London 20 years later, where the jewel was called the “Hope Diamond” for the first time. Some believe that the Hope Diamond is cursed, as many of its owners, including King Louis XVI, died gruesome deaths.

1857: The Mountain Meadows Massacre Ends

Today In History

Public DomainAn 1873 depiction of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre ends after five days. The attack, which took place in Utah Territory, left between 120 and 140 members of the Baker–Fancher wagon train dead after they were ambushed by a Mormon militia, allegedly joined by Paiute Native Americans. Local Mormons had been seething about anti-Mormon sentiments and rumors had spread that the pioneers were being belligerent as they crossed the territory.

1921: Fatty Arbuckle Is Arrested

Silent film star Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle is arrested following the death of actress Virginia Rappe.

Fatty Arbuckle

Wikimedia CommonsFatty Arbuckle went from being Hollywood’s highest-paid star to its most reviled actor.

Earlier that month, Arbuckle had crossed paths with Virginia Rappe during a party at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel, where a guest claimed that Arbuckle had raped her. Rappe, with a ruptured bladder, died a few days later, but Arbuckle was eventually found not guilty.

1973: Pinochet Leads A Successful Coup In Chile

Augusto Pinochet leads a successful coup in Chile. In the early 1970s, Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean military before launching a coup against Chilean president Salvador Allende. With support from the United States, Pinochet became the de facto dictator of Chile. While in power, Pinochet violently suppressed any opposition, resulting in the execution of 1,200 to 3,200 people, the imprisonment of 80,000 people, and the torture of thousands. Pinochet left office in 1990 but continued to work in Chilean government until his arrest for human rights violations. He died in 2006 while under house arrest.

2001: The 9/11 Attacks Take Place

Woman Looks At Burning Twin Tower

Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty ImagesA woman looks in disbelief as smoke billows from the World Trade Center in New York City.

Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four commercial airplanes in the United States, launching the 9/11 attacks.

Two of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and one into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers managed to overpower the terrorists and retake control. Almost 3,000 people died during the coordinated attacks, which would lead to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

For loved ones of those on the hijacked planes, this event would leave them with absolutely heartbreaking last words, often in the form of phone calls and voicemails. One of the most well known voicemail came from Brian Sweeney, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, the flight that would ultimately crash into the South Tower.