CNN logo
Message Boards 

CNN Networks 

Quick News 
Video Vault 
News Quiz 


Pathfinder/Warner Bros

1 9 8 0

CNN goes on the air for the first time in June 1980, with Jimmy Carter in the White House and the United States reeling from a protracted hostage drama involving Iran. Carter loses re-election after a failed hostage rescue attempt, and a huge volcanic explosion and the death of a former Beatle also mark the year.

  • U.S. boycotts the Olympics
  • Iran hostage crisis
  • Mount St. Helens
  • Emergency at Love Canal
  • CNN is born
  • Cuba halts 'freedom flotilla'
  • John Lennon assassinated

  • State of emergency declared at Love Canal -- May 21, 1980

    President Carter declares a state of emergency at Love Canal in Niagra Falls, New York. The property had been a dumping site for Hooker Chemicals and Plastics, and in 1981 plans will be made to evacuate 710 families. The evacuation would be ordered after a study reports that 30 percent of the residents in the area had suffered chromosone damage.

    (Courtest WTEN)
    1978: The problem is discovered:
    1.5M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4.6M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    1979-80: Law suits and relocation:
    1.4M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4.1M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    1980: Chromosomal damage found, officials taken hostage:
    1.4M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 4.2M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    -- BACK TO TOP --

    CNN goes on air -- June 1, 1980

    Cable News Network goes on the air for the first time June 1, 1980, at 6 p.m. Based in Atlanta, CNN is conceived by media and sports magnate Ted Turner as the world's first around-the-clock news network. At its launch, the operation has 300 employees in bureaus in nine cities, including London and Rome, and is available to more than 2 million viewers through cable outlets in 30 states.

    The network is launched:
    832K QuickTime Movie (160x120) 1.6M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    -- BACK TO TOP --

    Cuba halts 'freedom flotilla' -- September 26, 1980

    A five-month boatlift of Cubans to the United States called "freedom flotilla" ended September 26 when the Cuban government closed Mariel Harbor. The Coast Guard was unsuccessful in blocking the flow, and the sealift, which brought 125,000 refugees into the United States, filled resettlement camps around the country. U.S. officials hailed Cuba's action as a step forward in helping the United States absorb the Cubans into American society.

    Scenes from the boatlift:
    1.4M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 2.5M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    -- BACK TO TOP --

    Lennon assassinated -- December 8, 1980

    John Lennon is gunned down and killed outside his New York City apartment by Mark Chapman, a deranged fan. Within hours, thousands of fans gather at the scene of the murder on the Upper West Side, prompting a spontaneous candlelight gathering and singalong in memory of the former Beatle.

    Scenes from the vigil:
    1M QuickTime Movie (160x120) 2M QuickTime Movie (320x240)

    1980 -- 1981 -- 1982 -- 1983 -- 1984 -- 1985 -- 1986 -- 1987 -- 1988 -- 1989 -- 1990 -- 1991 -- 1992 -- 1993 -- 1994 -- 1995 -- 1996 -- 1997

    -- BACK TO TOP --

    © 1998 Cable News Network, Inc.
    A Time Warner Company
    All Rights Reserved.

    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines.