Collection Summary

The 9/11 Special Coverage collection consists of 68 television and radio programs covering the events of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the aftermath, and the following War on Terror. The collection includes radio programs from WILL Illinois Public Media’s Focus 580 series and KAKM’s Talk of Alaska, recorded on September 11, 2001, and the immediate days following the attacks. Coverage of 9/11 and its anniversaries by The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and the PBS NewsHour is also featured, highlighting how national public television news communicated the event and how it was reflected on in later years. Additional programs in the collection include episodes of WNET’s New York Voices, featuring an episode titled “The Day After” with a panel discussion hosted by Bill Moyers on 9/12/2001; a one-year anniversary radio special by KPCC-FM; recorded lectures from the Commonwealth Club of California contributed by the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University; and a recording from 9/12/2001 of “9/11 prayer services” and interviews with diverse religious leaders from ideastream. In addition to 9/11 coverage and anniversary programs, the collection features broadcasts discussing topics such as counterterrorism and the War on Terror, homeland security, the 9/11 Commission, diplomacy, American intelligence, aviation security, the 9/11 Memorial, 9/11 and the media, humanitarian action, and international finance in the post 9/11 world.

Collection Background

On September 11, 2001, the United States of America experienced the largest terrorist attack and loss of human life on US soil in a single day since the Pearl Harbor Naval Station was struck by Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft on December 7, 1941. The 9/11 attack destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, partially damaged the Pentagon in Washington DC, and crashed United Flight 93 in a field in rural Pennsylvania before it could reach Washington. The subsequent War on Terror led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the former of which has become the longest ongoing armed conflict in US history.

Most of the materials in this collection were digitized through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Council on Library and Information Resources. The records from the Hoover Institution and KPCC were contributed in 2018 by the institutions after they were digitized.

This Special Collection was curated by Robert Hoffman, graduate student at New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program.