Witness [world Service]

The story of our times told by the people who were there.

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20170531

On May 31st 1986 a small group of musicians staged the first charity rock concert ever held in the USSR. It was organised in less than two weeks to raise money for the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. The nuclear reactor accident had happened just a month before in Ukraine. Some of the artists who played at the concert had been previously banned by the Soviet authorities, so the concert was a social revolution, as organiser - Artemy Troitsky explains to Rebecca Kesby.

(PHOTO Credit TASS: Soviet pop star Alla Pugacheva performs at a concert for the victims of the Chernobyl disaster)

20170601

In June 1972 one of Hitchcock's most controversial movie was released. It was his penultimate film and provoked some critics to accuse him of revelling in scenes of violence against women. Vincent Dowd speaks to actor Barbara Leigh-Hunt about working with the renowned director and about her role as the female victim in Frenzy.

(Photo: Alfred Hitchcock on location of the film "Frenzy" in Covent Garden, London, 1971. Credit: Jack Kay/Daily Express/Getty Images)

20170606

Senator Robert Kennedy died in the early hours of June 6th 1968. He had been shot the day before in a Los Angeles hotel as he prepared to celebrate winning the California primary in the race to become the Democratic Party's nominee for President. His labour adviser Paul Schrade, who was standing next to him, was also injured in the attack. He spoke to Ashley Byrne about Robert Kennedy the man, and about the events surrounding his death.

Photo: Robert Kennedy speaking in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles shortly before the shooting took place. Copyright: BBC.

20170607

On 7 June 1967, Israel captured the whole of Jerusalem during the Six Day War, including its most holy site, the Temple Mount that is revered by both Jews and Muslims. Louise Hidalgo has been talking to Arik Achmon, one of the first Israeli paratroopers to enter the old city that day and reach the Western Wall.

(Photo: Israeli photographer David Rubinger's iconic photograph of Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's old city following its capture by Israel. Credit: David Rubinger/AFP/Getty Images)

20170608

In 1967 East Jerusalem was under the control of Jordan and Captain Nabih El Suhaimat was stationed there. In early June he and his soldiers fought in vain against Israeli paratroopers. But they lost control of the Old City and he was forced to flee Jerusalem in disguise. He has spoken to Zeinab Dabaa about the Six Day War.

Photo: Nabih El Suhaimat in his Jordanian Army Uniform. Credit: Nabih El Suhaimat.

20170613

Hundreds of thousands of Algeria's indigenous people, the Berbers, marched to the capital Algiers in June 2001 for a massive demonstration demanding more rights. In particular, they wanted official recognition for the Berber language, Tamazight. Zeinab Dabaa has spoken to Berber activist Rasheed Alwash about the demonstration.

Photo: Berber youths, who walked from their village in Kabylia region to take part in the rally in the capital Algiers. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

20170614

In June 1982 an attempt to amend the US constitution to guarantee equal rights for men and women was defeated. Despite two decades of women's liberation activism and a huge groundswell of political support, the amendment was prevented from going through. The defeat was in large part down to one woman, staunch Republican and leading conservative, Phyllis Schlafly. Claire Bowes has been listening to archive recordings of Mrs Schlafly, held by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential library.

PHOTO: American political activist Phyllis Schlafly smiles from behind a pair of podium mounted microphones, 1982. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

20170615

In June 1967, the Beatles were invited by the BBC to appear on the world's first live TV broadcast, called Our World. In a now iconic appearance, the band played a new song called All You Need Is Love, which captured the anti-war spirit of Swinging London. Simon Watts talks to Mike McCartney, performer with the Scaffold and brother of Paul McCartney.

(Photo: The Beatles at the "All You Need Is Love" recording. Credit: Getty Images)

20170616

On 17 June 1940, a packed British troopship was sunk off the coast of France by German bombers. The ship had just picked up thousands of British military personnel left behind in France after the evacuation of the army at Dunkirk. It's believed around 5,000 people lost their lives. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in British history and news of the sinking was initially supressed in Britain. Alex Last spoke to 99-year-old Ernest Beesley, a sapper in the Royal Engineers, who is among the last survivors of the Lancastria.
Photo: The Lancastria after being hit by German bombers off the coast of France in 1940 (Lancastria Association of Scotland)

20170707

In July 1987 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka attacked an army camp. It was the first of hundreds of suicide attacks carried by the group known as the "Black Tigers" against both military and civilian targets during the country's long running civil war. Farhana Haider hears from a former Tamil resident of Sri Lanka and from one of the only filmmakers to have spent any time with the Black Tigers.

Photo: Captain Miller shrine at Nelliady, Jaffna, Sri Lanka on Black Tigers Day, 2004. Credit: Public Domain

20170711

The dissident poet was sentenced to 7 years in a Soviet Labour camp. She suffered from cold, malnutrition and harsh treatment, but she continued to write poems secretly. She was released on the eve of a nuclear summit between the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Irina Ratushinskaya died on July 5th 2017. She spoke to Louise Hidalgo for Witness in 2016.

(Photo: Irina and her husband Igor, arriving in London in December 1986. Credit: Topfoto)

20170712

In 1961, one of the world's best ballet dancers, Rudolf Nureyev, defected from the USSR to the West, causing a worldwide sensation. Dina Newman spoke to Victor Hochhauser, the international impresario who organised that historic tour.

Photo: Rudolf Nureyev receives flowers after his performance of 'Swan Lake' in Paris in 1963. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

20170713

In the summer of 1992, thousands of ravers and New Age travellers gathered for an illegal free festival on common land near the Malvern Hills in the English Midlands - to the horror of local residents. It was a high point for British rave culture, but also the beginning of the end. The Castlemorton Common event led to a change in the law giving police increased power to shut down events playing music "characterised by the emission of repetitive beats".

Lucy Burns speaks to Lol Hammond, a former member of music collective Spiral Tribe, who played at the event.

Photo: Murray Sanders/ANL/REX/Shutterstock: New Age travellers camping at Castlemorton Malvern Hills in 1992.

20170714

Indigenous Canadians objected to plans to develop a golf course on the site of a burial ground in Quebec in 1990. The dispute led to a summer-long siege between Mohawk protestors and Canadian security forces. Ellen Katsi'tsakwas Gabriel is a Mohawk activist who spoke to Rebecca Kesby about the crisis.

Photo: A Mohawk activist confronts a soldier. Credit: IATV NEWS.

20170718

The Famicom gaming console was a breakthrough in the world of computer games. Launched in Japan in 1983, it brought games out of arcades and into people's living rooms. When it reached markets in the West it was renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo designer Masayuki Uemura has been speaking to Ashley Byrne about how it was developed.

Photo: Masayuki Uemura, holding Donkey Kong software for the original Famicom console. (Credit: Kyodo News via Getty Images.)

20170719

On July 15th 1997 the Italian fashion designer was shot dead on the steps of his Florida mansion. His murder sparked a huge manhunt and shocked the world of fashion. Mike Lanchin spoke to journalist Cathy Horyn about the man, and his life.

Photo: A police car outside Gianni Versace's Miami home in July 1997. Credit: Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images

20170720

In the summer of 1932, tens of thousands of American First World War veterans marched on Washington DC to demand the bonus they'd been promised by the government for their part in the war. It was the height of the Great Depression and many were unemployed and hungry. They called themselves the Bonus Army. Louise Hidalgo talks to author Paul Dickson about their story.

Photograph: Bonus Army marchers stage a mass vigil on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington while the Senate debates their case (Copyright: Getty Archive)

20170721

During the Vietnam war, the US army's Psychological Operations, or PSYOP, teams were deployed to battle communist Viet Cong guerillas and the North Vietnamese Army. Their goal was to try to weaken the enemy's willingness to fight. They used a variety of methods including playing spooky "Wandering Soul" tapes which preyed on local beliefs about the afterlife. Alex Last has been speaking to PSYOP veteran Rick Hofmann who was deployed to Vietnam in the late 1960s.
Photo:Viet Cong guerrillas on patrol during the Vietnam War, 2nd March 1966: (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

During the Vietnam war, the US army's Psychological Operations, or PSYOP, teams were deployed to battle communist Viet Cong guerillas and the North Vietnamese Army. Their goal was to try to weaken the enemy's willingness to fight. They used a variety of methods including playing spooky "Wandering Soul" tapes which preyed on local beliefs about the afterlife. Alex Last has been speaking to PSYOP veteran Rick Hofmann who was deployed to Vietnam in the late 1960s.
Photo:Viet Cong guerillas on patrol during the Vietnam War, 2nd March 1966: (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

20170725

In the 1960s, millions of Soviet families were able for the first time to move to a flat of their own. This was due to a mass construction programme of standardized housing. Dina Newman speaks to a resident of one of the first five storey apartment blocks, and to Clem Cecil, a campaigner for preserving architecture.

Photo: a five-storey building dating from the 1960s in western Moscow on June 11, 2017. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

20170726

In July 1967, homosexuality was legalised in England and Wales for the first time. Before that gay men lived in fear of arrest, beatings and blackmail. Some even underwent so-called aversion therapy at psychiatric hospitals in an attempt to 'cure' themselves. Louise Hidalgo has been talking to Liverpool comedian and radio presenter, Peter Price, who still bears the psychological scars of what he was put through when he was 18.

Picture: Comedian Peter Price (copyright: private collection)

20170727

The battle for China between Communists and Nationalists left Mao the victor in 1949. Defeated Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai Shek, fled with his troops to the island of Taiwan, but he vowed to return. Hau Pei Tsun is a former chief aide to Chiang Kai Shek. Now 99 years old, he speaks to Rebecca Kesby about his memories of the controversial leader, and their fight for the soul of China.

Photo: General Chiang Kai Shek, cerca 1943 (Keystone/Getty Images)

20170728

In the 1970s, deep sea divers were at the sharp end of the North Sea oil boom. Alex Last has been speaking to the former diver David Beckett, who wrote The Loonliness of a Deep Sea Diver, about his dangerous life working under the waves.
Photo: A saturation diver works to fix an undersea oil pump in the North Sea (BBC)

20170801

During World War Two, Croatian fascists tortured and killed tens of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma people in several concentration camps. The most notorious was Jasenovac. Dina Newman speaks to Milinko Cekic, a Serb survivor of Jasenovac.

Photo: Milinko Cekic speaking to the BBC in 2017. Credit: BBC.

During World War Two, Croatian fascists tortured and killed tens of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma people in several concentration camps. The most notorious was Jasenovac. Dina Newman speaks to Milenko Cekic, a Serb survivor of Jasenovac.

Photo: Milenko Cekic speaking to the BBC in 2017. Credit: BBC.

20170802

In 1977 a state hospital near Paris began quietly changing the way women gave birth. Obstetrician, Dr Michel Odent, believed that childbirth had become too medicalised and he wanted a more natural approach. He introduced a pool to ease the pain of labour. Eventually some babies were even born in the pool. Claire Bowes speaks to Dr Odent about the innovation that has become a revolution using the power of water.

(Photo: Getty Images)

20170803

In July 1999, the spiritual movement Falun Gong was banned in China. Thousands of people were arrested. The Chinese government says Falun Gong is an "evil cult", but followers of the movement say they have been the victims of state persecution.

Witness speaks to Falun Gong practitioner Chao Yu and journalist Ian Johnson.

(Photo: Falun Gong practitioners stage a sit-in protest outside the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong, 2002. Credit: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

20170804

In 2000 the US led a major effort to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Bill Clinton brought the two sides together at the leafy presidential retreat in Maryland. The Israeli leader, Ehud Barak and the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, failed to reach any agreement and the summit ended in failure. Farhana Haider has been speaking to the senior American diplomatic interpreter and policy adviser, Gamal Helal who attended the Camp David summit.

White House photo released 16 July 2000 US President Bill Clinton (C) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (L) and Palestinian Chairman Yassar Arafat and Gamal Helal at a working dinner at Camp David, Maryland during the Middle East Peace Summit. Credit: SHARON FARMER/AFP/Getty Images

20170808

The acclaimed Palestinian cartoonist was gunned down in London in 1987. His attackers have never been identified. Naji al-Ali's cartoons were famous across the Middle East. Through his images he criticised Israeli and US policy in the region, but unlike many, he also lambasted Arab despotic regimes and the leadership of the PLO. His signature character was called Handala - a poor Palestinian refugee child with spiky hair, who would always appear, facing away with his hands clasped behind his back, watching the events depicted in the cartoon. Alex Last has been speaking to his son, Khalid, about his father's life and death.
Photo: A cartoon by Naji al-Ali published with the permission of Naji Al-Ali family. Copyrights reserved.

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When German monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saint's Church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517, he started a religious revolution. The document was about the church's practice of selling indulgences - but Luther's protest would grow into the Protestant Reformation. Witness hears primary sources from the time, and speaks to historian Lyndal Roper.

(Photo: A portrait of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder on display at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, Germany (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

20171101

In the Lebanese city of Tripoli there is an exceptional architectural site which has never been used. The great modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer designed all the buildings for an international fair which was about to open when civil war broke out in the 1970s. Architect Wassim Naghi has been speaking to Nidale Abou Mrad about the fair.

Photo: The Tripoli international fair from above. Credit: BBC.

20171102

In 1997 the US Supreme Court ruled against censoring sex on the internet. It overturned a law, signed the previous year which had been designed to protect children from sexual content on the internet. Claire Bowes has been speaking to an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who fought the case for freedom of speech.

Photo: A computer. Credit: Anilakkus/iStock

20171103

In 1967 the zoologist and broadcaster, Desmond Morris, wrote about humans in the same way that animals were described. The Naked Ape provoked criticism from religious thinkers and feminists alike, but it was an instant bestseller. His idea that we're not so different from our animal cousins was revolutionary at the time. Farhana Haider speaks to Desmond Morris about his provocative book.

Photo: Desmond Morris author of the Naked Ape. Credit: BBC

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"ghana Must Go"2013020520130206 (WS)

Thirty years ago, Nigeria expelled up to 2 million African migrants. Most were Ghanaian

"lidice Shall Die"2014062520140629 (WS)

In June 1942 the village of Lidice in German-occupied Czechoslovakia was completely destroyed in retaliation for the assassination of a top ranking Nazi. Adolf Hitler was so outraged by the murder of Reinhard Heydrich that he ordered that all the men from the village be shot, the women sent to concentration camps and the children 'placed in suitable educational establishments'. In the end most of the children were gassed and the women sent to a concentration camp.

Photo: The Skleni?ková family in 1931. Credit: Courtesy of Jaroslava Skleni?ková.

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On June 3rd 1972 Sally Priesand became the first woman to be ordained as a rabbi in the USA. However it still took her another nine years to secure a full-time post in a synagogue. She spoke to Zeinab Dabaa about overcoming the traditional gender barriers in her ground-breaking career.

Photo: Sally Priesand in 1972 (With thanks to the American Jewish Archive)

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03/04/2011

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06/02/2017 Gmt20170206
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06/10/2016 Gmt20161006
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07/10/2016 Gmt20161007
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07/12/20112011120820111209
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08/11/2010

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09/03/201820180311 ()
09/04/2011

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19/10/201120111020
1916: Central Asia Rebels Against The Russian Empire20160714

In 1916, Muslims in Central Asia rose up against Russian imperial rule. The revolt was brutally supressed. Tens of thousands of Central Asians were killed, and hundreds of thousands fled to China. Dina Newman reports.

Photo: Nomadic Kirghiz family, circa 1911. (Credit: Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Prokudin-Gorskii Collection)

1954 Burma Hijack20140623

In June 1954 separatist Karen rebels in Burma hijacked a passenger plane. They wanted to use it to help arm fellow insurgents in the west of the country. Witness hears from Saw Kyaw Aye, who led the hijackers.

(Photo: Saw Kyaw Aye, now in his late 80s)

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23/12/2016 Gmt20161223

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26/09/20112011092720110928

GETRIDOFTHIS.

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28/06/201120110629
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28/07/201120110801

It is 30 years since the launch of the first 24-hour music TV channel.

It was to revolutionise the way that music was consumed and promoted - and the way that people watched television.

Witness hears from one of the founders of MTV.

28/09/2016 Gmt20160928
28/10/201120111029
28/11/201120111129
29/03/201220120330
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29/09/2016 Gmt20160929
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75 Years Of Bbc Tv20111106

On 2 November 1936 the first regular TV service in the world was launched by the BBC.

Initially it only had a few hundred viewers and was only broadcast for two hours a day.

Viewers watched variety acts beamed live from the studios.

75 Years Of Bbc Tv20111107

On 2 November 1936 the first regular TV service in the world was launched by the BBC.

A Bizarre Poisoning Plot In Oregon20150821

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

A Black Gi In China20161101

In November 1950, Clarence Adams, an African-American soldier fighting in the Korean war, was captured by the Chinese Red Army. He was held in a prisoner of war camp until the war ended. But instead of returning home, Adams and 20 other GIs chose to settle in China. Rob Walker has been speaking to his daughter, Della Adams.

(Photo: Clarence Adams and his Chinese wife, Liu Lin Feng, courtesy of the family)

A Heroine Of Burundi's Civil War20131024

In 1993, Burundi's civil war began. We hear the story of Marguerite Barankitse who helped thousands of children affected by the conflict and came to symbolise hope for peace. She is known as 'the Angel of Burundi'.

Photo: Marguerite Barankitse in Burundi / UNHCR

A Jewish Homeland In Siberia20151030

In 1930, the USSR created a Jewish Autonomous Region in Siberia, as a homeland for Soviet Jews. Dina Newman talks to someone who grew up there.

Photo: Birobidzhan, the Jewish capital. Courtesy of Birobidzhan Regional Museum

A Literary Love Affair20171027

How Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir met and fell in love in Paris in October 1929

In October 1929 Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir began their fifty-year love affair after meeting in Paris. Louise Hidalgo speaks to the writer and leading French feminist, Claudine Monteil, who knew Sartre and de Beauvoir, about their legendary status and their famously open relationship.

Photo: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre sitting in a cafe in Paris, 1970. (STF/AFP/Getty Images)

A Mass Shooting In America20160111

In October 2006 a man killed five Amish schoolgirls, and injured five more, in one of the many mass-shootings that take place every year in the USA. Hear from Terri Roberts, the killer's mother, for a unique perspective on gun violence, grief and forgiveness.

A Pakistani View Of The Bangladesh War Of Independence20151215

When Bangladesh fought for independence from Pakistan, thousands of Pakistani troops were sent to fight in what was then called East Pakistan. Shujaat Latif was sent to the town of Jassore where he fought, and then surrendered. He spent two and a half years as a prisoner-of-war. Hear his story.

Photo: Indian army soldiers fire on Pakistani positions, December 15th 1971. Credit: AFP/Getty Images.

A Polish Odyssey2012091720120918 (WS)
20120924 (WS)

One girl's story of exile and soldiering during World War Two.

Danuta Maczka was just 14 when her family was sent to Siberia in 1940.

By the time she was 16 she had been recruited into a Polish army in the Middle East and was fighting the Nazis.

One girl's story of exile and soldiering during World War II.

Abba Win Eurovision20140509

In 1974 the Swedish pop group Abba finally made it to international pop stardom. Their song Waterloo won the Eurovision Song Contest and they went on to top the charts across Europe.

Hear from Mike Batt who was at the Eurovision Song Contest that night and who met the group on the verge of fame.

Photo: Abba (with their conductor dressed as Napoleon) Copyright BBC.

Abebe Bikila The Barefoot Runner2012080920120810 (WS)
20120812 (WS)

At the 1960 Olympics in Rome an Ethiopian athlete stunned the world.

He was the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal and he did it without wearing shoes.

Photo: AFP

Afghan Coup Part One20091228

It's exactly thirty years since Soviet forces overthrew the Afghan government.

Thirty years ago Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the govermnent in Kabul.

In the first of two programmes marking those events Lucy Williamson hears from a young eyewitness to events.

Afghan Coup Part Two20091229

It's exactly thirty years since Soviet soldiers invaded Afghanistan - part two.

In the second of two programmes marking thirty years since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Lucy Williamson brings together two people who lived through those events.

One from each side of the conflict.

Afghanistan's National Museum20160204

Since 1989 the treasures in Afghanistan's National Museum in Kabul have been at risk. From war, from looting, and also from the Taliban who destroyed many works which they saw as un-Islamic. Yahya Muhibzada was acting director of the Museum in 2001 when he was forced to look on helplessly as Taliban officials destroyed statues. Nancy Hatch Dupree is an American who has charted the fate of Afghanistan's cultural heritage.

(Photo: Yahya Muhibzada)

Africa United20130523

Fifty years ago, in May 1963, leaders of 32 newly-independent African nations came together for the first time in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. At stake was the dream of a united Africa.

(Image: African leaders in Africa Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25, 1963. Credit: AP)

African Embassy Bombings20100809

A Kenyan man blinded during a bomb attack on the US embassy in Nairobi tells Witness how he's come to terms with his injuries. Other survivors describe that day.

The simultaneous bomb attacks on two United States embassies in Africa in 1998.

A Kenyan man blinded during a bomb attack on the US embassy in Nairobi tells Witness how he's come to terms with his injuries.

Other survivors describe that day.

African Troops During Wwii2012060420120605

During World War II, African soldiers were a vital part of the Allied forces.

Many of them were sent to Burma as reinforcements for the British troops there.

Hear just some of their memories - recorded by the BBC in the 1990s.

African Troops During Wwii2012060420120605
20120605 (WS)

During World War II, African soldiers were a vital part of the Allied forces.

Many of them were sent to Burma as reinforcements for the British troops there.

Hear just some of their memories - recorded by the BBC in the 1990s.

African Troops During Wwii2012060420120610
African Troops During Wwii2012060420120610
20120610 (WS)

During World War II, African soldiers were a vital part of the Allied forces.

Many of them were sent to Burma as reinforcements for the British troops there.

Hear just some of their memories - recorded by the BBC in the 1990s.

Airlift To America20100104

In the late 1950s a plan to educate young Africans leaders is born.

A scholarship programme for young Africans which started in the late 1950s eventually led to the first african-american President of the United States.

Claire Bowes looks into the African Airlift Foundation.

A scholarship programme for young Africans which started in the late 1950s eventually led to the first african-american President of the United States. Claire Bowes looks into the African Airlift Foundation.

Alaska Statehood20110103

We hear from Dennis Egan, whose father was to become the first governor of the newly formed state. He remembers the hope, pride and emotion of that historic day.

On January 3 1959 Alaska finally became a fully fledged member state of the USA.

We hear from Dennis Egan, whose father was to become the first governor of the newly formed state.

He remembers the hope, pride and emotion of that historic day.

Albanian Illegal Immigrants20140624

In the spring and summer of 1991 tens of thousands of Albanians commandeered cargo ships to take them to Italy. The immigrants were escaping a collapsing communist dictatorship. Robert Budina was one of the Albanians on board the Vlora, a cargo ship which had been carrying sugar from Cuba.

(Photo: Albanian immigrants on board the Vlora. Copyright: Associated Press)

In the spring and summer of 1991 tens of thousands of Albanians commandeered cargo ships to take them Italy. The immigrants were escaping a collapsing communist dictatorship. Robert Budina was one of the Albanians on board the Vlora, a cargo ship which had been carrying sugar from Cuba.

Photo: Albanian immigrants on board the Vlora. Copyright: Associated Press.

Algeria Emergency

Algeria Emergency20110221

Rioting in Algeria in October 1988 killed around 500 people and started a period of political turmoil.

A short-lived experiment in democracy ended in a violent civil war between Islamists and the Algerian army. A state of emergency remains in force until today.

Witness speaks to a foreign journalist and an Algerian student who both experienced a turning point in the country's history.

How Algeria's experiement with democracy ended in civil war and a state of emergency.

A short-lived experiment in democracy ended in a violent civil war between Islamists and the Algerian army.

A state of emergency remains in force until today.

American Air Traffic Controllers' Strike20160805

In August 1981 President Ronald Reagan fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers. The strike, which was illegal under American law, lasted just two days, but it was to become a watershed moment in labour relations in the US. Witness speaks to John Dwyer, one of those sacked, and to Ken Moffett, who was involved in trying to settle the dispute.

(AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)

American Football And Brain Injuries20140131

In 2002 the death of a former NFL star, Mike Webster, led to questions about the safety of American football. Hear from Mike's son, Garrett Webster and one of the doctors who treated him.

Photo: Mike Webster. Getty Images Sport.

American Prisoners In Vietnam2013032820130329 (WS)

After their release in 1973, former US prisoners of war began to talk about torture.

After their release in 1973, former US prisoners of war began to talk about the torture they had suffered at the hands of the Vietcong. One of the POWs who spent longest in Vietnamese prison camps was Everett Alvarez - hear his story.

Americans Told 'eat Less' To Live Longer20170510

In 1977 a US government body first warned Americans that their diet was killing them.

Amnesty At 5020110529

It is half a century since the launch of the human rights group Amnesty International.

Over the years it has highlighted thousands of cases where people have been imprisoned without trial.

Maria was a teenager in jail in Uruguay when she was helped by one of its early letter-writing campaigns.

(Photo: Maria today)

Amnesty At 5020110530

It is half a century since the launch of the human rights group Amnesty International

An Assassination In Colombia20170320

In March 1990 the left-wing politician and presidential candidate, Bernardo Jaramillo, was shot dead at Bogota's international airport. He was leader of the Patriotic Union, a party formed by members of the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian communist party. Jaramillo was among several thousand of its members killed by right-wing paramilitaries with close links to the country's drug cartels. Mike Lanchin has been speaking to the murdered politician's widow, Mariela Barragán, who was with him the day he died.

Photo: Mariela Barragán and Bernardo Jaramillo (courtesy of the family)

An Azerbaijani View Of The Demise Of The Soviet Union.20110909

The story of how a teenage girl in Azerbaijan became disenchanted with Moscow's propaganda, and sided with nationalists who campaigned for the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Konul Khalilova today.

How the collapse of the Soviet Union played out in the life of a teenager in Azerbaijan.

An Azerbaijani View Of The Demise Of The Soviet Union.20110911
An Azerbaijani View Of The Demise Of The Soviet Union.20110912

How the collapse of the Soviet Union played out in the life of a teenager in Azerbaijan.

Anc Bomb20111219

Fifty years ago the armed wing of South Africa's ANC party took its first violent action.

Ronnie Kasrils tells us about planting a bomb at municipal offices in Durban.

(Image: Ronnie Kasrils in 1961. Credit: Ronnie Kasrils)

(Image: Ronnie Kasrils in 1961.

Credit: Ronnie Kasrils).

Angela Merkel20160411

On April 10th 2000, Angela Merkel became the first female leader of a German political party - and then Chancellor in 2005. But before she became one of Europe's most powerful politicians, she had an entirely different career - as a theoretical chemist in communist East Berlin. Witness speaks to her former colleague Michael Schindhelm.

PHOTO: Angela Merkel waves two bouquets after her election as chairman of the CDU in Essen, Germany on April 10th 2000.

Angola Mercenaries2012071020120715

In July 1976 four foreign mercenaries were executed for their part in Angola's civil war.

Three of the men were from Britain, a fourth was from America.

American attorney Bob Cesner, was one of the defence lawyers.

(Image: Bob Cesner at the 1976 trial)

Anne Frank's Diary2012062520120626

In June 1947 the diary of Anne Frank was published for the very first time.

Witness has been speaking to her first cousin and closest surviving relative, 87-year-old Buddy Elias.

(Photo: Anne Frank/Press Association)

Anne Frank's Diary2012062520120626

In June 1947 the diary of Anne Frank was published for the very first time.

Witness has been speaking to her first cousin and closest surviving relative, 87-year-old Buddy Elias.

(Photo: Anne Frank/Press Association).

Anne Frank's Diary2012062520120701
Anne Frank's Diary2012062520120701

In June 1947 the diary of Anne Frank was published for the very first time.

Anthrax Attacks20130918

In Sept 2001 letters were sent to journalists containing the biological agent Anthrax

Anthrax Attacks20160914

One week after the 9/11 attacks, a series of letters were sent to journalists and politicians in the USA. They contained the deadly biological agent Anthrax. The United States was gripped with fear as postal workers fell ill. The FBI launched one of the biggest and most expensive investigations in its history. In 2013 Rebecca Kesby spoke to Special Agent Scott Stanley about the case.

(Photo: Workers washing out rubbish bins. Credit: AP/Steve Mitchell)

Anthrax Leak In The Soviet Union20170329

In 1979, an outbreak of anthrax poisoning caused dozens of deaths in the Soviet Union. Geneticist and molecular biologist Professor Matthew Meselson and his team accessed the area years later to determine what had happened.

He told Rachael Gillman about his experience.

Photo: Anthrax Vial

Credit: Getty Images

Anti-shah Demonstrations In Iran20131230

Millions of people took to the streets of Iran's main cities in December 1978. They were demonstrating against the Shah and his authoritarian government. Hear from two men who took part in the protests: Sadeq Zibakalam and Abbas Milani.

Photo: Demonstrators in 1978. Associated Press.

Armenia20100114

The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War 1 still casts a shadow over the country's relationship with neighbouring Turkey. Tom Esslemont has been listening to the memories of two elderly Armenian survivors of that time.

Remembering the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians over 90 years ago.

Armenia And Azerbaijan2013030420130305 (WS)
20130311 (WS)

It is 25 years since violence broke out in the city of Sumgait in Azerbaijan.

It is 25 years since violence broke out in the city of Sumgait in Azerbaijan. Anti-Armenian riots had to be put down by Soviet soldiers. They were a forewarning of the war that would split the region following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Armistice Day 191820131111

On November 11th 1918 at 11am, the guns of World War One finally fell silent.

Listen to voices from the archives remembering that moment.

Photo: Marshall Foch and other military leaders outside the railway carriage where the WW1 Armistice was signed on Nov 11th 1918. (Three Lions/Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger And Mr Universe2012090320120904 (WS)
20120908 (WS)
20120909 (WS)

Arnold Schwarzenegger first made his name in the 1960s as Mr Universe.

He was a shy young man with little English, but he took the world of bodybuilding by storm.

Witness meets two men who knew him in those days; a fellow competitor and a Mr Universe judge.

Picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger courtesy of Getty Images.

Picture courtesy of Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger and bodybuilding in the 1960s.

Artek - The Soviet Holiday Camp20140703

Artek was the Soviet Union's most popular holiday camp, on the shores of the Black Sea in Crimea. Thousands of children visited every year - Maria Kim Espeland went there in the 1980s.

(Photo: Group of children attending Artek. Credit: Irina Vlasova)

Assad And Syria

Assad And Syria20101229

Hafez al Assad was the Syrian Defence Minister in the winter of 1970 when his struggle for power came to a head. His former friend, the hardline Baathist, Salah Jadid, was jailed for life.

It is 40 years since Hafez al Assad seized power in Syria.

Hafez al Assad was the Syrian Defence Minister in the winter of 1970 when his struggle for power came to a head.

His former friend, the hardline Baathist, Salah Jadid, was jailed for life.

Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20111006

On October 6, 1981 the President of Egypt was shot dead.

He was killed by Egyptian officers taking part in a military parade.

He was replaced by his Vice-President, Hosni Mubarak.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

In October 1981 the President of Egypt was shot at a military parade.

Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20111007
Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20111010

In October 1981 the President of Egypt was shot at a military parade.

Assassination Of Leon Trotsky2012082120120822 (WS)
20120826 (WS)

The exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City in August 1940, stabbed in the head with an ice-pick.

Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, then aged 14, lived with his grandfather, and describes arriving home from school that fateful day.

He also recalls a previous assassination attempt three months earlier.

Photo: Esteban Volkov with his grandparents, Leon Trotsky and Natalia Sedova (courtesy of Trotsky Museum, Mexico City)

The assassination of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotksy in Mexico City in 1940.

Assassination Of Malcolm X

Assassination Of Malcolm X20110228

In February 1965, the controversial black leader, Malcolm X, was assassinated in Harlem, New York.

Witness speaks to a supporter of Malcolm X who saw the killing.

How black leader Malcolm X was assassinated in New York in February 1965.

Assassination Of Rafik Hariri

Assassination Of Rafik Hariri20110214

The former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, was driving through central Beirut when a remote-controlled bomb was detonated under his armour-plated car. 22 other people were killed in the attack.

On February 14 2005, Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri was assassinated

The former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, was driving through central Beirut when a remote-controlled bomb was detonated under his armour-plated car.

22 other people were killed in the attack.

Assassination Of Rajiv Gandhi2014052120140525 (WS)

In 1991 the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. The grandson of the founder of modern India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was blown up by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels while campaigning for the general election. We hear from a journalist who was with him just moments before the attack.

(Photo: Funeral procession of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi 24 May 1991. Credit: Douglas E. Curran/AFP/Getty Images)

Assassination Of Trujillo20110530

It is 50 years since the assassination of Rafael Trujillo - Dominican Republic dictator.

Witness hears from 3 people who remember that day.

Photo: Antonio Imbert, one of men who shot Trujillo.

Assassination Of Trujillo20110531

It is 50 years since the assassination of Rafael Trujillo - Dominican Republic dictator.

Assassination Of Trujillo20110604

It is 50 years since the assassination of Rafael Trujillo - Dominican Republic dictator.

Witness hears from three people who remember that day.

Photo: Antonio Imbert, one of men who shot Trujillo.

Assassination Of Trujillo20110605
Attack At Lod Airport20110531

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv - more than 20 people were killed.

This programme contains some graphic descriptions of violence - listeners may find it distressing.

Photo: Ros Sloboda, a survivor of that day, tells her story.

Attack At Lod Airport20110601

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv

Attack At Lod Airport20110604

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv - more than 20 people were killed.

This programme contains some graphic descriptions of violence - listeners may find it distressing.

Photo: Ros Sloboda, a survivor of that day, tells her story.

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv

Attack At Lod Airport20110605

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv - more than 20 people were killed.

This programme contains some graphic descriptions of violence - listeners may find it distressing.

Photo: Ros Sloboda, a survivor of that day, tells her story.

It is almost 40 years since an attack at the airport outside Tel Aviv.

Attack On Argentina's Jews20140721

In 1994, 85 people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside a Jewish community centre in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. No-one has ever been convicted for the bombing. We hear from two people whose lives were changed that day.

Photo: A man walks over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the Argentinian Israeli Mutual Association. Credit: Ali Burafi/AFP/Getty Images)

Attack On Fela Kuti2012050820120509
20120509 (WS)
20120513 (WS)

The day the Nigerian military stormed the musician's compound in Lagos.

They burned down the buildings and threw his mother out of a window - she never recovered.

Hear from one of his former wives about the events of that day.

Attack On Fela Kuti2012050820120513
Attack On Fela Kuti2012050820120513

The day the Nigerian military stormed the musician's compound in Lagos.

Attack On Fela Kuti2012050920120510
Attack On Springboks In New Zealand2012090620120907 (WS)
20120909 (WS)

In 1981 anti-apartheid protestors used a plane to attack South African rugby players.

They wanted to stop them from playing against New Zealand's All Blacks.

Hear from a player, and a protestor who were there.

Attack On The Us Embassy In Islamabad20151120

In late November 1979, a mob inspired by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini set fire to the US Embassy in Islamabad. Those inside fled to the steel lined safe-room to await rescue, which took several hours to come. We hear from Marcia Gauger, an American reporter who was trapped inside.

Photo: Pakistani troops resting outside the burnt out US Embassy in Islamabad 1979 (BBC)

Auschwitz Convoy Escape20120418

In 1943, a group of Belgian Jews escaped from a train bound for the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

In the only incident of its kind, they were helped by members of the Belgian resistance.

Witness speaks to Simon Gronowski, who, at the age of 11, jumped from the train to safety.

PHOTO: Simon Gronowski with his parents (private collection)

How a group of Jews escaped from a train bound for the Auschwitz death camp in 1943.

Auschwitz Convoy Escape20120419
Auschwitz Convoy Escape20120422

How a group of Jews escaped from a train bound for the Auschwitz death camp in 1943.

Australian Evacuee20110625

During WW2 British children were sent away from the cities to escape German bombs.

Most went to the countryside but some went as far away as Australia.

Helen Cuthbert (right) and her sister were sent to live with their aunt there.

Australian Evacuee20110626

During World War II, many British children were sent away from the cities to escape German bombs.

Most went to the countryside but some went as far away as Australia.

Helen Cuthbert (right) and her sister were sent to live with their aunt there.

During WWII British children were sent away from the cities to escape German bombs

During WW2 British children were sent away from the cities to escape German bombs.

Australia's Asylum Stand-off20131002

In 2001, Australia refused entry to more than 400 refugees aboard a Norwegian freight ship, the Tampa. The people on board were mainly Afghans fleeing the Taliban, who had set sail in a fishing boat from Indonesia. The refugees became the centre of an international row over who should give them shelter.

(Photo: The Indonesian fishing boat carrying more than 400 refugees comes alongside the Norwegian Cargo ship Tampa which took them aboard. Credit: AP)

Austrian Wine Scandal20151006

In 1985 government scientists discovered anti-freeze in bottles of fine Austrian wine. No one died, or fell ill from drinking the poisoned wine, but the country's reputation as a wine-producing nation was seriously dented. We hear from Heidi Schroek, a young Austrian wine-maker at the time.

(Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Baby Fae And The Baboon Heart Transplant2012111220121113 (WS)
20121119 (WS)

In 1984 doctors in California tried a revolutionary operation on a two-week-old baby girl. She had been born with a fatal heart condition - but there was no infant human donor available. Hear from the lead surgeon, and an intensive care nurse involved in the fight to save Baby Fae's life.

Photo: Baby Fae listening to her mother's voice in the isolation unit. Courtesy of Loma Linda Hospital

In 1984 doctors in California tried a revolutionary operation on a 2 week old baby girl.

She had been born with a fatal heart condition - but there was no infant human donor available.

Hear from the lead surgeon, and an intensive care nurse involved in the fight to save Baby Fae's life.

Baby Fae And The Baboon Heart Transplant20131114

In 1984 doctors in California tried a revolutionary operation on a two-week-old baby.

In 1984 doctors in California tried a revolutionary operation on a two-week-old baby girl. She had been born with a fatal heart condition - but there was no infant human donor available.

Hear from the lead surgeon, and an intensive care nurse involved in the fight to save Baby Fae's life.

Photo: Baby Fae listening to her mother's voice in the isolation unit. Courtesy of Loma Linda Hospital

Bangladesh Independence

Bangladesh Independence20110403

It is 40 years since the beginning of the battle for independence in Bangladesh.

When Meghna Guhathakurta was 14 years old her father was killed during a crackdown by the Pakistani military.

During what they called 'Operation Searchlight' they targeted intellectuals sympathetic to the cause of Bengali nationalism.

Meghna and her parents.

Barbary Pirates And The White Slave Trade20151005

Between the 16th and 19th Centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans were captured by pirates known as the Barbary corsairs. Many spent the rest of their lives in slavery in North Africa. We hear the account of one English boy, Thomas Pellow, who was a slave of the Moroccan Sultan, Moulay Ismail, for 23 years.

(Photo: Corsairs attack a ship off the Barbary Coast of North Africa, circa 1700. A lithograph by Collette. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Barbie20140312

The first Barbie doll was sold in 1959. The woman at Mattel who created it describes how it took years to convince her male colleagues that it would sell.

PHOTO: Ruth and Elliot Handler, creators of Barbie, courtesy of Mattel Inc

Battle Of Mogadishu: Black Hawk Down20170201

In 1993, the United States launched a disastrous raid against the forces of the Somali warlord General Mohamed Farah Aideed. During the operation, two American Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, 18 American troops were killed, dozens more were injured. Somali casualties were estimated to be in the hundreds. The disaster would have a major impact on US foreign policy in Africa and was made famous by the film Black Hawk Down. We hear a Somali account of the operation, and from one of the American helicopter pilots who was shot down during the raid.

(Image: UH60 Blackhawk US Army Gunship patrolling Mogadishu. Credit: AP)

Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110418

In April 1961 Cuban exiles, backed by the US government, tried to overthrow Fidel Castro.

50 years ago boatloads of counter-revolutionaries stormed the beaches of a bay in Cuba.

They soon ran out of ammunition, and without backup their mission failed.

We hear from one of those exiles.

In April 1961 Cuban exiles, backed by the US government, tried to overthrow Castro.

Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110419
Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110423
Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110424

In April 1961 Cuban exiles, backed by the US government, tried to overthrow Castro.

Baywatch20130924

Executive producer Michael Berk on the birth of a global hit TV show in September 1989

Beatlemania20140207

On February 7th, 1964, British pop group the Beatles were met by hysterical crowds when their plane landed in the USA. Judith Kristen was one of the thousands of teenage girls at the airport that day. Hear her memories of Beatlemania.

Photo: AP

Beatlemania20150904

On 7 February 1964, British pop group The Beatles were met by hysterical crowds when their plane landed in the USA. Judith Kristen was one of the thousands of teenage girls at the airport that day. Hear her memories of Beatlemania.

Photo: AP

Beirut Barracks Bombing20131023

On 23 October 1983, hundreds were killed in co-ordinated suicide attacks on the headquarters of American and French troops stationed in Lebanon. The troops were part of a multi-national force deployed to help end the Lebanese civil war. Hear the story of Randy Gaddo, a US marine who witnessed the devastating attack on the US Marine barracks.

(Photo: Aftermath of attack on US Marine Barracks in Beirut, 23 October 1983. Credit: AP)

Beirut Bombing20100419

The US Embassy in Beirut was attacked by a suicide bomber in April 1983.

In April 1983 a suicide bomb attack against the US Embassy in Beirut changed relations between America and the Islamic world forever.

Ryan Crocker tells Witness about the bombing - and its aftermath.

Bering Strait Swimmer2012080720120808 (WS)
20120812 (WS)

In 1987, a 30-year-old American swimmer called Lynne Cox swam across the "Ice Curtain" between the USA and the Soviet Union.

The Diomede Islands in the Bering Strait were only 2.7 miles apart, but divided by near-freezing water and Cold War rivalry.

Lynne Cox talks to Witness.

Her experiences are also recalled in her autobiography, Swimming to Antarctica.

PHOTO: Lynne Cox on the Bering Strait. (Copyright Rich Roberts)

How an American swimmer crossed the "Ice Curtain" between the USA and the Soviet Union.

Biafra20100115

It's exactly 40 years since the Biafran war of independence from Nigeria ended in failure.

It is exactly 40 years since the Republic of Biafra ceased to exist. After two and a half years of war and starvation, its founders had given up the fight - and surrendered to Nigerian forces. But what was it like fighting for such a tiny state, against such huge odds? Claire Bowes hears from a former member of the Biafran Air Force, Canice Umenwaliri.

Biba20140901

In September 1964, a ground-breaking new boutique called Biba opened in Swinging London. Witness speaks to Biba creator Barbara Hulanicki.

Picture: 30th September 1966 - two sets of identical twins who work as shop assistants at Biba's boutique in Kensington, west London (left to right Rosy Young, Nicole Hellier, Michelle Hellier and Susy Young.) Photo by Caroline Gillies/BIPs/Getty Images.

Bibles In Us Schools20160816

In 1963 a third of schools in the US had to change their rules on Bible reading after a Supreme Court decision. It all began when a teenager refused to read the Bible in class. 16 year old Ellery Schempp took his school to court accusing them of violating the first amendment by forcing him to read the Bible at the start of every school day. It challenged the principle of a separation of church and state enshrined in the US Constitution. Claire Bowes has been speaking to him for Witness.

Photo: Ellery Schempp aged 16 courtesy of Ellery Schempp

Audio of Supreme Court provided courtesy of Oyez, a free law project hosted at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University.

Big Brother - The Beginning Of Reality Tv2012122820121229 (WS)

In December 1999 a young Dutch man won the first ever Big Brother reality TV show.

It was to be the start of a global television phenomenon.

But for 22-year-old Bart Spring in't Veld, his victory proved to be a mixed blessing.

Photo: Big Brother winner Bart Spring in't Veld (Endemol)

Bionic Heart20140826

Today we go back to 1994 when doctors in the UK carried out a revolutionary operation on a 62 year old man. He was fitted with a battery-operated heart as a permanent replacement. Farhana Haider has been speaking to the lead surgeon.

Inside Story : Heart Team BBC

Picture shows surgeon John Walwork operating in the Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. In Great Britain the first successful heart transplants were carried out at the Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, over twenty years ago.

Birmingham Pub Bombings20131121

In 1974, bombs exploded at two busy pubs in the English city of Birmingham, killing 21 people. The IRA were blamed. Witness speaks to Les Robinson, who survived the attack.

(Photo: Debris and damage from the bomb in the basement pub. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Birth Control In The Usa20111013

On 16 October 1916, the first birth control clinic in the USA was opened.

The woman behind it, Margaret Sanger, was arrested for breaking obscenity laws.

Photo: Margaret Sanger (left) outside court, awaiting trial.

Birth Control In The Usa20111014
Birth Control In The Usa20111017

On 16 October 1916, the first birth control clinic in the USA was opened.

Birth Of The Euro20120102

At midnight on January the 1st 2002, the euro was launched simultaneously in 12 European countries.

Millions of people lined up at cash machines to take out their first notes in the new currency.

Louise Hidalgo talks to the European Central Bank official in charge of the biggest currency launch in history.

(PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images)

How millions of Europeans celebrated the launch of the euro in 2002.

Birth Of The Euro20120103
Birth Of The Euro20120107
Birth Of The Euro20120108

How millions of Europeans celebrated the launch of the euro in 2002.

Black In The Ussr20160620

Robert Robinson, a Jamaican born engineer, was recruited to work in the USSR from a factory in Detroit in 1930. Having had his US citizenship revoked, he spent 43 years unable to leave the Soviet Union. Dina Newman tells his story, using BBC archive.

(Photo: Robert Robinson in the 1920s. Source: BBC archive)

Black July2013072320130728 (WS)

In 1983 violence erupted between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. Hundreds, possibly thousands of Tamils were killed in the capital Colombo. The violence ended after a few days, but the killings had sparked off a civil war which would last for more than quarter of a century.

(Photo: The aftermath of the violence in a street in Colombo. Credit: Associated Press)

Black Sabbath20160212

On Friday 13 February 1970, Black Sabbath released their first album and a new genre was born - heavy metal. Witness speaks to guitarist Tony Iommi about the band's origins in Britain's industrial West Midlands - and the day his career nearly ended when he lost the tips of two fingers in a metal-working accident.

(Photo: Black Sabbath backstage at Top of the Pops (BBC). From left: Bill Ward, Ozzy Osborne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler)

Black Stars Of Ghana2013011720130118 (WS)
20130120 (WS)

Striker Osei Kofi on how the Ghanaian football team dominated Africa in the 1960s.

In the 1960s, the Ghanaian football team dominated Africa, winning tournament after tournament.

Known as the Black Stars, they were an exciting attacking force which President Kwame Nkrumah hoped would help promote African unity.

But in 1965, the Ghanaians faced an uphill struggle in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunis.

Their star striker, Osei Kofi, remembers the match for Witness.

PHOTO: Osei Kofi speaking to the BBC.

Black Wednesday2011091620110917

On 16 September 1992, Britain lost billions in foreign currency reserves in a single day.

Norman Lamont was Chancellor of the Exchequer when the country had to crash out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Image: VT Freeze Frame.

Black Wednesday20110917
Black Wednesday20110918

On 16 September 1992, Britain lost billions in foreign currency reserves in a single day.

Norman Lamont was Chancellor of the Exchequer when the country had to crash out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Image: VT Freeze Frame.

Blasphemy In Pakistan2012092020120921 (WS)
20120923 (WS)

In 1998 a Roman Catholic Bishop killed himself in protest at Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

His name was Bishop John Joseph - and he believed that the laws were being used to persecute Christians.

Hear from a Catholic priest who knew him well, but who still believes he should not have taken his own life.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

Bobby Fischer2012082820120829 (WS)
20120902 (WS)

In 1972, chess makes headlines as volatile American Bobby Fischer becomes world champion.

In 1972, the world was transfixed by a Chess match.

At the height of the Cold War, volatile American Bobby Fischer took on Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union for the World Championship.

Played in Iceland, the showdown was known as the "Match of the Century".

Alex Last speaks to an Icelandic policeman who became a close companion of Bobby Fischer.

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images

Body Worlds Exhibition20170620

In 1995 Tokyo University staged the first exhibition to feature plastinated human corpses

In 1995 Tokyo University staged the first public exhibition to feature human corpses that had been preserved through the process of plastination using silicone. The process was developed by the German anatomist, Gunther Von Hagens - but it was Professor Takeshi Yoro of Japan who first suggested they should be put on public display. He speaks to Rebecca Kesby for Witness.

(Photo: Base-ball player at the Body Worlds exhibition of real human bodies, San Diego, California, 2009. Credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP)

Bokassa's Downfall

Bokassa's Downfall20100920

It was on September 20th 1979 that French forces drove the Central African dictator, Jean Bedel Bokassa from power. Witness remembers his rule, and his downfall.

(Photo: Bokassa at his coronation. Getty Images)

In 1979 the Emperor of the Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa, was overthrown.

It was on September 20th 1979 that French forces drove the Central African dictator, Jean Bedel Bokassa from power.

Witness remembers his rule, and his downfall.

(Photo: Bokassa at his coronation.

Getty Images).

Born On The Fourth Of July20160704

Alan Johnston talks to the former US Marine and peace activist Ron Kovic about two moments that changed his life forever - one on the battlefield, and one at an anti-war protest in Washington. He became famous when his life story was made into a Hollywood film.

Bosnia: Rape As A Weapon Of War20170427

During the Bosnian war of the early 1990's, thousands of women were raped.

Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110711

In 1989, the people of Liverpool began boycotting Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper over its reporting of the Hillsborough football disaster.

The Sun later apologised, but sales in the city have never recovered.

Witness speaks to a Liverpudlian involved in the boycott, and to a local radio journalist who remembers the city's anger.

PHOTO: Press Association

How the people of Liverpool boycotted Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper.

Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110712
Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110716
Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110717

How the people of Liverpool boycotted Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper.

Bradford Riots20110711

It is 10 years since riots engulfed the city of Bradford in the North of England.

There were running battles between police and young British Pakistanis.

Mohammed Amran was on the streets throughout.

Photo: Press Association

Brazil Protests: Caras Pintadas20130823

In 1992, President Fernando Collor of Brazil was forced from office by a huge wave of street protests against corruption. The demonstrations were led by students who painted their faces with slogans and the colours of the Brazilian flag. Witness speaks to one of the first members of a movement that became known as Caras pintadas, meaning the Painted Faces.

Picture: Students with painted faces protest, Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Britain's Executioner - Albert Pierrepoint20151103

Using archive recordings we tell the story of Britain's most famous hangman. During the 1940s and 50s, he was responsible for the execution of some of Britain's most notorious murderers and was sent to Germany to hang more than 200 Nazi war criminals after WW2. He said he was always determined to treat prisoners with dignity and respect whatever their crime. He initially appeared to support the abolition of the death penalty.

Photo: Albert Pierrepoint at home, 1973 (Credit: Getty Images)

Britain's First Nudist Beach20110808
Britain's First Nudist Beach20110809

In August 1979 the seaside town of Brighton decided to open a nudist beach

Britain's First Nudist Beach20110814

In August 1979 the seaside town of Brighton decided to open a nudist beach

It was the first place in Britain to agree to allow naked bathing.

At first it was a very divisive idea, which shocked some of the locals.

Britain's Palestine Patrols20151126

In the 1940s the Royal Navy intercepted dozens of Jewish refugee ships trying to reach British-controlled Palestine. It was part of British government policy to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. Witness hears from Alan Tyler who served as an officer onboard HMS Chevron, patrolling the Mediterranean sea.

(Photo: The ship 'Jewish State' docking at Haifa in October 1947. The Jewish refugees on board were sent to Cyprus by the British authorities. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Britain's Secret Code-breakers20160211

In February 1943, as German and Italian troops withdrew from Libya, thousands of miles away, Britain's secret army of British code-breakers were listening in. Witness talks to Rozanne Colchester, one of the thousands of young men and women who worked at Bletchley Park in England, breaking their enemies' secret codes, like Enigma, and deciphering their top-secret military communiques.

(Photo:Code-breakers in Hut Six at Bletchley Park, deciphering German Air-force codes. Crown copyright, reproduced by kind permission of Director, GCHQ)

British Forces In Afghanistan20141031

As the UK ends combat operations in Afghanistan, hear from a translator who worked alongside British troops in the country, and who was eventually forced into exile because of hostility towards the coalition forces.

Photo: British troops on patrol in Helmand Province. Credit: Press Association

British Miners' Strike20140304

In March 1984, coal miners across Britain went on strike over planned pit closures. One former miner recalls the clash between strikers and police in 'the Battle of Orgreave'.

(Photo: Striking miners picketing Tilmanstone Colliery in Kent, March 1985. Credit: Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Buena Vista Social Club20150930

In 1996 a group of veteran musicians made an album that changed the image of Cuban music for ever. Some of the artists had come out of retirement for the occasion. Laoud-player, Barbarito Torres, remembers that ground-breaking recording session in Havana and his excitement at playing on the very first Buena Vista Social Club album, which went on to sell millions of copies around the world.

(Photo: Members of the Buena Vista Social Club outside Carnegie Hall, July 1998. Credit: Donata Wenders)

Bugging The Us Embassy In Moscow20161017

In the mid 1980s the US discovered that the Soviets had hidden listening devices deep inside the walls of its new embassy building in Moscow, while it was still under construction. It sparked a trans-Atlantic row between the two super powers. President Reagan threatened to have the whole building pulled down. Mike Lanchin hears from Thomas Jendrysik, an American engineer stationed at the embassy, tasked with dismantling the secret Soviet equipment.

(Photo: A US Marine stands guard inside the high fence surrounding the American Embassy construction site in Moscow, May 1983. Credit: Dave Martin/AP Photo)

Bulgaria's "revival Process"20170424

Bulgaria's brutal policy of forced assimilation against its Turkish minority in the 1980s

In the 1980s, Bulgaria's communist regime launched a brutal policy of forced assimilation against the country's ethnic Turkish minority. People's names were forcibly changed to sound more Slavic, the Turkish language was banned, cultural and religious practices outlawed. In 1989, Bulgaria's government issued passports to Bulgarian Turks, and hundreds of thousands fled the country to neighbouring Turkey.

We hear the account of one family caught up in the policy the Bulgarian government called "The Revival Process".

Photo: Bulgarian Turks joining a mass exodus to Turkey in 1989 (BBC)

Burma Elections

Burma Elections20101105

It's twenty years since Burma last held a general election. We hear from someone who was there about the atmosphere, the excitement and the risks of living through that time.

What was it like to vote in Burma's last general election in 1990?

It's twenty years since Burma last held a general election.

We hear from someone who was there about the atmosphere, the excitement and the risks of living through that time.

Burma's 1988 Protests20130808

In August 1988 huge protests demanding an end to military rule in Burma were met with violence.

Thousands of people were killed.

Photo: Burmese soldiers order crowds of protesters to disperse (Tommaso Villani/AFP/Getty Images)

Camaron - Flamenco Legend20110704

Flamenco singing was dwindling in popularity in Spain until the appearance of Camaron de la Isla.

Thousands lined the streets at his funeral in Andalucia in 1992.

Witness speaks to a guitarist called Marcos - one of Camaron's biggest fans and the author of a recent biography.

Photo: Getty Images

How a gypsy singer called Camaron de la Isla revolutionised the world of flamenco

Cameroon's Lake Nyos Disaster20110904

How villagers in a remote region of Cameroon awoke one morning to find hundreds of their friends and neighbours had mysteriously died in the night.

We hear from the scientists who were sent in to find out what had happened.

How villagers awoke to find hundreds of friends and neighbours mysteriously dead

Canada Kidnap20111023

In October 1970 James Cross, a British diplomat, was taken hostage.

The kidnappers were from the FLQ - the Front de Liberation du Quebec.

Soon after, a provincial minister from Quebec was also kidnapped - he was found days later, dead in the boot of a car.

Photo: James Cross and his wife Barbara, on his release. Getty Images.

In October 1970 James Cross, a British diplomat, was kidnapped by Quebec separatists

Photo: James Cross and his wife Barbara, on his release.

Getty Images.

Canada's Biggest Peacetime Evacuation20131108

On 10 November 1979 a train carrying hundreds of tonnes of dangerous chemicals crashed in Canada. It led to one of the biggest peacetime evacuations in North America.

(Photo: Aerial view of the crash scene. Credit: Courtesy of Mississauga Library System)

In 1979 a train carrying tonnes of dangerous chemicals crashed in Canada

Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty: 15 Years In A Foreign Embassy2012090520120906 (WS)
20120908 (WS)
20120910 (WS)

In 1956 a Hungarian Cardinal sought refuge in the US Embassy in Budapest.

Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty had been imprisoned by the communists in 1948.

Released during the uprising against Soviet rule he faced re-arrest when Moscow ordered tanks into Budapest.

(Image: Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Cathy Come Home20111116

It is 45 years since a BBC TV drama changed British ideas about homelessness.

The hardhitting film, directed by Ken Loach, told the story of a young woman who fell on hard times and lost her home, her husband and then her children.

Cathy Come Home20111117
Cathy Come Home20111120
Cathy Come Home2011112120111122

It is 45 years since a BBC TV drama changed British ideas about homelessness.

Cesar Chavez - Yes We Can!2012111620121117 (WS)

How the Mexican-American trade union leader Cesar Chavez inspired Latinos in the 1960s.

In the 1960s, a wave of strikes and protest marches by Mexican-American farm-workers inspired Latinos across the US.

The movement was led by Cesar Chavez - a man now regarded by his community as a civil rights hero.

Witness speaks to Dolores Huerta, who worked closely with Chavez and coined the slogan "Yes We Can!"

Chaim Soutine2013011520130116 (WS)
20130120 (WS)

It is 120 years since the birth of the great Expressionist painter. Born near Minsk he lived most of his life in Paris. His works influenced Western artists for decades after his death in 1943.

Image: La Jeune Anglaise. Credit: Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris.

It is 120 years since the birth of the great Expressionist painter. Born near Minsk he lived most of his life in Paris.

Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution20161102

In 1966 China's communist leader declared the start of a Cultural Revolution. It was carried out by millions of young people, part of Mao's Red Guards. Lucy Burns has been speaking to Saul Yeung, who was just 20 years old when he joined up.

Photo: Chinese Red Guards reading from Chairman Mao's Little Red Book (Getty Images)

Chairman Mao's Little Red Book20160107

In 1966, the collected thoughts of China's communist leader became an unexpected best-seller around the world. A compendium of pithy advice and political instructions from Mao Zedong, it was soon to be found on student bookshelves everywhere.

(Photo: Front cover of Mao's Little Red Book)

Chanel No. 520110529

In 1921 the most famous perfume ever, was launched in France.

It was created for Coco Chanel - the fashion designer and good-time girl - who wanted something modern and fresh to suit the times.

(Photo: A young Coco Chanel, credit Getty images)

Changing The Alphabet In Azerbaijan
Changing The Alphabet In Azerbaijan20180309

Independent Azerbaijan changed its alphabet from Russian Cyrillic script to the Latin alphabet in 2001. The new letters symbolised a break with the country's Soviet past, but presented a difficult challenge for publishers and journalists and schoolchildren. Olga Smirnova has been talking to Elchin Shixli and Shahbaz Xuduoglu.

Photo: Staff members of Azerbaijan's Ustarat newspaper prepare copy July 31, 2001 in their Baku headquarters for the following day, August 1, when all newspapers, according to government decree, had to switch the alphabet of their Azeri text from Cyrillic to Latin. (Photo by Yola Monakhov/Getty Images)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh20150820

In August 1915 the celebrated Scottish architect was arrested on suspicion of being a German spy. We hear how the man who designed the Glasgow School of Art ended up in a Suffolk jail.

(Photo: Charles Rennie Mackintosh circa 1900)

Charlie Chaplin Returns To America From Exile20170419

In April 1972 the famous silent movie star set foot in the USA for the first time in two decades. He had left with his family in the 1950s, amid scandals over his personal life and left-wing views. The family settled in Switzerland. His son, Eugene Chaplin, speaks to Mike Lanchin about his father, and recalls Chaplin's love-hate relationship with America.

Photo: Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp in the 1925 film, The Gold Rush (Getty Images)

Eugene Chaplin remembers his famous father's love-hate relationship with the USA

Che Guevara

Che Guevara20101008

After Che Guevara was executed in the Bolivian jungle, his body was put on display as proof of his death. Journalist Richard Gott, who saw it, says that's when his legend really began to take off.

On the 9th of October 1967 Che Guevara was killed by armed forces in the Bolivian jungle.

After Che Guevara was executed in the Bolivian jungle, his body was put on display as proof of his death.

Journalist Richard Gott, who saw it, says that's when his legend really began to take off.

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster20160426

In April1986 a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, in the USSR. Sergii Mirnyi was in charge of a monitoring unit which measured radiation levels in the 30 km exclusion zone around the plant.

(Photo: Chernobyl nuclear power station after the accident. Credit: Associated Press)

Chiapas Uprising

Chiapas Uprising20101231

People in the Chiapas region, led by the charismatic, ski-mask wearing, sub-commandante Marcos, rose up against the Mexican state. They called themselves, Zapatistas.

On January 1 1994 indigenous people in southern Mexico began their rebellion.

People in the Chiapas region, led by the charismatic, ski-mask wearing, sub-commandante Marcos, rose up against the Mexican state.

They called themselves, Zapatistas.

Child Evacuees From The Spanish Civil War20110827

At the height of the Spanish Civil War, thousands of Basque children were evacuated to safety in Britain.

In 1937, Herminio Martinez was sent away by his parents at the age of seven. It was 23 years before he saw them again.

Herminio Martinez talks to Witness about his memories of the evacuation and the reunion with his family.

PHOTO: Hutton Archive/Getty Images

How thousands of Basque children were evacuated to Britain during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1937, Herminio Martinez was sent away by his parents at the age of seven.

It was 23 years before he saw them again.

Child Evacuees From The Spanish Civil War20110828

How thousands of Basque children were evacuated to Britain during the Spanish Civil War.

Child Prisoners Of The Japanese20150813

In August 1945 Japan surrendered to the Americans and World War Two finally came to an end. Within days, prisoners held by the Japanese in China began to be released. Among them, a young American girl, Mary Previte. She tells her story to Witness.

(Photo: The Japanese delegation arrives on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, to sign the Instrument of Surrender. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Child Refugees From The Spanish Civil War20160713

At the height of the Spanish Civil War, thousands of Basque children were evacuated to safety in Britain. In 1937, Herminio Martinez was sent away by his parents at the age of seven. It was 23 years before he saw them again. Herminio Martinez talks to Witness about his memories of the evacuation and the reunion with his family. The programme was first broadcast in 2011.

PHOTO: The Basque children arriving at Southampton in 1937 (Hutton Archive/Getty Images)

Chile Coup

Chile Coup20100910

The playwright, Ariel Dorfman, is renowned internationally for works such as Death and the Maiden, which examines how societies can become complicit with torture.

Much of his work is inspired by the coup in Chile on 11 September 1973. Ariel Dorfman was then an advisor to President Salvador Allende, who died that day, as did many of his colleagues. By a twist of fate, the young playwright survived. Ever since, he has been reflecting on the coup and the military repression that followed.

story of our times told by the people who were there.

The playwright, Ariel Dorfman, recalls the coup in Chile in September 1973.

Much of his work is inspired by the coup in Chile on 11 September 1973.

Ariel Dorfman was then an advisor to President Salvador Allende, who died that day, as did many of his colleagues.

By a twist of fate, the young playwright survived.

Ever since, he has been reflecting on the coup and the military repression that followed.

Chile Votes Against Pinochet20161012

In October 1988 Chile held an unprecedented referendum on whether the country's ruler, General Augusto Pinochet, should remain in power. A majority of voters rejected the dictator, ending 15 years of brutal military rule. Mike Lanchin has been speaking to Eugenio Garcia, who was creative director of the campaign to oust the dictator.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Chilean Students Set On Fire2013070220130706 (WS)

In July 1986 two students were set on fire by Chilean government soldiers

China's Barefoot Doctors20180301

In March 1968, Chairman Mao officially launched a scheme to improve healthcare in rural China, by giving thousands of people basic medical training and sending them out to work in villages. They were known as the “barefoot doctors”.

Gordon Liu is a Professor of Economics at Peking University. He tells Lucy Burns about his memories of working as a barefoot doctor.

Picture: Gordon Liu

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart20160721

In 1958 Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe, published his first book "Things Fall Apart". It was set in pre-colonial rural Nigeria and examines how the arrival of foreigners - imposing their own traditions - led to tensions within the Igbo society. The book revolutionised African culture, and began a whole new genre of world literature. Witness hears from Achebe's youngest daughter, Nwando Achebe.

(Photo: Chinua Achebe. Photo Credit; Getty Images)

Choosing A Pope2013022820130301 (WS)

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor tells the story of electing Pope Benedict at the Papal Conclave in April 2005. Cardinals are due to gather again to elected his successor.

A Cardinal tells the story of electing Pope Benedict at the Papal Conclave in April 2005.

Christian Dior's New Look20160217

In February 1947, French designer Christian Dior transformed post-war fashion. His first collection was based on extravagant full skirts and tiny corseted waists - it would become known as the New Look.

PHOTO: Christian Dior designs are displayed at the "Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950" exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum on May 15, 2012 in London, England. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Christian: The Lion From London2014073020140803 (WS)

In 1969 two young Australians bought a lion cub in Harrods and raised it in their London flat. John Rendall and Anthony Bourke then released the lion into the wild in Kenya. In 2011 Alan Johnston spoke to John Rendall about the extraordinary moment when they were reunited with Christian, which became a YouTube sensation.

In 1969 two young Australians bought a lion cub in Harrods and raised it in London

Christmas Truce20101224

For several days over Christmas in 1914 the fighting stopped on the battlefields of the First World War.

British and German soldiers left their trenches to sing carols, exchange gifts and even play football.

Using archive recordings from the BBC and testimony from the Imperial War Museum, Witness takes you back to that Christmas Truce.

World War One, Christmas Eve, 1914 and soldiers from both sides are laying down their arms

Citizen Kane20160516

In 1941 the young Orson Welles revealed his first film. He had written, directed and starred in, the story of a great American press baron who dies bitter and alone. Hear archive interviews with Orson Welles about the movie, and the inspiration behind it.

(Photo: Orson Welles as Citizen Kane. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Coca Cola Change20111016

In 1985 the soft drink company changed its age old formula.

Concert For Bangladesh20111226

In 1971 the first big rock benefit gig was organised by former Beatle, George Harrison.

He did it to raise money for refugees from the Bangladesh War of Independence.

Hear from a friend, and a musician who were there.

Photo: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Concordski Plane Crash20160601

In June 1973, the Russian rival to Concorde, the Tupolev TU144, crashed at the Paris Air Show, killing the crew of six and eight people on the ground. At the time the Soviet Union and the West were competing to produce the world's first supersonic passenger aircraft. Former British test pilot, John Farley, recalls the day of the fatal crash of the plane dubbed 'Concordski'.

(Photo: The Russian TU-144 supersonic airliner shortly before it exploded and crashed at the Paris Air Show. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Condemned As A Spy In The Ussr20160304

Flora Leipman, a British Jew, spent decades in a Soviet labour camp on false spying charges. She managed to leave the USSR in 1984 and spoke to the BBC in 1987 about her experiences in the camp. Dina Newman tells her story using BBC archives. Photo: Flora Leipman in a BBC documentary, 1987

Conflict Over A Tree In The Dmz20160818

On August 18 1976 an American platoon was sent into the DMZ between North and South Korea, to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of a manned checkpoint. Two US soldiers were killed as tensions escalated in the no man's land. Rachael Gillman has been speaking to US army veteran Eugene Bickley about his experiences that day.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Crossing The Rubicon20120109

Over 2000 years ago Julius Caesar made a decision which changed European history.

That decision to cross a river and lead his army towards Rome was a point of no return for the ambitious governor of Gaul.

Crossing The Rubicon2012011020120111
Crossing The Rubicon20120115

Over 2000 years ago Julius Caesar made a decision which changed European history.

Cuban Fighters In Angola20151204

In the 1980s Angola was a front line in the Cold War between communism and the West. In 1987 tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers were sent to the Southern African country to support the Marxist government in its fight against UNITA rebels who were backed by South Africa and the USA. Alberto Lahens was a young special forces officer who was flown from Cuba to Africa to take part in the fighting.

(Photo: Cuban fighters in Angola. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Cuban Missile Crisis - The Missiles2012102220121023 (WS)
20121029 (WS)

It is 50 years since the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It is 50 years since the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Hear from a Cuban who found himself caught up in events as the Soviet missiles were moved into place.

(Photo: US-taken aerial view of a Soviet Medium Range Ballistic Missile site on Cuba. Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Witness hears from a Cuban who found himself caught up in events as the Soviet missiles were moved into place.

Cuban Missile Crisis - The Photos2012101520121016 (WS)
20121022 (WS)

It is 50 years since the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Dino Brugioni was a CIA expert whose job was to interpret the photographs of missiles in Cuba.

Photo: President Kennedy in the White House during the crisis. Associated Press

Cuban Missile Crisis - The Showdown2012102620121027 (WS)

Fifty years ago, the USA and the Soviet Union were poised to go to war over nuclear weapons in Cuba.

The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev finally offered to withdraw the missiles as the crisis came to a head.

His son Sergei remembers those fraught few days.

Photo: Courtesy of Sergei Khrushchev.

Fifty years ago, the US and Soviet Union were poised to go to war over missiles in Cuba.

Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 : The Missiles2012102220121029 (WS)

It is 50 years since the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Witness hears from a Cuban who found himself caught up in events as the Soviet missiles were moved into place.

(Photo: US-taken aerial view of a Soviet Medium Range Ballistic Missile site on Cuba. Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Cuba's 'special Period'20151125

In the 1990s the Cuban economy came close to collapse after the fall of the Soviet Union. The end of the millions of dollars in Soviet aid meant power cuts and severe food shortages on the Caribbean island. Some of the first private businesses started up under communism. We hear from Juan Carlos Montes, who opened a small restaurant at home to make ends meet, but was arrested by the communist authorities.

(Photo: Due to severe fuel shortages in the 1990s, a Cuban peasant is forced to use oxen instead of a tractor to plow a cane field (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Cultural Revolution20100517

In May 1966 China felt the first stirrings of the Cultural Revolution.

Over forty years ago, the Cultural Revolution swept over Communist China.

Lucy Williamson talks to a former schoolgirl who joined the Red Guard.

Dambusters20130517

In 1943, the Royal Air Force attacked a set of dams in Germany's Ruhr valley which were considered indestructible. Flying low and at night, the crews used special bouncing bombs to bring down two of their targets. The Dambusters mission was a huge propaganda success for Britain and later inspired a famous film.

Simon Watts talks to Johnny Johnson, one of the few survivors of the raid.

PHOTO: Johnny Johnson (far left) with the rest of 617 squadron (DAMBUSTERS) at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, 22 JULY 1943 (Imperial War Museum).

Danish Cartoons20151001

In the autumn of 2005 a Danish newspaper published 12 images of the Prophet Muhammad. The pictures shocked local muslims, and went on to cause outrage around the world. Hear from Danish journalist Flemming Rose who published them, and Imran Shah a spokesman for the Danish Islamic Society.

(Photo: Pakistani protestors burn a Danish flag in Multan, Pakistan. Credit: AP)

Danish Jews Escape The Holocaust20131008

In October 1943, at the height of the Second World War, most of the Jews in Denmark evaded Nazi plans to send them to death camps. They were warned about a planned roundup by a German diplomat. Hear the story of Bent Melchior who was 14 years old when his family made the journey to safety in neutral Sweden.

(Photo: Bent, aged 15 and living in Sweden)

Danish Jews Escape The Holocaust20151014

In October 1943, at the height of World War Two, most of the Jews in Denmark evaded Nazi plans to send them to death camps. They were warned about a planned round-up by a German diplomat. Hear the story of Bent Melchior who was 14 years old when his family made the journey to safety in neutral Sweden.

(Photo: Bent Melchior, aged 15 and living in Sweden)

Date Rape20160603

In 1991 Katie Koestner went public with her experience of date rape and divided America. At the time, many regarded rape as a crime committed by strangers. Most victims of rape never revealed their names but Katie appeared on the front cover of Time magazine as well as countless talk shows as America debated when 'No' means 'No'. Katie Koestner spoke to Claire Bowes.

Photo: Katie Koestner at her high school graduation in 1990 (courtesy of Katie Koestner)

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest20180222

One of the biggest novels of the late twentieth century - both literally and figuratively - was published in February 1996. Infinite Jest by American author David Foster Wallace is nearly 1100 pages long, but the ground-breaking work of literary fiction also became a bestseller.

Lucy Burns speaks to the editor of Infinite Jest, Michael Pietsch.

Deaf Rights Protest20180306

Students at deaf-only Gallaudet University in Washington DC shut-down the campus in protest when the board of trustees appointed a hearing President in March 1988. They barricaded the campus with buses, marched to the White House and made the front page of the New York Times. Claire Bowes has been speaking to Dr I King Jordan, who was eventually appointed the first ever deaf President in the University's long history.

(Photo: Student protestors, courtesy of Gallaudet University)

Death In The Boxing Ring20131113

In November 1982, the boxer Deuk-Koo Kim died of brain damage after a world title fight against the American Ray Mancini. Kim fell into a coma after being repeatedly knocked down in the 14th round. His death led to a series of reforms in boxing.

Ray Mancini shares his memories of the fight and its aftermath.

(Photo: Deuk-Koo Kim at home in Seoul before his departure for Las Vegas to fight Ray Mancini. Credit: Dong-a Ilbo/AFP/Getty Images)

Death Of An Anarchist20161219

Giuseppe Pinelli was an Italian anarchist arrested by police in Milan. A few days later he was seen falling out of the police station window. It is still not clear exactly what happened to Pinelli. Right-wing activists were later convicted of carrying out the bombing for which he'd been arrested. His story was turned into a popular play by the Italian dramatist Dario Fo. Anna O'Neill has been speaking to Silvia and Claudia Pinelli about their father, and their continued search for the truth.

Photo:Giuseppe 'Pino' Pinelli, with his wife Licia and his daughters Silvia and Claudia. Credit: The Pinelli Family.

Death Of Grenada's Revolution20131018

On 19 October 1983, Grenada's popular left-wing prime minister, Maurice Bishop, was killed following an internal party coup. Six days later the US invaded the tiny Caribbean island. We hear from Ann Peters, who was with Maurice Bishop in his final hours.

Photo: Maurice Bishop in 1983. BBC Pictures

Death Of King George Vi20120206

On February 6th 1952, King George VI died after a long illness.

Britain came to a standstill to mourn the monarch who had led the nation through World War II.

Witness brings together BBC recordings from the time.

PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

How Britain mourned the death of King George VI in 1952.

Death Of King George Vi20120207
Death Of King George Vi20120212

How Britain mourned the death of King George VI in 1952.

Death Of The Dodo

Death Of The Dodo20101029

First discovered on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in the late 16th Century - the Dodo was extinct within a few decades. But what led to its demise? Using contemporary accounts from sailors and naturalists, Witness investigates

Why did the Dodo become extinct?

First discovered on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in the late 16th Century - the Dodo was extinct within a few decades.

But what led to its demise? Using contemporary accounts from sailors and naturalists, Witness investigates.

Degenerate Art And The Nazis20131104

In 1937, Hitler and the Nazi party organised a huge exhibition of modern art in Munich. It was designed to ridicule works of art which they disapproved of - they called it Degenerate Art. It went on to be one of the best attended modern art exhibitions of all time.

Picture: Two men prepare to hang German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann's triptych 'Temptation' at the 20th Century German Art Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London. The exhibition includes work by all the German artists pilloried by Adolf Hitler in the 'Degenerate Art' exhibition in Munich of 1937. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Denmark's 2nd Eu Referendum20160705

In 1993 Denmark held a 2nd referendum on greater EU integration after the 1st vote failed. But angry anti-EU demonstrators took to the streets of the capital and riots followed. We speak to the Former Foreign Minister who campaigned for a "Yes" vote, and a former activist who protested against any Danish involvement in the EU, but who has since changed his mind about Europe.

(Photo: Riot police in Copenhagen after Denmark voted Yes to ratify the Maastricht Treaty in May 1993. Photo credit: AFP)

Dennis Tito - The First Space Tourist20110502

Ten years ago an American businessman called Dennis Tito became the first space tourist.

He was 60 years old when he paid millions of dollars to be blasted into space alongside two Russian astronauts.

He has been talking to Witness.

Derek Jarman20161220

The experimental film-maker made his first full-length film in 1976, it was called Sebastiane - and it was in Latin. It was the first openly gay feature film in British cinema. Vincent Dowd has been speaking to Keith Collins who lived with him during his final years, and cared for him when he was dying of AIDS.

Photo: Derek Jarman in 1991. Credit: BBC

Devil's Island20150811

A convict's experience of Devil's Island, the notorious French penal colony in South America, which closed in 1953. Thousands of inmates died from disease, mistreatment, or trying to escape the network of prisons in the jungles and islands of French Guiana. Bashir Saoudi tells the story of his father, Kaci, an Algerian who was imprisoned there in the 1930s. Bashir Saoudi is the co-author of The Guillotine Choice which was published in 2014.

(Photo: 673 convicts in France being escorted to a ship bound for Devil's Island in 1935. Credit: AP)

Dien Bien Phu20160519

In 1954, French forces surrendered after a bloody 56 day siege of their base at Dien Bien Phu in the north of Vietnam. Their defeat by the communist independence movement, the Viet Minh, signaled the end of French colonial rule in Indochina. We hear from two veterans who fought on opposing sides in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

(Photo: A French military Red Cross helicopter preparing to land, while French soldiers try to defend their positions in Dien Bien Phu against the Viet Minh, 23 March 1954 Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Digging Up The Truth20161205

In the early 1980s Mercedes Doretti, a student of anthropology in Buenos Aires, began helping in the search for some of the victims of Argentina's military rule. She went on to form the prestigious Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, which has carried out exhumations in more than 30 countries. Her work gathering evidence of some of the worst atrocities of our times, has taken her to Bosnia, South Africa, El Salvador and Mexico. Mercedes spoke to Mike Lanchin about the challenges of her harrowing task and about a life-time dedicated to the cause of truth and justice.

Photo: Mercedes Doretti excavates a skull from what used to be the convent of the church at El Mozote, El Salvador, Oct. 1992. (AP Photo/Luis Romero)

Dingo Baby Trial2012091320120914 (WS)
20120916 (WS)

It is 30 years since an Australian woman, Lindy Chamberlain, was accused of murdering her 9 week old baby.

Lindy claimed her daughter was stolen by a wild dog.

Photo: Getty Images

It is 30 years since an Australian woman was accused of murdering her daughter.

Discovering The Great Pacific Garbage Patch20170807

Charles Moore recalls how he came across the world's largest floating rubbish dump.

In the summer of 1997 Captain Charles Moore was on his way home from a yacht race when he came upon a huge patch of floating rubbish in the Pacific Ocean. In 2013 he spoke to Lucy Burns about the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how it opened up a new chapter in research into ocean waste.

Photo: Fishing nets and assorted garbage collected from the North Pacific Gyre (Credit: Environmental Images/Univers/REX/Shutterstock)

Dissidents Declared Insane20120417

In the USSR, the authorities routinely declared political dissidents as suffering from schizophrenia and confined them in mental institutions.

Witness speaks to Victor Davidov, a dissident who survived the experience, and to the international campaigner who helped win his release.

PHOTO: Victor Davidov in the 1970s (private collection)

How dissidents in the USSR were routinely declared insane and kept in mental institutions.

Dissidents Declared Insane20120422

In the USSR, the authorities routinely declared political dissidents as suffering from schizophrenia and confined them in mental institutions.

Witness speaks to Victor Davidov, a dissident who survived the experience, and to the international campaigner who helped win his release.

PHOTO: Victor Davidov in the 1970s (private collection)

How dissidents in the USSR were routinely declared insane and kept in mental institutions.

Dj Kool Herc And The Birth Of Hip Hop20150922

In 1973 a Bronx DJ, known as Kool Herc, held a block party which would help change American music for ever. Hear DJ Kool Herc's story of that first all-nighter, and what happened next.

Photo: DJ Kool Herc. Credit: Getty Images.

Domestic Violence In Brazil20160921

In September 2006 ground-breaking legislation came into effect in Brazil that for the first time recognised different forms of domestic violence. The "Maria da Penha" law was named after a women's rights activist who was left paraplegic by her abusive husband. Mike Lanchin has been hearing her chilling story.

Photo: Maria da Penha now.

Donald Campbell's Fatal Crash2013010420130105 (WS)

In January 1967 Donald Campbell was killed while trying to beat his own water speed record

His famous jet-boat Bluebird crashed at around 300 miles per hour.

Gina Campbell, his only daughter, was 17 years old at the time.

Photo:

Donald Woods Flees South Africa2013010120130102 (WS)

It is 35 years since the South African newspaper editor was forced into exile.

It is 35 years since the South African newspaper editor was forced into exile. He had shown that the police had killed anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko. After he published the story, he and his wife and children had to leave South Africa in fear for their lives. It would be more than 10 years before he could return home.

Photo: Donald Woods and Nelson Mandela. BBC

Drop City20110904

The Summer of Love, 1967, and the commune in Colorado known as Drop City, where rumours of free love, drugs and a lot of music attracted not only hippies from all over the United States, but plenty of tourist buses too.

photo: Getty Images

The hippy commune in Colorado in the Summer of Love, 1967.

Duke Ellington Plays Afghanistan20130919

The jazz legend Duke Ellington played at a concert in Kabul In September 1963

Dunblane School Shooting

Dunblane School Shooting20110310

In 1996, a heavily-armed gunman killed sixteen children at a primary school in the small Scottish town of Dunblane.

The attack caused shock not just in Britain, but around the world.

Witness speaks to the father of one of the victims. The loss of his daughter made him a campaigner for gun control.

The lasting emotional impact of a gun attack at a small Scottish school in 1996

Witness speaks to the father of one of the victims.

The loss of his daughter made him a campaigner for gun control.

Dustbowl Storms In The Us20131112

In November 1933, one of the first in a series of dust-storms hit the central United States. In the following years, hundreds of thousands of farmers would migrate to California. Witness tells their story using archive recordings from the Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin collection at the Library of Congress.

(Photo: Dust storm engulfing houses. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Dusty Plays South Africa2012122420121225 (WS)

In 1964 the British popstar Dusty Springfield went on tour in apartheid South Africa.

In 1964 the British popstar Dusty Springfield went on tour in apartheid South Africa. She said she would only play to racially mixed audiences but the authorities didn't approve. She was forced to leave the country before she had finished her tour.

Photo: Dusty in 1964 - BBC.

Dutch Elm Disease20160715

In the mid 1970s an epidemic of the fungal infection, Dutch Elm disease, killed millions of Elm trees in England, and changed the British landscape forever. Witness talks to tree pathologist Dr John Gibbs who was at the centre of the attempt to save them.

Picture: Dr John Gibbs and a colleague at the Forestry Commission pump fungicide into an elm tree in St James' Park in London during the fight against Dutch Elm disease. (Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Duvalier Flees Haiti

Duvalier Flees Haiti20110207

After weeks of popular unrest, the dictator known as Baby Doc Duvalier, finally left Haiti on February 7, 1986.

But Haitians did not find the peace and prosperity they had hoped for after the fall of the Duvalier dynasty.

25 years ago today, the President of Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier fled the country.

East Timor Massacre20151112

On 12 November 1991, Indonesian troops opened fire on independence activists in East Timor's capital, Dili. British cameraman Max Stahl filmed the attack on unarmed demonstrators in the Santa Cruz graveyard.

(Photo: East Timorese activists preparing for the demonstration. Copyright: Max Stahl)

East Timor Referendum2012083020120831 (WS)
20120902 (WS)

In 1999, the people of East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia.

In response, militias loyal to Jakarta went on the rampage killing up to 1,000 people and overwhelming the United Nations mission.

As the UN compound in Dili came under siege, British journalist Richard Lloyd Parry had to decide whether or not to stay in East Timor.

PHOTO: Pro-Indonesia militiamen in Dili (Associated Press)

How East Timor's vote for independence in 1999 sparked violence by pro-Indonesia militias.

Edith Piaf20131231

In 1963, the funeral of the legendary French singer brought Paris to a standstill. In this programme, Piaf's friends and lovers recall the career of the "Little Sparrow".

Egypt's Facebook Girl20170407

Israa Abd El Fattah was one of the first Egyptian activists to use social media to help organise anti-government demonstrations. In April 2008 she tried to organise a general strike in protest at low wages, and rising prices. She was given the nickname "Facebook Girl". She says the experience of using Facebook to spread the word helped activists learn how to mobilise people before the Egyptian Uprising in the spring of 2011.

Photo: Israa Abd El Fattah in her office in Cairo in 2011. Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Eichmann On Trial20120409

In April 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi official in charge of concentration camps, was put on trial in Israel.

The trial helped reveal the full details of the holocaust.

Witness speaks to one of the prosecutors, Gabriel Bach.

The programme was first broadcast in 2010.

PHOTO: Eichmann in the dock. (AFP/Getty Images)

In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi in charge of concentration camps, was tried in Israel.

Eichmann On Trial20120410
Eichmann On Trial20120415

In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi in charge of concentration camps, was tried in Israel.

Elvis - The Comeback Special2012081620120817 (WS)
20120819 (WS)

On the 35th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, Witness goes back to a television special that revived his career at the end of the 1960s.

At the time, Elvis was struggling to compete against new bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Witness speaks to Steve Binder, the director of what became known as the Comeback Special.

PHOTO: Elvis in the late 1960s. (Getty Images)

How a 1968 television special revived the career of the King of Rock and Roll.

Enid Blyton And The Bbc2011122820111229
20120102 (WS)

The difficult relationship between the BBC and the children's writer, Enid Blyton.

The children's writer Enid Blyton, was one of the most popular authors of the 20th Century.

Books such as her Famous Five series were read by millions across the world.

But Blyton was reviled by some senior managers at the BBC, who effectively banned her work between the 1930s and 1950s.

Simon Watts uses audio and written archive to chart the difficult relationship between the author and the national broadcaster.

Enid Blyton And The Bbc20111229

The difficult relationship between the BBC and the children's writer, Enid Blyton.

Enid Blyton And The Bbc20120102

The children's writer Enid Blyton, was one of the most popular authors of the 20th Century.

Books such as her Famous Five series were read by millions across the world.

But Blyton was reviled by some senior managers at the BBC, who effectively banned her work between the 1930s and 1950s.

Simon Watts uses audio and written archive to chart the difficult relationship between the author and the national broadcaster.

PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The difficult relationship between the BBC and the children's writer, Enid Blyton.

Eritrea's Long War20130902

In September 1961, an attack by rebels in Eritrea marked the start of the country's thirty year war of independence from Ethiopia. We hear the story of one doctor who joined the liberation struggle.

Photo: EPLF fighters on patrol in Eritrea, 1978.

Ernest Hemingway In Cuba20160504

For more than twenty years, the Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway had a house in Cuba. Movie stars, such as Gary Cooper and Ava Gardner, were regular guests at Finca Vigia, his large country-house overlooking Havana. As a young boy, Alberto Ramos worked for Hemingway at the Finca, and later became his cook. He speaks to Witness about his memories of the hard-drinking author.

Photo: Hemingway at work in Finca Vigia (Villareal Family Collection)

Escape From Slavery20170605

The story of the Pakistani boy forced into bonded labour at the age of four.

The story of a Pakistani boy, Iqbal Masih, who was forced into bonded labour as a carpet weaver at the age of four. He later escaped and began speaking out against child labour. He became an international campaigner for the rights of children, speaking at schools in the US and Europe. Iqbal was tragically killed in 1995 at the age of 12. Farhana Haider has been talking to Ehsan Ullah Khan, whose organisation helped free Iqbal.

Photo: Ehsan Ullah Khan and Iqbal Masih in Sweden, 1995. (Credit: Ehsan Ullah Khan)

Escape From Sobibor Death Camp20131014

In October 1943, hundreds of Jewish slave labourers staged a revolt in a Nazi death camp

Hundreds of Jewish slave labourers in a Nazi death camp staged a revolt and escaped in October 1943.

Many were caught and shot. Around 50 made it to the end of the war.

Listen to the story of Thomas Blatt, one of the survivors.

Photo: Sobibor Death Camp (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Escape From The Kgb20130719

In 1985, the British double agent, Oleg Gordievsky, escaped from under the noses of the KGB, making it from Moscow to the West with the help of British intelligence. Witness tells the story of one of the most dramatic incidents during the Cold War.

PHOTO: Associated Press.

Escape From The South Atlantic20160510

In the spring of 1982 Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falkland Islands. Caught up in the conflict were many scientists who worked for the British Antarctic Survey on remote outposts in the South Atlantic. BBC weather presenter Peter Gibbs remembers waiting on the island of Signy - hoping for rescue.

Photo: Peter Gibbs at the beginning of his stay in Antarctica in 1980. Copyright: Peter Gibbs.

Estonia's Bootleg Vodka Poisoning20160909

In September 2001, 68 people died after a massive outbreak of alcohol poisoning in Parnu, Estonia. Rachael Gillman has been speaking to Dr. Raido Paasma, who was working as a doctor in the town when the first cases were discovered.

Photo: Victims of the Parnu alcohol poisoning outbreak (AP Images)

Ethiopian Jews20100105

How one Ethiopian jew made the trip to Israel and the culture shock that awaited him.

How a young man left his home and family in rural Ethiopia and made the dangerous journey to modern-day Israel as part of a secret operation to rescue his people.

Ethiopia's Red Terror20170410

In the 1970s up to half a million people were killed during the brutal campaign of repression launched by Ethiopia's military regime called the Derg. Hear from one survivor who was imprisoned and tortured.

Photo: Human remains. Copyright: BBC.

Evita's Odyssey20130916

The disappearance of the remains in 1955 of Evita Peron, the revered Argentine first lady

Executed For Being Too Capitalist20160414

In 1961, in Kirghizia, in Soviet Central Asia, 21 managers and senior officials were executed for "serious economic crimes", after they introduced capitalist production methods. Dina Newman reports.

Photo: Russian shoppers queue at the GUM department store in Moscow, circa 1960; photo by Richard Harrington/Getty Images.

Executions In Cuba20160707

In July 1989 four of Cuba's highest-ranking army officers were convicted of drug trafficking and executed by firing squad. The case sent shock waves through the communist island, but was seen by some as a show trial of opponents to the rule of Fidel Castro. We hear from the daughter of Col. Antonio de la Guardia, one of the officers involved.

(Photo: Still from a local TV broadcast of the trial of Col. Antonio de la Guardia (left) and his twin brother Brigadier General Patricio de La Guardia (right) on charges of drug trafficking (FILES/AFP/Getty Images)

Expulsion Of The Chagos Islanders20110814

How one man endured exile after the British expelled his people from the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia to make way for an American military base.

Image: Science Photo Library

A Chagos Islander talks of Britain's expulsion of his people from their homeland.

Fall Of Berlin20110502

In 1945, the Red Army occupied part of Berlin as the Second World War came to an end.

Witness speaks to one German woman about life in the city under the Soviet troops.

The experiences of one German woman after Berlin fell to the Red Army in 1945.

Fall Of Berlin20110503
Fall Of Berlin20110507
Fall Of Berlin20110508

The experiences of one German woman after Berlin fell to the Red Army in 1945.

Fania All Stars - Legends Of Salsa20160826

In August 1973, a Latin music supergroup called Fania All Stars played a historic concert at New York's Yankee Stadium. It helped spread the sound of salsa music from New York to the world. Simon Watts talks to Larry Harlow, pianist and producer with the All Stars, and Puerto Rican salsa DJ, Ray Collazo.

PHOTO: Fania All Stars singer Hector Lavoe (Getty Images)

Farzad Bazoft20120316

On 15 March 1990, a young British journalist was executed in Iraq - he had been accused of spying.

His name was Farzad Bazoft and he had been working for the Observer newspaper.

We hear from two of the last people to see him alive.

Photo: VT Freeze Frame

On 15 March 1990, a young British journalist was executed in Iraq.

Father Charles Coughlin - America's First Radio Priest20161018

In the 1930s, a controversial Catholic priest called Father Charles Coughlin had a weekly radio programme with millions of listeners in the United States. As the decade wore on, Father Coughlin's views became so extreme and anti-Semitic that he was seen as a threat to national security by the White House. Simon Watts introduces recordings of Father Coughlin and talks to his biographer, Sheldon Marcus.

PHOTO: Father Coughlin at the microphone (Associated Press)

Fear Of Flying: The Best Selling Book About Sex, Creativity And Love20151118

In 1973, Erica Jong, a young feminist author from New York, wrote a groundbreaking novel about female sexuality, called Fear of Flying. Photo courtesy of Erica Jong

Fermat's Last Theorem20110627

Solving the problem had intrigued mathematicians for centuries.

In June 1993 a British academic, Andrew Wiles, thought he'd cracked it.

But then someone pointed out a flaw in his calculations.

It took him another year to correct it.

Solving the problem which had intrigued mathematicians for centuries

Festival In The Desert2013011020130111 (WS)
20130113 (WS)

Islamist rebel groups in Northern Mali recently announced a ban on music in all areas under their control.

We take you back to the first Festival in the Desert in 2001, which launched Tuareg music on the world scene.

Photo: Tuareg at first Festival in the Desert. Copyright Andy Morgan

In 2001 a festival held in the Sahara desert launched Tuareg music on the world scene

Fidel Castro Takes Havana20160106

In January 1959 left-wing revolutionaries marched triumphantly into the Cuban capital, ending decades of rule by the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. We hear from Carlos Alzugaray, then a 15-year-old school boy, who was among the crowds that turned out to watch the rebel tanks roll into town.

(Photo: Fidel Castro speaks to the crowds in Cuba after Batista was forced to flee, Jan 1959. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Fighting For Castro At The Bay Of Pigs20160420

In April 1961 a group of Cuban exiles launched an invasion of communist-ruled Cuba in a failed attempt to topple Fidel Castro. After 72 hours of fighting many of the invaders were captured or killed. Gregorio Moreria was a member of the local communist militia who fought against the US-backed invaders. He was injured and briefly captured during the fighting. He spoke to Witness about his ordeal.

(Photo: Members of Castro's militia during the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. Credit: Three Lions/Getty Images)

Fighting For Rural Women In South Africa20161209

In the 1990s Sizani Ngubane began the Rural Women's Movement to fight for the rights of one of the most marginal groups in South Africa. It's estimated that across the whole of Africa between 70 and 85 per cent of all food is grown by women, but less than 2 per cent of the land is owned or even controlled by women. Helping women with farming tips and business ideas and supporting women evicted from their land, Sizani's movement has grown over the years, and now has more than 50,000 members nationwide. "I'm a trouble-maker" is how she describes herself to Rebecca Kesby.

Photo:Sizani Ngubane

Fire: Bollywood Explores Lesbian Love20151117

Indian film star Shabana Azmi remembers playing a lesbian in the controversial Bollywood film, Fire, in 1998.

(Photo: Shabana Azmi. Credit: AFP)

First Successful Sex Change2012113020121201 (WS)

The story of Christine Jorgensen who had surgery to change her sex from a man to a woman.

It is 60 years since newspapers in the US announced the successful operation of Christine Jorgensen. Once a soldier called George, she transformed herself into a woman and a glamorous Hollywood star.

Fleeing Deportation To The Ussr20160811

At the end of WW2, hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens who had ended up outside the USSR, escaped forced repatriation by the Red Army. Dina Newman hears from one family, originally from Soviet Belorussia, who disguised their ethnic origin and fled to Australia. Photo: Tanya Iwanow with her daughter Tamara, in Sydney, Australia (family archive)

Forced Sterilisation In Peru20160627

Between 1996 and 2000 more than 280,000 women were sterilised in Peru, many of them against their will. Most of the women were from poor indigenous communities. The sterilisations were carried out as part of a controversial family planning programme launched by the country's populist president, Alberto Fujimori.

Witness has spoken to one of the women who was sterilised and to a Peruvian doctor who refused to take part in the scheme.

Listeners may find some of the accounts in this programme upsetting.

Photo: Felicia Mamaniconsa, a victim of forced sterilisation (credit: Ronald Reategui).

Four Little Girls20130913

On September 15th 1963, four young black girls were killed in a racist bombing in the US

Frank Zappa20110928

He was one of the most innovative musicians in the USA in the 1960s.

Listen to one woman's story of working for Frank Zappa.

Freckleton Air Disaster20140822

In August 1944, a US Air Force plane crashed into a village, Freckleton, in northwest England, killing 61 people. More than half the victims were children attending the local primary school. Survivor Ruby Currell speaks to Witness.

PHOTO: Ruby Currell in the nurse's uniform she was given after recovering in hospital. (Private Collection).

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury20101126

's personal assistant remembers the last days of the musician's battle with Aids.

The last days of Freddie Mercury battle with Aids.

Freddie Mercury's personal assistant remembers the last days of the musician's battle with Aids.

French Algerian Massacre20111023

On 17 October 1961, French police turned against Algerian demonstrators in Paris.

Some were shot, others drowned in the Seine.

For years the killings were not acknowledged.

We hear from one man whose sister died that day.

Friends2014092420140928 (WS)

The American TV show Friends hits TV screens

In September 1994 a new show called Friends hit American TV screens. It was based on the lives of six 20-something New Yorkers and became one of the most successful comedies of all time, syndicated around the world. Witness has been speaking to one of the shows creators, Kevin Bright.

Gallipoli20120426

In 1915, more than 40,000 men were killed during the Battle of Gallipoli.

Among them were a large contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops, known as the Anzacs.

One New Zealander recalled one of the worst battles of World War One in a BBC interview.

PHOTO: Anzac Cove (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

One New Zealand soldier's account of surviving the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915.

Gandhi20100129

When Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated - India came to a halt. Witness has been searching through the BBC's sound archive to paint a picture of that time.

The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Garbage, The City And Death By Fassbinder2012103120121101 (WS)
20121104 (WS)

In 1985 a Frankfurt theatre attempted to stage a play by the provocative German writer, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

But the local Jewish community said the work was anti-semitic.

Hear from an actress, and a protestor involved in the controversy.

Photo: Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Copyright: BBC.

In 1985 a Frankfurt theatre attempted to stage a play by the controversial German writer.

Gay Marriage20130617

Later this month the US Supreme Court is expected to rule on same sex marriage. But more than forty years ago a gay couple from Minnesota managed to get a marriage licence - and even had a Christian wedding ceremony. We look back at the story and speak to the Minister who married them.

Photo: Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, photographed by R. Bertrand Heine. Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.

Gays And Lesbians And The British Miners' Strike20151207

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

George Blake Escapes20111021

In October 1966 a Soviet double agent escaped from a British jail.

He was helped, not by the KGB, but by other former prisoners.

Michael Randle was an anti-nuclear protestor who took part in the escape.

(Photo: Michael Randle on his release from Wormwood Scrubs prison).

George Blake Escapes20111024

In October 1966 a Soviet double agent escaped from a British jail.

Georgia In Crisis

Georgia In Crisis20101222

Christmas 1991 was a difficult time for the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Economic and political difficulties crippled the government.

Armed men roamed the streets of the capital Tblisi, looting and fighting.

Christmas 1991 was a very difficult time for the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Georgia In Crisis20161227

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, freedom came at a price for some of the newly independent Soviet states. Georgia found itself on the verge of civil war, while President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was forced into hiding and gunmen took to the streets. In 2010 Tom Esslemont spoke to a survivor of Georgia's crisis.

Photo: Former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia (L) with bodyguards in the bunker underneath the parliament in Tbilisi during Georgia's brief civil war. (Photo IGOR ZAREMBO/AFP/Getty Images)

Georgia O'keeffe20170309

Georgia O'Keeffe was one of the world's most influential female artists - in 2014, her painting "Jimson Weed" sold for the highest price ever paid for a work by a woman. Famous for her vivid oil paintings of flowers, landscapes and animal skulls, she lived and worked in the wild dry canyons and deserts of New Mexico in the southern United States. Lucy Burns speaks to her former assistant Agapita Judy Lopez.

PICTURE: Journalists view 'Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1' by Georgia O'Keeffe at Tate Modern on July 4, 2016 in London, England. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Georgia's Rose Revolution20111126

In November 2003 a popular uprising unseated the government of Georgia.

Demonstrators waving roses burst into Parliament and Eduard Shevardnadze was forced to stand down.

Hear from one of the people on the streets of Tbilisi that day.

German Refugees In Post-war Europe2012100120121008 (WS)

At the end of World War Two, many ethnic Germans in Central Europe were forced to leave their homes.

No longer welcome outside Germany they ended up in internment camps, sometimes for years at a time.

Hear from one woman who lived through that time.

(Photo: Martha Kent and her siblings after their release from Potulice concentration camp)

German Refugees In Post-war Europe.2012100120121002 (WS)
20121008 (WS)

At the end of WW2, many ethnic Germans in Central Europe were forced to leave their homes.

At the end of World War Two, many ethnic Germans in Central Europe were forced to leave their homes.

No longer welcome outside Germany they ended up in internment camps, sometimes for years at a time.

Hear from one woman who lived through that time.

Ghana Coup20100101

We take you back almost thirty years to a New Year's Eve coup in Ghana - and journalists in the capital have to be on their guard.

How a New Year's coup in Ghana led to changes for the country's journalists.

Ghana Must Go20180219

Over a million West African migrants, most of them Ghanaian, were ordered to leave Nigeria at short notice in 1983. The Nigerian economy was suffering a downturn. But hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians then found themselves stuck outside Ghana's border unable to get back home. Alex Last has spoken to one Ghanaian who took part in the forced exodus.

Photo: Migrants leaving Nigeria wait at the border to enter Benin. Credit: Michel Setboum/Getty Images.

Giandomenico Picco - Hostage Negotiator2013031420130315 (WS)

The UN envoy who tried to secure the release of Western hostages in Lebanon. He allowed himself to be abducted by their kidnappers on the streets of Beirut,time after time. He managed to arrange for 11 hostages to be freed.

Photo: Giandomenico Picco in 1991. VT Freeze Frame.

Grace Kelly And Prince Ranier20110417

She was a Hollywood superstar - he was Prince of a tiny European state.

Their wedding turned into a media frenzy.

One of her bridesmaids remembers that day.

(Photo credit: Associated Press)

Grand Theft Auto2013122520151224 (WS)

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

Great Fire Of London20110911

In September 1666, a fire destroyed much of the city of London.

The diarist, Samuel Pepys, and a schoolboy called William Taswell both watched in horror as the fire consumed houses and even St Paul's Cathedral.

Witness briccngs together their aounts of a blaze which changed the city for ever.

The programme also hears from Meriel Jeater, an expert on the fire from the Museum of London.

PHOTO: A sketch of St Paul's burning from a contemporary pamphlet (Hutton Archive/Getty Images)

In 1666, a fire destroyed much of the city of London. Two diarists recorded what happened.

In 1666, a fire destroyed much of the city of London.

Two diarists recorded what happened.

Great Lisbon Earthquake20111115

On All Saints Day 1755, the Portuguese city of Lisbon was hit by a triple disaster - an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and a fire.

One of the most splendid cities in Europe suffered massive damage and thousands of people were killed.

The disaster also led to debate across Europe about whether earthquakes were a natural phenomenon or a message from God.

Witness brings together accounts by British survivors of the earthquake, and hears from Edward Paice, author of Wrath of God - the Great Lisbon Earthquake.

Image: Lisbon before the earthquake (Hulton Archive/Getty Images).

How an earthquake in 1755 flattened Lisbon and led to a revolution in European thought.

Great Lisbon Earthquake20111119

How an earthquake in 1755 flattened Lisbon and led to a revolution in European thought.

Greenham Common20110911

The women of Greenham Common.

How an anti-war march turned into a peace camp that endured for nearly 20 years outside an American air base in rural England.

We hear from one of the women who took part in the march, and founded the camp 30 years ago in September 1981.

The women of Greenham Common and their protest against American cruise missiles.

Gujarat Riots2012030220120303

It is 10 years since communal violence broke out in the Indian state.

It was sparked by an attack on a train full of Hindu pilgrims.

Photo: Rioters in Ahmedabad on March 1, 2002. Credit Associated Press.

Haile Selassie In Jamaica20160418

In April 1966, Ethiopia's emperor Haile Selassie made a spectacular arrival in Jamaica. It was his first and only visit to the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement which revered him. A quarter of a million people greeted him at the airport.

(Photo: Emperor Haile Selassie speaking to the BBC in 1954)

Haile Selassie Lands In Jamaica20130422

In April 1966, Ethiopia's ruler made a spectacular arrival in Jamaica. It was his first and only visit to the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement which revered him.

Photo: Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, 1966. Getty Images

Haile Selassie Visits Jamaica20130422

In April 1966 Ethiopia's ruler arrived in Jamaica. It was his first and only visit to the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement which revered him.

In April 1966, Ethiopia's ruler made a spectacular arrival in Jamaica. It was his first and only visit to the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement which revered him.

Photo: Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, 1966. Getty Images

Haiti Duvaliers20100121

Papa Doc, and Baby Doc Duvalier were the infamous father and son rulers of Haiti who helped strip the country of its resources, and leave it mired in a culture of fear and misrule. A history which makes it even less able to cope with the aftermath of an earthquake. Witness hears from Lord Leslie Griffiths about his time in Haiti, and his meetings with both father and son.

How the father and son regime of the Duvaliers affected the already poor country of Haiti.

Hamlet

Hamlet20101230

The play Hamlet can tell us a great deal about the time in which it was written.

At the turn of the 16th century England was faced with many of the problems which plague its hero.

Hamlet - by William Shakespeare - is still popular four centuries after it was written.

- by William Shakespeare - is still popular four centuries after it was written.

Hands Across America20160524

In May 1986, more than five million people took part in Hands Across America - an attempt to form a nationwide human chain to raise awareness of poverty and homelessness. Hear from the organiser of the event, Hollywood promoter Ken Kragen.

Photo: Santa Monica California. Credit: Associated Press.

Harry Houdini20161031

In 1904, the great American escape artist, Harry Houdini, made his reputation with a sensational performance at a theatre in London's West End. It became known as the Mirror Handcuff Challenge. Simon Watts introduces contemporary accounts of the show, and talks to magician and Houdini expert, Paul Zenon.

(Photo: Houdini later in his career. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Helmand Convoy20160825

In August 2008 a massive military convoy set off across the desert in Helmand carrying a gigantic turbine for a hydro electric power station. Eight years later that turbine is finally being installed - and should help bring electricity to Southern Afghanistan. Monica Whitlock has been speaking to Joe Fossey, then a Major in the British Royal Engineers, who helped get the convoy through.

Photo: Major Joe Fossey in Helmand Province. Courtesy of Major Fossey.

History Of Tv20100120

It was in January 1926 that John Logie Baird first demonstrated his 'televisor' in public. It was the prototype for television. But initially many people couldn't believe what they were seeing, whilst others believed that even if it did work - it was a pointless invention.

How John Logie Baird tried to convince people that TV could work.

Hitler's Book20100127

When US troops made it to Hitler's mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden at the end of World War Two, many of them looked for souvenirs to take home with them. One soldier found a large book, full of pictures which he carried around for the rest of the war. He's only just found out what it is.

The story of a young American soldier and the book he found in Hitler's house.

When US troops made it to Hitler's mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden at the end of World War Two, many of them looked for souvenirs to take home with them.

One soldier found a large book, full of pictures which he carried around for the rest of the war.

He's only just found out what it is.

Hitler's Death20100430

The German leader Adolf Hitler killed himself on April 30th 1945. Berlin was surrounded by Soviet troops and World War Two was nearing its end. Witness brings you firsthand accounts of his death.

It's exactly 65 years since Adolf Hitler killed himself in a bunker in Berlin.

Hitler's Nuclear Programme20160506

After World War Two, details emerged of Nazi Germany's nuclear weapons programme, which could have given Hitler an atomic bomb. Witness hears material from the BBC archives.

(Photo: Hiroshima mushroom cloud after the first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped by a US Air Force B-29, 6 August 1945. Credit: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Associated Press)

Hitler's Will2013012420130125 (WS)

In January 1946 a young woman was given Hitler's will to translate into English. She had been sent to post-war Germany as part of the occupying forces. It was the culmination of her work for the British Army intelligence corps. Her name was Rena Stewart.

Photo: Rena, front row, second from the left, in Germany in 1946.

Hms Trinidad20130906

George Lloyd, a young English composer, wrote a march for the ship he served on in World War II. The HMS Trinidad was sent to protect convoys carrying supplies to Russia, but it came to a tragic end - and George Lloyd suffered a breakdown which stopped him composing. His march has been revived for the Last Night of the Proms at the Albert Hall in London.

Photo: George Lloyd (far right) playing with the HMS Trinidad band.

How Europe Won Over The British Left20160908

In September 1988, Jacques Delors, the President of the European Commission convinced British trade unionists to support Europe. For years many on the left had been sceptical of the EC, regarding it as a 'rich man's club'. The Labour party and the unions had even called for withdrawal of the European Community, but as Europe geared up for the opening of the single market in 1992 Jacques Delors began to talk about something new, it was called the social dimension and one TUC official, David Lea, wanted to know more, so he invited him to Britain's Trades Union Congress. Claire Bowes spoke to Lord Lea along with John Edmonds, formerly of the GMB union.

Photo: Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, addressing the Trade Union Congress in Bournemouth. 08/09/1988

How Little America Was Built In Afghanistan20120325

In the 1950s, US engineers were sent to Afghanistan to build a huge dam.

The aim was to irrigate the deserts of Helmand.

The town of Lashkar Gah was built to house the workers.

Photo: Lashkar Gah from the air, 1957.

In the 1950s, US engineers were sent to Afghanistan to build a dam.

How Peru Mistook Missionaries For Drug Traffickers20170417

In April 2001 the Peruvian Air Force mistakenly shot down a small passenger plane as it flew over the Amazon jungle. The Peruvians believed the aircraft was carrying drugs. Onboard was a group of American missionaries. Mike Lanchin spoke to Jim Bowers, who survived the crash, but whose wife and baby daughter were killed.

Photo: The missionary plane shot down by the Peruvian Air Force lies in shallow waters of the Amazon River. (Photo by Newsmakers)

Hear from the American who survived being shot down in his plane over the Amazon jungle

Howl2012102920121030 (WS)
20121105 (WS)

Allen Ginsberg first read his poem Howl, in San Francisco in October 1955.

It marked a turning point in American literature.

Michael McClure, a fellow poet, took part in the reading that night.

Photo: Allen Ginsberg with other poets in 1965. Express/Getty Images.

Hugo Chavez And The Failed Coup2013020420130205 (WS)
20130210 (WS)

In February 1992 a group of Venezuelan army officers staged a coup, among them Hugo Chavez

Hull's 'headscarf Revolutionaries'20180212

In 1968, a group of women from the British fishing port of Hull staged a successful campaign to improve safety in what was then one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Following the deaths of nearly 60 men in three separate trawler accidents, the so-called Headscarf Revolutionaries picketed the port and lobbied ministers in London until the owners agreed to changes. Simon Watts hears the memories of one of the women, Yvonne Blenkinsop.

(Photo: Yvonne Blenkinsop (left) and three other campaigners in 1968. Credit: Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Hurricane Andrew2012082320120824 (WS)
20120826 (WS)

In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida, killing 44 people and causing billions of dollars of damage.

Amid the chaos, weather forecaster Bryan Norcross stayed on air, dispensing calm advice to his viewers. The marathon broadcast made him a local hero.

Bryan Norcoss recalls the hurricane for Witness.

The audio in this programme was provided by The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives

(Image: Two people clearing rubble away from their family store. Credit: AFP)

How broadcasting throughout a devastating storm made a Miami weatherman into a local hero.

Hurricane Katrina20100830

It's five years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of America.

Witness speaks to Harold Toussaint, a deacon from New Orleans who refused to evacuate so he could help his community survive in the rising flood waters.

A New Orleans deacon describes how his community survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricane Katrina20150828

In August 2005 a massive hurricane hit the city of New Orleans in the USA. It flooded the area resulting in widespread death and destruction. Dave Cohen was one of the few local journalists who continued to broadcast live throughout the storm.

(Photo: Rescue workers take residents to a ramp on Interstate 10 after a tidal surge from Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed a levee Monday, August 29th 2005. Credit: Douglas R. Clifford/AP)

Hurricane Mitch20131030

In 1998 Central America was hit by Hurricane Mitch. More than 18,000 people died, hundreds of thousands were left homeless. We hear from two people who were in Honduras, the country worst hit by the huge storm.

(Photo: One young man balances on a log to get across a river swollen by the storms in Honduras. Credit: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images)

Iceland's Women Strike20151023

In October 1975, 90% of all women in Iceland took part in a nationwide protest over inequality. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, later Iceland's first female president, talks about that momentous day.

(Photo Credit: The Icelandic Women's History Archives)

Idi Amin20100125

Overthrowing a government in Uganda is not an easy job. We hear from a soldier who helped bring Idi Amin to power in 1971. It was a day of great joy, armoured vehicles were decorated with flowers and girls threw themselves at him!

But three years later with rumours of human rights abuses growing he's persuaded to help overthrow him. But when that goes wrong he ends up face to face with the dictator.

In 1971 the notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin took power.

It was a day of great joy.

Overthrowing a government in Uganda is not an easy job.

We hear from a soldier who helped bring Idi Amin to power in 1971.

It was a day of great joy, armoured vehicles were decorated with flowers and girls threw themselves at him!

But three years later with rumours of human rights abuses growing he's persuaded to help overthrow him.

But when that goes wrong he ends up face to face with the dictator.

In 1971 the notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin took power. It was a day of great joy.

India Anti-sikh Riots20151110

Following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, India was gripped by anti-Sikh riots. Thousands of people were killed. One Delhi suburb, Trilokpuri, saw the worst of the bloodshed. Hear from survivor, Mohan Singh, and Rahul Bedi, one of the first journalists to reach the affected area.

PHOTO: Mohan Singh in his home in Delhi (Credit :BBC)

India Disability Rights20151218

In December 1995, the first disability rights legislation was passed by India's parliament. An estimated 60 million people, almost six percent of India's population, are affected by physical or mental disabilities. Witness been speaking to Javed Abidi who led the campaign to change the law.

Photo: Disability rights campaigners protest in Delhi, December 19th 1995. Credit: Javed Abidi)

India's "mr Sanitation"20170530

In 1968 Dr Bindeshwar Pathak began his mission to improve toilet facilities for the poor.

In 1968 Dr Bindeshwar Pathak began his mission to improve toilet facilities for the poorest people of India. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he developed an affordable, ecological twin-pit latrine system that has helped millions of people in India and around the world to avoid potentially fatal diseases. He explained to Rebecca Kesby, why sanitation became his life's passion.

(PHOTO:

India's Partition - Part Two20100816

The Partition of India led to millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs fleeing their homes during terrible religious violence. This is the second of two programmes remembering that time.

Listen to the story of Chandra Joashi, who was only twelve years old when his family was caught on the wrong side of the dividing line.

When India gained independence it was split into two new countries - India and Pakistan

The Partition of India led to millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs fleeing their homes during terrible religious violence.

This is the second of two programmes remembering that time.

Indonesian Killings20111028

In the autumn of 1965 a purge of communist sympathisers began in Indonesia.

Hundreds of thousands of people were caught up in the terror - many of them were killed.

Others like Carmel Budiardjo and Putu Oka, were jailed for years without trial.

Indonesian Killings20111029
Indonesian Killings20111030

In the autumn of 1965 a purge of communist sympathisers began in Indonesia.

Internment In Northern Ireland20140808

In August 1971 the British Army began detaining hundreds of people suspected of belonging to paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. They were held without charge or trial. We hear from Gerry McKerr, who was detained for more than three years under the internment laws.

Photo: Belfast, August 1971 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ira Hunger Strike20130506

In 1981 the British government was faced with prisoners on hunger strike. The Irish republican activists were demanding to be treated as political prisoners not criminals. Several of them died in Northern Ireland - hear from one who survived.

Photo:AFP/Getty Images

Ira Jail Break2012092720120928 (WS)
20120930 (WS)

In September 1983 a group of IRA prisoners escaped from the high security Maze jail in Northern Ireland.

Most of them had been jailed for bombings and killings carried out as part of their campaign against British rule.

Hear from 'Bik' McFarlane - one of the leaders of the breakout.

(Image: The Maze prison with its H blocks Credit: Press Association)

Iran Hostage Crisis - The Canadian Story2012112920121130 (WS)
20121202 (WS)

In November 1979 Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran taking everyone inside hostage. But six Americans escaped - they sought refuge in the Canadian embassy. Their story is told in the Hollywood movie Argo.

Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor had to get them safely out of the country.

Photo: Iranians climbing the gates of the US embassy at the beginning of the hostage crisis. Copyright: AFP/Getty Images.

Iran Student Protest20130709

In July 1999, students in Iran took to the streets demanding reform. At the time it was the largest anti government protest since the Islamic revolution. We hear the story of one student who became an unwitting symbol of the protest movement.

(Photo: Ahmad Batebi holds up a T-shirt belonging to an injured friend, Tehran, July 12, 1999. Credit: Reuters)

Iran-iraq War

Iran-iraq War20100922

The Iran-Iraq War lasted for eight years and was to become one of the bloodiest wars in recent history. Pooneh Ghoddoosi was just a child when it started - a teenager when it ended.

On September 22nd 1980 Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi troops into Iran.

The Iran-Iraq War lasted for eight years and was to become one of the bloodiest wars in recent history.

Pooneh Ghoddoosi was just a child when it started - a teenager when it ended.

Iraq: Ten Years On - Looting In Baghdad2013032020130321 (WS)
20130324 (WS)

In April 2003, Baghdad descended into chaos as American troops took control of the city.

In April 2003, Baghdad descended into chaos as American troops took control of the city. We hear the story of one Iraqi doctor who witnessed the lawlessness that engulfed Iraq's capital.

(Photo: Looters in Baghdad 11 April 2003. AFP/Getty)

Iraq: Ten Years On - The Invasion Of Iraq2013031920130320 (WS)
20130324 (WS)

John Crawford a college student and reserve soldier - was part of the US land invasion force that rolled into Southern Iraq in March 2003. Hear his story.

Photo: US soldiers on waiting on the border between Kuwait and Iraq. Scott Nelson/Getty Images

Iraq: Ten Years On - Working For The Americans2013032120130322 (WS)

How one young Iraqi who took a job with the US military, was threatened with death as a traitor. Wisam worked as a delivery man and a translator for the Americans. He was sent a letter by the militias containing a bullet and told his days were numbered.

Photo: Wisam, Baghdad, 2009

How one Iraqi who took a job with the US military, was threatened with death as a traitor.

Iraq:ten Years On - The Capture Of Saddam Hussein2013032220130323 (WS)

In December 2003 the former Iraqi leader was finally caught by American forces.

In December 2003 the former Iraqi leader was finally caught by American forces. He was found hiding in an underground bunker. Muwafaq al Rubaie helped to identify him, face-to-face.

Photo: AP/US Army

Iraqi Chemical Attacks20130920

In 1988 the Reagan administration decided not to punish Iraq for gassing Kurds in Halabja

Iraqi Shia Uprising - 199120160324

At the end of the First Gulf War in 1991, after Iraqi troops had been driven out of Kuwait, thousands of Iraqis rose up against Saddam Hussein. Some of the rebels were returning conscripts, some were Kurds, but many were Shias who had suffered oppression at the hands of Saddam's Baathist regime.

(Photo: Iraqi Shia women in ruined Karbala, breast-feeding their children. Their homes were destroyed during clashes between the Iraqi forces and Shia rebels. Credit: Rabih Moghrabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq's Awakening Movement20140704

In 2006 Sunni tribal militia turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq and began working with US forces. It was a turning point in the insurgency in Iraq.

We hear from a former US Marine, David Goldich, who served in Anbar province and witnessed the emergence of the Awakening movement.

Photo: Members of the Sunni Anbar Awakening with Iraqi police commandos and US troops, September 2007. (Ahmed Al Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq's Secret Nuclear Programme20160609

In June 1981 Israeli war planes destroyed Iraq's new, French-built nuclear reactor. Two senior Iraqi nuclear scientists, who were in Baghdad that day, tell Witness how the world's first air strike against a nuclear plant would trigger Iraq's secret programme to acquire nuclear weapons.

Photograph: journalists are shown a destroyed nuclear reactor at Iraq's main nuclear research centre just south of Baghdad, ten years after the Israeli attack (Credit: Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq's Sectarian Violence20130628

The recent surge in violence in Iraq has echoes of the sectarian conflict in 2006-07. We hear from May Witwit, an Iraqi academic who lived throught that bloody period. She eventually fled the country, after seeing her name on a militia hit list.

(Photo: Iraqi women mourn the death of their murdered relatives, Nov 2006. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The recent surge in violence in Iraq has echoes of the sectarian conflict in 2006-07

Irish War Of Independence20100108

The Irish Republican Army began its fight against British rule in January 1919. Witness hears stories from a former IRA fighter, and a child of those times.

Memories of the Irish war of independence which began over 90 years ago this month.

Irving T Bush - Builder Of Bush House2012071120120715

After 70 years, the BBC World Service is leaving its home at Bush House in central London.

BBC Arts Reporter Vincent Dowd uncovers the story of Irving T Bush, the American businessman who gave his name to an iconic building.

(Image: Bush House)

Israel's Nuclear Secrets20131003

In October 1986, Mordechai Vanunu revealed Israel's secret nuclear weapons programme

In October 1986, an Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, revealed his country's secret nuclear weapons programme. Vanunu told his story to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. He was later kidnapped by Israeli agents, taken back to Israel and put on trial for espionage.

Photo: Mordechai Vanunu in detention, Israel, 1986 (AP)

Italy Votes For Divorce20170215

In May 1974, Italians defied the Catholic Church and overwhelmingly backed divorce in a referendum. The vote is now seen as a watershed in modern Italian history. Alice Gioia talks to two women involved in the campaign.

PHOTO: A rally in support of divorce in Italy (Getty Images)

Italy's Partisan Fighters20160905

In September 1943, Partisan fighters in Italy began organising in large numbers to help the Allies defeat Nazi Germany and rid their country of the remnants of Benito Mussolini's fascist state. As World War Two drew to a close, there was vicious fighting in many villages between the Partisans and Italians still loyal to the dictator. Alice Gioia speaks to a brother and sister who both took part in the Partisan struggle.

PHOTO: Italian Partisans celebrating victory, May 1945 (personal collection)

Italy's 'state-within-a-state'20170619

In 1982 Italian banker Roberto Calvi was found dead in London in mysterious circumstances

On 19th June 1982, the body of Italian banker Roberto Calvi was found hanging beneath a bridge in London. It was the latest twist in a drama that had gripped Italy for more than a year involving a mysterious masonic lodge, whose members included many of the most powerful men in Italy, and which stretched all the way to the mafia and to the Catholic church. Louise Hidalgo has been talking to retired magistrate Giuliano Turone who helped discover this secret state-within-a-state, and to journalist Leo Sisti who reported on it.

Picture: Robert Calvi, head of Banco Ambrosiano, who was convicted of fraud but released on appeal shortly before his death (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

It's A Wonderful Life20151224

In December 1946, the classic Christmas film "It's a Wonderful Life" had its premiere in Hollywood. Starring Jimmy Stewart, the movie's message of hope and redemption is loved by millions. Simon Watts talks to former child star, Karolyn Grimes, who played six-year-old Zuzu Bailey.

PHOTO: Karolyn Grimes with Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" (Getty Images)

Ivory Coast Civil War

Ivory Coast Civil War20110307

In 2002, a brutal civil war broke out in Ivory Coast.

It turned the once prosperous city of Abidjan into a place where African migrants and westerners all feared for their lives.

Paul Welsh covered the Civil War for the BBC. He recalls the atmosphere in Abidjan and how journalists themselves were targetted.

How a brutal civil war broke out in Ivory Coast in 2002.

Paul Welsh covered the Civil War for the BBC.

He recalls the atmosphere in Abidjan and how journalists themselves were targetted.

Jackass Penguin Rescue20160621

In June 2000 an oil tanker sank off the coast of South Africa. What followed was a mission to save thousands of African, or Jackass, penguins from the oil slick. Conservationists Tony Williams and Dayan de Napoli remember.

Photo: Penguins make their way back to the water after being rescued from the oil slick. (ANNA ZIEMINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson20110411

was the first black Major League Baseball player.

Jackie Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player.

He broke the colour bar in professional baseball in the USA.

He suffered discrimination and abuse along the way.

Photo: AP.

Jackie Robinson20110412

was the first black Major League Baseball player.

Jackie Robinson20110416

was the first black Major League Baseball player.

He broke the colour bar in professional baseball in the USA.

He suffered discrimination and abuse along the way.

Photo: AP.

Jackie Robinson20110417

was the first black Major League Baseball player.

He broke the colour bar in professional baseball in the USA.

He suffered discrimination and abuse along the way.

(Photo credit: AP).

Jackie Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player.

Jackson Pollock20120123

It is one hundred years since the great American abstract painter was born.

His distinctive technique of dripping paint onto canvas was part of a new wave of post-war art in the USA.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

Jackson Pollock20120124
Jackson Pollock20120129

It is one hundred years since the great American abstract painter was born.

Jacqueline Du Pre2012082020120821 (WS)
20120825 (WS)
20120826 (WS)

makes one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th century.

Jacqueline Du Pre makes one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th century.

In August 1965, at the age of just 20, the British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre recorded the Elgar cello concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli.

It became one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th Century.

Du Pre's career was cut short less than a decade later by multiple sclerosis.

(Image: Jacqueline Du Pre in rehearsal)

In Aug 1965, at the age of just 20, the British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre recorded the Elgar cello concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. It became one of the most famous classical recordings of the twentieth century. Du Pre's career was cut short less than a decade later by multiple sclerosis.

Jacqueline Du Pre20160802

In August 1965, at the age of just 20, the British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre recorded the Elgar cello concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. It became one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th Century. Du Pre's career was cut short less than a decade later by multiple sclerosis.

(Photo: Jacqueline Du Pre in rehearsal)

Jacques Brel20150924

In 1966 the Belgian singer-songwriter suddenly announced on stage that he was going to stop performing. At the time, he was world famous, having sold tens of millions of records around the globe. The song Ne Me Quitte Pas was among his many hits. We hear from his daughter, France Brel.

(Photo: Jacques Brel in Paris in October 1966. Credit: AFP)

Jailed For Speaking His Mind In China20140515

In 1957 the Chinese Communist leader Chairman Mao made a speech encouraging criticism of his Communist system saying 'Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend'. We hear from Harry Wu, who made his views known and ended up in prison for nearly twenty years.

(Photo: Harry Wu with portrait of Chairman Mao. Credit: AFP/Getty)

Jamaica Slave Rebellion

Jamaica Slave Rebellion20101227

The emergence of Samuel Sharpe as a Jamaican national hero as he led the island's slaves in a rebellion against the overseers and sugar plantation owners in 1831.

The story of a major revolt by slaves that was brutally crushed in 19th century Jamaica.

James Brown At The Boston Gardens20130405

The soul singer's April 1968 concert was held amid rioting and violence provoked by the assassination of Martin Luther King.

But despite the fears of the city's authorities, the streets of Boston were quiet the night James Brown and his band played.

Listen to two people who were there.

(Photo: Evening Standard, Hulton Archive)

Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis20120417

In 1997, left-wing rebels held 71 people hostage for over four months in Peru.

One of the diplomats taken captive was the Bolivian ambassador to Peru.

Photo: Peruvian soldiers bring the siege to an end. AP Wire

Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis20120418

In 1997, left-wing rebels held 71 people hostage for over four months in Peru.

One of the diplomats taken captive was the Bolivian ambassador to Peru.

Photo: Peruvian soldiers bring the siege to an end. AP Wire

Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis20120422

In 1997, left-wing rebels held 71 people hostage for over four months in Peru.

Japanese Prisoner Breakout20140805

In the early hours of 5 August 1944, hundreds of Japanese prisoners of war being held near the Australian town of Cowra staged the largest breakout of World War Two. Hear oral history accounts of that night from the archives of the Australian War Memorial's Australia–Japan Research Project.

Photo: The No. 12 Australian Prisoner of War Camp near Cowra, Australia. Credit: The Australian War Memorial.

Jean-michel Basquiat20140217

In the early 1980s a young black graffiti artist took the New York art world by storm. Soon, his paintings were selling for huge sums but he would die before the decade was out. Hear from Patti Astor who knew him in his heyday.

Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat painting titled "Dustheads" sold at Christies in NY for over $48 million in 2013 (AP/Christie"s)

Jeopardy20100602

is a popular American quiz show. Ken Jennings is the man who kept on winning it.

is a popular American quiz show.

Ken Jennings is the man who kept on winning it.

Ken Jennings is the man who won the popular US quiz show Jeopardy more times than anyone else.

He tells Witness how it felt during his winning streak.

Jeopardy is a popular American quiz show.

Jfk In Ireland20130627

Novelist Colm Toibin recalls US President John F Kennedy's visit to Ireland in June 1963

In June 1963 the US President John F Kennedy made a state visit to Ireland, his ancestral home. Irish novelist Colm Toibin remembers the effect he had on the people lining the streets to welcome him.

(Image: President John F Kennedy in the middle of a crowd. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Jimi Hendrix2013012520130126 (WS)

The legendary guitarist's English girlfriend remembers his early days in 60s London.

In early 1967, the American guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, took London by storm.

His flamboyant style and new ways of playing the electric guitar enthralled everyone from the Beatles to Eric Clapton.

His English girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, recalls her relationship with a man who would become a musical legend.

PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Jimmy Swaggart's Fall From Grace20180220

In February 1988 Jimmy Swaggart, one of America's most successful televangelists, was forced to make a humiliating public confession from the pulpit. He had been caught in the company of a New Orleans prostitute. Swaggart's tough no-nonsense style of preaching had won him a huge global following. He had also been fiercely critical of other evangelical preachers who had become mired in sexual scandals. Mike Lanchin hears from the Baton Rouge news reporter Edward Pratt, who followed Swaggart's rapid rise to fame and sudden fall.

Photo: Jimmy Swaggart breaks down in tears on televised sermon as he confesses his relationship with a prostitute, Feb 1988 (Alamy)

John Muir And America's Wild Places20160819

In August 1916, the US Congress created the National Park Service to protect America's finest landscapes and encourage people to visit them. One of the inspirations for the Park Service was the work of the Scottish-born naturalist, John Muir, whose lyrical writings about the Yosemite Valley gained huge popularity. Simon Watts tells John Muir's story through readings from his work and contributions from Mary Colwell, author of "John Muir: The Scotsman who saves America's Wild Places".

PHOTO: John Muir (Getty Images).

NOTE: The wildlife audio in this programme is used courtesy of the National Park Service, the National Audubon Society and Kevin Colver.

Johnny Cash Plays Folsom Prison2013010820130109 (WS)
20130113 (WS)

It is 45 years since the Country and Western star played his first gig in a high-security jail. But the singer had been interested in prisoners' lives for years. His drummer remembers the day they first set foot in the prison.

Photo: Johnny Cash - BBC.

Josephine Baker - Black American Superstar20131010

In 1925 a young black American dancer became an overnight sensation in Paris. Her overtly sexual act soon made her one of the most famous women in Europe. Her name was Josephine Baker - hear from her adopted son Jean-Claude Baker about her dancing, and her life.

(Photo: Josephine Baker in her heyday. Credit: Walery/Getty Images)

Kabul Musicians' Quarter20150928

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

Photo: Ghulam Hossain with his rubab.

Karakoram Highway20160531

In 1979 one of the great engineering feats of the 20th Century was completed and the Karakoram highway between Pakistan and China was finally opened to the public. The highway, also known as the Friendship Highway in China, was started in 1959. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions under which it was constructed, it is also sometimes referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Witness has been speaking to Major General Parvez Akmal who worked on the construction and maintenance of the highway.

(Photo: The majestic Karakorams on the border of Pakistan and China. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Jarrett In Cologne20111105

How a jazz concert organised by a 17-year old turned into a bestselling album.

And how it almost didn't happen.

Vera Brandes describes the difficulties surrounding the legendary performance by the American pianist.

Photo credit: Jacques Munch/AFP/Getty Images

Kenya’s Torture Chambers20151116

In 1986, dozens of Kenyans were detained and accused of belonging to an underground opposition movement called Mwakenya. They were taken to Nyayo House - a government building in the centre of Nairobi - and secretly tortured. Many more were arrested by President Moi’s government in the years that followed. But it was not until he left office that the full details of Kenya’s torture chambers emerged. Witness speaks to Wachira Waheire one of the former detainees.

(Photo: Wachira Waheire inside one of the cells in Nyayo House after they were opened to the public)

Kenya's Hit Record: Jambo Bwana20170208

The story of a 1980s Kenyan pop song which became an unlikely global hit. The song, Jambo Bwana was recorded by the veteran Kenyan band, Them Mushrooms, and first proved to be a huge hit amongst tourists on the Kenyan coast. We hear from members of Them Mushrooms, Teddy Kalanda Harrison, and his brother Billy Sarro Harrison, who recorded the song in February 1980

Photo: Teddy Kalanda Harrison and the Kenyan band Them Mushrooms presented with their platinum record for Jambo Bwana (Teddy Kalanda Harrison)

Kia Ora: Maori Rights Breakthrough In New Zealand20160520

In 1984, Naida Glavish, a New Zealand telephone operator became famous for greeting customers in her native Maori language. Instead of "good morning" she insisted on saying "Kia Ora". The New Zealand prime minister supported her, and two years later Maori became an official language of New Zealand. Dina Newman spoke to Naida Glavish.

(Photo: Naida Glavish as president of the Maori Party in 2013. Credit: Joel Ford/Getty Images)

Kidnap In Ethiopia20100106

When Marxist rebels began their fight against the government of Ethiopia in the 1970s, they were willing to use any means to further their cause. Jon Swain was a young journalist who, for a time, was caught up in their fight.

How a young journalist ended up spending rather more time in Ethiopia than he'd planned.

Kidnap Of Us Ambassador In Brazil20110928

In September 1969 left-wing activists kidnapped Charles Burke Elbrick in Rio de Janeiro.

They demanded the release of 15 of their comrades in exchange for his life.

One of the kidnappers was Fernando Gabeira, then a young journalist.

Photo: Fernando Gabeira in 2008. AFP/Getty Images.

Photo: Fernando Gabeira in 2008.

AFP/Getty Images.

Kidnap Of Us Ambassador In Brazil20110929

In September 1969 left-wing activists kidnapped Charles Burke Elbrick in Rio de Janeiro.

Kim Philby The Spy20111117

How a Soviet agent managed to fool the British intelligence service for years.

Even after he'd been identified as a spy by the Americans, Kim Philby, was allowed to stay in Britain.

Photo: Kim Philby (right) protesting his innocence to the media. Getty Images

Photo: Kim Philby (right) protesting his innocence to the media.

Getty Images.

Kim Philby The Spy20111118

How a Soviet agent managed to fool the British intelligence service for years.

Kim Philby: The Third Man20160511

On May 11th 1988 one of the most notorious double agents of the Cold War, the English communist spy, Kim Philby, died in Moscow. Philby, who was the so-called Third Man in the Cambridge spy ring, had defected to the USSR a quarter of a century earlier. Witness has been speaking to his granddaughter, Charlotte Philby, about her memories of visiting him in exile.

Photo: In November 1955, Kim Philby (right) denies to journalists that he is the Third Man, after the defection of two other Cambridge spies to Moscow. (Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Kindertransports

Kindertransports20101203

The first trains full of Jewish children left Berlin in early December - heading for sanctuary in Britain. The Kindertransports only stopped with the outbreak of war in September 1939. They helped thousands of children from all over Nazi occupied Europe to escape the Holocaust.

In December 1938 the Kindertransports began, carrying Jewish children to safety in Britain

The first trains full of Jewish children left Berlin in early December - heading for sanctuary in Britain.

The Kindertransports only stopped with the outbreak of war in September 1939.

They helped thousands of children from all over Nazi occupied Europe to escape the Holocaust.

Korea Divided20150814

After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Korea is split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces in the north and the US military in the south. Shin Insup tells Witness what happened in the northern city of Pyongyang.

(Photo: Korea 38th parallel. Credit: Getty Images/AFP)

Korean War20100107

The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 led to millions of deaths - most of them civilian. Witness hears one man's story of the loss and hardships brought by war.

It's sixty years since the beginning of the Korean War - one man remembers that time.

Krakatoa20130826

130 years ago, the Krakatoa volcano exploded, triggering a tsunami that caused devastation in Indonesia and beyond. Using archive recordings, Simon Watts tells the story of one of the world's biggest natural disasters. He also speaks to historian Simon Winchester. This programme was first broadcast in 2010.

PHOTO: Associated Press.

Kurdish Singer Ahmet Kaya20161111

In 1999 the famous folk singer was awarded one of Turkey's most prestigious musical awards. But his announcement at the ceremony that he would record a song in his native Kurdish spelt the end of his career. Cagil Kasapoglu speaks to his widow, Gulten Kaya, about the night that changed their lives.

Photo: Ahmet Kaya on stage (credit: GAM Productions)

Kuwaiti Women Secure The Vote20170307

On 7 March 2005 a group of women held an unprecedented rally outside the Kuwaiti parliament. They were trying to force the all-male body to change the electoral law. Two months later they succeeded. Zeinab Dabaa has been hearing from Rola Dashti, one of the organisers of the protest, who later became one of the first women to be elected to her country's legislature.

(Photo: Kuwaiti candidates for the 2006 parliamentary election, Aisha al-Rashid (R) and Rola Dashti (C), the first ever women to be allowed to stand for office Credit: Yasser al-Zayya/AFP/Getty Images)

La Penca Bombing2012052920120530
La Penca Bombing2012052920120530
20120530 (WS)

In May 1984 a bomber tried to kill an anti-Sandinista rebel leader in Nicaragua.

The attack took place at a press conference and several journalists were killed and injured.

Swedish journalist Peter Torbiornsson believes he inadvertently helped the bomber.

La Penca Bombing2012052920120603
La Penca Bombing2012052920120603
20120603 (WS)

In May 1984 a bomber tried to kill an anti-Sandinista rebel leader in Nicaragua.

The attack took place at a press conference and several journalists were killed and injured.

Swedish journalist Peter Torbiornsson believes he inadvertently helped the bomber.

Lagos Armoury Explosion2013012820130129 (WS)
20130204 (WS)

Survivors relive the tragedy of the arms dump explosion in Lagos, Nigeria, 2002

In 2002, a huge weapons store exploded in Lagos, Nigeria, raining down explosives on the packed city.

More than a thousand people died, thousands more fled their homes.

We speak to some of the survivors.

Photo: AFP

In 2002 more than 1000 people died after a huge weapons store exploded in Lagos, Nigeria.

Land Speed Record

Land Speed Record20101015

Andy Green was the driver who travelled faster than the speed of sound - in a car - to set the world land speed record. He tells Witness how it happened.

October 15th 1997 a British team set a land speed record which still hasn't been beaten.

Andy Green was the driver who travelled faster than the speed of sound - in a car - to set the world land speed record.

He tells Witness how it happened.

Last Days Of Nasser

Last Days Of Nasser20101001

President Nasser of Egypt electrified the Arab world with his charisma and his dream of Arab nationalism uniting the Middle East. His death in 1970 was a traumatic moment for millions of Egyptians.

Witness speaks to a former Egyptian chauffeur who observed Nasser's final days first-hand

A chauffeur recalls the dramatic final days of President Nasser of Egypt.

President Nasser of Egypt electrified the Arab world with his charisma and his dream of Arab nationalism uniting the Middle East.

His death in 1970 was a traumatic moment for millions of Egyptians.

Latinos Protest Against Vietnam20150826

In August 1970, tens of thousands of Mexican-Americans took part in a march against the Vietnam War known as the Chicano Moratorium. The protest in Los Angeles ended in chaos as police and demonstrators fought running street battles, resulting in three deaths. Rosalio Munoz was the organiser of the Chicano Moratorium.

PHOTO: The poster for the Chicano Moratorium (Courtesy: Rosalio Munoz).

Lebanon's Baalbek Festival20160804

The Middle East's oldest arts festival was first held n the ancient Roman ruins of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon in the summer of 1956. Some of the greatest names in music, theatre and dance performed there - Margot Fonteyn, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbert von Karajan, the Lebanese singer Fairuz. Witness talks to Mona Joreige whose aunt helped to organise the first Baalbek festival, and who was herself part of the organising committee for more than 20 years.

(Photo: Syrian singer Mayada al-Hinnawi performing at the 2015 Baalbek International Festival. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Lee Harvey Oswald And The Ussr2012112220121123 (WS)
20121125 (WS)

Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of killing President John F Kennedy in November 1963 had spent more than two years living in the USSR. He had defected there after serving as a US Marine.

He got a job in Minsk, and got married but was then welcomed back to the USA.

Photo: Associated Press, Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody.

Lehman Brothers20110916
Lehman Brothers20110918

On 15 September 2008, the US investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

Two New Yorkers at the centre of the crisis talk about the events leading up to that day.

Photo: AFP

Lehman Brothers20110919

On 15 September 2008, the US investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

Two New Yorkers at the centre of the crisis talk about the events leading up to that day.

Photo: AFP.

Leonardo's Lost Notebooks20180214

In February 1967, it was revealed that two notebooks by the great 15th-century Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci, that had been lost for centuries, had been discovered in the national library in Spain. Louise Hidalgo talks to two people with a personal interest in the discovery, Da Vinci scholar Pietro Marani, and robotic engineer, Mark Rosheim, who used Leonardo's drawings to recreate the artist and inventor's lost Robot Knight.

(Photo: A self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci dated circa 1500. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Libya Coup20100831

Before dawn on 1 September 1969, a group of army officers seized control of Libya from the reigning monarch. Among them was a young soldier called Muammar Qadhafi. Witness hears from two Libyans who experienced those heady and confusing events.

In 1969, a group of Libyan army officers take power in an overnight coup.

Before dawn on 1 September 1969, a group of army officers seized control of Libya from the reigning monarch.

Among them was a young soldier called Muammar Qadhafi.

Witness hears from two Libyans who experienced those heady and confusing events.

Libyan Prison Massacre20110725

In 1996 over a thousand prisoners were killed at Abu Salim jail in Tripoli.

Many people see the killings as the spark that eventually led to the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi's government.

When protestors first went on the streets of Benghazi in February this year it was to demonstrate against the arrest of a lawyer who was investigating the killings.

Photo: AP

In 1996 over a thousand prisoners were killed at a jail in Tripoli

Libya's Coup - 196920110904

On 1 September 1969, a military coup in Libya toppled the King and brought to power Colonel Gaddafi - for many Libyans, the only leader they have ever known.

In contrast to today's long-drawn out and bloody struggle for power, it was all over very quickly in 1969.

Photo: Getty Images

The coup that brought Colonel Gaddafi to power in Libya.

Libya's Coup - 196920110905

The coup that brought Colonel Gaddafi to power in Libya.

Lindow Man2014080620140810 (WS)

In 1984, the 2000 year old remains of a man were found preserved in a peat bog in England

In August 1984, the 2000 year old remains of a man were discovered preserved in a peat bog in England. It was believed he was a victim of ritual sacrifice. We speak to Rick Turner, the local archaeologist who found "Lindow Man"

Lord Mountbatten20100906

On September 5th 1979, world leaders and European royalty gathered in London for the funeral of Lord Mountbatten. He'd been killed in a bomb attack by Irish republicans. His grandson Timothy Knatchbull tells Witness about the day he lost, not just his grandfather, but his identical twin brother

Lord Mountbatten, pillar of the British establishment, was killed by the IRA in 1979.

, pillar of the British establishment, was killed by the IRA in 1979.

On September 5th 1979, world leaders and European royalty gathered in London for the funeral of Lord Mountbatten.

He'd been killed in a bomb attack by Irish republicans.

His grandson Timothy Knatchbull tells Witness about the day he lost, not just his grandfather, but his identical twin brother

Lord Of The Flies20140916

It is 60 years since William Golding's acclaimed novel was first published. The story, of schoolboys marooned on an island, tackles questions of human nature and whether people are intrinsically good, or evil.

(Photo: William Golding. Credit: BBC)

Los Topos - Mexico's Earthquake Rescuers2014091720140921 (WS)

How an earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 led to the creation of an elite rescue group.

In 1985, an earthquake devastated the centre of Mexico City, killing at least 10,000. With the emergency services struggling to cope, a small group of Mexicans began to dig out survivors themselves. Nicknamed Los Topos, or "The Moles", they are now an elite rescue group who travel the world digging people out of rubble. Witness talks to Eduardo Acevedo, one of the first members of Los Topos.

PHOTO: Eduardo Acevedo, left, on a mission with Los Topos (Associated Press).

Lsd Road Trip2014082720140831 (WS)

Writer Ken Kesey and friends drove across America experimenting with LSD in summer 1964

In the summer of 1964 writer Ken Kesey and his Merry Band of Pranksters set off on a psychedelic journey - experimenting with LSD while driving across America in a converted school bus. Immortalised in the book The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, their trip would become one of the defining moments of American counterculture. Witness has been speaking to surviving Prankster Ken Babbs.

Picture: Ken Kesey on April 24, 1997 in Springfield, Oregon, with his bus, 'Further' (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard, File)

M*a*s*h20180228

On the 28th of February 1983 the final episode of the iconic US TV series M*A*S*H was broadcast. It was watched by a record 125 million viewers. Set during the Korean War. M*A*S*H centred on the lives of the doctors and nurses in an army medical unit. Farhana Haider has been hearing from one of the show's writers Karen Hall about the sitcom that presented a wry take on war.

Photo Cast of M*A*S*H 1980 Karen Hall far right. Credit Karen Hall

Mad Cow Disease - Cjd2012122120121222 (WS)

In the 1990s it became clear that a brain disease could be passed from cows to humans.

In the 1990s it became clear that a brain disease could be passed from cows to humans. The British government introduced a ban on beef on the bone. But for some people it was too late, members of their families were already sick.

Photo: BBC.

Mad Cow Disease And Cjd20160316

In March 1996 the British government admitted that there was a probable connection between a disease affecting cattle and a devastating brain illness affecting humans, called variant CJD. A ban was introduced against the sale of beef on the bone. But for some people it was too late, members of their families were already sick.

Photo: copyright BBC.

Madame Mao20140908

The Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong died on 9 September 1976. Among those jockeying for power after his death, was his widow Jiang Qing. American, Sidney Rittenberg, remembers her rise and fall.

(Photo: Jiang Qing (right) alongside Mao Zedong in 1967. Credit AFP/Getty Images)

Madrid Train Bombings

Madrid Train Bombings20110311

Bombs planted on Spanish commuter trains and detonated at the height of the morning rush hour caused chaos.

One rescue worker remembers that day.

Photo: One of the wrecked trains outside Atocha station (AP)

On March 11th 2004, bomb attacks in Madrid left 191 people dead.

Maitatsine2012122720121228 (WS)
20121230 (WS)

In December 1980, thousands were killed in the Nigerian city of Kano following an uprising by an Islamic sect.

The sect was led by a radical preacher, Maitatsine.

We hear from a witness who saw hundreds of suspects summarily executed as the Nigerian state tried to crush the uprising.

Photo: Kano old city wall c. 1975

In 1980 thousands died in the Nigerian city of Kano in an uprising by an Islamic sect.

Making Doctor Who20131122

On 23 November 1963 the first episode of Doctor Who, one of the world's best loved TV programmes was shown. Witness speaks to Carole Ann Ford, who played the Doctor's grand-daughter.

(Photo: First episode of the world’s longest running sci-fi series Doctor Who with William Russell as Ian, Carole Ann Ford as Susan, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara and William Hartnell as Doctor Who)

Mallory On Everest20160406

In 1999 the body of the legendary British mountaineer, George Mallory, was found on Mount Everest. Mallory disappeared on the mountain in 1924 after making a final push for the summit with his fellow climber Andrew Irvine. They were never seen again. Witness has been speaking to Jochen Hemmleb one of the original members of the team that discovered George Mallory's remains.

Photo: George Mallory. Credit: Getty

Manchester United 196820110524

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup at Wembley.

A supporter and a player talk about the match, and the emotions.

Listen to David Sadler, and life-long fan Brian Hughes.

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup.

Manchester United 196820110528

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup.

Manchester United 196820110529

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup at Wembley.

A supporter and a player talk about the match, and the emotions.

Listen to David Sadler, and life-long fan Brian Hughes.

Photo: David Sadler in action. Getty images.

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup

Photo: David Sadler in action.

Getty images.

Mao's American Comrade20131001

Mao declares the formation of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. We hear from an American who helped to plan the revolution in the caves of Yan'an. Sidney Rittenberg remembers what the early days of communist rule were like in China.

Mao's Long March20140501

In 1934 Mao Zedong led some eighty-six thousand communist followers on an epic journey across China to escape the nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek.

Tens of thousands died on the year-long retreat, which became known as the Long March.

We hear from Zhong Ming, one of the few survivors still alive.

Photo: Communist leader Mao Zedong (left) during the Long March (Keystone/Getty Images)

Marcel Duchamp And His Fountain20161020

In October 1942, the great French conceptualist artist Marcel Duchamp helped put on the first major surrealist exhibition in New York. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to Carroll Janis, whose parents were friends of Duchamp, about the exhibition, the man and his art, including Duchamp's famous urinal.

Picture: A replica of Marcel Duchamp's iconic work, Fountain, at the opening of an exhibition in London in 2010. Duchamp first exhibited Fountain in 1917 (Credit: Geoff Caddick)

Marcus Garvey20160517

In 1916 Marcus Garvey arrived in the US and began a movement for black pride. His dream was that black people would live independently of whites in a new empire in Africa.

Photo: August 1922 Marcus Garvey is shown in a military uniform as the "Provisional President of Africa" during a parade on the opening day of the Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World in Harlem, New York City. (Credit: AP Photo/File)

Marie Stopes, Birth Control Pioneer2013031320130314 (WS)
20130317 (WS)

In March 1921, Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London. The Mother's Clinic in Holloway offered advice to married mothers on how to avoid having any more children. Hear testimonies on the early days of birth control in Britain from the BBC archive. Picture: Popperfoto/Getty Images.

In March 1921 Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London.

Marie Stopes: Birth Control Pioneer20160303

In March 1921, Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London. The Mother's Clinic in Holloway offered advice to married mothers on how to avoid having any more children. Hear testimonies on the early days of birth control in Britain from the BBC archive. This programme was first broadcast in 2013.

(Photo: Dr Marie Stopes, photographed in 1953. Credit: Baron/Getty Images)

Marie Stopes: Birth Control Pioneer20180308

In March 1921, Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London. The Mother's Clinic in Holloway offered advice to married mothers on how to avoid having any more children. Hear testimonies on the early days of birth control in Britain from the BBC archive. This programme was first broadcast in 2013.

(Photo: Dr Marie Stopes, photographed in 1953. Credit: Baron/Getty Images)

Mariel Boatlift From Cuba20110529

In 1980, more than 100,000 Cubans left the island in a boatlift from Mariel harbour.

Witness speaks to the writer, Mirta Ojito, about how she fled from communism with her family.

Photo: Mirta (left) with her father and sister.

How 125,000 Cubans left the island by boat in 1980

Marooned In Stalin's Russia20140811

At the start of the Second World War hundreds of thousands of Polish civilians were imprisoned in the Soviet Union following the occupation of their country by the USSR. But in August 1941, after Nazi Germany invaded Russia, many of the Poles were suddenly set free. We hear from one former prisoner who found himself stranded in Soviet Central Asia for the rest of the Second World War.

Photo: Nazi troops order Soviet women to leave their homes, summer 1941 (Keystone/Getty Images)

Martha Stewart In Jail20140731

In July 2004, the American TV celebrity was convicted for lying to federal prosecutors and sent to jail for five months. Famous for her cookery and home-making books, Stewart had many fans in prison and even managed to make friends. One of them, Susan Spry, talks to Witness.

(Photo: Martha Stewart. Credit: Getty Images)

Marvel Comics And 'the Fantastic Four'20161024

In 1961 a new generation of comic-book super heroes with more credible characters, was launched in the US to great acclaim. The 'Fantastic Four' was the creation of Marvel's writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. It propelled the company from a small division of a publishing company to a pop culture conglomerate. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Roy Thomas, who began as a young writer at Marvel in the 1960s and rose to become its editor-in-chief.

Photo:

Mary Quant And The Mini Skirt20120304

It is almost 50 years since the young British designer led a fashion revolution.

She remembers how the look that came to embody swinging London was created.

(Photo: Mary Quant. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Mass Executions In Iran20150824

In the summer of 1988 thousands of political prisoners were suddenly executed in Iran. The killings, ordered by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, were kept secret at the time. Witness hears from Chowra Makaremi, whose mother was among those put to death.

(Photo: Chowra's mother, Fatemeh, executed in 1988.Courtesy of the family)

Mass Graves In Hue, Vietnam20151019

In 1968, US troops in South Vietnam discovered the victims of a Communist offensive in the old imperial capital, Hue. Much of the city had been overrun by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong guerillas during the Tet offensive. During the occupation, hundreds, possibly thousands, linked to the South Vietnamese regime were executed. We hear from Phil Gioia, from the 82nd Airborne Division, who discovered one of the first graves.

(Photo: A South Vietnamese woman mourns over the body of her husband, found with 47 others in a mass grave near Hue. Credit: AP)

Mass Wedding In New York City2012070320120704
20120708 (WS)

In 1982 4,000 people got married in a mass blessing carried out by Reverend Sun Myung Moon

He founded the Unification Church in Korea and his followers believe he should choose their spouses.

Hear from an American bridegroom who married his Korean wife that day.

(Image: Philip Shanker and his Korean bride)

Mass Wedding In New York City2012070320120708

In 1982 4,000 people got married in a mass blessing carried out by Reverend Sun Myung Moon

Mau Mau Uprising20111030

It is 55 years since the Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi was arrested in Kenya.

He had been fighting against white rule in the British colony.

Photo: Mau Mau suspects in a prison camp. Getty images

Photo: Mau Mau suspects in a prison camp.

Getty images.

Medicare20160718

In July 1966, US government health insurance programme Medicare came into force, providing limited free health insurance for the over 65s. Ted Marmor was assistant to Wilbur Cohen, one of the architects of the plan. He speaks to Witness about his memories of that time.

PICTURE: President Lyndon B Johnson signs the Medicare Bill with Harry S Truman in Independence, Missouri on July 30, 1965. (AP Photo)

Meeting Osama20100128

When the Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan agreed to go and interview Osama bin Laden fourteen years ago, he was apprehensive. By the time he reached his mountain hideout - he was shaken and scared -but what was the man himself really like?

What is Osama bin Laden really like? Witness talks to someone who knows.

Meeting Picasso20160727

In the summer of 1951 a young art historian met for the first time one of the greatest painters of the modern era. John Richardson recalls getting to know Pablo Picasso in the south of France.

Photo: AFP/Getty

Megan's Law2012073020120731
20120731 (WS)
20120804 (WS)
20120805 (WS)

18 years ago a little girl was raped and murdered - her killing changed US law.

Eighteen years ago a little girl was raped and murdered in New Jersey, USA.

After her death her parents began campaigning for a change in the law to force public awareness of sex offenders.

(Photo: Megan's mother Maureen testifying at the trial of her murderer. Credit: AP)

Eighteen years ago a little girl was raped and murdered - her killing changed US law.

18 years ago a little girl was raped and murdered in New Jersey, USA.

Photo: Megan's mother Maureen testifying at the trial of her murderer. AP.

Megan's Law2012073020120804
Megan's Law2012073020120805
Mexico City Massacre20111009

Just before the 1968 Olympics, the Mexican government cracked down hard against student demonstrators.

Some were killed, others arrested - David Huerta was one of the young protestors, hear his story.

Photo: Mexican soldiers arresting students after the shooting (Associated Press).

Just before the 1968 Olympics, the Mexican government cracked down hard on demonstrators.

Mexico Slashes Car Use20170308

In the 1970s and 80s a deadly cocktail of toxic factory fumes and car pollution turned Mexico City into the world’s most polluted city. In response, the authorities came up with an ambitious solution: curb the use of each of the city’s two million cars for one day a week, the first time any country had tried such a bold plan.

Ramon Ojeda Mestre is an environmentalist who was behind the initiative, introduced in November 1989. He tells Mike Lanchin about overcoming fierce opposition to the plan, and how some critics even predicted riots from irate motorists.

(Photo credit: Alamy)

Mexico's Tequila Crisis20160119

In January 1995 Mexico's economy went into melt-down following the sudden devaluation of its currency, the peso. The government was forced to seek a multi-billion dollar bailout from the US and the IMF. Witness hears from Luis de la Calle, a top Mexican official who helped negotiate the package.

(Photo: American and Mexican officials sign a US$20 billion rescue package for the Mexican economy at a ceremony at the US Treasury in Washington. Credit: Pam Price/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Jackson's Thriller20151223

In 1982 the world's best selling album was released. Thriller included hits such as Beat It, Billie Jean and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' as well as the title track. Witness speaks to Anthony Marinelli who worked on the seminal album.

(Photo: Michael Jackson and assorted zombies in the video for Thriller in 1983, publicity handout)

Mickey Mouse Goes To Europe20130412

When Disney opened its first theme park in Europe, just outside Paris, it was beset with problems from the start. It was years before the venture would break even. Bob Fitzgerald was the first CEO charged with launching Euro Disney, but his background was in the arts and he was more used to running operas and productions of Shakespeare than theme parks.

(Image: Getty)

Miguel Angel Blanco2012071820120722
20120722 (WS)

In July 1997, the armed Basque separatist group, ETA, kidnapped a young local councillor called Miguel Blanco and threatened to kill him within 48 hours.

The ultimatum sparked nationwide protests against ETA on a scale never previously seen in Spain.

Witness speaks to former Spanish Interior Ministry official, Gustavo de Aristegui.

PHOTO: Miguel Angel Blanco's sister, Maria del Mar, in front of a mural of her brother. (Getty Images)

How the killing of a young Basque councillor sparked huge anti-ETA protests in Spain.

Military Coup In Chile20130911

On September 11th 1973, Gen Augusto Pinochet ousted the socialist government in Chile

Military Coup In Turkey20110918

On 12 September, 1980, the army took control in Turkey.

It was not the first time they had done so - but their actions still haunt Turkish politics today.

An admiral and a former student activist recount their very different memories of that time.

Photo: Getty Images.

Miracle On Ice20100222

When the US hockey team met their Russian rivals at the 1980 Olympics, tensions were high.

When the USA and the Soviet Union met in an ice-hockey match during the 1980 Winter Olympics - political tensions were high.

Witness hears from two of the players who took part.

Miriam Makeba20150915

The story of the great South African singer who spent 30 years in exile. She was invited to the United States in 1959 and became an overnight star, but was blocked from returning home by the South African apartheid regime. Known as Mama Africa by her millions of fans, she had a remarkable life and career performing around the world. Only after Nelson Mandela was freed, did she finally return home.

(Photo: South African singer Miriam Makeba performing at the Olympia in Paris in 1964. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Missing Plane Mystery20140324

In 1947, passenger plane Star Dust vanished without trace over the Andes, after sending a cryptic final message via Morse code. Its disappearance sparked rumours of espionage and alien abduction, but the truth of its fate was finally revealed in 2000. Hear from the relatives of those on board.

(Photo: An Avro Lancastrian aircraft. Credit: J. A. Hampton / Hulton Archive)

Mission To Mars20111113

In November 1964 the first spacecraft to go to Mars left Earth

It was to send back the first photographs of the Red Planet.

Engineer John Casani designed the Mariner craft.

Photo: One of the images sent back by Mariner.

Mo Farah2012091020120911 (WS)
20120915 (WS)
20120916 (WS)

The Somali-born runner, Mo Farah, has become one of the heroes of the London 2012 Olympics after winning Gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres for his adopted country.

As Farah leads a parade of British athletes through London, Witness speaks to Alan Watkinson, the school sports teacher who transformed Farah's life.

PHOTO: Associated Press

(Image: Mo Farah. Credit: Associated Press)

How a London school sports teacher changed the life of the Somali-born Olympic champion.

Mobutu Sese Seko Of Congo2011112420111125

Of the "Big Men" who ruled Africa after independence, few were as notorious as Mobutu Sese Seko.

During his 32 years in power, Mobutu renamed Congo as Zaire and stole many millions of dollars.

As the people of Congo prepare to vote for a new president, a former advisor to Mobutu remembers his years in power.

Witness also hears from Michaela Wrong, author of "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz".

PHOTO: Mobutu shares a joke with a foreign visitor (HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES)

How Mobutu Sese Seko run a kleptocratic dictatorship in Congo for 32 years.

Mobutu Sese Seko Of Congo20111128

How Mobutu Sese Seko run a kleptocratic dictatorship in Congo for 32 years.

Modern Art In Tehran2012101220121013 (WS)

It is 35 years since the opening of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

It contains one of the finest collections of modern Western art outside Europe and North America.

Hear from its founder and architect - Kamran Diba

Photo: A woman visitor to the Museum. AFP/Getty Images.

Mods And Rockers2014051420140518 (WS)

In 1964, rival youth gangs clashed at the English resort of Brighton over the Bank Holiday weekend. The fighting sparked moral panic about a generation of apparent juvenile delinquents. Witness speaks to Alfredo Marcantonio, a Mod who was caught up in the clashes.

(Photo: Mods confined to Brighton beach by the police. Credit: Getty Images)

Monkeys In Space2014052820140601 (WS)

In May 1959, for the first time America sends two monkeys into space and brings them back alive.

It's a watershed moment for the US space agency, Nasa, and paves the way for future manned space missions.

Photo: Keystone\Getty Images

(Originally broadcast in May 2012)

Montserrat Volcano20110626

Fourteen years ago the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

Much of the south of the island was covered with ash and 19 people died.

Hear Rose Willock, broadcaster and 'voice of Montserrat' as she remembers the 25 of June 1997.

(Photo: BBC)

In June 1997 the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of Montserrat

Moral Majority20160614

In June 1979 the Moral Majority was launched and changed the course of American politics. It was set up to promote family values by religious conservatives from Catholic, Jewish and evangelical Christian communities. It urged protestants in particular to go against the tradition of separating politics and religion and register to vote, and to vote Republican. Richard Viguerie was one of the driving forces behind the movement.

(Photo: Ronald Reagan with Richard Viguerie in Atlanta, Georgia, 1975, courtesy of ConservativeHQ.com)

Mtv20110807

It is 30 years since the launch of the first 24-hour music TV channel.

Mtv Turns 3020110801

It is 30 years since the launch of the first 24 hour music TV channel.

It was to revolutionise the way that music was consumed and promoted - and the way that people watched television.

Witness hears from one of the founders of MTV.

Mtv Turns 3020110802

It is 30 years since the launch of the first 24 hour music TV channel

Mugabe Becomes Zimbabwe's Leader2014042320140427 (WS)

In April 1980, Robert Mugabe became the first prime minister of Zimbabwe

In April 1980, Robert Mugabe became the first prime minister of Zimbabwe - formerly Rhodesia. He had just won historic elections, ending years of white minority rule. We hear from Wilf Mbanga who was once part of Mr Mugabe's inner circle.

(Photo: Wilf Mbanga (centre) tells joke to Robert Mugabe (L) and Julius Nyrere of Tanzania (R) , Delhi, 1984. Credit: Bester Kanyama)

Mules And The Mujahideen2012091920120920 (WS)
20120922 (WS)

Twenty-five years ago, a shipment of mules was sent from the USA to Afghanistan.

They were part of Ronald Reagan's effort to help fight the Soviets.

Witness hears from a Mujahideen commander and an American vet who dealt with the animals.

Photo: AFP/Getty images.

Murder Of Polish Priest20111106

In late October 1984 the body of a Polish priest was found in a town outside Warsaw.

He was Father Jerzy Popieluszko and he had become the spiritual leader for the banned trade union Solidarity.

It was later revealed that he had been kidnapped and killed by members of the Communist secret police.

Musicians Of The Iranian Revolution20150916

In September 1978 in the heat of Iran's revolution, the country's top musicians decided to join the popular uprising. After the massacre of demonstrators by the Shah's armed forces in Jaleh Square, state employed musicians went underground and started recording revolutionary songs. These songs became some of the most iconic in recent Iranian history. Bijan Kamkar remembers how the group secretly produced music in a basement.

(Photo: Bijan Kamkar, on the far left, with a group of Iranian musicians. Courtesy of Bijan Kamkar)

Namibian Independence20160321

In March 1990, Namibia - formerly the South African colony of South West Africa - became independent. Andimba Toivo ya Toivo was one of the founders of liberation group SWAPO, the South West African People's Organisation.

Photo: Andimba Toivo ya Toivo on release from detention in March 1984 - Associated Press

Ned Kelly's Last Stand20111124

Ned Kelly, the infamous Australian outlaw, was captured in the remote settlement of Glenrowan in 1880.

In a dramatic last stand, Kelly and his gang

took hostages and tried to derail a police train.

Kelly was hanged a few months after his capture. The rest of the gang were killed.

Witness brings together eye-witness accounts of the last stand. The programme also hears from the Australian historian, Professor Carl Bridge.

PICTURE: Ned Kelly is shot and captured while wearing his armour. (HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES)

How the infamous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, was finally captured in 1880.

Kelly was hanged a few months after his capture.

The rest of the gang were killed.

Witness brings together eye-witness accounts of the last stand.

The programme also hears from the Australian historian, Professor Carl Bridge.

PICTURE: Ned Kelly is shot and captured while wearing his armour.

(HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES).

Ned Kelly's Last Stand20111125

How the infamous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, was finally captured in 1880.

New York Blackout2012071620120717
20120722 (WS)

It is 35 years since the streets of the Big Apple were plunged into darkness.

In the height of a summer heatwave there were riots on the streets.

But as one New Yorker remembers - it wasn't all bad.

Photo: New Yorkers walking home in the dark. Copyright: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

New York Blackout2012071620120722
New York Jewel Heist20141028

In October 1964 thieves carried out an audacious jewel robbery. They stole some of the world's most famous gems from the American Museum of Natural History. Witness hears from Jack Murphy, one of the gang members.

Nigeria's "war Against Indiscipline"20151130

In 1984 General Muhammadu Buhari's military regime launched an unusual campaign to clean up Nigeria. Under the policy, Nigerians were forced to queue, be punctual and obey traffic laws. The punishments for infractions could be brutal. Veteran Nigerian journalist Sola Odunfa recalls the reaction in Lagos to the War Against Indiscipline.

Photo: The Oshodi district of Lagos, 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)

Nigeria's First Coup20160115

On 15 January 1966 a small group of Nigerian army officers launched a bloody coup against the civilian government. It marked the start of the military's involvement in Nigerian politics which would last for decades and set Nigeria on a path to civil war. We hear from one of the soldiers who took part, Colonel Ben Gbulie.

**This programme was first broadcast in 2014**

(Photo: Nigerian troops on the streets of Lagos, 16 January 1966. Credit: AP)

Noel Coward Plays Vegas20150908

In the 1950s, the quintessentially English singer, actor and playwright, Noel Coward, was invited to do a show in Las Vegas, which was then controlled by the Mob. At the time, Coward's career was on the decline. But against the odds, his Las Vegas show turned out to be a huge success.

Photo: Actor, dramatist, and composer, Noel Coward rehearsing for a show at the Cafe de Paris, London,1951. (Photo by Jimmy Sime/Central Press/Getty Images)

North Korea Train Explosion20140415

An explosion at a train station in North Korea killed around 170 people and destroyed thousands of homes in April 2004. In a rare moment of openness, authorities in Pyongyang asked the United Nations for help. Hear from a Western aid worker who travelled to Ryongchon to assess the damage.

(Photo: North Koreans clear rubble after the Ryongchon train explosion. Credit: Gerald Bourke/World Food Programme/Getty Images)

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan20150911

The story of how the Pakistani Qawali singer became an international music sensation.

Photo: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing in California in 1993 (AP Photo)

Obesity20170228

In 1997 obesity was first recognised as a global problem when the World Health Organisation first agreed to discuss the issue. Researchers had discovered startling information about an increase in the number of overweight people in the developing world. The consultation was led by a group calling itself the International Obesity Task Force which was led by Professor Philip James. He's been telling Claire Bowes how he had to persuade the WHO that areas of the world struggling with malnutrition were now also suffering from obesity.

PHOTO: BBC Copyright.

Octavio Paz20161103

In October 1990 the Mexican poet and essayist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. A prolific writer, Paz was the first Mexican to win the Prize. Mike Lanchin has been hearing from Professor Jason Wilson and Mexican writer, Alberto Ruy Sanchez, who knew him well.

Photo: Octavio Paz and his wife speaking to the press in New York after learning he won the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature (EVY MAGES/AFP/Getty Images)

Oj Simpson Car Chase20110614

In June 1994, America watched in disbelief as the police chased the retired sports star OJ Simpson, along the freeways of Los Angeles.

LAPD detective Tom Lange contacted OJ Simpson by cell phone and tried to calm him down.

The LAPD detective who spoke to OJ Simpson as he was chased through Los Angeles in 1994

Oj Simpson Car Chase20110618
Oj Simpson Car Chase20110619

The LAPD detective who spoke to OJ Simpson as he was chased through Los Angeles in 1994.

Oklahoma: The Musical2014070220140706 (WS)

In World War Two an optimistic musical about American rural life became a hit on Broadway

In the middle of World War Two an optimistic musical about American rural life in the early 1900s, became a hit on Broadway. Created by Rodgers and Hammerstein its songs were soon being sung around the world. Gemze DeLappe was in the original production.

(Photo: Female chorus line from Oklahoma. Credit: Courtesy of Rodgers and Hammerstein Organisation)

Omarska Concentration Camp2012080620120807 (WS)
20120811 (WS)
20120812 (WS)

The story of a survivor of Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia.

Omarska was the first concentration camp discovered in Europe since World War II.

One survivor, Satko Mujagic, tells of the torture and beatings inmates suffered during his ten weeks of incarceration.

(Image Survivors of Omarska. Credit AP)

Omarska was the first concentration camp discovered in Europe since the Second World War. One survivor, Satko Mujagic, tells of the torture and beatings inmates suffered during his ten weeks of incarceration.

Operation Babylift20130403

As the Vietnam war ended and Saigon fell to communist forces, the US tried to fly thousands of orphans out of the country. One of the planes full of children crashed shortly after take off. Hear from two survivors.

Photo: A North Vietnamese tank rolling through Saigon in April 1975. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Operation Barbarossa20110626

A frontline Soviet officer tells of what he saw the night that Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa - Germany's invasion of the USSR.

An eyewitness account of the launch of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union

Operation Lifeline: Canada's Refugee Revolution20170529

In 1979 Canadians began a revolutionary