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CNN LIVE TODAY
Hurricane Wilma's Destruction in Naples; Hurricane Wilma's Destruction in Sunny Isles; Hurricane Wilma Update; New England Feeling Hurricane Wilma; Milestones In Iraq; CIA Leak Probe Source
Aired October 25, 2005 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Chief of Staff Lewis Libby first learned about the officer from the vice president himself. "The Times" cites lawyers involved in the case. A live report from the White House is just ahead.
Iraq's draft constitution is closer to becoming the law of the land. Iraqi election officials have finished counting the votes from that referendum 10 days ago. They say it passed with 78 percent of the vote. The results still have to be certified. We'll have a live report from Baghdad just ahead.
Indonesia is confirming another bird flu death. It's the country's fourth. The victim this time, a 23-year-old man who was apparently exposed to infected poultry. A four-year-old Indonesian boy also was sickened by bird flu earlier this month. Officials say he has recovered.
Here in the U.S., Rosa Parks being remembered today as the mother of the civil rights movement. Parks died last night at the age of 92. Her refusal in 1955 to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man prompted a bus boycott and eventually sparked the civil rights effort. More on Rosa Park's life and legacy later this hour.
A new challenge begins in Florida today, cleaning up after the state's 18th hurricane in 15 months. Hurricane Wilma wrecked much of South Florida. The storm swept across the peninsula causing billions of dollars in damage. Wilma is blamed for six deaths and for knocking out power to more than 6 million people.
More heartbreak today in Florida as homes goes up in flames in Palm Beach County. It's the aftermath of the storm and fire crews had a tough time getting there. Wilma is still making itself felt right now along the New England Coast. In this hour we're going to cover that part of the story, as well as the storm's aftermath in Florida.
Dan Lothian is in Massachusetts, Bonnie Schneider is in our Weather Center, and our Florida correspondents include Kareen Wynter, Jeanne Meserve and Allan Chernoff.
And we're going to begin with Allan where it's quite sunny and it looks like a nice day, but a lot of work to do there in Sunny Isles.
Allan, can you hear us?
All right. If Allan can't hear us, let's move along to Jeanne Meserve in Naples.
Jeanne, are you with us?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, I hope I am. I can hear you anyway.
KAGAN: Yes, you are. Yes.
MESERVE: OK. And I'm in the water here. Sunshine out, but still some water on the streets. But you can see it's receding. At its very worst it was only about 12 inches deep. Already we're beginning to see roadways and most of the water was in the roads. Most of the buildings and the homes were on slightly higher ground. They appear to have been kept dry by and large.
This morning people are trying to put things back to right. You may hear some power saws off on the side here. People are trying to clear away debris. And we ran into a building inspector this morning who was walking along the beachfront property taking a look at things. What you could see were blown out shutters and windows, some roof damage, damage to fencing around pools and the like. But thus far, fairly minor sort of damage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK TOGHER, NAPLES BUILDING INSPECTOR: I don't see any big structural stuff, but the roof and everything is a concern and the shutters hanging with power going to them, all electric shutters.
MESERVE: But no major structural damage that you've seen yet.
TOGHER: From what I can tell, no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MESERVE: There were a lot of trees down around this city. The vegetation really took a whipping from that wind and some big, gorgeous trees down in the streets, down in yards. There's a lot of debris to clear and it's, of course, brought down power lines and caused problems for water because when the roots came up, it took up some water lines. They are getting some water restored today. Pressure still seems a little low and there are warnings that people should boil water. It isn't potable yet.
As for electricity, 90 percent of the city is said to be without power at this point in time. So a ways to go to go back to normal but it's not as far a road to travel as they thought they might be coping with when that storm swept in here yesterday.
Daryn, back to you.
KAGAN: Jeanne Meserve in Southwest Florida, in Naples there.
Also getting word now that President Bush will be heading to Florida on Thursday. More on that in just a bit. Dana Bash is at the White House. Meanwhile, I think we have fixed the problem with Allan Chernoff. Well, there's no problem with Allan Chernoff. He's fine but the sound so that he'd be able to hear us. Allan joining us now from Sunny Isles.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Daryn.
And there are so many cases of downed power lines, windows blown in, trees knocked down, but behind me is perhaps one of the most dramatic examples of the power of this storm. Have a look at this marina. Just totally demolished by the storm. The winds pushing down these steel gutters and aluminum siding. They clearly had no chance of fighting the storm at all.
And even now, with the tiny wind we're having at the moment, you can see some of the aluminum just twisting in the wind. Parts of aluminum just tossed all over. Even right by where we're standing here and along the road as well. This is actually quite a dangerous situation. Cars had been riding over piece of aluminum.
Trapped underneath all of this, more than 350 powerboats. We spoke with some of the doc handlers here and they were simply staring in disbelief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOSLEY CANNADY, SUNNY MARINA: I'm out of words. But it's bad, man, you know. South wind is a bad wind. Knocked the whole place down. I'm surprised. When I came in this morning, I did expect the buildings to be here, but, man, I'm in shock. You know, I'm in a daze right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHERNOFF: It's also quite dangerous because there are downed power lines right inside of the marina. Water is pouring out. I'm not sure if you can make that out, but down the way there is some type of a faucet or something that's just leaking lots of water. And because the boats are tilted, gasoline is also pouring out of the boats. So it's a potentially toxic situation. Very dangerous.
I spoke with a fellow who owns a salvage company. He's hoping to get the contract to clean this up. He says it could cost about $4 million.
KAGAN: That would be some contract, that's for sure. Allan Chernoff in Sunny Isles, thank you.
Now let's go to the spot where Wilma first hit in Florida, to Key West, and that's where we find our Kareen Wynter.
Hello, Kareen. Well, looks like we are one for three on getting our live shots. Of course, you know the situation in Florida, power and after the storm, as our reporters were telling you, very difficult conditions. We'll work on getting Kareen back via video phone just ahead.
Meanwhile, let's move on with the storm. It did boar (ph) right through the central part of Florida. It hit rural communities wringing (ph) Like Ocachobi (ph). One woman in Clewiston, she says, and these are her words, I thought my life was going end. Dozens of trailers were flipped over in the Clewiston area. FEMA crews spent yesterday searching through the debris for anybody who was trapped inside.
So Wilma has moved on, but is not done making trouble and our Bonnie Schneider is in the Weather Center looking at the northeast today.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right, Daryn.
As we check out Wilma, it is still a category three storm. And as we look at the satellite perspective, you can see, luckily it's moving away from the U.S. mainland at a very rapid pace. The movement is to the northeast at 53 miles per hour. That is fast. Maximum winds are still at 115 miles per hour. And even though Wilma is moving away, we have another storm that we're contending with in the northeast. A nor'easter brewing. It's already producing some snow back out towards western sections of Pennsylvania. And as we see these winds kind of wrap around, we're really going to start to get a lot more wind and rain for much of the bigger cities in the northeast. Already getting some strong reports of wind gusts as far to the west as Toronto and Cleveland in the 20 mile per hour range. But then, check this out, over in Boston, it's already gusting up to 46 miles per hour. Those are some really strong winds. And remember, this entire region has been very soggy. So when you have a big gust of wind like that, it could knock down trees and also create some problems for power outages for much of the northeast. That's going to be a major concern.
If you're flying today, we've had lots of reports of delays. We still have them. Ground delays are in place for Newark and into New York City, the big airports there. And also we're seeing them in Philadelphia and San Francisco. You know, when you have delays in one area, it certainly affects a lot of other areas across the country.
Here's a look at our big storm we're anticipating to develop today. It will actually develop even further. Some heavy, wet snow is expected in parts of Western Pennsylvania, up towards Western Massachusetts and in Upstate New York. There's the storm just pumping in the wind into the rain.
Elsewhere across the country, not so bad. A lot calmer. But that cool air is well in place. Help pressure dominating much of the nation's mid section. So clear skies but chilly conditions. Highs only in the 50s. Chicago's highs 51 degrees. But check out Boston, windy, rainy, and cold at 49.
KAGAN: All right, Bonnie, we'll see a lot more of you throughout the morning.
And as Bonnie was mentioning, Hurricane Wilma whipping the winds up along coastal New England. That's where we find I think underneath that windy windbreaker is our Dan Lothian. He's on Cape Cod.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Daryn.
You know, I know we're not in the middle of the hurricane right now, but it certainly feels like it. This area of Cape Cod, we're in Chatham, the southeast corner of Cape Cod. We're just getting pounded by these winds. Right now sustained at about 30, 31 miles per hour and measurements I took a few minutes ago gusting to anywhere from 40 to 43 miles per hour. So certainly very heavy winds hitting this area.
Rain as well but not as heavy as it was in the last hour. But even if it's light rain, when it has that heavy wind behind it, it feels like pelts hitting you in the face. It's hard to kind of walk into. You have to turn your back and walk backwards. That's the easiest way to move around here.
We're right here on the beach. Had a chance a few minutes ago before our live shot to drive around Chatham, take a look at what might be happening in light of these heavy wins. And what I saw were a few what appeared to be phone lines down. We saw some minor street flooding. There was a marina where the boats were bobbing up and down. One appeared to be jammed into the water and looked appeared to be taking on some water. We'll go back there and check it out as soon as we're done here.
Certainly, emergency management officials across the state are very concerned. They were meeting yesterday. They're concern for three reasons. First of all, the rain that would fall here, even if it's just minor amounts, we've had so much rain over the past couple of weeks. We've had all this flash flooding, especially in the western part of the state, that they say that even if we have just a few inches of rain, we could see additional flooding in low lying areas, certainly coastal flooding. So there are some flood warnings, especially along the coastal areas.
They're also concerned about the high winds which could lead to downed power lines and also downed tree limbs. So crews are on standby to be able to respond to cleanup. We've seen that already taking place in the Boston area where some tree limbs and even trees have fallen down. Crews in place to respond to those areas.
So right now it's kind of watching it as we go throughout the day. The good news about all of this, that even though it appears to be intensifying from hour to hour, we should see things quieting down a bit into the evening.
KAGAN: Yes, it doesn't quite look like that right now. How about as the crew moves on, you guys find a telephone pole or a big tree trunk that you can hold on to, Dan.
LOTHIAN: Well, we're right out here on the beach, so there's really not that much to hold on to.
KAGAN: No, I know.
LOTHIAN: You know, it's funny, sometimes when you watch these things, when you're at home and you're watching it, you see people bobbing around and your wondering, well, are they bobbing around or is the wind really pushing them around. And this is really a case where it's hard to stand up. The wind is so strong, it's coming right off the shore here and it's hard. You kind of have to, you know, hold your ground in order to keep from falling over.
KAGAN: Oh, yes. No, no, I believe you. I think the pictures are telling the story.
Thank you. You guys be safe out there.
Also for you this morning, we have some Hurricane Wilma pictures to show you taken by our citizen journalist viewers. Backyard photo for you first up. It was e-mailed to us from Glenda Suarez in Miami. It will be a while before the kids can play here again. The playset is damaged and the fence has been blown down.
Now a picture from Howard Bush in Weston, Florida. You can see snapped palm trees on the sidewalk and leading into the street.
And a lighter moment captured by Stuart Dawley in Indiaiantic, Florida. Look at this very industrious young man. A young skateboarder using a towel and Wilma's winds to get a little push.
We'd like to invite you to become a CNN citizen journalist. Send us your photos and videos, cnn.com/hurricane. Remember, please, do not put yourself in harm's way.
CNN is your hurricane headquarters. Stay with us for updates on Wilma's effects on the New England and the storm's aftermath in Florida.
And for more on the aftermath of Wilma, we're going to have that later this hour. We're going to check in with the mayor of one small Florida coastal town. He chose to ride out the storm. Find out how he and his community fared.
Also, a grim milestone for American troops fighting in Iraq. We are live from the Pentagon and Baghdad.
And the mother of the civil rights movement passes away. A look back at the life and legacy of Rosa Parks. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAGAN: To Iraq now. There are two major stories to tell you about this morning. First, a grim statistic in the U.S. military death toll. Then, there is the significant political milestone, results from the constitutional referendum. We're following the story from the Pentagon with Barbara Starr and in Baghdad our Nic Robertson.
Barbara, we'll start with you.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, indeed CNN is now reporting that the U.S. military death toll in Iraq has indeed reached 2,000. A grim milestone. And for everyone who asks, what does that really mean? Of course, what it really means is one simple fact, 2,000 American families in mourning for the loss of their loved ones in this war.
Now we probably will never know exactly who was the 2,000th American troop to die in Iraq. It is not something that the Pentagon tracks per say. It is very difficult to actually calculate that number. In fact, a lot of news agencies are reporting still that it's at one less than that at 1,999.
But CNN this morning has spoken to military officials and gone very carefully through those statistics and has found that there were troops killed on Saturday, October 22nd, and an Army soldier killed riding in a Bradley fighting vehicle, and on Sunday, a United States Marine also killed in Iraq. So this does, in fact, bring the number to 2,000.
You might also ask, so what about the insurgency, the state of the insurgency that is responsible for so many of these attacks against American troops. Well, senior Army officials say they are very concerned about some new trends in those IEDs, those improvised explosive devices. They see the insurgents laying that they have now seen repeated use of something called explosively-formed projectiles. These are essentially kinetic charges, if you will, and the Army says that these types of bombs have been successful in penetrating U.S. tanks, U.S. Bradley vehicles and up armored Humvees. So the insurgents apparently finding ways to punch through U.S. armor and causing more casualties.
So what is the Army doing about that? They are recalibrating once again, going back, looking, they say, for the networks, the bomb- making factories, the financiers of these types of attacks. They know that the insurgents will continue to lay the bombs. They want to find the networks behind it all.
KAGAN: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you.
Now let's get to those referendum results. Our Senior International Correspondent, Nic Robertson, is in Baghdad with that.
Nic, hello. NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Daryn.
Well, an overwhelming 78 percent of Iraqis voted for the new referendum. Sixty-three percent of the electorate. That was more than 9,800,000 Iraqis turned out to vote.
What is significant about these results is that the two provinces that voted against overwhelmingly against the referendum were Sunni provinces. One province in the north of the country was the swing province. The vote there only 55 percent. No, not the two-thirds majority needed to block the passage of the constitution.
The conclusion being drawn from these elections. Sunnis were drawn into the political process. They didn't participate in the elections earlier in the year. They did participate this time. They did, by and large, vote no, but it wasn't enough to block the referendum. The next political step here, parliamentary elections, December the 15th and that will put a government in place here for the next five years, Daryn.
KAGAN: A quick question about the referendum. Wasn't part there was a last minute deal that said if you vote yes, and this was to bring more Sunnis in, we'll basically start over in a few months?
ROBERTSON: And that seems to have been successful. It was a last-minute deal that once the new parliament's sitting, the constitution can be opened up, changes to it can be made. That was enough, it seemed, to get enough to get Sunnis involved in the political process. It's all been last-minute politics. It all moves very, very quickly here, Daryn. But that deal has been seen as being really (ph) successful here.
KAGAN: Now let me pick up on a point that Barbara Starr was talking about. We were looking at the number of U.S. troops dead. But, in fact, it's actually Iraqi civilians that have been the biggest victims of the insurgency. And we saw that again yesterday with the car bombs right there in Baghdad.
ROBERTSON: And indeed again this morning. A bomb that we could hear from where we're located, detonated as the U.S. Army patrol went by. A young Iraqi child was killed in that explosion. About half an hour later, another roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol. Another Iraqi civilian killed there. A roadside bomb in the south of Baghdad today killing three Iraqi army soldiers. Another gun attack on Iraqi police on the western side of Baghdad this afternoon killing two Iraqi policemen, wounding seven others.
It is, by and large, Iraqis who are being caught up in the violence here and killed. It is, by and large, the security forces, U.S. and Iraqi, that are the targets.
KAGAN: Nic Robertson live from Baghdad. Thank you.
And I want to let our viewers know that President Bush has an event later this morning. He'll be at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. Today he is addressing military wives. We'll have more on that just ahead.
Also, Vice President's Cheney's chief of staff already under investigation in the CIA leak case. Was his boss the first to utter the name of an undercover operative and is that even a crime? The details just ahead.
And right now let's go ahead and check the markets. They have been open about 51 minutes. Things a little slow to start the morning. The Dow is down four points and the Nasdaq is down five.
More business news just ahead.
KAGAN: Let's take a look at what's happening "Now in the News."
Iraqi election officials today report that the country's draft constitution has passed. Officials say more than 78 percent of the voters approved the document. Officials also said there was a 63 percent turnout for the October 15th vote. At least two-thirds of the voters in two provinces rejected the constitution. Had that margin held up in a third province, the document could and would have been defeated.
The U.N. Security Council is meeting this hour to discuss an assassination report. The report implicates top Syrian intelligence officials in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February. The U.S. and France want a resolution demanding Syrian cooperation with the probe. The U.S. has not ruled out pushing for sanction against Syria.
Mars rover, come on over. Spirit is moving to another part of the red planet for exploration. The six-wheeled rover has been taking pictures of the surface of Mars since landing 21 months ago. Most recently Spirit has been studying rocks on top of Husband Hill (ph). That hill, by the way, named after Rich Husband, commander of the ill- fated Columbia shuttle.
And one of the leading figures of the civil rights movement has died. Rosa Parks died yesterday in Detroit at the age of 92. Her death came just weeks before the 50th anniversary of her refusal to give up a bus seat to a white man. Parks remained active in the civil rights movement until her death.
Now the latest on "The New York Times" reporting a new revelation in the CIA leak investigation and focuses on how and from whom Vice Presidential Aide Lewis Libby first heard about a covert CIA officer. CNN White House Correspondent Dana Bash is with us live.
Dana, good morning.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, and what "The New York Times" is reporting is that Scooter Libby actually did find out about Valerie Plame from his boss, from the vice president himself. Now that could raise a lot of legal issues for Scooter Libby, who apparently told prosecutors initially that he actually found out about Valerie Plame working at the CIA, the fact that she existed at all, from reporters.
But for now we can focus on what this may or may not mean for the vice president himself. This is perhaps the first time we understand that he personally was involved in this. "The Times" reports that he actually got the information from then CIA Director George Tenet.
Now, we have reported for some time that the vice president's office has been central to this investigation. Why? Because they were very interested in the fact that Joe Wilson, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, went on a mission to Niger and he had been comeback and started criticizing the administration, saying that they essentially ignored his findings. That they were trying to twist intelligence to back the war in Iraq.
So the question right now is whether or not the vice president was more deeply involved than we know. Now the vice president's office, Daryn, is not commenting on this at all, saying, as we've heard many times, this is an ongoing investigation. But I can tell you that a Republican source close to the vice president already last night when this first came out started to try to defend the vice president politically making clear that there is really nothing wrong, nothing illegal about the vice president sharing classified information with his chief of staff.
A lot of unanswered questions. It is quite complicated but certainly this is a White House, Daryn, that is on pins and needles waiting to see what the special prosecutor will or will not announce perhaps in a matter of a couple of days.
KAGAN: Right. Now a couple of things here, Dana. First of all, this CIA leak story, all we're learning also has to be leaks because it comes from a grand jury, so we have to put that in perspective.
BASH: We do. That's a very, very good point. That information at this point, really at any point in this, that comes to us, we believe, comes to us for a very specific reason. Perhaps from people close to players who want to shape a story, want to get information out there, want to control information that may eventually come out in any indictments or reports that Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, puts out. And that's a very important point to make, that this is just, again, one little sliver, one little slice of what the special prosecutor might be looking at.
KAGAN: OK, a leak on a leak.
And then, also, and you were kind of going to this with your last point. If, for the sake of conversation, the vice president was talking about Valerie Plame and talking to his chief of staff, these are two men who we presume have government clearance. So the fact that they would be talking amongst each other, that in itself would not be a crime.
BASH: Absolutely. And that is what some close to the vice president are certainly pointing out this morning. The big question is, whether or not, and this is what former Ambassador Joe Wilson alleged from the beginning, whether or not there was some kind of intentional outing of his wife. That they outed his wife to get back at him.
Now we do know that there was a political effort here at the White House to try to combat or rebut criticism from Joe Wilson. It was at a time when this White House, there had been no weapons of mass destruction found, and they were under fire for many things, including that, and faulty intelligence at the time. So that was something that the White House was trying to rebut. Joe Wilson was a central figure at that time. The question about whether or not anything illegal was intentionally or either unintentionally done with regard to Joe Wilson's wife. That's a big question.
KAGAN: And that's why we're waiting to see what Patrick Fitzgerald and this investigation comes up with.
Dana Bash, at a leaky White House, because were leaking there today even.
BASH: Thanks, Daryn.
KAGAN: Ahead on CNN LIVE TODAY, a look back at the life of Rosa Parks. We're going to talk to someone whose life was greatly influenced by the civil rights pioneer, and cleaning up in Florida following Hurricane Wilma. We're going to talk to a mayor of one town swamped by the storm. He chose to stay, and he rode out the storm.
KAGAN: Folks in Florida are facing another day with a real mess on their hands, thanks to Hurricane Wilma, and Wilma isn't just affecting traffic on the ground. It's causing big problems for air travelers. Miami International, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Airports are all closed, at least until today. About 2,000 flights have been canceled because of the storm.
Now earlier, we were trying to get in touch with Kareen Wynter. She's in Key West, and I think we've been successful this time around.
Kareen, good morning.
KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, and good morning to you.
Talk about a town trying to bounce back after a major hurricane. Well, Key West is a prime example of that. Daryn, there is so much going on around me right now, I don't know where to begin. There are business owners at work in the busy downtown Duval Street here in Key West, taking off plywood. You can actually see the windows to their storefront once again after people boarded up in anticipation of this storm. They're actually trying to clear away all of the debris that's still littering this area after yesterday's storm ripped through here, and at the peak of the storm about 60 to 70 percent of the city was underwater, three to five feet of water in some areas.
Now we went out and about yesterday in many neighborhoods that were just completely covered, cars submerged in water, residents in essence trying to get out of their homes. Some homeowners say they had to swim to get out, and it gives you an idea of how much water was there at the time. A lot of that has receded, especially overnight, and so we're seeing brighter conditions today. The sky, the sun is out. As for what we can expect, Daryn, well, there's a lot going here. The police chief says that the National Guard is on its way to Florida, that they're also waiting for some FEMA assets.
In addition to that, it shows the work that still continues here. The city is requesting more help in the form of manpower from agencies such as the Florida State Highway Patrol, and the Florida Department of Transportation -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Kareen Wynter, good to see you there in Key West.
KAGAN: Mexico now, Cancun's airport could reopen today. That would be some good news for 20,000 stranded tourists. They are ready to go home. They have spent the better part of the past week whiling away time in shelters. Thousand of Americans are believed to be stuck in Cancun. Buses are already ferrying tourists out to the city, to Marita (ph). Wilma hovered over Cancun for two days, causing extensive damage.
The floodwaters from Wilma are receding in Cuba, but the hundreds of thousands who were evacuated are now faced with a huge cleanup job. The historical capital of Havana went from quaint to chaotic in hours. People waded through water almost up to their waists, and cars and houses were submerged. There are no reports of anyone killed in Cuba.
The woman who is considered the mother of the American civil rights movement died yesterday. And when we come back, we're going to look at the life of Rosa Parks and the legacy she leaves behind.
KAGAN: A Detroit bus driver came up with her own memorial for Rosa Parks. When the driver found out that Parks had died, she invited all of her riders to sit at the front of the bus. Parks died yesterday of natural causes. She was 92.
Our Gary Tuchman reports her legacy reached far beyond a bus incident that was almost exactly 50 years ago.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Historians point to the courage Rosa Parks showed as a turning point in the civil rights movement. December 1, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama, a seamstress, Parks was on her way home sitting in the so-called colored section of a crowded bus. Several white passengers got on. But she refused to give up the seat. ROSA PARKS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: And the driver wanted us to stand up, the four of us. We didn't move at the beginning, but he said, "You all (INAUDIBLE)." And he says, "Let me have those seats." And when the other three people moved and I didn't...
TUCHMAN: Driving the bus was the same man who ejected her from a bus 12 years earlier. Parks was arrested and fined $14. She recalls, as the officer took her away, she asked, "Why do you push us around?" The officer's response, "I don't know, but the law is the law and you're under arrest."
In protest, a new minister in town organized what would become a 381-day bus boycott. That minister was 26-year-old Martin Luther King Jr.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: This is a nonviolent protest. We are depending on moral and spiritual forces, using the method of passive resistance.
TUCHMAN: Black people walked, rode taxies and organized carpools. The boycott severely damaged the transit company's finances. It ended when the Supreme Court ruled segregation on public transportation illegal. Parks lost her job at a department store because of her activism.
PARKS: I only knew that, as I was being arrested, that it was the very last time that I would ever ride in humiliation of this kind in segregation and being arrested for just wanting to go home and wanting to be comfortable and wanting to be treated as any passenger should.
TUCHMAN: She and her husband left Alabama for Detroit, where she worked for a congressman for more than 20 years.
She would remain an important force in the civil rights movement until her death. Parks co-founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development to help young people pursue educational opportunities, get them registered to vote, and work towards racial peace.
PARKS: As long as there is unemployment and while crime, and all the things that go to -- for the infliction of man's inhumanity to man, regardless, that there's much to be done and people of goodwill need to work together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Thank you.
TUCHMAN: Even into her 80s, she was active on the lecture circuit, speaking to civil rights groups and accepting awards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. It's beautiful.
TUCHMAN: Including Congress' highest order, the Congressional Gold Model, marking that December day more than 40 years ago, when Rosa Parks said no to a bus driver and no to segregation.
Gary Tuchman, CNN.
KAGAN: With more on Rosa Parks' place in the civil rights movement, we turn to Sandra Gouge. She's a spokesman for the Rosa Parks Library and Museum at Troy University and she joins us on the phone now from Montgomery Alabama. Mr. Gouge, good morning. Thank you for being here with us.
SANDRA GOUGE, ROSA PARKS LIBRARY AND MUSEUM: Thank you for having us. Certainly we're saddened by the loss, but thank you for having us.
KAGAN: Absolutely. And our thought go to you and the whole Parks family and I know that's an extended family that would include a lot of people that are working to keep her memory alive, which includes you. She was an unlikely heroine, was she not?
GOUGE: Absolutely. And certainly, she was a national figure, but she was also part of Troy University's family. And in fact the Troy University Library -- Rosa Parks Library and Museum is the single largest tribute in the world to the life and legacy of Mrs. Parks, her courage and that she stood for, peace, justice, love, all of those things.
KAGAN: There used to just be a marker where this took place, where the protest took place, but now, as you said, there is this library. What do people see when they come there? What do they experience that helps them feel closer for what Miss Parks stood for?
GOUGE: Certainly, we have a 55,000 square foot library and museum and it has an interpretive museum. We also have a reenactment of the bus scene. We have a kiosk that shows her life. We have a number of exhibit areas telling the story of the early civil rights movement in Alabama and it's an opportunity to appreciate the woman behind those good works.
KAGAN: How much personal interaction did you have with her and how did she touch your life?
GOUGE: Well, certainly, Mrs. Parks came and we've had dinner a few times. She was here for the opening of the museum. She is a woman of quiet dignity, respect, so courageous and a Christian woman who lived her faith. I think she had vision and wanted to continue to dream for young people which is certainly near and dear to our hearts in the education field.
KAGAN: You know, one thing that is so interesting in looking at these interviews that she did, especially later in her life, at the beginning -- almost 50 years ago -- to the end, she was a very quiet spoken woman and yet by being quiet she made such a huge and loud statement.
Absolutely. And our chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins, has often said that it was neat to be able to -- for her come and to be able to work with her to preserve her many contributions to our society.
And the museum, I think, helps to teach the lessons of history and understanding the need for diversity in our society and, of course, we are very proud that her name will always be a part of Troy University and the city of Montgomery.
KAGAN: Well, a lot of good work lies ahead of you and the museum and the library.
GOUGE: And, actually, people have already begun brining flowers in memory of Mrs. Parks to the museum.
KAGAN: Well, and as I said, our thoughts to her extended family which of course, includes those who are keeping her legacy alive. Sandra Gouge, thank you.
GOUGE: Thank you. Bye bye.
KAGAN: So question for you. Who is he and how did he get frozen in time about 60 years ago? It's a real-life CSI. Now experts may be moving closer to finding out who the mystery airman is. His remains were just recently found. We're going to tell you what's happening today just ahead.
KAGAN: I want to show you some pictures that we're just getting in to us here at CNN. North Bay Village in Miami, Florida, what a mess. This is the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma. As you can see, this port here, this harbor, a number of boats were ruined in that, but in addition to that we can tell you after Monday's storm, at least six people killed. Most stores will remain closed today in South Florida, widespread power outages, some of the worst power outages they've ever experienced in the state of Florida. We will wait and see on the economic impact of that.
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KAGAN: Time to check around the world. It's 10:54 in Chatham, Massachusetts. Heavy rain is expected there from Hurricane Wilma. It is 5:54 in the evening from Baghdad. That is where our constitutional referendum has passed. Live reports from both cities ahead on CNN LIVE TODAY.
Plus, anxious families await. Are the frozen remains of an apparent airman one of their own. Experts may be closer to an answer. That's coming up next.
KAGAN: Let's take a look at the latest in a military mystery. Who was the apparent airman found frozen in the Sierra Nevada last week. The remains have arrived at a military lab in Hawaii. Forensic experts and a dentist will examine the body. The experts say the remains are in very good condition, and the process of I.D.ing the man could take weeks, or even years. Authorities believe he was an airman in World War II, and they have narrowed the list to 10 possible people.
Ahead in our next hour of CNN LIVE TODAY, President Bush is set to address military officer's wives this morning. The death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq reaches 2,000.
Mr. Bush is scheduled to speak in 30 minutes and we will of course bring that to you live when it happens.
The second hour of CNN LIVE TODAY begins right now.
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