And what a year it was for the new news network. President Carter lost his re-election attempt, there was the Love Canal Emergency the U.S. boycotted the Olympics, there was an Iran hostage crisis, Mount St. Helens erupted, Cuba halted its 'freedom flotilla' and John Lennon was assassinated.
Here's a clip from the opening few minutes of that first broadcast:
And the commercial announcing the new venture:
To read more and see more early videos follow this link to the CNN Interactive site.