September 11 Objects on View at the National Museum of American History

On view at The Price of Freedom: Americans at War

  • Twisted steel from the World Trade Center south tower

These steel columns and spandrel plate come from the 70th floor of the south tower.

At 8:46 a.m. terrorists hijacked and crashed a passenger jet into the north tower. Then a second plane slammed into the south tower at 9:03 a.m. The south tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m., and the north tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m. About 2,800 died in the attack of the World Trade Center.

  • Airfone, recovered from the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Flight 93 was the only hijacked plane out of four total planes to not have reached its destination. The plane crashed in a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

After passengers received the news that their plane was hijacked, they called and bid their loved ones farewell on Airfones.

  • Identification badges of Patrick Dunn, watch commander of the Navy Command Center, recovered from the Pentagon.

A hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon 35 minutes after a second plane hit the World Trade Center.

Naval Commander Patrick Dunn, who worked in the Navy Command Center at the Pentagon, carried these identification badges. He died during the attack on the Pentagon on September 11.

On view in American Enterprise:

  • Giuliani’s cell phone

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani carried and used this flip phone during the attacks on September 11. Giuliani arrived at the World Trade Center following the crash of the second plane and was evacuated from the emergency command center on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Center Building 7 as the debris built up.

He remained in the city for sixteen hours, coordinating recovery efforts through his cell phone.

  • Tiffany Globe

This Tiffany & Co. “Globe Crystal Paperweight” first appeared in a 1990 sales catalog and costed $550. The globe was recovered after the events of September 11 in the debris of the World Trade Center. The globe survived despite the deadly attacks.

  • Turban of Balbir Singh Sodhi

Sodhi was a Sikh and an immigrant from India who was murdered as violence and hate crimes in America rose after the September 11 attacks. The murderer, a 42-year-old airplane mechanic, shot and killed Sodhi on September 15 because he believed Sodhi’s beard, skin color, and turban resembled those of Osama Bin Laden.

During his arrest, the murderer told authorities he had sought to kill a Muslim, even though Sodhi was a member of the Sikh faith.

  • Balbir Singh Sodhi’s San Francisco taxi driver license

Sodhi lived in the United States for 20 years before his death. Though he had an engineering degree, he worked in America as a 7-11 employee, airport shuttle driver, and taxi driver, until he and his brother could finally move to Arizona and buy a gas station and convenience store.

The gunman shot Sodhi as he was planting flowers in front of his gas station in Mesa, Arizona.

  • Peter Souza’s Powerbook G3 laptop computer, about 2000

Photojournalist Peter Sousa used a digital camera, this laptop computer and satellite phone to write stories and transmit images from Afghanistan to the U.S.

  • “Fleeing the Taliban,” photograph by Pete Souza, Afghanistan, 2001