Sonic Browser ARCHIVE Stories About Add a Story For Educators Timeline
 
"I must tell you about a hand-made time capsule that we dug up, in which the barristers put cards from the 18 people that worked in the Irish Foundry Works. When I opened the time capsule, it was very interesting. The barristers said, 'We are here and we wanted to put this capsule in the ground. We only hope that whoever reads this little note, will be building a greater marketplace than the Washington Market that is here.' The year was 1883."
—Guy Tozzoli, former head of the World Trade Center
 
      City Radio opens on Cortlandt St. in 1921, marking the birth of Radio Row. Over the next few decades, the surrounding six-square-block area in lower Manhattan becomes home to hundreds of radio and electronics stores.
      After World War II, the idea for a world trade center to foster transatlantic trade begins to take root. The New York legislature creates the World Trade Corporation to study the feasibility of a Manhattan location.
      Lee K. Jaffe, the Port Authority’s public relations expert, comes up with the idea of making the WTC structure as spectacular as the “great project” it would house and suggests they make it the world’s tallest building.
      Minoru Yamasaki, an architect from Detroit, begins designing the WTC towers. The New York engineering firm of Emory Roth and Sons is hired to handle construction.
   
      Consulting engineers John Skilling and Leslie Robertson of Seattle build special “swaying rooms” in Eugene, Oregon, to test people’s tolerance for building sway due to high winds. They find people can withstand building shifts of about 11 inches from side to side.
   
      Radio Row is condemned to make way for the WTC. The first demolition of buildings on the WTC site begins on March 21.
      Hoping to ease the controversy surrounding the WTC, Guy Tozzoli, head of the Port Authority’s World Trade Department, devises the idea of hiring attractive coeds to serve as “building stewardesses” to explain the construction details to the public.
      The placement of a steel beam on 103rd floor of the rapidly rising WTC on October 19 raises the height of the tower to 1,254 feet—four feet taller than the Empire State. The WTC is now the tallest building in the world.
      The Sears Tower, under construction in Chicago, surpasses the WTC as the world’s tallest building on March 6.
   
      The formal dedication ceremony for the WTC takes place on April 4.
      On April 17, French performance artist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope strung between the Twin Towers 1,350 feet above the ground.
      On April 19, Windows on the World opens on the 107th floor of the north tower and is an immediate success. The following month, Gael Green’s review in New York magazine raves that it is “the most spectacular restaurant in the world.”
      At 6:30 a.m. on May 27, George H. Willig begins climbing the tower face. For most of his 3 1/2 hour feat, two officers accompany him and try to lure him onto the window-washing equipment they are riding. Sued by the state, Willig is ultimately fined $1.10—a penny per floor.
      At 12:18 p.m. on February 26, a bomb explodes in the underground parking basement of the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than a thousand. It is the most significant international terrorist act ever committed on U.S. soil.
      "Two Seconds Under the World: Terror Comes to America—the Conspiracy Behind the World Trade Center Bombing" by Jim Dwyer, Deidre Murphy, and Peg Tyre is published.
      At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, a commercial jet hijacked by terrorists crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center. A second plane crashes into the south tower 17 minutes later. By 10:30 am, both towers have collapsed, killing approximately 3,000 people.



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Photo courtesy: Sandy Roos