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Library of Virginia, Autograph Album (First Five Entries), September 11, 2002


Materials in the Library of Virginia’s collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; enslaved or free status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation. 


On September 11, 2001, terrorists intentionally crashed two passenger airplanes into the World Trade Center in New York City, and one jetliner into the Pentagon in Arlington. A fourth airliner crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers and crew attempted to retake control.

One year later, a ceremony was held at the Library of Virginia to commemorate the tragedy. The event included a reading of the Bill of Rights and a rare public exhibition of Virginia's copy of the original text. This is a page of an autograph album signed by visitors and Library employees, recording their thoughts, concerns for the victims and their families, and hopes and dreams for the future.

You can find more resources to commemorate and learn about this even with your students from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

A timeline of the events of the day is available from

Citation: Library of Virginia, Autograph Album (First Five Pages), 2002 September 11, Accession 40165, State Government Records Collection, Library of Virginia.


VS.I, VS.9, USII.1, USII.8, USII.9, VUS.1, VUS.15

Suggested Questions

In Their Shoes: What message would you have added to the album?

Current Connections: Now, many years after September 11, is there another event that you would want memorialized in the same way? Why or why not?

Analyze: Research media coverage of the original events of September 11th and contrast the coverage with the 5 and 10 year anniversaries of the event. How have tone, terminology, etc. changed?