Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. or Against Americans
The following is a partial timeline listing terrorist attacks against the United States and Americans living either in the U.S. or abroad.
Sept. 16, 1920 – New York City: The lunch rush was just beginning as a non-descript man driving a cart pressed an old horse forward on a mid-September day in 1920. He stopped the animal and its heavy load in front of the U.S. Assay Office, across from the J. P. Morgan building in the heart of Wall Street. The driver got down and quickly disappeared into the crowd. Within minutes, the cart exploded into a hail of metal fragments—immediately killing more than 30 people and injuring some 300. Bolshevist or anarchist terrorists believed responsible, but the crime was never solved.
Jan. 24, 1975 – New York City: bomb set off in historic Fraunces Tavern killed four and injured more than fifty people. A Puerto Rican nationalist group (FALN) claimed responsibility, and police tied thirteen other bombings to the group.
Nov. 4, 1979 – Tehran, Iran: Iranian radical students seized the U.S. embassy, taking 66 hostages. 14 were later released. The remaining 52 were freed after 444 days on the day of President Reagan’s inauguration.
April 18, 1983 – Beirut, Lebanon: U.S. embassy destroyed in suicide car-bomb attack; 63 dead, including 17 Americans. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Oct. 23, 1983 – Beirut, Lebanon: Shiite suicide bombers exploded truck near U.S. military barracks at Beirut airport, killing 241 Marines. Minutes later a second bomb killed 58 French paratroopers in their barracks in West Beirut.
Dec. 12, 1983 – Kuwait City, Kuwait: Shiite truck bombers attacked the U.S. embassy and other targets, killing 5 and injuring 80.
Sept. 20, 1984 – Beirut, Lebanon: truck bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy annex, killing 24, including 2 U.S. military.
June 14, 1985 – Beirut, Lebanon: TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome hijacked to Beirut by Hezbollah terrorists and held for 17 days. A U.S. Navy diver executed.
Oct. 7, 1985 – Mediterranean Sea: gunmen attack Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro. One U.S. tourist killed. Hijacking linked to Libya.
Dec. 18, 1985 – Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria: airports in Rome and Vienna were bombed, killing 20 people, 5 of whom were Americans. Bombing linked to Libya.
April 2, 1986 – Athens, Greece: A bomb exploded aboard TWA flight 840 en route from Rome to Athens, killing four Americans and injuring nine.
April 5, 1986 – West Berlin, Germany: Libyans bombed a disco frequented by U.S. servicemen, killing two and injuring hundreds.
Dec. 21, 1988 – Lockerbie, Scotland: N.Y.-bound Pan-Am Boeing 747 exploded in flight from a terrorist bomb and crashed into Scottish village, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on the ground. Passengers included thirty-five Syracuse University students and many U.S. military personnel
Feb. 26, 1993 – New York City: bomb exploded in basement garage of World Trade Center, killing 6 and injuring at least 1,040 others.
April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City: A car bomb exploded outside federal office building, collapsing wall and floors. 168 people were killed, including 19 children and 1 person who died in rescue effort. Over 220 buildings sustained damage. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols later convicted in the anti-government plot to avenge the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Tex., exactly 2 years earlier.
Nov. 13, 1995 – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: car bomb exploded at U.S. military headquarters, killing five U.S. military servicemen.
June 25, 1996 – Dhahran, Saudi Arabia: truck bomb exploded outside Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds of others.
Aug. 7, 1998 – Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: truck bombs exploded almost simultaneously near two U.S. embassies, killing 224 (213 in Kenya and 11 in Tanzania) and injuring about 4,500
Oct. 12, 2000 – Aden, Yemen: U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole heavily damaged when a small boat loaded with explosives blew up alongside it. 17 sailors killed. Linked to Osama bin Laden, or members of al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Sept. 11, 2001 – New York City, Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa.: Hijackers crashed two commercial jets into twin towers of World Trade Center; two more hijacked jets were crashed into the Pentagon and a field in rural Pa. Total dead and missing numbered 2,992: 2,749 in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon, 40 in Pa., and 19 hijackers.
June 1, 2009 – Little Rock, Arkansas: Abdulhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting center. One is killed and the other is wounded.
Dec. 25, 2009 : Enroute to Detroit: A Nigerian man on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit attempted to ignite an explosive device hidden in his underwear. The explosive device that failed to detonate was a mixture of powder and liquid that did not alert security personnel in the airport.
Dec. 30, 2009 – Iraq: A suicide bomber kills eight Americans civilians, seven of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan. It’s the deadliest attack on the agency since 9/11. The attacker is reportedly a double agent from Jordan who was acting on behalf of al-Qaeda.
May 1, 2010 – New York City: A car bomb is discovered in Times Square after smoke is seen coming from a vehicle. The bomb was ignited, but failed to detonate and was disarmed before it could cause any harm.
May 10, 2010 – Jacksonville, Florida: A pipe bomb explodes while approximately sixty Muslims are praying in the mosque. The attack causes no injuries.
Oct. 29, 2010 – Yemen: Two packages are found on separate cargo planes. Each package contains a bomb consisting of 11-14 oz of plastic explosives and a detonating mechanism. The bombs are discovered as a result of intelligence received from Saudi Arabia’s security chief. The packages, bound from Yemen to the United States, are discovered at en route at stopovers, one in England and one in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Jan. 17, 2011 – Spokane, Washington: A pipe bomb was discovered along the route of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial March. The bomb, a “viable device” was set up to spray marchers with shrapnel and to cause multiple casualties. It was defused without any injuries.
September 11, 2012 – By all definitions, an act of war on U.S. soil. Four Americans were murdered at the U.S. Embassy including the Ambassador.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
When the heads of office workers pop up over cubicle walls in response to a loud voice or noise.
1776 - Members of the Continental Congress began signing the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence. Fifty-five members of the Continental Congress signed the document in Philadelphia. It had originally been approved on July 4th.
1782 - George Washington created the Honorary Badge of Distinction.
1790 – The first US Census is conducted. The population was 3,929,214.
1791 – Samuel Briggs and his son, Samuel Briggs, Jr., became the first father-son pair to receive a joint patent — for their nail-making machine.
1819 – The first parachute jump from a balloon was made by Charles Guille in New York City.
1824 – “The New York Mirror and Ladies Literary Gazette” was founded by George Pope.
1824 - Fifth Avenue was opened in New York City.
1832 – The Illinois militia under General Henry Atkinson massacred Sauk Indian men, women and children who were followers of Black Hawk at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin.
1847 - William A. Leidesdorff launched the first steam boat in San Francisco Bay.
1858 – First street mailboxes-Boston, Mass.
1861 – The United States Congress passed the first income tax. The revenues were intended for the war effort against the South. The tax was never enacted.
1862 – Civil War: The US Army Ambulance Corps was established by Maj. Gen. George McClellan.
1862 – Civil War: Union General John Pope captured Orange Court House, Virginia.
1864 – Second Saratoga Racetrack (NY) opens .
1865 - The C.S.S. Shenandoah, still searching the Pacific for Yankee whaling ships, is finally informed by a British vessel that the South had lost the war.
1874 - Gold was discovered in the Black Hills of western South Dakota during an expedition led by Colonel Custer. The land belonged to the Sioux but was invaded by prospectors. Sioux leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull retaliated.
1876 – Frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed in Deadwood, SD. The poker hand, which included a pair of aces and a pair of eights, became known as the Dead Man’s Hand. Jack McCall was later hanged for the shooting.
1887 - Barbed wire was patented by many people including Rowell Hodge. It was originally designed by Michael Kelly and the strongest patent was and is Joseph Glidden’s U.S. patent issued November 24, 1874. His patent survived court challenges from other inventors. Joseph Glidden prevailed in litigation and in sales. Today, it remains the most familiar style of barbed wire.
1892 – Charles A. Wheeler patented the first escalator.
1904 – Patent for a “glass shaping machine” was granted to Michael Owen.
1907 – Walter Johnson pitched his first professional baseball game for the Washington Senators.
1909 – First Lincoln head pennies minted. The first Lincoln cents were released into circulation. A mad dash ensued, and all available pieces were quickly scooped up. The first pennies were minted. with 95% copper and was the first US coin to depict the likeness of a president.
1909 – Army Air Corps formed as Army takes first delivery from Wright Brothers. The specification required the “Heavier-than-air Flying Machine” to carry two people, fly 40 miles per hour, make a one-hour endurance flight and be portable by Army wagons.
1917 - Royal Naval Air Service officer E.H. Dunning became the first pilot to land on the deck of a moving ship. He performed the tricky maneuver by flying his Sopwith Pup alongside the HMS Furious as it steamed at high speed into the wind.
1921 - A jury in Chicago acquitted several former members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team and two others of conspiring to defraud the public in the notorious ”Black Sox” Scandal.
1922 – Alexander Graham Bell died.
1926 – The first demonstration of the Vitaphone system. The system was the combining of picture and sound for movies. John Barrymore and Mary Astor starred in the first showing.
1929 - Warren G. Harding, the 29th president of the United States, died in San Francisco. He died of a stroke at the age of 58.
1934 - With the death of German President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler became absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Führer.
1934 – First airplane train, plane tows three mail gliders behind it.
1938 – First test of a yellow baseball (Dodgers vs Cardinals). Johnny Mize hits one of Freddie Fitzsimmons’s knuckleballs for the first “yellow” HR.
1939 - Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.
1939 – U.S. President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act. The act prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns. It was named after Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico, the law was officially known as An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities.
1941 – President Roosevelt, determined to keep the United States out of the war while helping those allies already mired in it, approves $1 billion in Lend-Lease loans to the Soviet Union. The terms: no interest and repayment did not have to start until five years after the war was over.
1941 – The summary of an FBI probe of GM senior executives with links to Adolph Hitler found collusion with Germany by James D. Mooney, president of GM Overseas Corp.
1943 - World War II: A Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being cut in half by a Japanese destroyer off the Solomon Islands. Two of his crew were killed but thanks to Kennedy’s efforts, eleven survived.
1943 – World War II: In Poland at the Nazi Treblinka concentration camp some 600 prisoners staged an uprising and fled into the woods. Only 40 survived.
1943 – World War II: The ten-day Allied bombing of Hamburg, Germany, ended.
1943 – World War II: American naval forces bombard Kiska Island, unaware that the Japanese garrison has been evacuated.
1944 – On Guam, US forces make progress in attacks on the west side of the island but American attacks on the east side are repulse by the Japanese.
1945 – World War II: During the night (August 1-2), 820 US B-29 Superfortress bombers drop a record total of 6632 tons of bombs on five Japanese cities including Hachioji, Nagaoka, Mito, Toyama and the petroleum center of Kawasaki. Most of Toyama is obliterated. Also, Americans claim to have sunk 26 ships in the raids.
1945 – CHART TOPPERS – “The More I See You” by Dick Haymes, “Dream” by The Pied Pipers, “Sentimental Journey” by The Les Brown Orchestra (vocal: Doris Day) and “Oklahoma Hills” by Jack Guthrie all topped the charts.
1950 – Korean War: Amphibious force ships land the Marine First Provisional Brigade at Pusan helping to save this last area of South Korea from capture.
1950 - The Ford Motor Company created the Defense Products Division in order to handle the large number of government contracts related to the Korean War.
1952 – “Half As Much” by Rosemary Clooney topped the charts.
1953 – CHART TOPPERS – “I’m Walking Behind You” by Eddie Fisher, “No Other Love” by Perry Como, “Ruby” by Richard Hayman and “Rub-A-Dub-Dub” by Hank Thompson all topped the charts.
1956 – Albert Woolson (109), last Civil War veteran of Union army, died.
1958 – “Hard Headed Woman” by Elvis Presley topped the charts.
1959 – Billy Bruton of the Milwaukee Braves hits three triples in an 11-5 win over the Cardinals. Two of the triples are with the bases loaded, the only time it happened in the National League in the 20th century.
1961 – CHART TOPPERS – “Tossin’ and Turnin’” by Bobby Lewis, “I Like It Like That” by Chris Kenner, “Dum Dum” by Brenda Lee and “Heartbreak U.S.A.” by Kitty Wells all topped the charts.
1962 – Robert Zimmerman legally changed his name to Bob Dylan.
1962 – NASA civilian test pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 to 106,960 feet (still in stratosphere). Walker made the first NASA X-15 flight on March 25, 1960. He flew the research aircraft 24 times and achieved its fastest speed and highest altitude. He attained a speed of 4,104 mph (Mach 5.92) during a flight on June 27, 1962, and reached an altitude of 354,300 feet (in the range of Aurora Borealis 108km) on August 22, 1963 (his last X-15 flight). He was the first man to pilot the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) that was used to develop piloting and operational techniques for lunar landings.
1963 – Eric Clapton quits The Roosters to form Casey Jones and the Engineers.
1964 - North Vietnamese torpedo boats attack the destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731)in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
1965 – Morley Safer’s sends first Vietnam report indicating we are losing. He had filmed the destruction of the Vietnamese village of Cam Ne by US Marines.
1966 – The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School (later Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science) is chartered in Los Angeles. It is the only African-American focused medical school west of the Mississippi.
1967 – The crime and race drama “In the Heat of the Night,” starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, opened in New York.
1969 – CHART TOPPERS – “In the Year 2525” by Zager & Evans, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James & The Shondells, “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” by Jr. Walker & The All Stars and “Johnny B. Goode” by Buck Owens all topped the charts.
1969 – Bob Dylan made a surprise appearance at the Minnesota Hibbing High School ten-year reunion.
1969 – Richard Nixon visited Romania becoming the first president to visit a communist nation since the start of the Cold War.
1971 - The Nixon administration officially acknowledges that the CIA is maintaining a force of 30,000 ‘irregulars’ fighting the Communist Pathet Lao in Laos.
1974 – John Dean was sentenced to 1-4 years in prison for his involvement in the Watergate cover-up.
1975 – “One of These Nights” by the Eagles topped the charts.
1975 – Rhode Island sets state record high temperature of 104° in Providence.
1975 – Massachusetts sets state record high temperature of 107° in New Bedford and Chester.
1977 – CHART TOPPERS – “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” by Andy Gibb, “I’m in You” by Peter Frampton, “My Heart Belongs to Me” by Barbra Streisand and “It was Almost like a Song” by Ronnie Milsap all topped the charts.
1980 – “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John topped the charts.
1980 – Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns wins the WBA Welterweight title.
1982 – Jackie Robinson is honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a commemorative stamp, the fifth in its Black Heritage USA series.
1983 – U.S. House of Representatives approved a law that designated the third Monday of January would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The law was signed by President Reagan on November 2.
1984 – “Peanuts” became the first comic strip to appear in 2,000 newspapers.
1985 – CHART TOPPERS – “Every time You Go Away “by Paul Young, “Shout” by Tears For Fears, “You Give Good Love” by Whitney Houston and “Love Don’t Care (Whose Heart It Breaks)” by Earl Thomas Conley all topped the charts.
1985 – A Delta jumbo jet crashed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport during landing with 137 people killed.
1986 – “Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera topped the charts.
1987 – “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was re-released. The film was 50 years old at the time of its re-release.
1987 – Michael Andretti runs fastest Indy car race in history (171.49 MPH).
1988 - U.S. military investigators concluded that “crew errors” were the cause of the shooting down of an Iranian passenger jet on July 3, 1988.
1989 – NASA confirmed Voyager 2′s discovery of three more moons of Neptune.
1990 - Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate; the Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm. Iraq claimed that Kuwait had driven down oil prices by exceeding production quotas set by OPEC.
1991 - UNSCOM uncovers a major Iraqi biological weapons program, including seed stocks of three biological warfare agents and three potential warfare strains.
1992 – At the Barcelona Summer Olympics, American Jackie Joyner-Kersee repeated as heptathlon champion.
1995 – Hurricane “Erin” came ashore near Vero Beach, Florida; the storm was blamed for eleven deaths.
1997 – Two fires in San Diego burned out of control and destroyed 11 homes, 30 cars, 15 other structures and caused the crash of an air tanker dousing the flames.
1998 – In Indiana a stolen pickup carrying a homemade bomb crashed into the Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Lafayette. The driver escaped and there were no injuries.
1999 - The Clinton administration declared West Virginia and parts of 5 other eastern states agricultural disaster areas due to heat and drought.
2000 – Pres. Clinton delayed the federal execution of Juan Raul Garza, convicted in 1993 for killing three men in Texas in 1990-1991. Garza, a Texas drug kingpin, was executed June 19th, 2001.
2000 – In San Francisco a jury awarded seventeen bakery workers of Interstate Brands Corp. $120 million for racial discrimination, more than ten million dollars apiece.
2001 – Robert S. Mueller (56), former US attorney in San Francisco, won Senate confirmation to become the FBI director.
2001 - Solid Democratic opposition sank President Bush’s nomination of Mary Sheila Gall to be chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
2002 – A federal judge ruled the U.S. government had to reveal the names of people detained in the investigation of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; an appeals court later sided with federal authorities.
2002 – In Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster declared a state of emergency after West Nile virus killed four residents and infected another fifty-eight.
2003 – Gov. Davis signed a nearly $100 million budget for California and blamed Republicans for the budget’s painful cuts.
2004 - Police in Salt Lake City arrested Mark Hacking, whose wife, Lori, had disappeared, on a charge of aggravated murder. On October 1, 2004, searchers found human remains in the Salt Lake County landfill.
2004 – President Bush proposed creating a national intelligence director in line with the Sept 11 Commission recommendations.
2005 - Seattle pitcher Ryan Franklin was suspended 10 days for violating baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
2005 – A federal appeals court ruled that a 117-year-old policy of admitting only Native Hawaiians to the exclusive Kamehameha Schools amounts to unlawful racial discrimination.
2006 - Five days after being pulled over by police, actor-director Mel Gibson was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and having an open container of liquor in his car.
2006 - AOL shifted to an advertising strategy as customers cancelled their dial-up service and jumped to high-speed Internet connections.
2007 - US federal agents arrested dozens of doctors accused of obtaining medical licenses through fraud or bribery, carrying out sweeping raids across Puerto Rico. The FDA accused 88 doctors of falsified credentials.
2007 - A Marine Corps squad leader was convicted at Camp Pendleton, Calif., of murdering an Iraqi man during a frustrated search for an insurgent. Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
2007 – US federal agents arrested dozens of doctors accused of obtaining medical licenses through fraud or bribery, carrying out sweeping raids across Puerto Rico. The FDA accused 88 doctors of falsified credentials.
2008 – In Santa Cruz, CA, two firebombs exploded outside the homes of two University of California – Santa Cruz biologists. They were similar to some used in the past by animal rights activists.
2008 - The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that due to new tracking methods 40% more people are infected by the HIV virus than was previosly believed.
2010 – President Barack Obama said the United States will end its combat mission in Iraq as scheduled on August 31 despite a recent flare-up in violence.
2010 – The US government said BP’s ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico gushed an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil, making it the largest accidental oil spill of all time.
2010 – The US House ethics committee said California Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, will face a trial for her 2009 role in steering federal funds to a bank she is personally connected.
2012 – The Treasury Department’s inspector general reported in August that the IRS doled out more than $5 billion in fraudulent income tax returns in 2011 (owing to its mission to provide refunds promptly without first vetting the claims). The agency “refunded” $3.3 million to a single address in Lansing, Mich. (supposedly the home of 2,137 different tax filers) and nearly $4 million to three Florida addresses (518 to one in Tampa, 741 to one in Belle Glade, and 703 to a post office box in Orlando). In all, refunds were claimed by, among others, 105,000 dead people.
1754 – Pierre Charles L’Enfant, French-born American architect and engineer who designed the plan for city of Washington, D.C.
1820 – John Tyndall, Irish-born English physicist.
1835 – Elisha Gray, American inventor who invented the telephone at about the same time as did Alexander Graham Bell.
1892 – Jack Leonard Warner, American movie mogul.
1924 – Carroll O’Connor, American Emmy Award-winning actor.
1924 – James Baldwin, American essayist, novelist, and playwright.
No actions resulting in the Medal of Honor occurred this day.