Episodes

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2021060520210607 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2021061220210614 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
20210619An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2021061920210621 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2021090420210906 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
2021091120210913 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
Amilcar Cabral: An African Liberation Legend2021052920210531 (WS)We remember Amilcar Cabral, who led the armed struggle against Portuguese colonial rule in West Africa in the 1970s and speak to Dr Nayanka Perdigao about his legacy. Plus the shocking fallout of the Indian rail strike in 1974 which was - at the time - the biggest industrial action on record and from a century ago, the Tulsa race massacre, when thousands of African Americans were left homeless and hundreds were killed. We'll also find out how Lotfia Elnadi became the first Arab woman pilot in 1933 and the story behind the first big charity fundraising rock concert in the Soviet Union when communism broke with its antipathy toward western pop music.

Photo: Rebel soldiers on patrol in Guinea Bissau during the Portuguese Colonial War in West Africa, 1972. Credit: Reg Lancaster/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Overcoming Portuguese rule in Africa, the Tulsa race massacre and India's biggest strike.

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

Chipko: India's Tree-hugging Women2021080720210809 (WS)The story of the famed 1970s Indian conservation movement. Plus we speak to Professor Vinita Damodaran about the history of Indian environmentalism. Also Patti Boulaye on escaping the Biafran war, we hear from Dorothy Butler Gilliam - an African American news pioneer, why Afghanistan's first private radio station helped change a generation, and memories of a taboo-breaking gay support group in 1990s India.

(Photo by Bhawan Singh/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)

The 1970s environmental movement, a child who fled Biafra, an American news pioneer

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

Darfur's Ethnic War2021072420210726 (WS)We hear about the start of the war in Darfur, through the eyes of a teenage boy whose life was changed when the Sudanese military allied to a local militia, the Janjaweed, laid waste to villages across the region, killing and raping as they went. We hear from a survivor of Norway's worst day of terror, when a far-right extremist, Anders Breivik, launched a bomb attack on government offices and attacked a summer camp. Plus a story from our archives from a British army officer during World War Two who witnessed the end of Italy's colonial rule in East Africa during a final battle in the Ethiopian town of Gondar. From Brazil, the women's rights activist whose story of abuse inflicted by her husband inspired the country's first legislation recognising different forms of domestic violence in 2006. Lastly, the story of how the family of the artist Vincent Van Gogh worked to get him recognised as a great painter after he died penniless in 1890.

Photo: A young Darfurian refugee walks past a Sudan Liberation Army Land Rover filled with teenage rebel fighters on October 14 2004 in the violent North Darfur region of Sudan. (Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images)

Darfur - a child's story, Brazil's first law on domestic violence and Vincent van Gogh.

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

Japan History Special2021073120210802 (WS)To coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, we look back at some moments from recent Japanese history. We remember the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan and triggered a nuclear emergency in 2011, with Max Pearson who reported from Japan for the BBC at the time. Plus we hear from the driver of one of the first revolutionary bullet trains, how Japan caught up with the rest of the developed world on contraception, the amazing story of the Japanese soldier who hid out on the island of Guam for almost 30 years, refusing to accept that WW2 had ended, and the inventor of Karaoke.

Photo: Tsunami smashes into the city of Miyako in Iwate prefecture shortly after an earthquake hit the region of northern Japan, 11th March 2011 (JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the first bullet train, plus other historical moments

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

Lgbt Special2021062620210628 (WS)In June 1969, the gay community in New York responded to police brutality and harassment by rioting outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The protest sparked the creation of the modern LGBT rights movement and the first Gay Pride events. We hear from Stonewall veteran, John O'Brien.

Plus, how the LGBT community in China use "Cooperative Marriages" to avoid family pressure, LGBT activism in Ivory Coast and the story of Anne Lister, the 19th century Englishwoman sometimes considered the first "modern lesbian".

PHOTO: Exterior of the Stonewall Inn, pictured in June 2015 (Credit: Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Stonewall Riot, China's Cooperative Marriages" and LGBT activism in Ivory Coast

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

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My Father Survived The Sinking Of The Titanic2021082820210830 (WS)Fang Lang was one of six Chinese men who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The six faced racism and a hostile immigration system when they reached America. Unlike other survivors, their stories remained untold for decades. We hear from Fang Lang's son Tom and Arthur Jones whose documentary called The Six tells the story of those six Chinese survivors. Also John Maynard Keynes, the economist who transformed the world, changing attitudes in Mexico towards disabled women plus Nigeria’s war against indiscipline in the 1980s and the contested legacy of one of the most revered Arab poets of the twentieth century.

Photo: Tom’s father, Fang Lang. Credit: LP Films.

How six Chinese sailors were rescued from the Titanic, but then faced racism in America

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

North Korea's 1990s Famine2021071020210712 (WS)When the USSR collapsed it could no longer support North Korea, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths due to starvation and malnutrition. We hear from one survivor and Prof Hazel Smith who explains some of the contributing factors behind the 'long, slow famine'. Also on the programme, the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, why the UK sent all its gold to Canada during World War Two, battling for Roma rights and the mystery behind Cuba's blindness epidemic. All told by the people at the heart of the stories.

Photo: North Korean boys at a kindergarten in Pyongyang pose for a World Food Programme Emergency Food Assistance photographer in 1997. Their thin arms and legs, knobby knees and distended abdomens show that they are seriously malnourished. (Credit: Susan North/AFP/Getty Images)

How hundreds of thousands died of starvation and malnutrition in North Korea

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

Supernatural Sightings2021070320210705 (WS)Is there anybody out there? Max Pearson hears about a UFO sighting in rural Zimbabwe in 1994 and talks to Gideon Lewis-Kraus of the New Yorker about whether the US Pentagon is taking UFOs more seriously. Plus, the birth of communist China, a wind power pioneer, trailblazing Chinese students and a radical Syrian playwright.

Image: Composite of children's illustrations of UFO, Zimbabwe 1994.

UFOs in Zimbabwe, the birth of communist China and a wind power pioneer.

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

The Berlin Wall2021081420210816 (WS)In August 1961, communist East Germany began building the Berlin Wall, which divided the city for nearly three decades and became a symbol of the Cold War. We hear the memories of Germans from both sides of the Wall and tales of daring escapes. Plus, what life was like in the East - from nudism and folk music to the grim reality of facing the notorious Stasi secret police.

PHOTO: Soldiers at the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s (Getty Images)

In 1961, communist East Germany began building the wall that symbolised Cold War Europe

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

The Confederate Flag And America's Battle Over Race20210619In June 2015 an American anti-racist activist climbed a flagpole on the South Carolina state house grounds to take down the Confederate flag. The protest followed the killing of 9 black people at a historic Charleston church by a white supremacist who was pictured holding the flag. We discuss the

history of this divisive symbol of America's racist past. Also how life in the Chinese countryside has been dramatically changed by 40 years of migration to the cities. Plus, from the 1980s, a British TV event that shifted attitudes towards victims of rape, East Germany’s iconic Trabant car and the man behind Mindfulness.

Photo Bree Newsome taking down the Confederate flag at the State House in Columbia, SC, on Saturday 27th June 2015. Credit Adam Anderson / Reuters.

One African-American woman\u2019s act of defiance after a mass shooting in a black church.

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

The Confederate Flag And America's Battle Over Race2021061920210621 (WS)In June 2015 an American anti-racist activist climbed a flagpole on the South Carolina state house grounds to take down the Confederate flag. The protest followed the killing of 9 black people at a historic Charleston church by a white supremacist who was pictured holding the flag. We discuss the

history of this divisive symbol of America's racist past. Also how life in the Chinese countryside has been dramatically changed by 40 years of migration to the cities. Plus, from the 1980s, a British TV event that shifted attitudes towards victims of rape, East Germany’s iconic Trabant car and the man behind Mindfulness.

Photo Bree Newsome taking down the Confederate flag at the State House in Columbia, SC, on Saturday 27th June 2015. Credit Adam Anderson / Reuters.

One African-American woman\u2019s act of defiance after a mass shooting in a black church.

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

The History Hour2021061220210614 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
The History Hour2021062620210628 (WS)An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.
The War On Drugs20210605US President Richard Nixon declared illegal drugs 'public enemy number one' in 1971 and launched a worldwide 'war' on the narcotics trade. 50 years on we revisit key moments in the ongoing fight against the powerful criminal groups involved from Columbia to Afghanistan. We'll hear personal stories from the front line of drug addiction, plus journalist and author Ioan Grillo joins our presenter Max Pearson to discuss, what went wrong in the war on drugs?

Photo: US President Richard Nixon (BBC)

US President Nixon declared illegal drugs 'public enemy number one' in June 1971

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

The War On Drugs2021060520210607 (WS)US President Richard Nixon declared illegal drugs 'public enemy number one' in 1971 and launched a worldwide 'war' on the narcotics trade. 50 years on we revisit key moments in the ongoing fight against the powerful criminal groups involved from Columbia to Afghanistan. We'll hear personal stories from the front line of drug addiction, plus journalist and author Ioan Grillo joins our presenter Max Pearson to discuss, what went wrong in the war on drugs?

Photo: US President Richard Nixon (BBC)

US President Nixon declared illegal drugs 'public enemy number one' in June 1971

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

Us Withdrawal: The Fall Of Saigon2021082120210823 (WS)The desperate scramble to evacuate the US embassy at the end of the Vietnam war in 1975, also the 1940s Indian radio station calling for independence. We'll look at life as a 'human shield' in Iraq under Saddam, the man who invented the term 'genocide' and why, and the messy diplomatic embarrassment of Nicolae Ceaușescu's visit to The Queen in 1978.

(Photo: A CIA employee helps Vietnamese evacuees onto an Air America helicopter from the top of 22 Gia Long Street, a half mile from the U.S. Embassy. April 1975. Getty Images.)

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

When Egypt Said Enough2021052220210524 (WS)Under the slogan 'kefaya' which means 'enough' in Arabic, in 2004 Egyptians began protesting in Cairo against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The months of demonstrations took place several years before the Arab Spring swept through the region and drew many people onto the streets for the first time in their lives. We get an eye-witness account.

Plus, Ariel Sharon's controversial visit to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in 2000, the women who staged strikes against military rule in South Korea, and the landmark 1971 conference on saving the world's wetlands.

PHOTO: Protestors in Egypt in 2004 (AFP/Getty Images)

The forerunner of the Arab Spring; fighting repression in South Korea; saving wetlands

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

When Israel Destroyed Iraq's Nuclear Reactor2021061220210614 (WS)On 7 June 1981 Israeli fighter jets launched a surprise attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor located outside Baghdad, killing 11 people. The French-built reactor was still under construction and there was no leakage of nuclear material, but the bombing was widely condemned internationally. We hear from Dr Fadhil Muslim al Janabi, a former consultant for Iraq's nuclear agency. Also this week, eye-witness testimony to the fall of Madrid in 1939; Hamas' unexpected election victoryin 2006, the plight of legal sex workers in Tunisia and taking part in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the consecration of Coventry's new cathedral.

Photo: The Tammuz light-water nuclear materials testing reactor under construction in Al-Tuwaitha, just outside of Baghdad, 1979. (Getty Images)

The 1981 attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor, plus the fall of Madrid & Gaza elections

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

When The Taliban Ruled Kabul2021071720210719 (WS)Afghans remember life under the Taliban in 1990s Kabul, and we ask Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network about the fall and rise of the Taliban. Plus, Jane Goodall on her ground-breaking study of chimpanzees, why race riots swept northern England in 2001, the remarkable story of a boy trapped in China's Cultural Revolution, and the invention of the jet engine.

Photo: Taliban gunners outside Kabul in November 1996.(Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)

Life under the Taliban in the 1990s, China's Cultural Revolution, inventing a jet engine

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