9/11: How it Changed US

In a collection of exclusive videos on the impact of 9/11, Newseum visitors, and journalists who covered the story, reflect on the day that changed the country and the world.

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Thoughts on 9/11 shared by Newseum visitors.

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10 Years Ago in News History: Terrorists Attack America
By Leslie Gardner

On Sept. 11, 2001, shortly before 9 a.m., a plane crashed into the upper floors of one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City, marking the beginning of unprecedented terrorist attacks on the United States.

From the Pentagon to Pennsylvania, the day was filled with one shocking event after another. The media rushed to cover the cascading story, documenting an unforgettable day in U.S. history.

More than 1 billion viewers around the world watched live television of the events that day. In the United States, networks stayed on the air with continuous coverage that lasted a record four days. With simultaneous breaking news in three places, the media faced extraordinary challenges.

In the New York area, the attacks knocked out 10 cellular antennas. The city came to a halt. No news organization was more directly affected than The Wall Street Journal.

After a second plane struck the second tower of the World Trade Center, the Journal's nearby offices were evacuated. Reporters and editors made their way to a makeshift newsroom some 50 miles away. Staffers relied on the Internet and communicated by email, some of which are currently on display in the Newseum's News Corporation News History Gallery. Journal staffers managed to produce a newspaper on Sept. 12 that later won a Pulitzer Prize.

Just as police and firefighters do in a disaster, journalists put themselves at risk on Sept. 11. Veteran freelance news photographer Bill Biggart was among the journalists who ran toward danger that day.

Biggart was walking his dog with his wife, Wendy Doremus, when he heard someone shout that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. He rushed home for his cameras and ran toward the clouds of smoke.

Doremus called his cellphone after the first tower collapsed. Biggart told her he was with the firemen and would see her in 20 minutes. She never spoke to him again.

Rescuers found Biggart's body in the rubble near the second collapsed tower. His three cameras, two camera bags, notes, press credentials, a wedding ring and other personal effects, were also found. He was the only working journalist killed covering the terrorist attack.

The Newseum's 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast tells the shocking story of 9/11 and contains a tribute to Biggart. Included are the cameras he used that fateful morning and some of the final photographs he took moments before he died.

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