September 11

Today is the 16th Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.  However, that’s not what I’m going to talk about.  Everyone’s talking about that.  Instead, I’m going to talk briefly about some of the other things that have happened on various September 11ths throughout history.


Battle of Stirling Bridge.  William Wallace and Andre de Moray defeat the English.  The Scots met a substantially larger force of English, in particular the English had a much larger force of cavalry.  One of the things that this battle showed was that in the right circumstances, Infantry could be superior to cavalry–a lesson that would take time to percolate through England before it became a potent factor in the Hundred Years War.

The Scots had less than a year to celebrate the fruits of their victory before the Scots and English met again at Falkirk, where the Scots were soundly defeated.  Wallace escaped that battle and his activities are uncertain (a couple of small skirmishes, possible diplomatic mission to France, probably a lot of hiding) before he was finally captured and executed.


Teutonic Knights begin a five-week siege of Vilnius in the Lithuanian Civil War.  The siege would prove unsuccessful, the war a stalemate, and eventually a compromise reached.


Ottoman forces at the Great Siege of Malta retreat retreat from the defending Knights Hospitaller, ending the siege.  And while the Ottomans continued to expand elsewhere, they never attempted to seize Malta again.


Setup for the Greatest Real Estate Swindle in History.  Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan.  He meets with natives.  Later, so the story goes, Manhattan was purchased from local Indians for a few trinkets.  Only, as further stories tell it, the natives who “sold” Manhattan weren’t actually native to the island and were just passing through.  All of the references to these come much later than the events themselves so no one really knows.  But it makes a great story.


A piece conference in Staten Island fails to curtail the growing American Revolutionary War.


British Troops march into Mount Vernon in preparation to attack Washington DC where they will burn the White House.


The ancient kingdom of Kaffa comes to its final end, conquered by Ethiopia, as the last king, Gaki Sherocho is captured by Mennelik II of Ethiopia.  Gaki Sherocho would live the rest of his life, until 1919, in captivity.

There is, of course, far far more I could go into but that’s just a few of the interesting things that have happened on this date in history.


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