20th anniversary of 9/11
World’s worst disasters

20th anniversary of 9/11: When to watch documentary series ‘Ten Steps to Disaster: Twin Towers’

Details of how flawed safety planning opened the world’s eyes to a new form of radical terrorism

For over 25 years, the Twin Towers defined the New York skyline and epitomized everything the United States of America stood for. But in a couple of hours, the iconic building was gone, and with them, almost three thousand people died victims of the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil, while thousands more were injured.

People often question how an attack of this scale happened and why the nation was so unprepared for it? To answer this interrogative and many more, the Smithsonian Channel has prepared the documentary series “Ten Steps to Disaster: Twin Towers” to shed light on the storm of mistakes, missteps, and missed opportunities that led to one of the world’s worst disasters, the World Trade Center terror attacks, also known as 9/11.

20th anniversary of 9/11©Smithsonian Channel

On September 6th at 9 pm ET/PT, viewers can tune to discover ten errors and oversights that paved the way to the tragedy. The documentary will reveal how intelligence fails and misses warnings after uncovering classified documents and conducting interviews with key players.

The show enlists the ten steps that led to the Twin Towers’ collapse on September 11th, 2001, and what the United States of America needs to do to confront future threats.

The Smithsonian Channel will continue with a lineup of documentaries that explains the most infamous catastrophes of the modern era, including the JFK assassination, the 737 Max crashes, and the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

The special lineup includes:


TEN STEPS TO DISASTER: “Twin Towers” on September 6 at 9pm ET/PT
  • Discover ten mistakes, oversights, and missed opportunities that paved the way to disaster on 9/11. See how intelligence failures, missed warnings, and confusion at the top together led to the 9/11 tragedy.
THE MISSING EVIDENCE: “9/11 Secret Explosions in the Towers” on September 6 at 10pm ET/PT
  • Could a sprinkler system, designed to prevent disasters, be the very thing that caused the Twin Towers to collapse? Do we know all there is to know about the collapse of the Twin Towers? This series investigates compelling testimonies and explosive accusations surrounding history’s great mysteries and legends. By using cutting-edge technology and analytics, the documentary examine data and eyewitness accounts in search of the missing evidence that will finally separate reality from mystery.
AIR DISASTERS: “The Pentagon Attack” on September 7 at 10pm ET/PT
  • See how the Pentagon attack on 9/11 was carried out and how it permanently altered air travel today. Every time a plane crashes, the world takes notice...and so do the experts whose job it is to figure out what happened. Witness accounts, interviews with investigators, and white-knuckle reenactments bring these air disasters to stunning life.
CROWNING NEW YORK on September 8 at 10pm ET/PT
  • After the devastating attacks of 9/11, New York City needed to rebuild itself, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The site where the Twin Towers once stood was now a gaping pit, and the entire world watched to see what, if anything, could fill the void. Witness the story of One World Trade Center, one of the most significant, and dangerous, construction jobs ever launched. From brazen designs and heated debates to dangerous tasks at dizzying heights, we detail every step of this towering, poignant achievement.
FIRST LADIES REVEALED: “In Times of War” on September 9 at 10pm ET/PT
  • Some used captivating style to boost diplomacy. Some offered compassionate calm in days of war. Some embraced the role they never expected to make a difference. Every first lady has their own tale to tell, and this series examines some of the women who left their indelible mark on the White House and in history. Go beyond the public lives to know the private stories of Dolley Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and more. Celebrate the three first ladies who helped the country through the Civil War, World War II, and 9/11.
THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN on September 10 at 9pm ET/PT
  • In 2011, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 bombings, was killed by American special forces, marking an end to the longest, most expensive manhunt in American history. Witness the 20-year search for the most wanted man on Earth, as counter-terrorism experts in the White House, the CIA, and the FBI divulge their firsthand accounts. This inside story reveals the presidential frustrations, missed opportunities, and vicious turf wars that tainted the operation right up until the night Navy SEALs ended Bin Laden’s reign of terror.