Internet InfoMedia on this day in history april 4 1973 world trade center opens in nyc crowned by tallest towers on earth

The massive World Trade Center at the southern tip of Manhattan, highlighted by what were then the two tallest skyscrapers on the planet, opened on this day in history, April 4, 1973.

The official ceremony was hosted by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller of New York and Gov. William Cahill of New Jersey. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey publicly funded the World Trade Center. 

The World Trade Center “should, because of its importance, become a living representation of man’s belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness,” American architect Minoru Yamasaki said following the completion of his vision.

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The World Trade Center is instead mourned today as a terrifying testament to man’s inhumanity to man.

Americans should be celebrating today the Golden Anniversary of Yamasaki’s mammoth skyscraper complex.

Statue of Liberty with Manhattan skyline

The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor in the 1980s, showing its relation to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  (R. Krubner/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

It glimmered triumphantly over the nation’s largest city, New York Harbor, the mouth of the Hudson River, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty — over America itself.

But the towers collapsed catastrophically only 28 years after they opened, live on television, as the world gasped in horror during the beyond-tragic terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. 

“The World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a living representation of man’s belief in humanity.” — Minoru Yamasaki, architect

More than 2,750 people were killed in the World Trade Center that day in New York City, an event that altered the trajectory of global history. (Another 184 were killed that day in the attack on the Pentagon and another 40 people were killed in Pennsylvania, when one of the hijacked planes crashed after passengers attempted to retake the plane.)

The footprints of the Twin Towers are the site today of the 9/11 Memorial, a pair of reflecting pools and man-made waterfalls surrounded by the names of those killed in the attacks.  

September 11 terror attack

The second tower of the World Trade Center bursts into flames after being hit by a hijacked airplane in New York City in this Sept. 11, 2001 file photograph. (REUTERS/Sara K. Schwittek)

The World Trade Center rightfully inhabits a reverent and haunting place in American culture today. 

But the Twin Towers in their time were only tolerated, not loved, say New York City historians and architecture experts. 

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“The World Trade Center never captured the imagination of New Yorkers, and the world, the way the Empire State has,” author Mark Kingwell wrote in “Nearest Thing to Heaven,” a 2006 history of the Empire State Building, which stood as the tallest skyscraper on Earth for 40 years before surpassed by the Twin Towers.

He added, “It is not too harsh to say they are mourned more in memory than they were ever liked in fact; and the mourning is surely for loss of life, and innocence, rather than for any architectural or symbolic reason.”

WTC architect

Architect Minoru Yamasaki, designer of the World Trade Center, was interviewed in Manhattan on Sept. 17, 1973.  (Jim Nightingale/ Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Construction plodded along slowly amid disdain from New Yorkers while the city, and the nation, grappled with crises. 

Construction began in 1966. The North Tower was completed in December 1970. The South Tower was finished in July 1971, nearly two years before the opening ceremonies.

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The United States was being torn apart by political strife over the Vietnam War, while New York City was on the brink of economic meltdown.

“It seemed so inappropriate to have something so excessive rising up in the New York City skyline at the time,” Greg Young, co-host and producer of “The Bowery Boys” podcast, a popular chronicle of New York City history, told Fox News Digital last year. 

“It seemed so inappropriate to have something so excessive rising up in the New York City skyline at the time.” — Greg Young, “The Bowery Boys” podcast

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