September 2002

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Earth Summit Ends with Pact (Sept. 4): Meeting produces plan to improve sanitation, increase accessibility of clean water, reduce the number of endangered species, and improve safety of chemical production.
  • Karzai Escapes Assassination Attempt (Sept. 5): Uniformed assailant fires at Afghan president in Kandahar. Karzai's bodyguards kill the gunman.
  • Bush Seeks Support from Other Nations (Sept. 6): President calls leaders of Russia, China, and France and tries to rally support of attack on Iraq.
  • Austrian Government Coalition Collapses (Sept. 9): Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel breaks with the right-wing Freedom Party and calls for early elections.
  • Switzerland Joins UN (Sept. 10): Abandons long-held neutrality and becomes the 190th member.
  • Palestinian Cabinet Resigns (Sept. 11): Yasir Arafat's ministers step down to avoid a no-confidence vote by Legislative Council. Arafat sets presidential and parliamentary elections for Jan. 20.
  • Bush Addresses United Nations (Sept. 12): Citing torture, oppression, and 11 years of defiance by Saddam Hussein's regime, president argues for an attack on Iraq.
  • Al-Qaeda Operative Captured in Pakistan (Sept. 13): U.S. announces that Ramzi bin al-Shibh was caught in a Karachi raid. Officials believe he has critical inside information about the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.
  • Terrorist Suspects Arrested in New York (Sept. 13 ): Five men of Yemeni descent charged with giving “material support” to al-Qaeda terrorists. (Sept. 15): Sixth suspect arrested in Bahrain.
  • Saudis Offer Bases for Iraq Attack (Sept. 14): Say U.S. could launch offensive against Iraq from its military bases if a UN resolution justified the action.
  • Macedonia Elects New Prime Minister (Sept. 16): Ljubco Georgievski ousted by center-left Together for Macedonia coalition in parliamentary elections. Branko Crvenkovski, former communist, becomes the new prime minister.
  • Center-Left Holds on to Power in Sweden (Sept. 16): Social Democrat prime minister Goran Persson thwarts challenge by conservative coalition.
  • Iraq Says Weapons Inspectors May Return (Sept. 16): Iraqi foreign minister says country will readmit inspectors unconditionally. President Bush dismisses the offer.
  • State Elections Begin in Kashmir (Sept. 16): Low turnout for State Assembly elections, with many constituencies boycotting the vote.
  • Sri Lanka and Rebels Open Talks (Sept. 16): The government and members of the separatist Tamil Tigers begin peace negotiations in Thailand.
  • Japanese Leader Visits North Korea (Sept. 17): Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi makes unprecedented visit to Pyongyang, where North Korean president Kim Jong Il apologizes for the abduction of 11 Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Nazi Freed from Prison (Sept. 18): Maurice Papon, 92, convicted of war crime for signing orders to deport 1,500 Jews from France, released because of his age and failing health.
  • Suicide Bomber Strikes in Tel Aviv (Sept. 19): Six die in second attack in less than 24 hours. Israel responds by surrounding Yasir Arafat's compound. (Sept. 20): Israeli troops further isolate Arafat, destroying several buildings in his compound.
  • Violence Rocks Ivory Coast (Sept. 19): Gen. Robert Guei, the country's former leader, and Interior Minister Emile Boga Doudou are killed in fighting between government troops and mutineering soldiers.
  • Slovakia's Government Retains Power (Sept. 21): Center-right coalition defeats challenge from former hardline nationalist leader Vladimir Meciar.
  • Schröder Narrowly Reelected (Sept. 22): German chancellor wins close battle with conservative businessman Edmund Stoiber. Victory attributed to Schröder's stance against a war in Iraq.
  • North Korea Plans Free-Trade Zone (Sept. 24): President Kim announces plans to build a special economic area near North Korea's northwest border with China.
  • Gunmen Ambush Hindu Temple (Sept. 24): Gujarat once again site of deadly violence as 33 people, including assailants, are killed after a 12-hour standoff.
  • Blair Argues for Attack on Iraq (Sept. 24): British prime minister releases 50-page dossier that outlines threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his stockpile of biological and chemical weapons.
  • Charity Workers Executed in Karachi (Sept. 25): Seven Pakistanis who worked for Institute for Peace and Justice bound, gagged, and shot in the head by two unidentified gunmen. An eighth person survived.
  • Mass Arrests at Global Financial Meeting (Sept. 27): Nearly 650 protesters cited for disorderly behavior at the opening of Washington's summit, sponsored by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • Iraq Refuses New Resolution (Sept. 28): Rejects proposed Security Council resolution giving Iraq 30 days to disclose weapons inventory and calling for unfettered access to sites.
  • Israeli Troops Withdraw from Arafat's Base (Sept. 29): End 10-day siege in which forces destroyed most of Arafat's Ramallah compound and trapped him inside.
  • Europeans Exempt U.S. from New War Court (Sept. 30): European Union agrees to spare U.S. military personnel and government officials prosecution by International Criminal Court. In exchange, U.S. promises to try war crimes suspects in American courts.


  • Bush Vows to Consult Congress Before Attack on Iraq (Sept. 4): President says he will seek Congressional approval before moving against Iraq. (Sept. 5): Congress begins to prepare for debate on the subject. Several weeks of hearings anticipated.
  • Senate Committee Rejects Bush Judicial Nominee (Sept. 5): Votes, 10–9, on party lines against nomination of Priscilla Owen to U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Senate Agrees to Arm Pilots (Sept. 5): Votes, 87–6, to allow pilots to voluntarily become U.S. deputies and thus carry firearms in the cockpit.
  • Cianci Resigns After Sentencing (Sept. 6): Vincent “Buddy” Cianci steps down as mayor of Providence after receiving 64-month prison sentence for a racketeering conviction.
  • Congress Meets in New York (Sept. 6): In joint session, lawmakers honor victims and heroes of Sept. 11 attacks. Second time group has met outside Washington since it moved there.
  • Bush Places Country on High Alert (Sept. 10): Officials say they have intelligence that terrorists have planned attacks for Sept. 11. U.S. Embassies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam are closed.
  • Florida Primary Tainted by Voting Problems (Sept. 10 et seq.): Broken machines, improperly trained election workers, and disenfranchised voters recall the debacle of 2000's presidential election. (Sept. 17): Janet Reno concedes Democratic gubernatorial nomination to Bill McBride.
  • U.S. Mourns on Sept. 11 Anniversary (Sept. 11): Ceremonies held around the country to honor those who died in terrorist attacks.
  • Report Reveals Early Terrorist Threats (Sept. 18): Details of congressional investigation indicate that in 1998 the intelligence community was aware of plans by Arab terrorists to fly a plane into World Trade Center but failed to actively pursue tips.
  • Bush Seeks Broad Power to Act in Iraq (Sept. 19): President seeks authorization from Congress to use all means he considers appropriate to disarm and oust Saddam Hussein from power.
  • Gore Criticizes Bush Tactics (Sept. 23): Former vice president says focus on action in Iraq is jeopardizing war on terrorism and Bush's proposed UN resolution is too broad.
  • Number of Poor in U.S. Increased in 2001 (Sept. 24): Newly released census figures show number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million, to 32.9 million. Median household income also dropped by 2.2%, to $42,228.
  • Government Mistakenly Gave Terror Suspect Classified Papers (Sept. 26): Prosecutors handed over 48 FBI reports to Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 attacks who is defending himself in federal court.
  • Bush Unveils Draft Resolution on Iraq (Sept. 27): Plan administration will present to the UN calls for immediate, unlimited access to any site in Iraq and would authorize the use of “all necessary means to restore international peace and security” if Saddam Hussein fails to comply in any way.
  • Torricelli Bows Out of Senate Race (Sept. 30): Fearing that Democrats will lose control of the Senate because of his ethical lapses in fundraising, New Jersey politician drops out 36 days before election.
  • West Coast Ports Shut Down (Sept. 30): Operators close ports, which bring in about $300 billion in cargo annually, after work slowdown by longshoremen.


  • Redwoods and Firs Widely Infected (Sept. 4): Sudden Oak Death Syndrome falling victim to quickly spreading disease, which has claimed tens of thousands of trees in Sonoma County, Calif.
  • Panel Urges More Exercise (Sept. 5): Institute of Medicine suggests people exercise at least one hour a day, up from one half hour previously suggested. Also recommends broad range of intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  • Train Derails in India (Sept. 9): An estimated 100 people die in accident in remote northeast India.
  • Rain Produces Deadly Floods in France (Sept. 10): Rain, lasting 36 hours, kills at least 26 in southern France. Much of the Cotes du Rhone grape harvest destroyed.
  • Study Supports Removal of Prostate (Sept. 12): Swedish study finds that survival rate higher for men ages 60–70 when they have the cancerous gland removed.
  • Tyco Executives Indicted (Sept. 12): L. Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO, and Mark Swartz, former CFO, charged with bilking the company out of $600 million in a stock-fraud scheme. Mark Belnick, former chief counsel, was also charged with falsifying company records.
  • Scientists Report New Type of Black Hole (Sept. 17): Hubble Space Telescope finds evidence of a middleweight class of gravitational sink, adding to earlier identified small and super classifications.
  • Church Settles with Abuse Victims (Sept. 18): Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston agrees to pay $10 million to 86 victims of pedophile priest John Geoghan.
  • Avalanche Buries Russian Village (Sept. 20): At least 12 people in Karmadon killed and more than 90 remain missing, including film star Sergei Bodrov.
  • Texas Energy Company Manipulated Gas Supply (Sept. 23): Federal judge rules El Paso Corp. withheld gas supply to California and thus contributed to steep price increases during energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.
  • U.S. Sets Smallpox Vaccination Plan (Sept. 23): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell states to be ready to vaccinate up to 1 million people in 10 days in the wake of a bioterrorist attack.
  • Stock Market Sinks (Sept. 24): Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 189.02 points to 7,683.13, a four-year low.
  • Federal Reserve Holds Rates Steady (Sept. 24): But in rare dissent, 2 out of 12 members vote to lower rates.

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