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Breaking News: 35 years of CNN

In a primetime special called Breaking News: 35 Years of CNN, the network will celebrate its thirty-five years on the air. It is hosted by Wolf Blitzer, and will air initially on May 26 at 9pm, and will re-air on the anniversary, June 1st at 9pm ET.

Via the press release…

Since its first broadcast on June 1, 1980, the Cable News Network has covered wars, natural disasters, acts of terror, politics and pop culture, both in America and abroad. To mark 35 years of CNN’s worldwide news coverage, the first 24-hour news channel will air a one-hour special report, looking back at the some of the biggest stories with personal accounts by the people who covered them, behind-the-scenes footage and a treasure trove of archived video.

From the day Ronald Reagan was shot and the crumbling of the Berlin Wall to Anita Hill’s fight on Capitol Hill and the Arab Spring, Breaking News: 35 Years of CNN will showcase more than 35 of the most iconic, defining and pivotal moments in recent history. The special report will delve deeper into six of the biggest news stories over the past three-and-a-half decades, including Baby Jessica, the first Gulf War, the O.J. Simpson trial, September 11th, Hurricane Katrina and the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Past and present CNN anchors and correspondents will walk viewers through these events, reflecting on the stories and history they witnessed unfold first-hand, including:

Former CNN national correspondent Tony Clark and former CNN executive vice president Bob Furnad recall the marathon rescue effort to save “Baby Jessica” McClure who was trapped in a well for 58 hours. The dramatic rescue played out live on CNN, capturing the attention of a nation. It also, according to Furnad, helped CNN “solidify our presence to the public that, when there’s a major news event, you know that CNN’s gonna stay with it.”

Wolf Blitzer, who has been with CNN since 1990, and Bernard Shaw, one of CNN’s first anchors who was with the network for over two decades, recount their award-winning reporting during the Gulf War. This unprecedented coverage of a war by CNN made television history, with Shaw, John Holliman and Peter Arnett reporting live from Baghdad during the first, intense hours of battle.

Larry King, who has interviewed nearly every prominent public figure during the 25-plus years his show was on CNN, and former CNN anchor Jim Moret recollect the infamous O.J. Simpson car chase and criminal trial that dominated the air waves for nine months in 1995. “It was the first reality show,” says Moret. King, who interviewed Simpson by phone the day after his acquittal, notes “if we had God booked for that day, we would’ve bumped God.”

September 11, 2001. Former CNN anchors Aaron Brown and Paula Zahn discuss reporting from a Manhattan rooftop 30 blocks from Ground Zero, and the shock and sadness they shared with viewers on a day unlike any another in American history.

Hurricane Katrina left more than 1,800 dead and caused utter devastation along the Gulf Coast. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta remember their dismay, grief and eventual anger while reporting on the ground during the powerful storm and the devastating aftermath.

CNN national correspondent Deborah Feyerick, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin and Cooper, who were all on the ground in Boston after two bombs went off on Marathon Monday, recall covering the unfolding tragedy and desperate manhunt that had the city on edge.

Breaking News: 35 Years of CNN, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, will premiere on CNN this Tuesday, May 26th at 9pm/ET, will re-air on the anniversary, Monday, June 1st at 9pm/ET, and will be simulcast via CNNgo by logging in with a TV provider username and password on CNN’s iPad app or by visiting

CNN will also mark its 35th anniversary on-line with additional, exclusive content, which will roll out beginning May 21st through June 1st. CNN bloopers from over the years, an interactive quiz on CNN’s defining moments and an extensive photo gallery can be found by visiting



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