Closings and cancellations following the September 11 attacks: Wikis


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Many closings and cancellations followed the September 11 attacks, including major landmarks, buildings, as well as postponement or cancellation of major sporting and other events. Landmarks were closed primarily because of fears that they may be attacked. At some places, streets leading up to the institutions were also closed. When they reopened, they opened with heightened security. Many states declared a state of emergency.



(both unusual and logical closures on September 11, 2001)


(evacuation in light of perceived threat of attack)


In an atmosphere reminiscent of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, everyday life in the United States came to a standstill in the days after the September 11 attacks. There was a widespread perception immediately following the attacks that recreational events and sports were not appropriate out of respect for the dead and wounded. For this reason, as well as for reasons of perceived threat associated with large gatherings, events were postponed or cancelled. A sampling of cancellations:

  • Broadway theater shows (until Thursday evening, September 13, when they resumed with dimmed marquees)[3]
  • Major sporting events cancelled in the North America included:
  • The following overseas sports events:
    • Games scheduled by UEFA, the European governing body of soccer, that were scheduled for September 12 and 13 were postponed (games had been played on the 11th; the first plane strike took place at 2:46 PM CET).
  • Voting on September 11 in the city of New York mayoral primary election was halted. Elections in Syracuse, New York and Buffalo, New York were delayed.
  • Even months after the attacks, events were still impacted, with Blockbuster Entertainment cancelling its spring 2002 awards show. Another event impacted by the attacks were the 2003 Grammy Awards, which were held at Madison Square Garden instead of Staples Center.
  • Cartoon Network cancelled Mobile Suit Gundam after the attack (as the series focuses on war) and took an episode of Cowboy Bebop that dealt with terrorist bombings ("Cowboy Funk") out of the Adult Swim lineup for nearly a year afterwards.
  • The NPR weekly news quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! was not broadcast on September 15.
  • A number of Jeopardy! episodes were not aired until much later. One episode did not air at all in its original run.
  • Episode 2 of the first season of The Amazing Race was not aired on the evening of September 12 as scheduled. The rest of the series after the first episode a week before was delayed one week.
  • Rock band Aerosmith canceled three shows originally scheduled for September 11, September 13, and September 15, all on the Eastern Seaboard, during their Just Push Play Tour. They resumed their tour on September 17 in Atlanta, for gig proposing.
  • The 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards were cancelled. It was supposed to be aired on CBS. The show was not postponed but the winners were announced at a press conference the following month on October 30.


  • The 2001 Emmy Awards. Scheduled for September 16, 2001, the awards show was rescheduled twice (the first rescheduled date was the day America started Operation Enduring Freedom) before taking place on November 4, with a somewhat somber atmosphere after surviving rumors of cancellation.
  • The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), with the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations to be held in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, Australia, was postponed. The organisers of the meeting claimed the cancellation was not so much a fear of terrorist attack on the meeting itself, but a desire by many Commonwealth leaders to stay at home in case of any further crisis-making world events (such as the commencement of overt military action in Afghanistan or elsewhere). The CHOGM was eventually convened at Coolum Beach, Queensland.
  • The Mexican Independence Parade which was to take place in September 16th in Mexico City was delayed to the 17th in a show of compassion, many other Independence celebrations were held on the 16th sans the fireworks.
  • Even after normal television programming resumed after nearly a full week of news coverage following the attack, some daily talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show and Late Show with David Letterman took additional time before beginning to broadcast new installments, with Letterman in particular stating that he was not sure he wanted to continue to do the show. All the shows did eventually return, though their first episodes back were somber affairs.
  • The fall season premieres of a number of American TV series were delayed, including several that were scheduled to air on September 11 itself.
  • The release date of several motion pictures was held back, including the movie Big Trouble, which depicted an attempted terrorist attack and which was originally scheduled to release on September 21, 2001.
  • The 2001 Ryder Cup of golf, held at The Belfry in England, was postponed a year. Subsequent Ryder Cup tournaments were moved from odd-numbered to even-numbered years to retain the two-year gap between stagings. The Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup, staged in off-years of the Ryder Cup, were moved from even-numbered to odd-numbered years beginning in 2003.
  • The first airing of the anime Full Metal Panic! was delayed because the first episode involved a terrorist hijacking a plane.
  • Singer Madonna postponed a concert performance in Los Angeles, California.
  • In the United States, and United Kingdom, planned television screenings of films and fictional programs where terror, plane crashes, bombs or other related disaster were the primary subject were usually postponed or canceled.

Travel effects

For at least a full day after the attacks, bridges and tunnels to the island of Manhattan were closed to non-emergency traffic in both directions. Among other things, this interrupted scheduled deliveries of food and other perishables, leading to shortages in restaurants.

With the unprecedented implementation of SCATANA, all civilian airplane traffic in the United States and Canada was grounded until Thursday, September 13, 2001. All non-military flights needed specific approval from the president and the FAA, there were only a few dozen private aircraft which received the approval in that period of time. United Airlines cancelled all flights worldwide temporarily. First the stranded planes were allowed to go to their intended destinations, then limited service resumed. All incoming international flights were diverted to Canada in Operation Yellow Ribbon. On Thursday night the New York area airports (JFK, La Guardia, Newark) were closed again, and reopened Friday morning. The only traffic from La Guardia during the closure was a single C-9C government VIP jet, departing at approximately 5:15PM on the 12th.

Civilian air traffic over central London was rerouted around the city's airspace and all flights to the United States and Canada were suspended.

From September 27, 2001, one-occupant cars were banned from crossing into Lower Manhattan from Midtown on weekday mornings, in an effort to relieve some of the crush of traffic in the city (the morning rush hour was lasting from 5:30 AM to noon), caused largely by the increased security measures put in place.


New York City mass transit

NYC Subway

Service on the IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line, a major subway line in New York City, was crippled, as it ran directly under the World Trade Center. Immediately after the attacks, and more so after the collapses, many trains lost power and had to be evacuated through the tunnels. Some trains had power but the signals did not, requiring that the train operator reset the brakes once for each car each time the train passed a signal.

Service was immediately suspended south of Chambers Street, and then cut back to 14th Street. The Cortlandt Street-World Trade Center station was mostly destroyed by the collapse and as well as sections of tunnel. There was also subsequent flooding on the line south of 34th Street. All local service ran through the WTC to South Ferry, and was suspended. After the flood was cleaned up, the express services were able to resume service (initially making all local stops and bypassing all stops between Canal Street and Wall Street). Eventually the 1 train provided local service (switching onto the express tracks at Chambers Street) and was extended to New Lots Avenue in Brooklyn. The 2 began running local in Manhattan all the time and the 3 was truncated to 14th Street as an express.

Service on the BMT Broadway Line was also severely disrupted as the local tracks ran adjacent to the World Trade Center and there were concerns that train movements could cause unsafe settling of the debris pile. Also, the pillars that supported the road above the line were not rated for the weight of the heavy construction equipment that was brought in to assist in the rescue and recovery effort. J (to Bay Ridge-95th Street) and M (to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue via Sea Beach) trains were routed through to Brooklyn at all times until October. Q trains replaced the R in Queens and W trains replaced the N. Both made local stops in Manhattan.

Thus, the only train line running between midtown Manhattan and lower Manhattan was the IRT Lexington Avenue Line, which was overcrowded before the attacks and was at crush density from September 17 until the BMT line reopened in October. The Wall Street station on that same line closed for a few days following September 11th.

The IND Eighth Avenue Line which had a stub terminal (serving the E) under Five World Trade Center was not damaged, but was covered in soot. E trains were extended to Euclid Avenue, Brooklyn, replacing the then suspended C. The E was cut back to Canal Street and the C resumed service on September 17th, but Chambers Street and Broadway-Nassau Street remained closed. Those two stations later reopened, along with Park Place and Chambers Street on the Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line, with a few closed exits.

Nevertheless, there were no reported casulties on the subway or loss of cars. An express bus, was however, destroyed. Another express bus was damaged, but repaired and is back in normal service, but with a special commemoration livery.


The PATH station at World Trade Center was heavily damaged (a train parked in the station was crushed by debris and was removed during the excavation process). As such all service to World Trade Center was suspended. For several hours PATH did not run any trains to Manhattan, but was able to restore service on the midtown line by the afternoon. The Exchange Place station was also unusable since the switch configuration at the time required all trains to continue to World Trade Center. As a result PATH ran a modified service: Hoboken-Journal Square, Hoboken-33rd St, and Newark-33rd St.


Liberty Water Taxi and NY Waterway had a ferry terminal at the World Financial Center. As the area around the terminal was in the restricted zone, NY Waterway suspended service to the terminal with alternate service going to Midtown and Wall Street and Liberty Water Taxi service was suspended.


  1. ^ a b c Abelson, Reed (2001-09-12). "Absorbing a Blow to the Heart of America's Financial Center". The New York Times: p. C1. 
  2. ^ Brecic, Max (25 November 2002). "Plan for Emergency Evacuation of Downtown Released". The Cleveland State Cauldron. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  3. ^ McKinley, Jesse (September 15, 2001). "Lights On, Broadway Dispels The Dark". The New York Times: p. B9. 
  4. ^ a b c Chass, Murray (2001-09-12). "Selig, in a Sense of Mourning, Cancels Baseball Games". The New York Times: p. C15. 
  5. ^ Litsky, Frank; Williams, Lena (2001-09-12). "Many Sporting Events Called Off or Postponed". The New York Times: p. C18. 
  6. ^ USA Cycling / BMC Software (March 9, 2001). "2001 BMC Software Cycling Grand Prix". Press release. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ Hatchitt, Ann (October 12, 2001). "Each employee looks for ways to reach out (BMC Software Inc.'s community service strategy)". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 


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