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Autograph Album (First Five Entries), Library of Virginia, 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 the morning of September 11, 2001, four flights were hijacked by members of the Islamic extremist group, al- Qaeda, in a coordinated attack against the United States. All four hijacked planes were scheduled to be cross-country flights from the East Coast to California. American Airlines Flight 11 (81 passengers, 11 crew, 5 hijackers) and United Airlines Flight 175 (56 passengers, 9 crew, 5 hijackers) left Logan International Airport in Boston, MA bound for Los Angeles. Both were hijacked and were crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Flight 11 struck the north tower and Flight 175 struck the south tower. The impact of the planes and extreme damage caused towers to fall within two hours. The Capitol Building or the White House were believed to be another target of the attack. United Airlines Flight 93 (37 passengers, 7 crew, 4 hijackers) left Newark International Airport bound for San Francisco and was hijacked over Ohio. Upon hearing of the other attacks, the passengers revolted against the hijackers and the plane was crashed in Shanksville, PA. American Airlines Flight 77 (58 passengers, 6 crew, 5 hijackers) left Washington Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles and was crashed into the Pentagon. There was a total of 2,996 victims of the September 11th attack including the 19 al- Qaeda hijackers.

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. The library provided an opportunity for visitors and Library employees to autograph an album to record their thoughts, concerns for the victims and families, and their write about their hopes and dreams for the future.

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

Find more resources to commemorate and learn about this event with your students from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and from the National September 11 Memorial and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.


VS.I, VS.9, USII.1, USII.8, USII.9, VUS.1, VUS.14

Suggested Questions

Preview Activity

Look at It: Look at the document, what is the purpose of the album?

Post Activities

Be the Journalist: You are a journalism student writing a short article on the impacts of 9/11. What fact would you include? How would describe the damage to the Pentagon to individuals who might not have seen the actual event unfold?

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