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WNYC 9/11/2001

History Notes: Volume 2, Issue 26

Friday, September 09, 2011 - 09:00 AM

A transcript from our 9/11/2001 airchecks:

MR. HILAN: This is WNYC AM 820 and online at wnyc.org.  It's 8:51.  Good morning. I'm Mark Hilan.

As we told you just moments ago, there has been some sort of an incident at the World Trade Center, and it involves an apparent accident involving an airplane of some type.  We have an eyewitness to the explosion or the incident, whatever you want to call it, at the World Trade Center this morning in the northern tower.    

Charlie Hines works for WNYC.  He is in the WNYC studios with me this morning. Charlie, tell us what you saw as an eyewitness.

MR. HINES:  Mark, this morning we had our underwriter sales meeting and I was sitting in the office right next to our general manager's office.  Unbelievable, an airplane flying, apparently out of control – it was waggling its wings, and it looked like it was trying to do some evasive maneuver. 

I’m kind of shocked because I was looking out the window.  I was immediately impressed at how the airplane was flying.  It was very low in the lower part of Manhattan here.  The wings were waggling.  I saw the airliner.  It appeared to be an American Airlines plane, and I thought, it's flying toward Newark, but good gosh, that's so low.

Moments later, we heard a rather large explosion.  We ran down the hall and out to the roof of the Municipal Building.  And sirens are starting.  There's a big explosion and indentation in the World Trade Center.  I don't know how else to say it.  It's - it was an incredible thing.

MR. HILAN:  All right, let me see if I can get you to give me at best the best description of what kind of airliner this was.  Was it a small plane, a large plane, like a commercial airliner?

MR. HINES:  Commercial airliner.  I saw the A.A. on the tail.  I don't think it was the rear-engined airplane.  It seemed to be engines under the wing.  A large airliner, and the impact was rather large.  It was toward the top quarter of the World Trade Center and there were several floors involved.

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Broadcast on WNYC Today in:

1929: Mayor Walker addresses the Bankers International Exposition in New York, the first of a series of 260 business shows. Walker tells more than 200 banking officials and representatives of foreign consulates that the stability of banking is the best indication of the prosperity of the country. Note: A month and a half later, the stock market crashed and the United States entered the Great Depression.

1930: Astrologer Vanna Johnstone discusses "The Spectrum and the Zodiac."

1943: Former NY Governor Alfred E. Smith (a year before his death) appears in Unity at Home, Victory Abroad, a series dedicated to promoting racial and ethnic harmony at home in the struggle against fascism abroad.  Governor Smith talks about the need for unity in the war effort, and tells WNYC listeners that America is the land  of immigrants and that totalitarian states are trying to convince their people that we are divided because of prejudice. He talks of his Irish background and other immigrants, and says we cannot afford prejudice in difficult times. If  we do, says Smith, all purpose goes out of our lives and we destroy the things we are fighting for.

1955: In this edition of The Lively Arts, cultural critic Gilbert Seldes discusses the influence of Harrigan and Hart's plays of the late 19th century, as well as the use of racial stereotypes in entertainment. Seldes also considers the notion of popularity, questioning whether we can be fooled into liking something not because of its quality, but because some clever person has convinced us of its value.

1962: Ireene Wicker relates the second half of George Gershwin's life story for this edition of The Singing Lady.

2002: On the Leonard Lopate Show, Karl Koch III and Richard Firstman talk about the family that built the World Trade Center; Terry Golway and two members of the NYFD, Reginald Lewis and Susan Blake, give a history of New York’s bravest, from 1700 to the present; Harlow Giles Unger speaks about his biography of Lafayette; and Paul Auster answers questions about his new novel, The Book of Illusions.

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