History Hour, The [World Service]

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

Episodes

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20201121An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2020112120201124 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
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20201128An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2020112820201201 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
20201205An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2020120520201208 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
100 Women History Hour2016121020161211 (WS)A special edition of the programme remembering women that history has overlooked.
Abolishing The Army2019040620190408 (WS)After a brief civil war in March-April 1948, the new president of Costa Rica, Jose Figueres, took the audacious step of dissolving the Armed Forces. The Central American country is now one of just over 20 countries without a standing army - we find out more. Plus, Maya Angelou's ground-breaking memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and the remarkable story of the raising of the Swedish warship, the Vasa.

Photo: Costa Rican soldiers in San Jose after the end of the civil war, April 1948 (Credit: Getty Images)

How Costa Rica scrapped its armed forces, plus Maya Angelou and Sweden's famous warship.

Adopted By The Man Who Killed My Family2018120820181211 (WS)A child survivor of a Guatemalan army massacre during the country's brutal civil war, the women who cleared up post war Berlin, plus Armenia's 1988 earthquake, how Bokassa became Emperor of the Central African Republic, and Angela Merkel's rise to power.
Photo: Ramiro as a child in Guatemala (R.Osorio)

Child survivor of a Guatemalan army massacre, Bokassa's coronation, Armenia's earthquake

Child survivor of a Guatemalan army massacre, Bokassa's coronation, Armenia's earthquake

Adrift For 76 Days2020080120200803 (WS)Surviving the Atlantic alone in a liferaft, Spain's historic 1960s tourism boom, the death of the infamous Nazi Heinrich Himmler, plus fighting Australia's bushfires and we remember a groundbreaking Latino writer.
Photo: Photo: Steve Callahan shows how he hunted fish from his life raft. © Steve Callahan

Surviving the Atlantic in a liferaft, Spain's 1960s tourism boom, the death of Himmler

Albert Speer - Hitler's Architect2018082520180826 (WS)Hitler's architect and minister of war, Albert Speer, was one of the few top Nazis to live on into old age. In the late 1970s, following his release from Spandau prison, he gave an interview to the British journalist, Roger George Clark. Plus, the Soviet Union's campaign against alcoholism, the hostage drama that gripped West Germany, and a woman's voice from pre-colonial Nigeria.

Picture: Albert Speer standing at the gate of his house near Heidelberg in December 1979. (Credit: Roger George Clark)

Interviewing a senior Nazi; the Soviet fight against alcohol; German hostage drama.

American Communists2017010720170108 (WS)American Communists, gun-toting children in Albania and death and forgiveness in Ecuador.
An Environmental History Special2019101920191021 (WS)A pioneer of climate change science, UK's nuclear accident, the man who fed the world
Apollo 13: The Drama That Gripped The World2020041820200420 (WS)50 years since the near disaster on the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon.

50 years since the Apollo 13 mission, how millions of TV viewers followed the famous rescue of the three NASA astronauts. Also, the women who led the way in America’s space programme by spending two weeks under water and what happened when Skylab crashed to Earth in 1979. Plus, a collision on board the Mir space station in 1997 and the last men on the Moon.

PHOTO: The crew of Apollo 13 after their rescue (Getty Images)

Apollo 82018121520181218 (WS)At Christmas 1968, the biggest audience in TV history watched NASA's Apollo 8 mission beam back the first pictures from an orbit around the Moon. The broadcast captured the world's imagination and put America ahead of the Soviet Union in the Cold War battle to make the first lunar landing. Plus, the rape of Nanking, WWII spy drama in the Netherlands and the woman who revolutionised the treatment of the dying.

Picture: The Earth as seen from the Moon, photographed by the Apollo 8 crew (NASA)

The astronauts who changed our view of the Earth, the rape of Nanking, WWII spy drama.

The astronauts who changed our view of the Earth, the rape of Nanking, WWII spy drama.

Autism And The Mmr Vaccine2019032320190326 (WS)How a British doctor misled the world by linking the MMR vaccine to autism; the early rise of Hungary’s Viktor Orban also what it was like to contest the Soviet Union’s first multi-party elections plus the exposure in the 1970s of a Nazi criminal in Holland and uncovering Mexico’s Aztec past.

Photo: Dr Andrew Wakefield arrives at the General Medical Council in London to face a disciplinary panel, July 16th 2007
(Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

How a British doctor misled the world by linking the MMR vaccine to autism.

How a British doctor misled the world by linking the MMR vaccine to autism.

Ayn Rand2017032520170326 (WS)An influential "objectivist" philosopher, and a political assassination in Colombia.
Beirut's Hotel War2020081520200817 (WS)At the start of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, Beirut’s luxury hotel district was turned into a battlefield, with rival groups of gunmen holed up in some of the most expensive accommodation in the Middle East. We hear from two former employees of the Holiday Inn about what came to be known as the Battle of the Hotels. Also in today's programme, the first radar, the invention of the ventilator, and how women in Turkey overhauled decades-old laws on rape and sexual assault.

Photo: The ruins of the Holiday Inn. (Credit: Getty Images)

Lebanon's civil war comes to Beirut's luxury hotel district, plus the first ventilators

Black American History Special2020061320200615 (WS)Key moments in African American history - civil rights, basketball and the 3 strikes law.

Eyewitness accounts of important moments in recent African American history. We hear from the daughter of the man named in the court case which became a turning point in the battle for civil rights, plus the sister of a teenage girl killed in a racist bomb attack. We hear how the winning performance of an all-black basketball team helped change America's attitude to segregation in sport. Plus Rodney King whose attack by police in 1991 was caught on camera and seen by millions - the later acquittal of the officers sparked days of rioting. Finally we hear from Bilal Chatman who was sentenced to 150 years in prison under the 1994 'three strikes law' which disproportionately affected black Americans. Putting it all into context, presenter Max Pearson talks to Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Black British History2019101220191014 (WS)To mark Black History Month in the UK we look back at some landmark moments in British Black History. We hear how the famous cricketer Learie Constantine broke the colour bar, and about the Notting Hill race riots and the Bristol bus boycott. Plus, we speak to Britain’s first black female MP Diane Abbott, and one of the thousands of mixed race children born of relationships between black GIs and British women during the Second World War. With Professor Hakim Adi.

Photo: Sir Learie Constantine outside Westminster Abbey in 1966. Credit: Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images.

Some landmark moments in British Black history to mark Black History Month in the UK.

Blackwater Killed My Son2020092620200928 (WS)An Iraqi father remembers the day in September 2007 when US private security guards opened fire on civilians in central Baghdad killing 17 people, including his 9-year-old son. Plus, former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on negotiating the cancellation of Liberia's massive debt; the chaos of Florida's 'hanging chads' in the 2000 US elections; when Nelson Mandela visited Detroit; and the end of the Galileo space project.

Photo: An Iraqi looks at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards opened fire on civilians in Baghdad on 16 September 2007 (Credit ALI YUSSEF/AFP via Getty Images)

How US private security guards killed 14 Iraqi civilians; plus Florida's election chaos

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

Bob Marley Survives Assassination Attempt2016120320161204 (WS)The shooting of Bob Marley, the resistance of the Mirabal Sisters, Colombia's Lost City
Boris Yeltsin's Surprise Resignation2018010620180107 (WS)Mrs Yeltsin, on the day her husband shocked the world, half a century since the Mafia's grip on America was exposed, the 1999 protests in Iran - the biggest since the revolution - a student tells us how a photograph led to his death sentence and the Brazilian woman hijacker who took her kids along for the ride.

Mrs Yeltsin, on the day Boris shocked the world plus the Mafia's grip on America exposed.

Britain's Secret Propaganda War2019110920191112 (WS)Subversive warfare and 'fake news' in World War Two, the scandal which exposed horrific Indian police violence in the 1980s, two sides of the Iran hostages crisis in 1979, the woman who transformed cancer treatment, and a defining Berlin Wall rock concert.

Photo The actress and singer Agnes Bernelle, who was recruited to be a presenter on a fake German radio station during the war)

'Fake news' in WW2, why Indian police blinded detainees and the Berlin Wall rock concert

Britain's World War Two Crime Wave2020052320200525 (WS)How criminals thrived in London during the Blitz, 3D printers and the 1980 Miami riots.

During times of crisis in the UK, World War Two is often remembered as a period when the country rallied together to fight a common enemy. But as Simon Watts finds out from the BBC archives, there was a crime wave during the war years, with a massive increase in looting and black marketeering. Also in the programme, the first 3D printers, plus a black policeman recalls the 1980 Miami riots, Hong Kong's city within a city and explaining autism.

PHOTO: A government poster from World War Two (Getty Images)

British Black History Special2020101020201012 (WS)We present five eyewitness accounts of moments in British black history. Including the late Sam King remembering the voyage of the Empire Windrush, plus Britain's first black headteacher Yvonne Conolly, Dr William Lez Henry on confronting the Far Right in the battle of Lewisham, Reggae star David Hinds on fighting the nightclub colour bar in 1970s Birmingham and Trix Worrell on the creation of the pioneering and hugely popular TV comedy Desmond's. Max Pearson is joined by Colin Grant, the writer, broadcaster and author of Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation.

Photo: Newly arrived Jamaican immigrants on board the 'Empire Windrush' at Tilbury, 22nd June 1948: (Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)

The voyage of the Empire Windrush, the battle of Lewisham and the creation of Desmond's

British Withdrawal From South Yemen2017120920171210 (WS)Aden's independence from Britain, discovering whalesong & building Mount Rushmore statues
Brown V The Board Of Education2017052020170521 (WS)Racial segregation ends in US schools; Iran's 2009 election protest; and Weight Watchers
Bugging The Us Embassy In Moscow2016102220161023 (WS)Spying on America's embassy in the USSR, the Mau Mau rebellion and the Aberfan disaster.
Castro Takes Havana2016010920160110 (WS)Cuban revolutionaries victorious, US nuclear accident in 60s Spain, Mao's Little Red Book
Charlie Chaplin Returns To America From Exile2017042220170423 (WS)Charlie Chaplin, images of the furthest galaxies and the world's first black festival.
Chile Votes Against Pinochet2016101520161016 (WS)In Oct 1988 Chileans voted to end the rule of General Augusto Pinochet in a referendum.
China's Barefoot Doctors2018030320180304 (WS)How China's barefoot doctor scheme revolutionised rural healthcare; plus M*A*S*H, the ground-breaking American TV show that taught a generation about war; the assassination of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme; the German and Russian soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front in the First World War; and the Angel of the North, a huge steel sculpture that has become an icon for the north-east of England.

Picture: Gordon Liu

The revolutionary Chinese healthcare scheme and the ground-breaking US TV show M*A*S*H.

China's Breakthrough Malaria Cure2019031620190319 (WS)How an ancient Chinese remedy provided a 1970s breakthrough in the fight against malaria; the bombing of Dresden in the Second World War that inspired Kurt Vonnegut's anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five; the fall of Singapore; plus the town that America built in Afghanistan's south-western desert, and 'was Lenin a mushroom' - a satirical re-writing of Soviet history.

Photo: Professor Lang Linfu (Family archives)

How an ancient Chinese remedy provided a 1970s breakthrough in the fight against malaria

China-vietnam Border War 19792016031920160320 (WS)Former communist allies China and Vietnam fought a short but bloody war in 1979.
Cnn And The 24-hour News Revolution2020101720201019 (WS)In June 1980, US media mogul Ted Turner launched the first TV station dedicated to 24 hour news, Cable News Network or CNN. We get a first-hand account of the early days of a channel that transformed news and politics. Plus, the end of Lebanon's civil war, the long fight for full voting rights for African-Americans and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's plan to become a film mogul.

(PHOTO: Ted Turner attends official CNN Launch event at CNN Techwood Drive World Headquarters in Atlanta Georgia, June 01, 1980 (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

The launch of CNN, the end of Lebanon's civil war and making a film in Saddam's Iraq.

Condemned As A Spy In The Ussr2016030520160306 (WS)Surviving terror in the USSR, birth control in 1920s Britain and the siege of Sarajevo
Conflict Over A Tree In The Dmz2016082020160821 (WS)Death in Korea's no-man's land, the birth of the national parks and Studio Ghibli.
Conflict Timber In Liberia's Civil War2019091420190916 (WS)How the timber industry fuelled a brutal civil war in West Africa, the Honduran coup that left the president holed up in an embassy plus the Indian affirmative action controversy, the first ever voyage all the way around the globe 500 years ago and the sit-com "Friends" hits TV screens worldwide.

(Photo: Timber near Buchanan in Liberia in 2010. Credit: Getty Images)

How the timber industry fuelled a brutal civil war in West Africa.

D-day2019060820190610 (WS)Eyewitness accounts of the Allied invasion of Nazi occupied Europe on D-day, 6th June 1944. We also hear how the BBC reported events on that momentous day. Plus Vikings in England, the Gurkhas fight for justice and discovering the fate of 'The Little Prince'

Photo: The photo titled 'The Jaws of Death' shows a landing craft disembarking US troops on Omaha beach, 6th June 1944 ( Robert Sargent / US COAST GUARD)

Eyewitness accounts of the Normandy landings, Vikings in England and the Little Prince

Eyewitness accounts of the Normandy landings, Vikings in England and the Little Prince

Deaf Rights Protest2018031020180311 (WS)A protest for deaf rights; a new alphabet for Azerbaijan, Marie Stopes and Wonder Woman
Dealing With Economic Crisis2020062720200629 (WS)How countries from around the world dealt with economic turmoil in the 20th century.

As the world begins to consider how to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, we look back at economic crises of the past and how countries have responded to them. Max Pearson hears about America's "New Deal" in the 1930s, South Korea's transformation in the 1950s and Chile's "miracle economy" of the 1970s. Plus, Tanzania and its African form of socialism, and economic shock therapy in Russia in the 1990s.

PHOTO: President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1935 (Getty Images).

Death Of An Anarchist2016122420161225 (WS)The controversial death of Giuseppe Pinelli, Samuel Beckett and flying to the moon
Denmark's 2nd Eu Referendum2016070920160710 (WS)A re-run vote in Denmark, conflict in Slovenia, Cuba's army elite on trial & Ron Kovic.
Dickey Chapelle - War Reporter2016110520161106 (WS)The pioneering American woman journalist; life in Mao's China; and Harry Houdini.
Drama In The British Parliament2019033020190401 (WS)Prime Minister Jim Callaghan's desperate attempts to survive a no-confidence motion in 1979, the record-breaking 20-day balloon flight around the world; plus the Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim, mindfulness and the first home pregnancy test.

Picture: James Callaghan outside 10 Downing Street (Fox Photos/Getty)

A political crisis in Britain, ballooning around the world and mindfulness.

A political crisis in Britain, ballooning around the world and mindfulness.

Earth Day2018042120180422 (WS)The birth of the modern environmental movement, Germany's 1918 Spring Offensive, the discovery of the concentration camp horrors of Bergen-Belsen plus the rebuilding of the World Trade Centre site; and the last occupiers of Europe's most westerly lighthouse.

Photo credit: Robert Sabo-Pool/Getty Images

The birth of the modern environmental movement.

Exploring Space2019072020190722 (WS)To mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in July 1969, five personal accounts of landmarks in space exploration. We hear from an Apollo flight controller about the moment Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, and from one of the astronauts who survived the Apollo 13 near disaster. Plus how Laika the dog became the first living creature in space, the pioneering woman cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, and Britain's attempt to put the Beagle 2 lander on Mars.

PHOTO: Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in July 1969 (Getty Images)

To mark the Apollo 11 Moon landing, personal accounts of landmarks in space exploration.

PHOTO: Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in July 1969 (Getty Images)

Exposing Child Abuse In The Catholic Church2016100820161009 (WS)The investigative journalist who lifted the lid on Irish child sex abuse.
Fighting For The Pill In Japan2020051620200518 (WS)Why it took until 1999 for Japanese women to be allowed to take the contraceptive pill.

Why Japanese women had to wait until 1999 to be allowed to take the pill, the Dutch 'Prince of scandal', plus the flatulent fish that prompted a Cold War scare, the first helpline for children and the joy of being liberated from Nazi occupation on The Channel Islands.

(Photo: A collection of contraceptive pills. Getty Images)

Fighting The Islamic State Group Online2019092820190930 (WS)When the Islamic State group took over Mosul in Iraq in 2014 they flooded the internet with propaganda, claiming life under IS was fantastic. One historian living in the city decided to post a counter-narrative online, setting up a website called "Mosul Eye". Also in this edition, one black man's experience of growing up in Hitler's Germany; the gruesome death of the famous bullfighter Paquirri, switching on the Large Hadron Collider and the birth of the Sound of Music on Broadway in 1959.

(Photo: Mosul Eye website. BBC)

The Mosul historian who battled IS online, plus growing up black under Hitler

Fighting Uganda's Anti-gay Laws2019052520190527 (WS)In 2009 Ugandan MPs tried to introduce new laws against homosexuality that would include life imprisonment and even the death penalty. We speak to Victor Mukasa about his story of fighting for LGBT rights in Uganda, first as a lesbian woman and then as a trans man. Also, the early days of the environmental organisation Greenpeace, walking the Great Wall of China and fighting acid attacks on women in Bangladesh.

(Photo: Ugandan LGBT Activist Victor Mukasa May 2019. BBC)

LBGT activism in Uganda, the start of Greenpeace, Bangladesh acid attacks, and dinosaurs.

LBGT activism in Uganda, the start of Greenpeace, Bangladesh acid attacks, and dinosaurs.

First Cia Coup In Latin America2016073020160731 (WS)America's fight against communism; giant China earthquake; riots in Liverpool; Picasso.
Free Health Care For All2018060220180603 (WS)The birth of the British health service in 1948; the battle for compensation over Thalidomide; the world's first bicycle-sharing scheme; discovering a perfectly-formed frozen baby mammoth in Siberia, and the great science-fiction writer, Isaac Asimov.

Photo: Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health, meeting a patient at Papworth Village Hospital after the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 (Edward G Malindine/Getty Images)

The birth of Britain's NHS; the Thalidomide trial; and discovering a baby woolly mammoth

Freeing American Prisoners From Iran2020022920200303 (WS)How a former prisoner fought to free her friends, an Antarctic mystery, and rebel nuns
How Europe Won Over The British Left2016091020160911 (WS)British unions turning to Europe, Italian partisans fighting fascists, Mao as a man.
How I Survived A Fire On A Plane2018091520180916 (WS)A lucky escape from a jet plane fire in the 1970s, Chamberlain's talks with Hitler in 1938 plus the killing of the South African anti-apartheid campaigner, Steve Biko. Also toxic waste being shipped around the world in the 1980s and how Britain became obsessed with the idea that aliens were responsible for crop circles.

(Photo: Ricardo Trajano as a young man. Copyright: Ricardo Trajano)

A lucky escape from a jet plane fire in the 1970s and the killing of Steve Biko.

How Princess Diana Changed The Perception Of Aids2017040820170409 (WS)A handshake that changed attitudes to AIDS, America enters WW1, and Egypt's Facebook girl
How Technology Revolutionised Our Lives2020041120200413 (WS)In a special edition of the History Hour, Max Pearson looks back at some of the major technological milestones of recent years. We hear about the Californian computer club where the founders of Apple cut their teeth, about the inventors of the webcam and about the unlikely pioneers of home shopping. Plus, the launch of the iPhone and one of the very first social networks.

PHOTO: Len Shustek, former member of the Homebrew Computer Club.

Memories of milestones from webcams to social networks, from the iPhone to home-shopping.

I Saw The Soldiers Who Killed El Salvador's Priests2019112320191126 (WS)The woman who risked her life to reveal that the army, not left-wing rebels, were responsible for the murder of six Jesuit priests in 1980s El Salvador; the moment when the Taser first hit the streets; the long legal fight to reclaim Klimt's masterpiece Woman in Gold; the man who got the Delhi metro built; and travels in Arabia with Wilfred Thesiger.

(Photo: a plaque commemorating the murdered priests in San Salvador- courtesy of David Mee)

An atrocity in El Salvador, the first Taser, and building the Delhi metro

I Was Abused By A President2019030920190312 (WS)How allegations of child abuse engulfed Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, the campaign to return the Elgin marbles to Greece, Britain's first black headteacher, the origins of the Barbie doll and how Baroness Warsi made history.

Photo: Zoilamerica Narváez announces in a press conference that she is filing a law suit against her stepfather Daniel Ortega, March 1998 (RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images):

How scandal engulfed Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, the Elgin marbles, Barbie's origins

How scandal engulfed Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, the Elgin marbles, Barbie's origins

Iceland Jails Its Bankers2019021620190219 (WS)Why Iceland jailed 40 bankers after the 2008 financial crisis, how the Maastricht Treaty gave birth to the EU, plus America's first female airline pilots, Cameroon's historic referendum and homeless, drunk and yet a genius in the USSR.

(Photo: Protesters on the streets of Reykjavik demand answers from the government and the banks about the country's financial crisis, Nov. 2008. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)

Why Iceland jailed 40 bankers after the 2008 financial crisis plus the birth of the EU.

Inventing James Bond2020090520200906 (WS)
20200907 (WS)
How author and former intelligence officer Ian Fleming created the British super-spy, James Bond plus, how the British government shifted social care for the disabled away from large institutions and into the community and the Cape Town bombings in 1990s South Africa. Also how a British Airways jumbo jet flew through a volcanic ash cloud and survived and the birth of the Sony Walkman, a device that changed listening habits forever.

Photo: Ian Lancaster Fleming, British author and creator of the James Bond character, in 1958. (Getty Images)

Ian Fleming and the genesis of James Bond and the birth of the Sony Walkman

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

Iraqi Shia Uprising - 19912016032620160327 (WS)At the end of the First Gulf War thousands of Iraqi Shias rose up against Saddam Hussein.
Italy's Secret "state-within-a-state"2017062420170625 (WS)Murder and conspiracy among Italy's elite, atrocity in 1930s Ethiopia, and Body Worlds
'jane' - The Underground Abortion Service2019110220191105 (WS)The feminist network that performed illegal abortions in the 1960s in Chicago, the Algerian nationals who fought alongside the French in Algeria’s war of independence and when Margaret Thatcher first expressed anti- Europe sentiment. Plus the Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors at the end of the Second World War and the battle to protect the Barrier Reef.

Photo courtesy of Martha Scott

The secret 1960s US abortion network and the battle to protect the Barrier Reef.

Japanese Murders In Brazil2018111720181120 (WS)How Japanese immigrants in Brazil fell out with each other after the end of the WW2, how Britain helped to get disabled people on the road in the 1940s plus life for Jews under Imperial Russia, the victims of Brazil’s military dictatorship in the 1970s and the American embassy hostage crisis in Tehran.

Fanatics killed Japanese immigrants who accepted that Japan had surrendered in WW2.

Japanese Soldier In Hiding2016012320160124 (WS)A Japanese soldier hid in the jungle of Guam for 27 years after WW2.
Kenya's Ivory Inferno2019071320190715 (WS)Twelve tonnes of ivory was set alight by President Daniel Arap Moi in Nairobi National Park in July 1989, to highlight the threat from poaching. The ivory burn was organised by conservationists who wanted to save the world's elephants. Plus, the closure of Britain's ground-breaking Common Cold Unit; Cuba executes top military officers, the Chinese allow sales of tampons and the first modern lesbian.

(Photo: Ivory tusks arranged in a pile and set alight. Credit: Andrew Holbrooke/Corbis/Getty Images)

Highlighting the threat from poaching, solving the common cold, plus China and the tampon

Highlighting the threat from poaching, solving the common cold, plus China and the tampon

Korea Divided: A Bitter History2018061620180617 (WS)From the 1945 division of the peninsula, to the Korean war and the death of Kim II-sung, we have first-hand accounts from the turbulent recent history of North and South Korea. Plus, expert analysis from Dr Owen Miller of SOAS University of London.

Photo: As US infantrymen march into the Naktong River region, they pass a line of fleeing refugees during the Korean War (Getty images)

Key witnesses to the turbulent history of North and South Korea.

Kuwaiti Women Secure The Vote2017031120170312 (WS)Kuwaiti women win the vote; smog in Mexico, and America's first Islamic terror incident
Kwanzaa - The African-american Holiday2017123020171231 (WS)How Black activists invented a new holiday, flying around the world and Leningrad in WW2.
Life With America's Black Panthers2018110320181106 (WS)Remembering the radical African American movement, and the KGB's whistleblower.
Living Under Gaddafi2018090820180909 (WS)Award-winning writer Hisham Matar on life in Gaddafi's Libya, plus how British Bengalis faced the far-right in 1970s east London, the last battles of WW1, the struggle to name St.Petersburg and the first MRI scanner.

Photo: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli on September 27th 1969, shortly after the bloodless coup that brought him to power AFP FILES/AFP/Getty Images)

How Gaddafi changed Libya, the battle for Brick Lane in 70s London, the first MRI scanner

London's First Black Policeman2020020820200211 (WS)The prejudice faced by London's first black policeman, how a new sign language emerged in 1980s Nicaragua, the Native American casino boom, plus the release of Nelson Mandela and China's much maligned 19th-century dowager empress.

Photo: London's first black policeman PC Norwell Roberts beginning his training with colleagues at Hendon Police College, London, 5th April 1967. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

London's first black policeman, a new sign language, and the release of Nelson Mandela

Love And Marriage2017021820170219 (WS)From speed-dating to gay romance, from divorce to chastity, recent changes in love.
Margaret Ekpo - Nigeria's Feminist Pioneer2020082920200831 (WS)Margaret Ekpo helped establish Nigerian independence and became one of the country's first female MPs. We hear from her grandson and speak to a Nigerian feminist about why Nigeria has so few women in government today. Plus the US Supreme Court decision that threatens the voting rights of Black Americans, the policeman turned protestor who was part of the Occupy Wall Street protest, America's first woman combat pilot and the bittersweet memories of the Gaelic-speaking community who left the remote islands of St Kilda in 1930.

PHOTO: Margaret Ekpo in London in August 1953 (ANL/Shutterstock)

The woman who fought for Nigerian independence plus the former policeman turned protestor

Martin Luther's 95 Theses2017110420171105 (WS)The monk who began a religious revolution, the Naked Ape and internet sex and censorship.
May 1968 Paris Riots2018051920180520 (WS)A French riot policeman's view of the violence that swept through France in May 1968; plus the man who led a team that made safe two nuclear weapons that had crashed to ground in the US. Also, the origins of Montessori education, one of the airmen on the Dambusters' raid and actor Jane Asher remembers John Osborne's radical 1950s play, Look Back in Anger.

Photo: Protesters face police in front of the Joseph Gibert bookstore, Boulevard Saint Michel in May 1968. (Credit: Jacques Marie/AFP/Getty Images)

A riot policeman's view of the violence that swept through France in May 1968

Medicare2016072320160724 (WS)America's government health insurance programme, plus Chinua Achebe and Bruce Lee.
Medicine In World War One2017082620170827 (WS)Dealing with the medical horrors of WW1, Germany puts Nazis on trial and Botox.
Mother Teresa - The Nun Who Became A Saint2017030420170305 (WS)Life with Mother Teresa, the birth of Nollywood and Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House.
Nike And The Sweatshop Problem2017081920170820 (WS)The ethics of fashion; the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974; and the "Bard of Bengal".
Operation Lifeline: Canada's Refugee Revolution2017060320170604 (WS)Citizens sponsor refugees, a rock concert for Chernobyl and the first US female rabbi.
Pakistan's Women Only Police Station2016021320160214 (WS)How Karachi got an all female police station plus Black Sabbath & WW2 women code breakers
Princess Diana's Minefield Walk2017011420170115 (WS)A royal visit boosts landmine campaigners, Turkey's headscarf pioneer and spying in WW1
Prohibition In India2020091220200914 (WS)How Indian women in the 1990s campaigned to stop the sale of alcohol in the state of Andhra Pradesh to protect women from domestic violence and safeguard family finances. The history of America's healthcare system, how the UN was eventually persuaded to apologise for the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and the horror of being caught up in one of the most notorious hi-jackings of the 1970s, plus the birth of Reddit, one the world's most successful websites.

Photo A shop selling alcohol in India. Credit Getty.

How the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh banned alcohol in 1995 plus the birth of Reddit

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

Prozac2016020620160207 (WS)The birth of the Prozac generation, saving ancient Afghan artworks, plus a Disney classic
Psychological Warfare2017072220170723 (WS)Spooking fighters during the Vietnam War plus the Mont Blanc Tunnel and a Nintendo legend
Quarantined In A Tb Sanatorium2020070420200706 (WS)Extreme lockdown half a century ago: the TB children forced to endure years of isolation in a sanatorium; the unveiling of looted Nazi art works, the Rolling Stones in the dock, calls for democracy in 1990s Nepal, and the campaign to ban dangerous skin-lightening products in South Africa.

Picture: boys sleep on the balcony of the Craig-y-nos TB sanatorium in Wales (Credit: private collection of the family of Mari Friend, a former patient at Craig-y-nos)

Quarantined in a TB sanatorium; looted Nazi art works and the Rolling Stones in the dock

Reagan's Bombing Joke2017081220170813 (WS)Reagan's bombing joke, the murder of Naji al Ali, and violence in pre-partition India
Remembering Chernobyl2016043020160501 (WS)Remembering Chernobyl, Charles Darwin and the McCarthy era, plus 60s icon, the Mini
Rescuing Migrants In The Mediterranean2019111620191119 (WS)In 2004, a German aid agency ship, Cap Anamur, was sailing to the Suez Canal, when it came across 37 Africans on a sinking rubber boat. The captain, Stefan Schmidt, rescued the men and headed for a port in Sicily to drop them off, but he and his crew were promptly arrested by the Italian authorities. Max Pearson finds out more about the incident and about the migration crisis that faced the European Union in later years.

Also this week, an eye-witness account of secret preparations by Hindu extremists to destroy the mosque in the Indian city of Ayodha in 1992; a grassroots struggle against pollution in America; and memories of the British war poet Wilfred Owen.

(Photo: the German aid agency ship Cap Anamur in 2004. Credit: Antonello NUSCA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean; the demolition of the Ayodha mosque; Wilfred Owen

Romania's Orphan Scandal2016040920160410 (WS)Life as a Romanian orphan in the 1980s plus the 1977 Ogaden War and Mallory on Everest
Roots - The Tv Series2017012120170122 (WS)Slavery on US TV, peace in El Salvador, Hrant Dink's murder; and Dungeons and Dragons.
Russia's Bitter Taste Of Capitalism2018040720180408 (WS)On this week's programme, the chaos and hardship which hit Russia with the rapid market reforms in early 1992, weeks after the collapse of the USSR. Plus, the landmark science fiction film, 2001 A Space Odyssey; the history of Semtex and how the Unabomber was caught.

Photo: an old woman outside McDonald's in Moscow, circa 1992. Credit: Dina Newman archive.

Chaos after Russia's 1992 market reforms; the history of Semtex; 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Sanctuary Cities In The Usa2017021120170212 (WS)US safe havens for undocumented immigrants, a killer killer whale, DNA, and a Kenyan hit.
Saving Antarctica2020022220200225 (WS)In October 1991, an international protocol to protect the world’s last wilderness, Antarctica, from commercial exploitation was agreed at a summit in Madrid. Louise Hidalgo talks to one of the environmentalists who led a successful campaign to protect the ice continent. Also, how meditation changes the brain, the Iraqi "supergun affair", and political art in Nigeria.

Picture: Blue icebergs in Antarctica (Credit: Getty Images)

Environmentalists save the ice continent; how meditation changes the brain; Nigerian art.

Searching For Argentina's Disappeared2017042920170430 (WS)Defying Argentina's military rulers, when Syria left Lebanon and Bosnia's rape camps.
Sex Trafficking And Peacekeepers2020062020200622 (WS)A UN sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia, the Five Stages of Grief, and Beethoven in China.

How whistle-blowers implicated UN peacekeepers and international police in the forced prostitution and trafficking of Eastern European women into Bosnia in the late 1990s.

Plus, how Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross changed the way we think about death and dying when she developed her Five Stages of Grief; Beethoven's role in China's Cultural Revolution; the "friendship train" between India and Bangladesh; and the controversial teaching exercise which segregated children by whether they had blue or brown eyes.

Picture: the United Nations Peacekeeping Force patrols the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in March 1996 (Credit: Roger Lemoyne/Liaison/Getty Images)

Shakespeare's Jubilee2016042320160424 (WS)Celebrating the bard 18th-century style; Haile Selassie in Jamaica; and flying Harriers.
Shell Shock2016102920161030 (WS)The psychiatric cost of WW1; Hungary's 1956 uprising, Marvel Comics and London's Big Bang
Smiling Buddha: India's First Nuclear Test2018071420180715 (WS)The scientist at the forefront of India's first successful nuclear test in 1974, plus how an undersea mission finally found the remains of nearly 300 migrants drowned off Italy in the 1990s; also, Der Spiegel journalists under threat in Germany, and remembering two great artists - Nigeria's Chinua Achebe and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Photo: A crater marks the site of the first Indian underground nuclear test conducted 18 May 1974 at Pokhran in the desert state of Rajasthan. (PUNJAB PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images)

India on the nuclear world stage, the Spiegel Affair and the refugee "Phantom Shipwreck.

South Korea's 1980s Prison Camps2020071820200720 (WS)The horrors of South Korea's so-called Social Purification project, the vanished Chinese sailors who left their mark on Liverpool after the Second World War and the return of a huge ancient monument to Ethiopia from Italy. Also fighting for the rights of Jewish women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem plus the origins of the holiday camp, Club Med.

Photo: Seung-woo Choi talking to reporters. Credit BBC.

The horrors of a so-called Social Purification project and the birth of Club Med

Space Crash2016062520160626 (WS)A crash on the Mir space station, an African-American in the USSR, and the Bobbit case.
Stockholm Syndrome2016082720160828 (WS)We hear from one of the hostages in the first documented case of Stockholm Syndrome.
Stopping The 'shoe Bomber'2018122220181225 (WS)Passenger Kwame James recalls how he helped overcome the British-born Richard Reid on American Airlines flight 63. Reid had hidden explosives in his shoe which failed to go off. Plus, the US apology for the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans in WW2, the first computer password, the woman who wrote Mary Poppins and a British theatrical group tours the Sahara.

Photo: One of the shoes worn by Richard Reid on the American Airlines flight to Miami (ABC/Getty Images)

A passenger helps overcome Richard Reid, plus US apology for Japanese American internment

A passenger helps overcome Richard Reid, plus US apology for Japanese American internment

Stories Of Resistance And Protest From Around The World2020091920200921 (WS)Max Pearson brings you a roundup of this week’s Witness History stories of resistance from the last 70 years. From the early days of opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, through the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, a photographer's memories of the 1989 demonstrations in China, an iconic civil rights story from the USA, to Argentina and the women who are still demonstrating in the hope of discovering what became of their children under military rule.

Photo: a lone protestor, who became known as Tank Man, in Tiananmen Square in China in June 1989. Credit: Stuart Franklin/Magnum.

Different protest stories from China, Belarus, Kenya, USA and Argentina

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

Storming The Stasi Hq2020011820200121 (WS)The fall of East Germany's secret police; racism, injustice and a child execution in the US, plus the killing of Osama Bin Laden; the woman who negotiated peace in the Philippines, and the man who saved British aristocrats' country houses.

Photo Photo:East Germans streaming into the secret police headquarters in Berlin on the night of January 15th 1990. Credit: Zöllner/ullstein bild/Getty Images.

East Germany's secret police; killing Osama Bin Laden; saving aristocrats' houses

Strikers In Saris2019011920190122 (WS)How South Asian women led thousands of UK workers in an industrial dispute in the late 1970s, plus Dr Crippen's alleged gruesome crime, Judy Garland's emotional last performances, the 'miracle waters' in Mexico and excitement over a whale in London's River Thames.

(PHOTO: Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick strike committee holding placard 1977 Credit: Getty images)

How South Asian women led a UK industrial dispute, plus Dr Crippen and Judy Garland.

How South Asian women led a UK industrial dispute, plus Dr Crippen and Judy Garland.

Surviving Cambodia's 'killing Fields'2019070620190708 (WS)Life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, the Germans kidnapped by the Contras in Nicaragua in the 80s, plus how Aboriginal women took on the Australian government against nuclear waste, Anita Hill's stand against the promotion of Judge Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court and the birth of the Sony Walkman.

(PHOTO: CHOEUNG EK, CAMBODIA - 1993/02/01: Skulls are piled up at a monument situated outside Phnom Penh to serve as a constant reminder of the genocide under the Khmer Rouge during the Pol Pot years.. (Photo by Peter Charlesworth/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, kidnapped by the Contras and the first Walkman.

Life under the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, kidnapped by the Contras and the first Walkman.

Surviving The "auschwitz Of The Balkans"2017080520170806 (WS)Persecution of Serbs during WW2; the fate Falun Gong in China; Camp David negotiations.
Surviving The "death Railway"2018090120180902 (WS)A former prisoner of the Japanese in WW2; Hitler's girl guides and the Lake Nyos disaster
Tanzania's Ujamaa2016060420160605 (WS)Socialism in Tanzania, assassination in the Caribbean, the Concordski crash and Date Rape
The 1918 'spanish' Flu Pandemic2020031420200317 (WS)A special edition looking at how the world has battled deadly viruses over the past 100 years, We have eyewitness accounts of the 1918 flu, and the recent struggle against SARS, we hear how a vaccine saved millions from Polio, and the moment the world discovered the killer viruses known as Marburg Fever and Ebola in the 1960s and 70s.

(Photo: An American policeman wearing a mask to protect himself from the outbreak of Spanish flu. Credit:Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Eyewitnesses accounts of battling deadly viruses from the 1918 flu, to Ebola and SARS.

The 1948 French Miners' Strike2016112620161127 (WS)How coal miners in post-war France went from being seen as heroes, to pariahs.
The 1957 Flu Pandemic2020050220200504 (WS)A million die in 1957 flu, conflict in the Galapagos islands and trees in Hiroshima.

A new strain of flu emerged in East Asia in 1957 and spread all over the world. Known at the time as “Asian flu”, it killed more than a million people. We hear from a woman who survived the virus and speak to Mark Honigsbaum, author of The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris. Plus, Indonesia’s transgender rights movement, the assassination of the UN’s first Middle East mediator, conflict in the Galapagos Islands, and the trees that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

Photo: Americans worried about "Asian flu" wait their turns at Central Harlem District Health clinic in October 1957. Credit: Getty Images

The 1960s Report That Warned The Usa Was Racist2020071120200713 (WS)A US government report carried out by the Kerner Commission found that racial inequality was responsible for riots in 1967. Also, discovering the real cause of cholera, Montreal's 'night of terror', an unlawful death in custody and the life and tragic last days of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Photo: Members of the Kerner Commission giving final approval to the Kerner report on 28th February 1968. Credit: Bettman/Getty

A government report into the riots of 1967 warned that white racism was dividing America

The 1968 Belgrade Student Revolt2018060920180610 (WS)The 1968 student revolt in Communist Yugoslavia, an assassination attempt that sparked Lebanon's war, Adolf Eichmann's execution, plus the sudden death of Nigeria's strong man in less than clear circumstances and 'from couch to 5k' that inspired a global running craze.

(Photo: Sonja Licht with her fellow protester and later her husband, Milan Nikolic, at the site of the protests. Credit: Licht-Nikolic family archive)

The 1968 student protest in Communist Yugoslavia and the running craze 'from couch to 5k'

The 43 Group: Battling British Fascists2017102120171022 (WS)Veterans fight fascism in 1940s Britain; The death of Samora Machel, Moscow theatre siege
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy2017012820170129 (WS)Indigenous rights in Australia, the invention of the microwave, and Desert Island Discs.
The Aids Memorial Quilt - A Patchwork Of Loss2020032820200330 (WS)How an LGBTQ+ activist decided to commemorate lost friends with a quilt.
The Al Yamamah Arms Deals2019042720190429 (WS)The huge but controversial Anglo-Saudi deal, the Sri Lankan journalist who predicted his own murder, plus remembering South Africa's historic election 25 years ago, the day NATO bombed Serbian TV, and the origin of modern Veganism.
Photo: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and King Fahd in London in 1987. Credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images.

The controversial Anglo-Saudi deal, South Africa's historic election, the first "Vegan

The controversial Anglo-Saudi deal, South Africa's historic election, the first "Vegan"

The Amritsar Massacre Of 19192016041620160417 (WS)In April 1919, the British Indian Army fired on an unarmed crowd - killing hundreds.
The Anti-nuclear Protesters Who Won2019080320190805 (WS)The eight year protest campaign which stopped the construction of a nuclear reprocessing plant at Wackersdorf in Germany, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and from more than a decade later, the death of British weapons expert David Kelly, who got caught up in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. Also, the Warsaw uprising of 1944 and from one of the most significant discoveries of Anglo-Saxon treasure in 1939.

Picture: demonstrators fight against police during a protest at the Wackersdorf construction site (Istvan Bajzat/DPA/PA Images)

The protest which stopped the construction of a nuclear reprocessing plant in Germany.

Picture: demonstrators fight against police during a protest at the Wackersdorf construction site (Istvan Bajzat/DPA/PA Images)

The Arnhem Parachute Drop2018092220180923 (WS)Operation Market Garden - the failed attempt to end the war against Hitler; plus, a deadly nuclear accident in Brazil, the film of the Battle of Algiers, the last regular steam train to run in Britain and one of the Cuban Five jailed in America for spying for Fidel Castro.

(Photo: Allied planes and parachutists over Arnhem, Getty Images)

Operation Market Garden, Brazil's nuclear accident, the Battle of Algiers and Cuban spies

The Assassination Of Medgar Evers2019062220190624 (WS)An African-American civil rights hero, a Chinese online star, the tragic icon of Iran's reform movement and archive recordings of the psychoanalyst CG Jung. Plus the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin's love of yoga.

Photo:Roy Wilkins and Medgar Evers Being Arrested on 1st June 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi. Credit: Getty Images

An American civil rights hero, a Chinese online star and the psychoanalyst CG Jung

An American civil rights hero, a Chinese online star and the psychoanalyst CG Jung

The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin20201107In 1995, the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. We hear how his death scuppered hopes of peace in the Middle East. Plus, the racism endured by children born to black American soldiers and German mothers after World War Two, the rebuilding of Dresden's most famous church, and nude theatre in London and New York.

PHOTO: Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 (Getty Images)

The murder of the Israeli leader; Germany's "Occupation Babies"; nude theatre in London

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

The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin2020110720201110 (WS)In 1995, the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. We hear how his death scuppered hopes of peace in the Middle East. Plus, the racism endured by children born to black American soldiers and German mothers after World War Two, the rebuilding of Dresden's most famous church, and nude theatre in London and New York.

PHOTO: Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 (Getty Images)

The murder of the Israeli leader; Germany's "Occupation Babies"; nude theatre in London

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

The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin2020110720201110 (WS)In 1995, the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. We hear how his death scuppered hopes of peace in the Middle East. Plus, the racism endured by children born to black American soldiers and German mothers after World War Two, the rebuilding of Dresden's most famous church, and nude theatre in London and New York.

PHOTO: Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 (Getty Images)

The murder of the Israeli leader; Germany's "Occupation Babies"; nude theatre in London

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

The Attack On The Osirak Nuclear Reactor2016061120160612 (WS)Israel's attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor, plus Ritalin, da Vinci and US Civil Rights.
The Awakenings2019121420191217 (WS)An extraordinary medical experiment that brought the catatonic back to life; an IRA siege in the 70s; the killing of a young immigrant in New York that sparked mass protests; an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001, and the fight to build the Louvre's iconic pyramid in Paris.

Picture: Dr Concetta Tomaino (center) with Dr Oliver Sacks (right) and patient (left) (Credit: the American Music Therapy Association)

A medical experiment that brought the catatonic back to life; and an IRA siege in the 70s

The Battle Of The Airwaves In Latin America2018031720180318 (WS)Why the BBC started broadcasting to South America, plus the My Lai massacre.
The Battle Of The Somme2016070220160703 (WS)Veterans recall horrific WW1 battle, forced sterilisation in Peru, London's Great Plague
The Battle Of Verdun2016022020160221 (WS)The battle that traumatised France, forbidden Tibet in the 1940s and fashion's New Look
The Birth Of The People's Republic Of China2019100520191007 (WS)To mark 70 years of communist China we hear from a soldier at the founding ceremony on October 1st 1949. Also, the memories of an American friend and comrade of Mao Zedong, a Red Guard who regrets the cultural revolution and the pro-communist protests in 1960s Hong Kong, plus the economic liberalisation of the 1980s. Our guide is China expert Isabel Hilton.

Photo: An officer reads a newspaper to soldiers while they are waiting for the announcement of the foundation of the People's Republic of China on Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949 in Beijing, China. (Credit: Visual China Group via Getty Images)

70 years of communist China, we hear from Mao's friends, followers and critics.

The Book That Warned Of An End To Civilisation2020010420200107 (WS)In 1972 a book which outlined the possible future of the world became a best-seller. 'The Limits to Growth' was based on computer modelling which suggested that if economic growth remained unfettered, there'd be a 'traumatic' decline in civilisation from 2020. It also suggested global policy changes which could prevent a downward trend. Find out which path the world took and why...

Plus, why East German punks were targeted by the secret police in the 1980s, a top UN negotiator remembers how peace was won in El Salvador in 1991, the first black sitcom in Britain and the launch of the Chippendales - the first male strip show for women - in 1979.

Photo: Front cover of 'The Limits to Growth' published in 1972.

Environmental warnings from 1972, El Salvador, East German punks and the Chippendales.

The Boy In The Bubble2018022420180225 (WS)How a young boy lived with a rare genetic disorder; plus "Ghana Must Go" - when 1 million Africans were expelled from Nigeria, battling the last major smallpox epidemic in India, reporting the Jimmy Swaggart scandal and the story behind the acclaimed novel "Infinite Jest"
(Photo: David Vetter and his mother Carol-Ann Demaret Credit: Carol-Ann Demaret)

How a young boy lived with a rare genetic disorder plus "Ghana Must Go" and Infinite Jest

The 'braceros' - America's Mexican Guest Workers2018112420181127 (WS)From 1942 to 1964 the US actively encouraged American farmers to hire tens of thousands of migrant workers to come to work legally from Mexico - they were known as 'braceros'; also, when Moscow invited thousands of foreign students to attend an International Youth Festival in the former USSR; a witness to the funeral of the Duke of Wellington; plus Arafat's final weeks and why was JKF's killer allowed to defect to the Soviets?

Photo: A group of Mexican Braceros picking strawberries in a field in the Salinas Valley, California in June 1963 (Getty Images)

The US welcomes Mexican migrants, the USSR welcomes foreign students plus Arafat's death

The US welcomes Mexican migrants, the USSR welcomes foreign students plus Arafat's death

The Break-up Of The Soviet Union2016123120170101 (WS)Key players in the fall of the USSR recall the momentous events of December 1991
The Cambridge Spy Network2019092120190923 (WS)The distinguished British art historian Anthony Blunt was exposed as a former Soviet spy in 1979. He was one of a group of double agents recruited at Cambridge University who passed vital information to Moscow. The BBC's Gordon Corera explains the scandal which shook the British establishment.

Plus the Black Panther Party's free breakfast programme; the abolition of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy towards LGBT troops in the US military; Ethiopian troops in South Korea; and memories of celebrated children's author CS Lewis.

Photo: Sir Anthony Blunt at the press conference in which he explained his motivation in 1979 (Credit: Aubrey Hart/Getty Images)

The distinguished British art historian exposed as a former Soviet spy.

The Capture Of The Uss Pueblo2018012720180128 (WS)When North Korea and the US came close to war; plus Salvador Dali, the origins of Lego
The Caracazo Protests2016022720160228 (WS)Deadly protests in Venezuela in 1989; exodus to Liberia; the Foxcatcher murder.
The Challenger Disaster2016013020160131 (WS)The launch of space shuttle Challenger goes horribly wrong, Sharia in Nigeria, and Batman.
The Collapse Of Northern Rock2017091620170917 (WS)The run on a British bank, a schoolboy arrested in East Germany, and Nigerian treasures.
The Columbine School Shooting2019042020190422 (WS)The memories of the brother of one of the victims of the Columbine mass school shooting; plus the story behind 'A Raisin in the Sun' - the first play on Broadway by a black woman; the world's first space tourist, the origins of organic farming and the auto-destructive art movement of the 1960s.

Photo: Students from Columbine High School run under cover from police, following a shooting spree by two masked teenagers. April 20th 1999 (Mark Leffingwell/AFP/Getty Images

Mass murder in the US, the first play on Broadway by a black woman, and space tourism.

Mass murder in the US, the first play on Broadway by a black woman, and space tourism.

The Computers For Schools Revolution2020011120200114 (WS)In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to give a laptop computer to every child in state primary schools. We hear from the man whose initiative is credited with transforming the lives of students and teachers. Plus, a US soldier's account of the battle for the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, and memories of the Brazilian rubber-tapper and environmentalist Chico Mendes.

PHOTO: Two Uruguayan children enjoying their laptops (Courtesy Plan Ceibal)

Bringing laptops into education; the battle for Fallujah; environmentalist Chico Mendes.

The Creation Of The Cervical Cancer Vaccine2018092920180930 (WS)The creation of the cervical cancer vaccine, the construction of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, the legendary American dancer Isadora Duncan, bloodshed in Lesotho and one doctor's painful memories of the Iran-Iraq war.

(Photo: Electron micrograph of virus like particles formed from the outer protein coat of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The proteins form a virus-like particle that does not contain any genetic material. Credit: Science Photo Library)

The creation of the cervical cancer vaccine, and the bridge between Denmark and Sweden.

The Cuban Writer Who Defied Castro2019120720191210 (WS)On 7 December 1990 the dissident Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas killed himself in New York after years of suffering from AIDS. Before fleeing Cuba, Arenas had been jailed for his homosexuality, sent to re-education camps and prevented from writing. We hear from his friend and fellow writer, Jaime Manrique. Plus the memories of the daughter of the renowned British sculptor, Henry Moore; how the DEA helped track down Pablo Escobar; the ill-fated voyage of Shackleton's ship The Endurance; and inside one of the most notorious prison camps in post Soviet Central Asia.

(Photo: Reinaldo Arenas. Credit: Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Sygma/Getty Images)

The life and death of Reinaldo Arenas, plus Henry Moore and tracking down Pablo Escobar

The Curse Of Agent Orange2019022320190226 (WS)Millions left dead or deformed because of chemicals used in the Vietnam war, UK cigarette smoking warnings ignored, remains of the Nazi 'Angel of Death' discovered in Brazil, the Columbia Shuttle disaster which led to huge questions about American space safety and the unrest featured in the Oscar-nominated film, Roma, where Mexican students were killed by government-trained paramilitary troops.

Photo: Child suffering from spinal deformity in rehabilitation centre in Saigon.

Vietnam's toxic legacy, smoking warnings ignored and Nazi remains discovered in Brazil.

The Death Of Che Guevara2017101420171015 (WS)The final hours of the revolutionary hero, Italy's looted art and Madonna's early years.
The Death Of Princess Diana2017090220170903 (WS)Princess Diana's brother remembers the passionate speech he gave at her funeral.
The Death Of Virginia Woolf2016040220160403 (WS)It is 75 years since the great English author took her own life.
The Dili Massacre2016111920161120 (WS)Horror in East Timor, book-burning in Britain and the birth of the James Bond theme tune.
The 'disappeared' Of Lebanon2017111820171119 (WS)Women searching for their missing loved-ones in Lebanon, plus diamonds and naked dancing.
The Division Of Kashmir2019081720190819 (WS)The origins of the crisis in Kashmir, the warnings ignored about 9/11 and the arrest of the notorious terror suspect Carlos the Jackal. Plus the invention in a British back garden of the daily disposable contact lens and how Dr Seuss taught America to read.

Photo: Indian troops arriving in Kashmir in October 1947 (Getty Images)

How Kashmir was separated, the warnings about 9/11, Carlos the Jackal and Dr Seuss.

The Donner Party2016010220160103 (WS)A gruesome tale of the American West, Vietnamese refugees and a murder in Tsarist Russia.
The Early Days Of The European Union2020020120200204 (WS)The hurried signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which led to greater European unity, plus 1992 - when the British royal family started to reform its role after a year of scandal and disaster. Also on the programme, the horrific gang rape which prompted India to rethink its laws, the storm that helped British tree experts make an important scientific discovery and the woman born to slaves who became the first self-made female millionaire.

Photo: European leaders at the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images

The EU in the 1950s, the British royal scandal and the self-made female millionaire.

The hurried signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which led to greater European Unity, 1992 - when the British royal family started to reform its roleafter a year of scandal and disaster, the horrific gang rape which prompted India to rethink its laws, the storm which helped British tree experts make an important scientific discovery and the woman born to slaves who became the first self-made female millionaire.

The EU in 1957, British royal family scandal and the first self-made female millionaire.

The EU in the 1950s, the British royal scandal and the self-made female millionaire.

The End Of Apartheid2017020420170205 (WS)Former South African police minister talks apartheid, Black Hawk Down and a polar record
The End Of World War One2018111020181113 (WS)11th November 1918 saw the end of a four year war that had killed an estimated 20 million soldiers and civilians around the world. We hear eyewitness accounts of the conflict which was fought by many nations, on many continents. The historian, Professor Annika Mombauer joins Max Pearson to discuss the devastating war that changed the world.
Photo: Crowds in London celebrate the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918 (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Eyewitness accounts of the devastating war that changed the world.

The Ex-president And The Gun Lobby2018063020180701 (WS)This week, how former US President George Bush Senior took on the all-powerful National Rifle Association; the murder of the campaigning Irish journalist, Veronica Guerin; and how a Soviet submarine got stuck on a Swedish rock during the Cold War. Plus, the Cockney pilot who became known as the "King of Lampedusa" during World War Two.

(Photo: President George Bush Senior. Credit: Bachrach/Getty Images)

The power of the NRA; murdered Irish journalist, Veronica Guerin; Swedish submarine drama

The Fairy Photos2017090920170910 (WS)Searching for a spirit world after WW1, plus Jamaica's worst train crash, and Biosphere 2
The Fake Ids That Saved Jewish Lives2017102820171029 (WS)Escaping the Nazis in WW2 Hungary, Romania's abortion ban, and a literary love affair.
The Fall Of The Berlin Wall2019102620191029 (WS)1989 was a seismic year in world history and ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the clearest symbol of the Cold War. But it was a series of events across Europe that added to the momentum. We journey back through Poland, Hungary and East Germany ahead of that historic moment in November, through the testimonies of the people who were there at the centre of events; the Solidarity movement in Poland, the protesters in Hungary and East Germany and an account from the first people to cross the wall.

(Photo: East Germans climbing onto the top of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the East German border was announced in Berlin. November 9, 1989. Credit: REUTERS/Staff/Files)

A look at events across Europe in 1989 that led to the wall coming down in Germany.

The Final Days Of Sri Lanka's Civil War2019051820190520 (WS)In May 2009 the Sri Lankan army defeated the Tamil Tigers, ending a brutal 25-year civil war; also, the economists who predicted the 2008 global economic crash, plus the Nazis' stolen children, a victim of China's One Child policy, and the building of the great Karakoram Highway.

Photo: Tamil civilians standing on the roadside after crossing to a government-controlled area 2kms from the front-line, 2009 (Getty Images)

The last battles of a brutal conflict plus how the Nazis stole children.

The last battles of a brutal conflict plus how the Nazis stole children.

The First Alzheimer's Patient2016011620160117 (WS)The discovery of Alzheimer's disease, Nigeria's first coup and forbidden art in Russia
The First Anti-psychotic Drug2019061520190617 (WS)How a 1950s drug helped revolutionise the treatment of mental illness. Also, how hundreds of thousands of Kosovans fled when NATO bombed former Yugoslavia. Plus, a monumental public artwork in post-Cold War Berlin, Chinese-American relations after WW2, and a trailblazing same sex wedding in the 1970s.

Photo: Nurses prepare a patient for electric shock treatment in a psychiatric hospital. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Getty Images)

A mental health breakthrough, the end of the Kosovan war, and a trailblazing gay wedding.

A mental health breakthrough, the end of the Kosovan war, and a trailblazing gay wedding.

The First Legal 'physician-assisted Suicide'2016092420160925 (WS)In 1996 an Australian doctor legally helped a terminally ill man to die.
The First Russian Revolution Of 19172017031820170319 (WS)The Russian Revolution, AIDS and 'Patient Zero' plus escaping the Nazis as a child.
The Flavr Savr Tomato - The World's First Genetically Engineered Food2017040120170402 (WS)The GM food debate, an anthrax outbreak in the Soviet Union, and the Teletubbies turn 20.
The German American Bund2017022520170226 (WS)Nazis in 1930s America; Slobodan Milosevic on trial; attacks on Denmark's Little Mermaid.
The Good Friday Agreement2018033120180401 (WS)In 1998, the political parties in Northern Ireland reached a peace agreement that ended decades of war. We hear from Paul Murphy, the junior minister for Northern Ireland at the time. Plus, a cross-community choir in Bosnia and women pioneers from the worlds of finance and oceanography.

PHOTO: Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern (L) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) pose with the mediator

Peace in Northern Ireland; a cross-community Bosnian choir and a pioneering woman banker.

The Guerrilla Girls2020111420201117 (WS)In 1985 a group of anonymous female artists in New York began dressing up with gorilla masks on their heads and putting up fly-posters around the city's museums and galleries. We hear from two of the original Guerrilla Girls, who launched a campaign to demand greater representation for women and minorities in the art world. Also on the programme, the rarely heard voices of Africans who were forced to take sides in WW1; how Pluto lost its status as a planet, the invention of a revolutionary sign language, Makaton, in the 1970s, and changing 20th century theories of child rearing.

PHOTO: Some of the Guerrilla Girls in 1990 (Getty Images)

Fighting sexism and racism in the 1980s art world, plus Pluto is downgraded

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

The Gwangju Massacre2020053020200601 (WS)South Korea's Gwangju uprising; changing the way we eat; plus protecting Congo's forests

Forty years on from the Gwangju uprising in South Korea, the book that changed the way we eat, plus the dangers of being a Congolese conservationist. Also, revealing accounts of British wartime leader Winston Churchill from his doctor, and the pioneering African-American dress designer who designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress.

Photo: soldiers beating men in Gwangju in May 1980. Credit: 5.18 Memorial Foundation/AFP via Getty Images

The Hate Crime That Changed American Law2017100720171008 (WS)Why the brutal killing of a young gay man in Wyoming prompted change.
The History Of Modern Tourism2017070120170702 (WS)The Icelandic firm that broke the mould in air travel, the Hippie trail and Euro Disney.
The History Of The Volkswagen Beetle2020030720200310 (WS)How the British army helped rebuild the German car industry after WW2, plus the fight to ban leaded petrol, psychiatry as punishment in the USSR, striking South Asian women in 1970s Britain and 'Womenomics' in Japan.

Picture: Major Ivan Hirst (right) driving the 1000th Beetle off the production line at Wolfsburg in March 1946 (Credit: Volkswagen AG)

How the British army helped rebuild the German car industry after WW2.

The Imaginary War Heroes2016051420160515 (WS)During World War Two, Soviet propaganda promoted a heroic feat that never happened.
The Invention Of Liposuction2017050620170507 (WS)The start of the cosmetic surgery industry; the Tajik Civil War; and Magnum photo agency
The Invention Of The Tank20160917The first tanks during WW1; Peru's Shining Path movement; America's 2001 anthrax attacks.
The Iranian Revolution2019020220190205 (WS)In February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to Iran in the defining moment of a revolution that would change his country and the whole Middle East. In a special edition of the programme, Rebecca Kesby hears eye-witness accounts from the protestors who brought down the Shah, one of the Ayatollah's aides and an American embassy official taken hostage by Khomeini supporters. She also talks to the BBC Persian Service's special correspondent, Kasra Naji.

PHOTO: Ayatollah Khomeini returning to Iran (Gabriel Duval, AFP/Getty Images.)

Eye-witness accounts from the revolution that changed Iran and the World in 1979

The Killing Of Poet Roque Dalton2017052720170528 (WS)Murder of a radical writer; how Irish pubs saved the economy; Taiwan pop in culture war.
The Killing Of The Russian Tsar2018072120180722 (WS)The murder of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, four daughters and young son in 1918, plus how the Soviet Union struggled to feed its people in the 1950s; also the IRA attacks on mounted troops in London's Hyde Park in 1982, the Zionist bombing of the British headquarters in Jerusalem in 1946 and the first steps towards a nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

(Photo: Nicholas II, Tsar and his family. From left to right - Olga, Maria,Tsar Nicholas II,Tsarina Alexandra, Anastasia, Tsarevitch Alexei and Tatiana. Credit: Press Association

The murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, four daughters and young son in 1918.

The Kindertransport Children2019083120190902 (WS)Around 10,000 children were sent by their parents to safety in the UK out of Nazi-dominated Europe in the run-up to the outbreak of WW2 in 1939. Many of the so-called Kindertransport children never saw their parents again. We hear from Dame Stephanie Shirley who arrived in London as a five-year-old girl.
Also, how the legendary singer Nina Simone went to live in Liberia, plus a key breakthrough in criminal forensics, the lynching of a black teenager that galvanised America's civil rights movement, and the murder of Mexican young women in the border town of Ciudad Juarez.

(Photo:Getty Images)

Children fleeing the Nazis, a breakthrough in criminal forensics, plus Nina Simone

The Last Days Of Hitler2019020920190212 (WS)Life as Hitler's secretary; the killing of Che Guevara, and the Soweto Uprising
The Last King Of Bulgaria2018051220180513 (WS)From child king in the Second World War to post-communist prime minister, the story of Bulgaria's King Simeon II; the first ever surgery performed on a foetus in the womb, an American family selling secrets to the Soviets in the 1980s, plus the 1963 attempt to form a United States of Africa, and the earliest diagnosis of autism.

Photo: King Simeon II 1943 (credit: Bulgarian Royal Family)

From child king to prime minister, the story of Bulgaria's King Simeon II.

The Last Survivor Of The Transatlantic Slave Trade2020042520200427 (WS)The grandson of the last US slave, Pakistan's welfare hero and the Deepwater disaster.

The grandson of the last surviving African-born US slave, plus the story behind the portable hospital breathing ventilator that was a precursor to those helping save coronavirus lives; also on the programme the Pakistani welfare hero, the deadly explosion which sent 130 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and candid insights from one of America's greatest playwrights.

The Launch Of The Hubble Space Telescope2020032120200324 (WS)In 1990, NASA launched the historic mission which put into orbit the Hubble Space Telescope. The orbiting observatory has revolutionized astronomy and allowed us to peer deeper than ever before into the Universe. We hear from astronaut, Kathryn Sullivan. Plus, China's cure for malaria, the "Red Scare" in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s, and a pioneering sexual harassment case at the US Supreme Court.

PHOTO: The Hubble Space Telescope (NASA)

Putting an observatory in space; China's cure for malaria; the "Red Scare" in Hollywood.

The Launch Of The Moral Majority2016061820160619 (WS)The launch of the 'Moral Majority' in the USA, Mount Pinatubo and TV in Bhutan.
The Mafia And Italian Politics2020100320201005 (WS)The trial which linked a senior Italian politician to the Mafia, the death of the charismatic Egyptian President - Gamal Abdel Nasser, a whale rescue which brought together cold war enemies, the German house which witnessed a century of change and the birth of Google.

Photo: Giulio Andreotti in 1983. Credit: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

The trial which linked a senior Italian politician to the Mafia plus the birth of Google.

The Malayan Emergency2019050420190506 (WS)Battling a communist insurgency in 1950s Malaya, the sinking of the Belgrano during the UK Argentine conflict, plus how Ellen DeGeneres came out to millions on US TV, also the African who made the Arctic his home because of his fear of snakes and the life of WW1 poet Rupert Brooke.

Photo: A photograph taken by a British sergeant on patrol in the Malayan jungle.. (Copyright: Keystone/Getty Images)

Battling a communist insurgency in the 50s, sinking the Belgrano and the "Arctic African

Battling a communist insurgency in the 50s, sinking the Belgrano and the "Arctic African"

The Man Who Gave His Voice To Stephen Hawking2019113020191203 (WS)The story of the American scientist Dennis Klatt who pioneered synthesised speech. He used recordings of himself to make the sounds that gave physicist Stephen Hawking a voice. Plus India:struggling to live through economic shock treatment in the 1990s, also LEO the first electronic office system, the first confirmed case of AIDS in America and when Uluru, Australia's famous natural landmark was handed back to the control of the country's indigenous people.

(Photo: BOMBAY, INDIA: World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking answers questions with the help of a voice synthesiser during a press conference at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay, 06 January 2001. Credit AFP)

The scientist who pioneered synthesised speech. Plus the first US AIDS case..

The Man Who Inspired Britain's First Aids Charity2018120120181204 (WS)The first man in Britain to die of AIDS, whale hunting in the South Atlantic in the 1950s, how Norway voted not to join the EU, the American adventurer who inspired the Indiana Jones stories, and Saddam Hussein's draining of Iraq's southern marshes in a bid to flush out his opponents.

Picture: Terrence Higgins (Courtesy: Dr Rupert Whitaker)

The first British man to die of AIDS, 1950s whale hunting, and the real Indiana Jones

The first British man to die of AIDS, 1950s whale hunting, and the real Indiana Jones

The Mass Exodus Of Algeria's 'pieds Noirs'2019081020190812 (WS)The French colonialists who returned to France after decades in Algeria, the Catholic welcome when the British army was first deployed to Northern Ireland, plus the US nuclear submarine that went under the north pole, Britain's last battle in China in WW2 and the introduction of Community Service to help relieve overcrowded prisons.

(Photo: French repatriates leaving Algeria May 1962. (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Why French returnees from the colony of Algeria were ostracised after independence.

The Mayak Nuclear Disaster2016100120161002 (WS)A nuclear disaster, America's worst prison riot, World War Two internment and apartheid
The Mexican American War2016090320160904 (WS)We hear about the lowest point in US-Mexican relations, plus the last case of Smallpox.
The Million Man March2020072520200727 (WS)On 16th October 1995 hundreds of thousands of black American men marched on Washington D.C. in an attempt to put black issues back on the government agenda. We hear from one woman who went on the march. Plus the first women's refuge opens in Afghanistan, the son of the man behind the failed plot to kill Hitler in 1944, campaigning to protect the Borneo rain forest, and the world's fastest vaccine maker.

(Photo:The Million Man March, Credit:TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Black Americans march on Washington, and the first Afghan women's refuge.

The Munich Air Disaster2018021020180211 (WS)The plane crash that killed eight of Manchester United's top players, the courage of the British Suffragettes, uncovering South Africa's nuclear secrets, plus tracking down Nazis in South America and the attack on a South Korean airliner ahead of the Seoul Olympics.

(Photo: Plane wreckage at Munich airport - AFP/Getty Images)

The plane crash that killed eight of Manchester United's "Busby Babes" in 1958.

The Mystery Of The Disappearing Frogs2020012520200128 (WS)This week we're looking at extinction. The deadly fungus that's killing amphibians, the story of the Dodo, plus why discovering that whales 'sing' helped to save them. Also, the book that changed attitudes to the environment and the 'Frozen Zoo' that aims to preserve endangered DNA for future generations.

(Photo: dead frog infected with Chytrid Fungus. Credit: Forrest Brem)

How scientists discovered that a deadly fungus was killing off amphibians.

The Nairobi Embassy Bombing2016081320160814 (WS)A Kenyan hero who survived al Qaeda attack, Man on Wire, the Krays and digging up Masada
The Nazi Black Book2018101320181014 (WS)The Nazi arrest list for Britain, wartime Austria, and anti-traveller riots in Sweden
The Nestle Boycott2016071620160717 (WS)1970s consumer pressure on big business, plus child refugees from 80 years ago.
The Oka Crisis2017071520170716 (WS)A watershed moment for Canada's indigenous people, the birth of UKIP and Rave.
The Original Revolutionary Feminist2016031220160313 (WS)Feminism in the 20th century, poisoning in the Balkans, and a miscarriage of justice
The Oslo Peace Talks2018042820180429 (WS)The story behind the secret Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Oslo in 1993, the woman who swam from the USA to the Soviet Union, plus remembering Pablo Picasso, how art transformed notorious Scottish prisoners, and one of the most famous figures of World War One, the Red Baron.
Photo: Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat at the signing ceremony for the Oslo Accord, September 13,1993. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Secret attempt at Mid-East peace, remembering Pablo Picasso, the death of the Red Baron.

The Outbreak Of World War Two2019090720190909 (WS)On September 1st 1939 German forces invaded Poland. Douglas Slocombe, a British cameraman, was there at the time and filmed the build-up to the war. Also the man who resisted the Sicilian Mafia in the 1990s plus the first all-female peacekeeping force, the defining trial of holocaust denial and why Apollo 11's astronauts were put in quarantine after their historic landing on the moon.

(Image: German citizens in Gdansk (also known as Danzig) welcoming German troops during the invasion of Poland on September 3rd 1939. Credit:EPA/National Digital Archive Poland.)

Eyewitness account of the Nazi invasion of Poland and the first all-female peacekeepers.

The Pitcairn Sex Abuse Trial2016111220161113 (WS)Alleged sex abuse on a remote island, a controversial Kurdish song, men versus computers
The Poisoning Of Litvinenko2017120220171203 (WS)The murder of a former Russian spy, El Salvador's Civil War, and an oil spill in Spain.
The Publication Of Harry Potter2020021520200218 (WS)A look back at some of the most influential books of modern times, including an interview with the publisher who first spotted Harry Potter's potential. Plus, Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, Erica Jong's Fear of Flying, Brazilian bestseller Diary of a Favela, and dating handbook The Rules.

Picture: JK Rowling signs copies of the final Harry Potter book "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" at the Natural History Museum in London, 2007. (Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)

The origins of the boy wizard, plus Mao's Little Red Book and Erica Jong's Fear of Flying

Picture: JK Rowling signs copies of the final Harry Potter book "Harry Potter And The Deadly Hallows" at the Natural History Museum in London, 2007. (Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)

The Return Of The Wolf2019082420190826 (WS)Why the wolf was brought back to the US in the 1990s and the history of "rewilding", plus the liberation of Paris 75 years on, the missing children from El Salvador's civil war, the life and death of Brazil's legendary president Vargas, and the man who wanted to be a cyborg.

Photo:.A Yellowstone wolf watches biologists after being tranquilized and fitted with a radio collar during wolf collaring operations in Yellowstone National Park (William Campbell/Sygma via Getty Images)

Restoring the wolf in the US, the liberation of Paris and El Salvador's lost children

The Rise Of Hindu Nationalism2019041320190415 (WS)A religious rally called the Rath Yatra in 1990 championed militant Hinduism in India.
The Romanian Revolution2019122120191224 (WS)In this edition the fall of the Ceaușescus in Romania in December 1989, a global panic over bees in the early 2000s and WW2 black GIs finally recognised decades after the war. Plus the building of Abuja as Nigeria's capital and a woman's right to pray in some Hindu temples in India.

(Photo: The army join the revolutionaries in Romania 1989. Credit: Getty Images)

In December 1989 a wave of protests finally deposed communist dictator Nicolae Ceau\u0219escu.

The Roswell Incident2017070820170709 (WS)In July 1947 a US rancher found debris which some believe came from an alien spacecraft.
The Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks Take Control2017111120171112 (WS)Voices from the Russian Revolution; the first dog in space; and the songbird of Lebanon
The Second World War In Japan2020080820200810 (WS)It’s 75 years this week since the dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to Japan’s surrender to Allied forces and the end of the Second World War. We hear first-hand accounts of military turning points in the Pacific including the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Battle of Midway, and historian Ian Buruma explains the context for Japan’s attack on the US. We also hear about the impact of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki on civilians, about Japanese-American citizens imprisoned in internment camps in the US, and about the writing of Japan’s post-war constitution.

Picture: Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki after bombing by atomic bomb on 9th August 1945 ( US Air Force photo/PA)

It's 75 years since the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan, leading to the end of WW2.

The Siege At Ruby Ridge2020082220200824 (WS)Randy Weaver was a white separatist in Idaho in the north-west United States who was wanted by the government on firearms charges. When government agents approached his remote cabin on Ruby Ridge in August 1992, it was the start of an eleven day siege involving hundreds of police officers – which ended with the deaths of Weaver’s wife and teenage son, along with a US marshal. The incident would become a touchstone for the American far right.

Plus, growing up with Saddam Hussein, the invention of the asthma inhaler and digging up King Richard III of England.

PHOTO: Randy Weaver (C) shows a model of his Ruby Ridge, Idaho cabin to US Senator Arlen Specter, R-PA, during Senate hearings investigating the events surrounding the 1992 standoff with federal agents (PAMELA PRICE/AFP via Getty Images).

The standoff that galvanised the US far-right; plus, growing up with Saddam Hussein.

The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu2016052120160522 (WS)French forces surrender in Vietnam; the filming of Citizen Kane; the 1968 Paris riots.
The Siege Of Mecca2017112520171126 (WS)The 1979 battle for the holiest site in Islam; Vietnam's deadly coup; prosecuting Manson
The Six Day War 19672017061020170611 (WS)Soldiers from both sides on the battle for Jerusalem; plus Robert Kennedy's assassination
The Skull Valley Sheep Kill2018032420180325 (WS)Thousands of sheep die next to a US chemical weapons testing ground in 1968, plus Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, also Elvis in the army and the assassination of a presidential candidate in Mexico.

Photo: Two farmers checking the corpses of dead sheep on a farm ranch, possibly connected to a chemical and biological warfare testing at Dugway Proving Ground, March 1968; credit: Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Thousands of sheep die next to a US chemical weapons testing ground.

The Soviet Invasion Of Afghanistan2019122820191231 (WS)On 24th December 1979 Soviet troops poured into Afghanistan in support of an anti-government coup. The Soviet occupation would last for nine years.

Plus, the hidden history of the board game Monopoly, the invention of chemotherapy, the heaviest aerial bombardment of the Vietnam war at Christmas 1972, and the street-performer origins of the global circus phenomenon Cirque du Soleil.

Picture: Russian tanks take up positions in front of the Darulaman (Abode of Peace) Palace in Kabul, January 1980. (Henri Bureau/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

The Soviet-Afghan war, the invention of chemotherapy, and Cirque du Soleil.

The Stonewall Riot2019062920190701 (WS)The riot that inspired the modern gay rights movement; Saddam Hussein's 1980s genocidal campaign against Iraq's Kurds; notorious British serial killers, Fred and Rose West; 50 years of fighting for fat people in America; and Joseph Heller on his seminal work, Catch-22.

Picture: the Stonewall Inn today (Getty Images)

The riot that inspired the gay rights movement; genocide against the Kurds; and Catch-22

The riot that inspired the gay rights movement; genocide against the Kurds; and Catch-22

The Street Battle That Rocked Brazil2018100620181007 (WS)In October 1968, students from two neighbouring universities in the centre of São Paulo clashed in a battle which left one dead and many injured. We hear how the so-called 'Battle of Maria Antônia' drove Brazil deeper into a military dictatorship which is still controversial to this day. Plus, a pioneering race relations case in Britain during World War 2, the invention of artificial skin and fashion in the Soviet Union.

Photo: the 'Battle of Maria Antonia', São Paulo, 1968. Credit: Agência Estado/AFP

The fighting in Sao Paulo in 1968 that drove Brazil deeper into military dictatorship.

The Takeover Of Russia's Ntv2017041520170416 (WS)A setback for media freedom in Russia; Ethiopia's Red Terror; and WW2's Katyn massacre.
The Tet Offensive2018020320180204 (WS)In January 1968, North Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong guerrillas launched a huge surprise attack on towns, cities and military bases across South Vietnam. The events of the Tet offensive had a profound impact on American public opinion and marked a turning point in the war.

Plus the roots of the Rohingya crisis, the birth of gospel music, Ireland's Bloody Sunday, and the end of corporal punishment in Britain.

Photo: Julian Pettifer reporting under fire near the Presidential Palace in Saigon, 31st January 1968 (BBC)

A turning point in the Vietnam War; the birth of gospel music; Ireland's Bloody Sunday.

The Thalidomide Trial2016052820160529 (WS)German drugs company goes on trial; Hands Across America; the execution of Anne Boleyn.
The Trial Of Maurice Papon2017051320170514 (WS)The French minister tried for Nazi collusion, the USSR's 007 and US wine beats French.
The University Of Texas Shooting2016080620160807 (WS)The first campus killings in the US; an arts festival in Lebanon; meeting JD Salinger
The Unsung Hero Of Heart Surgery2017121620171217 (WS)The African-American lab technician who pioneered surgery that saved millions of babies.
The War On Drugs2019051120190513 (WS)US efforts to deal with illegal drugs in 1971, plus the rise of Jack Ma in China.

US efforts to deal with illegal drugs in 1971, plus the rise of Jack Ma in China.

The Whitewashing Of Zimbabwe's Ancient History2018072820180729 (WS)The true history of the Great Zimbabwe ruins uncovered after independence, why Churchill lost the post-war election also the first women at the US military academy West Point and the crack down on leftist supporters in the south before the Korean war.

(Photo; The iconic tower in the Great Enclosure of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. It's one of the most important archaeological sites in Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Credit; Getty Creative.)

How the true history of the Great Zimbabwe ruins was uncovered after independence.

The Woman Who Stopped Equal Rights In America2017061720170618 (WS)In June 1982 Phyllis Schlafly defeated a law to guarantee gender equality in the US.
The Zanzibar Revolution2020060620200608 (WS)How a bloody revolution changed East Africa, the start of the WHO and remembering Christo

How a bloody 1960s revolution changed East Africa. We hear an eyewitness account and talk to Professor Emma Hunter of Edinburgh University. Plus the birth of ecotourism in Costa Rica, the post-war origin of the World Health Organisation, the man who created the world's first portable defibrillator, and remembering the artist Christo.

PHOTO: Ugandan revolutionary and self-styled Field Marshal John Okello (1937 - 1971), leader of the Afro-Shirazi anti-Arab coup in Zanzibar, circa 1964. (Photo by Pix/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The Zimbabwe Massacres2018041420180415 (WS)In this week's episode, Robert Mugabe's brutal crack down on the opposition in the 1980s, a mass expulsion of Soviet spies from Britain in the 1970's and the working class film revolution of the 1960's. Plus the first frozen embryo and the death of a German student leader that sparked huge demonstrations.

(Photo: Robert Mugabe. Getty Images)

Robert Mugabe sent troops to put down opposition supporters in western Zimbabwe in 1983.

Tiananmen Square2019060120190603 (WS)A student protester's perspective on the Tiananmen Square massacre, the first social network on the internet, the surprisingly controversial early years of Sesame Street, the overthrow of Emperor Bokassa in the CAR, and the death of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Picture: Dan Wang speaking in Tiananmen Square (credit: Peter Turnley/Corbis/Getty Images)

Remembering Tiananmen Square, the internet's first social network, and Sesame Street

Picture: Dan Wang speaking in Tiananmen Square (credit: Peter Turnley/Corbis/Getty Images)

To Kill A Mockingbird2017122320171224 (WS)One of the most successful American films ever; BR Ambedkar; and the invention of WiFi.
Truth And Reconciliation In South Africa2018012020180121 (WS)After Apartheid was abolished in the 1990s, South Africa set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to try to confront the legacy of its brutal past. We speak to Justice Sisi Khampepe, who served on the Commission. Plus, the inspiring story of the disabled Irish author, Christoper Nolan; an inside account of two of America's most famous presidential speeches; and the role of British women in World War I.

(PHOTO: Pretoria South Africa: President Nelson Mandela (L) with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, acknowledges applause after he received a five volumes of Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report from Archbishop Tutu. Credit: Getty Images.)

The post-Apartheid reckoning in South Africa; adoption in Guatemala; Women in World War I

U2 Spy Plane2016050720160508 (WS)A secret spy plane shot down over the USSR, Salem Witches, Hitler's A-bomb & Hemingway.
Ufo Sightings: The Rendlesham Forest Incident2018122920190101 (WS)The most striking and well documented UFO "sightings" there have ever been plus the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the theft of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950 also one of the first electronic instruments and how Britain has long honoured its' military animals.

(Photo: Computer illustration of UFOs - Unidentified Flying Objects)

The most striking and well documented UFO "sightings" there have ever been.

The most striking and well documented UFO "sightings" there have ever been.

US presidential history special2020103120201103 (WS)Eyewitness accounts of moments in US presidential history: Inside JFK's election victory, remembering Shirley Chisholm - the first African American from a major party to make a presidential run, plus a senator's account of the Watergate hearings, the rise of the religious right and the story of President Bush's 9/11.

Photo: US President John F. Kennedy giving his first State of the Union address to Congress in January 1961. (Credit: NASA/SSPL/Getty Images)

Inside JFK's election victory, plus Shirley Chisholm, Watergate, and the religious right

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

US presidential history special2020103120201103 (WS)Eyewitness accounts of moments in US presidential history: Inside JFK's election victory, remembering Shirley Chisholm - the first African American from a major party to make a presidential run, plus a senator's account of the Watergate hearings, the rise of the religious right and the story of President Bush's 9/11.

Photo: US President John F. Kennedy giving his first State of the Union address to Congress in January 1961. (Credit: NASA/SSPL/Getty Images)

Inside JFK's election victory, plus Shirley Chisholm, Watergate, and the religious right

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

Vatican Ii: Reforming The Catholic Church2019012620190129 (WS)In January 1959 Pope John XXIII announced a council of all the world's Catholic bishops and cardinals in Rome. It led to sweeping reforms. Plus Carmen Callil recalls setting up Virago, the most successful feminist publishing house to date; India gives birth to the call centres and remembering the Carry-on films.

(Photo; Pope John XXIII at the Vatican. Credit: Getty Images)

Sweeping changes at the Vatican, plus the ground-breaking women's publisher Virago.

Ve Day Special2020050920200511 (WS)Eyewitness accounts of the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of World War Two in Europe.

Eyewitness accounts of the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War in Europe. Using unique interviews from the BBC's archives we bring you men and women who fought in the battle for Berlin, and some of those who were with Hitler in his final days. We present the story of a German woman who survived the start of Soviet occupation, and we meet the historian whose 1995 exhibition challenged Germans' view of the war. Plus the sounds of VE Day in London, 8th May 1945, as reported by the BBC at the time. Putting it all into context, presenter Max Pearson talks to Dr Mary Fulbrook, Professor of German History at University College London and author of the award winning book "Reckonings" about the aftermath of the war and the quest for justice.

(Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Venezuela's Oil Bonanza2019030220190305 (WS)When Venezuela was rich; surviving a mid-air airline disaster; the swine flu crisis
Vera Brittain: Anti-bombing Campaigner2018081820180819 (WS)Baroness Shirley Williams recalls her mother, WW2 anti-bombing protestor; 20 years since a mass killing in Omagh, the African-American photographer whose coverage of Martin Luther King's funeral won him a Pullitzer Prize, plus when TV finally came to South Africa and the birth of the instant noodle.

Photo: Vera Brittain at Euston Station, London, in 1956. Credit: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

WW2 anti-bombing protestor, 20 years since Omagh and the birth of the instant noodle.

Vikings In North America2019010520190108 (WS)The discovery that proved the Vikings got to North America, a former Marxist rebel describes how his group overran an army base in El Salvador's bitter civil war in the 1980s, the enormous palace built by the Romanian communist dictator, Nicole Ceausescu, how the prolific romantic novelist Barbara Cartland was made a Dame by the Queen and the summer of 1987 when thousands of tins of marijuana washed up on a Brazilian beach.

Photo: Replicas of Norse houses from 1000 years ago at L'Anse aux Meadows. (LightRocket/Getty Images)

Exciting discovery in Canada plus a rebel attack in Central America and Brazilian booty.

Exciting discovery in Canada plus a rebel attack in Central America and Brazilian booty.

Walking The Great Wall Of China2017093020171001 (WS)The Great Wall of China; the death of a Pope; and anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko
When Animals Make History2017092320170924 (WS)From a guide dog on 9/11 to Australia's rabbit plague - five stories from animal history.
When Belgium Banned Coca Cola2018102020181021 (WS)A strange illness strikes Belgian teenagers, Brazil's forgotten Amazon war, diverting Mount Etna's lava, arguments over aid and trade in the UK, and the 1973 oil crisis.

(Photo: A poster saying 'out of order' is stuck on a Coca Cola vending machine in Mouscron, Belgium in 1999. Credit: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images).

A strange illness strikes Belgian teenagers, Brazil's Amazon war, and the 1973 oil crisis

When Buckingham Palace Opened Its Doors2018081120180812 (WS)Buckingham Palace lets in the public for the first time in 1993; East German farmers fight potato beetles supposedly dropped by the USA; Burma erupts in a violent uprising in 1988; Yitzhak Rabin becomes the first Israeli leader to visit Jordan officially; two villages, in Armenia and in Azerbaijan, swap homes to avoid ethnic violence.

Photo: Buckingham Palace. Credit: BBC.

Buckingham Palace lets in the public, fake news from East Germany, uprising in Burma.

When France Said 'non' To Britain Joining Europe2018011320180114 (WS)When France stopped Britain joining Europe in the 1960s, the boy who set a record for continuously staying awake, the launch of the first iPhone, hands reaching out in friendship between Britain and Germany after the Second World War, and a notorious massacre during Algeria's bitter internal conflict of the 1990s.

Photo: Charles de Gaulle, President of France, at a press conference on 14th January 1963 at which he said Britain was not ready to join the European Economic Community, now the EU (Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)

When France said 'Non' to Britain, the first iPhone, and the record for staying awake

When Homosexuality Was A Crime2017072920170730 (WS)The horrific use of aversion therapy for gay men; plus Chiang Kai Shek's former aide.
When Margaret Thatcher Came To Power2018050520180506 (WS)Working for Britain's first female PM, the rare story of prisoners on the high seas in WW2, plus the Children's Crusade for civil right in 60s Alabama, the origin of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the story behind the Japanese TV hit, Takeshi's Castle.
Photo: British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with husband Denis on May 4th 1979. (Credit: John Minihan/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Britain's first female PM, prisoners on the high seas, and the story of Takeshi's Castle

When Russia's Richest Man Was Jailed2018102720181028 (WS)
20181030 (WS)
Russia's struggles with big business, when Nigeria struck oil, why Maximilian Kolbe was made a saint, the London arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Desmond Tutu.

Photo: former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky leaving the courtroom in Moscow, Russia, September 22, 2005. Credit: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images

Mikhail Khodorkovsky on his arrest in Russia, Nigerian oil and Desmond Tutu.

When Stalin Rounded Up Soviet Doctors2019011220190115 (WS)Stalin's last terror campaign against the best Soviet doctors, Castro's triumphant entry into Havana, the extraordinary story of how a destitute single mother produced a best selling memoir about her life in a Brazilian favela. Also, the controversy over 'Fat Is a Feminist Issue', and the world's only seed vault.

Photo: Yakov Rapoport, one of the few survivors of Stalin's 'Doctors' Plot'. Credit: family archive.

Stalin's last terror campaign, Fidel Castro takes over Havana, and the world's seed vault

Stalin's last terror campaign, Fidel Castro takes over Havana, and the world's seed vault

When The Us Shot Down An Iranian Airliner2018070720180708 (WS)How a US warship downed a passenger jet killing 290 people, plus the story behind The Toilet, the controversial 1990s Russian 'masterpiece', Madeleine Albright on Kosovo, the history of adventure playgrounds. and the hunt for Deep Throat.

Photo: The USS Vincennes fires a surface to air missile towards Iran Air flight 655 on 3 July 1988 (Rudy Pahoyo)

The tragic story of Flight 655, a Russian art controversy, plus Madeleine Albright

When Tunisia Led On Women's Rights2019072720190729 (WS)Liberation for Tunisia's women in the 1950s; gay and lesbian fake marriages in China

Liberation for Tunisia's women in the 1950s; gay and lesbian fake marriages in China

Why Portugal Decriminalised All Drugs2020102420201027 (WS)In the grips of a drug crisis, why Portugal took a radical approach in 2001 and became the first country in the world to decriminalise all drugs. Also searching for those who disappeared during apartheid rule in South Africa, how mistakes with the initial production of the polio vaccine made thousands of children ill in 1995, plus the black women who helped propel NASA's space programme and Joan Littlewood a giant in 20th century British theatre.

(Image: Staffers interview a new patient in Lisbon, Portugal (Credit: Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Why Portugal took a radical approach to drugs in 2001, plus theatre's Joan Littlewood

Wittenoom: An Australian Tragedy2018062320180624 (WS)Asbestos-related deaths in Australia and when doctors first described child abuse.
Women In The Law2020040420200405 (WS)
20200406 (WS)
Trailblazing British lawyer Rose Heilbron was the first female judge at London's famous Old Bailey criminal court. Her daughter Hillary Heilbron QC remembers how hard she had to fight to be accepted. Dana Denis-Smith, founder of the First 100 Years Project about the history of women in law, discusses women's participation in legal professions around the world.

Plus, being a Muslim in China, the Swedish warship restored after 300 years, the assassination that aimed to revenge the Amritsar massacre, and Pando, the biggest living organism in the world by mass.

Photo: English KC (King's Counsel) Rose Heilbron (1914 - 2005) arrives at the House of Lords in London, for the traditional champagne breakfast hosted by the Lord Chancellor at the start of the Michaelmas Term for the law courts, 2nd October 1950. (Credit William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Trailblazing British lawyer Rose Heilbron, plus Muslims in China and a Swedish warship

Women's Rights In Iran2018021720180218 (WS)We hear from Mahnaz Afkhami, Iran's first ever minister for Women's Affairs, appointed in 1975. Plus, the so-called "headscarf revolutionaries" who fought for improvements in Britain's notoriously dangerous fishing industry, a member of the Viet Cong recalls one of the biggest battles of the Vietnam War, finding the lost notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the 1970s lesbian separatist movement in America.

Photo: Mahnaz Afkhami at the UN in 1975. (Mahnaz Afkhami)

Iran's first minister for Women's Affairs, headscarf revolutionaries and battling for Hue

Ww1: Britain's Conscientious Objectors2018080420180805 (WS)The treatment of Britain's First World War conscientious objectors, Iran bends the nuclear rules, the CIA's first coup in Latin America, what happened to Eastern Europe's dancing bears, and the culling in Wales of a sacred bull.

Photo: A crowd of conscientious objectors to military service during World War I at a special prison camp (Hulton Archive)

First World War conscientious objectors, Iran bends the nuclear rules, and dancing bears

Yoyes, Eta's Female Icon2016121720161218 (WS)The death of a Basque fighter, resisting the Nazis in Lithuania, and a Hindu milk miracle