'102 Minutes that Changed America' - Tonight at 9pm on History

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September 11th, 2008

It's hard for me to believe it's been seven years.  I wound up watching CNN a lot that day and then to completely distract myself pretty much watched the entire first season of Stargate: SG1 on DVD.   History Channel marks the day with 102 Minutes That Changed America, tonight at 9pm on History.  Following is the press release about the airing:

Minute by Minute First Person Video Accounts of September 11, 2001...


Premieres on HistoryTM

Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Without Commercial Interruption

NEW YORK, NY, 2008 - As the events of September 11, 2001 unfolded in New York City, some witnesses were frozen with shock, some helped others, and many ran as fast as they could from the growing disaster. Then there were those who grabbed their video cameras. Despite the chaos and danger, many people kept their cameras rolling throughout the catastrophe. The special 102 MINUTES THAT CHANGED AMERICA premieres Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 9 p.m. ET/ PT on HistoryTM without commercial interruption. With footage from more than 100 individual sources, carefully pieced together in chronological order, the special is a permanent historical archive for future generations to see.

This special presentation will be followed by I-WITNESS TO 9/11, an 18-minute documentary short featuring interviews with some of the people who contributed their 9/11 footage to this project.  This piece provides context and background to some of the most harrowing footage from the perspective of the people who recorded it.

102 Minutes That Changed America presents amateur and professional footage, woven together without narration or commentary, to provide the viewer with an immersive and emotional experience. This documentary faithfully records and captures that historical morning as it happened and the way it was experienced - from people's initial bewilderment that a plane could slam into these iconic skyscrapers on such a clear, sunny, day to the sudden, awful recognition that America was under attack.

Over the 24 months it took to research 102 Minutes That Changed America, the production team screened more than 500 hours worth of professional and amateur videotape, as well as more than 30 hours of audio recordings from New York City Fire Department and New York City Police Department radio transmissions and 911 calls. Efforts to gather footage included placing a video short on YouTube, hanging flyers around the Battery Park City neighborhood, and sending out emails to the World Trade Center Residents Group list serve. At least 10 hours of footage was submitted to the producers based on word-of-mouth about the project within the New York City production community.

Many have said we must never forget what happened on 9/11. 102 Minutes That Changed America is an unprecedented attempt to capture the experience of that morning and preserve it, as authentically as possible, for future generations.

Among the videographers are two New York University seniors in a high-rise dormitory just blocks from the World Trade Center. Immediately after the first plane's impact, these young women pick up their camera and begin recording the smoking North Tower. Their confusion turns into panic when they observe objects plummeting from the tower windows.  Then, in their viewfinder, the second plane impacts the South Tower. Terrified, the girls must decide whether to stay on the 32nd floor or flee with their friends to the ground floor.

Meanwhile, six blocks south, another camera follows firefighters trudging toward the flaming towers, as radio communications from the 72nd floor call for reinforcements to help put out the inferno above. Civilians on the street, many of whom are just emerging from their subway commute, wonder at first why the building is on fire. Bystanders who suspect terrorism wonder if another attack is imminent, and whether it will strike them next.

From other points around the city, in Times Square, on Staten Island and in New Jersey as well, onlookers stare in disbelief at the sight of the burning towers. They express concern for the well-being of the workers potentially trapped inside the Trade Center, and for friends who may live or work nearby. A woman filming out the open window of her lower Manhattan studio is blown off her feet by the force of the North Tower's collapse, and then enveloped in the its suffocating cloud of debris.

102 Minutes That Changed America is produced by Siskel/Jacobs Productions for History. Executive Producers for Siskel/Jacobs are Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel. Nicole Rittenmeyer is Producer and Seth Skundrick is Editor. Executive Producer for History is Susan Werbe.

HistoryTM and History HDTM are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning, original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connects history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the networks' program offerings are hit series such as Ax MenBattle 360, The Universe, Cities of The Underworld and Ice Road Truckers, as well as acclaimed specials including King, Life After People, 1968 With Tom Brokaw, Lost Book of Nostradamus, Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed and Sherman's March. History has earned four Peabody Awards, three Primetime Emmy® Awards, 10 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take A Veteran to School Day is the network's latest initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. History's website, located at www.History.com, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games podcasts and more.

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