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Witness History: Witness Archive 2015 Podcast Cover
Witness History: Witness Archive 2015 Podcast Profile

Witness History: Witness Archive 2015 Podcast

English, History, 1 season, 254 episodes, 1 day, 14 hours, 17 minutes
History as told by the people who were there. All the programmes from 2015.
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Gay and lesbian support for the British miners' strike

In 1984 a group of lesbians and gay men organised a benefit concert to support striking coal-miners. They sent the money they raised to a mining village in Wales. The miners' strike was the biggest industrial dispute in British history. Hear from Mike Jackson, one of the gay men inspired by the miners' struggle. Photo: Campaign activists on the 1985 Lesbian & Gay Pride march. Credit: Colin Clews
2/9/20218 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Millennium Bug

There was a frenzy of celebrations on New Year's Eve 1999. But amid the partying, there was also some anxiety over the effects of a potential global computer meltdown, the so-called Millennium Bug - or Y2K. (Photo: The White House Y2K Crisis Centre in Washington in 1999. Credit : AP)
12/31/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Poster Boy for the Communist System

In 1935, Alexei Stakhanov, a coal miner, became a Soviet celebrity. He invented a more efficient coal production method and started a movement to encourage innovation amongst Soviet workers. His daughter, Violetta Stakhanova, tells Dina Newman about her father's achievements and his eventual downfall. Photo: Alexei Stakhanov at work, 1935. Credit: Stakhanov family
12/30/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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In December 1916, the infamous mystic, Grigori Rasputin, was murdered by Russian aristocrats. Rasputin, a Siberian peasant and wandering holy man, had become a powerful figure at the Russian Imperial court. The Czar and his wife believed Rasputin had special powers that could heal their son, who was suffering from haemophilia. Using written accounts and archive recordings of those who had met Rasputin, we tell the story of the 'Mad Monk'. (Photo: Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk and courtesan. Credit: Dmitri Wasserman/Getty Images)
12/29/20159 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Donner Party

In 1846, a group of pioneers were trying to reach California by wagon train when they were trapped by snow over the winter - and some were forced to eat each other to survive. Their gruesome story has become a legend of the American West. PHOTO: The slopes of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada range, near Lone Pine, California, USA. 20/04/2008.
12/28/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Beagle 2 Mission to Mars

On Christmas Day 2003, an unmanned British space craft called Beagle 2 was due to touch down on Mars and begin searching for evidence of life. The mastermind of the mission, Professor Colin Pillinger, had helped to generate huge public interest in Beagle 2. But the lander failed to communicate and was presumed lost. It was discovered on the surface of Mars in January 2015, less than a year after Professor Pillinger’s death. Rob Walker has been delving into the BBC’s archives to hear Colin’s Pillinger’s account of the daring mission and has also spoken to his daughter, Shusanah. (Photo: Lead Scientist, Colin Pillinger, poses with a model of Beagle 2 in November 2003. Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
12/25/20159 minutes, 9 seconds
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It's a Wonderful Life

In December 1946, the classic Christmas film "It's a Wonderful Life" had its premiere in Hollywood. Starring Jimmy Stewart, the movie's message of hope and redemption is loved by millions. Simon Watts talks to former child star, Karolyn Grimes, who played six-year-old Zuzu Bailey. PHOTO: Karolyn Grimes with Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" (Getty Images)
12/24/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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Michael Jackson's Thriller

In 1982 the world's best selling album was released. Thriller included hits such as Beat It, Billie Jean and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' as well as the title track. Witness speaks to Anthony Marinelli who worked on the seminal album. (Photo: Michael Jackson and assorted zombies in the video for Thriller in 1983, publicity handout)
12/23/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita

One of the 20th century's most scandalous books was published in 1955. Lolita, by Russian émigré Vladimir Nabokov, tells the story of the relationship between middle-aged Humbert Humbert and teenager Dolores Haze - known as Lolita. (Photo: Visitors look over a poster of Lolita by Stanley Kubrick during the 'Palazzo delle Esposizioni' exhibition in Rome, 2004. Credit: Vincenzo Pinton/AFP/Getty Images)
12/22/20158 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Death of General Patton

In December 1945, one of America's most famous miltary commanders, General George S Patton, died from injuries sustained in a car crash, just months after the end of the Second World War. Witness talks to his grandson, George Patton Waters, about his memories of this colourful and often unorthodox man. Photo: General George Patton in Paris in August 1945 to celebrate the first anniversary of the city's liberation. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
12/21/20159 minutes, 14 seconds
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India Disability Rights

In December 1995, the first disability rights legislation was passed by India's parliament. An estimated 60 million people, almost six percent of India's population, are affected by physical or mental disabilities. Witness been speaking to Javed Abidi who led the campaign to change the law. Photo: Disability rights campaigners protest in Delhi, December 19th 1995. Credit: Javed Abidi)
12/18/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Star Wars: C3PO's Story

In the mid-1970s, English classical actor Anthony Daniels was asked to audition for a role as a droid in a new science fiction film by a little-known Hollywood director. The film turned out to be Star Wars and the director, George Lucas. Star Wars went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time; while Anthony Daniels turned C3PO into one of the most famous robots in cinema history. (Photo: Anthony Daniels with C3PO. Credit: Associated Press)
12/17/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Rubik's Cube

In 1974, a Hungarian architect, Ernő Rubik invented his best selling puzzle. Over the next forty years, more than 350 million Rubik's Cubes were sold all over the world. Mr Rubik tells Dina Newman how he came up with the idea and how it became a global phenomenon. Photo: Tim Whitby/Getty Images
12/16/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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A Pakistani View of the Bangladesh War of Independence

When Bangladesh fought for independence from Pakistan, thousands of Pakistani troops were sent to fight in what was then called East Pakistan. Shujaat Latif was sent to the town of Jassore where he fought, and then surrendered. He spent two and a half years as a prisoner-of-war. Hear his story. Photo: Indian army soldiers fire on Pakistani positions, December 15th 1971. Credit: AFP/Getty Images.
12/15/20159 minutes, 8 seconds
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The 1960 Coup Against Haile Selassie

In December 1960, while the Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, was out of the country, his Imperial Bodyguard took over the capital Addis Ababa and proclaimed his son the new emperor. We speak to Dr Asfa-Wossen Asserate, the grand nephew of Haile Selassie, about the coup. Dr Asfa-Wossen is the author of King of Kings, a new history of Haile Selassie's rule. Photo: Emperor Haile Selassie in the Royal Palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, circa 1960. (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
12/14/20159 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Velvet Underground

On December 11th 1965, seminal alternative rock band the Velvet Underground played their first gig at a high school in New Jersey. Rob Norris was there. Picture credit: Getty Images - c1968 - Lou REED and John CALE and VELVET UNDERGROUND (photo by Charlie Gillett Collection/Redferns)
12/11/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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The KKK and the Killing of Viola Liuzzo

In December 1965, three members of the Ku Klux Klan were found guilty over the murder of white civil rights activist, Viola Liuzzo, in one of the first successful prosecutions of its kind in the United States. Viola Liuzzo was killed on the final day of the Selma to Montgomery march, when thousands of civil rights activists marched to demand that blacks be allowed to register to vote. Witness talks to one of the lawyers involved in the landmark case. Photo: A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1965. (Credit: Harry Benson/Getty Images)
12/10/20159 minutes
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The Battle of Tora Bora

After the Taliban fell from power in Afghanistan in the winter of 2001, the hunt for Osama bin Laden began in earnest. One American in particular led the search. He was CIA commander, Gary Berntsen, who had been tracking the al-Qaeda leader for years. In December 2001 he ordered a small group of special forces soldiers and Afghan fighters into the White Mountains close to Pakistan in the hope of cornering bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora. (Photo: Afghan fighters look out over a smoking valley after a U.S. B-52 aircraft bombed a front line position in the mountains of Tora Bora in north-eastern Afghanistan. Credit: Associated Press)
12/9/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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WW1: The Siege of Kut, Iraq

In 1915, an Anglo-Indian attempt to capture Baghdad from the Ottoman empire ended in disaster. Thousands of British and Indian troops spent five months besieged in the small town of Kut, south of Baghdad, until they were forced to surrender to Ottoman forces. Only half of those taken prisoner survived their captivity. Hear archive recordings of those who took part in Britain's Mesopotamia campaign. (Photo: Troops of the Ottoman Empire on their way to Kut, Mesopotamia, September 1915. Credit: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
12/8/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Cuban Fighters in Angola

In the 1980s Angola was a front line in the Cold War between communism and the West. In 1987 tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers were sent to the Southern African country to support the Marxist government in its fight against UNITA rebels who were backed by South Africa and the USA. Alberto Lahens was a young special forces officer who was flown from Cuba to Africa to take part in the fighting. (Photo: Cuban fighters in Angola. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
12/4/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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The First Heart Transplant

On 3 December 1967, two brothers carried out the world's first heart transplant operation. Christiaan and Marius Barnard were both working as surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa. Christiaan Barnard led the team which carried out the transplant. In 2009 Marius Barnard spoke to Witness about the operation, and about his relationship with his older brother. (Photo: Leader of the heart transplant team Christiaan Barnard. Credit: Press Association)
12/3/20159 minutes, 17 seconds
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Surviving Pearl Harbor

On 7 December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Thousands of American servicemen died in a raid which brought their country into World War Two. Former Navy mechanic, Adolph Kuhn, tells Witness how he survived. (Photo: The USS Arizona sinking at Pearl Harbor. Credit: Getty Images)
12/2/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Bari Raid 1943

How a devastating air raid on the Italian port of Bari during World War Two led to the deadly release of mustard gas. Winston Churchill ordered the incident to be kept secret for years. We hear from Peter Bickmore BEM, who was injured during the raid. (Photo: Seventeen Allied ships go up in flames in Bari, Italy, after a raid by German bombers on 2 December 1943. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
12/1/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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Nigeria's "War Against Indiscipline"

In 1984 General Muhammadu Buhari's military regime launched an unusual campaign to clean up Nigeria. Under the policy, Nigerians were forced to queue, be punctual and obey traffic laws. The punishments for infractions could be brutal. Veteran Nigerian journalist Sola Odunfa recalls the reaction in Lagos to the War Against Indiscipline. Photo: The Oshodi district of Lagos, 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)
11/30/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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Surviving Ravensbruck

In November 1938, the SS commander Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction in Nazi Germany of the only concentration camp built specifically for women. It would be called Ravensbruck. Selma van der Perre tells Witness about the horrors of life in Ravensbruck, including experiments on women and children, and how she survived. Photograph: women at Ravensbruck concentration camp (Credit: Das Bundesarchiv)
11/26/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Britain's Palestine Patrols

In the 1940s the Royal Navy intercepted dozens of Jewish refugee ships trying to reach British-controlled Palestine. It was part of British government policy to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. Witness hears from Alan Tyler who served as an officer onboard HMS Chevron, patrolling the Mediterranean sea. (Photo: The ship 'Jewish State' docking at Haifa in October 1947. The Jewish refugees on board were sent to Cyprus by the British authorities. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
11/26/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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Cuba's 'Special Period'

In the 1990s the Cuban economy came close to collapse after the fall of the Soviet Union. The end of the millions of dollars in Soviet aid meant power cuts and severe food shortages on the Caribbean island. Some of the first private businesses started up under communism. We hear from Juan Carlos Montes, who opened a small restaurant at home to make ends meet, but was arrested by the communist authorities. (Photo: Due to severe fuel shortages in the 1990s, a Cuban peasant is forced to use oxen instead of a tractor to plow a cane field (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
11/25/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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The DB Cooper Mystery

In November 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a plane flying from the US city of Portland to nearby Seattle. He demanded $200,000 in cash and four parachutes. ‘Cooper’ later jumped from the aircraft and has never been seen again. The case remains one of America's biggest criminal mysteries. We hear from the co-pilot on the flight, Bill Rataczak. (Photo: Artist sketches of D.B. Cooper. Credit: FBI)
11/23/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Attack on the US Embassy in Islamabad

In late November 1979, a mob inspired by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini set fire to the US Embassy in Islamabad. Those inside fled to the steel lined safe-room to await rescue, which took several hours to come. We hear from Marcia Gauger, an American reporter who was trapped inside. Photo: Pakistani troops resting outside the burnt out US Embassy in Islamabad 1979 (BBC)
11/20/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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The CIA's Cultural War: how the CIA secretly funded the magazine Encounter

In autumn 1953, a new literary magazine was launched in London that would become the magazine of choice of the English-speaking liberal intelligentsia. The magazine was called Encounter. And fourteen years later, it would emerge, it had been funded by the CIA as part of a cultural Cold War. Photograph: British poet Sir Stephen Spender, co-editor of Encounter, a year after he resigned when it became clear the magazine had received CIA funding (credit: Evening Standard/Getty Images)
11/19/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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Fear of Flying: The Best Selling Book About Sex, Creativity And Love

In 1973, Erica Jong, a young feminist author from New York, wrote a groundbreaking novel about female sexuality, called Fear of Flying. Photo courtesy of Erica Jong
11/18/20159 minutes, 20 seconds
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Fire: Bollywood Explores Lesbian Love

Indian film star Shabana Azmi remembers playing a lesbian in the controversial Bollywood film, Fire, in 1998. (Photo: Shabana Azmi. Credit: AFP)
11/17/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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Kenya’s Torture Chambers

In 1986, dozens of Kenyans were detained and accused of belonging to an underground opposition movement called Mwakenya. They were taken to Nyayo House - a government building in the centre of Nairobi - and secretly tortured. Many more were arrested by President Moi’s government in the years that followed. But it was not until he left office that the full details of Kenya’s torture chambers emerged. Witness speaks to Wachira Waheire one of the former detainees. (Photo: Wachira Waheire inside one of the cells in Nyayo House after they were opened to the public)
11/16/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Fall of the Taliban

On 13 November 2001, the Taliban administration collapsed in Afghanistan. Northern Alliance fighters, aided by American air strikes, had driven the Islamic fundamentalists from power. Monica Whitlock has been speaking to Afghan writer, Aziz Hakimi about life under Taliban rule. (Photo: Residents of Kabul listening to music on the radio in November 2001. Credti: Associated Press)
11/13/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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East Timor Massacre

On 12 November 1991, Indonesian troops opened fire on independence activists in East Timor's capital, Dili. British cameraman Max Stahl filmed the attack on unarmed demonstrators in the Santa Cruz graveyard. (Photo: East Timorese activists preparing for the demonstration. Copyright: Max Stahl)
11/12/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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Romany: Pioneer Wildlife Broadcaster

Romany of the BBC was a pioneer naturalist broadcaster of Roma Gypsy origin. His programmes were popular in the UK in the 1930s and 40s. Dina Newman explores his life and his work. Photo: Romany and his spaniel Raq. From the family archive
11/11/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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India Anti-Sikh Riots

Following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, India was gripped by anti-Sikh riots. Thousands of people were killed. One Delhi suburb, Trilokpuri, saw the worst of the bloodshed. Hear from survivor, Mohan Singh, and Rahul Bedi, one of the first journalists to reach the affected area. PHOTO: Mohan Singh in his home in Delhi (Credit :BBC)
11/10/20159 minutes
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The Amman Bombings

On 9 November 2005, three hotels in Jordan's capital were targeted by suicide bombers. Nearly 60 people were killed in the country's worst terror attack. BBC journalist Caroline Hawley was in one of the bombed hotels and she has returned to Jordan on the 10th anniversary of the bombings to speak to a couple whose wedding celebration was torn apart by a suicide bomber. (Photo: Nadia al-Alami and Ashraf al-Akhras on their wedding day, before the attack. Courtesy of the family)
11/9/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Green March

In November 1975, a huge crowd of Moroccans marched into the desert colony of Spanish Sahara to claim it from Madrid. About 350,000 people took part in the Green March, which is now considered one of the key events in the history of Morocco and the wider region. Seddik Maâninou covered the Green March for Moroccan TV. (Photo: The Green March. Credit: Getty Images)
11/6/20159 minutes
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The Russian Revolution: Alexander Kerensky

On 7 November 1917 Lenin and his Bolshevik party overthrew the Provisional Government led by Alexander Kerensky. Dina Newman presents Kerensky's comments from the BBC archive. (Photo: Demonstrators gather in front of the Winter Palace in Petrograd, formerly St Petersburg, during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
11/6/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Battle of El Alamein

In October and November 1942, the Allies fought a famous battle against German and Italian troops close to the small Egyptian village of El Alamein. General Bernard Montgomery, the British commander, knew that victory was crucial. But his offensive was in danger of stalling almost as soon as it began. Witness speaks to Len Burritt who was then a 24 year old wireless operator with the British Seventh Armoured Division. (Photo: A German tank is knocked out and British troops rush up with fixed bayonets to capture the German crew at the Battle of El Alamein. Credit: Getty Images)
11/5/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Britain's Executioner - Albert Pierrepoint

Using archive recordings we tell the story of Britain's most famous hangman. During the 1940s and 50s, he was responsible for the execution of some of Britain's most notorious murderers and was sent to Germany to hang more than 200 Nazi war criminals after WW2. He said he was always determined to treat prisoners with dignity and respect whatever their crime. He initially appeared to support the abolition of the death penalty. Photo: Albert Pierrepoint at home, 1973 (Credit: Getty Images)
11/3/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Jarrow Crusade

In the 1930s, many parts of Britain were suffering the effects of the Great Depression. But conditions were particularly harsh in the town of Jarrow, in the north-east of England. In 1936, two hundred men marched the 300 miles from Jarrow to London to protest against mass unemployment and to demand that new industries be established in their town. They called it the Jarrow Crusade. Witness delves into the BBC archives to hear the voices of the marchers. (Photo: Marchers on the Jarrow Crusade. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
11/2/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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A Jewish Homeland in Siberia

In 1930, the USSR created a Jewish Autonomous Region in Siberia, as a homeland for Soviet Jews. Dina Newman talks to someone who grew up there. Photo: Birobidzhan, the Jewish capital. Courtesy of Birobidzhan Regional Museum
10/30/20159 minutes, 29 seconds
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The Great Depression: Harry Leslie Smith Remembers

In October 1929, Wall Street crashed and the greatest depression the world had ever seen began. Harry Leslie Smith tells Witness his story of growing up in extreme poverty in the north of England, and how his sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care. Photo: unemployed men queue for work at a dockyard during the Great Depression (Credit:Fox Photos/Getty Images)
10/29/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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The First Lady of Cuban Ballet

World-famous prima ballerina Alicia Alonso talks to Witness about her long and successful career on the stage, and how in 1959 she founded the prestigious Cuban National Ballet. (Photo: Alicia Alonso courtesy of A. Alonso)
10/28/20159 minutes
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The Nuclear Spy Alan Nunn May

In 1945 the English physicist was exposed as a nuclear spy for the Soviet Union. Alan Nunn May had been working on Britain's top-secret nuclear project during WW2. Witness hears from his step-son, Paul Broda. (Photo: Alan Nunn May. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
10/27/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The birth of the United Nations

In October 1945, countries ratified the founding charter of a new organsation, the United Nations, that it was hoped would ensure there was never a world war again. Earlier that year thousands of delegates from around the world had met in San Francisco to hammer out the charter. Witness talks to two people who worked for the UN that year; and to historian Stephen Schlesinger. Photo: a delegate from Saudi Arabia addresses the UN's founding conference in San Francisco (Credit: the UN)
10/24/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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Iceland's Women Strike

In October 1975, 90% of all women in Iceland took part in a nationwide protest over inequality. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, later Iceland's first female president, talks about that momentous day. (Photo Credit: The Icelandic Women's History Archives)
10/23/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Sri Lanka Killings

In October 1995 during Sri Lanka's brutal civil war Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a remote Sinhalese village. Witness hears from a survivor and from journalist, Amal Jayasinghe. Some listeners might find parts of the programme disturbing. (Photo: Villagers flee Kotiyagala in Sri Lanka's southeast. Credit: Sena VIDANAGAM/AFP/Getty Images)
10/22/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Disappearing Sea

In October 1990, Professor Denys Brunsden of King's College, London, was one of the first Western scientists to confirm the shrinking of the Aral Sea. Dina Newman spoke to Prof Brunsden. (Photo: Abandoned Ship in Aralsk, Kazakhstan. Credit: AFP / Getty Images)
10/21/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Controversial 'God of Vengeance'

In 1923 the entire cast of a Yiddish play was arrested in New York and charged with staging an immoral performance. Written by the celebrated Polish-Jewish writer Sholem Asch, 'God of Vengeance' is set in a brothel and deals with themes such as prostitution, religion and corruption. David Mazower, the playwright's great-grandson, speaks about the controversy. (Photo: Sholem Asch, left, with Russian playwright Maxim Gorky,1920s. Courtesy of David Mazower)
10/20/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Mass Graves in Hue, Vietnam

In 1968, US troops in South Vietnam discovered the victims of a Communist offensive in the old imperial capital, Hue. Much of the city had been overrun by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong guerillas during the Tet offensive. During the occupation, hundreds, possibly thousands, linked to the South Vietnamese regime were executed. We hear from Phil Gioia, from the 82nd Airborne Division, who discovered one of the first graves. (Photo: A South Vietnamese woman mourns over the body of her husband, found with 47 others in a mass grave near Hue. Credit: AP)
10/19/20159 minutes, 7 seconds
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The October Crisis in Canada

When French-speaking separatists in the Canadian province of Quebec turned violent, Canada's government called the army onto the streets. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau suspended basic civil rights and a stand-off ensued. (Photo: A soldier guarding a street corner in Montreal in October 1970. Credit: Associated Press)
10/16/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Satyajit Ray: Working with India’s Cinematic Master

Bengali film director Satyajit Ray has been described as one of the most influential directors in world cinema, with acclaimed US director Martin Scorsese among those crediting him as an inspiration. Early on in his career, Satyajit Ray released the Apu trilogy. The series followed the life of a man Apu from his childhood growing up in rural Bengal to adulthood. The films garnered critical acclaim, winning many awards worldwide. Soumitra Chatterjee, the actor who played the title character in the final film, spoke to Witness about the legendary director. (Photo: Satyajit Ray in 1989 during the ceremony where he was to be made a member of the Legion of Honour: Credit AFP/Getty Images)
10/15/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Danish Jews Escape the Holocaust

In October 1943, at the height of World War Two, most of the Jews in Denmark evaded Nazi plans to send them to death camps. They were warned about a planned round-up by a German diplomat. Hear the story of Bent Melchior who was 14 years old when his family made the journey to safety in neutral Sweden. (Photo: Bent Melchior, aged 15 and living in Sweden)
10/14/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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The White Russians in Shanghai

A Russian refugee, Olga Rossi-Hawkes, speaks to Dina Newman about life in Shanghai after her family fled the Russian revolution in 1917. (Photo: Avenue Edward VII in Shanghai in 1930s. Credit: AP)
10/13/20159 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Death of Edith Cavell

On 12 October 1915 a British nurse was executed by German troops during World War One. Her death made her a propaganda icon for Britain and its allies. (Photo: Edith Cavell in 1890. Credit:Getty Images)
10/12/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Moors Murders

in 1965, Britain was shocked by a series of child murders. The children had been killed by a young couple, Ian Brady and his girlfriend Myra Hindley. They buried their victims in remote moorland in the north of England. Photo: Police and volunteers search for bodies on Saddleworth Moor in October 1965. (AP Photo)
10/9/20159 minutes, 4 seconds
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Pakistan Earthquake 2005

On 8 October 2005 a massive earthquake hit Pakistani-administered Kashmir. It left 87,000 people dead and more than four million homeless. Tariq Naqqash is a journalist based in Muzaffarabad, the city worst affected by the quake. (Photo: Collapsed houses in Muzaffarabad. Credit: Associated Press)
10/8/20159 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Assassination of Anwar Sadat

In October 1981, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated as he attended a military parade in Cairo. His widow Jehan, who was there, remembers that day; and tells Witness that she always knew he would be killed for being the first Arab leader to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Photograph: President Anwar Sadat (right) and his then deputy, Hosni Mubarak, at the military parade where moments later Sadat was gunned down by four army officers. (Credit: AFP PHOTO/AFP/GettyImages)
10/7/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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Austrian Wine Scandal

In 1985 government scientists discovered anti-freeze in bottles of fine Austrian wine. No one died, or fell ill from drinking the poisoned wine, but the country's reputation as a wine-producing nation was seriously dented. We hear from Heidi Schroek, a young Austrian wine-maker at the time. (Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
10/6/20159 minutes
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Barbary Pirates and the White Slave Trade

Between the 16th and 19th Centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans were captured by pirates known as the Barbary corsairs. Many spent the rest of their lives in slavery in North Africa. We hear the account of one English boy, Thomas Pellow, who was a slave of the Moroccan Sultan, Moulay Ismail, for 23 years. (Photo: Corsairs attack a ship off the Barbary Coast of North Africa, circa 1700. A lithograph by Collette. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
10/5/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Death of Rock Hudson

In October 1985 the Hollywood superstar became the most high profile celebrity to acknowledge he was suffering from Aids. Fellow actor Angie Dickinson remembers her friend. (Photo: Rock Hudson at the BBC)
10/2/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Danish Cartoons

In the autumn of 2005 a Danish newspaper published 12 images of the Prophet Muhammad. The pictures shocked local muslims, and went on to cause outrage around the world. Hear from Danish journalist Flemming Rose who published them, and Imran Shah a spokesman for the Danish Islamic Society. (Photo: Pakistani protestors burn a Danish flag in Multan, Pakistan. Credit: AP)
10/1/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Buena Vista Social Club

In 1996 a group of veteran musicians made an album that changed the image of Cuban music for ever. Some of the artists had come out of retirement for the occasion. Laoud-player, Barbarito Torres, remembers that ground-breaking recording session in Havana and his excitement at playing on the very first Buena Vista Social Club album, which went on to sell millions of copies around the world. (Photo: Members of the Buena Vista Social Club outside Carnegie Hall, July 1998. Credit: Donata Wenders)
9/30/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Birth of Karaoke

Daisuke Inoue was playing in a band in Kobe Japan in 1971 when he invented the Karaoke machine. He came up with the idea for a customer who wanted to impress business clients by singing along to his favourite songs. (Photo: Heather from Eastenders sings karaoke)
9/29/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Kabul Musicians' Quarter

The area which had housed Afghanistan's traditional musicians for generations was destroyed during factional fighting in 1992. Ustad Ghulam Hossain, master of the rubab instrument, had to flee the city with his family. Monica Whitlock has spoken to him about the music and the traditions which have been lost in the rubble. With thanks to Mirwaiss Sidiqi. Photo: Ghulam Hossain with his rubab.
9/28/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Plastic People of the Universe

In the 1970s, the psychedelic Czech rock band played an unexpected role in the resistance to communist rule. Their imprisonment by the authorities prompted playwright, Václav Havel, to form the human rights group, Charter 77. The organisation was at the forefront of the Velvet Revolution which led to the downfall of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. (Photo: Vratislav Brabenec (centre) and the Plastic People of the Universe in the 1970s. Credit: Redferns)
9/25/20159 minutes, 7 seconds
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Jacques Brel

In 1966 the Belgian singer-songwriter suddenly announced on stage that he was going to stop performing. At the time, he was world famous, having sold tens of millions of records around the globe. The song Ne Me Quitte Pas was among his many hits. We hear from his daughter, France Brel. (Photo: Jacques Brel in Paris in October 1966. Credit: AFP)
9/24/20159 minutes, 1 second
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DJ Kool Herc and the Birth of Hip Hop

In 1973 a Bronx DJ, known as Kool Herc, held a block party which would help change American music for ever. DJ Kool Herc tells Farhana Haider the story of that first all-nighter and what happened next. Photo: DJ Kool Herc. Credit: Getty Images.
9/22/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Origins of Ska Music

Jamaica’s musicians have had a profound impact on modern music. It’s best known for Reggae, but before that came Ska. Many of the early Ska stars came from an orphanage in Kingston, The Alpha Boys school. It was run by nuns who were keen to teach the children music, but they couldn’t have known that so many of the Alpha old boys would end up on the world’s stage. (Photo: Eddie 'Tan Tan' Thornton playing in London. Credit: Howard Denner/Photoshot/Getty Images)
9/21/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Leningrad Symphony

In an act of defiance during World War Two, starving musicians in the besieged city of Leningrad performed Shostakovich's new Seventh Symphony. The piece was composed especially for the city, which had been cut off and surrounded by invading Nazi troops. During the siege an estimated one million civilians died from starvation, exposure, and the bombardment by German forces. Hear archive recordings of Ksenia Matus who played the oboe in the orchestra, and hear from Sarah Quigley, the author of a novel about Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. Dina Newman reports. (Photo: Official Soviet picture of Dmitri Shostakovich working on his famous Seventh ("Leningrad") Symphony. AFP/Getty Images)
9/18/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The First Glastonbury Festival

We hear from farmer Michael Eavis, who began the Glastonbury music festival in 1970 and whose family still runs it today. (Photo: The first Glastonbury festival on Worthy Farm in 1970)
9/17/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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Musicians of the Iranian Revolution

In September 1978 in the heat of Iran's revolution, the country's top musicians decided to join the popular uprising. After the massacre of demonstrators by the Shah's armed forces in Jaleh Square, state employed musicians went underground and started recording revolutionary songs. These songs became some of the most iconic in recent Iranian history. Bijan Kamkar remembers how the group secretly produced music in a basement. (Photo: Bijan Kamkar, on the far left, with a group of Iranian musicians. Courtesy of Bijan Kamkar)
9/16/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Miriam Makeba

The story of the great South African singer who spent 30 years in exile. She was invited to the United States in 1959 and became an overnight star, but was blocked from returning home by the South African apartheid regime. Known as Mama Africa by her millions of fans, she had a remarkable life and career performing around the world. Only after Nelson Mandela was freed, did she finally return home. (Photo: South African singer Miriam Makeba performing at the Olympia in Paris in 1964. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
9/15/20159 minutes, 28 seconds
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Willie Nelson's Farm Aid

In 1985 a benefit concert was held for farmers living in one of the world's richest countries, the US. The money went toward preventing suicides and helping farmers keep their land. In 2014, Witness spoke to the main organiser, the Country music legend Willie Nelson. (Photo: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings by Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve, Inc)
9/14/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

The story of how the Pakistani Qawali singer became an international music sensation. Photo: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing in California in 1993 (AP Photo)
9/11/20159 minutes
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The Monkees

The Monkees were the world's first 'manufactured' boy band - created especially for a TV show. Hear from the man who directed that show - Bruce Kessler. (Photo:The Monkees. Credit: NBC Television/Getty Images)
9/10/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Umm Kulthum

When the great Egyptian singer died in 1975, millions attended her funeral in Cairo. Her stepson has been talking to Witness about that day, and about her life and art. Photo: Umm Kulthum in 1967 Credit: Associated Press
9/9/20159 minutes
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Noel Coward Plays Vegas

In the 1950s, the quintessentially English singer, actor and playwright, Noel Coward, was invited to do a show in Las Vegas, which was then controlled by the Mob. At the time, Coward's career was on the decline. But against the odds, his Las Vegas show turned out to be a huge success. Photo: Actor, dramatist, and composer, Noel Coward rehearsing for a show at the Cafe de Paris, London,1951. (Photo by Jimmy Sime/Central Press/Getty Images)
9/8/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The King of Highlife

Ghanaian musician E.T Mensah took Africa by storm in the 1950s with a new style of dance band Highlife music. For many, it was the soundtrack to a new, independent Africa. Photo: E.T Mensah and the Tempos band c.1955 Copyright. John Collins
9/7/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Heyday of Somali Music

The fall and rise of Maryam Mursal, who was one of the superstars of Somali music in the 1970s. Musicians were employed by Siad Barre's socialist state and were seen as crucial to nation-building. But many fell foul of the regime, and Maryam was one of them. Photo: Maryam Mursal (Credit: Real World Records)
9/3/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Russia's First DJ

Russia's first radio DJ, Seva Novgorodsev, went on air on the BBC Russian Service in 1977, at the height of the Cold War. Over the years, his pop music shows gained millions of fans throughout the Soviet Union. As Dina Newman reports, for many Russians, his name became synonymous with the BBC. (Photo: Seva in 1990, courtesy of Seva Novgorodsev)
9/2/20159 minutes
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The Auschwitz Cellist

In 1943, the cellist, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She expected to be killed in the gas chambers, but survived because she was recruited to play in an orchestra set up by the women prisoners. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch talks to Witness about her experience and the power of music in the darkest moments in history. PICTURE: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch in 1938 (Private Collection).
8/29/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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Hurricane Katrina

In August 2005 a massive hurricane hit the city of New Orleans in the USA. It flooded the area resulting in widespread death and destruction. Dave Cohen was one of the few local journalists who continued to broadcast live throughout the storm. (Photo: Rescue workers take residents to a ramp on Interstate 10 after a tidal surge from Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed a levee Monday, August 29th 2005. Credit: Douglas R. Clifford/AP)
8/28/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Guinness Book of Records

It's sixty years since the first edition of one of the world's best-selling books was published. Compiled by the McWhirter brothers, the idea for the book arose after an argument at a shooting party in Ireland. (Image: Norris and Ross McWhirter. Credit: Guinness World Records)
8/27/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Latinos Protest Against Vietnam

In August 1970, tens of thousands of Mexican-Americans took part in a march against the Vietnam War known as the Chicano Moratorium. The protest in Los Angeles ended in chaos as police and demonstrators fought running street battles, resulting in three deaths. Rosalio Munoz was the organiser of the Chicano Moratorium. PHOTO: The poster for the Chicano Moratorium (Courtesy: Rosalio Munoz).
8/26/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Assassination of Benigno Aquino

On August 21 1983, the opposition leader, Benigno Aquino, was shot dead in the Philippines. He was killed at Manila airport, minutes after returning from exile in the US. We hear from his brother-in-law, Ken Kashiwahara, who was with him that day. Photo: Benigno Aquino on the plane home (courtesy of K. Kashiwahara)
8/25/20159 minutes
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Mass Executions in Iran

In the summer of 1988 thousands of political prisoners were suddenly executed in Iran. The killings, ordered by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, were kept secret at the time. Witness hears from Chowra Makaremi, whose mother was among those put to death. (Photo: Chowra's mother, Fatemeh, executed in 1988.Courtesy of the family)
8/24/20159 minutes
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A Bizarre Poisoning Plot in Oregon

In 1984, a clash between a religious commune in the US state of Oregon and locals residents resulted in the mass food poisoning of a town. Dina Newman speaks to a county official and a former member of the commune, run by an Indian guru, Bhagwan Rajneesh. Photo: Bhagwan Rajneesh denounces his former followers at a news conference on Monday, Sept.17, 1985 in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon (Photo Credit: AP/Jack Smith)
8/21/20159 minutes, 51 seconds
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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

In August 1915 the celebrated Scottish architect was arrested on suspicion of being a German spy. We hear how the man who designed the Glasgow School of Art ended up in a Suffolk jail. (Photo: Charles Rennie Mackintosh circa 1900)
8/20/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Assassination of Leon Trotsky

In August 1940 the exiled Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, was killed in Mexico City, stabbed in the head with an ice-pick. Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, then aged 14, was living with his grandfather. He recalls how he arrived home from school that fateful day. (Photo: Esteban Volkov with his grandparents, Leon Trotsky and Natalia Sedova. Credit: Trotsky Museum, Mexico City)
8/19/20159 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Dieppe Raid

In the early hours of 19th August 1942, a convoy of Allied ships approached the port of Dieppe carrying more than 6,000 troops. The mainly Canadian force was supposed to carry out a hit and run raid that would help the Allies learn and plan for the real invasion of occupied France later in the war. But almost immediately things started to go wrong. Ronald Miles, then aged 20, was a crew member on a landing craft. (Photo: Two German prisoners brought back from the Allied raid on Dieppe, blindfolded after landing. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
8/18/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Tolpuddle Martyrs

In the 1830s, many farmworkers in rural England were living in desperate poverty. Conditions were particularly harsh in the village of Tolpuddle where landowners had lowered wages to starvation level. In response, a group of workers decided to form a trade union. But they were soon arrested and received a punishment that shocked other workers across the country. They became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs. (Photo: Drawing of the six Tolpuddle Martyrs. Credit: The Tolpuddle Martyrs' Museum)
8/17/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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Korea Divided

After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Korea is split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces in the north and the US military in the south. Shin Insup tells Witness what happened in the northern city of Pyongyang. (Photo: Korea 38th parallel. Credit: Getty Images/AFP)
8/14/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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Child Prisoners of the Japanese

In August 1945 Japan surrendered to the Americans and World War Two finally came to an end. Within days, prisoners held by the Japanese in China began to be released. Among them, a young American girl, Mary Previte. She tells her story to Witness. (Photo: The Japanese delegation arrives on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, to sign the Instrument of Surrender. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
8/13/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Man Who Published Harry Potter

In 1996, after many rejections, author JK Rowling at last finds a publisher for her first Harry Potter novel. Witness talks to editor, Barry Cunningham, who spotted the boy wizard's potential and helped create a phenomenon that would revolutionise childrens' book publishing, selling more than 450 million copies. Picture: author JK Rowling holds the sixth and penultimate Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (Credit: AP) Audio recording © J.K. Rowling
8/12/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Devil's Island

A convict's experience of Devil's Island, the notorious French penal colony in South America, which closed in 1953. Thousands of inmates died from disease, mistreatment, or trying to escape the network of prisons in the jungles and islands of French Guiana. Bashir Saoudi tells the story of his father, Kaci, an Algerian who was imprisoned there in the 1930s. Bashir Saoudi is the co-author of The Guillotine Choice which was published in 2014. (Photo: 673 convicts in France being escorted to a ship bound for Devil's Island in 1935. Credit: AP)
8/11/20159 minutes, 56 seconds
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The World's Most Valuable T-Rex

Peter Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota, tells Witness how his team discovered Sue the T-Rex, the most complete T-Rex fossil in the world, in August 1990. (Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
8/10/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Great Iraqi Defection

In 1995 two of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's son-in-laws defected to Jordan. What secrets did they bring with them? Witness talks to former chief weapons inspector for Iraq, Rolf Ekeus, who debriefed Hussein Kamel, the son-in-law who'd overseen Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme for Saddam. Rolf Ekeus failed to persuade him later not to return to Baghdad, where he and his brother were both killed. Photograph: an undated portrait of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (sitting) and his family in Baghdad. General Hussein Kamel and his brother Colonel Saddam Kamel are on the far left. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
8/7/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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Singapore Independence

On 9 August 1965 Singapore announced it had left the Federation of Malaysia and become an independent sovereign state. Explaining the separation at a news conference, the prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, was overcome with emotion. (Photo: Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Credit: Associated Press Archive)
8/6/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Bombing of Hiroshima

On 6 August 1945 an American bomber dropped a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Tens of thousands of people were killed immediately. Witness presents a vivid first-person account from the BBC archives, of a young Japanese schoolgirl who survived the attack. (Photo: The destruction left by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
8/5/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Plot to Kill Iranian Writers

In August 1996, a group of Iranian writers were invited to a literary event in neighbouring Armenia. They boarded a bus to take them to Yerevan - but there was a plot to kill them all before they reached their destination. The scandal has been linked to a bigger plot known as The Chain Murders of intellectuals in Iran in the 1990s. Shahryar Mandanipour, one of the writers on the bus, remembers. (Photo: Iranian writer Shahryar Mandanipour, courtesy of S. Mandanipour)
8/4/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Afghanistan's First Coup

In July 1973 the King's cousin, in Afghanistan, staged a coup against him. It brought to an end centuries of monarchy and for the first time established a republic in the country. Twelve officers were in charge of carrying out the long-planned coup. Zia Majid was one of them and still remembers the day vividly. (Photo: Coup leader Daoud Khan, centre, Zia Majid standing on the right)
8/3/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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First Cochlear Implant

In August 1978 an Australian doctor successfully fitted a multi-channel cochlear implant to a patient. It was a breakthrough moment for deaf people around the world. The doctor, Professor Graeme Clark, had a deaf father, and dedicated his professional life to helping people hear again. Photo: the first patient, Rod Saunders (left) and Graeme Clark with the implant. Credit: The Bionic Institute.
8/3/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

In August 1960 the controversial Oscar-nominated psychological thriller was released. Witness presents archive recordings of its director, Alfred Hitchcock and of the film's star, Janet Leigh. (Photo: Janet Leigh in the shower scene from Psycho, 1960. Credit: AP)
7/30/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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First Inter-racial Kiss on TV

In July 1964, a white actor and a black actress, kissed, live, on a British TV show. The show was called Emergency Ward 10. The actress was Joan Hooley. She remembers the public reaction to that embrace. (Photo: Joan Hooley today. Credit: Made in Manchester)
7/29/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Scouts in the Warsaw Uprising

On 1 August 1944, the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation of Poland began. Hundreds of thousands of people died during the fighting and Poland's capital was almost completely destroyed. Among the underground fighters were children, many of them members of the Scout movement. Andrzej Slawinsky was one of them. (Photo: Insurgents on the streets of Warsaw, 1944. Credit: HO/AFP/Getty Images)
7/28/20158 minutes, 53 seconds
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Chilean Students Set on Fire

Seven former soldiers have been arrested in Chile for the burning to death of a student, Rodrigo Rojas, during protests against the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in July 1986. Carmen Quintana, who was with Rojas that day, was also attacked and burnt by the soldiers; but she survived. In 2013 she spoke to Witness about her terrible ordeal. (Photo: Anti government protests in Chile, April 1987. Credit: JOSE DURAN/AFP/Getty Images)
7/27/20159 minutes
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Britain's Landslide 1945 Election

In July 1945 Labour won a surprise victory, defeating Britain's war-time leader Winston Churchill. The victorious government introduced radical changes, including the creation of a welfare state establishing a National Health Service. Witness hears the memories of two veteran politicians, Peter Carrington and Denis Healey. (Photo: Labour leader and newly-elected Prime Minister, Clement Attlee with his wife Violet, July 1945. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
7/24/20159 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Tulia Drug Bust

In July 1999, around a 10th of the black population in the Texas town of Tulia was arrested on drug charges. The only evidence was the word of an undercover agent. That was enough for many of the defendants to be convicted and sentenced to long prison terms. The case brought Tulia to national attention and led to accusations of racial bias in America’s war on drugs. (Photo: Main Street in Tulia. Credit: Getty Images)
7/23/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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Tehran's Red Light District

In July 1979 Iran's new Islamic government closed down Tehran's red-light district, and demolished all the buildings. Around 1500 prostitutes were working there at the time. Iranian novelist Zakaria Hashemi remembers the sleepless nights of the district, as well as the day it was leveled to the ground. (Photo: Woman in Tehran's red-light district, 1970s. Courtesy of Kaveh Golestan Estate)
7/22/20159 minutes
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CIA Mind Control Experiments

In the 1950s the CIA started attempting to brainwash psychiatric patients. They wanted to develop methods which could be used against enemies in the Cold War. Hear from one man whose father was experimented on in a Canadian psychiatric hospital.
7/20/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ghiggia: Uruguay’s World Cup Hero

In 1950, Brazil hosted the World Cup and were the overwhelming favourites to win the tournament at the last match at the Maracana Stadium. But, in a defeat that hurts to this day, the Brazilians lost to Uruguay 2-1. Sporting Witness talks to Alcides Ghiggia, who scored the winning Uruguayan goal at what became known as the 'Maracanazo'. (Photo: Alcides Ghiggia celebrates the winning goal. Credit: AP)
7/20/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Manhattan Project

The first ever nuclear weapon was detonated by scientists in the USA on 16 July 1945. The secret initiative to develop the atomic bomb was nicknamed the Manhattan Project. Hear from two scientists, Roy Glauber and Ben Bederson who worked on the project in the closed city of Los Alamos in the desert of New Mexico. (Photo: A nuclear explosion in the desert in the US. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.)
7/17/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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Poison Gas in WW1

Soldiers recount their experiences of poison gas attacks on the Western Front during World War One in BBC archive recodings. Poison gas was first used as a weapon in 1915 and by the end of the war, gas had killed 90,000 soldiers and affected one million. (Photo: Gas casualties of the British Army 55th Division on the Western Front, dated 10 April 1918. Credit: Lightroom Photos/TopFoto)
7/15/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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Marie Curie

The first person to win two Nobel prizes for her pioneering research into radioactivity. Working with her husband, Pierre, Marie Curie identified two new elements Polonium and Radium. Their discoveries paved the way for modern treatments of cancer and other illnesses. Photo: Marie Curie in her laboratory. Courtesy: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
7/14/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

In the last days of World War II, an American warship, the USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed in the Pacific. For days, no one came to the survivors' rescue. Left adrift in shark-infested waters, hundreds of sailors died. We hear from Loel Dean Cox one of the few who survived. (Photo:Naval History and Heritage Command)
7/13/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Death of MKO Abiola

The Nigerian opposition leader died suddenly just days before his expected release from prison in July 1998. MKO Abiola appeared to have won Nigeria's presidential election in 1993, but the vote was annulled by the military, and Abiola was later arrested. He'd been held by the military regime for more than four years, but following the death of General Abacha, he was due to be released. We hear from former US diplomat, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who met Abiola shortly before he died. Photo: Chief MKO Abiola after his arrest by the military regime of Sani Abacha in 1994/ STR/AFP/Getty Images
7/10/201510 minutes, 8 seconds
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One Hundred Years of Solitude

In 1967 the best-selling Latin American novel by the Colombian, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, was first published. It was immediately acclaimed as a literary masterpiece and went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide. We hear from Gerald Martin, the writer's biographer and friend for more than twenty years. Photo: Gabriel Garcia Marquez/ AFP/Getty Images 1982
7/9/20159 minutes, 8 seconds
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Tamil Doctors and the Sri Lankan War

In July 2009, a group of doctors in Sri Lanka said they had overestimated the number of dead and injured in the Tamil enclave in the final days of the war. Dr Thurairajah Varatharajah was working inside the Tamil area as government forces closed in. Hear his memories of the fighting, and the bizarre press conference he was required to take part in after the killing had stopped. Picture: Injured Tamils are treated outside a hospital during the final days of the war.
7/8/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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Escape from the KGB

In July 1985, Oleg Gordievsky, a high-ranking Soviet spy defected to the UK. He had been acting as a double agent for years, but realising he was about to be unmasked, he had to flee Russia. Hear his story. (Photo: The former KGB headquarters in Moscow)
7/7/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Death of General Sani Abacha

Nigeria's military ruler, General Sani Abacha, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack in 1998. We hear from his personal doctor, Professor Sadiq Suleiman Wali. Photo: Gen. Abacha in 1997 AFP/Getty Images
7/7/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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German Re-Armament

In the 1930s Hitler began to rebuild Germany's armed forces. When WW1 ended Germany had been banned from having an air force under the Treaty of Versailles. Hear from Eric 'Winkle' Brown who as a very young man was invited to see the new planes and helicopters that had been developed for the Luftwaffe. He later went on to become a flying ace in Britain's RAF. Photo: September 1938: Giant bombers of the Luftwaffe leave a smoke trail as they fly over a Nuremberg rally in a show of German military might. (Photo by Max Schirner/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
7/3/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Filming of Jaws

In June 1975 the legendary movie about a man-eating shark was released. It would go on to become a summer blockbuster - terrifying swimmers the world over. Carl Gottlieb co-wrote the screenplay for the movie, rewriting and reworking the script all through the difficult shoot. (Photo: A Great White shark. Credit: Science Photo Library)
7/2/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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Red Cross Visits Nazi Concentration Camp

In June 1944 the International Red Cross was allowed by the Nazis into the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The Nazis tried to use the visit to project a positive image of their treatment of the Jews. Hear from Ela Weissberger, who was an 11-year-old prisoner in the camp. (Audio archive courtesy of The National Centre for Jewish Film at Brandeis University) (Photo: Children in Theresienstadt, taken by International Red Cross delegates, June 1944; ICRC archives (ARR)/ Rossel, Maurice)
7/2/20159 minutes
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The Berlin Love Parade

On 1 July 1989, a group of dancers set off down a Berlin shopping street on a demonstration for 'peace, love and pancakes'. It was the first Berlin Love Parade. The parade would become one of the biggest dance music events in the world - until it ended in tragedy in 2010. Witness speaks to founder DJ Dr Motte. (Photo: Revellers line the streets at the Berlin Love Parade)
7/1/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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Helen Keller

On 27 June 1880, Helen Keller was born in Alabama, US. A childhood illness left her deaf and blind, but she still learned to speak - writing a number of books, graduating from college, and meeting 12 US presidents. She became an inspiration to millions of people around the world. Witness speaks to her great-niece, Adair Faust. (Photo: Helen Adams Keller (1880-1968). Credit: Hulton Archive)
6/30/20158 minutes, 51 seconds
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Save the Whale

On 27 June 1975 Greenpeace activists launched their first direct action against whalers. Hear from Rex Wayler, one of the activists who tried to stop the killing of sperm whales in the North Pacific by putting himself between the harpoon ships, and the whales. (Photo: A sperm whale breaching the water. Credit: Science Photo Library)
6/26/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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James Salter: Writer and Pilot

The acclaimed American author died on 19 June 2015 - aged 90. As a young man, before he became a writer, he was a jet fighter pilot during the Korean War. Hear his memories of fighting, and flying. (Photo: James Salter. Credit: Associated Press)
6/24/20158 minutes, 53 seconds
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Communist Yugoslavia breaks with the USSR

In June 1948 Marshal Tito turned his back on his former ally, the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. It was a dramatic turn of events in post-war Europe. Witness hears from Dragica Srzentic, now 103 years old, who delivered a letter from Tito to Moscow sealing the split between the two countries. Photo Dragica Srzentic.
6/24/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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Air India Flight 182

On 23 June1985 a passenger plane on its way from Canada to Delhi was blown out of the sky by Sikh extremists. There were 329 people killed in the attack. Among the dead, were the two sons of Babu and Padmini Turlapati. (Photo: Babu and Padmini Turlapati in the west of Ireland, close to where the plane came down in the Atlantic)
6/23/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Britain's First Black Woman MP

In 1987 Diane Abbott became the first black woman elected to the British Parliament. The daughter of first generation immigrants she was one of only four black MPs. Diane Abbott has been speaking to Farhana Haider about her election and making political history in the UK. (Photo: New black MPs Diana Abbott and Bernie Grant 1988. Credit: PA )
6/22/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Six Day War: a Jewish Story

In June 1967, the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbours led to mobs attacking Jewish property and houses in several Arab capitals, and many Jews fleeing what had been their homes for generations. In the second of two programmes about the effects of the Six Day War, Witness talks to Liliana Seror, whose family were forced into hiding by anti-Jewish riots in Tripoli and who joined an exodus of Libyan Jews, bringing to an end a community that had been in Libya for more than 2,000 years. (Photo: A Libyan Jewish family; today there are no Jews left in Libya. Credit: Pedazur Benattia/JIMENA)
6/19/20159 minutes, 11 seconds
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Iran's Cultural Revolution

In the spring and summer of 1980 the Islamic hardliners in Iran shut down all the universities to drive out secular and moderate groups. The universities remained closed for more than two years. When they reopened, many students and lecturers were not allowed to return. (Photo: Iran's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Credit: AP)
6/18/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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Inter-racial Marriage in South Africa

In South Africa in June 1985, the ban on marriage between people of different ethnic backgrounds was finally lifted. Suzanne Le Clerc and Protas Madlala were the first couple to tie the knot under the new rules. (Photo: Suzanne and Protas, courtesy of the family)
6/16/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Flying to Freedom

In June 1970 a group of mainly Jewish dissidents, and two teenage children, hatched an audacious plan to take over a small 12-seater plane in the Soviet Union and fly to freedom. Witness hears from married couple, Eduard Kutznetzov and Sylva Zalmanson, who came up with the hijack plot. Photo: Sylva Zalmanson and Eduard Kutznetzov (right) in New York following Eduard's release in a prisoner swap with the US in 1979. Courtesy of Ilya Levkov).
6/15/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Six Day War: a Palestinian Story

In June 1967 Israel and its Arab neighbours embarked on a war that within six days had changed the shape of the Middle East and whose consequences are still felt today. In the first of two programmes about the Six Day War, Witness hears from two Palestinians, Samia Khoury and Nuri Akram Nuri, about their memories of that time. Photo: Palestinian refugees in June 1967 crossing the bombed Allenby bridge between the West Bank and Jordan (Credit:Terry Fincher/Getty Images)
6/12/20159 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Death of Walter Rodney

In June 1980, the Guyanese opposition leader and academic, Dr Walter Rodney, was killed in a bomb explosion. He was one of the leaders of a movement trying to bridge the racial divide in Guyana’s politics. His supporters said he had been assassinated on the orders of the government. We hear from his widow, Patricia Rodney, and from Wazir Mohamed who was a young activist at the time. (Photo: Walter Rodney. Credit: the Walter Rodney Family)
6/11/20159 minutes, 16 seconds
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Denmark's Inuit Experiment

In June 1951 a group of 22 Inuit children were sent from Greenland to Denmark to be re-educated as 'little Danes'. The hope was that they would help create a new and modern Greenland. Helene Thiesen was among the young indigenous children who took part in this social experiment. (Photo: Helene Thiesen as a child, courtesy of H. Thiesen)
6/10/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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A Cure for Tuberculosis

Professor Denny Mitchison was a pioneer in the search for a cure for tuberculosis. It was once one of the biggest killers in the world. Up until the 1950s the only treatment for the disease was bed rest and fresh air. Photo: Tuberculosis patients from St. Thomas' Hospital rest in their beds in the open air by the River Thames in 1936. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
6/9/20159 minutes, 12 seconds
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Refugee Boat Tragedy

In June 1988 a US Navy ship came across a boat full of Vietnamese refugees drifting in the South China Sea. What happened next would help define the obligations of ships' captains at sea. Witness hears from one of the American sailors and a Vietnamese survivor of the events. Photo: USS Dubuque (Getty Images)
6/9/20159 minutes
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Women's Institute at 100

We look back at 100 years of the WI, a British organisation set up to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during World War One. Its members have campaigned solidly for women's rights since the organisation was founded. Witness hears from Marylyn Haines-Evans a long time WI member and from the author Julie Summers.
6/8/20159 minutes
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Britain's first referendum on Europe

On 5th June 1975, Britain held its first referendum on whether it should remain a member of the European Economic Community, or Common Market.
6/5/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Eichmann Tapes

The Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann recorded hours of interview about his involvement in the Holocaust, before his capture in 1960 by Israeli agents. Witness talks to the daughter of the Dutch journalist, Willem Sassen, who recorded the Eichmann interviews in Argentina. Saskia Sassen talks about the tapes, her memories of their secret visitor and the night the Israelis snatched Eichmann off the streets of Buenos Aires. (Photo: Adolf Eichmann stands in a protective glass booth flanked by Israeli police during his trial in 1961 in Jerusalem. Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)
6/4/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Death of Ayatollah Khomeini

On 3 June 1989 the man who had lead Iran's revolution and established the Islamic Republic, died. Hear from two people who were at the Ayatollah's funeral. Among the millions on the streets of Tehran were Mehdi Khalaji, a devout follower, and French photographer, Eric Bouvet, who happened to be very close to the leader's coffin when chaos began. (Photo: Mourners at Ayatollah Khomeini's funeral. Credit: Eric Bouvet)
6/3/20158 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Golden Gate Bridge

In early June 1937 San Francisco was celebrating a feat of engineering - the opening of the world's longest suspension bridge over the Golden Gate Strait. (Photo: Ed Souza. Credit: Image courtesy of the Souza family)
6/2/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Burning of the Jaffna Public Library

On June 1st 1981, the public library in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna was set on fire. The library was a symbol of Tamil cultural heritage, and the fire was one of the early triggers for the Sri Lankan civil war. Witness hears from former Jaffna resident Nirmala Rajasingam and journalist Francis Wheen. (Photo: A bird flies over the Jaffna public library in Jaffna, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of the capital Colombo, 2013. Credit: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images)
6/1/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Heysel Stadium Disaster

The European Cup Final on 29 May 1985 was supposed to be a celebration of football – a contest between two of Europe’s best teams - Liverpool and Juventus. But before kick-off a group of Liverpool supporters charged a section holding Juventus fans. ***Some listeners may find parts of the programme disturbing*** Thirty-nine fans were crushed and trampled to death in the panic that followed. We hear from a Juventus fan who narrowly escaped death that night. (Photo: Liverpool supporters before the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels. Credit: David Cannon/Allsport)
5/29/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Welsh in Patagonia

On 28 May 1865 around 150 Welsh emigrants set sail for Patagonia to establish a Welsh colony. (Photo: Farm in Patagonia 1893. Credit: Image courtesy of Bangor University Archives)
5/28/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Protect and Survive

In May 1980 the British government published a booklet about how to survive nuclear war. The booklet, Protect and Survive, provoked public incredulity as well as fear. Anti-nuclear groups in the UK saw a surge in their membership. (Photo: The Protect and Survive booklet. BBC copyright)
5/27/20158 minutes, 51 seconds
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Dorothy Mulkey - US Fair Housing Campaigner

In 1967, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling which effectively outlawed discrimination in the American housing market. The case was brought by Dorothy Mulkey, a Californian woman who had been preventing from renting an apartment in a white area. She talks to Adam Smith for Witness. PHOTO: Dorothy Mulkey at a Civil Rights exhibition in 2014 (Associated Press)
5/26/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Italy in World War One

In May 1915, Italy entered WW1 on the side of the Allies, fighting against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. Their war was not fought on the Western front, but in the mountains of the Alps. Using the diary of an Italian soldier, Alan Johnston tells the story of one man's war. Photo: An Italian Alpine Regiment move up the Rurtor Glacier. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
5/25/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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Archbishop Romero of San Salvador

Journalist Milagro Granados recalls the murder of the outspoken Salvadoran cleric, who was shot dead while saying mass at the altar by a right-wing death squad in March 1980. She was there at the moment of his assassination. Archbishop Romero is soon to be declared a saint. (Photo: A man cleans a mural of former Archbishop Romero in Panchimalco, El Salvador. Credit: Marvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
5/22/20159 minutes
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Bob Marley's Funeral

On 21 May 1981 the legendary reggae singer was buried in Jamaica. Hundreds of thousands of people had turned out to pay their respects. His friend and fellow musician Michael Ibo Cooper remembers. (Photo: Bob Marley. Credit: Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
5/21/20159 minutes, 1 second
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A Coup in Fiji

In May 2000, a group of ethnic Fijian gunmen broke into parliament and declared a coup. Led by charismatic failed businessman George Speight, they took the prime minister and several MPs hostage for 56 days. Ricardo Morris was a journalist for Fiji's Daily Post at the time. (Photo: George Speight holds a press conference at the Fiji parliament building in the capital Suva, Sunday, 21 May, 2000. Credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images)
5/20/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Lawrence of Arabia

On 19 May 1935, the death was announced of the English soldier, adventurer and writer, TE Lawrence, who was known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence, who was immortalised in a film of the same name, played a leading role in the Arab revolt against Ottoman rule that helped shape the modern Middle East. Witness listens back through the archives and talks to TE Lawrence's biographer Jeremy Wilson about this enigmatic and complex man. (Photo: Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888 - 1935) known as Lawrence Of Arabia, in around 1919. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
5/19/20158 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Elephant Man

The story of Joseph Merrick, a hugely deformed man who became a celebrity in Victorian Britain. Photo: Historical artwork of Joseph Merrick (Science Photo Library)
5/18/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Building of Kariba Dam

In May 1960 the massive Kariba hydro-electric dam on Africa's Zambezi river was opened. About 60,000 people lost their homes to what is still the world's largest man-made lake. We hear from Mwiindachi Siamwiza, who was 12 years old at the time of the resettlement. With Penny Dale.
5/15/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Kermit the Frog

It is 60 years since the frog puppet first appeared on an American children's TV show. His creator Jim Henson became famous, and Kermit became the star of the Muppets franchise. Photo: Kermit the frog presenting a 1970s night on the BBC.
5/14/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Andijan Massacre

On 13 May 2005 hundreds of demonstrators were killed by soldiers in the Uzbek town of Andijan. Hear from Monica Whitlock who was the BBC correspondent in Uzbekistan at the time and who has spoken to a survivor. (Photo: Uzbek soldiers in downtown Andijan on May 13th 2005. Credit: Associated Press)
5/13/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Church of the Nativity siege

On May 10th 2002, one of the most dramatic sieges of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, finally came to an end. For almost six weeks, Palestinian gunmen and civilians had been holed up in the church, on the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was born. Witness talks to Father Amjad Sabbara, a Franciscan friar who lived in the compound, and to Carolyn Cole, an American photojournalist who managed to get inside the church in the last days of the siege. Photo: an Israeli soldier keeps his rifle trained on the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem as the siege enters its second month (Credit: Getty Images)
5/12/20159 minutes, 1 second
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India's Billionth Baby

On May 11th 2000 a baby girl born in Delhi was designated as India's billionth citizen. There was huge media attention following her birth - but what has life been like for Aastha Arora and her parents?
5/11/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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VE Day

On 8 May 1945, hundreds of thousands of Londoners took to the streets to celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. BBC correspondents captured the scenes of joy across the city - from the East End to Piccadilly Circus. This special programme is a compilation of BBC reports from VE Day. PHOTO: Londoners dancing on VE Day (Getty Images)
5/8/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Sinking of the Lusitania

In 1915, the passenger liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,200 lives. The liner had been travelling from New York to Liverpool. It was one of the most controversial incidents in WW1 and helped turn American opinion against Germany. (Photo: Illustration from The Graphic - A Crime That Has Staggered Humanity: The Torpedoing Of The Lusitania, 15 March 1915, drawn by Charles Dixon. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
5/7/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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Aden's Independence Struggle

In the early 1960s, the British colony of Aden – today part of Yemen – was on the brink of a fierce struggle for independence. Witness hears from Assiya al Haj Yousef who was a schoolgirl at the time, helping to organise protests against British rule. (Photo: British troops capture a demonstrator in Aden in 1967. Credit: Jim Gray/Keystone/Getty Images)
5/6/20159 minutes
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Chemical Weapons Tests at Porton Down

In May 1953, British airman Ronald Maddison died after taking part in a nerve gas test at government research base Porton Down. His death would be covered up for nearly fifty years. Witness speaks to fellow test subject Michael Cox, who was in the gas chamber when Maddison collapsed. (Photo: Sergeant Gordon Beard of the RAF Regiment wearing protective clothing and using a residual vapour detector at Porton Down in Wiltshire, 3 June 1969. Credit: J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
5/5/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Iranian Embassy Siege

In May 1980 British special forces stormed Iran's embassy in London to end a siege. The hostage-takers were an Iranian separatist group. Hear from some of the people they held captive for almost six days - and from one of the commandos sent in to free them. (Photo: The Embassy building as the commandos went in. BBC copyright)
5/4/20159 minutes
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US Evacuation from Saigon

The last remaining US forces pulled out of Vietnam on April 30th 1975 as communist North Vietnamese troops took control of the country. Rebecca Kesby speaks to two US servicemen, Stu Herrington and Vern Jumper, who helped evacuate troops and Vietnamese civilians. They organised airlifts from the US embassy in Saigon to the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier waiting offshore. (Photo: Soldiers and civilians rush to board a Marine helicopter during the evacuation of the US Embassy, 29 April 1975. Credit: Neal Ulevich/AP)
5/1/20159 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Man Who Removed His Own Appendix

In April 1961, Russian doctor Leonid Rogozov developed appendicitis while working in Antarctica. The only solution was to operate on himself. Witness speaks to his son, Vladislav Rogozov. (Photo: Leonid Rogozov during the operation. Credit: Vladislav Rogozov)
4/30/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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President de Gaulle resigns

On 28th April 1969, the general who had dominated French politics for almost 30 years, Charles de Gaulle, resigned as president. With the help of de Gaulle's biographer, Jonathan Fenby, Witness looks back at the life and legacy of the man who twice saved France. (Photo: General Charles de Gaulle in 1940 at the BBC delivering his historic speech asking the French people to fight Germany. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
4/29/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Jane Fonda Workout

In April 1982, film star Jane Fonda launched her first workout video - encouraging millions of women to "go for the burn". She spoke to the BBC in 2004. (Photo: Jane Fonda on the red carpet for the Annual Academy Awards 2013. Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
4/28/20158 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout

In April 1932, hundreds of walkers organised a mass trespass on a mountain in the English Peak District called Kinder Scout. The trespass was a major step in the fight for access to the British countryside. At the time, much wild land was privately owned and controlled by game-keepers. Witness hears from one of the last survivors of the Trespass. The programme also includes accounts of the protest in the BBC archive. (Photo: Kinder Scout. BBC copyright)
4/27/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Iran Hostage Rescue Mission

On 24 April 1980, the US launched Operation Eagle Claw - a daring but ultimately disastrous attempt to free dozens of hostages held captive in the US Embassy in Tehran. The rescue mission ended in tragedy almost as soon as it began. Witness speaks to Mike Vining, a member of the US special forces team. (Photo: Mike Vining (bottom right) returning from the failed mission. Credit: US Army)
4/24/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Hunt for Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction

In April 1991 United Nations weapons inspectors were allowed into Iraq to search for Saddam Hussein's WMDs. Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus was in charge of the team. Hear his story. (Photo: Rolf Ekeus in Baghdad in 1995. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
4/23/20159 minutes
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NATO bombs Serbian TV

In April 1999 Nato bombed the Serbian state TV station in Belgrade, killing 16 people. It was part of a military campaign to force Serbia to withdraw from Kosovo. Dragan Suchovic, a TV technician, was working at the station that night, and survived. Photo: The damage caused by the Nato bombing on the TV station in Belgrade (courtesy of Duco Tellegen, 2015)
4/22/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Death of Einstein

The Nobel prize winning physicist and father of the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein, died on 18th April 1955. Witness talks to the son of one of Einstein's closest friends, Gustav Born, about the science and the humanity of the 20th-century's greatest scientific thinker. Photo: Albert Einstein in January 1950 (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
4/21/20159 minutes, 7 seconds
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Carousel - The Musical

In April 1945 one of the most successful musicals of all time premiered on Broadway. Carousel, by Rodgers and Hammerstein was a huge hit and Jean Darling was one of the original cast. Photo: The 1945 cast of Carousel on stage. Credit: Associated Press.
4/20/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Oklahoma City Bombing

On April 19 1995 a huge truck bomb killed 168 people in a government building in the USA. There were 19 children among the dead. Dr David Tuggle was a paediatric surgeon who joined the rescue effort. Photo: The Alfred P Murrah building in Oklahoma City after the blast. Credit: Getty Images.
4/17/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Joe Orton

In 1965 the young working class playwright burst onto the British theatre scene. But within 2 years he was dead - killed by his lover. Hear from Joe Orton's sister Leonie Orton Barnett, and the actor Kenneth Cranham who knew him well. Photo: Joe Orton at home in Islington. Credit: Evening Standard/Getty Images.
4/16/20159 minutes
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Bloods and Crips truce

In April 1992, the main black street gangs in Los Angeles started a historic truce. Aqeela Sherrills took part in peace negotiations in the Watts district. PHOTO: A peace march in Watts (courtesy Aqeela Sherrills)
4/15/20158 minutes, 53 seconds
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Train puts Letchworth Garden City on the Map

On April 15th 1905 a passenger train from London pulled into the world's first Garden City, Letchworth, putting it firmly on the map. The city was the idea of Ebenezer Howard, who founded the Garden City Movement in Britain. Photo: Letchworth Garden City - Copyright Garden City Collection
4/14/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Khmer Rouge take power

In April 1975 the four-year rule of the brutal Khmer Rouge began in Cambodia. Up to two million people are thought to have died - many summarily executed, or starved to death. Youk Chhang survived. He was just 14 years old at the time. (Photo: Youk Chhang, 2013)
4/13/20159 minutes
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Glenn Gould Retires

On 10 April 1964, the famously eccentric concert pianist Glenn Gould retired from live performance at the age of 31. One of the most celebrated pianists of the 20th Century, Gould was a reclusive figure celebrated for his unusual interpretations - and also his habit of humming along with his own performances. John Roberts was one of his friends. (Photo: Canadian pianist-composer Glenn Gould rehearsing with an orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, London for a series of Beethoven concertos, using a piano stool only a few inches from the floor. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
4/10/20158 minutes, 53 seconds
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The ‘Death of a Princess’ film

The story of one of the most controversial British television films ever made. In April 1980, British television channel ITV screened ‘Death of a Princess’ - a docu-drama about the execution of a 19-year-old Saudi princess along with her lover. Witness speaks to the film’s writer and director, Antony Thomas. (Photo: Jeddah skyline. BBC copyright)
4/9/20159 minutes
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India's State of Emergency

In 1975, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency to avoid a challenge to her political authority. Civil rights were suspended - and the abuses that followed ranged from slum clearances to mass sterilisation programmes. Delhi businessman Zaheer Pansari spoke to Witness about his memories of the time. (Photo: Billboards advertising sterilisation. BBC copyright)
4/8/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Fall of Idi Amin

In 1979 Tanzanian troops invaded Uganda and ousted its brutal dictator. His downfall marked the end of a six month conflict between the two countries, which had been triggered by Amin's ill-fated invasion of northern Tanzania.
4/7/20159 minutes, 5 seconds
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The Marshall Plan

On April 3 1948 US President Truman signed into law a plan to spend millions of dollars on rebuilding post-war Europe. The Marshall Plan was meant to save the continent from collapse and communist takeover. Photo: Officials at the Royal Victoria Dock in London welcome the first shipment of Caribbean sugar made under the Marshall Plan for Europe. (Photo by Edward Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)
4/3/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Tenerife Air Crash

In 1977 the worst air accident in history took place in Tenerife when two jumbo jets collided on a runway. Hear from Robert Bragg the co-pilot of the Pan-Am plane involved in the disaster. Photo Credit: Central Press/Getty Images.
4/2/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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1943 Bengal Famine

In 1943, during the Second World War, famine struck Bengal in British-run India following the Japanese occupation of neighbouring Burma. No one knows how many people died in the famine but estimates range from 3 to 5 million. Farhana Haider has been speaking to Professor Rafiqul Islam who lived through the famine, one of the worst catastrophes ever to occur under British rule. (Photo; Queue for food in Calcutta. Credit: Corbis)
4/1/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Unearthing the Terracotta Army

Discovered by chance by farmers digging a well, the secrets of the Qin Dynasty revealed after 2,000 years. We hear from the lead archaeologist responsible for one of the most important finds of the century, and what it tells us about the sophistication of society at the time in China. (This programme was first broadcast in 2013) (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.)
3/31/20158 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ireland Smoking Ban

In March 2004 Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. Many publicans feared it would hit their business hard. (Photo: Con Dennehy in his Cork pub, courtesy of Mr. Dennehy)
3/30/20159 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Beeching Report

In March 1963, the British government published the Beeching Report – a plan to radically cut the country’s railway network. Thousands of stations were closed. Witness spoke to Sandy Morrison, one of the civil servants involved in the cuts. (Photo: 1 May 1968, the Flying Scotsman steam locomotive leaves King's Cross station, London. Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)
3/26/20159 minutes
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The John and Yoko Bed-in

In March 1969 John Lennon of the Beatles and his new wife, Yoko Ono, staged a bed-in for peace in the Amsterdam Hilton, lying in bed for six days and inviting in the world's media as a protest agains the Vietnam war. Witness talks to the Dutch photographer Claude Vanheye who John and Yoko invited to come and have breakfast with them. (Photo: Photographer Claude Vanheye crouches beside the bed where John Lennon and Yoko Ono are staging their bed-in in March 1969. Credit: Nico Koster)
3/25/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Invention of the Black Box

The story of the Black Box flight recorder and the man behind it, an inventive Australian fuels scientist, David Warren. (Photo: Scientist David Warren. Credit: DTSO, Australia )
3/23/20159 minutes
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Algeria's War of Independence

In March 1962, France signed a ceasefire with Algerian nationalists ending one of the most bitter struggles against colonial rule of the 20th Century. Witness talks to Hamou Amirouche, who saw his father tortured by the French and at 19 joined the Algerian National Liberation army. (Photo: Two French soldiers search an Algerian civilian in the ancient Casbah in the capital, Algiers, 1962. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
3/20/20159 minutes
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Escape from East Berlin

How a young West German student helped East Berliners escape Communism at the height of the Cold War. Volker Heinz worked with a Syrian diplomat to smuggle people across the Berlin Wall in the boot of the diplomat's car. From March to September 1966 the pair managed to help more than 60 people to make the crossing. (Photo: East German border guards in 1966 scanning the Berlin Wall. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
3/19/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Golda Meir

In March 1969, Golda Meir became Israel's first female prime minister. Witness speaks to her great-niece Alice Golembo. (Photo: Golda Meir. Credit: Gabriel Duval/AFP/Getty Images)
3/18/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Biggest Art Heist in US History

In 1990, thieves in police uniform bluffed their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston stealing 13 works of art worth an estimated $500 million. (Photo: The empty frame of one of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Credit: AP)
3/17/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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British Theatre Trial

In 1982 a British director found himself in a court battle over sex and nudity on stage. Michael Bogdanov had directed 'The Romans in Britain' which drew parallels with the contemporary presence of British troops in Northern Ireland. But a public decency campaigner, Mary Whitehouse, thought it was obscene. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
3/16/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy

In the late 1960s, JFK's widow had a secret romance with the Greek shipping magnate who was then the world's richest man. Witness speaks to Nico Mastorakis, a Greek journalist who visited Onassis' yacht in disguise in order to confirm the affair. (Photo: Jackie Kennedy with Aristotle Onassis in 1968. Credit: David Cairns/Getty Images).
3/13/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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Suite Francaise

As the film of the best-selling book by Irene Nemirovksy, Suite Francaise, is released in cinemas this week, Witness hears the extraordinary story of the manuscript which lay undiscovered in an old suitcase for more than 50 years after Irene Nemirovsky's death in Auschwitz. We hear from her great-granddaughter, and from the man who eventually published Suite Francaise, Olivier Rubinstein. (Photograph: Irene Nemirovsky with her oldest daughter, Denise. Credit: courtesy of Denise Epstein/AP)
3/12/20159 minutes
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Kosovo Killings

When Serb forces attacked the family home of Kosovo liberation fighter Adem Jashari, in March 1998, more than 50 people were killed. Many of those who died were members of his extended family - only his niece Besarta survived. Hear her story. (Photo: Besarta Jashari in the remains of her family's home. Credit: Duco Tellegen)
3/11/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Mysterious Death of an MP in Kenya

Kenyan MP Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, considered a possible future president, disappeared in mysterious circumstances in March 1975. His widow, Terry, tells Witness about how she finally confirmed that he had been killed. (Photo: Kenyan politician JM Kariuki. Credit: Alamy)
3/10/20159 minutes
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Alexander McQueen

In 1995, the London designer, Alexander McQueen, shocked the fashion world with a collection that featured kilts, low-slung trousers and acres of naked flesh. It was the start of a meteoric career that led him to one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Paris. Vincent Dowd talks to three people who knew Alexander Mcqueen well. (Photo: Alexander Mcqueen. Credit: Press Association).
3/9/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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The German Invasion of Czechoslovakia

On the morning of 15 March 1939, Hitler sent his troops into Czechoslovakia. From the BBC archives, we hear the account of a British newspaper journalist who watched the Germans march into Prague. (Photo: German troops on a motorcycle enter Prague on 15 March 1939. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
3/6/20159 minutes, 14 seconds
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Stalin's Interpreter

Josef Stalin died on 5 March 1953. Valentin Berezhkov was his translator - at the Russian leader's side for negotiations with Hitler, Roosevelt and Churchill during the World War Two.
3/5/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Man who Changed Parenting

Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock sold half a million copies just six months after its publication in 1946. Witness hears from Lynn Bloom, a friend and biographer of the famous paediatrician. (Photo: Dr Benjamin Spock. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
3/4/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Britain's First Commercial Surrogate Mother

In March 1985 a national debate over surrogacy was triggered in Britain, leading to a change in the law. Witness speaks to Kim Cotton who became the country's first commercial surrogate mother. (Photo: Kim Cotton, at home in 2015, courtesy of Ms Cotton)
3/3/20158 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Sound of Music

One of the most successful films of all time, The Sound of Music, was released 50 years ago. The film was based on the true story of the von Trapp family. But was their life really as it was portrayed in the movie? Maria von Trapp's youngest child, Johannes, talks to WItness. (Photograph: The Trapp Family Singers, whose story inspired the film The Sound of Music, in Salzburg in 1937. Credit: BBC Photo Archives)
3/2/20159 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Highway of Death

Allied forces bombed a column of Iraqi vehicles as they headed out of Kuwait at the end of the first Gulf War. The aftermath of the bombing caused shock and controversy around the world. (Photo: Burned-out vehicles outside Kuwait City. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
2/27/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Battle of Iwo Jima

In February 1945 US Marines fought the Japanese in one of the fiercest battles of WW2. Thousands of lives were lost in almost five weeks of fighting for control of the Pacific island. Witness speaks to 91-year-old former Marine, John Lauriello. (Photo: John Lauriello. Credit: John Lauriello)
2/26/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Spanish Coup Attempt

In February 1981 armed Civil Guards tried to take control of the Spanish parliament. For 18 hours they held 350 politicians hostage in the debating chamber. One of those politicians was a young Socialist MP called Joaquin Almunia. Photo: The leader of the coup attempt, Lt Col Antonio Tejero, on the speaker's platform (AFP/Getty Images)
2/25/20159 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Looting of the Benin Bronzes

The British attack Benin City in 1897 and steal its ancient artwork, the Benin bronzes. We hear from Mark Walker, the grandson of a British soldier who took part in what was called the Benin Punitive Expedition, launched after a group of British officials are killed. (Photo: Captain Herbert Walker seated on the far right, with some of the looted Benin bronzes in the background. Credit: Mark Walker.)
2/24/20159 minutes, 2 seconds
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Aldrich Ames CIA Traitor

In February 1994, CIA officer Aldrich Ames was arrested for spying for the Russians. Ames had spied for the Soviets for over 9 years in return for 2.5 million dollars. We hear from former FBI agent Leslie G. Wiser who built the case against Ames. (Photo: Aldrich Ames was led from U.S. Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, after being arraigned on charges of spying for the former Soviet Union. Credit: Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images)
2/23/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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Saturday Night Fever

The chart-topping Bee Gees sound track which made the John Travolta movie a hit and kept disco alive. Hear from the album's producer Bill Oakes. (Photo: The Bee Gees in 1979. Credit: AP Photos)
2/20/20159 minutes, 11 seconds
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Larnaca Airport Shootout

In 1978 Egyptian commandos and Cypriot troops ended up fighting each other during a botched attempt to end a hostage crisis at Larnaca airport in Cyprus. 15 Egyptian commandos were killed in the gun battle. Former Cyprus Airways pilot, Adrian Akers-Douglas, witnessed the shootout. (Photo: Adrian Akers-Douglas in 2015. Credit: BBC)
2/19/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Murder of Daniel Pearl

In February 2002 a videotape was released by Islamist extremists in Pakistan showing the murder of the US journalist, Daniel Pearl. He had been kidnapped four weeks earlier in Karachi while on his way to interview a radical cleric. Farhana Haider has been speaking to Asra Nomani, Pearl's friend and colleague. (Photo: Daniel Pearl and Asra Nomani in 1995. Credit: Asra Nomani)
2/18/20159 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Murder of Archbishop Janani Luwum

The Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, took the brave step of speaking out against dictator Idi Amin. In February 1977 he was summoned to a meeting by the government and never seen alive in public again. Hear from his daughter, Julie Luwum Adriko. (Photo: Archbishop Janani Luwum. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
2/17/20159 minutes, 14 seconds
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Martha Gellhorn

In February 1998, the great war correspondent and writer, Martha Gellhorn, died. She had defied the conventions of her time to report on many of the major conflicts of the 20th century. Her stepson Sandy Matthews tells Witness her story, and how she changed the face of war reporting. Photo: Martha Gellhorn (centre) talks to Indian soldiers of the British Army during the battle for Italy in the Second World War (credit: Keystone/Getty Images)
2/16/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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Aung San

The Burmese independence leader was born on February 13th 1915. He negotiated with the British over the end of colonial rule but was assassinated just months before his country made it to independence. Hear a rare interview with one of his contemporaries - Ba Aye. (Photo: Aung San in 1947. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
2/13/20158 minutes, 44 seconds
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The Bombing of Dresden

On February 13th 1945 the Allies began a series of air raids against the German city of Dresden. The bombing started a firestorm in which tens of thousands of civilians were killed, and the cultural and architectural centre of Dresden was completely destroyed. (Photo: Dresden in the aftermath of the bombardment. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
2/12/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Minamata Mercury Poisoning

In the late 1950s thousands of people in the far south west of Japan were poisoned by industrial waste. A factory was pumping heavy metals into a river which led to the sea. Locals who ate fish and seafood from the surrounding area suffered all sorts of disabilities as a result. Fujie Sakamoto lost one daughter to what was being called 'Minamata disease', her second daughter was born severely disabled. Photo: Fujie Sakamoto today.
2/11/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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Finland’s Winter War

In the early months of 1940, Finland was in a desperate fight for survival against the might of the Soviet Union. Hear from Finnish veteran, Antti Henttonen, who was 17 when he joined up. He survived the war but lost his family home. (Photo: Finnish troops on skis on the Russo-Finnish border in 1939. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
2/10/20159 minutes, 16 seconds
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Sophiatown Removals

On 9 February 1955 apartheid South Africa forcibly evicted residents from Sophiatown, a multi-racial suburb in Johannesburg. It was demolished and turned into a whites-only area called Triomf. Victor Mokine was a child at the time and shares his memories with Witness. (Photo: Victor Mokine at the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown. Credit: THMC)
2/9/20159 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Conflict is Over

In 1993 a message arrived in London which kickstarted the Northern Irish Peace Process. But had the prominent Irish Republican, Martin McGuinness, really announced that 'the conflict is over'? Owen Bennett Jones has been speaking to one of the mediators involved in secret negotiations - Denis Bradley. Photo: Martin McGuinness. Copyright: Press Association.
2/6/20158 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Greensboro Sit-In

Four young black men began protesting against racial segregation in February 1960 by staging a sit-in at a whites only lunch counter in a Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of the four, was Franklin McCain - he spoke to Witness in 2011. (Photo: Franklin McCain in 2010. Copyright: Getty Images)
2/5/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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McDonald's in Moscow

In January 1990 the global fast food giant opened its first restaurant in the capital of the USSR. Witness speaks to George Cohon, the man behind the deal; and to Sveta Polyakova, one of the first Russians to work there. (Photo: McDonald's in Moscow. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
2/4/20159 minutes
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The Atomic Spy

In February 1950, the first spy of the Cold War, German-born physicist Klaus Fuchs, was arrested after he confessed that he had been passing top secret information about Britain and America's nuclear programme to Moscow. During the war, Fuchs had worked in America on the first atomic bomb. His nephew Klaus Fuchs-Kittowski tells Witness about his uncle. (Photo: Physicist and spy Klaus Fuchs (left) is met by his nephew at an airport in East Berlin in 1959 after being released from a British prison where he spent nine and a half years for spying for the Soviet Union. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
2/3/20159 minutes, 6 seconds
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Bertrand Russell

A look back at the life of the English analytic philosopher and social and political activist, using BBC archive and the memories of Michael Barratt Brown. (Photo: Bertrand Russell at the BBC)
2/2/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Family Doctor Turned Murderer

In January 2000 Harold Shipman, a family doctor from the North of England, was found guilty of killing 15 of his female patients. It later emerged he'd been responsible for the deaths of up to 250 people. Witness speaks to Joe Kitchen, whose mother Alice, was murdered by Shipman. (Photo: Harold Shipman. Credit: Greater Manchester Police/Getty Images)
1/30/20159 minutes, 1 second
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Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

In January 1972 Shirley Chisholm became the first major-party black candidate to make a bid for the US Presidency. She was also the first black woman elected to Congress. Witness has been speaking to Congressman Charles Rangel who worked with Shirley Chisholm. (Photo: Shirley Chisholm at the Democratic National Convention in 1972. Credit: Getty Images)
1/29/20159 minutes
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Greenland nuclear bomber crash

In 1968 a US B52 plane with nuclear bombs on board crashed in Greenland. The bombs did not detonate but, nearly 50 years later, questions remain over whether all were recovered. Jens Zinglersen was the first to the crash site. (Photo: Jens Zinglersen in polar bear trousers at Thule airbase. Credit: Private collection)
1/28/20158 minutes, 55 seconds
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Auschwitz Train Escape

In 1943, a group of Belgian Jews escaped from a train bound for the gas chambers at Auschwitz. In the only incident of its kind, they were helped by members of the Belgian resistance. Simon Gronowski was just 11 years old when he jumped from the train to safety. (Photo: Simon Gronowski with his parents. Credit: Private collection)
1/27/20159 minutes, 22 seconds
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Fleeing the Spanish Civil War

In January 1939 tens of thousands of people fled the advancing forces of General Franco. Witness hears from Victor Pey, then a young fighter battling against the fascists in the city of Barcelona. (Photo: An elderly Spanish woman fleeing shortly after the fall of Barcelona in January 1939. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1/26/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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Patrice Lumumba

Congo's first prime minister, the African nationalist, Patrice Lumumba, was deposed with the backing of Western governments just months after coming to power. He was then handed over to his enemies, and murdered in detention in January 1961. (Photo: Patrice Lumumba arrested after trying to flee Leopoldville, Novermber 1 1960. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
1/23/20159 minutes, 48 seconds
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The Death of Al Capone

In January 1947 one of America's most famous gangsters, Al Capone, died from a heart attack at home in his bed. He’d ruled the streets of Chicago for years during the era of Prohibition. Deirdre Capone talks about her memories of her notorious great uncle. Photo: The gangster Al (Alphonse) Capone circa 1930 (Keystone/Getty Images)
1/22/20158 minutes, 58 seconds
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US Drone Operator

Former US Airman Brandon Bryant speaks to Witness about his role in the controversial drone programme. He flew missions for almost five years over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Bryant)
1/21/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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The rise of England's football hooligans

Violence between English football fans began to spread rapidly in the 1970s. Witness hears from two supporters - Cass Pennant and Dougie Brimson. What made them became involved and why did they later step back from violence? (Photo: Police take precautionary measures to prevent violence at a football match at White Hart Lane between Tottenham and Liverpool in 1971. Credit: Photo by Leonard Burt/Central Press/Getty Images)
1/20/20158 minutes, 59 seconds
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Zeppelins Attack England

Eyewitnesses describe the first ever bombing raids on England in January 1915 during World War One. The raids were carried out by huge German airships called Zeppelins. (Photo: The L2, a German naval Zeppelin during World War I, around 1914. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1/19/20159 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Mystery of Raoul Wallenberg

The Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis in Hungary, but he was taken into Soviet custody in January 1945 and disappeared. His fate remains a mystery. (Photo: An undated file photo of Swedish diplomat and World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg who disappeared in 1945. Credit: Staff/AFP/Getty Images.)
1/16/20159 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Life and Death of Agatha Christie

In January 1976, the best-selling novelist of all time, the Queen of Crime, creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Agatha Christie died peacefully, aged eighty-five. Her grandson, Mathew Prichard, remembers her life. (Photograph: Agatha Christie with her only grandchild, Mathew Prichard, in the 1950s at London airport. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images.)
1/15/20159 minutes, 11 seconds
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India's First Call Centre

In 1997 an Indian businessman returned home from working abroad and saw a great opportunity to start a whole new industry, that would revolutionise the country's economy. Pramod Bhasin tells Witness how he set up India's first call centre in spite of the technical difficulties he encountered. (Photo: Pramod Bhasin in one of the call centres he developed.)
1/14/20158 minutes, 56 seconds
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India Bans Widow Burning

In I988 India passed a law that made it a criminal offence to help anyone perform Sati, the ancient Hindu custom of a woman being burned alive on the funeral pyre of her dead husband. Witness has been speaking to Ranjana Kumari, who helped to push through the change in legislation. (Photo: drawing from 1850 of an Indian woman practising the tradition of Sati in which she burns herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre. Credit: Getty Images.)
1/13/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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Somalia's Rural Literacy Campaign

Only a fraction of Somalia's population could read or write in the early 1970s. So the military government launched a hugely ambitious literacy campaign. What was unusual was that many of the teachers were schoolchildren - sent into the countryside to teach adults. Hear from one of those teachers - Abdirahman Abtidon - who was 14 at the time. (Photo: Literacy class in 1974.)
1/12/20159 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Opening of Guantanamo

In January 2002, the first prisoners from America's war on terror arrived at a new hastily-built detention facility at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The camp's first commander, Major General Mike Lehnert, recalls the challenges he faced in opening what would become one of the most notorious prisons in the world. (Photo: American military police guard the first detainees at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay in January 2002. Credit:Petty Officer 1st class Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Navy/Getty Images)
1/9/20159 minutes, 15 seconds
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South Asia's top Hindi music show

In 1952 a new style of music programme was launched in India. Geetmala was the first Hindi radio countdown show of Indian film songs. It would take South Asia by storm and was on the air for 42 years. Witness speaks to its host, Ameen Sayani. (Photo: Ameen Sayani. Credit: Getty images)
1/8/20159 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Impeachment of Bill Clinton

The Senate chamber was turned into a court to put the president on trial after he admitted to lying about an affair with an intern called Monica Lewinsky. Hear from Bill Clinton's then press secretary, Joe Lockhart, about the fight to save his presidency. (Photo: Bill Clinton on the morning before the launch of the impreachment inquiry. Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
1/7/20158 minutes, 57 seconds
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Evidence of the Big Bang

In 1964, Dr Robert Wilson and Dr Arno Penzias made an unexpected discovery which became the first proof of the Big Bang Theory. They found cosmic microwave background radiation using a special antenna in Holmdel, New Jersey. Their discovery won them the Nobel Prize. We hear from Dr Robert Wilson. Photo: The horn antenna in Holmdel (BBC)
1/6/20159 minutes, 1 second
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The Prague Spring

On 5 January 1968 Alexander Dubcek became leader of the Communist party in Czechoslovakia, heralding a short-lived period of liberalisation. Witness speaks to history professor Jan Rychlik, a teenager at the time. (Photo: Alexander Dubcek (3rd from the right), during a Labor Day parade, May 1968. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
1/5/20159 minutes, 3 seconds
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WW1 Survivors Drowned on Way Home

In 1919 more than 200 sailors who had survived World War One were drowned when the boat taking them home for New Year was wrecked just metres from their home off the Isle of Lewis in the west of Scotland. Picture: The churches and school, North Tolsta, Isle of Lewis, Credit: North Tolsta Historical Society
1/2/20159 minutes, 1 second
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First Episode of Mr Bean

The first episode of Mr Bean aired on January 1 1990 - but how did an almost completely silent comic character become such a hit? Photo: Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean, Credit: PA.
1/1/20158 minutes, 54 seconds
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Grand Theft Auto

A new computer game - designed in Scotland - became a surprise global hit in 1997. But Grand Theft Auto also courted controversy and sparked debate over violence and drugs in video games. Listen to Brian Baglow - one of the original team behind the launch.
12/25/20138 minutes, 55 seconds