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Old 09-10-2019, 09:05 AM
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So what was the biggest news on the morning of September 11, 2001 before everything changed?


We all know what the headlines were on September 12, 2001, but about the day before?

In New York, the news was about the election primaries that were supposed to be held that day (they got cancelled, along with everything else).
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:30 AM
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I remember it was a pretty slow news period. There were lots of stories about shark attacks over the summer even though fatal shark attacks were at historically normal levels that year. The big story was about a 24-year old woman who disappeared in Washington, DC, named Chandra Levy. She was an intern at the time. No one would have cared except that it was rumored that she was having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit and speculation was that he killed her. That was half true - the affair was real but she was killed by an aimless drifter.

Last edited by Tired and Cranky; 09-10-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:52 AM
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It was the lil'wrekker's 2nd birthday. Big news at our house.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:15 AM
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Headlines* from the Charlotte Observer, 9/11/2001:

ECONOMIC FORECASTS STILL SHAKY FISCAL SOOTHSAYERS STAYING UPBEAT, BUT THINK GROWTH WILL COME SLOWLY `BEST HUNCH AND HOPE' NOW THE BEST GUIDE FOR EXPERTS PROVEN WRONG, FED RESEARCHER SAYS

SENIORS WASTE BILLIONS BUYING SUPPLEMENTS UNSCRUPULOUS RETAILERS TARGET OLDER PEOPLE, EXPERTS TELL SENATE

DOLE SET TO BEGIN SENATE QUEST SALISBURY NATIVE SAYS SHE'LL VISIT EVERY N.C. COUNTY BY ELECTION DAY

CITY'S RED-LIGHT RUNNERS ARE GETTING THE PICTURE THEIR ACCIDENTS ARE DECLINING AT INTERSECTIONS WITH CAMERAS

MAN OK AFTER FALL, 3 DAYS WEDGED INTO STORM DRAIN

RELEASED SUSPECT ALSO HAS MURDER CHARGE PROSECUTOR MAY ASK JUDGE TO RAISE $13,500 BOND TO $1 MILLION


* Stories identified as being on page 1A at any rate.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:21 AM
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Yes, the Chandra Levy murder story was the big news and had been for quite some time. I remember watching the news while working out very early that morning. It pains me to remember wishing for a news event big enough to knock it off top story status.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:25 AM
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Oof, one of my local paper's stories that day was "Defense official declares war on Pentagon." It starts, "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld started his week off with a bang."
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:17 AM
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In Washington DC (and all over the country, I guess) the big story was the Chandra Levy case.

There was also a lot of brouhaha about the use of embryonic stem cells in scientific research.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:25 AM
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If anyone has the stomach for it, the Internet Archive has an excellent collection of videos: https://archive.org/details/sept_11_tv_archive

Many of them start well before the first tower was struck at 8:46, so you get a good idea of what was news that day. GMA, for example, was interviewing Sarah Ferguson.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 09-10-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:46 PM
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In California, there was a manhunt for a kid/young man who'd killed several people. He said he'd killed them so he would be famous and people would talk about him forever.

In some small way, I'm glad he's been forgotten by history.

Editted to add: I searched and found an ironic quote from his suicide message:

Quote:
In the video, Ferguson said he would soon kill himself. "I've taken four victims, this should be good enough to last about a week on the news. It's time to feed the news media."

Last edited by RadioWave; 09-10-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:01 PM
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I remember listening to NPR while getting dressed for work that morning; there was a story about the Northern Alliance driving back the Taliban in Afghanistan.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:34 PM
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I live in Denver and remember what the big news was supposed to be that day. I turned on the TV that morning specifically to see if there was news about Ed McCaffrey, a Broncos wide receiver who had broken his leg the evening before in a game against the NY Giants. The news was just cutting away from local coverage to a live view of the north tower of the World Trade Center spewing smoke.

After that I kinda forgot about football for a while.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:40 PM
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I remember listening to NPR while getting dressed for work that morning; there was a story about the Northern Alliance driving back the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Yeah, I remember reading something about that too. But by far, the Chandra Levy/Gary Condit story was the biggest thing in news, and had been for most of the summer. I was much like nelliebly and extremely tired of hearing about it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:01 PM
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A sports-related event occurring that weekend was the then-rumored return of Michael Jordan to basketball, playing for the Washington Wizards. My introduction to the attack began with Tony Bruno, a syndicated sports talk host, making the following crack:

"CNN is now turning from their wall-to-wall Michael Jordan coverage to bring us pictures of a building on fire."

It got serious real fast after that as he and co-host Andrew Siciliano grasped what was happening.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:13 PM
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Kinda interesting looking at the threads in the forums from that time to see what topics we were talking about:

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...une=-1&page=50

The above link should take you to IMHO, showing a list of the end-dates of threads. Let's just say that for pretty much all forums, there's a LOT of closed threads all of a sudden.

The Pit: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...une=-1&page=50

Great Debates: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...une=-1&page=38

(Your settings may cause some additional clicking to get to the exact date - the links worked for me, so I assume they'll work for all.)

Last edited by JohnT; 09-10-2019 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:50 PM
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In Australia, there was a major story that got completely wiped off the radar by 9/11, namely that Ansett, one of only two airlines flying in Australia at the time, announced bankruptcy.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:51 PM
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I'm reading a book about the Battle of the Bulge and strangely despite the enormity of the battle a lot of American and British papers literally had the battle on page 2 and domestic stories on the front page, such as FEARS OF BEER SHORTAGE IN PUBS OVER CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY.

Bizarre how such mundane headlines even back then override actual national emergencies.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:00 PM
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Reading those old threads is reopening some barely-healed wounds.

In completely unrelated news, THOSE PEOPLE WHO HATED TARA IN BtVS ARE EVEN WRONGER NOW THAN THEY WERE IN 2001!

Last edited by JohnT; 09-10-2019 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky View Post
The big story was about a 24-year old woman who disappeared in Washington, DC, named Chandra Levy. She was an intern at the time. No one would have cared except that it was rumored that she was having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit and speculation was that he killed her. That was half true - the affair was real but she was killed by an aimless drifter.
That's what I remember. The media just went on and on and on about it. 9/11 put a stop to it instantly, like a swatted fly. I didn't get solid information about it until I got home from work, because news websites were overwhelmed with traffic.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:39 PM
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funny thing is i had just watched imus on msnbc and went to bed and maybe an hour later my roommate woke up and i turned it back on ..
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:46 PM
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This is really not germane to the OP, but I remember this was an active GQ thread at the time of 9/11, started on Sept 4, 2001.

Impossible for every plane to land?

At that time, I worked in a manufacturing plant in the middle of cotton and soybean fields. As I went outside to the plant to make my rounds, I saw crop-dusters spraying the fields, and it was after they ordered all planes to be landed. By the time I returned to the office, there were no more crop-dusters.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Kinda interesting looking at the threads in the forums from that time to see what topics we were talking about:

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...une=-1&page=50

The above link should take you to IMHO, showing a list of the end-dates of threads. Let's just say that for pretty much all forums, there's a LOT of closed threads all of a sudden.

The Pit: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...une=-1&page=50

Great Debates: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...une=-1&page=38

(Your settings may cause some additional clicking to get to the exact date - the links worked for me, so I assume they'll work for all.)
That SPOOFE was a real Nostradamus.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:50 PM
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I remember listening to NPR while getting dressed for work that morning; there was a story about the Northern Alliance driving back the Taliban in Afghanistan.
I was listening to NPR while driving to work that morning. A few minutes before the first plane hit. I remember not only that story, but the one that went with it, about the assassination of the Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud by al-Qa‘idah.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:09 AM
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In Norway, there was an election the day before. A politician named Kjell Magne Bondevik, who normally has no luck, had managed to pull off a spectacular coup in terms of politics and negotiation. He'd managed to wield three parties in the political center-right into an alliance that formed a minority government with himself as Prime Minister, despite his party being rather small. He leaned back in his armchair and bent his normally teetotal ways enough to have a brandy secure in the knowledge that tomorrow the headlines were all going to be about his accomplishment.

Later on it turned out that he was exactly what we needed for the times. He was an ordained minister representing the Christian Democrats, and it is said that he used his religious convictions as a minister to argue to Bush II that he could not support the Iraq invasion, and that the religious argument was one Bush could not refute.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:17 AM
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It was already going, about six in the morning, and I heard about it on the radio as I woke up. Instantly snapped on the TV and had a hard time getting ready for work by seven. My commute route paralleled Sky Harbor's downwind leg but there were no aircraft taking off as I drove in -- very unusual as it's a busy time of the day for them. At work the calls were very light and they offered an early release if you wanted it, covered by sick leave or vacation time. I stuck it out as I figured I'd only be moping around at home anyway.

This looks like a good place to drop Cartooniverse's post about that day, Everything Changed: A September 11th Narrative.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:26 AM
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I'm reading a book about the Battle of the Bulge and strangely despite the enormity of the battle a lot of American and British papers literally had the battle on page 2 and domestic stories on the front page, such as FEARS OF BEER SHORTAGE IN PUBS OVER CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY.

Bizarre how such mundane headlines even back then override actual national emergencies.
I'm not sure what you're getting at- you can google plenty of examples of period newspapers with BoB headlines and almost the entire front page covered with information about it.

What I suspect may have happened is that on Dec 16th, the battle began, and I'd bet that the newspapers didn't catch up until the 17th or 18th about that, and then probably by the 20th or so, didn't have too much new information to report- most of what was going on was probably restricted tactical/operational information. So they were reporting about beer shortages, etc...

Beyond that, the British wouldn't have had nearly the interest in the battle, as it was against American forces, not British ones.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:27 AM
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The headline in the local newspaper was about a very wealthy and influential property owner who had just gotten busted for running a prostitution ring disguised as "massage parlors."
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:27 AM
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:40 AM
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I was not in the habit of watching or listening to news before heading to work; I lived in Manhattan @ 49th St and 2nd Ave and would roll out of bed, shower, get dressed, and hop the subway to 53rd and 6th where I worked, snagging a deli egg sandwich on my way to my desk.

The airplane flying into the first tower was already occupying the news by 8:30 AM. I got off the F train and scowled at all the brainless cattle annoyingly motionless commuters with their faces pressed against the glass window of some underground business at the Rockefeller Ctr stop, one which happened to have televisions on and running.

"WTF is so compelling on the goddam teevee, that everyone's gotta block me from getting out the turnstile?"

"Somebody just flew a plane into the side of the world trade center"

"They giving out pilot's licenses as crackerjack prizes or something? New flash, there's a huge honking tall building at the lower end of Manhattan. Stupid Cessna hobbyists"

So whatever was "the news of the day" before the attacks would be in a very limited window between dawn and perhaps 8 AM.

Last edited by AHunter3; 09-11-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:43 AM
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"They giving out pilot's licenses as crackerjack prizes or something? New flash, there's a huge honking tall building at the lower end of Manhattan. Stupid Cessna hobbyists"
When we first got word where I was of the second plane, I dismissed it as someone having mis-heard the report, then quipped something along the lines of it only being a second plane "if John Cusack was still working ATC" that morning. :cringe:
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:58 AM
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I called and woke up my sister in California and told her to turn on the TV. She did and made some comment about "The Movie Channel." I said "That's not the movie channel, that's real."
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:26 AM
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_of_the_Shark

News stories about supposed increase in shark attacks. And the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy thing.

I was out of work that summer and girlfriend as well. Dot com crash victim. It was a pretty uneventful summer news wise. Hung out at the pool a lot.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:47 AM
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I called and woke up my sister in California and told her to turn on the TV. She did and made some comment about "The Movie Channel." I said "That's not the movie channel, that's real."
I had the TV on as it was happening, but then called my parents to tell them to turn on their TV. "Which channel?" my father asked. "Any channel," I replied.

(And that was almost literally the case. Later in the day, my mother turned to the Game Show Network (which was one of the few channels not covering the story; even MTV and HBO as I remember had the news on) just to have something else on.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:00 PM
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I was in Columbus Ohio at the time. I remember they had mentioned that we’d start to see the first taste of fall weather, Ohio State football, Chandra Levy, and Bush’s faith based initiatives were what was on the news that morning.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:03 PM
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I don't know what the news was like in SPAIN on that day, but apparently there is a beloved, cherished auxillery member of the Straight Dope who proudly, grandly gloated that in Barcelona, her watching innocent Americans suffer & die by the thousands on the morning of Sept. 11th 2001 (in her wise words, "...seeing Americans running around like chickens with their heads cut off...", HAW HAW HAW) was a source of much mirth and an endless amusement to her.

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 09-11-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
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I don't know what the news was like in SPAIN on that day, but apparently there is a beloved, cherished auxillery member of the Straight Dope who proudly, grandly gloated that in Barcelona, her watching innocent Americans suffer & die by the thousands on the morning of Sept. 11th 2001 (in her wise words, "...seeing Americans running around like chickens with their heads cut off...", HAW HAW HAW) was a source of much mirth and an endless amusement to her.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:27 PM
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Comedienne Paula Poundstone had some legal problems that were starting to make headlines at that time.

There was also a Little League Baseball controversy where pitcher Danny Alamonte, following months of rumors after becoming a sensation during the Little League World Series, was revealed to be too old to be eligible to play.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:34 PM
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I had the TV on as it was happening, but then called my parents to tell them to turn on their TV. "Which channel?" my father asked. "Any channel," I replied.

(And that was almost literally the case. Later in the day, my mother turned to the Game Show Network (which was one of the few channels not covering the story; even MTV and HBO as I remember had the news on) just to have something else on.
I turned on the Weather Channel, which wasn't showing the news but they were talking about how all incoming flights were being rerouted to Canada. I thought that was kind of bizarre, then my mother called me and told me to turn on CNN. I did, right in time to see the second tower fall.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:40 PM
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Here's an interesting article about the OP topic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/20...before/100142/
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:23 AM
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For 20 years Broadway held a free concert in Times Square called "Broadway on Broadway." I went to the one on Sunday, September 9, 2001. Mayor Guilliani gave the opening speech, stating "Half of the New York City dollar is the tourist dollar, and half of the tourists go to see a Broadway show."

I went into and out of NYC on the bus, never really noticing the World Trade Towers. When I went in the next time three weeks later, I noticed the empty spot.
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