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The History Hour

The History Hour

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


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Black History: The Black Panthers

As part of our Black History coverage we look back at the Black Panthers and ask Professor Clayborne Carson of Stanford University "How radical was the US black rights group?" Also, we bring you an archive interview with Mary Wilson of the Supremes, we delve into the question of compensation after the abolition of slavery - and no, not compensation for the people who had been enslaved, but for the former slave owners. Also, how one descendent of slaves, James Dawkins, discovered his ancestors' connection with the British writer Richard Dawkins. And, looking back at the story of Henrietta Lacks the African-American whose cells revolutionised medical science. Photo: Schoolchildren at a Black Panthers breakfast club. Credit: Shutterstock
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US 'smart bombs' hit an Iraqi air raid shelter

More than 400 civilians were killed when two US precision bombs hit the Amiriya air raid shelter in western Baghdad on the morning of 13 February 1991. The Americans claimed that the building had served as a command and control centre for Saddam Hussein's forces. It was the largest single case of civilian casualities that ocurred during Operation Desert Storm. Also in this week's programme, a drug scandal from the 1970s which blighted the lives of generations, rare archive of the celebrated British artist, Francis Bacon, the 1980s New York Street News newspaper set up to help the homeless and we hear from a nurse from West Africa who devoted her life to the British health service. Photo: Inside the Amiriya air-raid shelter following the US bombing (Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)
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The Burma protests of 1988

In August 1988, people took to the streets of Burma, or Myanmar, to protest against the country's military government. The bloody uprising would lead to the rise of Aung San Suu Kyi as the country's pro-democracy leader. Also, the epidemic of drug use among US troops in Vietnam in the 1970s, the first Eurostar train service and the launch of the spectacular Moscow State Circus in 1971 PHOTO: Protestors in Rangoon in 1988 (Getty Images)
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The Arab Spring of 2011

In the early months of 2011 a wave of social unrest swept across the Arab world as people protested against repressive and authoritarian regimes, economic stagnation, unemployment and corruption. It began with reaction to the self-immolation of a young market trader in Tunisia, but soon became an outpouring of resentment after generations of fear. On The History Hour, Professor Khaled Fahmy of Cambridge University, helps us unravel the roots of the uprisings, describes what it was like to be there, and looks at why things haven't turned out as the protesters had wanted. Photo: Libyan anti-Gaddafi protesters wave their old national flag as they stand atop an abandoned army tank in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on February 28, 2011.(Credit PATRICK BAZ/AFP via Getty Images)
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Hitler's beer hall putsch

Hitler made his first attempt at seizing power in Germany in 1923, ten years before he eventually became Chancellor. The failed "beer hall putsch" - so named because it started in a beer hall in the southern city of Munich - would become a foundational part of the Nazis' self-mythology. Professor Frank McDonough tells us more. Plus, more Nazis with The Turner Diaries, the novel that inspired the US far right; anti-Sikh riots in India; the birth of Swahili-language publishing; and the house fire in New Cross, South London, which led to a Black People's Day of Action. PHOTO: Nazi members during the Beer Hall Putsch, Munich, Germany 1923 (Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Attack at the US Capitol

In 1954, Puerto Rican militants opened fire in the US House of Representatives, wounding five Congressmen - we hear how the assault was one of many previous attacks on American democracy. Plus, the coup attempt in Spain in 1981, India's first woman lawyer and landing a probe on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. PHOTO: Lolita Lebron and two other Puerto Rican activists are arrested in 1954 (Getty Images)
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Buddhist on Death Row

How US inmates turned to Buddhism to face execution in 1990s Arkansas, and we look at the history of the death penalty in the US with Prof Vivien Miller. Plus, the truth of a space "strike", the 70s book that predicted global decline in 2020, sequencing the Ebola virus and we hear the world's oldest song. Photo: Anna Cox and inmate Frankie Parker.
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75 years of UNESCO

UNESCO - the United Nations Scientific, Cultural and Educational Organisation - was set up 75 years ago, in the aftermath of the Second World War. It?s probably best known for its work protecting cultural monuments and areas of natural beauty around the world, but when it was founded, its aim was to use education as a means of sustaining peace after the horrors of the war. In this episode of The History Hour: UNESCO?s work on race and tolerance, its effort in the 1960s to save Egyptian treasures from the rising waters of the Aswan Dam, Le Corbusier?s attempt to build a model city in India, the fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the tragic story of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.
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Film special

We hear from eye-witnesses to some classic moments in cinema history ? from It?s a Wonderful Life to Satyajit Ray?s Apu trilogy via Studio Ghibli, the Sound of Music and Charlie Chaplin?s Great Dictator. Plus, film critic Helen O?Hara tells us about the history of Christmas movies. Photo: one of the final scenes from Frank Capra?s It?s A Wonderful Life, featuring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Carol Coombs, Jimmy Hawkins, Larry Simms and Karolyn Grimes, clockwise from top (photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)
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The birth of Bangladesh

How Pakistan's first democratic elections in 1970 led to war, the break up of Pakistan and the creation of a new country, Bangladesh. Also Gibraltar under Spanish blockade plus refugees from Namibia?s war of independence, Britain?s first reality TV family and Bing Crosby?s White Christmas. Photo East Pakistan 1971 The flag of Bangladesh is raised at the Awami League headquarters. Credit Getty Images
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The first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize

When Chief Albert Luthuli won the Nobel Peace Prize he was living under a banning order in rural South Africa. He won the prize for advocating peaceful opposition to the Apartheid regime. We hear from his daughter Albertina and speak to a South African historian about his legacy. Plus the cave discovery in France that changed the way we think about Neanderthals, the best-selling African-American crime writer Chester Himes, celebrating 100 years since a cinematic first and the reintroduction of beavers that's helping restore Scotland's ecosystem. (Picture: Albert Luthuli receives the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive)
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The fall of Addis Ababa

In May 1991, the brutal Ethiopian dictator, Colonel Mengistu and his military regime were on the verge of collapse after years of civil war. The end came when a Tigrayan-led rebel movement advanced on the capital Addis Ababa and took power. We get a first-hand account from an American diplomat and hear how the events of 1991 contributed to the current crisis in Ethiopia. Plus, the controversy in France over banning headscarves and other religious symbols from schools, the Nazis' terrifying V1 bombing campaign in World War Two and the story of the Haitian slave leader, Toussaint Louverture. Photo: EPRDF rebels in Addis Ababa, 28 May, 1991 (BBC)
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Disability History special

We look back at the fight for disability rights in the UK and India in the 1990s, plus the remarkable life of Helen Keller as told by her great niece, how a Rwandan Paralympic volleyball team made history, and the invention of the iconic disability vehicle, the Invacar. And we speak to Colin Barnes, Emeritus Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds University, about the historic struggle for disabled rights and recognition. Photo: A disabled woman on her mobility scooter is carried away by four policemen after obstructing the traffic outside the Houses of Parliament. Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
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The world's first woman premier

Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected prime minster of Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was known then, in 1960 following the assassination of her husband, Solomon Bandaranaike and became the first female prime minister in the world. We hear from Dr Asanga Welikala about her legacy. Plus the first Arab leader to visit Israel, the former hostage taken captive by Somali pirates in 2008 who came to sympathise with their plight and the Jewish refugees given sanctuary by America during WW2. Also the revolutionary and graphic book for women published in 1973 which helped us understand women's bodies and is now published in 33 different languages. Photo: Sirimavo Bandaranaike the Prime Minister of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), 1960. Credit Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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The Guerrilla Girls

In 1985 a group of anonymous female artists in New York began dressing up with gorilla masks on their heads and putting up fly-posters around the city's museums and galleries. We hear from two of the original Guerrilla Girls, who launched a campaign to demand greater representation for women and minorities in the art world. Also on the programme, the rarely heard voices of Africans who were forced to take sides in WW1; how Pluto lost its status as a planet, the invention of a revolutionary sign language, Makaton, in the 1970s, and changing 20th century theories of child rearing. PHOTO: Some of the Guerrilla Girls in 1990 (Getty Images)
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The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

In 1995, the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. We hear how his death scuppered hopes of peace in the Middle East. Plus, the racism endured by children born to black American soldiers and German mothers after World War Two, the rebuilding of Dresden's most famous church, and nude theatre in London and New York. PHOTO: Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 (Getty Images)
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US presidential history special

Eyewitness accounts of moments in US presidential history: Inside JFK's election victory, remembering Shirley Chisholm - the first African American from a major party to make a presidential run, plus a senator's account of the Watergate hearings, the rise of the religious right and the story of President Bush's 9/11. Photo: US President John F. Kennedy giving his first State of the Union address to Congress in January 1961. (Credit: NASA/SSPL/Getty Images)
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Why Portugal decriminalised all drugs

In the grips of a drug crisis, why Portugal took a radical approach in 2001 and became the first country in the world to decriminalise all drugs. Also searching for those who disappeared during apartheid rule in South Africa, how mistakes with the initial production of the polio vaccine made thousands of children ill in 1995, plus the black women who helped propel NASA's space programme and Joan Littlewood a giant in 20th century British theatre. (Image: Staffers interview a new patient in Lisbon, Portugal (Credit: Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
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CNN and the 24-hour news revolution

In June 1980, US media mogul Ted Turner launched the first TV station dedicated to 24 hour news, Cable News Network or CNN. We get a first-hand account of the early days of a channel that transformed news and politics. Plus, the end of Lebanon's civil war, the long fight for full voting rights for African-Americans and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's plan to become a film mogul. (PHOTO: Ted Turner attends official CNN Launch event at CNN Techwood Drive World Headquarters in Atlanta Georgia, June 01, 1980 (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
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British black history special

We present five eyewitness accounts of moments in British black history. Including the late Sam King remembering the voyage of the Empire Windrush, plus Britain's first black headteacher Yvonne Conolly, Dr William Lez Henry on confronting the Far Right in the battle of Lewisham, Reggae star David Hinds on fighting the nightclub colour bar in 1970s Birmingham and Trix Worrell on the creation of the pioneering and hugely popular TV comedy Desmond's. Max Pearson is joined by Colin Grant, the writer, broadcaster and author of Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation. Photo: Newly arrived Jamaican immigrants on board the 'Empire Windrush' at Tilbury, 22nd June 1948: (Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images)
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The Mafia and Italian politics

The trial which linked a senior Italian politician to the Mafia, the death of the charismatic Egyptian President - Gamal Abdel Nasser, a whale rescue which brought together cold war enemies, the German house which witnessed a century of change and the birth of Google. Photo: Giulio Andreotti in 1983. Credit: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images
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Blackwater killed my son

An Iraqi father remembers the day in September 2007 when US private security guards opened fire on civilians in central Baghdad killing 17 people, including his 9-year-old son. Plus, former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on negotiating the cancellation of Liberia's massive debt; the chaos of Florida's 'hanging chads' in the 2000 US elections; when Nelson Mandela visited Detroit; and the end of the Galileo space project. Photo: An Iraqi looks at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards opened fire on civilians in Baghdad on 16 September 2007 (Credit ALI YUSSEF/AFP via Getty Images)
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Stories of resistance and protest from around the world

Max Pearson brings you a roundup of this week?s Witness History stories of resistance from the last 70 years. From the early days of opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, through the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, a photographer's memories of the 1989 demonstrations in China, an iconic civil rights story from the USA, to Argentina and the women who are still demonstrating in the hope of discovering what became of their children under military rule. Photo: a lone protestor, who became known as Tank Man, in Tiananmen Square in China in June 1989. Credit: Stuart Franklin/Magnum.
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Prohibition in India

How Indian women in the 1990s campaigned to stop the sale of alcohol in the state of Andhra Pradesh to protect women from domestic violence and safeguard family finances. The history of America's healthcare system, how the UN was eventually persuaded to apologise for the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti and the horror of being caught up in one of the most notorious hi-jackings of the 1970s, plus the birth of Reddit, one the world's most successful websites. Photo A shop selling alcohol in India. Credit Getty.
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Inventing James Bond

How author and former intelligence officer Ian Fleming created the British super-spy, James Bond plus, how the British government shifted social care for the disabled away from large institutions and into the community and the Cape Town bombings in 1990s South Africa. Also how a British Airways jumbo jet flew through a volcanic ash cloud and survived and the birth of the Sony Walkman, a device that changed listening habits forever. Photo: Ian Lancaster Fleming, British author and creator of the James Bond character, in 1958. (Getty Images)
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Margaret Ekpo - Nigeria's feminist pioneer

Margaret Ekpo helped establish Nigerian independence and became one of the country's first female MPs. We hear from her grandson and speak to a Nigerian feminist about why Nigeria has so few women in government today. Plus the US Supreme Court decision that threatens the voting rights of Black Americans, the policeman turned protestor who was part of the Occupy Wall Street protest, America's first woman combat pilot and the bittersweet memories of the Gaelic-speaking community who left the remote islands of St Kilda in 1930. PHOTO: Margaret Ekpo in London in August 1953 (ANL/Shutterstock)
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The siege at Ruby Ridge

Randy Weaver was a white separatist in Idaho in the north-west United States who was wanted by the government on firearms charges. When government agents approached his remote cabin on Ruby Ridge in August 1992, it was the start of an eleven day siege involving hundreds of police officers ? which ended with the deaths of Weaver?s wife and teenage son, along with a US marshal. The incident would become a touchstone for the American far right. Plus, growing up with Saddam Hussein, the invention of the asthma inhaler and digging up King Richard III of England. PHOTO: Randy Weaver (C) shows a model of his Ruby Ridge, Idaho cabin to US Senator Arlen Specter, R-PA, during Senate hearings investigating the events surrounding the 1992 standoff with federal agents (PAMELA PRICE/AFP via Getty Images).
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Beirut's hotel war

At the start of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, Beirut?s luxury hotel district was turned into a battlefield, with rival groups of gunmen holed up in some of the most expensive accommodation in the Middle East. We hear from two former employees of the Holiday Inn about what came to be known as the Battle of the Hotels. Also in today's programme, the first radar, the invention of the ventilator, and how women in Turkey overhauled decades-old laws on rape and sexual assault. Photo: The ruins of the Holiday Inn. (Credit: Getty Images)
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The Second World War in Japan

It?s 75 years this week since the dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which led to Japan?s surrender to Allied forces and the end of the Second World War. We hear first-hand accounts of military turning points in the Pacific including the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Battle of Midway, and historian Ian Buruma explains the context for Japan?s attack on the US. We also hear about the impact of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki on civilians, about Japanese-American citizens imprisoned in internment camps in the US, and about the writing of Japan?s post-war constitution. Picture: Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki after bombing by atomic bomb on 9th August 1945 ( US Air Force photo/PA)
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Adrift for 76 Days

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

On 16th October 1995 hundreds of thousands of black American men marched on Washington D.C. in an attempt to put black issues back on the government agenda. We hear from one woman who went on the march. Plus the first women's refuge opens in Afghanistan, the son of the man behind the failed plot to kill Hitler in 1944, campaigning to protect the Borneo rain forest, and the world's fastest vaccine maker. (Photo:The Million Man March, Credit:TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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South Korea's 1980s prison camps

The horrors of South Korea's so-called Social Purification project, the vanished Chinese sailors who left their mark on Liverpool after the Second World War and the return of a huge ancient monument to Ethiopia from Italy. Also fighting for the rights of Jewish women at the Western Wall in Jerusalem plus the origins of the holiday camp, Club Med. Photo: Seung-woo Choi talking to reporters. Credit BBC.
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Quarantined in a TB sanatorium

Extreme lockdown half a century ago: the TB children forced to endure years of isolation in a sanatorium; the unveiling of looted Nazi art works, the Rolling Stones in the dock, calls for democracy in 1990s Nepal, and the campaign to ban dangerous skin-lightening products in South Africa. Picture: boys sleep on the balcony of the Craig-y-nos TB sanatorium in Wales (Credit: private collection of the family of Mari Friend, a former patient at Craig-y-nos)
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Dealing with economic crisis

As the world begins to consider how to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, we look back at economic crises of the past and how countries have responded to them. Max Pearson hears about America's "New Deal" in the 1930s, South Korea's transformation in the 1950s and Chile's "miracle economy" of the 1970s. Plus, Tanzania and its African form of socialism, and economic shock therapy in Russia in the 1990s. PHOTO: President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1935 (Getty Images).
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Sex trafficking and peacekeepers

How whistle-blowers implicated UN peacekeepers and international police in the forced prostitution and trafficking of Eastern European women into Bosnia in the late 1990s. Plus, how Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross changed the way we think about death and dying when she developed her Five Stages of Grief; Beethoven's role in China's Cultural Revolution; the "friendship train" between India and Bangladesh; and the controversial teaching exercise which segregated children by whether they had blue or brown eyes. Picture: the United Nations Peacekeeping Force patrols the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in March 1996 (Credit: Roger Lemoyne/Liaison/Getty Images)
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Black American History Special

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

How a bloody 1960s revolution changed East Africa. We hear an eyewitness account and talk to Professor Emma Hunter of Edinburgh University. Plus the birth of ecotourism in Costa Rica, the post-war origin of the World Health Organisation, the man who created the world's first portable defibrillator, and remembering the artist Christo. PHOTO: Ugandan revolutionary and self-styled Field Marshal John Okello (1937 - 1971), leader of the Afro-Shirazi anti-Arab coup in Zanzibar, circa 1964. (Photo by Pix/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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The Gwangju massacre

Forty years on from the Gwangju uprising in South Korea, the book that changed the way we eat, plus the dangers of being a Congolese conservationist. Also, revealing accounts of British wartime leader Winston Churchill from his doctor, and the pioneering African-American dress designer who designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress. Photo: soldiers beating men in Gwangju in May 1980. Credit: 5.18 Memorial Foundation/AFP via Getty Images
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Britain's World War Two crime wave

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

Why Japanese women had to wait until 1999 to be allowed to take the pill, the Dutch 'Prince of scandal', plus the flatulent fish that prompted a Cold War scare, the first helpline for children and the joy of being liberated from Nazi occupation on The Channel Islands. (Photo: A collection of contraceptive pills. Getty Images)
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VE Day Special

Eyewitness accounts of the fall of Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War in Europe. Using unique interviews from the BBC's archives we bring you men and women who fought in the battle for Berlin, and some of those who were with Hitler in his final days. We present the story of a German woman who survived the start of Soviet occupation, and we meet the historian whose 1995 exhibition challenged Germans' view of the war. Plus the sounds of VE Day in London, 8th May 1945, as reported by the BBC at the time. Putting it all into context, presenter Max Pearson talks to Dr Mary Fulbrook, Professor of German History at University College London and author of the award winning book "Reckonings" about the aftermath of the war and the quest for justice. (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
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The 1957 flu pandemic

A new strain of flu emerged in East Asia in 1957 and spread all over the world. Known at the time as ?Asian flu?, it killed more than a million people. We hear from a woman who survived the virus and speak to Mark Honigsbaum, author of The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris. Plus, Indonesia?s transgender rights movement, the assassination of the UN?s first Middle East mediator, conflict in the Galapagos Islands, and the trees that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Photo: Americans worried about "Asian flu" wait their turns at Central Harlem District Health clinic in October 1957. Credit: Getty Images
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The last survivor of the transatlantic slave trade

The grandson of the last surviving African-born US slave, plus the story behind the portable hospital breathing ventilator that was a precursor to those helping save coronavirus lives; also on the programme the Pakistani welfare hero, the deadly explosion which sent 130 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and candid insights from one of America's greatest playwrights.
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Apollo 13: The drama that gripped the world

50 years since the Apollo 13 mission, how millions of TV viewers followed the famous rescue of the three NASA astronauts. Also, the women who led the way in America?s space programme by spending two weeks under water and what happened when Skylab crashed to Earth in 1979. Plus, a collision on board the Mir space station in 1997 and the last men on the Moon. PHOTO: The crew of Apollo 13 after their rescue (Getty Images)
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How technology revolutionised our lives

In a special edition of the History Hour, Max Pearson looks back at some of the major technological milestones of recent years. We hear about the Californian computer club where the founders of Apple cut their teeth, about the inventors of the webcam and about the unlikely pioneers of home shopping. Plus, the launch of the iPhone and one of the very first social networks. PHOTO: Len Shustek, former member of the Homebrew Computer Club.
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Women in the law

Trailblazing British lawyer Rose Heilbron was the first female judge at London's famous Old Bailey criminal court. Her daughter Hillary Heilbron QC remembers how hard she had to fight to be accepted. Dana Denis-Smith, founder of the First 100 Years Project about the history of women in law, discusses women's participation in legal professions around the world. Plus, being a Muslim in China, the Swedish warship restored after 300 years, the assassination that aimed to revenge the Amritsar massacre, and Pando, the biggest living organism in the world by mass. Photo: English KC (King's Counsel) Rose Heilbron (1914 - 2005) arrives at the House of Lords in London, for the traditional champagne breakfast hosted by the Lord Chancellor at the start of the Michaelmas Term for the law courts, 2nd October 1950. (Credit William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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The AIDS memorial quilt - a patchwork of loss

How an LGBTQ+ activist decided to commemorate friends who had died of AIDS with a quilt, plus sequencing the 1918 flu virus, five years of war in Yemen, the story of a child abandoned in Hong Kong, and an attack on South Korea. (Photo: A section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Getty Images)
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The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope

In 1990, NASA launched the historic mission which put into orbit the Hubble Space Telescope. The orbiting observatory has revolutionized astronomy and allowed us to peer deeper than ever before into the Universe. We hear from astronaut, Kathryn Sullivan. Plus, China's cure for malaria, the "Red Scare" in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s, and a pioneering sexual harassment case at the US Supreme Court. PHOTO: The Hubble Space Telescope (NASA)
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The 1918 'Spanish' flu pandemic

A special edition looking at how the world has battled deadly viruses over the past 100 years, We have eyewitness accounts of the 1918 flu, and the recent struggle against SARS, we hear how a vaccine saved millions from Polio, and the moment the world discovered the killer viruses known as Marburg Fever and Ebola in the 1960s and 70s. (Photo: An American policeman wearing a mask to protect himself from the outbreak of Spanish flu. Credit:Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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The history of the Volkswagen Beetle

How the British army helped rebuild the German car industry after WW2, plus the fight to ban leaded petrol, psychiatry as punishment in the USSR, striking South Asian women in 1970s Britain and 'Womenomics' in Japan. Picture: Major Ivan Hirst (right) driving the 1000th Beetle off the production line at Wolfsburg in March 1946 (Credit: Volkswagen AG)
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