The story of our times told by the people who were there.
Mixed race marriage victory in US
In 1958, a mixed-race couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, were arrested and then banished from the US state of Virginia for breaking its laws against inter-racial marriage.
Nine years later, Mildred and Richard Loving won a ruling at the Supreme Court declaring this sort of legislation unconstitutional.
Witness speaks to the Lovings' lawyer, Bernie Cohen.
Image: Mildred and Richard Loving, pictured in 1967 (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)
08/10/2013 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-ins
On 1 February 1960, four young black men began a protest in Greensboro, North Carolina against the racial segregation of shops and restaurants in the US southern states.
The men, who became known as the Greensboro Four, asked to be served at a lunch counter in Woolworths. When they were refused service they stayed until closing time. And went back the next day, and the next. Over the following days and months, this non-violent form of protest spread and many more people staged sit-ins at shops and restaurants.
Witness hears from one of the four men, Franklin McCain.
07/10/2013 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
The Freedom Riders
The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode on buses, testing out whether bus stations were complying with the Supreme Court ruling that banned segregation.
Listen to Bernard Lafayette Junior, an eyewitness to how Martin Luther King managed to prevent inter-ethnic bloodshed on a night of extreme tension during the battle against segregation in the American South.
Picture: A group of Black Americans get off the 'Freedom Bus' at Jackson, Mississippi, Credit: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images
07/10/2013 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Nelson Mandela's Autobiography
*** This programme was first broadcast on 25 October, 2011 ***
In the mid 1970s Nelson Mandela began writing his autobiography in prison, on Robben Island.
Mac Maharaj was one of the prisoners who helped edit and conceal the manuscript.
Photo: Associated Press, Nelson Mandela before he was imprisoned.
04/10/2013 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The armed wing of the ANC party took its first violent action in 1961, when a bomb was planted at municipal offices in Durban.
Ronnie Kasrils explained what happened that day.
(Image: Ronnie Kasrils in 1961. Credit: Ronnie Kasrils)
04/10/2013 • 9 minutes
Apartheid in the 1950s
A snapshot of the attitudes and emotions on both sides of the racial divide as the South Africa authorites cemented the foundations of Apartheid in 1957.
02/10/2013 • 9 minutes 14 seconds
The Voyage of the Empire Windrush
In 1948 nearly 500 pioneers travelled from the Caribbean on the Empire Windrush. The passage cost £28, 10 shillings.
Passenger Sam King describes the conditions on board and the concerns people had about finding a job in England - and what life was like in their adopted country once they arrived.
01/10/2013 • 9 minutes
US troops in Iraq
US troops left Iraq earlier this month, well before their deadline of 31 December.
We hear from one American soldier who remembers when they first invaded the country, almost nine years ago.
Photo: John Crawford and a colleague in Iraq.
30/12/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The Creation of Tetris
In 1984 one of the most popular computer games ever was invented in Moscow.
Hear from Alexey Pajitnov, the Russian who created it, and Henk Rogers, the American who helped to sell it around the world.
Photo: Henk and Alexey.
29/12/2011 • 8 minutes 52 seconds
Enid Blyton and the BBC
The children's writer Enid Blyton, was one of the most popular authors of the 20th Century.
Books such as her Famous Five series were read by millions across the world.
But Blyton was reviled by some senior managers at the BBC, who effectively banned her work between the 1930s and 1950s.
Simon Watts uses audio and written archive to chart the difficult relationship between the author and the national broadcaster.
PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
28/12/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The release of Sakharov
In December 1986 the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov was allowed to return to Moscow.
He had spent seven years in internal exile.
His release had been ordered by the reforming Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
27/12/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The sinking of the Scharnhorst
She was one of Germany's greatest battleships during World War II.
But on Boxing Day 1943 she was sunk in the freezing waters of the Arctic.
Norman Scarth is a Witness listener who was on board a British ship and watched her go down.
Photo: Norman Scarth the young sailor.
26/12/2011 • 9 minutes
The Christmas Truce
On Christmas Eve 1914, during World War I, British and German soldiers stopped fighting.
Many of them left their trenches and started to talk and exchange gifts.
But after a few hours of peace they were ordered back to their guns.
Photo: Associated Press
23/12/2011 • 9 minutes 14 seconds
As we approach Christmas we look back at the turning point in the career of the world's most famous evangelist - Billy Graham.
He's preached the gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history - more than 200 million around the world - and it all began in north London in 1954.
Claire Bowes has been speaking to the man who Mr Graham describes as the architect of international evangelism.
PHOTO: Jerry Beavan and Billy Graham in the 1950s.
22/12/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Concert for Bangladesh
In 1971 the first big rock benefit gig was organised by former Beatle, George Harrison.
He did it to raise money for refugees from the Bangladesh War of Independence.
Hear from a friend, and a musician who were there.
Photo: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
21/12/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
The British Miners' strike
Christmas 1984 was a difficult time for British miners who had been on strike for nine months.
They had taken industrial action to try to save their coal mines from government closure.
Listen to one miner's wife tell how her family made it through the anger and deprivation of that time.
20/12/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
In 1996 the Spice Girls were at the top of the charts.
Their brand of cheeky British pop had taken the world by storm - they called it 'Girl Power'.
We hear from two Spice Girls insiders about the early days when Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary and Ginger were complete unknowns who used to travel by bus.
PHOTO: Spice Girls at an awards ceremony in December 1996.
19/12/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Bangladesh wins independence
In 1971, Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan after nine months of war.
Kamal Hossain, a leading political figure, was jailed during the conflict and only released shortly after Bangladeshi independence.
Kamal Hossain tells Farhana Haider his feelings as his country won its freedom.
PHOTO: Kamal Hossain (l) with the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
16/12/2011 • 9 minutes
In December 1986 Kazakhs began protesting against Moscow's rule.
The young demonstrators were objecting to a Kremlin decision to put a Russian in charge of their country.
Hear how one 16 year old girl had her first taste of freedom.
15/12/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
As the former leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega faces charges of murder in his home country we take you back over 20 years to the moment he was removed from power by the USA.
Manuel Noriega hid out in the Papal embassy - we hear from a man who found himself sleeping in the room next door to him.
PHOTO: US Army in Panama City (Reuters)
13/12/2011 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
The Treaty of Rome
We take you back to the early days of the European project when six countries established the European Economic Community.
Photo: Keystone/Getty Images
12/12/2011 • 9 minutes
The Mozote massacre
In December 1981 hundreds of peasants were killed by the army in El Salvador.
Men, women and children from the village of El Mozote were shot.
Only one woman, Rufina Amaya, is known to have survived.
Photo: Rufina Amaya at a funeral for the victims held in 2001. Credit AFP/Getty images
09/12/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Economic crisis in Argentina
It is 10 years since the height of the financial crisis in Argentina.
Bank accounts were frozen and tens of thousands of ordinary people took to the streets in protest.
Photo: Demonstrators climb the gates of Government House in Buenos Aires. Credit: Associated Press.
08/12/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
It is 70 years since Japanese planes attacked the US Navy base in Hawaii.
The action forced the USA into World War II.
Jack Hammett, was a young naval medic who survived the carnage.
Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
07/12/2011 • 9 minutes
The Bermuda Triangle
The story of the Bermuda Triangle began when five US Navy planes went missing in 1945.
No trace of the bombers was ever found - and since then - other ships and planes have diappeared in the same area of the Atlantic Ocean.
Witness hears from one man who took part in the original search for Flight 19.
06/12/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
"The idea that you could take a pill, that meant that you wouldn't get pregnant and you could enjoy sex. That had a magic feel to it."
On 4 December 1961 the contraceptive pill became widely available for free in the UK, through the National Health Service. For married women this form of birth control meant reliable, convenient family planning - for unmarried women it meant sexual freedom.
Hear from the writer Michelene Wandor was a student at Cambridge University at the time.
Photo: The Pill, Credit: Getty Images
05/12/2011 • 9 minutes
To mark World Aids Day Louise Hidalgo reports on the story of Ryan White.
He was a haemophiliac who was banned from school after testing HIV positive.
His death from Aids, changed attitudes towards the disease in the USA.
PHOTO: Associated Press
01/12/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
The Winter of Discontent
In 1979 British public sector workers went on strike over pay.
Among those taking industrial action were grave-diggers.
But the media, politicians, and even their own families turned against them at the thought of bodies being left unburied.
30/11/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The Battle in Seattle
In November 1999 police battled with anti-globalisation protestors for control of the streets of Seattle.
The demonstrators were protesting against World Trade Organisation talks taking place in the US city.
Norm Stamper was the Chief of Police in Seattle at the time.
29/11/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
In November 2001 a group of British tourists were arrested and put on trial for spying in Greece.
They were not spies, but aircraft enthusiasts.
Hear how their British hobby resulted in suspicion, and ultimately jail.
Paul Coppin with Greek police. Photo AP News.
28/11/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Fifty years ago, the sedative drug thalidomide was withdrawn from sale in Germany and the UK.
It became clear that, if taken by women in early pregnancy, it can cause serious - in many cases, fatal - damage to the unborn child.
Photo: Getty Images
25/11/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Ned Kelly's Last Stand
Ned Kelly, the infamous Australian outlaw was captured in the remote settlement of Glenrowan in 1880.
In a dramatic last stand, Kelly and his gang took hostages and tried to derail a police train.
Kelly was hanged a few months after his capture.
The rest of the gang were killed.
Witness brings together eye-witness accounts of the last stand.
The programme also hears from the Australian historian Professor Carl Bridge.
PICTURE: Ned Kelly is shot and captured while wearing his armour (HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES).
24/11/2011 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo
Of the "Big Men" who ruled Africa after independence, few were as notorious as Mobutu Sese Seko.
During his 32 years in power, Mobutu renamed Congo as Zaire and stole many millions of dollars.
As the people of Congo prepare to vote for a new president, a former advisor to Mobutu remembers his years in power.
Witness also hears from Michaela Wrong, author of "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz".
PHOTO: Mobutu shares a joke with a foreign visitor (HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES)
23/11/2011 • 9 minutes
Georgia's Rose Revolution
In November 2003 a popular uprising unseated the government of Georgia.
Demonstrators waving roses burst into Parliament and Eduard Shevardnadze was forced to stand down.
Hear from one of the people on the streets of Tbilisi that day.
22/11/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
President Sadat of Egypt visits Israel
In 1977, Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to visit Israel and address the Israeli parliament, or Knesset.
At the time, Egypt was still formally at war with Israel - a country which no Arab nation then recognised.
Sadat's visit led to a formal peace treaty betweem the two countries.
Louise Hidalgo talks to the Egyptian cameraman, Mohamed Gohar - a favourite of Sadat's.
PHOTO: Sadat addressing the Knesset (AFP/Getty Images)
21/11/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Precious McKenzie - South African Weight-lifter
The diminutive weight-lifter, Precious McKenzie, was a prodigious talent, but apartheid prevented him from competing for South Africa.
Precious had to move to Britain and work in a factory in Northampton.
While doing so, he finally achieved international success at the 1966 Commonwealth Games.
Precious went on to become a familiar figure on British TV in the 1970s.
Emily Williams talks to him for Sporting Witness.
PHOTO: Precious McKenzie shows off his medal collection (Hulton Archive/Getty Images).
19/11/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
He was one of the great pioneers of electrical power.
In November 1915 the New York Times announced that he and his rival, Thomas Edison, would share the Nobel Prize for Physics.
But the two men never received the prize.
Image: A statue of Nikola Tesla in his home village of Smiljan. Credit: AFP/Getty Images.
18/11/2011 • 9 minutes
Kim Philby the spy
How a Soviet agent managed to fool the British intelligence service for years.
Even after he'd been identified as a spy by the Americans, Kim Philby was allowed to stay in Britain.
Photo: Kim Philby (right) protesting his innocence to the media. Credit: Getty Images.
17/11/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Cathy Come Home
It is 45 years since a BBC TV drama changed British ideas about homelessness.
The hardhitting film, directed by Ken Loach, told the story of a young woman who fell on hard times and lost her home, her husband and then her children.
16/11/2011 • 9 minutes
Great Lisbon Earthquake
On All Saints Day 1755, the Portuguese city of Lisbon was hit by a triple disaster - an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and a fire.
One of the most splendid cities in Europe suffered massive damage and thousands of people were killed.
The disaster also led to debate across Europe about whether earthquakes were a natural phenomenon or a message from God.
Witness brings together accounts by British survivors of the earthquake, and hears from Edward Paice, author of Wrath of God - the Great Lisbon Earthquake.
Image: Lisbon before the earthquake (Hulton Archive/Getty Images).
15/11/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Student Uprising in Greece in 1973
The leader of a student protest in Greece nearly 40 years ago tells Alan Johnston about the moment when the country's military junta sent in the tanks, and how she only just managed to escape with her life.
This programe was first broadcast last year.
14/11/2011 • 9 minutes
Oh What A Lovely War
In the 1960s, radio and stage shows helped provoke a change in attitudes towards World War I.
Songs once sung by men in the trenches helped audiences to think of the war from the point of view of ordinary soldiers rather than officers.
Image: British soldiers during the Battle of the Somme (Press Association)
11/11/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
San Salvador offensive
In November 1989 the civil war in El Salvador hit the capital city.
Rebels fighting the US-backed goverment began attacks in San Salvador.
But after less than two weeks of gun-battles and street fighting the rebels left the capital.
Image: VT Freeze Frame
10/11/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
The Death of Leonid Brezhnev
The Soviet leader died in November 1982 after years of ill health.
He had ruled the USSR for 18 years and presided over a period of economic and political stagnation.
Image: Associated Press
09/11/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Mission to Mars
In November 1964 the first spacecraft to go to Mars left Earth.
It was to send back the first photographs of the Red Planet.
Engineer John Casani designed the Mariner craft.
Photo: One of the images sent back by Mariner.
07/11/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Duncan Goodhew and the Moscow Olympic boycott
In 1980, the British swimmer, Duncan Goodhew, faced a moral dilemma over whether to compete in the Moscow Olympics, which were being boycotted by the USA.
In the end, he decided to compete and won Gold in the 100m breastroke.
For Witness, David Prest hears from Duncan Goodhew and other British athletes at the 1980 games.
PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
04/11/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The death of Robert Maxwell
It is 20 years since the newspaper magnate disappeared off his yacht.
After his death it soon became clear that his publishing empire was in serious financial difficulties.
We hear from one man who knew him well.
04/11/2011 • 9 minutes
Hungarian uprising of 1956
Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest on 4 November 1956 ending a shortlived popular uprising
For six year old Miklos Gimes it would mean his last meeting with his father - and exile.
Photo: Getty Images
03/11/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
75 years of BBC TV
On 2 November 1936 the first regular TV service in the world was launched by the BBC.
Initially it only had a few hundred viewers and was only broadcast for two hours a day.
Viewers watched variety acts beamed live from the studios.
02/11/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Keith Jarrett in Cologne
How a jazz concert organised by a 17-year old turned into a bestselling album.
And how it almost didn't happen.
Vera Brandes describes the difficulties surrounding the legendary performance by the American pianist.
Photo credit: Jacques Munch/AFP/Getty Images
01/11/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Murder of Polish priest
In late October 1984 the body of a Polish priest was found in a town outside Warsaw.
He was Father Jerzy Popieluszko and he had become the spiritual leader for the banned trade union Solidarity.
It was later revealed that he had been kidnapped and killed by members of the Communist secret police.
31/10/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Rumble in the Jungle
In October 1974 one of the greatest boxing matches of all time took place in Zaire.
Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought for the World Heavyweight title.
The President of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko had paid them millions of dollars to travel to Africa.
Hear from Jerry Eisenberg who covered the game as a reporter for The New Jersey Star Ledger.
(Fight archive courtesy of ESPN)
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
29/10/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
In the autumn of 1965 a purge of communist sympathisers began in Indonesia.
Hundreds of thousands of people were caught up in the terror - many of them were killed.
Others like Carmel Budiardjo and Putu Oka, were jailed for years without trial.
28/10/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
The American POW who chose China
When the Korean War ended, a few US POWs chose to stay with their captors and live under communism.
David Hawkins was one of them.
He tells his remarkable story to Witness.
It is 55 years since the Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi was arrested in Kenya.
He had been fighting against white rule in the British colony.
Photo: Mau Mau suspects in a prison camp. Getty images
24/10/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
It is 45 years since tragedy struck a Welsh mining village.
Tons of coal-waste collapsed onto houses and Aberfan's primary school.
One hundred and forty-four people were killed in total - most of them children.
(Photo: Jim Gray/Getty Images)
21/10/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
George Blake Escapes
In October 1966 a Soviet double agent escaped from a British jail.
He was helped, not by the KGB, but by other former prisoners.
Michael Randle was an anti-nuclear protestor who took part in the escape.
(Photo: Michael Randle on his release from Wormwood Scrubs prison).
20/10/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Canada Kidnap - James Cross
In October 1970 James Cross, a British diplomat, was taken hostage.
The kidnappers were from the FLQ - the Front de Liberation du Quebec.
Soon after, a provincial minister from Quebec was also kidnapped - he was found days later, dead in the boot of a car.
(Photo: James Cross and his wife Barbara, on his release. Getty Images)
19/10/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Erich Honecker stands down
On 18 October 1989, the East German communist leader, was forced from power.
He had been slow to react to the changes within the Soviet bloc.
Three weeks after he left office, the Berlin Wall came down.
(Photo: Honecker meets Gorbachev in October 1989. Associated Press)
18/10/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
French Algerian Massacre
On 17 October 1961, French police turned against Algerian demonstrators in Paris. Some were shot, others drowned in the Seine. For years the killings were not acknowledged. We hear from one man whose sister died that day.
(Photo: Demonstrators, arrested during a march by between 20,000 and 30,000 pro-Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) Algerians, are seen in a bus on October 17, 1961 in Paris. French police attacked the illegal but peaceful demonstration.)
(Credit AFP/Getty Images)
17/10/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Coca Cola Change 1985
In 1985 the soft drink company changed its age old formula.
The public backlash against the new taste surprised everyone.
Eventually, the bosses gave in and brought back the old Coca Cola.
(Image Credit: Reuters)
14/10/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
First Birth Control Clinic Opened in the US
Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the US in 1916. It was open for 10 days, giving women advice about contraception. For this she was arrested for breaking obscenity laws and was sent to prison for 30 days. She spent her time there teaching women about birth control.
Later she went on to found The Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Photo: Margaret Sanger (left) outside court, awaiting trial.
13/10/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
On 12 October 2000, an American destroyer was attacked by al-Qaeda suicide bombers in the Yemeni port of Aden.
Kirk Lippold was the commanding officer on board that day.
The attack left 17 sailors dead.
12/10/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Burton and Taylor remarry
In October 1975 the film stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor got married - for the second time.
To avoid the media they held the ceremony on a remote game reserve in Botswana.
We hear from the man who married them.
11/10/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
The US Bombing of Afghanistan
It's ten years since the first airstrikes on Afghanistan.
The start of what the US and its allies called Operation Enduring Freedom.
Two Afghans who were in Kabul that night share their memories.
07/10/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Assassination of Anwar Sadat
On October 6, 1981 the President of Egypt was shot dead.
He was killed by Egyptian officers taking part in a military parade.
He was replaced by his Vice-President, Hosni Mubarak.
Photo: September 6, 1978 Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat
06/10/2011 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
The Manhattan Project
Seventy years ago the American president Franklin Roosevelt gave the go-ahead to the project to develop the world's first atomic bomb.
Young scientist Bill Wilcox helped make the bomb.
05/10/2011 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
The Battle of Cable Street
On 4 October 1936, fascists clashed with Jews, socialists and anarchists in London.
It is often hailed as the day that fascism was defeated in Britain.
Bill Fishman was a Jewish teenager from London's East End when he got caught up in the fighting.
Photo: Getty Images.
(This programme was first broadcast last year)
04/10/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Mexico City Massacre
Just before the 1968 Olympics, the Mexican government cracked down hard against student demonstrators.
Some were killed, others arrested - David Huerta was one of the young protestors, hear his story.
Photo: Mexican soldiers arresting students after the shooting (Associated Press).
03/10/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Russian Rock concert
In September 1991 the first heavy metal rock concert was held at a Moscow airfield.
The bands Metallica and ACDC had been persuaded to take part.
It almost turned into a riot - as organiser Boris Zosimov remembers.
Photo: Boris today.
30/09/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
On 29 September 1941, the organised massacre of Ukrainian Jews began.
In the capital Kiev, most of them were taken to a place called Babi Yar, and shot.
Raissa Maistrenko escaped the shooting as a three-year-old girl.
Rabbi Alexander, Dukhovny's mother survived the Holocaust outside the city.
Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
29/09/2011 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Kidnap of US Ambassador in Brazil
In September 1969 left-wing activists kidnapped Charles Burke Elbrick in Rio de Janeiro.
They demanded the release of 15 of their comrades in exchange for his life.
One of the kidnappers was Fernando Gabeira, then a young journalist.
Photo: Fernando Gabeira now.
28/09/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
He was one of the most innovative musicians in the USA in the 1960s.
Listen to one woman's story of working for Frank Zappa.
27/09/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The Cod Wars
Almost 40 years ago Britain and Iceland came to blows over fishing rights in the North Atlantic.
Hear from a British fisherman, and an Icelandic coastguard skipper about the battle for cod.
26/09/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
The Death Of Samuel Doe
He was the President of Liberia and in September 1990 he died a very violent death.
The BBC's West Africa correspondent at the time was Elizabeth Blunt, she was there when he was captured by rebels.
Photo: VT Freeze Frame
23/09/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The Cultural Revolution in China
In the mid 1960s young people in China were encouraged to criticise their elders.
Thousands of members of the Communist establishment were arrested and jailed.
For one teenage boy the world was turned on its head.
Photo: Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images
22/09/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Assassination of Orlando Letelier
The Chilean politician was killed by a bomb in Washington DC, 35 years ago.
He had gone there after being released from detention by General Pinochet's government.
He was finally buried in his home country, 16 years later.
21/09/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Arafat at the United Nations
In November 1974 the Palestinian leader was allowed to speak at the UN.
But there was a great deal of opposition to his visit and security was extremely strict.
Hear from the man who helped write his speech and organise his trip.
(This programme is a repeat)
Photo: Associated Press
20/09/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The Death of Dag Hammarskjold
The Secretary General of the UN was killed in a plane crash 50 years ago.
He was on his way to Congo, in an attempt to prevent war.
Two people who knew him well remember the man.
Photo: Associated Press
19/09/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
On 16 September 1992, Britain lost billions in foreign currency reserves in a single day.
Norman Lamont was Chancellor of the Exchequer when the country had to crash out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Image: VT Freeze Frame
16/09/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
On 15 September 2008, the US investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.
Two New Yorkers at the centre of the crisis talk about the events leading up to that day.
15/09/2011 • 8 minutes 50 seconds
Translator at Nuremberg
The trials of senior Nazis began in the autumn of 1945.
Howard Triest was a German Jew who acted as a translator during their questioning.
Photo: Getty Images
14/09/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
White Australia Policy
In the 1960s, non-white immigrants were not welcome in Australia.
Five-year-old Nancy Prasad became a focus for campaigners trying to reverse the policy.
She tells the story of her deportation.
13/09/2011 • 8 minutes 47 seconds
Military coup in Turkey
On 12 September, 1980, the army took control in Turkey.
It was not the first time they had done so - but their actions still haunt Turkish politics today.
An admiral and a former student activist recount their very different memories of that time.
Photo: Getty Images.
12/09/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
The Assassination of Ahmed Shah Massood
Two days before 9/11, al-Qaeda killed an Afghan leader in a suicide bombing.
Ahmed Shah Massood had been one of the main figures opposing the Taliban.
Photo: VT Freeze Frame
09/09/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
An Azerbaijani View of the Demise of the Soviet Union
The story of how a teenage girl in Azerbaijan became disenchanted with Moscow's propaganda.
She sided with nationalists who campaigned for the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Image: An Azerbaijan resident removes a picture of Lenin, Credit: Getty Images
08/09/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Great Fire of London
In September 1666, a fire destroyed much of the city of London.
The diarist, Samuel Pepys, and a schoolboy called William Taswell both watched in horror as the fire consumed houses and even St Paul's Cathedral.
Witness briccngs together their aounts of a blaze which changed the city for ever.
The programme also hears from Meriel Jeater, an expert on the fire from the Museum of London.
PHOTO: A sketch of St Paul's burning from a contemporary pamphlet (Hutton Archive/Getty Images)
06/09/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Assassination of Hendrik Verwoerd
It is 45 years since the South African Prime Minister was killed in Parliament.
His attacker was a parliamentary messenger.
Photo: Dimitri Tsafendas, the man who killed Hendrik Verwoerd. (Getty Images)
06/09/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The Women of Greenham Common
At the height of the Cold War, an announcement was made that the UK would host American nuclear missiles. One of the anti-war marches that followed ended at the airbase at Greenham Common in Berkshire and a permanent camp of nuclear protestors was established. The Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp endured for nearly 20 years.
Helen John, who took part in the march and founded the camp in September 1981, speaks to Witness.
05/09/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
The Scoop of the Century
The scoop of the century on the eve of World War II.
How a young British reporter witnessed the German military build-up just days before the invasion of Poland in 1939.
We hear Clare Hollingworth's own account of a daring trip across the border.
Photo: Clare Hollingworth in 1978. Credit: BBC
02/09/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The Summer of Love, 1967, and the commune in Colorado known as Drop City, where rumours of free love, drugs and a lot of music attracted not only hippies from all over the United States, but plenty of tourist buses too.
photo: Getty Images
31/08/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Cameroon's Lake Nyos Disaster
How villagers in a remote region of Cameroon awoke one morning to find hundreds of their friends and neighbours had mysteriously died in the night.
We hear from the scientists who were sent in to find out what had happened.
29/08/2011 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
Child evacuees from the Spanish Civil War
At the height of the Spanish Civil War, thousands of Basque children were evacuated to safety in Britain.
In 1937, Herminio Martinez was sent away by his parents at the age of seven. It was 23 years before he saw them again.
Herminio Martinez talks to Witness about his memories of the evacuation and the reunion with his family.
PHOTO: Hutton Archive/Getty Images
26/08/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Woodstock Festival 1969
It was a pivotal moment in American popular culture.
Three days of music and much more on a muddy farm in upstate New York - the Woodstock festival of 1969.
A self-confessed "Woodstock survivor" tells us how it changed his life.
25/08/2011 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
South African Student Sit-in Against Apartheid Injustice
The story of how students at the officially designated "white" University of Cape Town campaigned in support of an academic who had fallen foul of apartheid's racist laws.
Picture courtesy UCT.
24/08/2011 • 9 minutes
Dr Spock: Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
Dr Spock's Baby and Child Care, a book that revolutionised the way people thought about bringing up children in the years after World War II.
The book sold half million copies within six months of publication in 1946.
We hear from Lynn Bloom, a friend of Dr Spock, and his biographer.
23/08/2011 • 8 minutes 50 seconds
Stealing the Mona Lisa
The theft of the Mona Lisa from the museum of the Louvre in Paris in August 1911.
The search for the famous painting would take two years and helped to cement its fame around the world.
We hear how even the famous artist Pablo Picasso was arrested during the police investigation that involved detectives in both Europe and America.
22/08/2011 • 9 minutes
The UN Baghdad bomb
The bomb that destroyed the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003, killing 22 people, among them the UN Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.
We hear from the UN mission's spokesman who was in the building when the blast occurred.
19/08/2011 • 8 minutes 48 seconds
The Moscow Coup
The failed attempt to overthrow the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachov in August 1991.
Mr Gorbachov was held prisoner in his holiday dacha in the Crimea on the Black Sea while tanks and troops were deployed on the streets of Moscow.
One of Mr Gorbachov's neighbours recalls an abruptly curtailed telephone conversation, and a Moscow journalist remembers filming on the streets of a nervous capital.
18/08/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The Hungarian Picnic
The picnic planned as a demonstration for European integration that ended with hundreds of East Germans escaping to the West through the Iron Curtain.
We talk to one of the organisers of the picnic, on the border between Austria and Hungary in 1989, that prefigured the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
17/08/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The Great Depression
During the 1930s the people of the US faced widespread economic hardship.
We hear from two people who remember that time.
Bert Stolier was ten years old when the stock market collapsed in 1929.
16/08/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
It is 60 years since The Goon Show first hit the airwaves.
A surreal comedy, much of it was written and performed by the comedian Spike Milligan.
His producer Charles Chilton remembers him.
15/08/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The Building of the Berlin Wall
On 13 August, 1961 East German soldiers and construction workers began work on the Berlin Wall.
At first many Berliners couldn't believe that they would be permanently cut off from one another.
It was to stay in place for almost 30 years.
Photo: Associated Press
12/08/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Britain's first nudist beach
In August 1979 the seaside town of Brighton decided to open a nudist beach.
It was the first place in Britain to agree to allow naked bathing.
At first it was a very divisive idea, which shocked some of the locals.
11/08/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
It is 10 years since the closure of the world's first music-sharing website - Napster.
It had been created by teenager Shawn Fanning.
He talks about its beginnings, and the music industry campaign that finally shut it down.
Photo: Associated Press
11/08/2011 • 9 minutes
Expulsion of the Chagos Islanders
How one man endured exile after the British expelled his people from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia to make way for an American military base.
Image: Science Photo Library
10/08/2011 • 9 minutes
He was a Canadian sporting superstar but in 1988 he was sold to an American team.
The negotiations surrounding the sale of the ice-hockey player became known simply as 'The Trade'
When he left Canada even non-sports fans felt the pain.
Photo: Getty Images
09/08/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Exodus of Asians from Uganda
In 1972 the dictator Idi Amin announced that all Asians had 90 days to leave Uganda.
Nurdin Dawood, a teacher with a young family, didn't at first believe that Amin was serious.
But soon he was desperately searching for a country to call home.
Photo: Idi Amin - Press Association
05/08/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
The Voyage of the Kon-Tiki
In 1947 a Norwegian adventurer sailed across the Pacific on a wooden raft.
Thor Heyerdahl had built the raft using only materials available to Americans before Columbus arrived on the continent.
His son and his biographer talk about that extraordinary journey.
Photo: Kon-Tiki Museum
04/08/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
In August 1980 a huge bomb destroyed much of Bologna train station in Italy. 85 people were killed, and hundreds were injured.
Right-wing extremists were eventually convicted of planting the bomb.
A survivor talks about that day.
Photo: Associated Press
03/08/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Peace Activist Samantha Smith
The story of a child who dreamed of world peace. She wrote a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union and found herself invited to summer camp on the Black Sea.
This programme was first broadcast in 2010.
Photo: Samantha Smith with Young Pioneers, Credit: Getty images
02/08/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Libya's Coup - 1969
On 1 September 1969, a military coup in Libya toppled the King and brought to power Colonel Gaddafi - for many Libyans, the only leader they have ever known.
In contrast to today's long-drawn out and bloody struggle for power, it was all over very quickly in 1969.
Photo: Getty Images
01/08/2011 • 8 minutes 42 seconds
MTV turns 30
It is 30 years since the launch of the first 24 hour music TV channel.
It was to revolutionise the way that music was consumed and promoted - and the way that people watched television.
Witness hears from one of the founders of MTV.
01/08/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The Shipbuilders' Clydeside "Work-In"
The story of one of the most dramatic labour disputes in British history - the union take over of shipyards on the Clyde when thousands of jobs were threatened in 1971.
Photo: Sam Barr (2nd left), Jimmy Reid (2nd right) and colleagues in London for negotiations with the government.
29/07/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Sixty years ago a young art historian got to know the greatest painter in the world.
John Richardson met Picasso in the South of France in 1951.
28/07/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Christian the Lion
It is almost exactly 40 years since two young Australians had what has become a famous encounter with a lion in the depths of the African bush.
John Rendall and Anthony Bourke had come across "Christian" late in 1969, at what was then a zoo in the upmarket London department store, Harrods.
Alan Johnston speaks to John Rendall about their decision to release him into the wild in Kenya and the extraordinary moment that became a YouTube sensation.
27/07/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
It was the first international telecommunications satellite.
It is almost 50 years since viewers in Europe and America sat down to watch the first transatlantic broadcast.
Brian Oakes (right) was one of the engineers who made it happen.
26/07/2011 • 9 minutes
The Kitchen Debate
In July 1959 two Cold War leaders argued over whose system was best.
But who won the argument when Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon went head to head in public?
And why were they talking about kitchen appliances?
25/07/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
In 1961 hundreds of Jewish children were smuggled from Morocco to Israel.
They pretended they were going on a summer holiday to Switzerland.
We hear from one of the organisers of the trip, and one of the children who left his family behind.
22/07/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Libyan prison massacre
In 1996 over a thousand prisoners were killed at Abu Salim jail in Tripoli.
Many people see the killings as the spark that eventually led to the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi's government.
When protestors first went on the streets of Benghazi in February this year it was to demonstrate against the arrest of a lawyer who was investigating the killings.
21/07/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
The Genoa riots of 2001
It is 10 years since protests against a G8 summit turned violent on the streets of Genoa, Italy.
Many police and demonstrators were injured - and one protestor was killed.
Bill Hayton covered the events for the BBC - he talks to a campaigning journalist who was badly beaten by police.
20/07/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Rupert Murdoch, the early years
Rupert Murdoch's career in the media began in the Australian town of Adelaide in the early 1950s.
From there, he went on to build one of the largest media empires in the world.
19/07/2011 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
The death of Tom Simpson
In July 1967 British cyclist Tom Simpson, rode himself to death on the Tour de France.
His team-mate talks to Witness about Tom and the Tour.
This programme was first broadcast in 2010.
18/07/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The opening of Disneyland
In July 1955 the first ever Disney theme park was opened in California.
The opening day wasn't entirely successful.
We hear from two people who were there. One a Disney employee, the other, a seven year old boy.
15/07/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The Crusaders capture Jerusalem
A graphic account of one of the major events in the history of the Middle East.
The conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders more than 900 years ago.
14/07/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Battle of Britain
Through the BBC's Archive footage Alan Johnston pieces together the story of a Battle of Britain fighter pilot who was shot down during a dogfight and badly burnt before parachuting from his stricken aircraft.
We hear how Richard Hillary then had to prepare to die as he drifted for hours in the North Sea.
Photo: Press Association
13/07/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
The Srebrenica massacre
In July 1995, Bosnian Serb fighters killed thousands of Muslim men and boys.
They had taken refuge in the UN 'safe area' of Srebrenica - but peacekeepers there were unable to protect them.
Wim Dijkema (right) was one of the Dutch soldiers in the town at the time.
12/07/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Boycott of The Sun newspaper
In 1989, the people of Liverpool began boycotting Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper over its reporting of the Hillsborough football disaster.
The Sun later apologised, but sales in the city have never recovered.
Witness speaks to a Liverpudlian involved in the boycott, and to a local radio journalist who remembers the city's anger.
PHOTO: Press Association
11/07/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The space shuttle
It is more than 30 years since the launch of the first space shuttle.
Milton Silveira has been involved in the programme since the very beginning - long before the first shuttle ever took off.
He talks to Witness.
08/07/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
It is 10 years since riots engulfed the city of Bradford in the North of England.
There were running battles between police and young British Pakistanis.
Mohammed Amran was on the streets throughout.
Photo: Press Association
07/07/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
On July 6 1988 167 people died in a fire on an oil rig in the North Sea.
Roy Carey is one of the survivors.
In a programme first broadcast last year he spoke to Witness.
Photo: VT Freeze Frame
06/07/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Prince Charles and Princess Diana in the USA
In 1985 the Royal couple made their first joint visit to America.
The highlight of the tour was a gala dinner at the White House where the young Princess danced with John Travolta.
Photo: Associated Press
05/07/2011 • 9 minutes
Ron Kovic - Ex US Marine and peace activist
We take you back more than 40 years to the height of the war in Vietnam.
Alan Johnston talks to the former US Marine and peace activist Ron Kovic about two moments that changed his life forever - one on the battlefield, and one at anti-war protest in Washington.
04/07/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Arthur Ashe wins Wimbledon
In 1975 he became the first African-American man to win the tennis tournament.
His friend and agent, Donald Dell, talks about that memorable match - and about what else Ashe might have achieved if he had not died young.
Photo: Ashe at Wimbledon in 1975
01/07/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Camaron - Flamenco Legend
Flamenco singing was dwindling in popularity in Spain until the appearance of Camaron de la Isla.
Thousands lined the streets at his funeral in Andalucia in 1992.
Witness speaks to a guitarist called Marcos - one of Camaron's biggest fans and the author of a recent biography.
Photo: Getty Images
30/06/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Secret war in Yemen
In the 1960s British mercenaries joined the fighting in Yemen's civil war.
They trained local tribesmen to fight against Egyptian troops.
Their activities were never officially sanctioned by the British government.
29/06/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The little boy caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between Miami and Havana.
When armed US agents stormed his relatives' home in Miami a photographer, Alan Diaz, captured the fear on his face.
He talks to Witness about the family, the Pullitzer prize-winning shot and about Elian.
Photo: Associated Press
28/06/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
President Kennedy's Visit to Ireland
The Irish author, Colm Toibin remembers President Kennedy returning to the land of his forefathers and being taken to the nation's heart as if he were one of its own.
Photo: JFK in Co.Wexford, PA Wire.
27/06/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Fourteen years ago the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.
Much of the south of the island was covered with ash and 19 people died.
Hear Rose Willock, broadcaster and 'voice of Montserrat' as she remembers the 25 of June 1997.
24/06/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Fermat's Last Theorem
Solving Fermat's Last Theorem had intrigued mathematicians for centuries.
In June 1993 a British academic, Andrew Wiles, thought he'd cracked it. But then someone pointed out a flaw in his calculations and it took him another year to correct it.
23/06/2011 • 9 minutes
A frontline Soviet officer tells of what he saw the night that Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa - Germany's invasion of the USSR.
22/06/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
During World War II, many British children were sent away from the cities to escape German bombs.
Most went to the countryside but some went as far away as Australia.
Helen Cuthbert (right) and her sister were sent to live with their aunt there.
20/06/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Rape of Nanjing
In 1937, the Japanese army went on the rampage after invading the Chinese city of Nanjing.
Hundreds of thousands of people are thought to have died.
Witness speaks to a survivor of what became known as the Rape of Nanjing.
17/06/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Nureyev defects to the West
On 16 June 1961 the great ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev cut his ties with the Soviet Union.
He escaped his KGB minders at an airport in Paris.
Nureyev and Fonteyn in 1963.
16/06/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
East German Uprising
In June 1953 East German workers went on strike in protest at Soviet rule.
Demonstrations spread throughout the country but they were soon crushed by Communist troops.
Image: East Germany demonstrators march through Brandenburg Gate into the Western sector of Berlin, Credit: Getty Images
15/06/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Newspaper Editor Rachel Beer
An account of the remarkable life of Rachel Beer, who challenged the prejudices of Victorian England. She reached the top in journalism to become the first ever female editor of a British newspaper, The Sunday Times, only to be engulfed by disaster and lose everything.
Picture: Rachel Beer
14/06/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
OJ Simpson car chase
In June 1994, America watched in disbelief as the police chased the retired sports star OJ Simpson, along the freeways of Los Angeles.
LAPD detective Tom Lange contacted OJ Simpson by cell phone and tried to calm him down.
13/06/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
When Italy joined World War II in June 1940, British-Italian men were rounded up and interned.
Joe Pieri was just 21 years old and living in Glasgow when he was arrested and sent to a prison camp in Canada.
Photo: Joe Pieri today.
10/06/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Attack on the Osirak reactor
It is 30 years since Israeli war planes destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iraq.
The pilot who led the raid talks to Witness about the planning, the secrecy, and the day of the attack itself.
08/06/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Imprisonment in Syria
As tensions in Syria worsen, we talk to a man who was jailed for opposing the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
In 2003 it did not take much to attract the attention of the authorities.
A former political prisoner tells his story.
07/06/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
World's First Environment Conference
The first international conference on the problems of the environment took place in 1972. Hear the story of the man, Maurice Strong, who made this important gathering possible.
Photo: Maurice Strong (right) shakes hands with Brazilian Indian Chief Kanhok Caiapo. AFP/Getty.
06/06/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
The early days of HIV/Aids
It's 30 years since the HIV virus was first identified by medical experts.
In the early days, carriers of the virus were stigmatised and treatment was in its infancy.
Alan Johnston talks to Ugandan-born Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma about her experiences of having HIV back in the 1980s.
03/06/2011 • 9 minutes 32 seconds
Retreat from Dunkirk
A British soldier tells us of one extraordinary day on the beaches of 1940 Dunkirk during World War II.
We hear of how he managed to work his way through the chaos and constant danger, and escape to England.
Photo: Soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force lie on their backs on the beach at Dunkirk to shoot with their rifles at enemy aircraft, which are bombing the transport ships that have arrived to evacuate them, 20th June 1940:)
(Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)
02/06/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The Massacre of Baghdad's Jews
Eye witness accounts of the killing of hundreds of Jews in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Bagdhad.
Witness hears how the massacre in 1941 led to the uprooting of this ancient community.
01/06/2011 • 9 minutes
Attack at Lod Airport
It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv - more than 20 people were killed.
This programme contains some graphic descriptions of violence - listeners may find it distressing.
Photo: Ros Sloboda, a survivor of that day, tells her story.
31/05/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Assassination of Trujillo
It is 50 years since the assassination of Rafael Trujillo - Dominican Republic dictator.
Witness hears from three people who remember that day.
Photo: Antonio Imbert, one of men who shot Trujillo.
30/05/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Pakistan nuclear test
It is 13 years since Pakistan first tested a nuclear weapon.
Dr Samar Mubarakmand was a senior figure at the country's Atomic Energy Commission.
He was given the job of organising the test.
He talks to Witness.
27/05/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Amnesty at 50
It is half a century since the launch of the human rights group Amnesty International.
Over the years it has highlighted thousands of cases where people have been imprisoned without trial.
Maria was a teenager in jail in Uruguay when she was helped by one of its early letter-writing campaigns.
(Photo: Maria today)
26/05/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Mariel Boatlift from Cuba
In 1980, more than 100,000 Cubans left the island in a boatlift from Mariel harbour.
Witness speaks to the writer, Mirta Ojito, about how she fled from communism with her family.
Photo: Mirta (left) with her father and sister.
25/05/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Chanel No. 5
In 1921 the most famous perfume ever, was launched in France.
It was created for Coco Chanel - the fashion designer and good-time girl - who wanted something modern and fresh to suit the times.
(Photo: A young Coco Chanel, credit Getty images)
24/05/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Manchester United 1968
In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup at Wembley.
A supporter and a player talk about the match, and the emotions.
Listen to David Sadler, and life-long fan Brian Hughes.
Photo: David Sadler in action. Getty images.
23/05/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
The Irish Contraceptive Train
In May 1971 a group of women challenged the ban on contraception in Ireland.
They took a train from the Republic of Ireland in the south across the border to Northern Ireland and came back laden with pills and condoms.
Nell McCafferty was one of the leaders of the protest.
(Picture: Condoms, Credit:
20/05/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Leopold and Loeb
In May 1924 two rich and educated teenage boys killed an acquaintance in Chicago.
They thought they had carried out the perfect crime.
But they were soon caught and put on trial.
Witness investigates their motives.
19/05/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
In May 1944 the Tatar people of Crimea were forced into exile by the Soviet army.
Although the Muslim minority had lived in the region for centuries they were ordered out by Stalin.
Hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women and children, were put on trains and sent to Uzbekistan.
Photo: Dilara Aslanovna Baganovna's family before deportation.
18/05/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
The Irish pirate Queen
Over 400 years ago an Irish woman pirate met Queen Elizabeth I.
Grace O'Malley led hundreds of men into battle at sea and on land.
When Ireland's English rulers tried to curb her power she paid a personal visit Queen Elizabeth to argue her case.
17/05/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
The fall of Berlin
The Red Army took control of the German capital Berlin, in May 1945.
The Soviet soldiers had a terrifying reputation and civilians in their path feared looting and violence.
One German woman who survived that time tells her story.
Photo: Associated Press
This programme was scheduled for broadcast on May 2nd but postponed due to the death of Osama bin Laden.
16/05/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Easter Rising in Ireland
At Easter 1916, a small army of Irish rebels attempted to start a revolution against British rule.
They held out for more than a week against a massive British military response.
Witness brings together eye-witness accounts of the Easter Rising.
A street barricade in Dublin. Photo: Getty images.
13/05/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Peter the Wild Boy
Nearly 300 years ago a feral child was brought to the court of George I in London.
He'd been found in the forests of Germany and sent to England at the request of the King.
But what was his life like? Historian Lucy Worsley has followed up the clues.
12/05/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
The death of President Tito
President Tito of Yugoslavia was one of the great characters of post-war Europe.
Although a communist, he refused to toe the Moscow line.
His former doctor remembers a man who loved the good life, and held his country together with an iron grip.
Photo: Getty Images
11/05/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Italian Bombing of Libya - 1911
A young Italian flyer describes in a letter home how he mounted the world's first ever aerial bombing run during an attack on Ottoman forces in Libya, in 1911.
Giulio Gavotti in 1910. Photograph courtesy of his grandson, Paolo di Vecchi.
10/05/2011 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
In May 1976 the German left-wing extremist Ulrike Meinhof killed herself in prison.
She and Andreas Baader had led a terror campaign against the West German state in the early 1970s.
Journalist Stefan Aust knew her well, he talks to Witness.
Photo: Press Association
09/05/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Victory in Europe Day
On May 8 1945, Winston Churchill announced the end of the war in Europe.
It meant defeat for Germany, but great rejoicing in Britain.
One man whose joy was captured on camera that day speaks to Witness about the celebrations in London's Trafalgar Square.
Photo: Getty Images
06/05/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Four minute mile
In 1954 a record was broken when a young British athlete ran a mile in under four minutes.
Roger Bannister talks about how he trained and how he became a runner in the first place.
05/05/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Festival of Britain
It is 60 years since the opening of the Festival of Britain.
A grand event which aimed to lift post-war Britain out of its age of austerity.
A stretch of London riverbank was completely rebuilt with futuristic buildings and sculptures.
04/05/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
Al-Qaeda 1998 Embassy Bombings in Africa
We remember the day in 1998 when al-Qaeda bombed America's embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and hear the harrowing testimony of a man who was blinded for life in one of the blasts.
03/05/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Fall of Berlin
In 1945, the Red Army occupied part of Berlin as World War II came to an end.
Witness speaks to one German woman about life in the city under the Soviet troops.
(Photo: A Russian soldier on horseback supervising German prisoners of war as they drive a herd of cattle past Stettiner Railway Station on the way to Russia, 23rd October 1945.
(Credit: George Konig/Keystone/Getty Images)
02/05/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
In the 1930s, a combination of bad weather and Soviet policy led to a devastating famine in Ukraine.
Alan Johnston brings together accounts from a survivor and a journalist who visited Ukraine at the time.
This programme was first broadcast last year.
29/04/2011 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Dennis Tito - The first space tourist
Ten years ago an American businessman called Dennis Tito became the first space tourist.
He was 60 years old when he paid millions of dollars to be blasted into space alongside two Russian astronauts.
He has been talking to Witness.
28/04/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Rock against Racism 1978
In 1978, tens of thousands of music fans attended an anti-racism concert in the East End of London.
Rock against Racism was the biggest anti-fascist demonstration since World War II.
Witness speaks to one of the organisers Roger Huddle, and to the musician, Billy Bragg, who was in the crowd.
27/04/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The bombing of Guernica
It was one of the worst atrocities of the Spanish Civil War.
German bombers, backing Franco's fascist forces, virtually destroyed the Basque town.
Hear first-hand accounts of the bombing from the BBC archives.
(Photo: A copy of Picasso's mural, in the town of Guernica itself)
26/04/2011 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
The Hitler diaries hoax
In 1983 a German magazine believed it had found Hitler's wartime diary.
It sold the rights to other papers including the Times in London.
Journalist Phillip Knightley doubted their authenticity from the start.
25/04/2011 • 9 minutes
Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
As part of our series in the run-up to Britain's Royal Wedding we take you back to 1981 and the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
Mishal Husain reports for Witness.
Photo: Associated Press
22/04/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Romanian family history
It is 21 years since a Romanian woman was finally able to uncover her family history - kept hidden for decades by the communist secret police.
Nick Thorpe reports for Witness.
21/04/2011 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
Gandhi's Salt March protest
In 1930, Gandhi led the famous Salt March against British rule in India. His great-grandson Tushar, retraced the route 75 years later.
Witness speaks to him about the power of peaceful protest. The programme also includes a newspaper account of the original march.
(Photo: 1930. Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi, and politician Mrs Sarojini Naidu, with a garland, during the Salt March protesting against the government monopoly on salt production.)
(Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
20/04/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
In 1993, around 80 people died in the fire that ended the siege at the headquarters of a Christian cult in Waco, Texas.
Sam Henry from Manchester, lost his wife and five children in the blaze.
He tells Witness how the cult's leader David Koresh, brainwashed his family.
19/04/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Bay of Pigs Invasion
In April 1961 Cuban exiles, backed by the US government, tried to overthrow Fidel Castro.
Fifty years ago boatloads of counter-revolutionaries stormed the beaches of a bay in Cuba.
They soon ran out of ammunition, and without backup their mission failed.
We hear from one of those exiles.
Picture: Captured - the US-backed force of Cuban exiles who attempted invasion at the Bay of Pigs, Credit: Three Lions/Getty Images
18/04/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier
She was a Hollywood superstar - he was Prince of a tiny European state.
Their wedding turned into a media frenzy.
One of her bridesmaids remembers that day.
(Photo credit: Associated Press)
15/04/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The Hama massacre 1982
In 1982 people in the Syrian city of Hama rose up against the Assad regime.
We hear from two men who as children, lived through the government crackdown that followed.
(Photo credit: Hama skyline)
14/04/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Windscale - Britain's worst nuclear accident
In 1957 a nuclear reactor in the north of England caught fire.
When things started to go wrong at the Windscale nuclear plant, workers rushed in to help.
Witness hears from two men who helped bring things under control during Britain's worst nuclear accident.
13/04/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
It is 50 years since Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
The young cosmonaut became a hero around the world and a poster boy for Soviet technological achievement.
Photo: Yuri Gagarin, Credit: Getty Images
12/04/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Jackie Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player.
He broke the colour bar in professional baseball in the USA.
He suffered discrimination and abuse along the way.
(Photo credit: AP)
11/04/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams
When Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams fell in love in post-war London, they expected their families to object.
He was African, she was English. But soon governments were trying to stop their wedding.
Part of our series in the run-up to Britain's Royal Wedding.
08/04/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
The Rwandan genocide
A plane crash on 6 April 1994, set off a wave of killing in Rwanda which lasted 100 days.
Almost a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus lost their lives.
Jean-Francois Gisimba survived that time and helped hundreds of others who had taken refuge in the family-run orphanage to stay alive as well.
Photo: Gisimba Orphanage in Kigali - as it is today.
06/04/2011 • 9 minutes
The death of Kurt Cobain
In April 1994 the lead singer of the grunge rock band Nirvana was found dead in his home in Seattle.
The death of Kurt Cobain shocked his fans and the whole of the music industry.
One of his former bandmates, Dave Grohl, has been talking to the BBC.
Photo of Kurt Cobain, AP.
05/04/2011 • 9 minutes
The Gotti trial
John Gotti was a mafia boss who had escaped prison for years.
In April 1992 he was finally convicted on several counts of murder - and was jailed for life.
One of the prosecutors, Patrick Cotter, tells his story.
Photo of John Gotti: AP
04/04/2011 • 9 minutes
Poll tax riots
The anti-poll tax demonstration of March 1990 brought thousands onto the streets of London.
Some were simply there to protest against a new Thatcherite policy. Others were looking for trouble.
Rioters attack a police van.
31/03/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Reagan assassination attempt
On 30 March 1981, there was an attempt to assassinate the US President.
Jerry Parr was one of the special agents who helped to save Ronald Reagan's life.
30/03/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
David Kirke was one of the first people to try bungee jumping in 1979. He and his friends chose the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol as their location, but had not tested the ropes before making the first jump.
29/03/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
War in East Pakistan
It is 40 years since the beginning of the war between East and West Pakistan which resulted in the formation of Bangladesh as an independent country.
Junaid Ahmed reports.
28/03/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Posh and Becks - the wedding
In July 1999 two members of British celebrity royalty tied the knot.
Victoria Adams of the Spice Girls, and David Beckham of Manchester United were both at the top of their professions.
When they announced their wedding, the British press went into celebrity overdrive.
25/03/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
The BBC Russian service
For 65 years the BBC World Service has broadcast in Russian, this weekend it stops.
The Russian Service came into its own during the attempted coup by communist hardliners in August 1991.
Mikhail Gorbachev said he got his news from the BBC, while being held under house arrest in Crimea.
24/03/2011 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
Leonardo da Vinci v Michelangelo
When Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance painter, was invited to paint a huge fresco in Florence - he could not have imagined that he would end up in direct competition with Michelangelo.
Jonathan Jones, art critic for the Guardian newspaper, has written about the rivalry.
23/03/2011 • 9 minutes 14 seconds
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22/03/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Tokaimura nuclear accident
In September 1999 there was a nuclear accident at Tokaimura in Japan. Workers mixing nuclear fuel had managed to start a nuclear reaction by mistake. For several days radiation leaked into the surrounding area.
21/03/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Isherwood in Berlin
The English author Christopher Isherwood lived in Berlin throughout the 1930s. His vision of the city has been linked with the German capital ever since.
18/03/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Ordination of Women Priests
In March 1994, the first women were ordained as Anglican priests. Witness speaks to Angela Berners-Wilson, one of 32 women ordained that day. She speaks about her long fight to become a priest in the Church of England.
17/03/2011 • 9 minutes 1 second
It was during the Iran-Iraq war in 1988 that Saddam Hussein's jets carried out a gas attack against Halabja in northern Iraq.
Five thousand people were killed in the Halabja attack, considered one of the worst atrocities of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Mariwan Hama-Saeed was a small boy living in the town at the time.
16/03/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Three Mile Island
When a nuclear reactor at the Three Mile Island power plant in Pennsylvania malfunctioned - Victor Galinsky was one of the men charged with putting things right. He talks to Witness.
This programme was first broadcast last year.
15/03/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Air strikes on Libya 1986
They lasted for less than 12 minutes, but US air strikes against targets in Libya in April 1986, shook the country.
Three of Colonel Gaddafi's children were among the injured - his adopted daughter died.
But did they strengthen or weaken his hold on power?
14/03/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Madrid train bombings
Bombs planted on Spanish commuter trains and detonated at the height of the morning rush hour caused chaos in Madrid.
The attacks killed 191 people and injured almost 2,000. One rescue worker remembers that day.
Photo: One of the wrecked trains outside Atocha station (AP)
11/03/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Dunblane school shooting
In 1996, a heavily-armed gunman killed sixteen children at a primary school in the small Scottish town of Dunblane.
The attack caused shock not just in Britain, but around the world.
Witness speaks to the father of one of the victims. The loss of his daughter made him a campaigner for gun control.
10/03/2011 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Zeebrugge ferry disaster
We hear what it was like to be trapped in the Herald of Free Enterprise car ferry when it sank off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in 1987 - killing more than 190 people.
09/03/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Political Activist Rosa Luxemburg
To mark a century of International Women's Day we bring you a portrait of the revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg.
Feminist icon, writer and theorist - Lenin called her the Eagle of the Revolution.
08/03/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Ivory Coast civil war
In 2002, a brutal civil war broke out in Ivory Coast.
It turned the once prosperous city of Abidjan into a place where African migrants and westerners all feared for their lives.
Paul Welsh covered the Civil War for the BBC. He recalls the atmosphere in Abidjan and how journalists themselves were targetted.
07/03/2011 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
Witness: Weathermen radicals in the USA
In March 1970, three white middle-class revolutionaries from the Weatherman movement accidentally killed themselves at their New York safehouse.
They died when the pipe bombs they were planning to use at a military base accidentally went off in the basement.
Witness speaks to Cathy Wilkerson, one of the survivors of the blast.
04/03/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
"I felt a slap in the face, this was a declaration of a racial war."
Wilf Mbanga was a young journalist when the white minority government in Rhodesia declared the country a republic.
Photo: Wilf Mbanga
03/03/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
The Krakow Ghetto
The city of Krakow in Poland was home to a large Jewish community before World War II.
But with the arrival of the Nazis many of its Jews were deported, or fled. Then in 1941 a Jewish ghetto was built.
This programme begins with a deeply disturbing recollection.
Photo: Dr Ludwik Zurowski
02/03/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Libya 1969 coup
When Colonel Muammar Gaddafi first took control in Libya in 1969 - few people had heard of him.
He and a group of fellow army officers carried out a coup while the King was out of the country.
Two ordinary Libyans remember that day.
(This programme was first broadcast last year.)
01/03/2011 • 8 minutes 47 seconds
Edward and Mrs Simpson
When Edward VIII fell in love with Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, he had to choose between his throne and her.
We take you back to their low-key wedding in France, in 1937.
Part of the Witness Royal Weddings series.
01/03/2011 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
Assassination of Malcolm X
In February 1965, the controversial black leader, Malcolm X, was assassinated in Harlem, New York.
Witness speaks to a supporter of Malcolm X who saw the killing.
28/02/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
When democratic elections were held in Nicaragua in 1990, many observers expected the Sandinistas to win easily.
But they were defeated by a right-wing coalition led by Violeta Chamorro.
Her son talks to Witness about the difficulties her candidacy presented to the family.
25/02/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Khrushchev's Secret Speech
Before 1956, Josef Stalin had always been portrayed as a hero of the Soviet Union.
Then, in a secret speech to a Communist Party conference, his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced him as a brutal and paranoid tryant.
Witness hears from Russians who remember the speech and the shock it caused.
24/02/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
People Power in the Philippines
In 1986, thousands of peaceful demonstrators took to the streets of the Philippine capital, Manila.
Just days later, President Ferdinand Marcos was forced from power.
For Witness, the leading Philippine novelist, Jose Dalisay, recalls the demonstrations.
22/02/2011 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
Rioting in Algeria in October 1988 killed around 500 people and started a period of political turmoil. A short-lived experiment in democracy ended in a violent civil war between Islamists and the Algerian army. A state of emergency remains in force until today. Witness speaks to a foreign journalist and an Algerian student who both experienced a turning point in the country's history.
(Photo: Algiers citizens help to clean up the main avenue of the Belcourt area in Algiers 08 October 1988 after three days of rioting.)
(Credit: STF/AFP/Getty Images)
21/02/2011 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
The Lindbergh kidnapping
When the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh disappeared it was assumed he had been kidnapped.
Two months later on 12 May the child's badly decomposed body was found less than five miles (8 km) from the Lindbergh's home.
An autopsy found that he had been killed by a blow to the head shortly after the kidnapping.
It was one of the biggest stories in the US in the years before World War II.
18/02/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Dolly the Sheep
The creation of a cloned sheep had massive implications for the worlds of science and medicine.
Sir Ian Wilmut led the team which created Dolly and describes what she was like and why did she died after only seven years.
17/02/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
The death of Captain Cook
In February 1779 the great British explorer Captain Cook was beaten to death in Hawaii.
For several weeks, he and his men had been staying quite peacefully on the island. So what happened to change his relationship with the local people?
Simon Watts looks back on Captain Cook's last days.
16/02/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Fall of Singapore
The fall of Singapore was one of the most serious losses suffered by the Allies during World War II. One British survivor of that battle tells his story.
15/02/2011 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
Assassination of Rafik Hariri
The former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, was driving through central Beirut when a remote-controlled bomb was detonated under his armour-plated car. 22 other people were killed in the attack.
14/02/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
The death of Pushkin
Pushkin died after a duel with a Frenchman.
Rumours about the other man's relationship with Pushkin's much younger wife had led to the stand-off.
Elaine Feinstein is a Pushkin biographer.
11/02/2011 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
A communist in the US
On 9 February 1950 Senator Joseph McCarthy began his hunt for communists in the US.
Throughout the Cold War, people on the left of politics came under attack in the US.
They were put on trial, lost their jobs, and some were jailed.
An American communist talks to Witness.
10/02/2011 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
The Docklands bomb
For almost 18 months Irish republicans had refrained from bombing mainland Britain. But on this day 15 years ago, they returned to violence.
09/02/2011 • 8 minutes 50 seconds
Shot down in Iraq
Among those fighting against Iraq in 1991 was a British airman John Nichol, who was shot down and captured by Iraqi forces.
He tells Witness about his time in captivity.
08/02/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Duvalier flees Haiti
After weeks of popular unrest, the dictator known as Baby Doc Duvalier, finally left Haiti on 7 February 1986.
But Haitians did not find the peace and prosperity they had hoped for after the fall of the Duvalier dynasty.
07/02/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Sarajevo marketplace massacre
On February 5 1994, an attack on a marketplace in the centre of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, shocked the world. It led to a change in the international attitude towards the war in the former Yugoslavia.
In its aftermath, Nato began air strikes against Serbian forces.
04/02/2011 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Revolution in Iran
The first week of February 1979 saw a revolution unfolding in Iran.
After the Shah had left, and Ayatollah Khomeini had arrived back in the country, it was only a matter of time before the Islamic revolution in Iran was complete.
Mohsen Sazegara was at the heart of those changes - he talks to Witness.
03/02/2011 • 9 minutes 14 seconds
Death of Sid Vicious
With his snarl and spikey hair, the Sex Pistols bassist, Sid Vicious, was the embodiment of punk rock.
New York photographer, Eileen Polk, hung out with Sid Vicious and his American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, when they moved to the city.
For Witness, she recalls their final days and Sid Vicious's death in February 1979.
Image: Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious, pictured in 1978 (Credit: Press Association)
02/02/2011 • 9 minutes 16 seconds
The North Sea Flood
When a winter storm combined with high tides to breach sea defences in the Netherlands, over 1800 people drowned.
A survivor remembers the once in a lifetime flood.
31/01/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The siege of Leningrad
When Leningrad was cut off from the rest of Russia by German troops during World War Two, one third of its population died.
Some were killed in the fighting, but most died of hunger.
(Photo: Two women collect remains of a dead horse for food, during the siege of Leningrad)
(Credit: World History Archive/TopFoto)
28/01/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Siege of Sidney Street
In January 1911, an extraordinary gun-fight took place in the East End of London.
Two Latvian revolutionaries fought off hundreds of British police and troops for hours until their hide-out caught fire. The Home Secretary - Sir Winston Churchill - attended the scene in person.
The Siege of Sidney Street was one of the first big news events caught on film and would start a huge political row over immigration from Eastern Europe.
27/01/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Conflict in Somalia
After Siad Barre was driven from power by clan militias in Somalia, the country fell into chaos.
It has not known peace since then and hundreds of thousands of people have died in the fighting, or from starvation.
Twenty years on, Somalia still has no central government.
26/01/2011 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
Horst Woit was just 10 years old when he and his mother boarded a ship in the hope of escaping Russian forces towards the end of World War II.
He recalls the night that ship - the Wilhelm Gustloff - went down with huge loss of life.
25/01/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Funeral of Winston Churchill
With the death of Sir Winston Churchill Britain went into mourning for its great wartime leader.
He was given a state funeral in St Paul's Cathedral.
Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to pay their respects.
24/01/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Execution of Louis XVI
Alongside Louis XVI as he was driven to his death, was an English catholic priest, Henry Edgeworth. He wrote down everything he saw and heard that day.
21/01/2011 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
Ben Ali Comes to Power in Tunisia
In 1987, Tunisia's long-serving president was toppled in a political coup, and replaced by his prime minister - by Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
(Photo: Former Tunisian Prime Minister Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali (4th R) smiles to the cheering crowd 07 November 1987 in Tunis after being sworn in as President of Tunisia.)
(Credit: JOEL ROBINE/AFP/Getty Images)
20/01/2011 • 8 minutes 50 seconds
Palomares nuclear accident
In January 1966, two American military planes crashed over the remote Spanish village of Palomares. One of them was carrying four nuclear weapons.
Captain Joe Ramirez was one of the first US servicemen on the scene. He took part in the desperate search for the missing bombs.
(Photo: One of the four bombs recovered from the sea)
(credit: Sandia National Laboratories)
19/01/2011 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The Norwegian polar explorer Borge Ousland spent more than two months skiing alone across the continent of Antarctica.
He talks to Witness about the highs and lows of his journey.
18/01/2011 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Kindertransport - Oliver's story
Over 10,000 Jewish children were brought to Britain from Nazi Europe in the months leading up to World War II.
They travelled on trains which became known as the kindertransports.
Listen to one little boy's story. His name is Oliver Gebhardt.
17/01/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Former England captain Jimmy Armfield takes us back to the moment in 1961 when the modern world of footballers' pay was born.
14/01/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Wikipedia - 10 years on
It is 10 years since the Wikipedia online encyclopedia was launched.
Jimmy Wales, one of the founders of Wikipedia, talks to Witness about the origins of one of the most popular websites in the world.
13/01/2011 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
It was during the 1960s in America that the idea of freezing people for the future, first became popular.
Some of those frozen bodies are still suspended in labs in the US, in the hope that one day science will have progressed enough, to bring them back to life.
12/01/2011 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Crossing the Rubicon
The laws of ancient Rome made it illegal for the governor of a province to lead his soldiers into Italy.
The Rubicon marked the border that could not be crossed. Afterwards, there was no going back.
11/01/2011 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Bojinka Airline Plot
How, in 1995, investigators in the Philippines stumbled upon a terrorist plot that would reverberate in the world's memory for years to come.
10/01/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Bill Clinton's press secretary at the time of the impeachment trial was Joe Lockhart. He talks to Witness about the politics behind the Lewinsky affair.
07/01/2011 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Sudan's civil war
This weekend the people of Southern Sudan will vote in a referendum on independence.
We take you back to the last time the South tried to break free of the rest of Sudan.
We hear from two Sudanese women about the war which began in 1983 following the push for autonomy.
06/01/2011 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Afghanistan's Secret Schools for Girls
Alan Johnston hears one woman's account of how she and others defied the Taliban's efforts to prohibit education for girls in Afghanistan, by setting up secret schools and helping teachers to give lessons in their homes.
05/01/2011 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
LBJ State of Nation
Witness travels backs to 1965 when then president of the United States, Lyndon B Johnson was giving his state of the union address. In it, he set out his Great Society ideals, which included providing healthcare for the elderly and the poor.
04/01/2011 • 9 minutes 20 seconds
We hear from Dennis Egan, whose father was to become the first governor of the newly formed state. He remembers the hope, pride and emotion of that historic day.