Top 10 Craziest Events Caught Live on TV

[Narrator]: Many witnessed these unforgettable events in real time thanks to the magic of broadcasting. [Reporter]: How do you measure such an astonishing moment in history? [Narrator]: Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 craziest events caught on live TV. Number 10 The Manila Hostage Crisis The ten-hour standoff between ex-police officer Rolando Mendoza and philipino officials wasn’t only witnessed by millions in real time on TV but also on the internet. Angry at being fired from his job, Mendoza hijacked a tour bus in Manila. After he watched his brother’s arrest via the bus’s TV set, Mendoza continued shooting hostages inside the bus. He eventually exchanged gunfire with the police and was shot dead. Number 9 The world Series Earthquake [Announcer]: It’s one of the most spectacular vistas on this continent, any continent! [Narrator]: This tremor struck San Francisco bay for 10 to 15 seconds and was caught live on TV because of the ongoing World Series. [Announcer]: So the Oakland A’s take… take… [Crew]: …we have an earth… [Narrator]: The MLB’s Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants were warming up for their third game when the quake hit and had announcers scrambling for an explanation. [Announcer]: Well, folks, that’s the greatest open in the history of television, bar none. [Narrator]: Measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused over 60 deaths and thousands of injuries. Number 8 Lee Harvey Oswald’s Murder The aftermath of JFK’s assassination ushered in the age of TV news by giving people instant access to unfolding developments through moving pictures. But the actual assassination wasn’t captured or broadcast in real time. However, the shooting of his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was. While covering Oswald’s move to jail, a network TV camera shocked millions by giving them a view of the fatal shots, delivered by Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby. [Reporter]: He’s been shot. Lee Oswald has been shot. Number 7 The Fall of the Berlin Wall [Narrator]: It took almost 30 years for the barrier dividing West Berlin from East Berlin to finally be torn down. Following protests and growing crowds of East German refugees making their way to the West, the authorities were forced to open the gates. [Reporter]: The East German government said tonight they were going to make more openings in the wall, at least a dozen more. Put bulldozers right through the wall. [Narrator]: For the next few weeks, TV audiences worldwide watched as the Germans came together to demolish the wall, and communism in Germany as well. [Eyewitness]: If there is someone who sleeps for eight weeks, and you told him what happened here, he thinks you’re crazy. Number 6 The Waco Siege [Reporter]: Well, as you can see, the parts of the building have collapsed, the fire has indeed engulfed the vast majority of this compound… [Narrator]: After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms unsuccessfully attempted to search the Branch Davidian Christian sect’s ranch for illegal weapons, the raid escalated into a fatal shootout. What TV audiences saw next, was an intense and violent 51-day siege involving the FBI. The real-time broadcast wasn’t only notable for the coverage of the gunshots, tear gas, and the fire, but also for partly inspiring the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings. Number 5 Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster [Reporter]: And lift-off! Lift-off of the 25th Space Shuttle mission and it has cleared the tower. [Narrator]: With teacher Christa McAuliffe on board and hundreds of school children watching in real time, the Challenger launch was to be the first of its kind. Though CNN transmitted the sole live broadcast, news of the disaster spread like wildfire through other networks. [Nesbitt]: Flight controllers here are looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction. [Narrator]: Because the media focused on the story’s human element and tragic moments for dramatic effect, it became a hot topic for several weeks and changed future news reporting. [Reporter]: What appears to be a major catastrophe in America’s space program, Challenger, only seconds after leaving the launch pad, according to NASA has exploded in mid-air. Number 4 The Tohuku Earthquake and Tsunami [Narrator]: After the most powerful earthquake the country had ever seen struck an area near Tohoku, a potent tsunami washed over Japan and killed thousands. Japanese TV networks and CNN were there to capture this horrifying act of nature. Though the continuous footage of the destruction caused by the deadly waters shocked the world, the coverage also encouraged a massive worldwide relief response. Number 3 The Munich Massacre [Reporter]: And we’re moving in now on the windows, behind which at this moment eight or nine terrified living human beings are being held prisoner. [Narrator]: Since the initial attack on the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics by Black September took place in the wee hours of the morning, the cameras weren’t yet rolling. But once morning came along, the media covered the response so well that the Palestinian terrorists already knew when and how the German Border Police were preparing to attack them. [Reporter]: It is 5 o’clock. This is the deadline. The storming that is going to happen could happen at any moment. [Narrator]: Unfortunately, the Munich massacre resulted in the deaths of the hostages and several others. [McKay]: They now said that there were 11 hostages, two were killed in their rooms, yesterday morning. Nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone. Number 2 The Los Angels Riots [Narrator]: Also called the South Central riots, this race riot was one of America’s biggest and most deadly civil disturbances. The LA population was so angry that the primarily white jury had acquitted the LAPD cops caught brutally beating Rodney King that they participated in arson, assault and raiding for six days. Local TV cameras caught it all and probably instigated the other riots that broke out in multiple American cities. Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions. [Bush]: Five months ago, Saddam Hussein started this cruel war against Kuwait. Tonight, the battle has been joined. Number 1 The September 11th attacks [Narrator]: Moments after the World Trade Center was hit the first time, media outlets picked up live feeds that glued worldwide audiences to their TV sets. [Reporter]: It does not appear that there’s any kind of an effort up there yet, now remember… oh my God! [Woman]: My God… my God! [Reporter]: It looks like a second plane. [Narrator]: So when another plane crashed into the south tower less than 20 minutes later, it was truly a moment no one will ever forget. Coverage of the tragedy and its aftermath changed the way Western news were reported globally and became the lengthiest continuous news event to be covered in American television. [Giuliani]: The effort now has to be to save as many people as possible. [Narrator]: If you didn’t see something you thought should be here, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Televised Events. [Cronkite]: President Kennedy died at 1pm Central Standard Time. 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