James Baker, administrator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, announced the read-out from his hand-held global positioning system (GPS) device. Ground zero, in this case, he said, was pinpointed at 39°, 24 minutes north, and 77°, 58 minutes west: the White House press briefing room.

After years of intentional degradation of GPS location and timing information for national security reasons, Clinton Administration officials—including Baker—on May 1 announced the immediate curtailment of GPS' “selective availability” feature, and the worldwide unscrambling of GPS signals.