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The History Hour


From World War II to the Arab Spring, history told by the people who were there.

From World War II to the Arab Spring, history told by the people who were there.
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From World War II to the Arab Spring, history told by the people who were there.




The 'Disappeared' of Lebanon

The women searching for their loved-ones who went missing during the Lebanese civil war, plus the man who first discovered diamonds in Botswana, a pioneer of the Indian restaurant business in the UK, an exploding whale, and naked dancing in post-war London. Photo: West Beirut under shellfire in 1982.(Credit:Domnique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

Duration: 00:50:06

The Russian Revolution: The Bolsheviks Take Control

Eye-witness accounts from the Russian Revolution of October 1917; the first dog in space; Sabah, one of the biggest 20th-century stars of the Middle East; the last journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden; and horror and heartbreak: memories of the First World War. Picture: Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin addressing crowds in the capital Petrograd during the Russian Revolution of 1917. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Duration: 00:49:59

Martin Luther's 95 Theses

The German monk who began a religious uprising; the book that made us think of humans as animals; how the murder of a Brazilian journalist by the secret police became a symbol of Brazil's military brutality; plus the Lebanese architectural dream that was overtaken by war and the fight that ended sex censorship online. 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)

Duration: 00:50:07

The Fake IDs That Saved Jewish Lives

How tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews escaped the Nazis by using false papers; what happened when abortion became illegal overnight in 1960s Romania; the murder of campaigning Nigerian journalist Dele Giwa; the creation of British satire magazine Private Eye; and the love affair between writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Photo: False Hungarian ID document (BBC)

Duration: 00:50:30

The 43 Group: Battling British Fascists

How Jewish veterans fought fascism in post war Britain; plus investigating the death of Mozambique's president Samora Machel, we hear from a survivor of the Moscow theatre siege, inside the Cuba Missile Crisis and the mystery of Booker prize winner JG Farrell. Photo:British Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley speaking at a rally, Hertford Road, Dalston, London, May 1st 1948. (Getty Images)

Duration: 00:54:01

The Death of Che Guevara

In October 1967 the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was captured and killed in Bolivia - we hear from the CIA operative who was one of the last people to speak to him. Plus, the plan to rescue Italy's art from the Nazis; remembering a hero of Catalan nationalism; the policeman and friend who testified against OJ Simpson, and Madonna - the early years. (Photo: Felix Rodriguez (left) with the captured Che Guevara, shortly before his execution on 9 October 1967. Courtesy of Felix Rodriguez)

Duration: 00:51:21

The Hate Crime That Changed American Law

Why the brutal killing of a young gay man in Wyoming prompted change, how white people came to terms with their past after segregation in deep south America, living alongside Israeli soldiers in Gaza, plus modern treasures uncovered in Iran and rediscovered Tudor treasures raised from the English seabed. (Photo: Matthew Shepard with his parents, Judy and Dennis, on holiday at Yellowstone National Park. Courtesy of the Matthew Shepard Foundation)

Duration: 00:50:22

Walking the Great Wall of China

Walking the Great Wall of China; the death of Pope John Paul 1 after just a month in the job; turning against a colonial power - how Guinea gained independence from France; the life and times of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, and the British Land Girls of World War Two. (Picture: Yaohui Dong, Wu Deyu and Zhang Yuanhua on the Great Wall of China. Courtesy of Yaohui Dong)

Duration: 00:50:29

When Animals Make History

Five remarkable stories of animals in recent history - from the guide dog who led her owner out of the World Trade Center on 9/11 to a ferocious shark attack to the locust swarm that flew more than 5000 miles across the Atlantic ocean. Photo: a Great White Shark - Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Duration: 00:49:33

The Collapse of Northern Rock

The run on a British bank which signalled the coming global financial crisis, a schoolboy arrested in East Germany for writing a letter, a doctor remembers the Sabra Shatila massacre in Beirut, and a Nigerian archaeological treasure trove. Photo: Northern Rock customers queuing outside the Kingston branch, in order to take their money out on September 17th 2007. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Duration: 00:50:15

The Fairy Photos

The search for a spirit world after WW1 that led people to believe that photographs of fairies were real. Plus Jamaica's worst train crash, France's last execution by guillotine, the man who saved the Proms and life in a giant greenhouse in Arizona - Biosphere 2. Photo: Frances Griffiths and the "Cottingley Fairies" in a photograph made in 1917 by her cousin Elsie Wright with paper cut-outs and hatpins. Credit: Alamy

Duration: 00:50:25

The Death of Princess Diana

Princess Diana's brother remembers the passionate speech he gave at her funeral, and one of the doctors who treated her at the scene of her fatal car crash remembers her death. Plus, how George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, the development of a revolutionary new 3D medical scanning technique, and the birth of the online auction site eBay. Picture: Earl Spencer and Prince William at Princess Diana's funeral. Credit: Getty/AFP

Duration: 00:49:59

Medicine in World War One

In BBC archive recordings, veterans tell the story of how medical care dealt with the horrors of WW1. Plus when Germany put Nazis on trial, race riots in London's Notting Hill in 1958, and in East Germany in 1992. And the inventors of Botox. Photo: Australian wounded on the Menin Road on the Western Front, 1917 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Duration: 00:49:53

Nike and the Sweatshop Problem

On this week's programme, how campaigners took on Nike in the 1990s, plus the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the newspaper which defied Argentine's military dictatorship. We also find out more about nudism in East Germany and the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. PHOTO: Nike worker Cicih Sukaesih telling her story in America in 1996 (courtesy of Jeff Ballinger)

Duration: 00:50:19

Reagan's Bombing Joke

Ronald Reagan's joke about bombing Russia in the 1980s, the murder of a Palestinian cartoonist in London, communal violence in India a year before partition, the man who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage patch, and Florence Nightingale, in her own words and those of people who knew her. Photo: American president Ronald Reagan in the 1980s at his desk in the White House, Washington DC. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Duration: 00:52:04

When Homosexuality Was a Crime

Comedian and broadcaster Pete Price speaks about being subjected to horrific aversion therapy to "cure" him of his homosexuality in 1960s Britain. Plus the 99-year-old former aide to the Chinese nationalist leader, Chiang Kai Shek, a radical new approach to housing in the former USSR, the perils of deep sea commercial diving in the North Sea and how the Welsh fought for recognition of their language. Photo: Pete Price (private collection)

Duration: 00:50:35

Psychological Warfare

Spooking fighters during the Vietnam War, building the Mont Blanc Tunnel, designing a Nintendo legend, the murder of Gianni Versace and archive voices from the 'Bonus Army' a protest movement of WW1 veterans which shook the US government in 1932. Photo:Viet Cong guerrillas on patrol during the Vietnam War, 2nd March 1966: (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Duration: 00:50:09

The Oka Crisis

A watershed moment for Canada's indigenous people as Mohawks take on the developers, the birth of UKIP in Britain, memories of the poet Irina Ratushinskaya who died earlier this month - plus dance music with ballet star Nureyev's defection and illegal raving in England's countryside. (PHOTO: A Mohawk activist confronts a soldier. Credit: IATV NEWS)

Duration: 00:50:31

The Roswell Incident

In July 1947 a US rancher found some debris in the New Mexico desert - did it come from an alien spacecraft? Witness hears from the son of one of the US servicemen who investigated the incident, and from Dr David Clarke, expert on UFO history at Sheffield Hallam University. Plus the first Tamil suicide bombing; a hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure discovered in an English field; a sex scandal in the USSR during perestroika; and the first non-stop journey around the world in a hot air balloon....

Duration: 00:50:14

The History of Modern Tourism

In a tourism special we look at the original low-cost transatlantic airline, based in Iceland, the 1960s Hippie trail. Also the journey that led to the best selling Lonely Planet travel guides, political tensions caused by a luxury resort on the Red Sea and how Disney came to Europe. (Photo: An Icelandic Airlines advertisement from May 1973, in New York's Fifth Avenue (US National Archives)

Duration: 00:50:09

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