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US Psychological Warfare in Vietnam

11:54 | Jul 21st, 2017

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...Show More
The Stockholm Syndrome

08:52 | Aug 23rd, 2016

In August 1973 Kristin Enmark and three colleagues were taken hostage during a bank siege in Stockholm, Sweden. Kristin came to trust one of the kidnappers more than the police, the condition later named the 'Stockholm Syndrome'. Dina Newman spoke to...Show More
Kenya's ivory inferno

10:33 | Jul 12th

Twelve tonnes of ivory was set alight by President Daniel Arap Moi in Nairobi National Park in July 1989, to highlight the threat from poaching.The ivory burn was organised by conservationists who wanted to save the world's elephants. Alice Castle ha...Show More
Cuba executes top military officers

10:02 | Jul 11th

Four army officers were sentenced to death for drug trafficking by the Castro government in July 1989. Critics accused the communist authorities of carrying out a show trial of opponents of President Fidel Castro. In 2016, Mike Lanchin spoke to Ilean...Show More
The Common Cold Unit

10:20 | Jul 10th

The Common Cold Unit was created after World War Two to find the cause of the illness. Its work depended on thousands of volunteers who came to the unit to catch a cold. Given food, accommodation and some pocket money, many volunteers regarded it as ...Show More
China puts tampons on sale

10:03 | Jul 9th

Tampons first went on sale in China in 1985. But many Chinese women, especially in rural areas still didn't have access to basic sanitary products. Even now only a tiny percentage of Chinese women use tampons on a regular basis. Yashan Zhao has been ...Show More
The secret diaries of 'Gentleman Jack'

10:30 | Jul 8th

The discovery of the diaries of 19th-century Englishwoman Anne Lister, who wrote in secret code about her love affairs with women and has been called the first modern lesbian. A landowner and a businesswoman, she defied the conventions of the time an...Show More
The indigenous fight to stop nuclear waste disposal

08:57 | Jul 5th

In 1995 a group of senior, indigenous Australian women started a campaign to halt the construction of a nuclear waste facility in a remote part of South Australia. Karina Lester, a granddaughter of one of the women and a translator for the campaign, ...Show More
The launch of the Walkman

09:16 | Jul 4th

The portable cassette player that brought us music on the move was launched in July 1979. By the time production of the Walkman came to an end thirty years later, Sony had sold more than 220 million machines worldwide. Farhana Haider has been hearing...Show More
Surviving Cambodia's 'Killing Fields'

09:25 | Jul 3rd

Extremist communists, the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975 and began a social engineering project displacing millions to forced labour camps, and committing class genocide. Conditions in the camps were so appalling they became known as 'the killing fi...Show More
Germans kidnapped by Nicaragua's rebels

08:56 | Jul 2nd

In the 1980s thousands of young activists from around the world flocked to Nicaragua to support the fledgling left-wing Sandinista revolution. They came to build houses, pick coffee, or work in local health centres. Some of the foreigners were caught...Show More
The US judge accused of sexual harassment

08:57 | Jul 1st

In 1991 the US Supreme Court nominee Judge Clarence Thomas was publicly accused of sexual misconduct by a law professor, Anita Hill. She was called to testify in front of a Senate committee, where her explosive testimony sent shock waves across Ameri...Show More
Defending a British serial murderer

08:59 | Jun 28th

**Warning: Some listeners might find parts of this programme disturbing** In June 1994 Fred and Rosemary West were charged with a series of gruesome murders of young women and girls, committed over a twenty-year period in the south of England. Among...Show More
The Stonewall Riot

09:11 | Jun 27th

In June 1969, the gay community in New York responded to police brutality and harassment by rioting outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The protest sparked the creation of the modern LGBT rights movement and the first Gay Pride events. Si...Show More
The Anfal genocide

09:47 | Jun 27th

In June 2007, an Iraqi court ruled that a 1980s campaign by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds was genocide. More than 100,000 Kurds were killed in chemical attacks and mass executions, and their villages destroyed, during the five-month Anfal campaign...Show More

11:30 | Jun 25th

Joseph Heller's funny, tragic satirical anti-war novel was published in 1961 and sold millions. For many it epitomised the growing anti-establishment mood of the 1960s. Heller had served in a bomber squadron during World War Two. Though his experienc...Show More
The fat acceptance movement

08:58 | Jun 24th

The National Association to Aid Fat Americans, NAAFA, held its first meeting in June 1969. Its first president was Bill Fabrey, a thin man married to an overweight woman who had realised how difficult life was for fat people in the USA. One of NAAFA...Show More
The yoga teacher and the violinist

09:21 | Jun 21st

To mark world yoga day, how a chance encounter between the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the yoga teacher, BKS Iyengar in 1952 led to a life-long friendship and played a crucial role in bringing the ancient Indian tradition of yoga to the West. ...Show More
Sister Lotus - early Chinese online star

09:06 | Jun 20th

Sister Lotus was an early online celebrity in China. She first became famous in 2004 after posting pictures of herself on China's early social media sites. But she was a slightly unlikely star because she became famous not for being exceptional, but...Show More
The assassinaton of Medgar Evers

10:36 | Jun 19th

In June 1963 the murder of a prominent black civil rights activist and war hero in Mississippi shook the civil rights movement. Medgar Evers was working to overturn the racist policies in the American south which made him a target for white supremaci...Show More
The death of Carl Gustav Jung

08:58 | Jun 18th

Widely seen as one of the fathers of modern psychotherapy, the Swiss thinker and writer, Carl Gustav Jung, died in June 1961. Although he had worked alongside Sigmund Freud in the early years of the 20th Century, Jung created a different style of ps...Show More
The death of Neda Soltan

10:26 | Jun 17th

In June 2009 after the presidential elections in Iran, millions took to the streets to dispute Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory. A young woman, Neda Agha Soltan, became a symbol of the protest movement after she was shot dead at a demonstration in Tehra...Show More
The first gay marriage in the USA

08:58 | Jun 14th

Long before same-sex marriage became legal in the USA in 2015, one gay couple in Minneapolis got married in 1971. Their names were Jack Baker and Mike McConnell. They'd been issued with a marriage licence and the man who held their wedding ceremony...Show More
How America 'lost' China

09:31 | Jun 13th

After the end of WW2 the US feared its wartime ally, China, would become communist. In 1946 after the end of Japanese occupation China returned to a civil war which had been fought on and off for years. America saw China as a future ally in business ...Show More
Wrapping the Reichstag

09:43 | Jun 12th

In June 1995 artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in fabric. The former German parliament building sat on the border between East and West Berlin. It had been gutted by fire in 1933 and extensively damaged during the Se...Show More
The first anti-psychotic drug

11:33 | Jun 11th

In the first half of the 20th century, most mentally ill patients were locked away in psychiatric hospitals and asylums. Those suffering from severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, were often sedated or restrained. Shock therapies were standard ...Show More
The end of the war in Kosovo

08:56 | Jun 10th

Hundreds of thousands of Kosovan Albanians were forced to leave their homes when NATO started bombing Serb targets in the former Yugoslavia in 1999. By the time the bombing stopped, on June 10th 1999, over 800,000 people had been displaced. Qerim Nur...Show More
The Gurkha soldiers fight for equality

11:13 | Jun 7th

For over 200 years soldiers from Nepal have fought in a special regiment in the British army called the Gurkhas. In 2009 all retired Gurkhas won the right to live in Britain, following a high profile media campaign. The announcement by the British g...Show More
Broadcasting D-Day

09:18 | Jun 6th

Hear how the BBC reported the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France on June 6th 1944. The operation was a crucial step in the liberation of western Europe. Using original BBC reports from the time - from Chester Wilmot, Richard Dimbleby, Robin Duff...Show More
The Little Prince

10:55 | Jun 5th

In July 1944, a plane piloted by the author of the world famous children's story The Little Prince, disappeared over the south of France. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, an experienced aviator, was on a reconnaissance mission for the Free French airforce f...Show More

11:50 | Jun 4th

Eyewitness accounts of the Allied landings on the coast of Normandy during World War Two on 6 June 1944. The massive operation was a crucial step in the liberation of western Europe from years of Nazi rule and the defeat of Hitler's Germany. In this ...Show More
Vikings in York

09:39 | Jun 3rd

When archaeologists uncovered perfectly preserved evidence of domestic life in Viking York in the 1970s, it changed the way the Vikings were viewed. No longer just violent pirates who terrorised communities all over Europe, they were revealed to be ...Show More
Six Degrees - the first online social network

08:54 | May 31st

Six Degrees was the first online social network, allowing users to connect with their real-world contacts by creating a profile within a database. It was created by entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich. But Six Degrees never achieved the scale of later s...Show More
Behind the scenes on Sesame Street

10:04 | May 30th

A TV show for young children, Sesame Street aimed to educate and promote tolerance at the same time. It was first broadcast in 1969 and went on to become one of the most popular children's shows ever made. Sonia Manzano starred as Maria on Sesame St...Show More
Tiananmen Square escape

09:50 | May 29th

On the evening of June the 3rd 1989, the Chinese People’s Army opened fire on thousands of students who had been campaigning for democracy in the middle of Beijing. Dan Wang was a 20-year-old student leader from the elite Peking University and was o...Show More
Bokassa's massacre of the children

10:04 | May 28th

Protests about expensive school uniforms in the Central African Republic eventually led to Jean-Bédel Bokassa's fall from power in 1979. The demonstrations started with school children, but soon widened to involve university students. Bokassa ordered...Show More
The death of Jawaharlal Nehru

10:01 | May 27th

The man who led India to independence and its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, died on May 27th 1964. His niece Nayantara Sahgal spoke to Louise Hidalgo about the great activist and intellectual in 2014. This programme is a rebroadcast. Pho...Show More
The Acid Survivors Foundation

11:33 | May 24th

In 1999 a charity was founded in Bangladesh that was dedicated to treating and rehabilitating the survivors of acid violence. The majority of the attacks were against young women, the acid was usually thrown at their faces causing life-altering disfi...Show More
How environmental campaign group Greenpeace was formed

09:13 | May 23rd

The environmental campaign group, Greenpeace, was formed in 1971 in western Canada, after a group of activists met in a Vancouver kitchen and decided to sail an old fishing boat to Alaska to stop a US nuclear test. Greenpeace is today one of the bigg...Show More
Fighting Uganda's anti-gay laws

11:42 | May 22nd

In 2009 Ugandan MPs tried to introduce new laws against homosexuality that would include life imprisonment and even the death penalty. Homophobia was rife in the media with tabloid papers printing the names and addresses of gay men and lesbians. Many...Show More
The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

09:37 | May 21st

65 million years ago an asteroid hit the earth, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs along with three quarters of all species on earth at the time. The crater where it hit was discovered on the Yucatan peninsula in 1978 during a geological surve...Show More
Walking the Great Wall of China

09:01 | May 20th

It took 508 days for three friends to complete the first trek along the entire length of the ancient structure, well over 8000 kms. They began in May 1984 and finally reached their destination at the Jiayu Pass on September 24th 1985, having document...Show More
Hitler's stolen children

10:45 | May 17th

During the Second World War Nazi officials searched for blonde blue-eyed children in the countries they had occupied. The children were removed from their families as part of a plan to build an Aryan master race. Ingrid Von Oelhafen grew up in German...Show More
China's One Child policy

08:58 | May 16th

The Chinese Communist Party started ruthlessly enforcing birth control in the early 1980s. People with more than one child faced fines, or lost their jobs, or had children forcibly adopted. Yashan Zhao has been speaking to Zhou Guanghong who experie...Show More
The final days of Sri Lanka's civil war

11:00 | May 15th

In May 2009 the Sri Lankan army finally crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels, ending 25 years of bloody civil war. In the final weeks of the conflict, thousands of civilians were trapped alongside the rebels under heavy shelling as the government forces cl...Show More
Predicting the financial crash

11:14 | May 14th

In the early 2000s, a handful of experts warned that the world was sleep-walking towards a financial crisis. Among them were South-African born political economist Ann Pettifor and the IMF's chief economist at the time, Raghu Rajan. But their warning...Show More
The Karakoram highway

11:00 | May 13th

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. The highway, known as the Friendship Highway in China, was started in 1959. Due to its high elevatio...Show More
Strictly Come Dancing

09:50 | May 10th

One of the most successful TV formats in the world started back in May 2004, bringing ballroom dancing to a new generation. Its format has been sold around the world under the title 'Dancing With The Stars'. Co-creator and executive producer of Stri...Show More
The war on drugs

12:34 | May 9th

The first 'war on drugs' was launched by US President Richard Nixon in 1971. He described drug abuse as a 'national emergency' and asked Congress for nearly four hundred million dollars to tackle the problem. Claire Bowes has been speaking to one of ...Show More
The Bauhaus

08:58 | May 8th

The groundbreaking Bauhaus school of art and design was founded in Germany in 1919. It would go on to have a huge impact on architecture and design around the world, with the clean lines and minimalist elegance of its distinctive modernist aesthetic ...Show More
The siege of Dien Bien Phu

09:50 | May 7th

On May 7th 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, signalled the end of French colonial rule in Indochina....Show More
Jack Ma: The founder of Alibaba

09:56 | May 6th

The Chinese billionaire set up his online shopping site in 1999. When Alibaba first started, Jack Ma and his team were working out of a small flat in Hangzhou. The BBC's Michael Bristow has been hearing from Duncan Clark, who first worked with the i...Show More
The Malayan Emergency

11:22 | May 3rd

In 1948, British colonial authorities declared a State of Emergency in the territory of Malaya, now part of Malaysia. It was in response to the start of a Communist rebellion. From their bases in the jungle, Communist fighters carried out hundreds of...Show More
The sinking of the Belgrano

09:20 | May 2nd

The Argentine ship, General Belgrano, was sunk by a British submarine during the Falklands War on 2nd of May 1982. 323 people died in the attack. Dario Volonte, now an opera singer, was one of the survivors and he spoke to Louise Hidalgo about the ...Show More
The Arctic African

09:44 | May 1st

Tété-Michel Kpomassie, grew up in West Africa but he was obsessed with the Arctic. When he was 16 years old he ran away from his village in Togo determined to reach Greenland.. It took him eight years but in 1965, he finally arrived. He then went no...Show More
Rupert Brooke

09:03 | Apr 30th

In April 2015, Britain mourned when poet and national hero Rupert Brooke died on a troopship in the Dardanelles during World War One. Often compared to a Greek god because of his blond good looks, Brooke had written a series of famous sonnets that re...Show More
Ellen comes out

09:29 | Apr 29th

Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian publicly in April 1997 – and so did the fictional character she played in her self-titled sitcom. The Puppy Episode would be watched by more than 40 million people and represented a milestone for LGBT representat...Show More
The al-Yamamah arms deals

09:25 | Apr 26th

A record series of arms sales from the UK to Saudi Arabia was worth tens of billions of dollars. The first al-Yamamah deal was agreed between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. But the deals were dogged by allegations of ...Show More
Sri Lanka: A journalist's editorial from the grave

10:36 | Apr 25th

The assassination of newspaper editor, Lasantha Wickramatunga, shocked the world in 2009. Sri Lanka's civil war between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority was nearing its climax when he was shot dead by gunmen on motorbikes. After his murd...Show More
South Africa's first free elections

10:37 | Apr 24th

After Apartheid all South Africans, regardless of race, were finally able to vote for the first time in April 1994. Organising the elections was a huge logistical challenge, white supremacists staged terror attacks to try to sabotage the vote and vio...Show More
Britain's first vegans

09:15 | Apr 23rd

The Vegan Society was established in 1944 by British 'non-dairy vegetarians'. They wanted to persuade other people not just to give up meat, but milk and eggs too. But the first vegans often got ill, because there was one vital element missing from...Show More
Nato bombs Serbian TV

09:12 | Apr 22nd

In April 1999 Nato bombed the Serbian state TV station in Belgrade, killing 16 people. It was part of a military campaign to force Serbia to withdraw from Kosovo. Mike Lanchin has been speaking to one of the survivors, Dragan Suchovic, a TV technicia...Show More
The Columbine massacre

08:58 | Apr 19th

On April 20th 1999 a mass shooting in the USA shocked the world and started a devastating trend of violence in American schools. 13 people were killed and more than 20 were injured by two armed school students. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Craig...Show More
How organic farming started

08:54 | Apr 18th

In the aftermath of World War Two pesticides and chemical fertilisers started to become more widespread in the UK. Worries about the effect this would have on soil quality led Lady Eve Balfour to establish the Soil Association to promote natural farm...Show More
Auto-destructive art

09:34 | Apr 17th

In 1959 the German artist Gustav Metzger came up with a new and subversive form of art. He called it auto-destructive art. It was art as a political weapon and a challenge to the established status quo. Metzger, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, orga...Show More
The first play on Broadway written by a black woman

09:07 | Apr 16th

'A Raisin in the Sun' opened on Broadway in 1959. It had an almost exclusively black cast and a black director too. The playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, based it on her own family's story of being forced out of a white neighbourhood in Chicago. The ti...Show More
Dennis Tito - the first space tourist

09:19 | Apr 15th

In April 2001 an American multi-millionaire paid Russia's space agency millions of dollars to blast him into space. He spent time on the International Space Station and returned to earth after eight days in space. Dennis Tito, who was 60 years old ...Show More
Chinese restaurant syndrome

09:45 | Apr 12th

Diners at Chinese restaurants in America in the 1960's began to report unusual symptoms, including headaches, flushing, numbness at the back of the neck. It was linked to the man-made flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate or MSG – but it was also p...Show More
The rise of Hindu nationalism

09:44 | Apr 11th

In 1990 the president of Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP, LK Advani, embarked on a political and religious rally called the Rath Yatra or chariot march. Championing a politics based on Hindutva or militant Hinduism. Farhana Haider has been speaking to ...Show More
The man who invented wingsuits

09:27 | Apr 9th

The wingsuit is the ultimate in extreme sports clothing. An aerodynamic outfit for BASE jumpers and skydivers it allows them to free-fall for longer before opening a parachute. Skydiver Jari Kuosma developed the first commercial wingsuits and he has ...Show More
The Amritsar Massacre of 1919

09:41 | Apr 9th

On 13 April 1919, British Indian troops fired on an unarmed crowd at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in the Punjab. Hundreds were killed. The massacre caused an outcry in India and abroad, and would be a turning point for the growing Indian nationalist ...Show More
The man who made Marilyn Monroe dance

09:26 | Apr 8th

Choreographer Jack Cole had a huge influence on musical theatre and Hollywood films - most memorably with Marilyn Monroe in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. But much of his inspiration came from Indian dance. Vincent Dowd has been speaking to the ...Show More
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

08:55 | Apr 5th

Maya Angelou's iconic first memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in spring 1969. The book was an instant best-seller, and was one of the first literary accounts of growing up as a black girl in the southern states of America, includ...Show More
Abolishing the army

11:22 | Apr 4th

After a brief civil war in March-April 1948, the new president of Costa Rica, Jose Figueres, took the audacious step of dissolving the Armed Forces. Since then Costa Rica has been the only Latin American nation without a standing army. Mike Lanchin h...Show More
The warship lost for more than 300 years

10:46 | Apr 3rd

In 1628, at the height of Sweden’s military expansion, the Swedish Navy built a new flagship, the Vasa. At the time it was the most heavily armed ship in the world. But 2 hours into its maiden voyage, it sank in Stockholm's harbour. It remained there...Show More
EMDR: the eye-movement therapy

08:59 | Apr 1st

EMDR is a form of psychotherapy which works for many sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder. The 'eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing' technique was first developed in the USA in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro. She set up an EMDR I...Show More
Patty Hearst the rebel heiress

09:03 | Apr 1st

Patty Hearst was kidnapped by an extreme left-wing group called the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974. She had been held hostage for two months when, in April of that year, she announced that she had come to share their beliefs. She would go on to ...Show More
Mindfulness for the masses

11:11 | Mar 29th

In 1979 scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn opened the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, pioneering a meditative approach to treat pain and depression.  In a few decades mindfulness has gone from being ...Show More
The secret Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim

09:09 | Mar 28th

Witness History talks to the American lawyer who led the investigation into the secret Nazi past of former United Nations Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim. Kurt Waldheim was standing for election to the Austrian presidency when the allegations first ...Show More
Around the world in 20 days

09:25 | Mar 27th

In March 1999 Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard made the first non-stop flight around the world in a balloon. Beginning in Switzerland and finishing over Africa, the record-breaking trip took just 20 days. Pilot Brian Jones has been telling Mike Lanch...Show More
Drama in the British parliament

09:02 | Mar 26th

In March 1979, the British Prime Minister James Callaghan was struggling desperately to govern with a parliamentary majority of just three. When the Conservative opposition tabled a motion of no-confidence, his party whips fought a furious - and ulti...Show More
The first home pregnancy test

09:14 | Mar 25th

A female designer working for an American pharmaceutical company came up with the idea in the 1960s, but her bosses didn't like it at first. Margaret Crane has been telling Maria Elena Navas how she had to develop her designs on her own after being t...Show More
The rise of Viktor Orban

09:20 | Mar 22nd

Viktor Orban, now the populist Hungarian Prime Minister, was an anti-communist youth leader in 1988. Over the years his party has become increasingly nationalist. His former friend and fellow activist Gabor Fodor shared personal memories of Viktor Or...Show More
Autism and the MMR vaccine

09:55 | Mar 21st

A British doctor published an article in the leading medical journal The Lancet in 1998 that led to a global panic over the triple vaccine protecting children against measles, mumps and rubella. Dr Andrew Wakefield linked the MMR vaccine with autism...Show More
The discovery of the Aztec Moon Goddess

09:01 | Mar 20th

Electricity workers in Mexico City accidentally uncovered a massive stone sculpture in 1978. It turned out to be the Aztec Goddess of the Moon, Coyolxauhqui. The sculpture was found in an area where the Aztecs, 500 years earlier, had built the capi...Show More
The first democratic elections in the USSR

09:51 | Mar 19th

On March 26th 1989, Soviet citizens were given their first chance to vote for non-communists in parliamentary elections. Democrats led by Boris Yeltsin won seats across the country. Dina Newman spoke to Sergei Stankevich who was one of the successful...Show More
The millionaire Nazi war criminal

10:24 | Mar 18th

The story of how one of the wealthiest men in the Netherlands was exposed as a Nazi war criminal. In the 1970s, Pieter Menten was a respected art dealer, but it was revealed that during the Second World War, he had led mass killings in eastern Poland...Show More
How Little America was built in Afghanistan

08:58 | Mar 15th

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.

09:01 | Mar 14th

In March 1969, the cult American author, Kurt Vonnegut, published his famous anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The novel is a mixture of science fiction and Vonnegut's experiences as a prisoner-of-war during the fire-bombing of the German city of ...Show More
China's breakthrough malaria cure

10:02 | Mar 13th

Chinese scientists used ancient traditional medicine to find a cure for malaria in the 1970s. Artemisinin was discovered by exploring a herbal remedy from the 4th century, a small team of scientists managed to harness the medicinal properties from th...Show More
Lenin and the deadly mushrooms

09:57 | Mar 12th

As communism was crumbling in the early 1990s a spoof made for Soviet TV, persuaded some Russians that Vladimir Lenin's personality had been seriously affected by hallucinogenic mushrooms. The mushrooms in question were the deadly poisonous fly agari...Show More
The fall of Singapore

10:12 | Mar 11th

In 1942, during the Second World War, the British colony of Singapore fell to Japanese forces. Its capture marked the start of Japan's three-and-a-half year occupation of the island state, during which many ethnic Chinese living in Singapore were rou...Show More
Britain's first female black headteacher

08:57 | Mar 8th

Yvonne Conolly was appointed head of Ringcross Primary school in North London in 1969. She had moved to the UK from Jamaica just a few years earlier and quickly worked her way up the teaching profession. She faced racist threats when she first took u...Show More
The woman who asked Britain to return the Parthenon marbles

09:25 | Mar 7th

Melina Mercouri, famous actress turned politician, visited Britain in 1983 as Greek Minister of Culture and made the first official request for the return of the Parthenon marbles. The marbles were removed in 1801 by Lord Elgin, who was the British ...Show More
Speaking out against my abuser: Daniel Ortega

09:07 | Mar 6th

In March 1998 Zoilamérica Narváez publicly accused her step-father, Nicaragua's revolutionary leader, Daniel Ortega of having sexually abused her since she was a child. The 31-year-old Narváez said that the abuse had continued for almost twenty years...Show More
The creation of the Barbie doll

09:53 | Mar 5th

The first Barbie doll was sold in 1959. Ruth Handler, one of the founders of the Mattel toy company who created Barbie, describes how it took years to convince her male colleagues that it would sell. Picture: Ruth and Elliot Handler, creators of Bar...Show More
Britain's first Muslim woman in government

12:50 | Mar 4th

Sayeeda Warsi made history when she was appointed to the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government's Cabinet in May 2010, and was also made Conservative party co-chair. The daughter of working-class Pakistani immigrants, she walked up Do...Show More
Happy Beer Day!

10:11 | Mar 1st

On March 1st 1989 Icelanders were allowed to buy full-strength beer for the first time in decades. Beer had been outlawed in the country since 1915. Roger Protz has been looking into the history of prohibition in Iceland. Photo: A bartender pour...Show More
Asama Sanso: Japanese hostage crisis

08:58 | Feb 28th

Armed left-wing extremists held off Japanese police for 10 days during a hostage crisis in the mountains in February 1972. Young members of the so-called United Red Army had hoped to bring about a communist revolution in Japan. Their hideout was dis...Show More
Sucked out of a plane

10:14 | Feb 27th

Nine passengers were sucked out of a plane when a cargo door opened mid-flight over the Pacific. United Airlines Flight 811 was flying from Hawaii to New Zealand in February 1989 when the accident happened. In 2012 Claire Bowes heard from two passe...Show More
Swine flu shuts down Mexico City

10:12 | Feb 26th

Mexico City, the world's third largest metropolis, was effectively shut down when a new and deadly virus, swine flu appeared. Soon the virus started to spread and was seen as a massive threat to global health. Experts feared millions of people could ...Show More
Venezuela's oil bonanza

10:47 | Feb 25th

Rocketing oil prices in the mid 1970s fuelled massive consumer and government spending in Venezuela, earning the South American country the nickname "Saudi" Venezuela. Buoyed by the extra revenue, the government moved to nationalise the iron and oil ...Show More
How science ended the search for Josef Mengele

09:06 | Feb 22nd

An international panel of experts gathered in Brazil in 1985 to identify the remains of a man thought to have been the infamous doctor from Auschwitz. 'To see that this man was finally in his grave was important' says Eric Stover, part of the team of...Show More
The men who tried to warn us about smoking

09:36 | Feb 21st

British doctors produced an alarming report in 1962 warning that 1 in 3 smokers would die before the age of 65. The doctors suggested restrictions on advertising and on smoking in public places but the UK government did little except launch a health ...Show More
The curse of Agent Orange

09:16 | Feb 20th

Millions suffered from exposure to toxic chemicals sprayed by US forces during the Vietnam war. The chemicals were defoliants and herbicides designed to destroy jungles and vegetation which provided cover for communist guerrillas. But the defoliants ...Show More
The Columbia space shuttle disaster

09:38 | Feb 19th

The US space shuttle Columbia broke up on its way back to Earth on February 1, 2003. It had been in use since 1981. Iain Mackness has spoken to Admiral Hal Gehman who was given the job of finding out what went wrong. His final report led to the w...Show More
The true story of Roma

09:19 | Feb 18th

Alfonso Cuarón's critically acclaimed film Roma portrays a student massacre that took place in México City in 1971. The Corpus Christi massacre, known locally as the Halconazo, sent shock waves throughout México. A paramilitary group trained by the A...Show More
Maastricht: The birth of the European Union

10:08 | Feb 15th

In February 1992, European ministers from 12 countries signed a treaty that would lead towards greater economic and political unity. The European Union would become the biggest free trading bloc in the world, but over the years it has survived sever...Show More
Confessions of a Soviet alcoholic

09:02 | Feb 14th

In 1969, homeless Russian alcoholic Venedikt Yerofeev wrote a hugely popular book which was passed illegally from person to person. The book gave voice to a generation of Soviet intellectuals who were unable to fit into mainstream Soviet society. The...Show More
British Cameroons' historic referendum

10:38 | Feb 13th

In 1961, the British run territories of Northern and Southern Cameroons in West Africa were given a vote to decide their future. They could choose either to become part of Nigeria, or to become part of Cameroon. They were not given the choice of beco...Show More
Women Airline Pilots

08:54 | Feb 12th

Airlines in America finally allowed women to pilot passenger planes in the 1970's. But women like Bonnie Tiburzi and Lynn Rippelmeyer had been fighting for years to be allowed to train as pilots. They tell Maria Elena Navas about their early days in...Show More
Iceland Jails Its Bankers

09:04 | Feb 11th

The 2008 global economic crisis hit hard in Iceland. Its three major banks and stockmarket collapsed and it was forced to seek an emergency bail-out from the IMF. But unlike many other countries affected by the global downturn, Iceland decided to pro...Show More
The Bombardment of Baghdad

08:53 | Feb 8th

When the US and its allies began their invasion of Iraq in 2003 the population of Baghdad faced three weeks of bombing and fear. Hear what life was like for one ordinary family in the capital. This programme is a rebroadcast (Photo: Baghdad, March ...Show More
Disney Goes to Europe

10:14 | Feb 7th

In 1992 Disney opened its first theme park in Europe. But it had taken years of delicate negotiations and diplomacy get it off the ground. In 2013 Rebecca Kesby spoke to Robert Fitzpatrick who had the job of bringing the magic of Mickey Mouse to Fran...Show More
The Soweto Uprising

09:01 | Feb 6th

A former schoolgirl remembers the children's demonstration against having to study in Afrikaans that sparked the Soweto Uprising against South Africa's apartheid regime. Bongi Mkhabela spoke to Alan Johnston in 2010 about her memories of the protest....Show More
The Capture of Che Guevara

10:11 | Feb 5th

In October 1967 the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was captured and killed in Bolivia. Mike Lanchin spoke to former CIA operative, Felix Rodriguez, who helped track him down. (Photo: Felix Rodriguez (left) with the captured Che Guevara, shortly b...Show More
The Death of Hitler

10:06 | Feb 4th

A first-hand account of Hitler from our archives. Traudl Junge worked as a secretary for the German Nazi leader. She was in the bunker in Berlin when he killed himself in 1945 as the Red Army closed in. She spoke to Zina Rohan for the BBC in 1989. ...Show More
Women and the Iranian Revolution

08:51 | Jan 31st

Many women supported Iran's 1979 Revolution against the monarchy but some later became disillusioned. Islamic rules about how women dressed were just one of the things that women objected to. Sharan Tabari spoke to Lucy Burns in 2014 about her experi...Show More
Iran Hostage Rescue Mission

09:52 | Jan 31st

In April 1980, the US launched Operation Eagle Claw - a daring but ultimately disastrous attempt to free dozens of hostages held captive in the US Embassy in Tehran. The rescue mission ended in tragedy almost as soon as it began. Rob Walker spoke to ...Show More
Iran Hostage Crisis

09:44 | Jan 30th

In 1979 young revolutionaries stormed the US Embassy in Tehran. 52 Americans were taken captive and held hostage for 444 days. Barry Rosen was one of the hostages. In 2009 he told his story to Alex Last. This programme is a rebroadcast. Photo: Boy ...Show More
Ayatollah Khomeini Returns From Exile

09:43 | Jan 29th

In February 1979 an Islamic revolution began to unfold in Iran. The Islamic leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who had been in exile for 14 years, flew back to Tehran from Paris on the 1st of February. Mohsen Sazegara was close to the heart of events and in ...Show More
Musicians of the Iranian Revolution

09:48 | Jan 28th

During 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 in September 1978, state employed musicians went underground and sta...Show More
The Publisher Who Tried to Change the World

10:01 | Jan 25th

Virago Press opened as a feminist publisher in 1972 to promote women's writing. Its founder, Carmen Callil, says she wanted both men and women to benefit from the female perspective. She tells Witness how she hoped to put women centre stage at a time...Show More
Vatican II: Reforming the Catholic Church

10:04 | Jan 23rd

Pope John XXIII wanted to modernise the Catholic Church. In January 1959 he announced a council of all the world's Catholic bishops and cardinals in Rome. It led to sweeping reforms, including allowing the Mass to be said in languages other than Lat...Show More
The Carry On Films

10:06 | Jan 22nd

The comic film franchise which churned out movie after movie mocking British stereotypes and pomposity. The first Carry On film hit cinema screens in 1958 and the team behind it would go on to make more than 30 movies using slapstick comedy and sexua...Show More
India's First Call Centre

09:49 | Jan 21st

Pramod Bhasin returned home to India in 1997 after working abroad for years. He spotted an opportunity to start a new industry that would revolutionise the country's economy. He tells Witness how he set up India's first call centre in spite of teleco...Show More
The Case of Dr Crippen

11:36 | Jan 18th

How one of the most notorious murderers in Edwardian London was captured as he fled to Canada. Listen to an astonishing BBC archive account of his arrest and hear from Dr Cassie Watson, a historian of forensic medicine and crime, about why the case o...Show More
The Thames Whale

10:02 | Jan 17th

In January 2006, London was entranced by the appearance of a large bottlenose whale in the Thames – the first such sighting for more than a century. Large crowds gathered to watch the whale swimming in front of the Houses of Parliament and many of th...Show More
Strikers In Saris

10:12 | Jan 16th

In 1976 South Asian women workers who had made Britain their home, led a strike against poor working conditions in a British factory. Lakshmi Patel was one of the South Asian women who picketed the Grunwick film-processing factory in north London for...Show More
Mexico's Miracle Water

09:50 | Jan 15th

Thousands of people flocked to the village of Tlacote in central Mexico in 1991. They were hoping to be cured by 'magical' water after rumours spread that it had healing powers. Maria Elena Navas has been speaking to Edmundo Gonzalez Llaca who was ...Show More
Judy Garland's Final Shows

09:37 | Jan 14th

Judy Garland ended her long and glitzy stage and screen career at a London theatre club in January 1969. She was booked for five weeks of nightly shows at the 'Talk of the Town', but by that time, the former child star of the 'Wizard of Oz' was strug...Show More
'Fat is a Feminist Issue'

10:04 | Jan 11th

Susie Orbach's best-selling book Fat is a Feminist Issue led many in the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1970s to rethink body-image from a feminist perspective. Millions of people have read the book, which is still in print four decades later. S...Show More
Diary of Life in a Favela

08:50 | Jan 10th

A poor single mother of three, Carolina Maria de Jesus lived in a derelict shack and spent her days scavenging for food for her children, doing odd jobs and collecting paper and bottles. Her diary, written between 1955 and 1960, brought to life the h...Show More
When Stalin Rounded Up Soviet Doctors

08:56 | Jan 9th

In the last year of his rule Stalin ordered the imprisonment and execution of hundreds of the best Soviet doctors accusing them of plotting to kill senior Communist officials. Several hundred doctors were imprisoned and tortured, many of them died in...Show More
Fidel Castro Takes Havana

08:59 | Jan 8th

On January 8 1959 Fidel Castro and his left wing guerrilla forces marched triumphantly into the Cuban capital, ending decades of rule by the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. It was the beginning of communist rule on the Caribbean island. Mike La...Show More
The Doomsday Seed Vault

09:07 | Jan 7th

In January 2008, seeds began arriving at the world's first global seed vault, buried deep inside a mountain on an Arctic island a-thousand kilometres north of the Norwegian coast. The vault was built to ensure the survival of the world's food supply ...Show More
Vikings in North America

10:45 | Jan 4th

The discovery that proved Vikings had crossed the Atlantic 1000 years ago. In 1960, a Norwegian couple, Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad arrived in the remote fishing village of L'Anse aux Meadows on the tip of Newfoundland in Canada. They were searching...Show More
Ceausescu's 'House of the People'

08:51 | Jan 3rd

In the early 1980s the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ordered the construction of a massive building in central Bucharest. Dubbed the "House of the People", it was to become the world's 2nd largest building. Now, decades after the fall of Commu...Show More
Barbara Cartland - Queen of Romance

09:47 | Jan 2nd

Dame Barbara Cartland was best known for her historical romances and is thought to have sold hundreds of millions of books around the world. She was step-grandmother to Princess Diana and was at her most prolific in the 1970s and 80s when she appeare...Show More
Brazil's Marijuana Summer

09:00 | Jan 1st

In September 1987, fishermen and surfers in the states of Rio and São Paulo started spotting mysterious tin cans floating in the sea. Soon those tins became a talking point across the country, because they were packed full of high quality marijuana....Show More
Rebels Rout The Army In El Salvador

09:43 | Dec 31st, 2018

On December 30 1983 Marxist rebels in El Salvador attacked and occupied the El Paraiso army base in the north of the country. It was the first time an important military installation had fallen to the guerrillas and dealt a humiliating blow to the Ar...Show More
When Animals Go To War

08:56 | Dec 28th, 2018

In December 1943, a British charity created the Dickin Medal to honour the bravery of animals serving in war. The first medals went mainly to pigeons used in World War Two, although dogs and one cat were also among the winners. Simon Watts tells the ...Show More
Trautonium: A Revolution in Electronic Music

09:07 | Dec 27th, 2018

'I like it, carry on', said Joseph Goebbels, after listening to the trautonium, invented in Berlin. It was used first in classical music in the early 1930s. Paul Hindemith composed pieces for it. For decades it was played by one man only, Oskar Sala....Show More
The Soviet Afghan War Begins

10:41 | Dec 26th, 2018

In late December 1979, the world held its breath as thousands of Soviet troops were sent into Afghanistan. Moscow said the troops would be there six months, to help bring peace to the country. In fact, the Soviet army stayed almost ten years, and Afg...Show More
UFO Sightings: The Rendlesham Forest Incident

15:23 | Dec 25th, 2018

At Christmas 1980 strange objects and lights were seen over a US military base in Suffolk, England, for three consecutive nights. Several military service people reported seeing them, including the deputy commander of the base, Lt Colonel Charles Ha...Show More
Scotland's Stone of Destiny

08:51 | Dec 24th, 2018

On Christmas Eve 1950 four young Scottish students took the 'Stone of Destiny' from Westminster Abbey. The symbolic stone had been taken from Scotland to England centuries earlier and had sat beneath the Coronation Chair in the Abbey ever since. An...Show More
Stopping The 'Shoe Bomber'

08:58 | Dec 21st, 2018

On December 22 2001 a British-born man tried to bring down American Airlines flight 63 from Paris to Miami. His plan failed when the bomb didn't go off. He was then overpowered by a group of passengers and tied to his seat. Former professional basket...Show More
The Woman Who Wrote Mary Poppins

09:41 | Dec 20th, 2018

Writer PL Travers created a children's classic when she invented the magical English nanny. But was the character built around her own personality? Vincent Dowd has been speaking to PL Travers' granddaughter. Photo: Emily Blunt is Mary Poppins in Di...Show More
Hacking The First Computer Password

09:05 | Dec 19th, 2018

Scientists at MIT in the 1960s had to share computer time. They were given passwords to access the computer and could not use more than their allowance. But one man, Allan Scherr, hacked the system by working out the master password. He has been tal...Show More
Theatre in the Sahara

09:00 | Dec 18th, 2018

Theatre director Peter Brook led a troupe of actors on a three-month-long journey across the Sahara Desert starting in December 1972. They performed improvised pieces to local villagers. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to author and journalist John...Show More
China and Japan at War

09:56 | Dec 17th, 2018

Japanese troops reached the Chinese city of Nanjing in December 1937. The violence that followed marked one of the darkest moments in a struggle that continued throughout WW2. Rebecca Kesby has been speaking to former General Huang Shih Chung, who s...Show More
The US Apologises for Wartime Internment

09:52 | Dec 17th, 2018

In 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act which gave a presidential apology and compensation to Japanese Americans interned during World War II. Farhana Haider has been speaking to Norman Mineta a former congressman who was inst...Show More
Englandspiel: The Deadly WW2 Spy Game

11:47 | Dec 13th, 2018

In 1942, a Dutch secret agent was captured by German military intelligence in the Netherlands. The agent's name was Haub Lauwers and he worked for the Special Operations Executive, a secret organisation set up by the British to wage a guerrilla war a...Show More
Cicely Saunders And The Modern Hospice Movement

08:56 | Dec 12th, 2018

In 1967, Dame Cicely Saunders opened the first modern hospice in South London. St Christopher's inspired the creation of thousands of similar hospices around the world and its scientific research helped establish the modern discipline of palliative m...Show More
Apollo 8

08:57 | Dec 12th, 2018

The biggest audience in TV history watched NASA's Apollo 8 mission beam back the first pictures from an orbit around the moon at Christmas 1968. The broadcast captured the world's imagination and put the Americans ahead of the Soviet Union in the Col...Show More
When China Joined the WTO

09:03 | Dec 11th, 2018

China had to relax its strict communist system to join the World Trade Organisation. Charlene Barshefsky was the US trade negotiator looking after American interests at the time. Freddie Chick has been hearing from Ms Barshefsky about the years of ne...Show More
Angela Merkel's Rise to Power

09:20 | Dec 7th, 2018

Angela Merkel rose to power in German politics after the fall of her mentor, Helmut Kohl. He had accepted secret donations on behalf of their political party the CDU. After the scandal erupted in December 1999 Angela Merkel wrote a newspaper article...Show More
Adopted By The Man Who Killed My Family

08:57 | Dec 6th, 2018

Ramiro Osorio Cristales was just five years old when his family was murdered by the Guatemalan army, along with more than 200 other civilians from the Mayan village of Dos Erres. One of the soldiers who participated in the killings, Santos Lopez, too...Show More
The Armenian Earthquake

08:57 | Dec 5th, 2018

A catastrophic earthquake hit northern Armenia on the morning of December 7th 1988. At least 20,000 people were killed and thousands more injured. Anahit Karapetian was in school when the tremors hit her hometown of Spitak close to the epicentre. S...Show More
The Coronation of Jean-Bédel Bokassa

08:53 | Dec 4th, 2018

Jean-Bédel Bokassa crowned himself Emperor of the Central African Republic in a lavish ceremony on the 4th of December 1977. He'd already been President for several years since taking power in a military coup - but he wanted more. Janet Ball has sp...Show More
Berlin's Rubble Women

08:56 | Dec 3rd, 2018

At the end of WW2 much of Germany's capital had been destroyed by bombing and artillery. Almost half of all houses and flats had been damaged and a million Berliners were homeless. Caroline Wyatt has been speaking to Helga Cent-Velden, one of the wom...Show More
Norway's EU referendum

08:55 | Nov 30th, 2018

At the end of November 1994, Norway voted in a referendum not to join the European Union. The issue had split the country, and Norway was the only one of four countries that had referendums on EU membership that year to vote against. A senior member ...Show More
The Discovery of Dinosaur Eggs

10:00 | Nov 29th, 2018

The discovery of a nest of complete dinosaur eggs in Mongolia in 1923 provided the first proof that the prehistoric creatures hatched out of eggs rather than giving birth to live young. The American explorer who found them, Roy Chapman Andrews, beca...Show More
The Man Who Inspired Britain's First Aids Charity

08:57 | Nov 28th, 2018

In 1982, Terrence Higgins became the first known British victim of a frightening new disease called HIV/AIDS. In his memory, his friends set up the Terrence Higgins Trust - now Europe's leading charity in the area. Simon Watts talks to his former par...Show More
The Antarctic Whale Hunters

13:31 | Nov 27th, 2018

A personal account of the huge Antarctic industry which left whales on the brink of extinction. For centuries, whaling had been big business. Whale products were used in everything from lighting, to food and cosmetics. Hunting had decimated the whale...Show More
The Destruction Of Iraq's Marshlands

08:52 | Nov 26th, 2018

In the early 1990s, Saddam Hussein ordered the draining of southern Iraq's great marshes. It was one of the biggest environmental disasters of the twentieth century and an ancient way of life, dating back thousands of years, was almost wiped out. In ...Show More
The USSR Opens Up to the West

08:54 | Nov 23rd, 2018

In 1957, just four years after Stalin's death, 30,000 students from 130 countries attended the 6th International Youth Festival in Moscow, a two week celebration of 'Peace and Freedom' with music, dance, theatre and sports. British student Kitty Hunt...Show More
The Last Days of Yasser Arafat

09:37 | Nov 22nd, 2018

The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died in November 2004. French doctors treating him at the military hospital in France where he died said Arafat had an unidentified blood disorder and gave the cause of death as a stroke. Since then there have bee...Show More
The Story Behind The Man Who Shot JFK

09:21 | Nov 21st, 2018

What did Lee Harvey Oswald do for two years in the Soviet city of Minsk? And why did the American authorities let him return without any fuss in 1963? A few months later he would be arrested for shooting the US President. Vincent Dowd has been listen...Show More
The 'Braceros', America's Mexican Guest Workers

09:31 | Nov 20th, 2018

During the last years of World War Two, the American government began hiring poor Mexicans to come to work legally on US farms. The scheme was known as the 'Bracero' programme and lasted until 1964. Mike Lanchin presents archive recordings of some of...Show More
The Funeral of the Duke of Wellington

11:45 | Nov 19th, 2018

A man recorded by the BBC shares his memories of the funeral of the Duke of Wellington in 1852. The Duke was given a state funeral after defeating Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. The British General was credited with preventing Napoleon Bonaparte from ...Show More
Britain's Little Blue Disability Car

09:02 | Nov 16th, 2018

For decades disabled people in the UK were offered tiny, three-wheeled, turquoise cars as their main form of transport. They were known as Invacars and they were provided, free of charge, to people who couldn't use ordinary vehicles.They were phased ...Show More
Japanese Murders in Brazil

09:25 | Nov 15th, 2018

When WW2 was over, a fanatical group of Japanese immigrants living in Brazil refused to believe that Japan had lost the war. They decided to punish their more prominent compatriots who accepted that Japan had lost. The extremists killed 23 people. Ai...Show More
The Shah in Exile

09:02 | Nov 13th, 2018

In November 1979, Iranian students seized the American embassy in Tehran after Washington agreed to allow the deposed Shah into the US for medical treatment. It would be more than a year before the US embassy hostages were released and the crisis irr...Show More
Jewish in Imperial Russia

08:54 | Nov 13th, 2018

Pearl Unikow was a young woman who grew up in a segregated Jewish community in Russia before WW1. Her stories, recorded in Yiddish in the 1970s, provide a rare account of traditional Jewish life. Her granddaughter Lisa Cooper wrote a book based on th...Show More
How The Brazilian Dictatorship Made My Father Disappear

08:59 | Nov 12th, 2018

On a hot summer day in 1971, six armed men invaded the house of former Congressman Rubens Paiva in Rio de Janeiro. He was taken from his wife and children, never to be seen again. Paiva was one of the most famous Brazilians to disappear during the mi...Show More
WW1: Revolution in Germany

09:11 | Nov 8th, 2018

After four years of war Germany was on the verge of defeat. Its armies were exhausted and in retreat, its civilian population enduring hardship and hunger. As unrest grew at home, the German government and military struggled to maintain control. The ...Show More
Women Nurses during World War One

08:53 | Nov 7th, 2018

During World War One, two British nurses set up a first aid station just a few hundred metres behind the trenches of the Western Front. Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker became known as 'the Madonnas of Pervyse'. Mairi Chisholm spoke to the BBC in 197...Show More
African Troops during World War One

08:51 | Nov 6th, 2018

At the start of World War One, British and German colonial forces went into battle in East Africa. Tens of thousands of African troops and up to a million porters were conscripted to fight and keep the armies supplied. Alex Last brings you very rare ...Show More
The Battle of Passchendaele

08:55 | Nov 5th, 2018

It was one of the defining battles of the First World War. Britain and its allies had ambitious plans to break through German lines - but they ended up mired in mud. Listen to the voices of soldiers who took part - from the BBC archive. Phot...Show More
My Kristallnacht Story

08:51 | Nov 2nd, 2018

On 9 November1938 Nazis led attacks on Jewish homes and businesses across Germany. Because of the number of windows that were smashed it would be remembered as the 'night of broken glass' or Kristallnacht. Writer and artist Nora Krug investigated wha...Show More
Why I Slapped the German Chancellor

08:54 | Nov 1st, 2018

In November 1968 a young activist hit Germany's leader in public, to draw attention to his Nazi past. The activist was Beate Klarsfeld - the Chancellor was Kurt Georg Kiesinger. Tim Mansel has been listening to Beate Klarsfeld's memories of what ha...Show More
Princess Margaret And The War Hero

08:58 | Oct 31st, 2018

In October 1955, Britain was gripped by a romance between the young Princess Margaret and a glamorous, but divorced, ex-fighter pilot called Captain Peter Townsend. The couple had been in love for years, but after opposition from Buckingham Palace co...Show More
Life With America's Black Panthers

08:55 | Oct 30th, 2018

Eldridge Cleaver, one of the leaders of the radical African American Black Panther party, spent more than three years in exile in Algeria in the late 1960s. He set up an international office for the Black Panthers, mingling with dozens of left-wing r...Show More
The KGB's Whistleblower

09:06 | Oct 29th, 2018

Senior KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin risked his life smuggling thousands of top-secret Soviet intelligence files out of KGB headquarters, and bringing them to the West. His archive was one of the largest hauls of information to leak out of a major i...Show More
The Day Nigeria Struck Oil

11:17 | Oct 26th, 2018

An eyewitness account of a discovery that changed Nigerian history. Chief Sunday Inengite was 19 years old when prospectors from the Shell D'Arcy oil company first came to his village of Oloibiri in the Niger Delta in search of crude oil. It was ther...Show More
When Russia's Richest Man Was Jailed

09:06 | Oct 25th, 2018

When Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed in 2003, it was the start of President Putin's crackdown on the oligarchs. He shares his memories of that time with Dina Newman. Photo: former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky leaving the cour...Show More
The Arrest in London of Augusto Pinochet

08:53 | Oct 23rd, 2018

The former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, was arrested in London in October 1998. Spanish lawyers wanted him extradited to Spain to face charges of torturing and murdering political opponents in Chile. He claimed immunity as a former head of sta...Show More
Desmond Tutu Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

09:51 | Oct 22nd, 2018

In October 1984, one of South Africa's most well-known human rights activists, Desmond Tutu, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to apartheid. Two years later he became the first black head of the Anglican church in Southern Africa. ...Show More
When Belgium Banned Coca-Cola

09:10 | Oct 19th, 2018

In 1999 Belgian teenagers started to become ill after drinking Coca-Cola. Many ended up in hospital and the government banned the sale of all Coca-Cola products. But the fizzy drink was given the all-clear so what was making the children sick? Claire...Show More
The Pergau Dam Affair

08:52 | Oct 18th, 2018

In October 1993 news broke about an arms deal with Malaysia that led to the biggest development aid scandal in British history. It became known as the Pergau Dam Affair. Tim Mansel has been speaking to Tim Lankester, a British civil servant, who fou...Show More
Brazil's Hidden War in the Amazon

09:05 | Oct 17th, 2018

In the early 1970's, at the peak of political repression and persecution in Brazil, a collection of left-wing students and liberal professionals decided to move to a remote region in the Amazon to fight the military dictatorship. Two survivors from t...Show More
The 1973 Oil Crisis

08:52 | Oct 16th, 2018

In October 1973 Arab nations slashed oil production in protest at American support for Israel during it's war against Egypt and Syria. Oil prices sky rocketed. Alex Last heard from former deputy secretary general of OPEC, Dr Fadhil Chalabi, about the...Show More
Fighting Mount Etna

09:01 | Oct 15th, 2018

The Italian authorities tried to divert the stream of molten lava pouring down the slopes of the Etna volcano on the island of Sicily in 1983. Susan Hulme has been speaking to volcanologist, Dr John Murray, who was there watching their efforts to sa...Show More
Archbishop Oscar Romero

09:04 | Oct 12th, 2018

The murdered Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, is being made a saint of the Roman Catholic church. He was killed in 1980 by a right-wing death squad as he said mass at the altar. His death pushed El Salvador into its bloody civil war. Mike ...Show More
Austria at War

08:59 | Oct 11th, 2018

In October 1945, Austria got its first provisional government since its annexation by Nazi Germany a year before the Second World War. Wilfriede Iwaniuk was 14 when Hitler marched into Vienna; she tells Louise Hidalgo about the harshness of the war y...Show More
The Nazi Black Book

09:00 | Oct 10th, 2018

During World War Two the German secret service compiled a book listing all the people they wanted to arrest in Britain if it fell to the Nazis. The top-secret 'Special Search Index GB' contained details of politicians and intellectuals and people who...Show More
Anti-traveller Riots in Sweden

08:53 | Oct 9th, 2018

In 1948 racist violence broke out against Romany-speaking traveller people in Sweden. The riots in the town of Jönköping lasted for several days. Birgitta Hellström and Barbro Gustafsson are sisters from the traveller community and they have been s...Show More
Reform of the House of Lords

09:01 | Oct 8th, 2018

Britain's Labour government was determined to get rid of the unelected aristocrats sitting in the House of Lords - Parliament's second chamber. But the hereditary peers didn't go without a fight. Susan Hulme has been speaking to Marquis of Salisbury ...Show More
Howl: The Poem That Revolutionised US Writing

08:56 | Oct 5th, 2018

Allen Ginsberg first read his poem Howl, at an art gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. It marked a turning point in American literature and is credited with starting the "Beat Generation" of American writers. Michael McClure, a fellow poet, too...Show More
The Soviet Union's Fashion Revolutionary

08:59 | Oct 4th, 2018

Slava Zaitsev was the first designer to create high fashion collections in the Soviet Union. He tells Dina Newman about the challenges he faced working under communism. Photo: a sketch of a dress designed by Slava Zaitsev; credit: courtesy of Sla...Show More
The Invention of Artificial Skin

09:33 | Oct 3rd, 2018

How a chemist and a surgeon found a way of helping burns to heal. Chemist Ioannis Yannas was working alongside surgeon John Burke when they first made the breakthrough using a membrane made of collagen to cover burns which were too large for skin gra...Show More
The Street Battle That Rocked Brazil

09:26 | Oct 2nd, 2018

On the 2nd and 3rd of October 1968, students from two neighbouring universities in the centre of São Paulo clashed in a battle which left one dead and many injured. Thomas Pappon talked to two former students who were at the so called 'Battle of Mari...Show More
Racial Equality in Britain - Learie Constantine

08:51 | Oct 1st, 2018

The former West Indies cricketer, Learie Constantine, took the Imperial Hotel in London to court in 1943. It had refused to let him and his family stay because they were black. He won his case. Susan Hulme brings you his story from the BBC Archives. ...Show More
The Bridge Which United Sweden and Denmark

11:37 | Sep 28th, 2018

In 1993 work began to build Europe's longest road and rail bridge. The Oresund Bridge links Sweden to Denmark connecting them by land for the first time in thousands of years. In an unlikely twist, it also inspired a hit TV drama which has been broad...Show More
Fighting in the Iran-Iraq War

09:09 | Sep 27th, 2018

The war lasted for eight years. The death toll is estimated at over a million people. It began when Saddam Hussein sent planes and troops into Iran in September 1980. Ahmed Almushatat was a young Iraqi medic who was sent to the front line towards th...Show More
The Creation of the Cervical Cancer Vaccine

09:41 | Sep 26th, 2018

How a scientific breakthrough led to the invention of the revolutionary cancer vaccine. In the 1980s, it was established that cervical cancer was caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is usually spread through sexual intercourse. In 1989, s...Show More
Isadora Duncan - Dance Pioneer

08:55 | Sep 25th, 2018

Sometimes called the 'Mother of Modern Dance' she was born and brought up in the USA. Isadora Duncan performed across Europe in the early 20th Century, and her free-flowing movements caused a sensation among dancers and choreographers alike. Simon ...Show More
The South African Army In Lesotho

08:50 | Sep 24th, 2018

South Africa sent 600 soldiers into Lesotho to quell political unrest in September 1998. Mamello Morrison was an opposition protestor. She spoke to David Whitty in 2014 about the ensuing violence. This programme is a rebroadcast. Photo: Members of...Show More
Brazil's Nuclear Accident

08:50 | Sep 21st, 2018

In September of 1987, two waste pickers in the Brazilian town of Goiania broke into a disused medical clinic and stole a radiotherapy machine, triggering the biggest ever radioactive accident outside a nuclear facility.Hundreds of people were contami...Show More
The Arnhem Parachute Drop

08:51 | Sep 20th, 2018

Thousands of Allied troops parachuted into the Nazi-occupied Netherlands in September 1944. At that point, it was the most ambitious Allied airborne offensive of World War Two. British, American and Polish troops were dropped behind German lines in a...Show More
The Battle of Algiers

09:08 | Sep 20th, 2018

In September 1966, a film was released that has come to be seen as one of the great political masterpieces of 20th-century cinema. Shot in black-and-white, the Battle of Algiers recreates the turbulent last years of French colonial rule in Algeria. L...Show More
The Cuban Five

09:00 | Sep 18th, 2018

Five Cuban spies were arrested in Miami by the FBI in September 1998. After a controversial trial, they were given lengthy jail sentences. The last of the five was released in December 2014 as part of a prisoner swap for an American intelligence offi...Show More
The Fifteen Guinea Special

10:40 | Sep 17th, 2018

The train which marked the end of the steam age on Britain's main-line rail network. The Fifteen Guinea Special was a passenger service which ran from Liverpool to Carlisle on August 11th 1968 to commemorate the withdrawal of steam locomotives from t...Show More
The Truth About Crop Circles

09:51 | Sep 14th, 2018

In 1991 a mystery was solved when two English men claimed responsibility for the creation of crop circles. The huge patterns had been appearing on farmland across England for years and had scientists puzzled, with explanations ranging from whirlwinds...Show More
How I Survived a Fire on a Plane

08:55 | Sep 13th, 2018

Ricardo Trajano was the only passenger to survive a fire on a plane in 1973. His flight from Brazil was forced to make an emergency landing outside Paris, and 123 people died. But, as he's been telling Thomas Pappon, he stayed alive by ignoring all...Show More
The Killing of Steve Biko

09:47 | Sep 12th, 2018

On September 12th 1977 the anti-Apartheid activist and leader of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa died from injuries sustained while in police custody. The South African police claimed that Steve Biko had gone on hunger strike and had...Show More

09:20 | Sep 11th, 2018

In September 1938 Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back and forth to Germany to negotiate with Adolf Hitler. He hoped to guarantee "peace for our time". He agreed that Germany could take over the Sudetenland in western Czechoslovak...Show More
The Ship that Dumped America's Waste

09:02 | Sep 10th, 2018

In 1988 a ship named 'Khian Sea' dumped 4,000 tons of incinerated ash close to the beach in the town of Gonaives, in northern Haiti. The ash had originally come from the city of Philadelphia, and had been aboard the Khian Sea for more than a year, wh...Show More
WWI: The Hundred Days Offensive

10:57 | Sep 7th, 2018

First-hand accounts of the Allied offensive which finally brought the war to an end. The offensive took place on the Western Front in the summer and autumn of 1918. After years of trench warfare, Allied forces managed to break through and force the G...Show More
From Leningrad to St Petersburg

08:59 | Sep 6th, 2018

In 1991 as the communist system was collapsing, in a hugely symbolic act, Leningrad voted to drop Lenin's name abandoning its revolutionary heritage and returning to its historic name of St Petersburg. Dina Newman speaks to Ludmilla Narusova, wife of...Show More
Living Under Gaddafi

10:20 | Sep 5th, 2018

In September 1969, a military coup in Libya brought Muammar Gaddafi to power. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to award-winning writer Hisham Matar about life in Libya in the first decade of Gaddafi's rule, his family’s flight from Libya and how his ...Show More
The Battle for Brick Lane

09:13 | Sep 4th, 2018

In 1978 the racist murder of a young Bangladeshi textile worker in east London galvanised an immigrant community. Farhana Haider has been speaking to Rafique Ullah who took part in the protests and community action that followed the death of Altab Al...Show More
The First MRI Scan

09:02 | Sep 3rd, 2018

The first magnetic resonance scan of a human body was attempted by Dr Raymond Damadian and two students in 1977. It marked a breakthrough in efforts to develop the medical technology now known as the MRI scanner. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field a...Show More
Surviving the "Death Railway"

09:44 | Aug 31st, 2018

During World War Two the Japanese forced prisoners of war to build a 400 kilometre railway from Thailand to Burma. Tens of thousands died during the construction and it became known as the "death railway". A former British prisoner of war, Cyril Doy,...Show More
The Mine Disaster That Devastated Post-War Italy

08:58 | Aug 30th, 2018

In August 1956, a fire at a coal mine in Belgium killed 262 people. The tragedy caused grief across Europe, but particularly in Italy because more than half the dead were Italian migrants. Simon Watts brings together the memories of Lino Rota, a resc...Show More
The Lake Nyos Disaster

08:51 | Aug 29th, 2018

On 21 August 1986 villagers in the north-west of Cameroon awoke to find that many of their friends and neighbours had died in their sleep. More than 1,700 people and much of their livestock are thought to have perished as a result of unexpected volca...Show More
Hitler's League Of German Girls

08:52 | Aug 28th, 2018

The League of German Girls was the girl's wing of the Nazi party's youth movement, Hitler Youth. Open to girls aged ten years upwards, it was a key part of the Nazi plans to shape a new generation of Germans. Caroline Wyatt travels to Berlin to meet...Show More

08:57 | Aug 27th, 2018

The Spanish town of Benidorm is now one of the world's most popular holiday resorts - receiving more than 10 million visitors a year. The hotels and skyscrapers are the vision of Benidorm's mayor in the 1950s and 60s, Pedro Zaragoza. Zaragoza persona...Show More
Hitler's Architect

10:50 | Aug 24th, 2018

Among the leading Nazi inmates in Berlin’s Spandau prison, which was closed in August 1987, was Hitler's architect and minister of war, Albert Speer. He was the only top Nazi who later apologised for the Holocaust, although he claimed he never knew i...Show More
Baba of Karo

10:43 | Aug 23rd, 2018

The story behind the groundbreaking autobiography of a woman who grew up in 19th century pre-colonial Nigeria. The book is the story of Baba a Hausa woman, who lived in the farming hamlet of Karo, when the region was part of the Islamic empire, the S...Show More
USSR Wages War on Alcohol

08:52 | Aug 22nd, 2018

Sales of alcohol in the USSR were severely limited in 1985 in a bid to fight drunkenness. But the anti-alcohol campaign was abandoned three years later when the Soviet economy was in trouble, and the government need more taxes. Dina Newman discussed ...Show More
Prague Spring

08:55 | Aug 21st, 2018

A former student, Olda Cerny, tells Alan Johnston about how he made a desperate appeal for the support of the outside world as invading Soviet tanks rumbled through the streets of the Czechoslovak capital in August 1968. This programme was first bro...Show More
The Gladbeck Hostage Crisis

08:52 | Aug 20th, 2018

An intriguing story from West Germany in August 1988, of a bank robbery, a three-day car chase that had the country holding its breath, and a journalist who got a little bit too close to the story. Tim Mansel has been hearing from one of the people a...Show More
The Invention of Instant Noodles

09:05 | Aug 17th, 2018

In August 1958 the Japanese entrepreneur, Momofuku Ando, came up with the idea of a brand new food product that would change eating habits of people across the world. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Yukitaka Tsutsui, an executive for the company fo...Show More
When TV Came To South Africa

11:23 | Aug 16th, 2018

The apartheid government finally launched a TV service in 1976. For years the Afrikaner dominated government had opposed the introduction of television, believing it would undermine the Afrikaans language, culture and religion. Alex Last has been spe...Show More
Photographing Martin Luther King and His Family

09:37 | Aug 14th, 2018

In 1969 photo journalist Moneta Sleet became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. He won for the black and white image of Coretta Scott King the widow of Martin Luther King taken at the funeral of the murdered civil righ...Show More
Vera Brittain: Anti-Bombing Campaigner

08:58 | Aug 13th, 2018

During WW2 the feminist and writer, Vera Brittain, spoke out against the saturation bombing of German cities. Her stance won her enemies in Britain and the USA. Vincent Dowd has been speaking to her daughter Shirley Williams about the impact of her...Show More
Israel's Secret Peace Envoy

09:40 | Aug 9th, 2018

In August 1994 Yitzhak Rabin became the first Israeli leader publicly to visit Jordan. But in fact talks had been going on for years. Former head of Mossad, Ephraim Halevy, was Israel's secret peace envoy. He's been telling Louise Hidalgo about Rabin...Show More
When Buckingham Palace Opened Its Doors

09:38 | Aug 7th, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II first opened her London home to the paying public on August 7th 1993. Tourists were allowed to look round the palace while the Royal family was staying elsewhere for the summer. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to former Royal press ...Show More
The Azeri-Armenian Village Swap

08:52 | Aug 6th, 2018

At a time of a bitter ethnic conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1988, two villages managed to escape violence by swapping homes with each other. Bairam Allazov, an Azeri, and Ishkhan Tsaturian, an Armenian, told the BBC about how they managed...Show More
The First CIA Coup in Latin America

08:53 | Aug 3rd, 2018

In 1954 Guatemala's left-leaning President Jacobo Arbenz was ousted from power by army officers backed by the CIA. In 2016 Mike Lanchin spoke to his son, Juan Jacobo Arbenz, about the events of that time, and the effects on his family. Photo: Ja...Show More
The Search for Iran's Nuclear Programme

08:53 | Aug 2nd, 2018

In 2003 Iran agreed to let officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency into the country to look at its nuclear facilities. Olli Heinonen was one of the inspectors tasked with trying to establish whether or not Iran was trying to develop nu...Show More
The Retirement Home For Dancing Bears

09:09 | Aug 1st, 2018

In 1998 brown bears were declared a protected species in Bulgaria and the ancient tradition of forcing them to dance for people's entertainment became illegal. Farhana Haider had been speaking to Dr Amir Khalil, a veterinarian who helped establish a ...Show More
Shambo The Sacred Bull

08:56 | Jul 31st, 2018

In July 2007, a standoff between monks and the Welsh government made headlines around the world. At issue was the fate of Shambo, a sacred bull which had tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Shambo was eventually removed by police during a religi...Show More
WW1: Britain's Conscientious Objectors

09:15 | Jul 30th, 2018

In 1916, Britain introduced conscription for the first time. But thousands refused to be part of the war effort. The government allowed people to apply for exemption on the basis of conscience. Those that did faced public hostility and abuse. Many co...Show More
Women At West Point

09:35 | Jul 27th, 2018

In July 1976, women were admitted to the prestigious West Point military academy in the United States for the first time. Simon Watts talks to Marene Nyberg, one of the first female intake. PHOTO: Women cadets at West Point in 1976 (Getty Images)
Winston Churchill's Election Defeat

09:47 | Jul 26th, 2018

In July l945 Britain's great wartime leader, Winston Churchill, was defeated in a general election. The Labour party's landslide came just weeks after the surrender of Nazi Germany and remains one of the greatest shocks in British political history. ...Show More
The Whitewashing of Zimbabwe's Ancient History

11:32 | Jul 24th, 2018

When colonial explorers discovered an ancient ruined city in Zimbabwe, they claimed foreigners must have built it. They denied the probability that it was the work of a great African civilisation that dominated southern and east Africa with its trad...Show More
The Kitchen Debate

08:54 | Jul 24th, 2018

US Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had an argument about living standards when Nixon visited Moscow in 1959. They spoke at an exhibition of a 'typical' American house full of modern domestic appliances. Photo: Th...Show More
South Korea's Summer Of Terror

08:57 | Jul 23rd, 2018

At the start of the Korean war in 1950, tens of thousands of suspected communist sympathisers were executed by the South Korean military. The regime feared they might support the North Korean invaders. Many of them were political prisoners, who were ...Show More
A Vet Remembers The Hyde Park Bombing

08:50 | Jul 20th, 2018

Two IRA bombs were detonated in Hyde Park and Regent's Park in London on 20th July 1982. They left 11 military personnel dead, and injured around 50 people. Seven horses were also killed as the Hyde Park bomb was detonated during the Changing of th...Show More
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

09:10 | Jul 19th, 2018

In July 1968 one of the most significant international treaties of the 20th-century was signed. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, obliging signatories not to pass nuclear technology on to others...Show More
The Bombing of the King David Hotel

08:59 | Jul 18th, 2018

On July 22 1946 an armed Jewish group opposed to British rule in Palestine, attacked the iconic hotel in Jerusalem where the British had their headquarters. 91 people were killed in the bombing, dozens of others were injured. Shoshana Levy Kampos was...Show More
The Virgin Lands Campaign

09:44 | Jul 17th, 2018

To fight food shortages in the 1950s the USSR embarked on a major agricultural project to develop vast areas of previously uncultivated land in northern Kazakhstan. The project attracted hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic volunteers, but decades l...Show More
The Killing of the Russian Tsar

08:50 | Jul 16th, 2018

The Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, four daughters and young son, were shot in the cellar of a house in Yekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. Olga Romanoff is his great niece. She spoke to Olga Smirnova about his death and eventual reburial in St Pet...Show More
Italy's 'Ghost Shipwreck'

08:59 | Jul 13th, 2018

In the summer of 2001, an Italian journalist used an underwater robot to find the remains of a shipwreck off the coast of Sicily which had killed nearly 300 migrants from South Asia. At the time this was the worst disaster of its kind in the Mediterr...Show More
The Spiegel Affair

08:53 | Jul 12th, 2018

In the early 1960s a magazine article about West Germany's defence capabilities led to the imprisonment of seven journalists, a vehement debate about press freedom and a full-blown government crisis. Tim Mansel has been speaking to Franziska Augste...Show More
Smiling Buddha: India's First Nuclear Test

09:25 | Jul 11th, 2018

The inside story of how India secretly developed and exploded an atomic device in 1974. India called it a Peaceful Nuclear Explosion, though the experimental device was in effect a plutonium bomb. The test was seen as a triumph of Indian science and ...Show More
Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

09:10 | Jul 10th, 2018

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 led to tensions within traditional Igbo society. The book revolutionised African...Show More
Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographer

09:01 | Jul 9th, 2018

The New York photographer famous for his explicit male nudes was at the height of his fame and notoriety in 1988. His older sister Nancy has been speaking about Mapplethorpe's life and art to Vincent Dowd for Witness. Photo: Ken Moody 1984. Credi...Show More
Kosovo: 'Madeleine's War'

10:39 | Jul 5th, 2018

When war broke out in Kosovo in 1998 Nato intervened with air-strikes. US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was the main proponent for military action. She explains to Rebecca Kesby why she argued for action, and tells her own remarkable story ...Show More
Playgrounds Made of Junk

09:29 | Jul 5th, 2018

Post-war Britain saw a rise in makeshift adventure playgrounds born out of bomb sites. Children were provided with tools and raw materials, to build whatever they wanted to play with, using their own imagination. Anya Dorodeyko spoke to Tony Chilto...Show More
The Toilet

09:41 | Jul 4th, 2018

A controversial installation by Russian conceptual artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov offended Russians in 1992, but is now seen as a masterpiece. Emilia Kabakov told Dina Newman that The Toilet is "a metaphor for life." Photo: The Toilet, a model;...Show More
Flight 655: When The US Shot Down An Airliner

09:29 | Jul 3rd, 2018

On 3 July 1988, a US Navy warship, the USS Vincennes, shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over the Persian Gulf. All 290 on board the aircraft were killed, among them 66 children. The plane was flying a scheduled service from Bandar Abbas in Iran ...Show More
The Search For Deep Throat

09:45 | Jul 2nd, 2018

In July 2005, the identity of one of the most famous informants in American political history was revealed. Deep Throat leaked details of President Nixon's Watergate cover-up to the Washington Post leading eventually to the president's resignation. ...Show More
The President and the Gun Lobby

09:11 | Jun 29th, 2018

Former President George Bush Senior gave up his lifetime membership of the country's most powerful gun-lobby, the NRA, in 1995. Claire Bowes has been speaking to his speechwriter, Jim McGrath, to find out why the 41st President turned his back on the...Show More
Whiskey On The Rocks

08:54 | Jun 28th, 2018

In 1981 a Whiskey-class Soviet submarine became stranded on a rock just off the coast of southern Sweden. For years Sweden had suspected the Soviets of patrolling illegally in their territorial waters. Now they had their proof. It took 11 days of ten...Show More
The SARS Emergency

08:47 | Jun 27th, 2018

Early 2003 saw a medical emergency sweep across the world. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was a deadly virus which had first struck in southern China but soon there were cases as far away as Canada. William Ho and Tom Buckley were at the forefront...Show More
Veronica Guerin - Dying for the Story

08:55 | Jun 26th, 2018

In June 1996, the campaigning Irish journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered by a hit squad as she waited in her car at a set of traffic lights. Guerin had become famous in Ireland for exposing the activities of the country's drug barons. Her life was...Show More
The King of Lampedusa

08:43 | Jun 25th, 2018

In June 1943 a young Jewish RAF pilot from the East End of London was forced to make an emergency landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The Italian forces stationed there promptly surrendered to him. He told his story to the BBC ,and soon he w...Show More
How the World Woke Up to Global Warming

09:02 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Professor James Hansen finally got US politicians to listen to his warnings about climate change in June 1988 after years of trying. He and fellow NASA scientists had first predicted global warming in 1981. Professor Hansen spoke to Ashley Byrne ab...Show More
Demoted For Being Gay

08:56 | Jun 21st, 2018

Uzi Even is a former Colonel in the Israeli army reserves and a top nuclear scientist. In 1982 he was dismissed from his post after the military discovered he was gay. Ten years later, he went public, forcing the Army to change the law. He later beca...Show More
Wittenoom: An Australian Tragedy

08:55 | Jun 20th, 2018

The town of Wittenoom in Western Australia sprang up around a blue asbestos mine in the 1940s and '50s. Asbestos, a natural fire retardant mineral fibre was then in high demand and used in thousands of products. But in Wittenoom, many residents were ...Show More
Bata the Shoemaker's Revolution

08:55 | Jun 19th, 2018

Bata was a Czech company which pioneered assembly line shoemaking and sold affordable footwear around the world. Its factory near London became key to its expansion. Dina Newman speaks to one of its senior engineers, Mick Pinion, about the company's ...Show More
The Battered Child

09:01 | Jun 18th, 2018

An American doctor coined the phrase 'the battered child' to describe unexplained injuries which had been misdiagnosed by paediatricians unwilling or unable to acknowledge abuse. Dr C Henry Kempe published a paper in July 1962 which shocked the medic...Show More
The Death of Kim Il-sung

09:02 | Jun 15th, 2018

North Korea's communist leader Kim Il-sung died in July 1994. Dr Antonio Betancourt, of the Unification Church, was in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, during the outpouring of national grief. Photo: Dr Antonio Betancourt meeting Kim Il Sung...Show More
The Unified Korean Table Tennis Team

09:01 | Jun 14th, 2018

In 1991, amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to field a united Korean table tennis team at the World Championships in Japan. Previously bitter rivals, players from the North and South spent more than a month t...Show More
The GI Who Chose China

09:01 | Jun 13th, 2018

When the Korean War ended, a few American prisoners of war chose to go with their captors and try life under communism, instead of heading home to the USA. David Hawkins was one of them. He told his story to Chloe Hadjimatheou in 2012. Photo: Amer...Show More
The Beginning of the Korean War

08:56 | Jun 12th, 2018

North Korean communist troops invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. Initially they were very successful until UN forces (mainly American) helped drive them back. The war lasted until a ceasefire was declared in July 1953, millions of Koreans were kil...Show More
Korea Divided

09:00 | Jun 11th, 2018

At the end of World War Two with the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Korea was split along the 38th parallel. Soviet forces took control in the North of the peninsula, and the US military took control in the South. Shin Insup was a boy, living ...Show More
The Execution of Adolf Eichmann

09:06 | Jun 8th, 2018

Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was executed just after midnight on June 1st 1962 in a prison in central Israel. Holocaust survivor Michael Goldmann-Gilead witnessed his execution and was one of two people tasked afterwards with scattering Eichmann'...Show More
The Death of General Sani Abacha

09:05 | Jun 7th, 2018

Nigeria's military ruler, General Sani Abacha, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on 8 June 1998. In 2015 Alex Last spoke to the general's personal doctor, Professor Sadiq Suleiman Wali. Photo: General Abacha in 1997. Credit: AFP/Getty Im...Show More
The 1968 Belgrade Student Revolt

08:56 | Jun 6th, 2018

In June 1968, Belgrade University was occupied by students protesting against Yugoslavia's system of 'market socialism'. The occupation lasted seven days and was supported by students in other parts of the country. Dina Newman speaks to Sonja Licht w...Show More
The Assassinaton Attempt that Sparked a Middle East War

08:55 | Jun 5th, 2018

In June 1982, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Shlomo Argov, was shot and critically injured by a Palestinian gunman outside the Dorchester Hotel in London. The attack was the trigger for the start of the devastating war in Lebanon just days later. ...Show More
Couch to 5K

09:01 | Jun 4th, 2018

In 1996 a young TV producer in Boston came up with the idea of a running programme to help people exercise regularly. Couch to 5K running groups now exist all over the world and it has even been endorsed by Britain's National Health Service, the NHS...Show More
Lyuba the Baby Mammoth

09:26 | Jun 1st, 2018

In May 2007 a nomadic reindeer herdsman discovered the perfectly preserved body of a 42,000-year-old baby mammoth in Siberia. The creature, which was later named Lyuba, was 130 cm tall and weighed around 50 kilos. Anya Dorodeyko has been speaking to ...Show More
Isaac Asimov and Science Fiction

09:19 | May 31st, 2018

In May 1942, the American Isaac Asimov published the first instalment of the Foundation series, which would go on to become one of the most popular works of science fiction ever written. Foundation asks big and hugely imaginative questions about the ...Show More
Free Health Care For All

09:44 | May 30th, 2018

In 1948 the British government carried out an ambitious shake-up of post war society, establishing the foundations of a welfare state. A cornerstone of this new vision was the creation of the National Health Service, the NHS, providing free univers...Show More
The Thalidomide Trial

09:16 | May 29th, 2018

Executives of Chemie-Grunenthal, the German company that made the drug Thalidomide, went on trial charged with criminal negligence in May 1968. Thalidomide had caused serious, often fatal, birth defects in thousands of babies after their mothers took...Show More
The First Bicycle Sharing Scheme

08:51 | May 28th, 2018

In the mid 1960s a Dutch engineer called Luud Schimmelpennink came up with a scheme to share bikes, and cut pollution. He collected about ten old bicycles, painted them white and left them at different points around Amsterdam. Luud has been speakin...Show More
The BBC at Caversham

08:51 | May 25th, 2018

For 75 years the BBC ran a monitoring service based in an English stately home. Its job was to listen to foreign broadcasts from all around the world. But in 2018 the BBC decided the building was no longer needed. David Sillito spoke to veterans of ...Show More