“TERROR.” The word screamed in banner headlines across the country Tuesday, as newspapers put out extras, added pages and dropped ads to report the boldest terrorist attacks ever on U.S. soil.
The Herald produced an eight-page edition that went to press at 2 p.m. About 11,000 were printed. The Herald extra used the single word “Attacked!” with the subhead “Terrorist hit turns N.Y. trade towers into rubble pile; Pentagon also hit.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also used a single word, with a subhead saying, “Attacks rip Trade Center, Pentagon, America’s Soul.”
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette printed an afternoon extra with the headline, “Who Would Do This?”
The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., had 35,000 copies on the streets just hours after attackers leveled the World Trade Center towers 15 miles away and also struck the Pentagon.
“TERROR ATTACKS STRIKE THE U.S.” read the headline on the cover of the eight-page edition, which included photographs, maps and graphics.
Newsday, which covers New York’s Long Island and part of New York City, put out a 24-page extra. “We’re going all out for tomorrow,” said Charlotte Hall, a managing editor.
Plans called for “basically abandoning everything else in the paper but this,” she said. Minimal space would be devoted to business, sports and other sections of the paper, while more than 50 pages would be devoted to the attacks.
From coast to coast, papers relied heavily on Associated Press coverage for front-page photos and copy.
The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville published an eight-page special edition, distributing 20,000 copies shortly after noon with the six-column headline “TERROR.”
“This incident has shocked people,” Editor Pat Yack said. “There’s nothing in people’s lifetimes, with the possible exception of Pearl Harbor and President Kennedy’s assassination, that matches it.”
Neil Brown, managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times, which put out a special edition, added, “It’s a stunning experience that we’re all sharing together.”
The Tampa Tribune distributed a special edition headlined “TERROR: Terrorism against our nation will not stand”. The Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah, also put out a special edition, with the headline “Terror on Tuesday: U.S. Under Attack.”
In Louisiana, The News-Star in Monroe printed an extra afternoon edition while The Town Talk in Alexandria dumped ads to make room for coverage in Wednesday morning’s paper. Lake Charles’ American Press added pages in its Wednesday edition, from 48 to 64, and devoted its entire 16-page front section, with no ads, to terrorism coverage.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s extra was the sixth it has produced since 1994. The others were after the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder case in 1996, Mark McGwire’s 61st and 62nd home runs in 1998, the plane crash that killed Gov. Mel Carnahan in October 2000, and the too-close-to-call presidential election in November 2000. Before the Simpson case, the newspaper had not produced an extra since World War II, spokesman Matt Davis said.
For The Kansas City Star, this was the first special edition since July 21, 1969, after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, said Miriam Pepper, its readers’ representative.
For many papers, including The Morning Star of Wilmington, N.C., and The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., it was the first extra they’ve published since President Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
The Tulsa World put out its first special edition since World War II.
The Washington Post put out a special late edition and published 50,000 copies with the banner headline “Terror Hits Pentagon, World Trade Center” and a huge photo of smoke billowing from the Trade Center and the second plane about to crash into it.
The Post kept all the interior sections, but changed 22 pages of the front section. It also added an editorial titled “War,” in which it likened the attack to Pearl Harbor and said that if it is determined to be the work of overseas terrorists, “It is an act of war, and must be treated as such.”
“Attacks Level Trade Center” was the double-decker headline streamed across the top of The Philadelphia Inquirer above a photograph of the smoke-shrouded buildings and the aircraft that was about to strike it.
Inside, the Inquirer edition, which hit the streets at about 2 p.m., ran photographs of Manhattan pedestrians watching in horror and of President Bush learning of the attacks.
The Daily News of New York, a tabloid, simply had the word “ATTACK!” on its cover with a listing of stories inside.
The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, Houston Chronicle, The Atlanta Journal and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., all put out extras as well.
The front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas included an editorial calling for calm.
“Attacks like the ones we have witnessed today tend to eliminate the hyphens in our labels,” the editorial stated. “We are Americans, and we will deal with this latest tragedy as Americans. And to those responsible: You have made a terrible mistake.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune also ran an editorial, which concluded: “The terrorists responsible for today’s attacks have dealt a blow to the nation’s psyche. But through its 225-year history, this great nation has been confronted by many foes. And we Americans have never shrunk from battle, have never given in. We will not now.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized: “We are living through another day of infamy. Sept. 11, 2001, will live alongside Dec. 7, 1941, as a day when America changed.”
Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.