September 11 documentaries
The World Trade Center burns after being attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The Smithsonian Channel Presents: "9/11: The Heartland Tapes" at 7/6c Sept. 11. (Chao Soi Cheong/AP/Courtesy of Smithsonian Channel)

September 11 documentaries set for Smithsonian

Smithsonian Channel will mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a special day of September 11 documentaries.

Check the September TV calendar for programming on other networks.

September 11 documentaries

9/11: Day That Changed The World

2/1c and 8/7c

This is the inside story of the people whose job it was to protect the United States from further attack. The two-hour special, narrated by Martin Sheen, features exclusive interviews with key decision makers. Featured are Laura Bush, Dick and Lynne Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Rumsfeld, Andrew Card and Richard Clarke. It goes into the airplanes, offices, bunkers and military headquarters where the President, advisors, security personnel and military were trying to piece together what was happening and what might happen next.

Crowning New York


This one-hour special takes a look at the engineering and construction feats of One World Trade Center. It is a story of hope mixed with the realistic nature of what it takes to build the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. This isn’t rebuilding Ground Zero. This is the final chapter in rebuilding a city.

The Missing Evidence: 9/11 Secret Explosions in the Towers


The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center left many with questions about the true cause of the buildings’ collapse. Even after the release of the official report, conspiracy theorists and government investigators alike were mystified by some of the facts. Both structures were designed to survive the impact of a commercial airliner. Both should have withstood intense fires for 10 hours—so why did the towers collapse at all? Scientists testing a theory determine that there were glaring omissions in the official report, and tackle the conspiracies head on. Two scientists working independently found a logical cause for the mysterious “explosions” reported at Ground Zero—and this overlooked source may finally put an end to the dark conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11.

9/11: Stories in Fragments


This program tells stories behind the iconic objects in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History’s 9/11 collection. Among them are a phone used in the last calls between a husband and his wife; the nametag of a hero; a briefcase found in a pile of rubble at Ground Zero, undamaged. All are witnesses to history, and the program shows how the National Museum of American History’s curators chose them to represent one of the most infamous periods in American history.

9/11: The Heartland Tapes


This program fashions media from across the nation into a compelling story of bearing witness, taking action and survival.  This is the story of September 11 from the outside looking in. There is no narration. There are no interviews. Instead, the program only uses documentary evidence from that day to give a detailed look at how the rest of the nation perceived and dealt with what was going on in the east.

Aerial America: New York


Smithsonian Channel’s signature series tells the stories of expansive natural wonders, the city that never sleeps, and the day we will never forget. This memorable flight over New York explores New York’s amazing beauty and its infamous residents.