January 28, 1986 The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Live On CNN
The Space Shuttle program had become so routine that none of the major television networks carried them live anymore. They would simply report that another shuttle had blasted off on the evening news that night. Yawn.
So it was on the morning of January 28, 1986 with the Space Shuttle Challenger. The only network to carry it live was CNN.
I was living in Rapid City at the time and was on the air at Hit100 FM with my morning show partner Tom Collins. We did a Top 40 show called 'The Breakfast Flakes' and had a comedy bit ready to put on the air. It was a spoof of us talking with Christa MacAuliffe, the school teacher that was on the shuttle. It was hilarious. It was fun.
Right before we were going to put it on the air for laughs, we heard the Associated Press News Wire begin to clang, bells ringing. That meant something big had happened.
Here's CNN's live coverage.