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Hillary Rodham Clinton Officially Becomes Candidate for U.S. Senate; Crews Struggling to Control New Mexico Wildfires

Aired May 16, 2000 - 10:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANNOUNCER: It's Tuesday, May 16, 2000.

Tonight on CNN NEWSSTAND:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no place like New York State in this country. This is the best state!

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: As of tonight, it's finally official: At New York's Democratic convention, Hillary Clinton accepts her party's backing for the U.S. Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the nomination of the New York Democratic Party for the United States Senate!

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A political race that's already making history.

Also tonight, the inside story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not something that she initiated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A behind-the-scenes look at the countdown to a candidacy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact she's running in New York is a consequence of virtually the entire leadership of New York's Democratic Party figuratively getting down on its knees and begging her to run.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And Rudy or no Rudy, we'll look at what's ahead.

She's a real life Indiana Jones who discovered the best preserved T. rex skeleton ever found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's something about these tremendous animals. There really mysterious, exciting and awesome, and we as humans we want to be in awe of something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: A story 67 million years in the making. This is CNN NEWSSTAND with anchors Stephen Frazier and Natalie Allen in Atlanta.

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to NEWSSTAND on a night for the political history books.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A short while ago, New Yorkers did something that's never happened before.

FRAZIER: At their party's convention in Albany, New York, Democrats endorsed the nomination of a sitting first lady for a seat in the United States Senate.

CNN's Frank Buckley has been covering this campaign since before it was a campaign, and he was in the arena as Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted the challenge, and he's there now -- Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Stephen, Hillary Rodham Clinton has just accepted the nomination of the state Democratic Party in New York.

And right now, you can see live on the stage the picture that will be seen in newspapers across the U.S. tomorrow morning, the scene of Hillary Rodham Clinton waving to Democratic supporters here.

Joining her on the stage this evening, Bill Clinton and a number of Democratic leaders and elected officials from the state of New York.

Earlier this evening, Mr. Clinton entered onto the stage with Mrs. Clinton. In a bit of political theater, both of them appearing, the president making a last-minute decision this afternoon to appear here at the Pepsi Arena with Mrs. Clinton for Mrs. Clintons formal nomination to the U.S. Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H. CLINTON: I am deeply honored and humbled to accept the nomination of the New York Democratic Party for the United States Senate!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: Mrs. Clinton accepting the nomination of the state Democratic Party here in New York. Mrs. Clinton in her comments this evening also acknowledging President Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H. CLINTON: Twenty-one million new jobs, balanced budgets, lowered crime, stronger schools, better child care, a cleaner environment, a safer and more inclusive American community, and our thanks must go to Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: More than 11,000 Democrats had filled this Pepsi arena here in Albany for this evening's events, which are just wrapping up. Mrs. Clinton now the designee of the Democratic Party here in New York, will eventually be officially confirmed as the nominee of the Democratic Party here in New York. It's been a long road for her that began really more than a year ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next senator from the state of New York -- Hillary Rodham Clinton.

(APPLAUSE)

BUCKLEY (voice-over): The underlying candidacy of Hillary Clinton began as a speculation.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: I'll fight even harder for every one in this state and for the country that we all love.

BUCKLEY: In his election night in 1998, Democrat Charles Schumer was voted in as U.S. senator from New York. Three days later, New York's senior senator, esteemed Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan, decides to retire after 24 years in office.

(on camera): Democrats wondered who could replace him? Who could beat a Republican likely to run for the seat, Rudy Giuliani, already a national figure? Some Democrats began to say aloud what they'd been saying quietly to each other: What about the first lady?

SEN. ROBERT TORICELLI (D), NEW JERSEY: She is widely accepted in the state of New York. She's universally known, without the normal difficulties of organizing a campaign or raising funds.

BUCKLEY: Hillary Clinton's positives are at an all-time high. She is applauded for handling the president's scandal with grace.

It is January, 1999. At the White House, Mrs. Clinton works the phones and meets with key New York Democrats. MICHAEL TOMASKY, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: They were all tremendously excited about this idea last January. They thought she'd be a juggernaut.

BUCKLEY: Political writer Michael Tomasky's cover story in "New York" magazine a year ago gave the story light.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first lady of the United States.

TOMASKY: Here comes Hillary Clinton, a celebrity, a star, a Democratic hero. People didn't quite think it was going to happen, but that it was more fun to muse about than anything else.

BUCKLEY: Some influential Democrats in New York are serious, and tell the first lady she should consider it seriously.

Victor Kovner is a friend who was part of the conversation.

VICTOR KOVNER, FRIEND OF HILLARY CLINTON: The fact that she's running in New York for the United States Senate is a consequence of virtually the entire leadership of New York's Democratic Party figuratively getting down on its knees and begging her to run. It was not something that she initiated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't it about time New York State sent a woman to the United States Senate?

BUCKLEY: But this woman is not from New York, and is the still the first lady. To some, the idea that she would really run seems remote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think this is Beltway chatter. I don't think she's ever going to run.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many women have won statewide office on their own in New York? Zero.

CARL MCCALL (D), NEW YORK COMPTROLLER: I told her that I was definitely not running, and I encouraged her to run.

BUCKLEY: Democrat Carl McCall was a potential candidate for Senate after winning re-election to his post as New York comptroller with more votes than anyone had ever received in a run for statewide office. Mrs. Clinton, he says, was eager to hear how he did it.

MCCALL: She asked me with people she should talk to. She asked me about issues. She specifically asked me, based on my experiences of having twice been a statewide candidate, about the diversity in the state.

BUCKLEY: April: She is asked -- she will be time and again -- why New York?

H. CLINTON: Well, I love New York to start with. I always have.

BUCKLEY: She had reason to love New York. In the '92 and '96 elections, her husband's margins of victory here were among his best anywhere, and registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1.

H. CLINTON: The one, the only Nita Lowey.

BUCKLEY: While Mrs. Clinton considers a trip on to the political stage, Congresswoman Nita Lowey waits in the wings, ready to run if the first lady doesn't. It is May. With the approach of summer, Mrs. Clinton is sounding more and more like a potential candidate.

June 2:

H. CLINTON: No parents should have to send any child to a failing public school. That should be a solemn promise we make.

BUCKLEY: June 3: Nita Lowey bows out...

REP. NITA LOWEY (D), NEW YORK: It has become increasing clear to me that she will be the candidate.

BUCKLEY: ... making it certain that Hillary Clinton will move forward.

HOWARD WOLFSON, SPOKESMAN OF HILLARY 2000: This morning, we filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission.

BUCKLEY: July 7, when Mrs. Clinton travels to New York for a start of what she calls a "listening tour." It begins on the upstate farm of the man she would attempt to succeed.

SEN. DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN (D), NEW YORK: I hope she will go all the way. I mean to go all the way with her. I think she's going win.

BUCKLEY: But among the first questions, one she'll hear again and again: Isn't she an outsider, a carpetbagger?

H. CLINTON: I have some real work to do, to get out, and listen, and learn from the people of New York and demonstrate that what I'm for is maybe as important, if not more important, than where I'm from.

Thanks everybody!

BUCKLEY: Her travels are greeted by largely supportive crowds. She talks about health care, education, jobs and gun control. She attacks Republicans in Congress.

H. CLINTON: I think that the Republican tax proposal that is being considered in the Senate would be very damaging to New York.

TOMASKY: The listening tour was a test run for her candidacy and sort of a tryout, the way you take a play to Wilmington and Peoria before you bring it to New York.

BUCKLEY: But in August, the premiere of a new magazine, "Talk," throws her off message. The article including comments from the first lazy on the state of her marriage. H. CLINTON: My husband and I love each other very much, and we are very committed to one another, and we've been through a lot, like most marriages I'm aware of. And I really believe strongly that an issue that the country has put behind us, and I have as well.

BUCKLEY: But Mrs. Clinton would find in the months ahead that others had not put the issue behind them.

For the moment, however, breaks from her husband's policies make headlines. On the Middle East, she calls Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel and supports moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. And on the president's offer of clemency to Puerto Rican nationalists of the FALN, Mrs. Clinton at first supports it with conditions, then opposes it when conditions are not met, in the process, angering Hispanic leaders in New York for failing to consult with them.

H. CLINTON: I have to admit that the consultation process was not what it should have been, and that will never happen again.

(APPLAUSE)

BUCKLEY: In late summer, the Clinton's start house hunting in the northern suburbs of New York City and they vacation further upstate in the little known town of Schenectady, all the while the first couple raises money, the biggest evening, a million-dollar Broadway bash.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The ablest, most passionate, most committed, most visionary public servant I have ever known.

BUCKLEY: The Clinton camp would pocket $8 million by the end of the year, Victor Kovner hosted one reception at his home.

VICTOR KOVNER, FRIEND OF HILLARY CLINTON: I had people calling me and saying, could they come, people asking for permission to come and pay at a fund raiser. I have never, never had that experience before.

BUCKLEY: Still, Mrs. Clinton keeps waiting to publicly commit while winking and nodding to those in her party.

H. CLINTON: I'm leaning so far toward running that I would fall over if I leaned any further, I think.

BUCKLEY: Juggling two hats, first lady and potential candidate, leads to what some see as her biggest embarrassment. Early November, Mrs. Clinton appears in the West Bank with the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who accuses Israel of firing poison gas. Mrs. Clinton waits a day to respond and is criticized.

CARL KRUGER, NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY: She should withdraw her candidacy, if it exists, or stop her listening to her, because she obviously doesn't listen. H. CLINTON: There are people who said that if they had been in the position I found myself in they would have created an international incident of some kind, but you know, I was there on an official trip representing the president and our government, I went there to further the peace process.

BUCKLEY: By late fall, speculation circulates that maybe Mrs. Clinton won't run, so on November 23, she makes it clear that she will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it yes, or is it no?

H. CLINTON: Yes, I intend to run.

(APPLAUSE)

BUCKLEY: As the new year begins, Mrs. Clinton moves into the $1.7 million one-acre home in the Westchester County town of Chappaqua, establishing legal residency required to hold office, registering to vote, hiring a campaign manager.

Finally, in February, she formally announces her candidacy.

H. CLINTON: I may be new to the neighborhood, but I'm not new to your concerns.

(APPLAUSE)

BUCKLEY: The first lady continues her aggressive campaigning across the state in 2000, in early May, fulfilling a promise to visit all 62 of New York's counties with a trip to Clinton County, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BUCKLEY: And this evening, finally, Democrats have made it official, nominating Hillary Clinton as their choice for the U.S. Senate seat from New York. We should mention that New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was not mentioned at all this evening, the presumed Republican opponent in this race. He recently revealed that he is seeking a separation from his wife of 16 years and that he's been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He says he is still waiting to decide if he will remain in this race or not.

Frank Buckley, CNN, reporting live from Albany, New York.

ALLEN: We are going to talk more about that now. The Hillary versus Rudy contest has been one of this year's most anticipated political races. Then came Mayor Giuliani's medical and marital problems, as Frank just talked about.

For a look at what happens now, CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider joins us from our bureau.

Hi, Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Natalie. ALLEN: Well, we've just seen Hillary Rodham Clinton wrap it up and start things off officially for the Democrats, big question now remaining for the Republican Party. What is Giuliani going to do and how long does he have to decide?

SCHNEIDER: Well, he has technically until May 30 when the Republicans meet to make their nomination, that's in two weeks, and they don't know who is running, they don't know if he is running or someone else is running. You know, watching that piece I got the sense that Republicans are taking their checkbooks out all over the country, saying, we've got to do something, we've got to give somebody some money to stop this woman, but they don't know who to write their checks to.

ALLEN: If not Rudy Giuliani -- and are the Republicans still supporting him and if not, him, then who?

SCHNEIDER: Republicans are all over the place, they are trying to give him advice, some are saying, run, don't run, he can win, he can't win, they don't know what to do. There are other candidates -- look, they need a candidate who is less controversial than Rudy Giuliani, but is -- has a sense of stature or presence. Rudy Giuliani clearly has that as mayor of New York.

The only other Republican who can fill that bill is Governor Pataki, who has said several times that he's not running. There are other Republicans, Rick Lazio, a congressman from Long Island, he is a fine young man, but he doesn't have the stature. He's not controversial, but he doesn't really have the experience, the standing that a lot of Republicans want to see in a candidate to put up against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

ALLEN: And as you said, whoever is the candidate will see a lot of checks rolling in from Republicans across the country, this is so important to them.

SCHNEIDER: It is, because, look, they've had a very miserable eight years under Bill Clinton. They want the Clinton years to stop. They do not look forward to seeing Hillary Rodham Clinton elected to the Senate in a un-term limited period, she could be there for six years, 12 years, she may run for president. A lot of them expect her to be the first woman candidate for president of the United States. This is a nightmare to a lot of Republicans and they don't have a candidate to stop her.

ALLEN: So, Giuliani has -- he's battling cancer, he just announced he's separating from his wife. What -- do you know what the feelings are of New Yorkers about whether he should stay in or step aside?

SCHNEIDER: Well, there have been some polls and surprise of surprises, all these revelations about his private life, his medical condition, his marriage really haven't made a great deal of difference.

New Yorkers say by overwhelming numbers that it really doesn't affect their vote and, in fact, the poll standings are still the same, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton are neck and neck in the polls, really too close to call, but that doesn't stop all the political insiders from sagely giving their advice and saying, he can't win, he can never be elected, that sort of advice is the thing that Rudy Giuliani, who is known to be a fighter, he reacts against that. He is a tough guy and that might just get him to run.

ALLEN: Well, if they are neck and neck in the polls, what does that mean if he were to drop out? Does it help Hillary Clinton or would it hurt her?

SCHNEIDER: Well, there's a big disagreement over that, as there is over everything in this race. Look, there's a view that if, say, Rick Lazio runs, he's a moderately conservative Republican, he's less controversial than Giuliani, has a stature problem, the question is, are there enough New Yorkers out there who resent the first lady to give victory to an obscure congressman that they really don't know anything about? And the answer is, maybe there are.

The race would then be about her, and then the question is, do they dislike enough about her the fact that she's a carpetbagger who has never lived or worked in the state to vote against her. You know, I looked at the record and I cannot find another candidate who's won major statewide office, senator or governor, who's never lived or worked in a state before. That's bound to be an issue.

ALLEN: Bill Schneider.

SCHNEIDER: Except Bobby Kennedy -- oops -- Bobby Kennedy, he won, but he won on Lyndon Johnson's coattails in 1964, and Gore is not going to have those kinds of coattails.

ALLEN: Well, it is one race that is only going to get more interesting.

Bill Schneider, thank you.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

ALLEN: We'll take a break. We'll have much more news after this.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up, the basics on a world hot spot you'd probably have trouble finding on a map, and U.S. troops may be heading that way.

And later, the adventurer who found an $8 million T. rex.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somehow she knew we were leaving. Had we left and not looked there, I doubt if anyone ever would have looked there in the next 50 or 100 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: NEWSSTAND is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FRAZIER: With the help of the United States, more United Nations peacekeepers may be headed to war-ravaged Sierra Leone. The Pentagon says a team of U.S. military personnel is in the capital, Freeport, now to coordinate the possible arrival of transport planes. This comes as U.N. Officials work to free about 350 peacekeepers, most from other African nations, kidnapped by fighters on one side of a civil war.

For perspective on the almost four decades of conflict in that African nation, CNN senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth opens his "Reporter's Notebook."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The Sierra Leone problem started back in 1961. Soon after it won independence from Britain, there have been a series of military governments, regimes and coups. The United Nations helped broker the peace agreement that was signed last year, which ended nine years of civil war. Rebels, who were part of this peace agreement, decided they wanted more power or they wanted the ability to still have possession of diamond-rich territory that they were going to give up as the U.N. moved to enforce this peace agreement.

The main rebel faction is known as the RUF, the Revolutionary United Front, led by Foday Sankoh, a man who is now missing. Rebels of the Revolutionary United Front took hostages because the U.N. was getting too close, and the U.N. was going to take power away from the rebels by enforcing this peace agreement.

These hostages are primarily United Nations peacekeepers. They are from the country of Guinea. They are from Kenya. They are from India, a wide range of countries participating in an international peackeeping force. But most peculiar is that there were two contingent of Zambian soldiers, more than 200 in each group, that just disappeared, and people are wondering how did this happen?

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: I do not know the facts. We've looked into it. I don't have the facts.

ROTH: It's up to Americans whether they want to care or not about an African country. Sierra Leone is twice the size of Maryland, but it's a country in desperate need of humanitarian help from the outside world. And the United States apologized for its failure to act in Rwanda, and now U.S. credibility, you could say, is on the line. The United States has received criticism for not acting quick enough, for not contributing enough. As it is, Britain seems to have taken the lead by supplying paratroopers and other forces to secure the airport, and apparently the capital. The U.S. thinks it doesn't have to act now as much because it wants to delegate military involvement to other countries. The United States government may not want to risk U.S. lives in another far-away Africa country unless there's a demand from the public, and at this point, there does not appear to be.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Other top stories: Interest rates head higher, as the Federal Reserve board tacks 1/2 point onto the rate banks charge. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and other board members say the rate hike is needed to slow down the economy. Now at 6.5 percent, it's the highest in almost 10 years. We'll have a look at market reaction later this hour.

Forecasters are warning of a hot, dry summer across parts of the South and Midwest, states where much of the nation's food supply is grown, and which are already suffering from severe drought. Louisiana is hardest hit, it's rainfall, 29 inches below normal.

ANNOUNCER: Up next: battling the wind and walls of flame -- the latest on the Western wildfires, when NEWSSTAND returns.

ALLEN: In Central New Mexico, gusty winds are making it that much harder for firefighters to contain what's become the largest forest fire in the state. More than 46,000 acres have burned in and around Los Alamos, a fire that was deliberately set by the Park Service.

CNN national correspondent Charles Zewe reports from the frontlines.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES ZEWE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the fire-fighting equivalent of hand-to-hand combat, fire crews, using shovels, picks and hoses, struggled to stop the relentless blaze in the face of rising winds. The heart of the fight was focused on the Santa Clara Canyon near Los Alamos.

DENNY WILSON, U.S. FOREST SERVICE: There's a lot of us that feel real good that I think we're going to hold it here.

ZEWE (on camera): For firefighters, the struggle has been to keep the blaze on that side of the creek that runs right down the middle of the Santa Clara canyon.

(voice-over): Stopping the fire here, officials think, will allow them to halt the forward motion of the inferno. Fire officials remain cautious.

JIM PAXON, U.S. FOREST SERVICE: We're not out of danger on this fire. We're no where near estimating containment.

ZEWE: Crews, in fact, thought they had the upper hand last week when fierce winds swept flames across Los Alamos, leaving 405 families homeless.

In the battle for control of the Santa Clara, dozens of Native Americans are manning fire lines. They consider the canyon to be sacred ground. TYLER LEFTHAND, NATIVE AMERICAN FIREFIGHTER: They would probably do the same thing for us, too, if it were like this back on our lands.

ZEWE: In smoky Los Alamos, meanwhile, gas and power remained off for much of the town. Most residents have returned. Devastated neighborhoods, however, remain off limits. The nuclear weapons lab, the town's main employer, is still closed. Stores are restocking.

EARL CARRASCO, FURR'S SUPERMARKET: Everything's been replaced, new meat, fresh produce, fresh bakery, fresh deli, everything.

ZEWE: Shoppers seemed grateful for a return to the simple chores of everyday life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels great to see everybody, and everybody is being extra friendly this morning.

ZEWE: Going to the grocery as a way to begin healing emotional scars from a devastating fire.

Charles Zewe, CNN, Los Alamos, New Mexico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FRAZIER: Wind is also causing problems with firefighters battling another controlled burn that got out of hand in Arizona. This one has scorched more than 10,000 acres along the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It's now about 43 percent contained.

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead: She's helped discover lost harbors, sunken fleets, even Cleopatra's palace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUE HENDRICKSON: I'm good at finding things, really lucky or whatever it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: See what she's found now, when NEWSSTAND returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FRAZIER: A major unveiling in Chicago tomorrow when the Field Museum of Natural History pulls the wraps off a fossilized skeleton of the biggest, baddest carnivore that ever walked the planet. She is a tyrannosaurus rex, the largest and most complete specimen ever discovered. Her name is Sue.

We promised the Field we won't give away how Sue is posed before their big moment tomorrow, but we can show you some of what makes her special.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRAZIER (voice-over): Use these parts to imagine the whole: each tooth is 12 inches long, serrated like a steak knife, replaceable like a shark's. She has 60.

The skull by itself is 5 1/2 feet long. The claws are all about speed. They think she could run 40 miles an hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought those were razor sharp right there, those toenails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they're pretty sharp.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRAZIER: And wouldn't you love to be one of these triplets: Jake, Nathan and Tyler Wilson, getting to touch the bones and getting to talk T. rexes with the woman who discovered this one, Sue Hendrickson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe she used her arms to scratch other animals?

SUE HENDRICKSON: Yes, but they're so short,

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRAZIER: How cool is this?

(on camera): You thought that interest in dinosaurs would peak about 10 years ago.

HENDRICKSON: Oh, you know, I've been involved with dinosaurs for years, and the dinosaur mania back then: T-shirts, and stop you. And just there was so much out there. And those of us who worked with dinosaurs: Well, it's got to peak, you know, it's going to peak and go down. It can't. But it goes on and on and on, which is fantastic.

There is something about these tremendous animals that are really mysterious and exciting, awesome, and we as humans, we want to be in awe of something.

FRAZIER (voice-over): Field Museum curator John Flynn is one human in awe.

JOHN FLYNN, FIELD MUSEUM CURATOR: And it's a tremendous rush to imagine an animal that was 12 feet high at the hips and 41 feet long, and weighed probably 7 tons, as much as an elephant, staring you face to face.

We can learn more from this T. rex specimen than any other specimen that's been discovered for that species before.

FRAZIER: All thanks to a high school dropout and teenaged runaway who is now the most productive amateur explorer in the field and who likes to say she felt something calling to her during a dig in South Dakota in 1990.

HENDRICKSON: And I think she really waited and I think she really wanted to be found. I think she desperately wanted to be found. Somehow she knew we were leaving. Had we left and not looked there, I doubt if anyone ever would have looked there in the next 50 to 100 years. She probably never would have been found, would have weathered away.

FRAZIER: All she could see were three bones exposed by erosion.

HENDRICKSON: And they were very hollow, like bird bones, which is also a very big indication of a carnivorous dinosaur. So I knew, you know, I'm just going through all this, you know, process it. Carnivorous dinosaur, really big, late cretaceous: T. rex. You know, I said wow.

FRAZIER: She was working for a commercial fossil hunter. They paid the landowner for the fossil and got it out of the ground in days, and as is the custom, they named the dinosaur for its discover, Sue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seizing the fossils as evidence in a criminal matter, in a criminal investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRAZIER: But then the FBI and the National Guard seized the fossil during a four-way legal battle over ownership of the land and of the fossil itself. It took seven years before the original land owner got custody back.

He sent the fossil, in 135 crates, to Sotheby's in New York to be sold at auction, and that's when the public got its first look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: $500,000, opening at $500,000.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRAZIER: They thought Sue would sell for a million dollars. Final price after commission: a cool 8 million.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 7.6 million.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRAZIER: But the T. rex was just one of a string of dramatic discoveries in Sue Hendrickson's swashbuckling career, which began when she threw out her plans for college.

HENDRICKSON: I'm good at finding things, really lucky or whatever it is.

FRAZIER: Her earliest finds were underwater. She caught tropical fish for aquariums around the world, worked as a shell diver, then a salvage diver.

HENDRICKSON: Being a woman in mostly a man's world of work, I always had to work harder to prove yourself. I had to prove I was equal, and to be equal you had to be better.

FRAZIER: Salvage turned to marine archaeology. She was the only woman on the team that discovered Cleopatra's palace and the ancient royal port of Alexandria, Egypt, lost underwater for two millennia after an earthquake and tidal wave washed it away.

(on camera): Does it feel like you're swimming through a city that just dropped? Are you going through a grid?

HENDRICKSON: Right. The buildings have all tumbled and broken. There are thousands of columns broken, you know, big chunks, smaller chunks. But once you're there, some of the docks that have been cleaned up, they're still level. If you could raise them up 20 feet, you could drive your chariot down them today.

It's awesome, the preservation.

FRAZIER (voice-over): With another team, she located a military grave of huge historic significance: Napoleon's naval fleet, sunk by England's Admiral Nelson in the Battle of the Nile.

HENDRICKSON: When you find the personal things, like the shoes of people or the jewelry, I think who was wearing it when they died, you know, what were they going through.

FRAZIER (on camera): All right. Here's a list of things people say you're good at: extinct crustaceans, ancient olive jars, Ming vases, fossils, Chinese shipwrecks, South American geology, marine mammals.

Did I leave anything out?

HENDRICKSON: Oh, sure.

FRAZIER: What else?

DAVID GRIMALDI (ph), AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: She really does embody the persona of an Indiana Jones.

FRAZIER (voice-over): Dr. David Grimaldi is curator in etymology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

GRIMALDI: Dashing through jungles, you know, in peril, that sort of stuff. But really I think no one would epitomize that kind of person that really -- that true explorer type of individual more than Susan.

Susan has been more places, more remote places, doing more sorts of fundamental discoveries than anyone I know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIMALDI: This is a small swarm of stingless bees that were caught harvesting resin for their nest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRAZIER: David Grimaldi's specialty, ancient insects fossilized in amber, is where Sue Hendrickson first came to the attention of scientists.

GRIMALDI: Our best pieces -- and we have a very, very good collection of amber fossils here, one of the best in the world. Our best specimens come from Susan.

FRAZIER: By the way, insects in amber: Sound familiar?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "JURASSIC PARK")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Bingo, dino DNA.

FRAZIER: Oh, yes! "Jurassic Park." In the movie, they got dinosaur DNA from a mosquito frozen in amber. So, that's where the idea came from.

Something else from the movie echoes Sue Hendrickson's career: the tension between science and commerce. Not everyone is delighted that Sue, the dinosaur, brought $8 million at auction.

KEITH RIGBY (ph), PROFESSOR, NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY: Essentially, everything turned at that sale. As soon as that hammer fell, the world of paleontology, the part of paleontology that I'm particularly involved in changed. It has unquestionably raised the price of dinosaur research not only in the United States, but worldwide.

FRAZIER: Professor Keith Rigby of Notre Dame University learned that firsthand after finding a T. rex as big as Sue in Montana. Somebody plundered the dig.

RIGBY: Body hunters came in, removed significant portions of the skull.

HENDRICKSON: There are a couple of these academic paleontologists who have really said this, which I can't believe they could -- they're bright guys -- that they could say this, that they would rather have those fossils wash away than have a non-Ph.D. pick it up. They would rather have it destroyed. They're not dealing with reality. Reality is that probably 90 some or more percent of all fossils in all museums in the world are found by non-Ph.D., non- academic paleontologists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Air abrasion is the last step in fossil preparation.

FRAZIER: And that's where the fossil Sue comes in, already her bones are talking to scientists about life 65 million years ago, a dream specimen, all the field museum and its corporate partners, McDonald's and Disney, had hoped for. Yes, corporate partners. Ask curator John Flynn how many natural history museums have $8 million to pay for a skeleton.

FLYNN: For me, that question really isn't, was it worth it? It was, did we have to do it? And the answer is clearly, yes, we had to save that specimen for science.

FRAZIER: McDonald's also paid for this glass-walled lab at the field, where experts preparing Sue's bones for display are on display themselves, and for a cat scan of Sue's skull. There's the brain cavity there, big as a cucumber. And based on the nerve pathways, we now know she could sniff like a bloodhound and see at seven miles what we see at one.

HENDRICKSON: A small brain with teeth that big and being able to smell that well and probably be -- having a good sense of hearing, she didn't need to think, you know.

FRAZIER (on camera): You theorize that she had a tough life?

HENDRICKSON: Yes, she had many injuries.

FRAZIER: What would make life difficult for a T. rex?

HENDRICKSON: Well, the crushing of her tail vertebrae, you know, there's some severe damage there.

FRAZIER: But who could do that to her?

HENDRICKSON: That's -- well, it's speculated that it could have been mating, which is common in crocodiles and other reptiles in their mating, the tail got stepped on, you know. There's a lot to be learned from the injuries.

FRAZIER (voice-over): Others understand the educational value of the dinosaur and the discoverer, which is why earlier this month she was called forward by the University of Illinois.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In recognition of your work and upon the recommendation of the senate of the Chicago campus, I am honored to present you to the president's of the university for the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

FRAZIER: The woman who dropped out of high school is now Dr. Susan Hendrickson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and present you with this diploma.

HENDRICKSON: I was introduced in very, very nice fashion. The closing was that I was the queen of lost and found, which I really think says it all.

FRAZIER: Not quite all. Sue Hendrickson hopes that when this shroud is pulled away and her T. rex is revealed tomorrow, hundreds of young imaginations will be fired by the sight and new explorers will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FRAZIER: As we mentioned earlier, the unveiling is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Dr. Susan Hendrickson will be there and so will CNN Chicago bureau chief Jeff Flock, who will report live for much of the day.

ALLEN: Coming up here, Wall Street has been bracing for this for weeks, the Federal Reserve ups interest rates. We'll tell you how investors took the news, next in our "MONEYLINE" update.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Susan Lisovicz with tonight's "MONEYLINE" update.

Bold moves by the Fed today, as it raised short-term interest rates today by 1/2 a point, the biggest increase in five years. The Fed funds rate tonight now stands at its highest level since 1991. And there could be more to come, the central bank signaled it may raise rates even further to keep inflation in check. Since the beginning of its tightening campaign last June, the Fed has moved six times, pushing the Fed funds rate to 6.5 percent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD HILL, BROWN BROTHERS HARRIMAN: The belief that Greenspan will get it right is one of the things that keeps people confident and the confidence is one of the things that keeps the economy so hot, so he's really sort of caught in a very difficult situation, because I don't think there's any time in the history when central bankers have been held in such high regard and this one in particular, and so people are continuing to buy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LISOVICZ: A few minutes before the decision, the Dow was up more than 134 points. It soon cut those gains by more than half, only to jump back and close up 126 points, finishing at 10,934. A similar story on the Nasdaq: it lost ground right after the rate rise, but then charged ahead, gaining 109 points to close at 3,717. A solid day for bonds as well: the 10-year note gained nearly a 1/4 point. The 30-year long bond gained nearly 3/4 point. The yield now down to 6.11 percent.

That's tonight's "MONEYLINE" update.

Let's get back to Stephen and Natalie in Atlanta.

FRAZIER: Thanks, Susan.

The White House news conference will never be the same.

ALLEN: After 40 years on the beat, the lady calls it quits.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FRAZIER: We're going to celebrate somebody in our line of work now. From President's Kennedy to Clinton, she has been a fixture at the White House.

ALLEN: Asking the tough questions and asking them first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

W. CLINTON: Helen.

HELEN THOMAS, FMR. UPI WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: And how long have you known that the Chinese were stealing our nuclear secrets? Is there any trust left between the two nations?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well today, Helen Thomas, the woman known as the dean of the White House press corps, resigned from UPI. Her announcement came the day after the wire service was purchased by News World Communications, which owns "The Washington Times" newspaper and has executive connections to the Unification Church. Today, President Clinton praised Thomas and said she will be missed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

W. CLINTON: Presidents come and go, but Helen has been here for 40 years now, covering eight presidents and doubtless showing the ropes to countless young reporters, and I might add more than a few press secretaries. I hope this change will bring new rewards and new fulfillment to her.

Whatever she decides to do, I'll feel a little better about my country if I know she'll still spending some time around here at the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Two of CNN's veteran correspondents who've worked alongside Thomas at the White House also offered words of praise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I think she loved what she was doing. Everyday was a pleasure for her. She really loved, literally, having that front-row seat to history, right in the front row in the briefing room, always available at those White House news conferences, and that's where so many Americans got to see her, oftentimes opening up the news conference with a good, strong, tough question to the president, whether it's Jimmy Carter, or Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton. She was always there. She was an institution, and someone that a lot of journalists, younger journalists, you know, would look to as a source of support, and she was always available to help out younger people. I think she was just a nice person to begin with.

CHARLES BIERBAUER, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The strength of Helen as a journalist was her fearlessness in asking questions. She didn't care who you were or what you represented, she was just going to go right to that core issue, whether it was Palestinian questions or, Mr. President, what are you doing about the poor people? She was absolutely diligent, absolutely tenacious, remains so -- I shouldn't use the past tense in any way, shape or form here. I don't think we've seen the last of her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: No, you haven't. She is 79, and Helen Thomas plans to give speeches an promote her book, "Front Row at the White House."

FRAZIER: That's where she sat, and that's a real title, not a figurative one for a change.

ALLEN: Right.

Well, tomorrow, the attorney one judge calls a cross between P.T. Barnum and Mother Theresa.

FRAZIER: He is Murray Richman, a 60-something Bronx native that is well known for his courtroom tactics as for his high-profile clients, including rap stars Shine, Jay-Z and DMX.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY RICHMAN, ATTORNEY: I received a phone call. One of the rappers got arrested in the Bronx. We were successful there. Next time another rapper got arrested, I got the call again, and then again, and then again, and the next thing you know, we're representing rappers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Stories and trade secrets from "Don't Worry" Murray tomorrow at 10:00 p.m.

Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

FRAZIER: I'm Stephen Frazier.

"SPORTS TONIGHT" is next.

That's all from us. Good night from the NEWSSTAND.

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