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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS

Breaking News: 35 Years of CNN

Aired May 30, 2015 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:04] ANNOUNCER: The following is a CNN Special Report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED TURNER, CNN OWNER: I dedicate a cable news network.

DAVID WALKER, CNN HOST: God evening, I'm David Walker.

LOIS HARP, CNN HOST: And I'm Lois Harp. Now here's the news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Approximately four shots were fired at the president.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: The massacre of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Reagan has endorsed German reunification.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST (voice-over): For 35 years, we've been everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Genoway (ph), CNN, Beijing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one pocket of turmoil in the Egyptian capital.

BLITZER: On every story.

AMANPOUR: This there's nothing subtle about the horrors of this war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liftoff of the space shuttle mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously a major malfunction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to have to interrupt this program. Police believe that O.J. Simpson is in that car.

BLITZER: In danger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quick, let's go.

BLITZER: And under fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israeli officials say they're going to try to use restraint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see the people below trapped on Sinjar Mountain.

BLITZER: Covering the devastation.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm outside this pediatric hospital. Just take a look inside.

CHILDREN: We want help!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of these people have been waiting outside now for more than three days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in MISSISSIPPI.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as we can see under blue sky, it's totally leveled.

BLITZER: The drama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Princess Diana has died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Zimmerman not charged with anything in this case.

BLITZER: The terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About a third of the building has been blown away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been a second explosion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What normally would be the World Trade Center is no more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two possible suspects in the Boston bombings.

BLITZER: And triumph.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rescuers are making progress literally by inches.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

CROWD: USA! USA!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so rare that we get the cover story to have a happy ending.

BLITZER: Making news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Director Helman, can you talk to us, please?

BLITZER: And breaking news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't move. I'm not going to resist a police officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is going on in Ferguson, Missouri, in downtown America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here come flash bangs and canisters coming right up at us.

BLITZER: 35 years of CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CNN.

AMANPOUR: CNN.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER (on camera): Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. There's a lot of memories in that sequence you just saw. When Ted Turner launched the first 24-hour news network in 1980, many thought it was a crazy idea. Some referred to CNN as Chicken Noodle News.

Not anymore. 35 years later, more people get their news from CNN than from any other global news source. CNN is the place where the world gathers to follow breaking news and to witness extraordinary events, some that impact the lives of millions and others that focus on just one life, like the tense 58-hour drama that played out live on CNN in 1987 after Baby Jessica fell down a well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What started as a child's innocent game turned into a child's terror and a marathon rescue effort to save her life.

BOB FURNAD, FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: When we found out the local station had a live cut, we jumped on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little Jessica McClure was playing hide and seek. Jessica tumbled down a pipe and landed in a small area about a foot wide. She was trapped 20 feet underground.

FURNAD: I could see that it's just this really a gripping story and it's not going to be resolved quickly. Blow out all the commercials. Stay until it's over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's upset and crying. As long as she's crying, we know that we have a chance. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has gone frustratingly slow.

TONY CLARK, FORMER DALLAS BUREAU CHIEF: When we got there, I started knocking on doors, and I would say, I'm Tony Clark from CNN. We're here to cover the rescue attempt of Jessica McClure. I need your help. We're trying to shoot over the fence. Do you have a ladder that we could use? You knock on another door and say, I hate to ask you this, but can I use your phone?

That was the day before cell phones.

(voice-over): Cameras and microphones have been dropped down. Jessica can be heard to call to her mother.

(on camera): ou could not widen the well that she was in, and you couldn't come in at an angle.

They drilled a shaft parallel to the one Jessica fell in.

(on camera): So what you had to do was drill a parallel well that someone could get through.

[19:05:03] (voice-over): The rescuers are making progress literally by inches.

It was scary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lord help us always to remember that we're in your care.

(END VIDEOTAPE

CLARK: This is a gripping story because it's about a helpless little baby who had a name, who had family there, with a whole community gathered around to try anything to get this baby out. It's a great story, a great human interest story.

(voice-over): For the second night, flood lights lit the backyard.

(on camera): As the hours went on, you thought the chances of her surviving were less and less.

FURNAD: The ratings took a huge jump. People are calling their mother-in-law, hey, turn on CNN. People had never watched CNN before are now going to CNN.

CLARK (voice-over): A two-inch hole was drilled into the cavern where Jessica McClure has been trapped since Wednesday.

LOU WATERS, CNN HOST: In Midland, Texas, they're in the final stages of what appears to be the imminent rescue of Jessica McClure.

CLARK (voice-over): They had sent a medical worker down who was going to recover her. You could see the lines tightening, and so we knew it was was going to happen.

We're expecting to see Jessica just any moment now.

CROWD: Woo-hoo!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CLARK: She's alive, man.

Holy (EXPLETIVE).

I was very fortunate during all of my years at CNN to cover a lot of interesting stories.

You can see the enthusiasm. You could hear the applause.

But this is one of those that is very special because it does have a happy ending.

FURNAD: That helped solidify our presence to the public that when there's a major news event, you know that CNN is going to stay with it.

CLARK (voice-over): The applause for the paramedic who just brought her up.

People have worked very hard to come to a very happy ending. I'm Tony Clark reporting live from Midland, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something is happening outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're damn right something is happening. War is breaking out all around you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:11:05] (BEGIN VIDEOtAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Approaching Lockabie (ph) about 7:00 and the whole sky lit up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our witnesses on the ground say they don't see how anyone could have survived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 11,300,000 gallons of crude oil have spilled into the calm waters of Prince William Sound off of Alaska, 25 miles outside the Alaskan port city of Valdez.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major earthquake registering between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale in the Bay Area. Game three of the World Series has been canceled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government has ordered us to shut down our facility. We are shutting down our facility. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we've heard the orders. We have our

instructions from headquarters in Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye from Beijing.

RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES : Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The events in East Germany are moving ever more swiftly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela is now free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: In 1990, the U.N. ordered Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to remove his troops from Kuwait or else. But he refused. As the U.S. prepared for war, so did CNN with a small staff at the El Rashid hotel in Baghdad and unique technology called a four-wire kept them connected to CNN's newsroom, broadcasting live as Operation Desert Storm began.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An explosive development near the Persian Gulf.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no place for this sort of naked aggression in today's world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The failure of the Geneva talks seems to have convinced the Pentagon that war is imminent.

FURNAD: I don't think that the world really accepted CNN until the first Gulf War.

The president had laid down the gauntlet and he basically gave us a window of when it was going to happen. So we had prepared everything for it. I recall that during this time of preparation, I would wake up from my sleep at 3:30 in the morning, think "This is ridiculous. Planning to cover a war with television? It's unheard of. "

BLITZER: It was very, very worrisome for all of us at CNN because we have producers in Baghdad; we have camera crews in Baghdad. We had three reporters. Bernie Shaw was there, John Holliman, Peter Arnett; they were all there.

The management at CNN, Ted Turner and Tom Johnson, were under enormous pressure from General Colin Powell, from other U.S. officials, probably from the president, get those guys out. Because once the air war starts, we don't know if they're going to be OK.

BERNARD SHAW, FORMER ANCHOR: But our responsibility is to our worldwide audience. We will stay. We will cover this war as best we can. And we will report on the war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Military experts say a night air attack is the likely scenario for the start of any fighting.

BLITZER (voice-over): That night I was at the Pentagon. I had a chance to see two very senior Pentagon officials almost running through the halls, going up.

(on camera): They couldn't say when this was going to begin because that could endanger U.S. troops.

SHAW: It was shortly past midnight Baghdad time, and I was walking past the open window. And coming down from the sky, the black sky, it looked like silver paper. I knew instantly what it was. It was chafe, radar jamming chafe.

BUSH: Tonight the battle has been joined.

SHAW: And as soon as that chafe started filtering down to the ground, all hell broke loose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saudi Arabia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need the White House.

[19:15:00] FURNAD: I was walking by the control room, and I could hear the commotion. I walked in, and there it was.

BLITZER: Our team in Baghdad was restricted. They weren't going to get much information. The only thing they could do is report what they were seeing.

CASPAR WEINBERGER, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: But it doesn't show any signs of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to go to Baghdad, Secretary. We're going to Bernard Shaw in Baghdad.

SHAW (voice-over): This is --

(on camera): Out of my mouth came the words --

(voice-over): Something is happening outside.

(on camera): You're damn right something is happening. War is breaking out all around you.

(voice-over): The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated. We're seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky.

(on camera): The walls were shaking. The windows were vibrating. The concussions were blowing us against the wall.

PETER ARNETT, CNN REPORTING: So we've now been on the air 20 minutes.

SHAW (voice-over): Now the sirens are sounding for the first time. The Iraqis have informed us --

ARNETT: And the line goes dead.

They just cut the line!

FURNAD: Everybody is stunned, and it's totally silent. And you can feel the tension in that room.

SHAW: And John Holliman said, it's the battery. The battery's dead.

FURNAD: And, of course, our biggest fright was that the bomb had hit the hotel where they were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Baghdad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The line is dead.

FURNAD: There was a hush in the control room.

SHAW (on camera): We were running around trying to find the batteries. We find it, Holliman does a workaround --

JOHN HOLLIMAN, CNN REPORTING Hello, Atlanta.

SHAW: -- and we come back on the air.

HOLLIMAN: Atlanta, that is Holliman. I don't know whether you're able to hear me now or not, but I'm going to continue to talk to you as long as I can.

FURNAD: And there's a collective sigh and you can see shoulders drop down as the tension leaves people's bodies.

BLITZER: The whole world was watching CNN. We're the only ones who had reporters in Baghdad.

FURNAD: I look up -- CBS, NBC and ABC are taking CNN. Stations around the world are taking CNN.

SHAW: The Iraqis shut down CNN. They invoked censorship. So on Friday morning we packed up, and we started to leave Baghdad. News, especially television news, is logistics, logistics, logistics. You can go anywhere in the world to cover a news story.

(voice-over): Let's describe to our viewers what we're seeing.

(on camera): But if you don't have the capability of getting that story out, there's no news.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go to a live picture in Los Angeles. O.J. Simpson is in that car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were the O.J. Simpson network, period.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:21:30] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge Thomas began to use work situations to discuss sex.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Verdicts against the four police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King.

AMANPOUR: The horrors of this war. Ethnic cleansing goes on within view of the United Nations patrols.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An explosion going on in the garage section of the World Trade Center has killed now three people. Hundreds are being evacuated from the twin towers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole south side of the building is going up in flames literally before our eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 4 million people driven from their hopes by war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Oklahoma governor's office says at least 19 people are dead, hundreds of others injured, and rescuers continue to search for survivors in the rubble of the AP Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is AC. I have O.J. in the car.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: In June 1994, football legend O.J. Simpson was charged with the grisly murders of his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman. What happened next? O.J., the fugitive from justice, a nine-month trial, and a stunning verdict that became one of the most watched dramas in CNN history.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.

LARRY KING, FORMER HOST: OK, I'm going to have to interrupt this call. I understand we're going to a live picture in Los Angeles. This is Interstate 5. Police believe that O.J. Simpson is in that car, but nobody is pulling this car over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're metro. They're SWAT. We've got SWAT on the way.

KING: Police helicopters trailing it. They're going south through Orange County.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 911, what are you reporting?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is AC. I have O.J. in the car.

KING (on camera): And I'm sitting in Washington describing this. Now, I didn't know L.A. very well so they gave me a map of L.A.

(voice-over): The car is somewhere by Disneyland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chase (ph), just toss it.

Come on, man. Just come in.

KING: Can you now confirm that O.J. Simpson is arrested?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. He is in custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Finally, after more than seven months of relentless publicity, the double murder trial of O.J. Simpson will unfold before the only people who really count in deciding his fate, the jury.

KING: No one talked about anything else but the trial. That's all you could talk about in the coffee shops, in the restaurants, on the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Counsel, please be seated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Simpson's defense team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In other developments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The extraordinary nature of the Simpson case.

JIM MORET, FORMER ANCHOR: Between 8:00 and 4:30, we were the O.J. Simpson network, period.

KING: It was the first reality show. It really was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kato mania is spreading across the nation's heartland.

KING: I knew the defense team. I knew the prosecution team. I would have dinner with one side and breakfast with another side every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you say on your oath that you have not addressed any black person as a nigger or spoken about black people as niggers in the past ten years, Detective Fuhrman?

MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD DETECTIVE: That's what I'm saying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is the key witness in their case. He is the one that allegedly found the glove.

MORET: And the pivotal moment, of course. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is people's 77.

MORET: Was the self-destructive act by Chris Darden, the co- prosecutor, who decided on his own

[19:25:00] to have O.J. Simpson attempt to try on this bloody glove.

Boy, he was a great actor this day. Oh, I can't -- oh, the gloves -- oh, it's hurting my hands. It was unbelievable.

KING: Bill Clinton told me that, when Yeltsin arrived from Russia, he got off the plane and he said to Clinton, "Do you think he did it?" That's how much the world knew.

Well, when you think about it, he was the most famous person ever charged with murder.

JOHNNY COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: O.J. Simpson in a knit cap --

MORET: I remember Johnny Cochran --

COCHRAN: -- is still O.J. Simpson.

MORET: -- putting on this silly cap. That's an image that I think will be forever in my mind.

COCHRAN: If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Simpson, would you please stand and face the jury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of penal code section 187(a) a felony upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being...

KING: The next night Johnny Cochran, his lawyer, was on my show.

With us on the phone now is O.J. Simpson. If we had God booked for that day, we would have bumped God.

How are you doing?

O.J. SIMPSON, ACCUSED OF MURDER (via phone): I'm doing fine.

KING: God, can you do next Tuesday? And we'll take it and we'll run it as soon as this dies down.

SIMPSON: Pretty soon I'll have all -- I have enough to say to everybody and hopefully everyone answer everyone's questions.

KING: He said, I'll come on your show soon. I'll tell the whole story. He never did.

SIMPSON: I've got to go. I really got to go.

KING: Can you just tell us -- what was it like with the kids today? SIMPSON: It has been great. It's been great.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have been attacks in two American cities. At the Pentagon, a plane or a helicopter has crashed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we all knew it's the act of terrorists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:30:43]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is believed that a 747 aircraft has exploded in midair into the Atlantic Ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bombing at Centennial Olympic Park this morning was an evil act of terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The French government has informed all of us that Princess Diana has died.

BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Earlier today, two masked gunman wearing all black begun shooting at least 18 people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, that the U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a search for a private aircraft that apparently has now gone overdue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the election law hopefully hanging chair (ph).

COOPER: The hand count is expected to begin shortly here in the room behind me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A plane has crushed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

BLITZER: It was the day that changed the skyline and the nation, 9/11, a day unlike any other in CNN's history. The collapsing of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon burning, a field in Pennsylvania that became ground both horrible and hollow. Thousands of lives lost in the deadliest attack ever on American soil.

Amidst the tragedy, CNN's anchors and reporters shared with yours their shock, their sadness (inaudible) footage we will never forget.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So a plane crashed into...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was described (inaudible) the size is at 747...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard big bang and then we saw a smoke coming out. Everybody started running out...

AARON BROWN, FORMER ANCHOR: My producer calls, he said, "You listen to the radio". And I said, "no". He said, "You should".

He said a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.

I didn't know if it's a big plan or a small plan or it was an accident was deliberate...

PAULA ZAHN, FORMER ANCHOR: But when the second point, yes, the South Tower. I think we all knew, it's the act of terrorists.

BLITZER: And so I drive in towards the Bureau. I could see people in Washington were driving the other way. People trying to get out of Washington. People were freaking out.

BROWN: At the Pentagon, a plane or a helicopter has passed and the Pentagon is being evacuated.

KING: Ted also was a friend of mine. And he is right that in that plane that hit the Pentagon. And she called them before they hit the Pentagon on her cell phone and he has to tell her that the two buildings had been hit in New York and they said, "Provide with each other". She knew they were on that.

BROWN: The Boston Airport, like airports now across the entire country is closed.

All air traffic in United States has come to a halt.

BLITZER: And then we heard that there is another plane, maybe going towards the Capitol, another plane was toward the White House. People were running out in the White House, people were running out of Capitol.

BROWN: There has just been a huge explosion we can see, a bellowing smoke rising and I can, I'm telling you that I can't see that second tower but if there was a cascade of sparks and fire and now, it looks almost like a mushroom cloud explosion...

(on camera): And then what happened to me and what happened to every person on planet earth who have access to a T.V. is that our clock started ticking because once the first tower fell, you know, that second tower is going to fall.

[19:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: United Flight 93 Newak to SFO had crashed in Pennsylvania for United Airlines.

ZAHN: Some very brave passengers attempted to take control of that plane because they knew, from phone conversations, that they had had with family members at the World Trade Center had been attacked, can you imagine the courage?

BROWN (voice-over): There had been attacks in two American cities, New York and in Washington. The Trade Centers here in New York have been hit by airplanes. In Washington, there is a large fire at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has been evacuated. And there as you can see, perhaps the second tower, the front tower, the top portion of which is collapsing.

Good Lord. There are no words.

ZAHN: It was eerie to stand on the rooftop where we were broadcasting from.

You can see how tough it is for anybody to sort out the magnitude of what this city endured as well as what Washington endured today.

When the wind shifted, you could smell the jet fuel, you could smell metal burning.

BROWN: Its 1:00, 2:00 in the morning, we sleep and was tired, and I was crying and I was thinking about my daughter was from middle school. And I thought, "God, her world is going to be totally different, is going to be totally different".

ZAHN: 9/11 forever altered the soul of our nation. We could never again take for granted our sense of security, and life has never been the same since then.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: There is a really big up here.

I had a satellite truck with me. I had a crew with me and we were kind of on our own.

Because as you can see, it's coming apart as we speak...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:41:14] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: I reported a few minutes ago about a second wave of attacks they'll being described as more intense.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: On my orders United States military has began strikes in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a little bit of problem on the space shuttle Columbia. It has been out of communication now for the past 12 minutes.

BUSH: My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news: the Columbia is lost. There are no survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More explosions have rock Baghdad after an unprecedented (INAUDIBLE) a few hours ago. U.S. led forces had unleashed their long awaited and punishing air assault.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Spain at this moment they are still counting the bodies. At least 190 people are dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds are reported dead in Sri Lanka as a powerful earthquake of Indonesia produced devastating tidal waves across parts of Asia.

MICHAEL JACKSON, CELEBRITY: I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury finally defend it not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four separate yet simultaneous explosions striking the transit system there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The real concern is the wind, and the rain, and any flooding that may cause.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Katrina, to many it's a simple name, but for the people of the Gulf Coast, it means so much more. For them, it represents death and destruction, and the nightmare of August 2005, Hurricane Katrina. CNN teams were positioned across the south east of United States as the powerful storm hit. When the wind and rain subsided, they found other devastation, homes, neighborhoods, families wiped out, more than 1,800 dead in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

It was more than some CNN reporters could even bare, their reports filled with dismay, grief and eventually, anger.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A powerful hurricane appears to be setting it site to the central gulf coast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The winds are just incredible here in New Orleans, we can see the roof of the super dome has been shredded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is maybe the easy side of the storm but it does not feel very easy right here on the banks of the Mississippi river, I just want to show you a little bit...

COOPER: It's a very strange feeling covering a hurricane particularly one that was this size, got there really just as the first kind of rainfall were starting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winds are really big up here.

COOPER: I had a satellite truck with me I had a crew with me and we were kind of on our own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because as you can see it's coming to part as we speak.

COOPER: Went to (inaudible) it was like a Walmart bought some supplies. I was in Walmart earlier in the day and people just come up here in the Walmart and they're like have you heard about my town?

A woman at the Walmart said to me, you should to gulf coast of Mississippi because we haven't able to touch with our relatives in Waveland and no one is reporting from there.

When I got wave on -- that was unlike anything I've seen before. It's just block after block was gone. People were starting to return and see their lives gone.

It's devastating, I mean, after this.

I went out with this FEMA body recovery team. We went to the house of a family; their last name was Bame (ph).

[19:45:00] Once you stepped on their porch, you could smell them. Everything was ripped apart and things are on the floor, it was very chaotic. There was mud everywhere and then they found them.

These four people a man and wife, and two children have died in this home. They get drowned in their living room and there's a husband and a wife, and two of their kids were special needs kids. But there were really nothing they could do. They mark an X on the door and they put the number four for the number of bodies on the door that were inside and then they close the door and they left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A levee break the size of a football field is slowly flooding New Orleans.

I am looking over a scene of other devastation and the entire neighborhood, this water has come up to the east of the houses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we got out there, you could hear screams of people still being trapped in the attics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we came across people punching holes in the attic spaces because the water is filled up all the way up to their attics.

GUPTA: What are we doing now, doc, where are we going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to Charity Hospital.

GUPTA: Is this really safe and we heard about the snipers earlier today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Not really.

You had to get a row boat and essentially row across from the parking deck across the street and to the ramp of Charity Hospital. GUPTA: OK. Well, we made it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

GUPTA: Safely.

So this is what a Charity Hospital looks like in the middle of the natural disaster.

When you get into Charity Hospital, you sort of immediately realize that it is as bad if not worst as has been described. It was completely crowded. There was a smell in the air. When we started to walk around the hospital and realize that the staircase is not becoming filled with bodies as a result of what was happening there, that you needed to start reporting.

(voice-over): This is the parking deck between Charity and Tulane Hospital. Patients are here over the last several days since Katrina hit, have been trying to get out of here.

(on camera): One of the images that really struck with me the most was these people bagging patients, with been on ventilators who no longer had power, and they would take shifts. And you couldn't fall asleep and they have to just keep doing it and sometimes the patients would still be awake and are cognizance enough to know that literally in my entire life right now is dependent on where this guy can keep bagging this bag of air into my lungs.

For the first time now, you can hear and see the choppers, to try and take some of these patients out.

When the helicopter first landed, the Tulane patients started to be evacuated. Keep in mind, this doctor who is sitting here with critically injured patient still. Tulane got all their patients and staff out before they began to evacuate Charity Hospital.

And we know that patients died while waiting and that's something that you know, I don't think ever leaves you.

Some of these people had been waiting outside now for more than three days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No food. No water. Helicopter is flying all over here. It's ridiculous.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: Now get off your ass and do something. And then speak the biggest (inaudible) damn crisis in the history of this country.

COOPER: You know, someone actually said this to me in the days after Katrina. He said to me, "You know man? This is all going to be forgotten. It's all going to be cleaned up and washed away and forgotten".

But I'm someone who never forget what I saw and I don't think a lot of people who were there. I don't think any of them will forget any of it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's been an explosion at the Boston Marathon.

It went from being an explosion to being a bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FBI admits they don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:52:30] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: And CNN can now project that Barack Obama, 47 years old, will become the President-elect of the United States.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince with apartment buildings. Now it's the worst devastation I have ever seen.

GUPTA: 15-Day old baby, they're begging for a doctor.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And now another major story developing in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people are missing after an explosion and fire on an offshore oil rig.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is one pocket of turmoil in the center of the Egyptian capital, but it is throwing the entire country into a political crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're following breaking news out of Aurora, Colorado. Twelve people have been killed and another 38 wounded at the screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This water, this is ocean water. There are waves in the streets of downtown Atlantic City. This is where I am.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are thousands of law enforcement personnel on the ground. They do believe that he is in this area. They've been bringing people in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Marathon Monday, Boston's favorite day -- fans a moment of triumph but on April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs turned the marathon to murder. Three dead, hundred wounded, suspects on the run. All eyes turned to CNN to witness of unfolding tragedy, a desperate manhunt, and a city struggling to recover.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello.

More than 27,000 runners are running in today's Boston Marathon, more than a half million people are expected to line the course.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Let's get now to Boston. Apparently, there's been an explosion at the Boston Marathon. I am told...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was big. It was (inaudible). I saw a big mass of smokes come up.

COOPER: And you knew you saw in the moments after the blast, people, civilians, you know, making tourniquets and saving people's lives.

ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: A lot of the injuries being on the lower part of the leg which indicated a bomb that was close to the ground.

FEYERICK: I started working to phones because I've had a lot of sources in law enforcement.

[19:55:00] And one of the first significant pieces of information I got was that the paramedics were seeing ball bearings fall out of some of the wounded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here on the ground in Boston the FBI admits they don't know...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... they don't know if this domestic or foreign, they don't know if it's lone wolf or a group.

FEYERICK: It went from being an explosion, to being a bomb, to being something that was created based on an al-Qaeda recipe.

COOPER: President Obama made it clear said the bombings in Boston are being investigated as an act of terrorism.

FEYERICK: And it was late Tuesday early Wednesday that they were able to get an impression of who they believe the bombers were. The problem is they didn't have the names of these two individuals they have no idea who they were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But on that Thursday morning, we got (inaudible) they had photo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were going to make this dramatic announcement and ask for help find these guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are releasing photos of these two suspects. The photos and videos are posted for the public and media to use, review and publicize.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These rules up the kind of lone wolf crazy person scenario.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two people are together practicing potentially, buying these products together, assembling together. They're also planning their escape.

GRIFFIN: We work all through that night up until the 10:00 news and just above 11:00, our phones are going off crazy. It's crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my goodness all units respond, officers down, officers down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on it.

GRIFFIN: Over a Cambridge a cop was shot. Police are investigating a fatal shooting of MIT campus police officer by two men who then committed an arms car jacking in Cambridge. We hear the scanner and it is hell's bells everybody to Watertown.

FEYERICK: Because there has been a major shoot out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gun's drawn and we have heard multiple gun shots.

FEYERICK: One of the bombers is dead the other one had escaped.

GRIFFIN: I was driving over 100 miles an hour. Cops were passing us.

FEYERICK: We get to Watertown.

GRIFFIN: The police hear have warned all residents not only do not come outside but not to open their doors to anyone.

FEYERICK: You had police cars. You had military vehicles.

GRIFFIN: Patrols of cops going through Watertown that looked like army squads going through Afghanistan, door to door, yard to yard.

FEYERICK: We heard numbers between 9,000 and 10,000...

COOPER: There was an ongoing -- it was all happening in the real time on camera.

GRIFFIN: I know I think I still had my ear piece in. And waiting to go on with Wolf and all of sudden I heard it.

Just unmistaken, rapid fire.

What was that? Was that guns? I knew exactly what that was.

Well, it sounded like multiple assault riffle shots to me. It sounded like police emptying their weapons rapidly fired and then all of a sudden it stopped. We're seeing some police activity I'm at Watertown right by the arsenal and school intersection.

So Pitts (ph) run to the sound of the shot, and next thing, you know, he says through the surrounding of boat. It's a boat.

COOPER: David (ph) it's Patrick (ph), our producer is on the scene David (ph), what do you seeing again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anderson, the armed police and FBI, they're done, still resting on the trunks of their cars. I see about a half a dozen, maybe eight guys in SWAT uniforms.

GRIFFIN: And there's about 2 hours late, I think 8:00 that he finally gave up.

FEYERICK: When Dzhokhar Tsarnaev comes out of that boat and he surrounded by hundreds of officers and federal agents, and he's got a red dot on his forehead and that's because he had a snipers riffle trained at his head.

GRIFFIN: Captured, terror is over. That was the tweet from the Boston P.D. It was intense. It was intense.

FEYERICK: I'm trying to find the real story and getting that out and having people to understand that I think it's really important to me.

GRIFFIN: That's what we do. We want to bring the story to the viewer. We want you to see it.

COOPER: There's very few networks that devote that kind of resources to tell the stories and to that stay with the story and then arrive at the story it's quickly CNN does, and stays at the story as long as CNN does. Even after a lot of other people have left, CNN is there. I'm proud to be a part of that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This is the final resting place of MH17.

BLITZER: Another very disturbing video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An intentional act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the protesters have moved all the way down there.

AMANPOUR: Democracy is not there without freedom and freedom is not there without freedom of the press.

[20:00:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.