The History Hour

By BBC World Service

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 Dec 20, 2019


 Jun 13, 2019

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An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.

Episode Date
Stories of resistance and protest from around the world
2997
Max Pearson brings you a roundup of this week’s Witness History stories of resistance from the last 70 years. From the early days of opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, through the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, a photographer's memories of the 1989 demonstrations in China, an iconic civil rights story from the USA, to Argentina and the women who are still demonstrating in the hope of discovering what became of their children under military rule. Photo: a lone protestor, who became known as Tank Man, in Tiananmen Square in China in June 1989. Credit: Stuart Franklin/Magnum.
Sep 19, 2020
Prohibition in India
2993
How Indian women in the 1990s campaigned to stop the sale of alcohol in the state of Andhra Pradesh to protect women from domestic violence and safeguard family finances. The history of America's healthcare system, how the UN was eventually persuaded to apologise for the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and the horror of being caught up in one of the most notorious hi-jackings of the 1970s, plus the birth of Reddit, one the world's most successful websites. Photo A shop selling alcohol in India. Credit Getty.
Sep 12, 2020
Inventing James Bond
3174
How author and former intelligence officer Ian Fleming created the British super-spy, James Bond plus, how the British government shifted social care for the disabled away from large institutions and into the community and the Cape Town bombings in 1990s South Africa. Also how a British Airways jumbo jet flew through a volcanic ash cloud and survived and the birth of the Sony Walkman, a device that changed listening habits forever. Photo: Ian Lancaster Fleming, British author and creator of the James Bond character, in 1958. (Getty Images)
Sep 05, 2020
Margaret Ekpo - Nigeria's feminist pioneer
3022
Margaret Ekpo helped establish Nigerian independence and became one of the country's first female MPs. We hear from her grandson and speak to a Nigerian feminist about why Nigeria has so few women in government today. Plus the US Supreme Court decision that threatens the voting rights of Black Americans, the policeman turned protestor who was part of the Occupy Wall Street protest, America's first woman combat pilot and the bittersweet memories of the Gaelic-speaking community who left the remote islands of St Kilda in 1930. PHOTO: Margaret Ekpo in London in August 1953 (ANL/Shutterstock)
Aug 28, 2020
The siege at Ruby Ridge
3029
Randy Weaver was a white separatist in Idaho in the north-west United States who was wanted by the government on firearms charges. When government agents approached his remote cabin on Ruby Ridge in August 1992, it was the start of an eleven day siege involving hundreds of police officers – which ended with the deaths of Weaver’s wife and teenage son, along with a US marshal. The incident would become a touchstone for the American far right. Plus, growing up with Saddam Hussein, the invention of the asthma inhaler and digging up King Richard III of England. PHOTO: Randy Weaver (C) shows a model of his Ruby Ridge, Idaho cabin to US Senator Arlen Specter, R-PA, during Senate hearings investigating the events surrounding the 1992 standoff with federal agents (PAMELA PRICE/AFP via Getty Images).
Aug 22, 2020
Beirut's hotel war
3016
At the start of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, Beirut’s luxury hotel district was turned into a battlefield, with rival groups of gunmen holed up in some of the most expensive accommodation in the Middle East. We hear from two former employees of the Holiday Inn about what came to be known as the Battle of the Hotels. Also in today's programme, the first radar, the invention of the ventilator, and how women in Turkey overhauled decades-old laws on rape and sexual assault. Photo: The ruins of the Holiday Inn. (Credit: Getty Images)
Aug 15, 2020
The Second World War in Japan
3000
It’s 75 years this week since the dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to Japan’s surrender to Allied forces and the end of the Second World War. We hear first-hand accounts of military turning points in the Pacific including the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Battle of Midway, and historian Ian Buruma explains the context for Japan’s attack on the US. We also hear about the impact of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki on civilians, about Japanese-American citizens imprisoned in internment camps in the US, and about the writing of Japan’s post-war constitution. Picture: Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki after bombing by atomic bomb on 9th August 1945 ( US Air Force photo/PA)
Aug 08, 2020
Adrift for 76 Days
3010
Surviving the Atlantic alone in a liferaft, Spain's historic 1960s tourism boom, the death of the infamous Nazi Heinrich Himmler, plus fighting Australia's bushfires and we remember a groundbreaking Latino writer. Photo: Photo: Steve Callahan shows how he hunted fish from his life raft. © Steve Callahan
Aug 01, 2020
The Million Man March
3003
On 16th October 1995 hundreds of thousands of black American men marched on Washington D.C. in an attempt to put black issues back on the government agenda. We hear from one woman who went on the march. Plus the first women's refuge opens in Afghanistan, the son of the man behind the failed plot to kill Hitler in 1944, campaigning to protect the Borneo rain forest, and the world's fastest vaccine maker. (Photo:The Million Man March, Credit:TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Jul 25, 2020
South Korea's 1980s prison camps
3004
The horrors of South Korea's so-called Social Purification project, the vanished Chinese sailors who left their mark on Liverpool after the Second World War and the return of a huge ancient monument to Ethiopia from Italy. Also fighting for the rights of Jewish women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem plus the origins of the holiday camp, Club Med. Photo: Seung-woo Choi talking to reporters. Credit BBC.
Jul 18, 2020
Quarantined in a TB sanatorium
2997
Extreme lockdown half a century ago: the TB children forced to endure years of isolation in a sanatorium; the unveiling of looted Nazi art works, the Rolling Stones in the dock, calls for democracy in 1990s Nepal, and the campaign to ban dangerous skin-lightening products in South Africa. Picture: boys sleep on the balcony of the Craig-y-nos TB sanatorium in Wales (Credit: private collection of the family of Mari Friend, a former patient at Craig-y-nos)
Jul 04, 2020
Dealing with economic crisis
3009
As the world begins to consider how to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, we look back at economic crises of the past and how countries have responded to them. Max Pearson hears about America's "New Deal" in the 1930s, South Korea's transformation in the 1950s and Chile's "miracle economy" of the 1970s. Plus, Tanzania and its African form of socialism, and economic shock therapy in Russia in the 1990s. PHOTO: President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1935 (Getty Images).
Jun 27, 2020
Sex trafficking and peacekeepers
2995
How whistle-blowers implicated UN peacekeepers and international police in the forced prostitution and trafficking of Eastern European women into Bosnia in the late 1990s. Plus, how Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross changed the way we think about death and dying when she developed her Five Stages of Grief; Beethoven's role in China's Cultural Revolution; the "friendship train" between India and Bangladesh; and the controversial teaching exercise which segregated children by whether they had blue or brown eyes. Picture: the United Nations Peacekeeping Force patrols the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in March 1996 (Credit: Roger Lemoyne/Liaison/Getty Images)
Jun 20, 2020
Black American History Special
3012
Eyewitness accounts of important moments in recent African American history. We hear from the daughter of the man named in the court case which became a turning point in the battle for civil rights, plus the sister of a teenage girl killed in a racist bomb attack. We hear how the winning performance of an all-black basketball team helped change America's attitude to segregation in sport. Plus Rodney King whose attack by police in 1991 was caught on camera and seen by millions - the later acquittal of the officers sparked days of rioting. Finally we hear from Bilal Chatman who was sentenced to 150 years in prison under the 1994 'three strikes law' which disproportionately affected black Americans. Putting it all into context, presenter Max Pearson talks to Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Jun 13, 2020
The Zanzibar revolution
3078
How a bloody 1960s revolution changed East Africa. We hear an eyewitness account and talk to Professor Emma Hunter of Edinburgh University. Plus the birth of ecotourism in Costa Rica, the post-war origin of the World Health Organisation, the man who created the world's first portable defibrillator, and remembering the artist Christo. PHOTO: Ugandan revolutionary and self-styled Field Marshal John Okello (1937 - 1971), leader of the Afro-Shirazi anti-Arab coup in Zanzibar, circa 1964. (Photo by Pix/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Jun 06, 2020
The Gwangju massacre
2985
Forty years on from the Gwangju uprising in South Korea, the book that changed the way we eat, plus the dangers of being a Congolese conservationist. Also, revealing accounts of British wartime leader Winston Churchill from his doctor, and the pioneering African-American dress designer who designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress. Photo: soldiers beating men in Gwangju in May 1980. Credit: 5.18 Memorial Foundation/AFP via Getty Images
May 30, 2020
Britain's World War Two crime wave
2994
During times of crisis in the UK, World War Two is often remembered as a period when the country rallied together to fight a common enemy. But as Simon Watts finds out from the BBC archives, there was a crime wave during the war years, with a massive increase in looting and black marketeering. Also in the programme, the first 3D printers, plus a black policeman recalls the 1980 Miami riots, Hong Kong's city within a city and explaining autism. PHOTO: A government poster from World War Two (Getty Images)
May 23, 2020
Fighting for the pill in Japan
3003
Why Japanese women had to wait until 1999 to be allowed to take the pill, the Dutch 'Prince of scandal', plus the flatulent fish that prompted a Cold War scare, the first helpline for children and the joy of being liberated from Nazi occupation on The Channel Islands. (Photo: A collection of contraceptive pills. Getty Images)
May 16, 2020
VE Day Special
3224
Eyewitness accounts of the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War in Europe. Using unique interviews from the BBC's archives we bring you men and women who fought in the battle for Berlin, and some of those who were with Hitler in his final days. We present the story of a German woman who survived the start of Soviet occupation, and we meet the historian whose 1995 exhibition challenged Germans' view of the war. Plus the sounds of VE Day in London, 8th May 1945, as reported by the BBC at the time. Putting it all into context, presenter Max Pearson talks to Dr Mary Fulbrook, Professor of German History at University College London and author of the award winning book "Reckonings" about the aftermath of the war and the quest for justice. (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
May 09, 2020
The 1957 flu pandemic
3017
A new strain of flu emerged in East Asia in 1957 and spread all over the world. Known at the time as “Asian flu”, it killed more than a million people. We hear from a woman who survived the virus and speak to Mark Honigsbaum, author of The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris. Plus, Indonesia’s transgender rights movement, the assassination of the UN’s first Middle East mediator, conflict in the Galapagos Islands, and the trees that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Photo: Americans worried about "Asian flu" wait their turns at Central Harlem District Health clinic in October 1957. Credit: Getty Images
May 02, 2020
The last survivor of the transatlantic slave trade
3004
The grandson of the last surviving African-born US slave, plus the story behind the portable hospital breathing ventilator that was a precursor to those helping save coronavirus lives; also on the programme the Pakistani welfare hero, the deadly explosion which sent 130 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and candid insights from one of America's greatest playwrights.
Apr 25, 2020
Apollo 13: The drama that gripped the world
3107
50 years since the Apollo 13 mission, how millions of TV viewers followed the famous rescue of the three NASA astronauts. Also, the women who led the way in America’s space programme by spending two weeks under water and what happened when Skylab crashed to Earth in 1979. Plus, a collision on board the Mir space station in 1997 and the last men on the Moon. PHOTO: The crew of Apollo 13 after their rescue (Getty Images)
Apr 18, 2020
How technology revolutionised our lives
3021
In a special edition of the History Hour, Max Pearson looks back at some of the major technological milestones of recent years. We hear about the Californian computer club where the founders of Apple cut their teeth, about the inventors of the webcam and about the unlikely pioneers of home shopping. Plus, the launch of the iPhone and one of the very first social networks. PHOTO: Len Shustek, former member of the Homebrew Computer Club.
Apr 11, 2020
Women in the law
2999
Trailblazing British lawyer Rose Heilbron was the first female judge at London's famous Old Bailey criminal court. Her daughter Hillary Heilbron QC remembers how hard she had to fight to be accepted. Dana Denis-Smith, founder of the First 100 Years Project about the history of women in law, discusses women's participation in legal professions around the world. Plus, being a Muslim in China, the Swedish warship restored after 300 years, the assassination that aimed to revenge the Amritsar massacre, and Pando, the biggest living organism in the world by mass. Photo: English KC (King's Counsel) Rose Heilbron (1914 - 2005) arrives at the House of Lords in London, for the traditional champagne breakfast hosted by the Lord Chancellor at the start of the Michaelmas Term for the law courts, 2nd October 1950. (Credit William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Apr 04, 2020
The AIDS memorial quilt - a patchwork of loss
3008
How an LGBTQ+ activist decided to commemorate friends who had died of AIDS with a quilt, plus sequencing the 1918 flu virus, five years of war in Yemen, the story of a child abandoned in Hong Kong, and an attack on South Korea. (Photo: A section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Getty Images)
Mar 28, 2020
The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope
3021
In 1990, NASA launched the historic mission which put into orbit the Hubble Space Telescope. The orbiting observatory has revolutionized astronomy and allowed us to peer deeper than ever before into the Universe. We hear from astronaut, Kathryn Sullivan. Plus, China's cure for malaria, the "Red Scare" in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s, and a pioneering sexual harassment case at the US Supreme Court. PHOTO: The Hubble Space Telescope (NASA)
Mar 21, 2020
The 1918 'Spanish' flu pandemic
3032
A special edition looking at how the world has battled deadly viruses over the past 100 years, We have eyewitness accounts of the 1918 flu, and the recent struggle against SARS, we hear how a vaccine saved millions from Polio, and the moment the world discovered the killer viruses known as Marburg Fever and Ebola in the 1960s and 70s. (Photo: An American policeman wearing a mask to protect himself from the outbreak of Spanish flu. Credit:Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Mar 14, 2020
The history of the Volkswagen Beetle
3008
How the British army helped rebuild the German car industry after WW2, plus the fight to ban leaded petrol, psychiatry as punishment in the USSR, striking South Asian women in 1970s Britain and 'Womenomics' in Japan. Picture: Major Ivan Hirst (right) driving the 1000th Beetle off the production line at Wolfsburg in March 1946 (Credit: Volkswagen AG)
Mar 07, 2020
Freeing American prisoners from Iran
3050
How a former prisoner in Iran fought to free her friends, a 200-year-old Antarctic mystery, eradicating small pox, the first mobile phone and rebel nuns in the US. PHOTO: Sarah Shourd, centre, with the mothers of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal (Getty Images)
Feb 29, 2020
Saving Antarctica
3036
In October 1991, an international protocol to protect the world’s last wilderness, Antarctica, from commercial exploitation was agreed at a summit in Madrid. Louise Hidalgo talks to one of the environmentalists who led a successful campaign to protect the ice continent. Also, how meditation changes the brain, the Iraqi "supergun affair", and political art in Nigeria. Picture: Blue icebergs in Antarctica (Credit: Getty Images)
Feb 22, 2020
The publication of Harry Potter
2993
A look back at some of the most influential books of modern times, including an interview with the publisher who first spotted Harry Potter's potential. Plus, Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, Erica Jong's Fear of Flying, Brazilian bestseller Diary of a Favela, and dating handbook The Rules. Picture: JK Rowling signs copies of the final Harry Potter book "Harry Potter And The Deadly Hallows" at the Natural History Museum in London, 2007. (Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
Feb 15, 2020
London's first black policeman
3004
The prejudice faced by London's first black policeman, how a new sign language emerged in 1980s Nicaragua, the Native American casino boom, plus the release of Nelson Mandela and China's much maligned 19th-century dowager empress. Photo: London's first black policeman PC Norwell Roberts beginning his training with colleagues at Hendon Police College, London, 5th April 1967. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Feb 08, 2020
The early days of the European Union
3021
The hurried signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which led to greater European unity, plus 1992 - when the British royal family started to reform its role after a year of scandal and disaster. Also on the programme, the horrific gang rape which prompted India to rethink its laws, the storm that helped British tree experts make an important scientific discovery and the woman born to slaves who became the first self-made female millionaire. Photo: European leaders at the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images
Feb 01, 2020
The mystery of the disappearing frogs
3014
This week we're looking at extinction. The deadly fungus that's killing amphibians, the story of the Dodo, plus why discovering that whales 'sing' helped to save them. Also, the book that changed attitudes to the environment and the 'Frozen Zoo' that aims to preserve endangered DNA for future generations. (Photo: dead frog infected with Chytrid Fungus. Credit: Forrest Brem)
Jan 25, 2020
Storming the Stasi HQ
3008
The fall of East Germany's secret police; racism, injustice and a child execution in the US, plus the killing of Osama Bin Laden; the woman who negotiated peace in the Philippines, and the man who saved British aristocrats' country houses. Photo Photo:East Germans streaming into the secret police headquarters in Berlin on the night of January 15th 1990. Credit: Zöllner/ullstein bild/Getty Images.
Jan 18, 2020
The Computers for Schools revolution
3013
In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to give a laptop computer to every child in state primary schools. We hear from the man whose initiative is credited with transforming the lives of students and teachers. Plus, a US soldier's account of the battle for the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, and memories of the Brazilian rubber-tapper and environmentalist Chico Mendes. PHOTO: Two Uruguayan children enjoying their laptops (Courtesy Plan Ceibal)
Jan 11, 2020
The book that warned of an end to civilisation
3017
In 1972 a book which outlined the possible future of the world became a best-seller. 'The Limits to Growth' was based on computer modelling which suggested that if economic growth remained unfettered, there'd be a 'traumatic' decline in civilisation from 2020. It also suggested global policy changes which could prevent a downward trend. Find out which path the world took and why... Plus, why East German punks were targeted by the secret police in the 1980s, a top UN negotiator remembers how peace was won in El Salvador in 1991, the first black sitcom in Britain and the launch of the Chippendales - the first male strip show for women - in 1979. Photo: Front cover of 'The Limits to Growth' published in 1972.
Jan 04, 2020
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
2996
On 24th December 1979 Soviet troops poured into Afghanistan in support of an anti-government coup. The Soviet occupation would last for nine years. Plus, the hidden history of the board game Monopoly, the invention of chemotherapy, the heaviest aerial bombardment of the Vietnam war at Christmas 1972, and the street-performer origins of the global circus phenomenon Cirque du Soleil. Picture: Russian tanks take up positions in front of the Darulaman (Abode of Peace) Palace in Kabul, January 1980. (Henri Bureau/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Dec 28, 2019
The Romanian revolution
3002
In this edition the fall of the Ceaușescus in Romania in December 1989, a global panic over bees in the early 2000s and WW2 black GIs finally recognised decades after the war. Plus the building of Abuja as Nigeria's capital and a woman's right to pray in some Hindu temples in India. (Photo: The army join the revolutionaries in Romania 1989. Credit: Getty Images)
Dec 21, 2019
The Cuban writer who defied Castro
3027
On 7 December 1990 the dissident Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas killed himself in New York after years of suffering from AIDS. Before fleeing Cuba, Arenas had been jailed for his homosexuality, sent to re-education camps and prevented from writing. We hear from his friend and fellow writer, Jaime Manrique. Plus the memories of the daughter of the renowned British sculptor, Henry Moore; how the DEA helped track down Pablo Escobar; the ill-fated voyage of Shackleton's ship The Endurance; and inside one of the most notorious prison camps in post Soviet Central Asia. (Photo: Reinaldo Arenas. Credit: Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Sygma/Getty Images)
Dec 07, 2019
The man who gave his voice to Stephen Hawking
3006
The story of the American scientist Dennis Klatt who pioneered synthesised speech. He used recordings of himself to make the sounds that gave physicist Stephen Hawking a voice. Plus India:struggling to live through economic shock treatment in the 1990s, also LEO the first electronic office system, the first confirmed case of AIDS in America and when Uluru, Australia's famous natural landmark was handed back to the control of the country's indigenous people. (Photo: BOMBAY, INDIA: World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking answers questions with the help of a voice synthesiser during a press conference at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay, 06 January 2001. Credit AFP)
Nov 30, 2019
I saw the soldiers who killed El Salvador's priests
3007
The woman who risked her life to reveal that the army, not left-wing rebels, were responsible for the murder of six Jesuit priests in 1980s El Salvador; the moment when the Taser first hit the streets; the long legal fight to reclaim Klimt's masterpiece Woman in Gold; the man who got the Delhi metro built; and travels in Arabia with Wilfred Thesiger. (Photo: a plaque commemorating the murdered priests in San Salvador- courtesy of David Mee)
Nov 23, 2019
Rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean
3009
In 2004, a German aid agency ship, Cap Anamur, was sailing to the Suez Canal, when it came across 37 Africans on a sinking rubber boat. The captain, Stefan Schmidt, rescued the men and headed for a port in Sicily to drop them off, but he and his crew were promptly arrested by the Italian authorities. Max Pearson finds out more about the incident and about the migration crisis that faced the European Union in later years. Also this week, an eye-witness account of secret preparations by Hindu extremists to destroy the mosque in the Indian city of Ayodha in 1992; a grassroots struggle against pollution in America; and memories of the British war poet Wilfred Owen. (Photo: the German aid agency ship Cap Anamur in 2004. Credit: Antonello NUSCA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Nov 16, 2019
Britain's secret propaganda war
3026
Subversive warfare and 'fake news' in World War Two, the scandal which exposed horrific Indian police violence in the 1980s, two sides of the Iran hostages crisis in 1979, the woman who transformed cancer treatment, and a defining Berlin Wall rock concert. Photo The actress and singer Agnes Bernelle, who was recruited to be a presenter on a fake German radio station during the war)
Nov 09, 2019
'Jane' - the underground abortion service
2924
The feminist network that performed illegal abortions in the 1960s in Chicago, the Algerian nationals who fought alongside the French in Algeria’s war of independence and when Margaret Thatcher first expressed anti- Europe sentiment. Plus the Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors at the end of the Second World War and the battle to protect the Barrier Reef. Photo courtesy of Martha Scott
Nov 02, 2019
The fall of the Berlin Wall
2994
1989 was a seismic year in world history and ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the clearest symbol of the Cold War. But it was a series of events across Europe that added to the momentum. We journey back through Poland, Hungary and East Germany ahead of that historic moment in November, through the testimonies of the people who were there at the centre of events; the Solidarity movement in Poland, the protesters in Hungary and East Germany and an account from the first people to cross the wall. (Photo: East Germans climbing onto the top of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced in Berlin. November 9, 1989. Credit: REUTERS/Staff/Files)
Oct 26, 2019
An environmental history special
3049
A pioneer of climate change science, UK's Windscale nuclear accident, Kenya's Green Belt heroine who won the Nobel Peace Prize, the man "who fed the world", and banning cars in Mexico City. (Photo: Thick black smoke blowing out of an industrial chimney. Credit: John Giles/PA)
Oct 19, 2019
Black British history
3035
To mark Black History Month in the UK we look back at some landmark moments in British Black History. We hear how the famous cricketer Learie Constantine broke the colour bar, and about the Notting Hill race riots and the Bristol bus boycott. Plus, we speak to Britain’s first black female MP Diane Abbott, and one of the thousands of mixed race children born of relationships between black GIs and British women during the Second World War. With Professor Hakim Adi. Photo: Sir Learie Constantine outside Westminster Abbey in 1966. Credit: Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images.
Oct 12, 2019
The birth of the People's Republic of China
2997
To mark 70 years of communist China we hear from a soldier at the founding ceremony on October 1st 1949. Also, the memories of an American friend and comrade of Mao Zedong, a Red Guard who regrets the cultural revolution and the pro-communist protests in 1960s Hong Kong, plus the economic liberalisation of the 1980s. Our guide is China expert Isabel Hilton. Photo: An officer reads a newspaper to soldiers while they are waiting for the announcement of the foundation of the People's Republic of China on Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949 in Beijing, China. (Credit: Visual China Group via Getty Images)
Oct 05, 2019
Fighting the Islamic State group online
3007
When the Islamic State group took over Mosul in Iraq in 2014 they flooded the internet with propaganda, claiming life under IS was fantastic. One historian living in the city decided to post a counter-narrative online, setting up a website called "Mosul Eye". Also in this edition, one black man's experience of growing up in Hitler's Germany; the gruesome death of the famous bullfighter Paquirri, switching on the Large Hadron Collider and the birth of the Sound of Music on Broadway in 1959. (Photo: Mosul Eye website. BBC)
Sep 28, 2019
The Cambridge spy network
3012
The distinguished British art historian Anthony Blunt was exposed as a former Soviet spy in 1979. He was one of a group of double agents recruited at Cambridge University who passed vital information to Moscow. The BBC's Gordon Corera explains the scandal which shook the British establishment. Plus the Black Panther Party's free breakfast programme; the abolition of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy towards LGBT troops in the US military; Ethiopian troops in South Korea; and memories of celebrated children's author CS Lewis. Photo: Sir Anthony Blunt at the press conference in which he explained his motivation in 1979 (Credit: Aubrey Hart/Getty Images)
Sep 21, 2019
Conflict timber in Liberia's civil war
3010
How the timber industry fuelled a brutal civil war in West Africa, the Honduran coup that left the president holed up in an embassy plus the Indian affirmative action controversy, the first ever voyage all the way around the globe 500 years ago and the sit-com "Friends" hits TV screens worldwide. (Photo: Timber near Buchanan in Liberia in 2010. Credit: Getty Images)
Sep 14, 2019
The outbreak of World War Two
3120
On September 1st 1939 German forces invaded Poland. Douglas Slocombe, a British cameraman, was there at the time and filmed the build-up to the war. Also the man who resisted the Sicilian Mafia in the 1990s plus the first all-female peacekeeping force, the defining trial of holocaust denial and why Apollo 11's astronauts were put in quarantine after their historic landing on the moon. (Image: German citizens in Gdansk (also known as Danzig) welcoming German troops during the invasion of Poland on September 3rd 1939 . Credit:EPA/National Digital Archive Poland.)
Sep 07, 2019
The Kindertransport children
3027
Around 10,000 children were sent by their parents to safety in the UK out of Nazi-dominated Europe in the run-up to the outbreak of WW2 in 1939. Many of the so-called Kindertransport children never saw their parents again. We hear from Dame Stephanie Shirley who arrived in London as a five-year-old girl. Also, how the legendary singer Nina Simone went to live in Liberia, plus a key breakthrough in criminal forensics, the lynching of a black teenager that galvanised America's civil rights movement, and the murder of Mexican young women in the border town of Ciudad Juarez. (Photo:Getty Images)
Aug 31, 2019
The return of the wolf
3013
Why the wolf was brought back to the US in the 1990s and the history of "rewilding", plus the liberation of Paris 75 years on, the missing children from El Salvador's civil war, the life and death of Brazil's legendary president Vargas, and the man who wanted to be a cyborg. Photo:.A Yellowstone wolf watches biologists after being tranquilized and fitted with a radio collar during wolf collaring operations in Yellowstone National Park (William Campbell/Sygma via Getty Images)
Aug 24, 2019
The division of Kashmir
3016
The origins of the crisis in Kashmir, the warnings ignored about 9/11 and the arrest of the notorious terror suspect Carlos the Jackal. Plus the invention in a British back garden of the daily disposable contact lens and how Dr Seuss taught America to read. Photo: Indian troops arriving in Kashmir in October 1947 (Getty Images)
Aug 17, 2019
The mass exodus of Algeria's 'Pieds Noirs'
2995
The French colonialists who returned to France after decades in Algeria, the Catholic welcome when the British army was first deployed to Northern Ireland, plus the US nuclear submarine that went under the north pole, Britain's last battle in China in WW2 and the introduction of Community Service to help relieve overcrowded prisons. (Photo: French repatriates leaving Algeria May 1962. (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Aug 10, 2019
The anti-nuclear protesters who won
3092
The eight year protest campaign which stopped the construction of a nuclear reprocessing plant at Wackersdorf in Germany, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and from more than a decade later, the death of British weapons expert David Kelly, who got caught up in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. Also, the Warsaw uprising of 1944 and from one of the most significant discoveries of Anglo-Saxon treasure in 1939. Picture: demonstrators fight against police during a protest at the Wackersdorf construction site (Istvan Bajzat/DPA/PA Images)
Aug 03, 2019
When Tunisia led on women's rights
3038
Liberation for Tunisia's women in the 1950s; gay and lesbian fake marriages in China; the Chappaquiddick incident in the US; the birth of Mamma Mia! the musical, and the discovery of the fossilised remains of humanity's oldest ancestor. Photo: courtesy of Saida El Gueyed
Jul 27, 2019
Exploring space
3017
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in July 1969, five personal accounts of landmarks in space exploration. We hear from an Apollo flight controller about the moment Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, and from one of the astronauts who survived the Apollo 13 near disaster. Plus how Laika the dog became the first living creature in space, the pioneering woman cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, and Britain's attempt to put the Beagle 2 lander on Mars. PHOTO: Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in July 1969 (Getty Images)
Jul 20, 2019
Kenya's ivory inferno
2994
Twelve tonnes of ivory was set alight by President Daniel Arap Moi in Nairobi National Park in July 1989, to highlight the threat from poaching. The ivory burn was organised by conservationists who wanted to save the world's elephants. Plus, the closure of Britain's ground-breaking Common Cold Unit; Cuba executes top military officers, the Chinese allow sales of tampons and the first modern lesbian. (Photo: Ivory tusks arranged in a pile and set alight. Credit: Andrew Holbrooke/Corbis/Getty Images)
Jul 13, 2019
Surviving Cambodia's 'Killing Fields'
3004
Life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, the Germans kidnapped by the Contras in Nicaragua in the 80s, plus how Aboriginal women took on the Australian government against nuclear waste, Anita Hill's stand against the promotion of Judge Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court and the birth of the Sony Walkman. (PHOTO: CHOEUNG EK, CAMBODIA - 1993/02/01: Skulls are piled up at a monument situated outside Phnom Penh to serve as a constant reminder of the genocide under the Khmer Rouge during the Pol Pot years.. (Photo by Peter Charlesworth/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Jul 06, 2019
The Stonewall riot
2999
The riot that inspired the modern gay rights movement; Saddam Hussein's 1980s genocidal campaign against Iraq's Kurds; notorious British serial killers, Fred and Rose West; 50 years of fighting for fat people in America; and Joseph Heller on his seminal work, Catch-22. Picture: the Stonewall Inn today (Getty Images)
Jun 29, 2019
The assassination of Medgar Evers
3013
An African-American civil rights hero, a Chinese online star, the tragic icon of Iran's reform movement and archive recordings of the psychoanalyst CG Jung. Plus the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin's love of yoga. Photo:Roy Wilkins and Medgar Evers Being Arrested on 1st June 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. Credit: Getty Images
Jun 22, 2019
The first anti-psychotic drug
2991
How a 1950s drug helped revolutionise the treatment of mental illness. Also, how hundreds of thousands of Kosovans fled when NATO bombed former Yugoslavia. Plus, a monumental public artwork in post-Cold War Berlin, Chinese-American relations after WW2, and a trailblazing same sex wedding in the 1970s. Photo: Nurses prepare a patient for electric shock treatment in a psychiatric hospital. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Getty Images)
Jun 14, 2019
D-Day
3019
Eyewitness accounts of the Allied invasion of Nazi occupied Europe on D-day, 6th June 1944. We also hear how the BBC reported events on that momentous day. Plus Vikings in England, the Gurkhas fight for justice and discovering the fate of 'The Little Prince' Photo: The photo titled 'The Jaws of Death' shows a landing craft disembarking US troops on Omaha beach, 6th June 1944 ( Robert Sargent / US COAST GUARD)
Jun 08, 2019
Tiananmen Square
3004
A student protester's perspective on the Tiananmen Square massacre, the first social network on the internet, the surprisingly controversial early years of Sesame Street, the overthrow of Emperor Bokassa in the CAR, and the death of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Picture: Dan Wang speaking in Tiananmen Square (credit: Peter Turnley/Corbis/Getty Images)
Jun 01, 2019
Fighting Uganda's anti-gay laws
3020
In 2009 Ugandan MPs tried to introduce new laws against homosexuality that would include life imprisonment and even the death penalty. We speak to Victor Mukasa about his story of fighting for LGBT rights in Uganda, first as a lesbian woman and then as a trans man. Also, the early days of the environmental organisation Greenpeace, walking the Great Wall of China and fighting acid attacks on women in Bangladesh. (Photo: Ugandan LGBT Activist Victor Mukasa May 2019. BBC)
May 25, 2019
The final days of Sri Lanka's civil war
3034
In May 2009 the Sri Lankan army defeated the Tamil Tigers, ending a brutal 25-year civil war; also, the economists who predicted the 2008 global economic crash, plus the Nazis' stolen children, a victim of China's One Child policy, and the building of the great Karakoram Highway. Photo: Tamil civilians standing on the roadside after crossing to a government-controlled area 2kms from the front-line, 2009 (Getty Images)
May 18, 2019
The war on drugs
3015
US President Richard Nixon's efforts to deal with illegal drugs in 1971, the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam plus the rise of Jack Ma and his Alibaba empire in China. Also the Bauhaus movement and the global TV hit 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Photo: US President Richard Nixon (BBC)
May 13, 2019
The Malayan Emergency
3068
Battling a communist insurgency in 1950s Malaya, the sinking of the Belgrano during the UK Argentine conflict, plus how Ellen DeGeneres came out to millions on US TV, also the African who made the Arctic his home because of his fear of snakes and the life of WW1 poet Rupert Brooke. Photo: A photograph taken by a British sergeant on patrol in the Malayan jungle.. (Copyright: Keystone/Getty Images)
May 04, 2019
The al Yamamah arms deals
3007
The huge but controversial Anglo-Saudi deal, the Sri Lankan journalist who predicted his own murder, plus remembering South Africa's historic election 25 years ago, the day NATO bombed Serbian TV, and the origin of modern Veganism. Photo: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and King Fahd in London in 1987. Credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images.
Apr 27, 2019
The Columbine school shooting
3016
The memories of the brother of one of the victims of the Columbine mass school shooting; plus the story behind 'A Raisin in the Sun' - the first play on Broadway by a black woman; the world's first space tourist, the origins of organic farming and the auto-destructive art movement of the 1960s. Photo: Students from Columbine High School run under cover from police, following a shooting spree by two masked teenagers. April 20th 1999 (Mark Leffingwell/AFP/Getty Images
Apr 18, 2019
The rise of Hindu nationalism
3028
How an Indian religious rally in 1990 sparked the rise of Hindu nationalism, 100 years since the Amritsar Massacre plus the first wing-suit for base jumping, a US food scare in the 1960s and teaching Marilyn Monroe to dance. (Photo LK Advani during rath yatra 15/10/1990 Credit: Getty Image)
Apr 13, 2019
Abolishing the army
3033
After a brief civil war in March-April 1948, the new president of Costa Rica, Jose Figueres, took the audacious step of dissolving the Armed Forces. The Central American country is now one of just over 20 countries without a standing army - we find out more. Plus, Maya Angelou's ground-breaking memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and the remarkable story of the raising of the Swedish warship, the Vasa. Photo: Costa Rican soldiers in San Jose after the end of the civil war, April 1948 (Credit: Getty Images)
Apr 06, 2019
Drama in the British parliament
2995
Prime Minister Jim Callaghan's desperate attempts to survive a no-confidence motion in 1979, the record-breaking 20-day balloon flight around the world; plus the Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim, mindfulness and the first home pregnancy test. Picture: James Callaghan outside 10 Downing Street (Fox Photos/Getty)
Mar 30, 2019
Autism and the MMR vaccine
3246
How a British doctor misled the world by linking the MMR vaccine to autism; the early rise of Hungary’s Viktor Orban also what it was like to contest the Soviet Union’s first multi-party elections plus the exposure in the 1970s of a Nazi criminal in Holland and uncovering Mexico’s Aztec past. Photo: Dr Andrew Wakefield arrives at the General Medical Council in London to face a disciplinary panel, July 16th 2007 (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Mar 23, 2019
China's breakthrough malaria cure
3003
How an ancient Chinese remedy provided a 1970s breakthrough in the fight against malaria; the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War that inspired Kurt Vonnegut's anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five; the fall of Singapore; plus the town that America built in Afghanistan's south-western desert, and 'was Lenin a mushroom' - a satirical re-writing of Soviet history. Photo: Professor Lang Linfu (Family archives)
Mar 16, 2019
I was abused by a President
3019
How allegations of child abuse engulfed Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, the campaign to return the Elgin marbles to Greece, Britain's first black headteacher, the origins of the Barbie doll and how Baroness Warsi made history. Photo: Zoilamerica Narváez announces in a press conference that she is filing a law suit against her stepfather Daniel Ortega, March 1998 (RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images):
Mar 09, 2019
Venezuela's oil bonanza
3008
When Venezuela was rich; surviving a mid-air airline disaster; Japan's Red Army militants of the 1970s, the origin of the swine flu epidemic and Iceland's Beer Day. Photo: Seidel/United Archives/UIG via Getty Images
Mar 02, 2019
The curse of Agent Orange
3009
Millions left dead or deformed because of chemicals used in the Vietnam war, UK cigarette smoking warnings ignored, remains of the Nazi 'Angel of Death' discovered in Brazil, the Columbia Shuttle disaster which led to huge questions about American space safety and the unrest featured in the Oscar-nominated film, Roma, where Mexican students were killed by government-trained paramilitary troops. Photo: Child suffering from spinal deformity in rehabilitation centre in Saigon.
Feb 23, 2019
Iceland jails its bankers
3020
Why Iceland jailed 40 bankers after the 2008 financial crisis, how the Maastricht Treaty gave birth to the EU, plus America's first female airline pilots, Cameroon's historic referendum and homeless, drunk and yet a genius in the USSR. (Photo: Protesters on the streets of Reykjavik demand answers from the government and the banks about the country's financial crisis, Nov. 2008. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)
Feb 16, 2019
The last days of Hitler
3016
Hitler's secretary on the last days in the bunker; a CIA operative on the killing of Che Guevara, remembering the US invasion of Iraq, a child of the Soweto Uprising and the tricky task of bringing Disneyland to France. Photo: Getty Images
Feb 09, 2019
The Iranian Revolution
2987
In February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to Iran in the defining moment of a revolution that would change his country and the whole Middle East. In a special edition of the programme, Rebecca Kesby hears eye-witness accounts from the protestors who brought down the Shah, one of the Ayatollah's aides and an American embassy official taken hostage by Khomeini supporters. She also talks to the BBC Persian Service's special correspondent, Kasra Naji. PHOTO: Ayatollah Khomeini returning to Iran (Gabriel Duval, AFP/Getty Images.)
Feb 02, 2019
Vatican II: Reforming the Catholic Church
2494
In January 1959 Pope John XXIII announced a council of all the world's Catholic bishops and cardinals in Rome. It led to sweeping reforms. Plus Carmen Callil recalls setting up Virago, the most successful feminist publishing house to date; India gives birth to the call centres and remembering the Carry-on films. (Photo; Pope John XXIII at the Vatican. Credit: Getty Images)
Jan 26, 2019
Strikers in Saris
3012
How South Asian women led thousands of UK workers in an industrial dispute in the late 1970s, plus Dr Crippen's alleged gruesome crime, Judy Garland's emotional last performances, the 'miracle waters' in Mexico and excitement over a whale in London's River Thames. (PHOTO: Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick strike committee holding placard 1977 Credit: Getty images)
Jan 19, 2019
When Stalin Rounded Up Soviet Doctors
2995
Stalin's last terror campaign against the best Soviet doctors, Castro's triumphant entry into Havana, the extraordinary story of how a destitute single mother produced a best selling memoir about her life in a Brazilian favela. Also, the controversy over 'Fat Is a Feminist Issue', and the world's only seed vault. Photo: Yakov Rapoport, one of the few survivors of Stalin's 'Doctors' Plot'. Credit: family archive.
Jan 14, 2019
Vikings in North America
3004
The discovery that proved the Vikings got to North America, a former Marxist rebel describes how his group overran an army base in El Salvador's bitter civil war in the 1980s, the enormous palace built by the Romanian communist dictator, Nicole Ceausescu, how the prolific romantic novelist Barbara Cartland was made a Dame by the Queen and the summer of 1987 when thousands of tins of marijuana washed up on a Brazilian beach. Photo: Replicas of Norse houses from 1000 years ago at L'Anse aux Meadows. (LightRocket/Getty Images)
Jan 05, 2019
UFO Sightings: The Rendlesham Forest Incident
3104
The most striking and well documented UFO "sightings" there have ever been plus the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the theft of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950 also one of the first electronic instruments and how Britain has long honoured its' military animals. (Photo: Computer illustration of UFOs - Unidentified Flying Objects)
Dec 29, 2018
Stopping The 'Shoe Bomber'
3019
Passenger Kwame James recalls how he helped overcome the British-born Richard Reid on American Airlines flight 63. Reid had hidden explosives in his shoe which failed to go off. Plus, the US apology for the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans in WW2, the first computer password, the woman who wrote Mary Poppins and a British theatrical group tours the Sahara. Photo: One of the shoes worn by Richard Reid on the American Airlines flight to Miami (ABC/Getty Images)
Dec 22, 2018
Apollo 8
3000
At Christmas 1968, the biggest audience in TV history watched NASA's Apollo 8 mission beam back the first pictures from an orbit around the Moon. The broadcast captured the world's imagination and put America ahead of the Soviet Union in the Cold War battle to make the first lunar landing. Plus, the rape of Nanking, WWII spy drama in the Netherlands and the woman who revolutionised the treatment of the dying. Picture: The Earth as seen from the Moon, photographed by the Apollo 8 crew (NASA)
Dec 15, 2018
Adopted By The Man Who Killed My Family
3021
A child survivor of a Guatemalan army massacre during the country's brutal civil war, the women who cleared up post war Berlin, plus Armenia's 1988 earthquake, how Bokassa became Emperor of the Central African Republic, and Angela Merkel's rise to power. Photo: Ramiro as a child in Guatemala (R.Osorio)
Dec 08, 2018
The Man Who Inspired Britain's First Aids Charity
3010
The first man in Britain to die of AIDS, whale hunting in the South Atlantic in the 1950s, how Norway voted not to join the EU, the American adventurer who inspired the Indiana Jones stories, and Saddam Hussein's draining of Iraq's southern marshes in a bid to flush out his opponents. Picture: Terrence Higgins (Courtesy: Dr Rupert Whitaker)
Dec 01, 2018
The 'Braceros' - America's Mexican Guest Workers
3008
From 1942 to 1964 the US actively encouraged American farmers to hire tens of thousands of migrant workers to come to work legally from Mexico - they were known as 'braceros'; also, when Moscow invited thousands of foreign students to attend an International Youth Festival in the former USSR; a witness to the funeral of the Duke of Wellington; plus Arafat's final weeks and why was JKF's killer allowed to defect to the Soviets? Photo: A group of Mexican Braceros picking strawberries in a field in the Salinas Valley, California in June 1963 (Getty Images)
Nov 24, 2018
Japanese Murders in Brazil
3008
How Japanese immigrants in Brazil fell out with each other after the end of the WW2, how Britain helped to get disabled people on the road in the 1940s plus life for Jews under Imperial Russia, the victims of Brazil’s military dictatorship in the 1970s and the American embassy hostage crisis in Tehran.
Nov 17, 2018
The End of World War One
3104
11th November 1918 saw the end of a four year war that had killed an estimated 20 million soldiers and civilians around the world. We hear eyewitness accounts of the conflict which was fought by many nations, on many continents. The historian, Professor Annika Mombauer joins Max Pearson to discuss the devastating war that changed the world. Photo: Crowds in London celebrate the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918 (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Nov 10, 2018
When Russia's Richest Man Was Jailed
3012
Russia's struggles with big business, when Nigeria struck oil, why Maximilian Kolbe was made a saint, the London arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Desmond Tutu. Photo: former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky leaving the courtroom in Moscow, Russia, September 22, 2005. Credit: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images
Oct 26, 2018
The Nazi Black Book
2998
The Nazi black book, a list of those to be arrested and dealt with if Germany occupied Britain, privation in wartime and Allied-occupied Austria, racial tension in 1940s Sweden, plus how Britain's Labour party moved against hereditary peers in the House of Lords in the 1990s.
Oct 26, 2018
When Belgium Banned Coca Cola
3074
A strange illness strikes Belgian teenagers, Brazil's forgotten Amazon war, diverting Mount Etna's lava, arguments over aid and trade in the UK, and the 1973 oil crisis. (Photo: A poster saying 'out of order' is stuck on a Coca Cola vending machine in Mouscron, Belgium in 1999. Credit: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images).
Oct 20, 2018
The Street Battle That Rocked Brazil
3020
In October 1968, students from two neighbouring universities in the centre of São Paulo clashed in a battle which left one dead and many injured. We hear how the so-called 'Battle of Maria Antônia' drove Brazil deeper into a military dictatorship which is still controversial to this day. Plus, a pioneering race relations case in Britain during World War 2, the invention of artificial skin and fashion in the Soviet Union. Photo: the 'Battle of Maria Antonia', São Paulo, 1968. Credit: Agência Estado/AFP
Oct 06, 2018
The Arnhem Parachute Drop
3022
Operation Market Garden - the failed attempt to end the war against Hitler; plus, a deadly nuclear accident in Brazil, the film of the Battle of Algiers, the last regular steam train to run in Britain and one of the Cuban Five jailed in America for spying for Fidel Castro. (Photo: Allied planes and parachutists over Arnhem, Getty Images)
Sep 22, 2018
How I Survived a Fire on a Plane
3013
A lucky escape from a jet plane fire in the 1970s, Chamberlain's talks with Hitler in 1938 plus the killing of the South African anti-apartheid campaigner, Steve Biko. Also toxic waste being shipped around the world in the 1980s and how Britain became obsessed with the idea that aliens were responsible for crop circles. (Photo: Ricardo Trajano as a young man. Copyright: Ricardo Trajano)
Sep 15, 2018
Living under Gaddafi
3010
Award-winning writer Hisham Matar on life in Gaddafi's Libya, plus how British Bengalis faced the far-right in 1970s east London, the last battles of WW1, the struggle to name St.Petersburg and the first MRI scanner. Photo: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli on September 27th 1969, shortly after the bloodless coup that brought him to power AFP FILES/AFP/Getty Images)
Sep 08, 2018
Surviving the "Death Railway"
3069
A former prisoner of the Japanese in WW2, plus Hitler's girl guides, how Benidorm became a tourist hotspot, Italian migrant tragedy in post-war Belgium, and the Lake Nyos disaster. Photo: Allied Prisoners of War in a Japanese prison camp 1945 (British Pathé)
Sep 01, 2018
Albert Speer - Hitler's Architect
3020
Hitler's architect and minister of war, Albert Speer, was one of the few top Nazis to live on into old age. In the late 1970s, following his release from Spandau prison, he gave an interview to the British journalist, Roger George Clark. Plus, the Soviet Union's campaign against alcoholism, the hostage drama that gripped West Germany, and a woman's voice from pre-colonial Nigeria. Picture: Albert Speer standing at the gate of his house near Heidelberg in December 1979. (Credit: Roger George Clark)
Aug 25, 2018
Vera Brittain: Anti-Bombing Campaigner
3010
Baroness Shirley Williams recalls her mother, WW2 anti-bombing protestor; 20 years since a mass killing in Omagh, the African-American photographer whose coverage of Martin Luther King's funeral won him a Pullitzer Prize, plus when TV finally came to South Africa and the birth of the instant noodle. Photo: Vera Brittain at Euston Station, London, in 1956. Credit: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Aug 18, 2018
WW1: Britain's Conscientious Objectors
3000
The treatment of Britain's First World War conscientious objectors, Iran bends the nuclear rules, the CIA's first coup in Latin America, what happened to Eastern Europe's dancing bears, and the culling in Wales of a sacred bull. Photo: A crowd of conscientious objectors to military service during World War I at a special prison camp (Hulton Archive)
Aug 04, 2018
The Whitewashing of Zimbabwe's Ancient History
3023
The true history of the Great Zimbabwe ruins uncovered after independence, why Churchill lost the post-war election also the first women at the US military academy West Point and the crack down on leftist supporters in the south before the Korean war. (Photo; The iconic tower in the Great Enclosure of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. It's one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Credit; Getty Creative.)
Jul 27, 2018
The Killing of the Russian Tsar
3004
The murder of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, four daughters and young son in 1918, plus how the Soviet Union struggled to feed its people in the 1950s; also the IRA attacks on mounted troops in London's Hyde Park in 1982, the Zionist bombing of the British headquarters in Jerusalem in 1946 and the first steps towards a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. (Photo: Nicholas II, Tsar and his family. From left to right - Olga, Maria,Tsar Nicholas II,Tsarina Alexandra, Anastasia, Tsarevitch Alexei and Tatiana. Credit: Press Association
Jul 21, 2018
Smiling Buddha: India's First Nuclear Test
3002
The scientist at the forefront of India's first successful nuclear test in 1974, plus how an undersea mission finally found the remains of nearly 300 migrants drowned off Italy in the 1990s; also, Der Spiegel journalists under threat in Germany, and remembering two great artists - Nigeria's Chinua Achebe and Robert Mapplethorpe. Photo: A crater marks the site of the first Indian underground nuclear test conducted 18 May 1974 at Pokhran in the desert state of Rajasthan. (PUNJAB PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Jul 14, 2018
When The US Shot Down An Iranian Airliner
3011
How a US warship downed a passenger jet killing 290 people, plus the story behind The Toilet, the controversial 1990s Russian 'masterpiece', Madeleine Albright on Kosovo, the history of adventure playgrounds. and the hunt for Deep Throat. Photo: The USS Vincennes fires a surface to air missile towards Iran Air flight 655 on 3 July 1988 (Rudy Pahoyo)
Jul 07, 2018
The Ex-President and the Gun Lobby
3059
This week, how former US President George Bush Senior took on the all-powerful National Rifle Association; the murder of the campaigning Irish journalist, Veronica Guerin; and how a Soviet submarine got stuck on a Swedish rock during the Cold War. Plus, the Cockney pilot who became known as the "King of Lampedusa" during World War Two. (Photo: President George Bush Senior. Credit: Bachrach/Getty Images)
Jun 30, 2018
Korea Divided: A Bitter History
3011
From the 1945 division of the peninsula, to the Korean war and the death of Kim II-sung, we have first-hand accounts from the turbulent recent history of North and South Korea. Plus, expert analysis from Dr Owen Miller of SOAS University of London. Photo: As US infantrymen march into the Naktong River region, they pass a line of fleeing refugees during the Korean War (Getty images)
Jun 16, 2018
The 1968 Belgrade Student Revolt
3015
The 1968 student revolt in Communist Yugoslavia, an assassination attempt that sparked Lebanon's war, Adolf Eichmann's execution, plus the sudden death of Nigeria's strong man in less than clear circumstances and 'from couch to 5k' that inspired a global running craze. (Photo: Sonja Licht with her fellow protester and later her husband, Milan Nikolic, at the site of the protests. Credit: Licht-Nikolic family archive)
Jun 09, 2018
Free Health Care for All
3003
The birth of the British health service in 1948; the battle for compensation over Thalidomide; the world's first bicycle-sharing scheme; discovering a perfectly-formed frozen baby mammoth in Siberia, and the great science-fiction writer, Isaac Asimov. Photo: Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health, meeting a patient at Papworth Village Hospital after the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 (Edward G Malindine/Getty Images)
Jun 03, 2018
The Fall of Suharto in Indonesia
3033
In 1998, the Indonesian dictator, President Suharto, resigned after 31 years in power. He stood down in the wake of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of four student protestors. We hear from Bhatara Ibnu Reza, who was with one of the students when he died. Plus, how a Pakistani theatre company took on the dictatorship of General Zia ul-Huq; the landmark Holocaust documentary Shoah; and the day lesbian protestors targeted the BBC news studio. Photo: Students celebrate outside the Parliamentary buildings, Jakarta after Indonesian President Suharto announced his resignation. Credit: Adam Butler/PA
May 26, 2018
May 1968 Paris Riots
3079
A French riot policeman's view of the violence that swept through France in May 1968; plus the man who led a team that made safe two nuclear weapons that had crashed to ground in the US. Also, the origins of Montessori education, one of the airmen on the Dambusters' raid and actor Jane Asher remembers John Osborne's radical 1950s play, Look Back in Anger. Photo: Protesters face police in front of the Joseph Gibert bookstore, Boulevard Saint Michel in May 1968. (Credit: Jacques Marie/AFP/Getty Images)
May 19, 2018
The Last King of Bulgaria
3001
From child king in the Second World War to post-communist prime minister, the story of Bulgaria's King Simeon II; the first ever surgery performed on a foetus in the womb, an American family selling secrets to the Soviets in the 1980s, plus the 1963 attempt to form a United States of Africa, and the earliest diagnosis of autism. Photo: King Simeon II 1943 (credit: Bulgarian Royal Family)
May 12, 2018
When Margaret Thatcher Came to Power
2998
Working for Britain's first female PM, the rare story of prisoners on the high seas in WW2, plus the Children's Crusade for civil right in 60s Alabama, the origin of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the story behind the Japanese TV hit, Takeshi's Castle. Photo: British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with husband Denis on May 4th 1979. (Credit: John Minihan/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
May 05, 2018
The Oslo Peace Talks
2994
The story behind the secret Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Oslo in 1993, the woman who swam from the USA to the Soviet Union, plus remembering Pablo Picasso, how art transformed notorious Scottish prisoners, and one of the most famous figures of World War One, the Red Baron. Photo: Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat at the signing ceremony for the Oslo Accord, September 13,1993. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Apr 28, 2018
Earth Day
3017
The birth of the modern environmental movement, Germany's 1918 Spring Offensive, the discovery of the concentration camp horrors of Bergen-Belsen plus the rebuilding of the World Trade Centre site; and the last occupiers of Europe's most westerly lighthouse. Photo credit: Robert Sabo-Pool/Getty Images
Apr 21, 2018
The Zimbabwe Massacres
3039
In this week's episode, Robert Mugabe's brutal crack down on the opposition in the 1980s, a mass expulsion of Soviet spies from Britain in the 1970's and the working class film revolution of the 1960's. Plus the first frozen embryo and the death of a German student leader that sparked huge demonstrations. (Photo: Robert Mugabe. Getty Images)
Apr 14, 2018
The Good Friday Agreement
3001
In 1998, the political parties in Northern Ireland reached a peace agreement that ended decades of war. We hear from Paul Murphy, the junior minister for Northern Ireland at the time. Plus, a cross-community choir in Bosnia and women pioneers from the worlds of finance and oceanography. PHOTO: Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (L) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) pose with the mediator
Mar 31, 2018
The Battle of the Airwaves in Latin America
3004
Why the BBC started broadcasting to South and Central America, plus the My Lai Massacre, Brazil's careful transition to democracy, and Moscow's show trials in the 1930s. Photo: Members of the BBC's Brazil service rehearsing in a London studio in 1943. Credit: BBC.
Mar 17, 2018
Deaf Rights Protest
3000
A landmark protest by deaf students in the US; the early fight for women's reproductive rights; the life and times of political thinker, Hannah Arendt; language and history in Azerbaijan, and Wonder Woman. Picture: Student protestors, courtesy of Gallaudet University in Washington DC
Mar 10, 2018
China's Barefoot Doctors
3075
How China's barefoot doctor scheme revolutionised rural healthcare; plus M*A*S*H, the ground-breaking American TV show that taught a generation about war; the assassination of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme; the German and Russian soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front in the First World War; and the Angel of the North, a huge steel sculpture that has become an icon for the north-east of England. Picture: Gordon Liu
Mar 03, 2018
The Boy in the Bubble
2998
How a young boy lived with a rare genetic disorder; plus "Ghana Must Go" - when 1 million Africans were expelled from Nigeria, battling the last major smallpox epidemic in India, reporting the Jimmy Swaggart scandal and the story behind the acclaimed novel "Infinite Jest" (Photo: David Vetter and his mother Carol-Ann Demaret Credit: Carol-Ann Demaret)
Feb 24, 2018
Women's Rights In Iran
3000
We hear from Mahnaz Afkhami, Iran's first ever minister for Women's Affairs, appointed in 1975. Plus, the so-called "headscarf revolutionaries" who fought for improvements in Britain's notoriously dangerous fishing industry, a member of the Viet Cong recalls one of the biggest battles of the Vietnam War, finding the lost notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the 1970s lesbian separatist movement in America. Photo: Mahnaz Afkhami at the UN in 1975. (Mahnaz Afkhami)
Feb 17, 2018
The Munich Air Disaster
3010
The plane crash that killed eight of Manchester United's top players, the courage of the British Suffragettes, uncovering South Africa's nuclear secrets, plus tracking down Nazis in South America and the attack on a South Korean airliner ahead of the Seoul Olympics. (Photo: Plane wreckage at Munich airport - AFP/Getty Images)
Feb 10, 2018
The Tet Offensive
3026
In January 1968, North Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong guerrillas launched a huge surprise attack on towns, cities and military bases across South Vietnam. The events of the Tet offensive had a profound impact on American public opinion and marked a turning point in the war. Plus the roots of the Rohingya crisis, the birth of gospel music, Ireland's Bloody Sunday, and the end of corporal punishment in Britain. Photo: Julian Pettifer reporting under fire near the Presidential Palace in Saigon, 31st January 1968 (BBC)
Feb 03, 2018
The Capture of the USS Pueblo
3021
When North Korea and the US came close to war in 1968; plus Salvador Dali, re-creating Francis Bacon's studio, the first veggie burger and the origins of Lego Photo: Members of the USS Pueblo's crew being taken into custody. Credit: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service
Jan 27, 2018
Truth And Reconciliation in South Africa
3012
After Apartheid was abolished in the 1990s, South Africa set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to try to confront the legacy of its brutal past. We speak to Justice Sisi Khampepe, who served on the Commission. Plus, the inspiring story of the disabled Irish author, Christoper Nolan; an inside account of two of America's most famous presidential speeches; and the role of British women in World War I. (PHOTO: Pretoria South Africa: President Nelson Mandela (L) with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, acknowledges applause after he received a five volumes of Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report from Archbishop Tutu. Credit: Getty Images.)
Jan 20, 2018
When France Said 'Non' to Britain Joining Europe
2999
When France stopped Britain joining Europe in the 1960s, the boy who set a record for continuously staying awake, the launch of the first iPhone, hands reaching out in friendship between Britain and Germany after the Second World War, and a notorious massacre during Algeria's bitter internal conflict of the 1990s. Photo: Charles de Gaulle, President of France, at a press conference on 14th January 1963 at which he said Britain was not ready to join the European Economic Community, now the EU (Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)
Jan 13, 2018
Boris Yeltsin's Surprise Resignation
2994
Mrs Yeltsin, on the day her husband shocked the world, half a century since the Mafia's grip on America was exposed, the 1999 protests in Iran - the biggest since the revolution - a student tells us how a photograph led to his death sentence and the Brazilian woman hijacker who took her kids along for the ride.
Jan 06, 2018
Kwanzaa - The African-American Holiday
2999
How Black activists invented a new holiday, flying around the world without refuelling, what not to do if you win a fortune, and the mountaineers who risked their lives climbing the spires of Leningrad during WW2. Then there's the obligatory Christmas board game - Trivial Pursuit. Picture: Children at the first Kwanzaa celebration - courtesy of Terri Bandele.
Dec 30, 2017
To Kill A Mockingbird
3061
One of the most successful American films of all time was released on Christmas Day 1962. Based on the best-selling book by author Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird starred Gregory Peck as a lawyer who stood against prejudice in the Deep South of the USA. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to Gregory Peck's son Carey Peck. Plus, the life of Indian independence leader BR Ambedkar; a short-lived period of peace in Somalia under the Islamic Courts Union; the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution in China; and the invention of WiFi. Picture: Gregory Peck with Harper Lee in 1962 (Getty Images)
Dec 23, 2017
The Unsung Hero of Heart Surgery
3042
The African-American lab technician, Vivien Thomas, who pioneered surgery that saved millions of babies, Otis Redding remembered 50 years on from his tragic death, the killer smog of the 1950's London, the man brave enough to hypnotise Uday Hussein and the Australian Prime Minister - lost at sea. (Photo: Vivien Thomas, US Surgical Technician, 1940) (Audio: Courtesy of US National Library of Medicine)
Dec 16, 2017
British Withdrawal from South Yemen
3026
Fifty years since Aden gained independence from Britain, plus an amazing discovery under the oceans, a celebration of Finnish independence, Russian art punished by the Bolsheviks and the building of Mount Rushmore's famous statues. Photo: Aden 1967 Copyright: Alamy.
Dec 09, 2017
The Poisoning of Litvinenko
3079
In November 2006, the world was shocked by the murder in London of former Russian intelligence officer, Alexander Litvinenko. We hear from his widow Marina about his life and agonising death, and get an analysis of the case from Luke Harding, author of "A Very Expensive Poison". Also in the programme, an astonishing assassination plot during El Salvador's Civil War, a huge oil spill in Spain, and the purpose-built city in Siberia which was home to the Soviet Union's best scientists. (PHOTO: Alexander Litvinenko in a London hospital a couple of days before his death in November 2006. Credit Getty Images.)
Dec 02, 2017
The Siege of Mecca
3008
The secret battle for the holiest site in Islam in 1979; the coup that changed the Vietnam war, plus an East German musical icon, prosecuting Charles Manson and Toy Story's digital revolution. Photo: Fighting at the Grand Mosque in Mecca after militants seized control of the shrine, November 1979 (AFP/Getty Images)
Nov 25, 2017
The 'Disappeared' of Lebanon
3006
The women searching for their loved-ones who went missing during the Lebanese civil war, plus the man who first discovered diamonds in Botswana, a pioneer of the Indian restaurant business in the UK, an exploding whale, and naked dancing in post-war London. Photo: West Beirut under shellfire in 1982.(Credit:Domnique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)
Nov 18, 2017
The Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks Take Control
2999
Eye-witness accounts from the Russian Revolution of October 1917; the first dog in space; Sabah, one of the biggest 20th-century stars of the Middle East; the last journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden; and horror and heartbreak: memories of the First World War. Picture: Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin addressing crowds in the capital Petrograd during the Russian Revolution of 1917. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Nov 11, 2017
Martin Luther's 95 Theses
3007
The German monk who began a religious uprising; the book that made us think of humans as animals; how the murder of a Brazilian journalist by the secret police became a symbol of Brazil's military brutality; plus the Lebanese architectural dream that was overtaken by war and the fight that ended sex censorship online. Photo: A portrait of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder on display at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, Germany (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Nov 04, 2017
The Fake IDs That Saved Jewish Lives
3030
How tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews escaped the Nazis by using false papers; what happened when abortion became illegal overnight in 1960s Romania; the murder of campaigning Nigerian journalist Dele Giwa; the creation of British satire magazine Private Eye; and the love affair between writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Photo: False Hungarian ID document (BBC)
Oct 29, 2017
The 43 Group: Battling British Fascists
3241
How Jewish veterans fought fascism in post war Britain; plus investigating the death of Mozambique's president Samora Machel, we hear from a survivor of the Moscow theatre siege, inside the Cuba Missile Crisis and the mystery of Booker prize winner JG Farrell. Photo:British Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley speaking at a rally, Hertford Road, Dalston, London, May 1st 1948. (Getty Images)
Oct 21, 2017
The Death of Che Guevara
3081
In October 1967 the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was captured and killed in Bolivia - we hear from the CIA operative who was one of the last people to speak to him. Plus, the plan to rescue Italy's art from the Nazis; remembering a hero of Catalan nationalism; the policeman and friend who testified against OJ Simpson, and Madonna - the early years. (Photo: Felix Rodriguez (left) with the captured Che Guevara, shortly before his execution on 9 October 1967. Courtesy of Felix Rodriguez)
Oct 14, 2017
The Hate Crime That Changed American Law
3022
Why the brutal killing of a young gay man in Wyoming prompted change, how white people came to terms with their past after segregation in deep south America, living alongside Israeli soldiers in Gaza, plus modern treasures uncovered in Iran and rediscovered Tudor treasures raised from the English seabed. (Photo: Matthew Shepard with his parents, Judy and Dennis, on holiday at Yellowstone National Park. Courtesy of the Matthew Shepard Foundation)
Oct 07, 2017
Walking the Great Wall of China
3029
Walking the Great Wall of China; the death of Pope John Paul 1 after just a month in the job; turning against a colonial power - how Guinea gained independence from France; the life and times of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, and the British Land Girls of World War Two. (Picture: Yaohui Dong, Wu Deyu and Zhang Yuanhua on the Great Wall of China. Courtesy of Yaohui Dong)
Sep 29, 2017
When Animals Make History
2973
Five remarkable stories of animals in recent history - from the guide dog who led her owner out of the World Trade Center on 9/11 to a ferocious shark attack to the locust swarm that flew more than 5000 miles across the Atlantic ocean. Photo: a Great White Shark - Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Sep 24, 2017
The Collapse of Northern Rock
3015
The run on a British bank which signalled the coming global financial crisis, a schoolboy arrested in East Germany for writing a letter, a doctor remembers the Sabra Shatila massacre in Beirut, and a Nigerian archaeological treasure trove. Photo: Northern Rock customers queuing outside the Kingston branch, in order to take their money out on September 17th 2007. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Sep 16, 2017
The Fairy Photos
3025
The search for a spirit world after WW1 that led people to believe that photographs of fairies were real. Plus Jamaica's worst train crash, France's last execution by guillotine, the man who saved the Proms and life in a giant greenhouse in Arizona - Biosphere 2. Photo: Frances Griffiths and the "Cottingley Fairies" in a photograph made in 1917 by her cousin Elsie Wright with paper cut-outs and hatpins. Credit: Alamy
Sep 09, 2017
The Death of Princess Diana
2999
Princess Diana's brother remembers the passionate speech he gave at her funeral, and one of the doctors who treated her at the scene of her fatal car crash remembers her death. Plus, how George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, the development of a revolutionary new 3D medical scanning technique, and the birth of the online auction site eBay. Picture: Earl Spencer and Prince William at Princess Diana's funeral. Credit: Getty/AFP
Sep 02, 2017
Medicine in World War One
2993
In BBC archive recordings, veterans tell the story of how medical care dealt with the horrors of WW1. Plus when Germany put Nazis on trial, race riots in London's Notting Hill in 1958, and in East Germany in 1992. And the inventors of Botox. Photo: Australian wounded on the Menin Road on the Western Front, 1917 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Aug 26, 2017
Nike and the Sweatshop Problem
3019
On this week's programme, how campaigners took on Nike in the 1990s, plus the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the newspaper which defied Argentine's military dictatorship. We also find out more about nudism in East Germany and the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. PHOTO: Nike worker Cicih Sukaesih telling her story in America in 1996 (courtesy of Jeff Ballinger)
Aug 19, 2017
Reagan's Bombing Joke
3124
Ronald Reagan's joke about bombing Russia in the 1980s, the murder of a Palestinian cartoonist in London, communal violence in India a year before partition, the man who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage patch, and Florence Nightingale, in her own words and those of people who knew her. Photo: American president Ronald Reagan in the 1980s at his desk in the White House, Washington DC. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Aug 11, 2017
When Homosexuality Was a Crime
3036
Comedian and broadcaster Pete Price speaks about being subjected to horrific aversion therapy to "cure" him of his homosexuality in 1960s Britain. Plus the 99-year-old former aide to the Chinese nationalist leader, Chiang Kai Shek, a radical new approach to housing in the former USSR, the perils of deep sea commercial diving in the North Sea and how the Welsh fought for recognition of their language. Photo: Pete Price (private collection)
Jul 29, 2017
Psychological Warfare
3009
Spooking fighters during the Vietnam War, building the Mont Blanc Tunnel, designing a Nintendo legend, the murder of Gianni Versace and archive voices from the 'Bonus Army' a protest movement of WW1 veterans which shook the US government in 1932. Photo:Viet Cong guerrillas on patrol during the Vietnam War, 2nd March 1966: (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Jul 22, 2017
The Oka Crisis
3031
A watershed moment for Canada's indigenous people as Mohawks take on the developers, the birth of UKIP in Britain, memories of the poet Irina Ratushinskaya who died earlier this month - plus dance music with ballet star Nureyev's defection and illegal raving in England's countryside. (PHOTO: A Mohawk activist confronts a soldier. Credit: IATV NEWS)
Jul 15, 2017
The Roswell Incident
3014
In July 1947 a US rancher found some debris in the New Mexico desert - did it come from an alien spacecraft? Witness hears from the son of one of the US servicemen who investigated the incident, and from Dr David Clarke, expert on UFO history at Sheffield Hallam University. Plus the first Tamil suicide bombing; a hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure discovered in an English field; a sex scandal in the USSR during perestroika; and the first non-stop journey around the world in a hot air balloon. PHOTO: Major Jesse Marcel at Fort Worth, Texas with balloon debris from the Roswell incident - copyright Alamy
Jul 08, 2017
The History of Modern Tourism
3009
In a tourism special we look at the original low-cost transatlantic airline, based in Iceland, the 1960s Hippie trail. Also the journey that led to the best selling Lonely Planet travel guides, political tensions caused by a luxury resort on the Red Sea and how Disney came to Europe. (Photo: An Icelandic Airlines advertisement from May 1973, in New York's Fifth Avenue (US National Archives)
Jul 02, 2017
Italy's Secret "State-within-a-State"
3013
Murder and conspiracy among Italy's elite, an Italian atrocity in 1930s Ethiopia, Christians in the Korean War, Japan hosts the first Body Worlds, and Asian Americans struggle against racism and violence in the 1980s. Photo: Robert Calvi, head of Banco Ambrosiano, who was convicted of fraud but released on appeal shortly before his murder (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Jun 24, 2017
The Woman Who Stopped Equal Rights in America
3005
Phlyllis Schalfly, the woman who defeated a law to guarantee gender equality in the US; plus, the first performance of the Beatles hit "All You Need Is Love", a forgotten WW2 disaster, Berber rights in Algeria, and the volcanic eruption on the island of Montserrat. PHOTO: American political activist Phyllis Schlafly smiles from behind a pair of podium mounted microphones, 1982. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jun 17, 2017
The Six Day War 1967
3021
Soldiers from both sides on the battle for Jerusalem; plus Robert Kennedy's assassination, the child who fought slavery in Pakistan, and the cousin of Anne Frank Photo:Israeli forces advancing in the Sinai desert during the Six-Day War, June 1967. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jun 10, 2017
Operation Lifeline: Canada's Refugee Revolution
3038
How private citizens in Canada sponsored Vietnamese boat-people. Plus the first ever charity rock concert for Chernobyl, the actor who stared in a Hitchcock murder movie, America's first ever female rabbi and Mr Sanitation brings clean toilets in India. Photo: A Vietnamese boat crowded with refugees runs aground on the Malaysian coast. 1979 (BBC)
Jun 03, 2017
Brown v The Board of Education
3095
The 1954 US Supreme Court ruling that led to the end of racial segregation in US schools, the Iranian woman protestor whose death on film shocked the world; the start of the worldwide dieting franchise, Weight Watchers and who was Alexander Hamilton? (Photo African American student Linda Brown, Cheryl Brown Henderson's eldest sister (front, C) sitting in her segregated classroom.Credit: GettyArchive)
May 20, 2017
The Trial of Maurice Papon
3031
The French minister tried for colluding with the Nazis, the USSR's version of James Bond, the beginning of China's economic boom, plus the first time Americans were told they were too fat - but that their wine was better than France's. PHOTO: Maurice Papon in October 1997, shortly after his trial for war crimes opened. (Credit: Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)
May 13, 2017
The Invention of Liposuction
3100
In the 1970s, Italian cosmetic surgeons Arpad and Giorgio Fischer developed the modern technique of liposuction, which involves sucking out fat from under the skin. The global cosmetic surgery industry is now booming and liposuction is one of the most popular procedures. Also in the programme, the little-known civil war in Tajikistan after the breakup of the Soviet Union, how French troops mutinied toward the end of World War One and the start of the legendary Magnum photo agency. Photo: A doctor performs a liposuction at a hospital in Shanghai, China (Credit: AFP /LIU Jin)
May 06, 2017
Searching For Argentina's Disappeared
3014
In April 1977 a group of women in Argentina held the first ever public demonstration to demand the release of thousands of opponents of the military regime. It was the start of a long campaign by the women, who became known as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Also on the programme: the controversy surrounding Syria's presence in Lebanon, plus the pioneer of psychotherapy RD Laing, Bulgaria's attempts to crush Turkish language and culture, and we hear the shocking testimony of a survivor of Bosnia's notorious rape camps. (Photo: Mirta Baravalle of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, with a black-and-white photograph of her daughter, Ana Maria)
Apr 29, 2017
Charlie Chaplin Returns to America from Exile
2994
Charlie Chaplin's son on his father's political views and his rocky relationship with his one-time adopted home, America. Plus the Hubble telescope produces the first clear pictures of the furthest galaxies; shaking off colonialism with the world's first festival for black artists; Japan launches a new way of learning the violin and tragedy in Latin America when American missionaries flying over Peru were mistaken for drug-runners. (Photo: Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp in the 1925 film, The Gold Rush. Credit: Getty Images)
Apr 22, 2017
The Takeover of Russia's NTV
3003
NTV was Russia's only nationwide independent TV station until it was taken over in April 2001. We hear from the head of the station at the time. Plus, Ethiopia's Red Terror; the Katyn massacre during WW2; a breakthrough for disability rights in the US with the 504 sit-in; and Sikh bus drivers in the UK win the right to wear turbans to work. Photo: Life size puppets of Russian political leaders including President Putin, on the set of NTV's popular satirical television show "Puppets"; June 29, 2000. Credit: Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers/Getty
Apr 15, 2017
How Princess Diana changed the perception of AIDS
3006
The royal handshake that changed attitudes to AIDS, America enters WW1, plus Egypt's Facebook girl, Nagorno Karabakh and remembering Jane Fonda's workout (Photo: Princess Diana with an AIDS patient at the Middlesex Hospital April 1987. Credit REX/Shutterstock)
Apr 10, 2017
The Flavr Savr Tomato - The World's First Genetically Engineered Food
3025
In 1994 the world's first genetically-engineered food went on sale in the US. It was a tomato, called the 'Flavr Savr' which stayed fresh for up to 30 days. Plus, a mysterious anthrax outbreak in the Soviet Union; the murder of a Catholic archbishop in El Salvador; and the Teletubbies turn 20. Photo: Roger Salquist, former Chairman and CEO of Calgene (courtesy of Roger Salquist)
Apr 01, 2017
The First Russian Revolution of 1917
3065
100 years since the Russian Revolution, Imperial Russia in colour, AIDS and the mystery of 'Patient Zero', when Indian sex workers marched for employment rights and the British Lord who fled the Nazis in Czechoslovakia as a six year old on the Kindertransport. Photo: 12th March 1917: Barricades across a street in St Petersburg, as a red flag floats above the cannons, during the Russian Revolution. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Mar 18, 2017
Kuwaiti Women Secure the Vote
3004
Women in Kuwait win the right to vote, and the only women on the front line on the Western Front in World War One; battling smog in Mexico City in the 1980s, the artist Georgia O'Keeffe, and America's first incident of Islamic terror forty years ago. Photo: the first women candidates for parliamentary elections in Kuwait in 2006, Aisha al-Rashid (R) and Rola Dashti (C) (Credit: Yasser al-Zayya/AFP/Getty Images)
Mar 10, 2017
Mother Teresa - The Nun Who Became A Saint
3031
Life with Mother Teresa among the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, how the World Health Organisation came to realise that obesity was a global problem and Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House. Plus the immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks - a remarkable story of one woman's impact on medical research. (PHOTO: AP Mother Teresa holds a child in 1978)
Mar 04, 2017
The German American Bund
3035
In the 1930s, a group of German-American Nazi sympathisers known as the German American Bund held rallies and summer camps across the US. Also, the lawyers who helped Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic defend himself against war crimes charges and how vandals attacked Denmark's famous Little Mermaid Statue.
Feb 25, 2017
Love and Marriage
3007
From speed-dating to gay romance, from divorce to bigamy we look at recent changes in the way society perceives love and marriage. Plus - an expert view on how to make sure your love endures. Photo: A heart hanging over Carnaby Street in London. Credit: BBC.
Feb 18, 2017
Sanctuary Cities in the USA
3009
This week how American cities like San Francisco became safe havens for undocumented immigrants, the story of Tilikum and first recorded killing of a human by an orca whale, discovering DNA, the ship wreck that gave locals whiskey galore and Kenya's smash hit song - that got everyone singing in Swahili. (Photo: Supporters of Sanctuary Cities demonstrating in San Francisco, January 2017. Credit: AP)
Feb 11, 2017
The End of Apartheid
3015
Former South African police minister on ending apartheid, eyewitness to Black Hawk Down, landmark sexual harassment case in India, the last South American war and a record breaking solo trek across the Antarctic Picture: Anti-apartheid protestors demonstrate in Cape Town on the same day that President de Klerk announced the lifting of the ban on the ANC and the release of all political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela (Credit: RASHID LOMBARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Feb 04, 2017
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy
3012
On 26 January 1972 four Aboriginal men began a protest outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. They erected a beach umbrella on the grass and called it an 'embassy'. Plus, the murder of five lawyers in Madrid in 1977, which became a turning point in Spain's return to democracy; the invention of the microwave oven; Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; and 75 years of the BBC's longest-running programme, Desert Island Discs.
Jan 28, 2017
Roots - The TV Series
3017
The epic mini-series about slavery in the US hit TV screens in January 1977. We hear from actor Leslie Uggams, who played the character Kizzy, recalling how "Roots" revolutionised perceptions about African-American history. Plus: when peace deal ended El Salvador's brutal civil war, the murder of prominent Turkish Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, life in the world's largest refugee camp, and how Dungeons and Dragons came about. (Photo: Actors LeVar Burton, Todd Bridges and Robert Reed in Roots. Credit: Alamy)
Jan 21, 2017
Princess Diana's Minefield Walk
3038
In 1997, the Princess of Wales made a high-profile visit to a landmine clearance programme in Angola. Her trip is credited with boosting the campaign for a global landmine treaty signed later that year. Also, the man who rewrote the rules on transitions of power in the USA, the first woman to wear a headscarf into the Turkish parliament and the triumph of British espionage that changed the course of World War One. PHOTO: Princess Diana in Angola in 1997 (Credit: Alamy)
Jan 14, 2017
American Communists
3015
The early American Communists, a North Vietnamese tunneler who helped outsmart the Americans and win the war in Vietnam, plus the pyramid scheme failure in Albania which left gun-toting children on the streets. Also how five American missionaries paid the ultimate price after seeking out a remote tribe in Ecuador but left a lasting legacy, and the petition signed in Czechoslovakia which helped bring about the end of communism. Photograph: Ella and Bert Wolfe (courtesy of the Hoover Institution Archives
Jan 07, 2017
The Break-Up of the Soviet Union
3028
December 1991 saw the end of 70 years of communist rule and the collapse of the Soviet Union. We hear from two of the key signatories of the dissolution treaty, a witness to the ensuing crisis in one of the newly independent states, and from an American nuclear expert who helped clean-up the former USSR. Also, the performance artist protesting about the growing divide between rich and poor, and the first editor of Vogue magazine in Russia. Photo: The leaders of Ukraine and Belorussia, alongside Russian leader Boris Yeltsin, at the ceremony formally dissolving the USSR in December 1991, Credit: AP
Dec 31, 2016
Death of an Anarchist
3009
The controversial death in police custody of Italian anarchist, Giuseppe Pinelli, the Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett how Greece and Turkey almost came to war over a tiny rocky island in the Aegean sea, also the experimental film-maker Derek Jarman and how on Christmas day in 1968 Apollo 8 became the first spacecraft to leave the Earth's orbit and travel to the moon. Photo:Giuseppe 'Pino' Pinelli, with his wife Licia and his daughters Silvia and Claudia. Credit: The Pinelli Family.
Dec 24, 2016
Yoyes, ETA's female icon
3007
The life and untimely death of a Basque separatist fighter, resisting the Nazis in Lithuania, a medical breakthrough that prevented babies from dying in their cots, the grand old lady of Brazilian TV soaps, and the Hindu milk miracle. Photograph: Maria Dolores Gonzalez Katarain, known as Yoyes, who was the first woman to join the leadership of the separatist group, ETA
Dec 16, 2016
100 Women History Hour
2982
A special edition of the programme remembering some of the women that history has overlooked. From women warriors to women scientists. From rural women, to factory workers we bring you the stories of women who made a contribution to history - and who deserve to be remembered.
Dec 10, 2016
Bob Marley Survives Assassination Attempt
3003
The shooting of Bob Marley in 1976, the resistance of the Mirabal Sisters, how Ralph Nader made Americans safer, discovering Colombia's ancient Lost City and when Le Corbusier built Chandigarh - India's 1950s modernist marvel. Photo: Bob Marley, 1970s (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Dec 03, 2016
The 1948 French Miners' Strike
3002
This week, the French Miners' strike of 1948, 50 years since the launch of the Cabaret musical, the Silk Letters Movement of British India, the plane-spotters jailed for spying and how to save baby elephants! (Photo: French President Francois Hollande welcomes former striker Norbert Gilmez during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris. September 2016. Credit:Reuters.)
Nov 25, 2016
The Dili Massacre
3024
It is 25 years since Indonesian troops attacked protestors in the East Timorese capital, plus the impact of The Satanic Verses on British society, smuggling endangered birds out of the jungles of South America, a palace burns in Madagascar and the inspiration behind James Bond's theme tune. (Photo: East Timorese activists preparing for the protest that ended in tragedy. Copyright: Max Stahl)
Nov 19, 2016
The Pitcairn Sex Abuse Trial
3016
A mass child sex abuse trial on a remote island in the Pacific that shocked the world, a controversial Kurdish song, the birth of Rolling Stone magazine, men versus computers, and street fighting in San Salvador in the 1980s Photo: Adamstown, seen in this June 2003 photo of Pitcairn Island (AP)
Nov 13, 2016
Dickey Chapelle - War Reporter
3012
On this week's programme, how pioneering American woman war reporter, Dickey Chapelle, was killed in Vietnam; plus two very different perspectives on Mao's China, Mexican writer Octavio Paz and the escape which made Harry Houdini's name. PHOTO: Dickey Chapelle during a US Marines operation in 1958 (Credit: US Marine Corps / Associated Press)
Nov 05, 2016
Shell Shock
3327
World War One veterans describe Shell Shock and Prof. Edgar Jones of Kings College on the psychiatric cost of war; plus Hungary's 1956 uprising, how French intelligence was rocked by the abduction of activist Mehdi Ben Barka, the history of Marvel Comics and London's Big Bang. Photo: French troops shelter during bombardment, 1918. (General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
Oct 29, 2016
The Mayak Nuclear Disaster
3017
One of the world's worst nuclear disasters, the most notorious prison riot in America, Second World War internment in Australia, resistance in apartheid South Africa, and one of Britain's most celebrated artists, Stanley Spencer, through the eyes of his daughters. Photo: The Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant in 2010. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency
Sep 30, 2016
The University of Texas Shooting
3044
On 1 August 1966, student Charles Whitman shot dead 14 people and injured another 32 in America's first mass shooting at a university. Plus, the oldest arts festival in the Middle East; how President Reagan smashed the power of the trade unions; and meeting JD Salinger, the reclusive author of "The Catcher in the Rye". PHOTO: Associated Press.
Aug 08, 2016
First CIA coup in Latin America
3018
In this week's programme, we hear personal accounts of two fronts in America's Cold War fight against communism: Guatemala and Russia itself. Plus, the earthquake in China that killed a quarter of a million; riots in the English city of Liverpool; and remembering Picasso in his prime. PHOTO: Army officers opposed to President Arbenz go over a map of the territory on their push to Zacapa and then to Guatemala City, July 1954. (AP Photo)
Jul 30, 2016
Tanzania's Ujamaa
3044
Socialism in Tanzania, the man who assassinated the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, the crash of the Soviet supersonic jet Concordski, 20 years to build a road and Date Rape (Photo: Tanzanian women cultivating the soil. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Jun 04, 2016
The Thalidomide Trial
3013
Executives of the German company that made the drug Thalodomide go on trial. Plus, Chechen rebels negotiate peace with President Yeltsin; the Israeli airlift of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews; Hands Across America, the day millions of Americans formed a human chain to try to end poverty; and the execution of the Queen of England, Anne Boleyn. Photograph: A Thalidomide child undergoes rehabilitation, 1963 (Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
May 28, 2016
Remembering Chernobyl
3020
Chernobyl, the world's worst nuclear disaster; the funeral of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution changed the world; plus, the impact of being accused during the McCarthy era in America, and two style icons of the Sixties, the Mini and Yves St Laurent. Photo: a Swedish farmer wears protective clothing because of contamination from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster (Credit: STF/AFP/Getty Images)
Apr 30, 2016
The Original Revolutionary Feminist
3018
Russia's revolutionary feminist, British women after the First World War, poisoning in the Balkans, a miscarriage of justice in Britain, and the world's worst aviation disaster
Mar 12, 2016
The Battle of Verdun
3032
The World War One battle that traumatised France; the Austrian mountaineer who wrote Seven Years in Tibet; how Christian Dior revolutionised fashion with the 'New Look'. Plus, how Foot-and-Mouth disease broke the hearts of British farmers and the botched assassination which humiliated the Israeli Secret Service. (Photo: French Troops under fire at Verdun. Credit: General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
Feb 20, 2016
Prozac
3016
The birth of the Prozac generation, the battle to save Afghanistan's ancient artworks and death and violence in the Spanish embassy in Guatemala. Plus we hear about an American political corruption scandal and the launch of the Disney classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Feb 06, 2016
The Challenger Disaster
3005
The launch of space shuttle Challenger goes horribly wrong, Rupert Murdoch goes to war with his print unions, Australia's 18th century penal colonies, Sharia law in Nigeria, and Batman comes to TV. Photo: Christa McAuliffe (left) and Barbara Morgan. Credit: Nasa
Jan 30, 2016
Michael Jackson's Thriller
2703
The 1982 release of the world's best selling album; plus the untimely death of General George S Patton; the former child star Karolyn Grimes on the film It's A Wonderful Life, the Beagle 2 mission to Mars, and Vladimir Nabokov's scandalous book, Lolita. (Photo: Michael Jackson and assorted zombies in the video for Thriller in 1983. Credit: 01/01/1983 Publicity Handout)
Dec 31, 2015
The Battle of Tora Bora
3010
The hunt for Bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan; a Ku Klux Klan trial in 1965; the siege of Kut in World War 1; an unexpected alliance in 1980s Britain with Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners; and seminal alternative rock band the Velvet Underground's first gig. (Photo: Afghan fighters look out over a smoking valley after a US B-52 aircraft bombed a front line position in the mountains of Tora Bora in north-eastern Afghanistan. Credit: Associated Press)
Dec 12, 2015
The Amman Bombings
3013
Suicide bombings in Amman; a massacre in East Timor that was a turning point on the road to independence; the fall of the Taliban; anti-Sikh riots in India; and the BBC's first wildlife broadcaster
Nov 14, 2015
The Death of Rock Hudson
3033
Angie Dickinson remembers her friend, the Hollywood superstar who became the most high profile celebrity to acknowledge he was suffering from Aids; plus one of the founding members of Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club, the Danish cartoon controversy, remembering Kabul's musicians' quarter and the birth of Karaoke. Photo: Rock Hudson at the BBC.
Oct 03, 2015
Korea Divided
2974
In this programme: Korea split along the 38th parallel, child prisoners of the Japanese during World War Two, the notorious Devil's Island penal colony, the man who published Harry Potter and Sue the T-Rex skeleton. Photo: Korea 38th parallel Credit: AFP
Aug 15, 2015