Closings and cancellations following the September 11, 2001 attacks

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Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
Background history
September 11, 2001
Rest of September
Missing people
Foreign casualties
Rescue workers
Hijacked Airlines
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Sites of destruction
World Trade Center
The Pentagon
Government response
World political effects
World economic effects
Airport security
Closings and cancellations
Audiovisual entertainment
Rescue and recovery effort
Financial assistance
Memorials and services
Slogans and terms
Misinformation and rumors
U.S. Congress Inquiry
9/11 Commission

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, several institutions responded with closures, cancellations, and postponements. Some of the most significant are listed here. They were closed primarily because of fears that they may be attacked. When they reopened, they opened with heightened security. Many states declared a state of emergency.



(taken to mean unusual closures on September 11, for any reason)


(taken to mean evacuation in light of perceived threat of attack)


For the first time since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, everyday life in the United States came to a standstill. Mundane events were cancelled out of shock, respect for the dead and wounded, or due to fear of more attacks. It was not a time for fun and games, because so much death and destruction were being seen live on television. Most importantly, never ever again, can Americans take their safety for granted.

  • Broadway theater shows (until Thursday evening, September 13, when they resumed with dimmed marquees)
  • US sporting events including those on this list (
  • Voting in the city of New York (September 11 was a mayoral primary election day) 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.


  • The 2001 Emmy Awards. Originally scheduled for September 16, 2001, the glamorous awards show was rescheduled twice (among rumors of cancelling the show entirely) before finally taking place on November 4, with a somewhat somber atmosphere.
  • The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a meeting of the heads of state of the nations of The Commonwealth to be held in Brisbane, 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).
  • 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, 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 wasn't sure he wanted to continue to do the show. All the shows did, eventually, return, though their first episodes back were somber affairs without exception.
  • The fall season premieres of a number of American TV series were delayed.
  • The 2001 Ryder Cup of golf, held at The Belfry in England, was postponed a whole year.

Travel effects

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

All civilian airplane traffic in the United States was grounded until Thursday, September 13. United Airlines cancelled all flights worldwide temporarily. First stranded planes were allowed to go to their intended destinations; then limited service resumed. All incoming international flights were diverted to Canada. On Thursday night the New York area airports (JFK, La Guardia, Newark) were closed again, and were reopened Friday morning. The only traffic from La Guardia during the closure was a single C9C government VIP jet, departing at approximately 5:15PM on the 12th.

All train service through Union Station was suspended.

Beginning September 27, 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.

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.

World Wrestling Entertainment postponed a SmackDown! Television Taping on September 11, and instead aired the show live on September 13.

Web sites

  • The popular Internet humor site Bert is Evil was taken down permanently by its webmaster after it was discovered that a fabricated image from the site of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden supposedly posing with Sesame Street character Bert was being used in pro-bin Laden propaganda. Despite the webmaster's pleas, several mirror sites of Bert is Evil remain online as of 2004.

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