September 11 Digital Archive

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On the morning of Sept 11, after evacuating his downtown DC offices, Andy Carvin created a Yahoo email discussion group called SEPT11INFO. Within the first 12 hours of the list's discussion, 1500 people joined the group, sending over 600 messages that day.

In the days and weeks following the attack, SEPT11INFO served as an online forum for debate, as well as a resource for sharing of news, personal stories, volunteer opportunities, pleas for assistance, and in some emotional cases, expressions of fear and rage. The following is Andy Carvin's email announcing the launch of his listserv. See the links below to read more of this fascinating real-time record of September 11, 2001.

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Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 11:53 AM
To: ''
Subject: quick report from DC, new listserv for discussing attack
From: acarvin@b...

I just wanted to give a quick report from downtown DC. Most of us at the Benton Foundation evacuated our building, which is at 18th and K street, three or four blocks from the white house. We received word of the attacks on the World Trade center building around 9am, having to rely on portable radios since our Internet connection froze as people tried to find more information. The majority of Benton staff were out of the building by 10am.

The streets are filled with people briskly walking away from downtown, trying to get their cell phones to work. It's not a panic situation by any means - just lots of people determined to get the hell out of there. Some people are clearly shaken, and are being comforted by friends and strangers alike. The streets are completely jammed with cars as people try to get out of the city. Since lots of us at our office usually take the metro to work (which has been shut down, along with all other commuter trains), those of us who lived within walking distance offered to bring home other people who would be stranded downtown.

We're now back at my Dupont Circle apartment, two miles due north of the Pentagon. We can't see smoke from our balcony, which is surprising considering the extent of the damage we've seen on TV so far.

I've set up a listserv, sept11info, for people wanting to talk about today's attack. You can join the list by going to this address: or by sending an email to Please feel free to pass on this information.

I will do my best to report on any news here in DC, but let us all hope and pray that the worst is over now. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who's being affected by this insanity....

Andy Carvin
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Read highlights of the SEPT11INFO email collection, or scroll through the entire discussion.

Note: the SEPT11INFO email collection may contain adult language not suited for children.