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CNN PRESENTS

CNN 25: Defining Moments

Aired June 5, 2005 - 20:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: This is a CNN 25th Anniversary Special Presentation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

TED TURNER, FOUNDER, CNN: I dedicate the news channel for America -- the Cable News Network.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Camera three. One center up.

DAVID WALKER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm David Walker.

LOIS HART, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: And I'm Lois Hart. Now, here's the news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Challenger now heading down range.

ANNOUNCER: Bringing you man's ambitious endeavors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go at throttle-up.

ANNOUNCER: And fatal flights. Revealing real-life drama -- live.

Showing you moments of courage against oppression -- apartheid, communism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Wall represented the divide between East and West.

ANNOUNCER: And in times of war, CNN took you inside the battles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly, I've never been there, but it feels like we're in the center of hell.

ANNOUNCER: CNN bridged the distance, making the miles disappear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a rocket-propelled grenade go right over the top of the CNN van we're riding in.

ANNOUNCER: With CNN you were inside the courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury in the above-titled action ...

DENISE BROWN, SISTER OF NICOLE SIMPSON: I believe he murdered my sister, and I will always think that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just started screaming and crying and telling them not to shoot me.

ANNOUNCER: And when total (ph) events unfolded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the time that I was shot to the time I climbed out the window, it was about a three-hour period.

ANNOUNCER: When tragedy struck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We received word from the hospital that, in fact, Princess Diana had died.

ANNOUNCER: We shared the world's grief.

Amid political showdowns and sex scandals.

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

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'll never forget the chill that I had.

ANNOUNCER: CNN took you to the heart of the stories -- then and now.

LINDA TRIPP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY: Yes, I probably would do it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have learned that there has been a large explosion at the Federal Courthouse Building in Oklahoma City.

ANNOUNCER: In the moments that mattered, CNN was there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody was like looking up toward the sky. And I started running downtown towards the building.

ANNOUNCER: Celebrating CNN's 25th anniversary. Join Paula Zahn, Anderson Cooper, Larry King and Aaron Brown with "Defining Moments: 25 Stories That Touched Our Lives."

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Paula Zahn. Welcome.

We all have images in our minds that define history for us, many brought to you by CNN.

Twenty-five years ago, CNN founder Ted Turner's vision of a 24- hour news network became a reality. And in that time we've watched the whole world change, shaped by events of great tragedy and triumph.

We're going to look at them now through the eyes of the people who lived through them, and our journalists, beginning with two painful moments that remind us of the vulnerabilities of space flight.

(BEGIN CHALLENGER SEGMENT)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That day it was so bitterly cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Launch of the 51L mission, planned for 11:38 ...

ZARRELLA: This was an enormous event, because it was going to be the launch of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher in space.

CHRISTA MCAULIFFE, CHALLENGER SHUTTLE CASUALTY: Teachers are excited about this.

ZARRELLA: You know, she was so effervescent and had a great personality and smile.

GRACE CORRIGAN, CHRISTA MCAULIFFE'S MOTHER: She just loved life. And she loved to encompass everybody around her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Big smiles today.

CORRIGAN: I think that's really the reason why she was chosen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything going very well in the countdown.

CORRIGAN: My husband looked out, and you could see the shuttle. You could see icicles on it. And he said then, he said, you know, if I could go out there and take her off of that, I would.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just getting down to about three minutes, and they think they can do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are counting. The ice is cleared away.

BOB FURNAD, FORMER CNN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: The other networks had stopped covering shuttle launches. They had become routine.

But CNN, because we were a news network, went ahead and covered it. And so nobody else had it, and we did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one. And liftoff. Liftoff of the 25th space shuttle mission, and it has cleared the tower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, roll (ph), Challenger.

ZARRELLA: Watching the ascent of the vehicle, and it goes up. And it was normal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the 25th space shuttle mission is now on its way.

ZARRELLA: Then you hear the call from NASA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Challenger, go at throttle-up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously, a major malfunction.

ZARRELLA: Everybody was waiting for Challenger to emerge from behind the cloud of smoke that we could see. Of course, no -- it never was going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a report from the flight dynamics officer. The vehicle has exploded. Flight director confirms that. We are looking at checking with the recovery forces to see what can we do at this point.

ZARRELLA: First thing I did was just quick, run up and get on the phone and try to report what I saw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Silence. Get me into Zarrella. He's live at the Cape.

ZARRELLA: Everybody's just stunned. They're in shock.

It's a situation where everybody's just sort of standing around here -- just bewildered at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, break (ph) five (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Let's get a live picture.

ZARRELLA: You could hear the chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stand by.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up in here!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open their mikes!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the center of the fire and the smoke, you can't see anything.

ZARRELLA: There was much chaos in the newsroom. People yelling and screaming, as there was, you know, at the NASA press site.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here are the spectators watching.

FURNAD: I remember a really gripping piece of video. And it was a camera that was trained on Christa McAuliffe's parents.

And as the shuttle exploded, the expression on her mom's face instantly changed to one of, "Oh my God, what has happened?"

It was clear her father didn't quite grasp it, because he had a look of puzzlement. And then when it was clear that he realized what had happened, it became a look of "Oh, no!"

CORRIGAN: Thinking back on it, I don't think it was that we didn't understand something very horrible had happened. I think it was the fact that we didn't want to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We're setting down to the surface. Congratulations!

CORRIGAN: I think Christa would be very pleased to see the wonderful legacy that she has left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is mission control.

CORRIGAN: Challenger learning centers are wonderful, wonderful tools for education.

That trip wasn't successful. But Christa's mission really was. It is her life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liftoff.

CORRIGAN: Challenger was an educational mission. She was going to teach two lessons from space.

So, it's continuing the Challenger mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, roll, Challenger.

(END CHALLENGER SEGMENT)

(BEGIN COLUMBIA SEGMENT)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ignition and liftoff. The space shuttle Columbia finally underway.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: After Challenger, you know, everybody paid a lot of attention to the launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Columbia, Houston, you're go at throttle-up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We copy go and throttle up.

O'BRIEN: Phew! Ah! The first 8.5 minutes were OK. We're home free.

We've got a little problem on the space shuttle Columbia. It has been out of communication now for the past 12 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Columbia, Houston. We did not copy your last.

O'BRIEN: And, of course, 17 years later, it was just the other end of the mission. It was the re-entry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a live picture of the space shuttle Columbia ...

O'BRIEN: Within a few minutes of the shuttle not appearing, WFAA fed that dramatic tape.

I see multiple trails there. I count one, two, three, four. It was obvious what we were watching was an in-flight breakup.

Within a short period of time, NASA officially announced that the crew was lost.

The real tragedy of the Columbia disaster is that, if you substituted foam striking the leading edge of the wing for O-rings in the solid rocket booster, it's an identical story to Challenger.

They repeated the same mistakes 17 years prior.

And look at that piece right there. What was that?

A problem cropping up, explaining it away. And then ultimately seeing that problem lead to a tragedy.

We were within two weeks of announcing that I was going to fly in the shuttle. We had put together a deal with NASA. And I knew on that day my dream was certainly deferred, probably over. But in the grand scheme of what was lost, that didn't amount to much.

(END COLUMBIA SEGMENT)

ZAHN: Next ...

TONY CLARK, MIDLAND, TEXAS: You can see the enthusiasm. You could hear the applause.

ZAHN: ... Baby Jessica and the well.

JAMES ROBERTS, RESCUE COMMANDER, MIDLAND, TEXAS: I'd probably say that that's one of the miracles that we've seen in our lifetime.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back.

In late July of 2002, the lives of nine coal miners hung in the balance. An accident at the Quecreek Mine in southwestern Pennsylvania trapped them 240 feet underground, in a dark hole rapidly filling with water.

ZAHN: For 77 hours, America held its collective breath as emergency crews raced against time. Wedged in a fragile subterranean air pocket, surrounded by millions of gallons of rising water, the miners prepared for the worst.

HARRY BLAINE MAYHUGH, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA MINER: I wrote letters to my wife and kids, just telling them that I loved them.

ZAHN: Rescuers worked around the clock.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

ZAHN: We have just heard that the first of the surviving nine miners has just been pulled out and pulled to safety. The grueling ordeal made them reexamine their beliefs.

MARK POPERNACK, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA MINER: It boosted my faith so much.

ZAHN: Seventy-seven hours trapped underground was enough for some.

MAYHUGH: Well, I haven't worked in the mines ever since the incident.

ZAHN: Joyous images of the miners being pulled from that hole reminded us of another rescue we carried live some 15 years earlier.

When a baby named Jessica McClure, trapped in a well, captured the nation's heart.

(BEGIN BABY JESSICA SEGMENT)

JAMES ROBERTS, RETIRED FIRE CHIEF, MIDLAND, TEXAS: Of course, this is a desert area. And really, the reason Midland got its start was because of underground water.

This backyard is a little bit different than it was in 1987.

People have drilled water wells primarily to water their yards.

Of course, this is the well itself that she was in. If you look at that shaft, you just can't believe that a human would be in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What started as a child's innocent game turned into a child's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jessica McClure, trapped ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People all over the world have been watching this story.

TONY CLARK, FORMER CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jessica was 18 months old at the time. She was playing in the backyard.

She had fallen 22 feet into the well.

When we got there, we found that some of the reporters had already gotten ladders. We did not have a ladder. And so, I started knocking on doors up and down the block.

The rescuers are making progress literally by inches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jessica.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cameras and microphones have been dropped down.

CLARK: They could hear her crying a little bit, gurgling. So they knew that she was alive. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the Lord's help and with your prayers, we know that little girl's going to make it.

CLARK: Chip and Cissy McClure were so young. I think she was 18. He was around the same age. And they were obviously worried parents.

It has gone frustratingly slow, as volunteer rescuers drilled, they found it tougher than expected.

ROBERTS: Well, this is what we were digging through. We didn't know it was going to take a couple of days.

This is the actual indention of the hole that we drilled.

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

ROBERTS: These guys were manhandling this jackhammer sideways and drilling across there. And just some of the reasons that it took so long.

Some 58 hours after we'd been going, everybody was pretty tired, and we'd been through a lot and been through a lot of disappointment.

All of a sudden I'm listening on my phone. And Steve says, "Chief Roberts, got her".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony Clark in Midland, Texas -- Tony.

CLARK: It looks like they're bringing her up right now. We're seeing a lot of activity.

ROBERTS: But when she actually came up above ground, I couldn't believe it.

I had to lean around some of the people and just make sure. And I saw that one eye open and saw her moving, and I knew that we'd finally done it.

CLARK: You can see the enthusiasm. You can hear the applause as Jessica is brought out -- the smiles. It has taken a long time.

She is swathed in bandages and she's on a back brace and carried to the waiting ambulance to the cheers of the rescue workers and people that were surrounding her.

It was really quite a moment.

And what happened after that is, horns started honking throughout Midland.

You knew that this was a city that was rejoicing at that moment.

ROBERTS: I don't know how she ever got out of there alive, knowing what I know now. Matter of fact, I'd probably say that that's one of the miracles that we've seen in our lifetime. CLARK: Looking at Jessica now, she graduated from high school last year. Her parents have helped her keep a very low profile.

But it's interesting that right now she is around 18 years old. And that's the same age as her mom was at the time of this -- that she was trapped in the well.

I think the Jessica McClure story changed network news coverage, to show that it can put viewers at the scene of a breaking news story from start to finish.

ROBERTS: We welded it on that night after we got her out. And it says, "For Jessica. 10/16/87. With love, from all of us."

(END BABY JESSICA SEGMENT)

ZAHN: Still to come, the revolution televised around the world.

BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: And when darkness fell, they moved in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAROL LIN, HEADLINE NEWS, CNN CENTER, ATLANTA: Good evening. I'm Carol Lin at the CNN Center in Atlanta. Here's a look at the headlines this hour.

In Aruba, two men have been charges with crimes linked to the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. Police have not said what those charges are. The suspects are two hotel security guards. FBI diving teams are assisting in the search for the missing teen.

And U.S. military officials say Marines in central Iraq have found a massive underground insurgent bunker. The officials say the hideout covers a half-million square feet and is stocked with weapons, night vision goggles and cell phones.

Some rooms were bare, but others were fully furnished. Fresh food was also found, indicating people had recently been there.

Michael Jackson is in a California hospital tonight. A spokeswoman says the singer is being treated for recurring back problems, and is expected to be released soon.

Deliberations in his molestation trial resume tomorrow. Sources tell CNN the judge will allow an audio feed from the courtroom when the verdict is read.

And coming up tonight at 11:00 Eastern, our wrap sheet team -- they're going to take your questions on the Michael Jackson trial, so send us an e-mail. Give us your questions. The address is weekends@cnn.com.

More headlines at the bottom of the hour. CNN DEFINING MOMENTS continues right now. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Nelson Mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new South Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was black South Africa's first chance to see the man behind the myth. The blacks saw a strong, determined leader. The white government may have seen more than it bargained for.

NELSON MANDELA, LEADER OF POST-APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA: We are starting a new era of hope.

ZAHN: The world has changed a lot in the last 25 years, and CNN brought you pictures of it all.

When demonstrators stood up for what they believed in, squaring off against tanks in Tiananmen Square, we showed you the power of conviction.

(BEGIN TIANANMEN SQUARE SEGMENT)

MIKE CHINOY, CNN SENIOR ASIA CORRESPONDENT: Hu Yaobang's death on the 15th of April, 1989, was the catalyst for everything that followed in that spring.

Hu Yaobang was to many Chinese a symbol of hopes for reform, and he'd been ousted by Communist Party hardliners two years earlier.

WANG DAN, EXILED TIANANMEN LEADER: Due to his death, we think we have to do something like go to the street to show our sorrow for him.

BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: CNN had been there to cover that historic summit between Deng Xiaoping and Mikhail Gorbachev.

But the crowds just multiplied and increased. They had taken over Tiananmen Square, demanding democracy.

Unbelievable, we all came here to cover a summit, and we walked into a revolution.

CYNDE STRAND, CNN PHOTOGRAPHER, TIANANMEN SQUARE: We couldn't believe that the government tolerated this, that it had let it go on this far.

They were being embarrassed. They were being humiliated on TV every night around the world. And they pulled the plug on it.

SHAW: And now as we report to our viewers around the world, martial law has been declared in Beijing.

I'm being told that the government officials are coming into the CNN control room now.

ALEC MIRAN, CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: And they said, we are here to tell you that the coverage of Gorbachev is over. Your task is over.

The bosses are saying that for us to go off the air, we would require it in writing.

Our policy is, the government has ordered us to shut down our facility.

We are shutting down our facility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we sign off?

MIRAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May we sign off?

MIRAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Vernon (ph).

SHAW: OK. We've heard the orders. We have our instructions from headquarters in Atlanta.

STRAND: After martial law was declared and they pulled the plug on our broadcast, we didn't have a way to get our pictures out. So we'd do something called "pigeon" them out.

And in those days it was fairly easy to do. You would take your tape to the airport -- a copy of your tape -- and you would find a sympathetic person to carry the tape for you. And in this case we had tapes taken to Hong Kong.

On the afternoon of June 3rd, I mean, you could feel it. You could just feel things were going in a bad direction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The assault on Tiananmen Square is now underway.

CHINOY: Late in that evening the soldiers began to move in.

I could see below me little bicycle carts where people who'd been shot were dumped in the back, and then the rider would peddle furiously, taking these victims off to hospitals.

WANG: One of my classmates came back from Tiananmen Square, and he told me the troops were shooting at students.

CHINOY: And as dawn broke, the People's Liberation Army was in full control of the square. The student movement had been crushed.

It happened the day after the morning. The column of tanks had started to leave Tiananmen Square.

Out of nowhere, this man in a white shirt ran in front of the tank. The tank stopped. And for a heart-stopping four or five minutes, there was this extraordinary drama.

The big question was, what would happen? Would he be run over? Would they shoot him?

WANG: I saw that picture, this young man standing in front of the tank. We never know who he is. And right now, nobody knows where he is.

I was arrested in 1989 in July.

CHINOY: Wang Dan spent most of the decade after Tiananmen in China, in jail. He is now a graduate student at Harvard University.

WANG: I think I was pretty proud of my role at that time, because I think, finally, I can really do something to change history.

SHAW: That was our contribution. Being there. Reporting what was happening. It was historic.

The People's Republic of China is going to be the next superpower. And what we were able to do was to provide a window for the world to peak through and see that beneath the facade there is much ferment, much unrest.

(END TIANANMEN SQUARE SEGMENT)

ZAHN: My colleague Anderson Cooper is coming up in the next half hour with a look back at these stories.

It was a verdict heard across the nation.

And do you remember the intern who rocked the White House?

And the stories from the killer tsunami. All ahead on this CNN 25th Anniversary Special.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The market plunges out of control as panic selling sends the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a headlong dive and triggers shockwaves around the world.

JAN HOPKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here on the floor you could see fear in the eyes of the traders. There was pushing, their was profanity.

LOU DOBBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is indeed a financial meltdown in terms of every major index on the stock market. The Dow losing 508.32 on the day. That is the largest loss in the history of the Dow Jones, including Black Tuesday of October 29th, 1929.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to this CNN 25th anniversary special, the defining moments that have touched our lives. I am Anderson Cooper.

Rodney King is a name linked to a tragic legacy of racial unrest and riots. 1992 was a tumultuous time in Los Angeles, when many saw justice as out of reach. The decision in the King case did not help.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Simi Valley, the four officers charged in the taped beating of motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles have been found "not guilty."

COOPER (voice-over): The verdict served as an accelerant for rage, touching off a firestorm in South Central Los Angeles.

Amid the riots, another videotaped beating lodged in the public's memory. The image of truck driver Reginald Denny being viciously attacked. As the violence spread, a shell-shocked King made a simple plea.

RODNEY KING, BEATING VICTIM: Can't we all get along? Can we get a long?

COOPER: Soon after, the fires died down and the simmering tensions abated. Since then, observers say, the racial dynamic of the city has changed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (on camera): From the tensions that engulfed a city to the shock and grief that engulfed a town. Few of us had heard of Littleton, Colorado, before Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting spree at Columbine. Fifteen died that day. Others are still recovering from their wounds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what's your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently there's been a shooting up here at Columbine High School

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To our viewers that have been watching this developing situation here on CNN, we are getting coverage from four stations in the Denver area of a shooting at a high school in Littleton, Colorado.

PAT IRELAND, COLUMBINE VICTIM: When I first was shot in the library, I wasn't sure what had happened. I tied to stand up a couple times and realized that I couldn't because one of the bullets had passed through the -- one side of my brain and paralyzed me on my right side. The whole time that I was crawling across the library floor was just passing in and out of consciousness. From the time that I was shot to the time I climbed out the window was about a three hour period.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a report on the second floor, a kid trying to climb out a window.

IRELAND: There was just an armored car that was driving by and SWAT team got a hold of it somehow and just plopped right on top of it.

I had to relearn how to walk and talk and read and write. Basically it started out over from a kindergarten or a grade school level. Being such a competitor, not wanting to give up, not letting evil win in that situation. I wanted to get better as quickly as possible and as best as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were uncertain what we were facing when Patrick let us through the building.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patrick Ireland won the hearts of his fellow students, who crowned him homecoming king.

IRELAND. So I graduated valedictorian from Columbine. I had had a 4.0 through my junior year. Through the shootings. And it had always been one of my goals to keep that up and graduate valedictorian. And the support behind that was all of my family and friends. Just -- they were constantly around me, constantly giving me support. I graduated magna cum laude from Colorado State and had a 3.9 GPA.

Casey (ph) and I are going to get married this August. We went to CSU together. We met, actually, before classes started our freshman year.

There are times that when I was in the library whenever I would stop and take a break, thoughts would cross my mind that this would be so much easier to stop here, lay down. As soon as those thoughts started to come over my mind, I'd think of all the people that I'd be letting down and all that I really had to look forward to in my life and just the drive and the determination pushed me and made me keep going towards accomplishing all that I have accomplished.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): When we return, war and remembrance.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (video clip): Their courage stands as a real triumph of the spirit of people under the kind of brutality that they experienced.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER (on camera): It struck without warning. And earthquake of the coast of Indonesia unleashed a killer tsunami and a torrent of suffering. More than 200,000 people lost their lives. Towns, entire villages were washed away. CNN brought you the emotional stories of the victims and the survivors.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just look at that. That wave is a good 15, 20 feet tall, easy.

Get in, get in, get in. AMANPOUR (voice-over): The tsunami struck on December 26th, 2004.

(on camera): Like many people around the world and many CNNers I was on Christmas vacation with my family. I came immediately to Sri Lanka in the southern part of Sri Lanka. It was hit very, very badly.

(voice-over): There were small fishing villages that had essentially been wiped out. Trees had been leveled, cars, lorries, ships, boats, things had simply been displaced and of course, people, so many people, had been killed.

Many of the world's officials, certainly many of the aid organizations, the United Nations, had never, ever seen a disaster on this scale and of this magnitude.

The first story I did was about a little boy and his father. Little Cheyenne (ph) was six years old when the tragedy struck. He was traveling with his mother his sisters and a cousin on a train which ironically was called Queen of the Sea. We took him back with his father Ranjit (ph) to go and see the site of the devastation and the disaster.

The train tracks had been lifted from the ground and simply tossed aside and the train carriages had also been tossed off the train tracks and lying on their sides all down the length of the railroad track. Cheyenne, the little boy, told us that the only way he survived was by reaching his little arms up to hold on to the luggage rack. And by doing that he was able to keep his head above the water that had flooded the carriages. And he said that was the last he saw of his mother and his sisters and his cousin.

And it was really tragic because this little boy, you could see that he was still traumatized. As he was trying to tell us the story he was only coming out in halting statements and little fractions and fragments of conversation. Ranjit says Cheyenne has not yet shed a tear. He is still keeping that emotion inside. He says he misses his mother and his sisters and the father is trying his best to help him get over this. Help him try to understand what happened.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Ethnic rivalries, crimes against humanity, genocide. We have seen it all in places like Bosnia and Rwanda. We want to warn you that some of these images of war that you are about to see may not be suitable for all viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (on camera): One of the biggest stories CNN covered throughout the entire decade of the 1990s was the Bosnia War.

There is nothing subtle about the horrors of this war ...

... anybody out there really cares ...

CNN, Sarajevo.

(voice-over): We were covering the siege of Sarajevo, for the most part. That was the focal point of the Bosnia War.

The entire population is permanently bent double, as everybody tries to make it through the firing line and through another day.

(on camera): The journalists and the civilians of the city suffered almost the same. People had to go out every day and try to find food for their children. There was no electricity, no gas, no water, for many, many months.

The airport is officially ...

(voice-over): One of the most poignant things that I remember was the airport straddled the Muslim part of the city and the Serb side of the city. In other words, if you could run across the Tarmac, you could potentially escape the bombardment. But the UN peacekeepers who were there were under strict orders not to let anybody out of Sarajevo out of the airport. Some of them didn't want to escape forever, they just wanted to get out of the city and be able to buy some food from their children in stores that were still functioning on the other side of the airport.

One father came back with just a rotten apple. That is all he could manage to get on the other side, and for that, he told us, he risked his life.

The massacre of Srebrenica started on July 11th, 1995. Several months after the massacre we met Houram Suleyich (ph), who told is in chilling detail how he also had been marched to a killing field and had been lined up with 100s of other men. They had been sprayed with machine gun fire and he managed to survive. It was only the wait of the dead bodies on top of him that protected him.

In the middle of the genocide of Bosnia, genocide we being committed in Africa, in Rwanda.

(on camera): The massacre of Tutsis was pre-planned by the Hutu ...

(voice-over): In three months in 1994, nearly 1 million people were killed. Killed by machetes, killed by clubs, killed by people and their bare hands.

It was Hutus on the rampage against moderate Hutus and Tutsis. After the Hutus had rampaged through the Tutsi villages, the Tutsi army came from exile in Uganda and started to fight back and the Hutus almost en masse fled across the border from Rwanda into Zaire.

That in itself was a scene of biblical disaster. Cholera spread like wildfire. Eventually peacekeepers and others from around the world came with heavy bulldozers to dig mass graves.

It was a very brutal and dehumanizing thing to witness.

The world failed in Rwanda and the failure to give that country the attention it deserved cost nearly a million lives.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Still to come ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (video clip): This process is going to continue for a while.

COOPER: Is that chad pregnant?

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: I think the lawyers were confused just as much as we were.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I am Carol Lin and here are the headlines this hour.

A surprising discovery in central Iraq. U.S. military officials say American marines and Iraqi soldiers found a huge underground insurgent bunker. It is reportedly the size of nearly nine football fields. Numerous weapons were inside, along with high tech military equipment.

Now, some rooms were virtually bare, while others were fully- furnished. Fresh food was also found, indicating people were recently there.

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden says the U.S. should close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Majority Whip Mitch McConnell says the Senate could hold hearings on the activities at that center.

Last week, the U.S. military admitted some intentional an inadvertent abuse of the Quran at Guantanamo and it also says Muslim inmates themselves tried to flush one copy of the Quran down the toilet.

New developments in the case of Natalie Holloway, the Alabama teenager missing in Aruba. Police say they filed charges against two security guards who worked at a hotel near Holloway's hotel, but they have not said what those charges may be.

Now, coming up at 11 o'clock Eastern, our rap sheet team? Well they are going to take your questions on the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. So write us.

The jury resumes deliberations tomorrow. Send us an e-mail with your questions. The address is weekends@cnn.com.

Now back to "CNN's Defining Moments."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANITA HILL, FORMER STAFFER OF CLARENCE THOMAS: I have no personal vendetta against Clarence Thomas.

CLARENCE THOMAS, CURRENT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I deny each and every allegation against me today.

HILL: After a brief discussion of work, he would turn the conversation to a discussion of sexual matters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever refer to your private parts in conversations with Professor Hill?

THOMAS: Absolutely not, senator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chances of this nomination of Supreme Court justice hinge on who is believed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yays are 52 and the nays are 48, the nomination of Clarence Thomas of Georgia is hereby confirmed.

THOMAS: I, Clarence Thomas ...

HILL: It changed my life in ways that I had never really thought it was. I had no appreciation for the fact that there would be so much attention to this issue and that I would become a symbol for the issue.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Being thrust into the spotlight has unexpected consequences. That is especially true in the world of politics. CNN has covered the Oval Office, of course, since day one. The players have changed over the years but the White House and the battles to win it have remained a constant source of news and drama.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, don't touch her.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: January 1998, I was CNN's senior White House correspondent.

On 10 to 15 occasions ...

BLITZER: When I heard that there was this young intern named Monica Lewinsky, and I really was shocked by it, I spoke to one of his closest friends, Bill Clinton's closest friends, and I'll never forget the words he said to me because they were chilling at the time. He said, "I've known this man for a long time and when it comes to this kind of stuff, he's almost like an alcoholic who sees a bottle of whisky. He sometimes can't control himself."

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

BLITZER: And I'll never forget the chill that I had as he was staring at me, making that statement.

LINDA TRIPP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY: Imagine how you would feel if your boss' attorney called you a liar in front of the whole country and imagine if that boss was the president of the United States.

It would have made no difference to me if it had been George Bush sitting in that Oval Office. It was about what I perceive to be subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice. That this was not about sex. The notion that this was somehow or another motivated by money. Well, seven years later I have never taken a penny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): There it is. President William Jefferson Clinton is now the second president in the history of the United States to be impeached.

BLITZER: He will always be remembered as the president who was impeached, the president who had a sexual relationship with an intern at the White House. People will look back and say, well, what did he do that was so great, and they'll point to certain things, the economy. But there is no doubt that this story will always haunt Bill Clinton.

TRIPP: After this story hit, I removed all the televisions from my house and for five years did not have a television in the house.

I am a witness in a federal investigation. I am not speaking to the media.

And the process was horrifying. Did the sex need to be exposed? No. I think there were ways to handle it differently that would have certainly saved Monica from gross embarrassment.

My gut says probably given the same circumstances and everything being the same, yes, I probably would do it again.

I am married, I am living in the Middleburg, Virginia area, which is God's country and so amazingly beautiful.

BLITZER: But there are a lot more important stories than the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Having said that, the presidency was on the line. It was a very important story which we could not ignore and we didn't.

GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S. PRESIDENT: And I have got to go vote. I have to go study the ballot. Make sure I find my name properly on the ballot.

JEFF GREENFIELD, SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: We were warned that there were some funny numbers.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN HOST: A big call to make. CNN announces that we call Florida in the Al Gore column.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's going to flip. I really feel that way.

GREENFIELD: The Bush people go crazy. They were clearly convinced that the numbers were wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN right now is moving our early declaration of Florida back to the "too close to call" column.

Having nothing else to say, I uttered the only words that got me on the front page of the "New York Times."

Oh waiter, one order of crow, please.

Now, as it turned out, it was a smorgasbord of crow that night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Bush, governor of Texas, will become the 43rd president of the United States.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gore has retracted his concession.

GREENFIELD: We are in a state of political suspended animation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not over. It simply is not over.

GREENFIELD: It now becomes clear what Florida is going to decide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trust the people.

GREENFIELD: I think the one image that most people remember had to do directly with the chads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangling chads, pregnant chads and dimpled chads. Well they can kiss my chads.

HEMMER: The only thing that's predictable about this story is that nothing is predictable.

I think the lawyers were confused just as much as we were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Katherine Harris is a fine lady and they should lay off of her.

REP. KATHERINE HARRIS, (R) FL: Election 2000 was certainly a difficult time in terms of the personal attacks but following the law was really simple.

It is my duty under Florida law to exercise my discretion in denying ...

I never regretted that I had a chance to be there at that unique moment in time.

I hereby declare Governor George W. Bush the winner.

HEMMER: That was the night for certain that we felt this story had reached an end, and boy, were we wrong again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This remarkable development over the last few minutes that the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear one of the ...

CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: George W. Bush and Richard Cheney versus Albert Gore.

CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bottom line, here. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is reversed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks pretty devastating. It's bleak. It's confusing but not very encouraging.

HARRIS: It was a very isolating time but at the end of the day our laws were sufficient and we elected a president without a drop of blood spilled and no coup detat.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Just moments ago I spoke to George W. Bush and congratulated him.

HEMMER: These are very competitive men and when they reach that level, neither one wants to lose, but someone has to.

BUSH: Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests and I will work to earn your respect.

So help me God.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: LARRY KING LIVE is up next, continuing his special week celebrating his 20th anniversary. And coming up at 10:00 p.m., Aaron Brown, with more defining moments of the last 25 years, including the night in Baghdad when all eyes around the world were focused on CNN.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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