Witness [world Service]

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

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
2009102620091231
2009102620100101
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GETRIDOFTHIS.

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2011121520111216
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20121021 (WS)
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20121021 (WS)
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2012102420121025 (WS)
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"ghana Must Go"2013020520130206 (WS)

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

"lidice Shall Die"2014062520140629 (WS)

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

Photo: The Skleničková family in 1931. Credit: Courtesy of Jaroslava Skleničková.

01/02/201220120131
01/02/201220120202
01/02/201220120205
01/03/2017 Gmt20170301
01/05/201220120502
01/06/201120110602
01/06/201120110605
01/07/201120110702
01/07/201120110703
01/08/201120110802
01/09/201120110902
01/11/201020101102
01/11/201020101103
01/11/201020101104
01/11/201120111102
01/12/201120111202
01/12/2016 Gmt20161201
02/02/201220120201
02/02/201220120203
02/02/2017 Gmt20170202
02/03/2017 Gmt20170302
02/04/201120110331
02/04/201120110401
02/05/201220120503
02/06/201120110603
02/06/201120110606
02/09/201120110903
02/09/201120110904
02/11/201120111103
02/12/2016 Gmt20161202
03/02/201220120202
03/02/201220120204
03/02/2017 Gmt20170203
03/03/2017 Gmt20170303
03/04/201120110331
03/04/201120110401
03/04/201120110404

03/04/201220120404
03/04/201220120408
03/04/2017 Gmt20170403
03/05/201120110504
03/05/201120110507
03/05/201120110508
03/05/201220120504
03/06/201120110604
03/06/201120110605
03/08/201120110804
03/08/201120110807
03/10/201120111004
03/11/201120111104
04/01/20122012010520120106
04/01/2017 Gmt20170104
04/04/201220120405
04/04/2017 Gmt20170404
04/05/201120110505
04/05/201120110508
04/05/201220120505
04/07/201120110705
04/08/201120110805
04/08/201120110807
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04/10/201120111005
04/11/201120111105
05/01/2017 Gmt20170105
05/03/201220120306
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05/04/201220120408
05/04/2017 Gmt20170405
05/05/201120110506
05/05/201120110508
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05/12/201120111206
06/01/201220120107
06/01/2017 Gmt20170106
06/02/201220120205
06/02/201220120207
06/02/2017 Gmt20170206
06/03/201220120307
06/03/2017 Gmt20170306
06/04/201220120407
06/04/2017 Gmt20170406

06/05/201120110507
06/05/201120110508
06/06/201120110607
06/07/201120110707
06/07/201120110710
06/09/201120110907
06/10/2016 Gmt20161006
06/12/20112011120720111208
07/02/201220120206
07/02/2017 Gmt20170207
07/03/201220120308
07/03/201220120311
07/06/201120110608
07/06/201120110611
07/06/201120110612
07/07/201120110708
07/07/201120110711
07/09/201120110908
07/10/201120111008
07/10/201120111009
07/10/2016 Gmt20161007
07/11/201120111108
07/11/201120111113
08/02/201220120207
08/02/201220120209
08/02/201220120212
08/03/201220120309
08/06/201120110609
08/06/201120110612
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08/11/201020101109
08/11/201020101110
08/11/201020101111
08/11/201120111109
08/11/201120111112
08/12/2016 Gmt20161208
09/02/201220120208
09/02/201220120210
09/02/201220120211
09/02/2017 Gmt20170209
09/03/201220120310
09/04/201120110406
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09/05/20112011051020110511
09/05/201220120510
09/06/201120110610
09/06/201120110613
09/08/201120110810
09/09/201120110910
09/11/201120111110
09/12/2016 Gmt20161209
10/01/201220120114
10/02/2017 Gmt20170210
10/04/201120110404
10/04/201120110405
10/04/201120110408
10/04/201120110411

10/04/201220120411
10/04/201220120415
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10/05/20122012051020120513
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10/08/201120110811
10/10/201120111011
10/10/2016 Gmt20161010
10/11/201120111111
10/11/201120111113
10/11/2016 Gmt20161110
11/01/201220120112
11/01/201220120115
11/04/201120110412

11/04/201120110416
11/04/201220120412
11/04/201220120415
11/04/2017 Gmt20170411
11/05/201120110512
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11/05/20122012051120120512
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11/08/201120110814
11/08/201120110815
11/10/201120111012
11/10/2016 Gmt20161011
11/11/201120111112
11/11/2016 Gmt20161111
12/01/201220120113
12/03/201220120313
12/04/201120110413

12/04/201120110416

12/04/201220120413
12/04/201220120415
12/04/2017 Gmt20170412
12/05/201120110513
12/05/201120110515
12/05/201120110516
12/07/201120110713
12/07/201120110716
12/07/201120110717
12/08/201120110813
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12/09/201120110913
12/10/201120111013
12/12/2016 Gmt20161212
13/01/201220120114
13/01/201220120115
13/02/2017 Gmt20170213
13/03/20122012031420120318
13/04/201120110414

13/04/201220120414
13/04/2017 Gmt20170413
13/05/201120110514
13/05/201120110515
13/06/201120110614
13/07/201120110714
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13/09/201120110914
13/10/201120111014
14/03/20122012031520120316 (WS)
20120317 (WS)
14/04/201120110415

14/04/201120110418

14/04/2017 Gmt20170414
14/05/20122012051420120515
14/06/201120110615
14/07/201120110715
14/07/201120110718
14/09/20112011091520110916
14/10/201120111015
14/10/201120111016
14/12/2016 Gmt20161214
15/02/201220120216
15/02/201220120219
15/03/2017 Gmt20170315
15/04/201120110416

15/05/20122012051520120516
15/06/201120110616
15/06/201120110619
15/07/201120110716
15/07/201120110717
15/08/201120110816
15/11/2016 Gmt20161115
15/12/2016 Gmt20161215
16/02/201220120217
16/03/2017 Gmt20170316
16/04/201220120417
16/05/201120110517
16/05/20122012051620120517
16/06/201120110617
16/06/201120110620
16/08/201120110817
16/11/2016 Gmt20161116
16/12/2016 Gmt20161216
17/01/201220120118
17/01/201220120121
17/01/2017 Gmt20170117
17/02/201220120218
17/03/2017 Gmt20170317
17/05/201120110518
17/05/201120110521
17/05/201120110522
17/06/201120110618
17/06/201120110619
17/08/201120110818
17/10/201120111018
17/11/2016 Gmt20161117
18/01/201220120119
18/01/201220120122
18/01/2017 Gmt20170118
18/04/201220120419
18/04/201220120422

18/05/201120110519
18/05/201120110522
18/07/201120110719
18/08/201120110819
18/10/201120111019
18/11/201120111119
18/11/2016 Gmt20161118
19/01/201220120120
19/01/2017 Gmt20170119
19/03/201220120320
19/04/201120110420
19/04/201120110423
19/04/201120110424
19/04/201220120420

19/04/201220120422
19/05/201120110520
19/05/201120110522
19/05/201120110523
19/07/201120110720
19/07/201120110723
19/07/201120110724
19/10/201120111020
1916: Central Asia Rebels Against The Russian Empire20160714

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

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

1954 Burma Hijack20140623

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

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

20/01/201220120121
20/01/201220120122
20/01/2017 Gmt20170120
20/02/201220120221
20/03/201220120321
20/04/201120110421
20/04/201120110424
20/04/201220120421

20/05/201120110521
20/05/201120110522
20/06/201120110621
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20/07/201120110724
20/09/201120110921
20/10/201120111021
20/12/201120111221
20/12/201120111224
21/02/201220120222
21/02/2017 Gmt20170221
21/03/201220120322
21/03/2017 Gmt20170321
21/04/201120110422
21/04/201120110424
21/04/201120110425
21/06/201120110622
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21/07/201120110722
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21/09/201120110925
21/10/201120111022
21/10/201120111023
21/12/201120111222
21/12/201120111224
22/02/2017 Gmt20170222
22/03/20122012032320120324
22/03/2017 Gmt20170322
22/04/201120110423
22/04/201120110424
22/06/201120110623
22/07/201120110723
22/07/201120110724
22/09/201120110923
22/09/201120110926
22/12/201120111223
22/12/201120111224
22/12/2016 Gmt20161222

23/01/201220120124
23/02/2017 Gmt20170223
23/03/2017 Gmt20170323
23/05/201120110524
23/06/201120110624
23/08/201120110824
23/09/201120110924
23/09/201120110925
23/12/201120111224
23/12/2016 Gmt20161223
24/01/201220120128
24/02/2017 Gmt20170224
24/04/201220120425

24/05/201120110525
24/06/201120110625
24/06/201120110626
24/08/201120110825
24/10/201120111025
25/04/201220120426

25/05/201120110526
25/07/201120110726
25/08/201120110826
25/10/201120111026
25/10/2016 Gmt20161025
25/11/201120111126
26/01/2017 Gmt20170126
26/03/201220120327
26/03/201220120401
26/04/201120110427
26/04/201120110430
26/04/201120110501
26/05/201120110527
26/07/201120110727
26/08/201120110827
26/09/20112011092720110928
26/10/200920100106
26/10/200920100107
26/10/200920100108
26/10/200920100111
26/10/200920100112
26/10/200920100114
26/10/200920100115
26/10/200920100118
26/10/200920100119
26/10/200920100120
26/10/200920100121
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It is 30 years since the launch of the first 24-hour music TV channel.

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

Witness hears from one of the founders of MTV.

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75 Years Of Bbc Tv20111106

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

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

Viewers watched variety acts beamed live from the studios.

75 Years Of Bbc Tv20111107

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

A Bizarre Poisoning Plot In Oregon20150821

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

A Black Gi In China20161101

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

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

A Heroine Of Burundi's Civil War20131024

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

Photo: Marguerite Barankitse in Burundi / UNHCR

A Japanese Royal Wedding20160408

In a challenge to centuries of tradition Japan's Crown Prince Akihito married a non-royal bride on April 10th 1959. The wedding marked a turning point in Japanese society.

This is a Made in Manchester production.

Photo: Crown Prince Akihito and his bride Princess Michiko. Credit: Associated Press.

A Jewish Homeland In Siberia20151030

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

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

A Mass Shooting In America20160111

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

A Pakistani View Of The Bangladesh War Of Independence20151215

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

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

A Polish Odyssey2012091720120924 (WS)

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

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

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

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

Abba Win Eurovision20140509

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: AFP

Afghan Coup Part One20091228

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

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

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

Afghan Coup Part Two20091229

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

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

One from each side of the conflict.

Afghanistan's National Museum20160204

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

(Photo: Yahya Muhibzada)

Africa United20130523

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

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

African Embassy Bombings20100809

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

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

Other survivors describe that day.

African Troops During Wwii2012060420120605

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

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

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

African Troops During Wwii2012060420120610
20120610 (WS)

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

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

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

Airlift To America20100104

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

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

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

Claire Bowes looks into the African Airlift Foundation.

Alaska Statehood20110103

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

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

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

Albanian Illegal Immigrants20140624

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

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

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

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

Algeria Emergency20110221

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

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

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

A state of emergency remains in force until today.

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

American Air Traffic Controllers' Strike20160805

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

(AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)

American Football And Brain Injuries20140131

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

Photo: Mike Webster. Getty Images Sport.

American Prisoners In Vietnam2013032820130329 (WS)

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

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

America's First Communists20170102

The Communist party of the USA was formed in 1919, two years after the Russian Revolution. Witness tells the story of two of those first American communists, Ella and Bert Wolfe, who in the early years of persecution had to live under false names. In 1921, they fled to Mexico where they later became friends of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Louise Hidalgo has been talking to someone who knew them.

Photograph: Ella and Bert Wolfe (courtesy of the Hoover Institution Archives)

Amnesty At 5020110529

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

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

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

(Photo: Maria today).

Amnesty At 5020110530

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

An Assassination In Colombia20170320

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

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

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

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

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

Konul Khalilova today.

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

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

An Azerbaijani View Of The Demise Of The Soviet Union.20110912
Anc Bomb20111219

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

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

(Image: Ronnie Kasrils in 1961.

Credit: Ronnie Kasrils).

Angela Merkel20160411

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

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

Angola Mercenaries2012071020120715

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

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

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

(Image: Bob Cesner at the 1976 trial).

Anne Frank's Diary2012062520120626

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

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

(Photo: Anne Frank/Press Association).

Anne Frank's Diary2012062520120701

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

Anthrax Attacks20130918

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

Anthrax Attacks20160914

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

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

Anthrax Leak In The Soviet Union20170329

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

He told Rachael Gillman about his experience.

Photo: Anthrax Vial

Credit: Getty Images

Anti-shah Demonstrations In Iran20131230

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

Photo: Demonstrators in 1978. Associated Press.

Armenia20100114

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

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

Armenia And Azerbaijan2013030420130305 (WS)
20130311 (WS)

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

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

Armistice Day 191820131111

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

Listen to voices from the archives remembering that moment.

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

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

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

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

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

Picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger courtesy of Getty Images.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and bodybuilding in the 1960s.

Artek - The Soviet Holiday Camp20140703

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

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

Assad And Syria20101229

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

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

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

Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20111006

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

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

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

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

Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20111007

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

Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20111010
Assassination Of Leon Trotsky2012082120120822 (WS)
20120826 (WS)

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

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

He also recalls a previous assassination attempt three months earlier.

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

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

Assassination Of Malcolm X20110228

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

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

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

Assassination Of Rafik Hariri20110214

On February 14 2005, Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri was assassinated

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

22 other people were killed in the attack.

Assassination Of Rajiv Gandhi2014052120140525 (WS)

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

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

Assassination Of Trujillo20110530

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

Witness hears from 3 people who remember that day.

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

Assassination Of Trujillo20110531

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

Assassination Of Trujillo20110604

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

Witness hears from three people who remember that day.

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

Assassination Of Trujillo20110605
Attack At Lod Airport20110531

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

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

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

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

Attack At Lod Airport20110601

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

Attack At Lod Airport20110604

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

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

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

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

Attack At Lod Airport20110605
Attack On Argentina's Jews20140721

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

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

Attack On Fela Kuti2012050820120513

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

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

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

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

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

Attack On The Us Embassy In Islamabad20151120

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

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

Auschwitz Convoy Escape20120418

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

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

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

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

PHOTO: Simon Gronowski with his parents (private collection)

Auschwitz Convoy Escape20120419

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

Auschwitz Convoy Escape20120422
Australian Evacuee20110625

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

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

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

Australian Evacuee20110626

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

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

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

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

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

Australia's Asylum Stand-off20131002

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

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

Austrian Wine Scandal20151006

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

(Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby Fae And The Baboon Heart Transplant20131114

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

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

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

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

Bangladesh Independence20110403

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

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

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

Meghna and her parents.

Barbary Pirates And The White Slave Trade20151005

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

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

Barbie20140312

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

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

Battle Of Mogadishu: Black Hawk Down20170201

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

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

Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110418

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

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

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

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

We hear from one of those exiles.

Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110419

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

Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110423
Bay Of Pigs Invasion20110424
Baywatch20130924

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

Beatlemania20140207

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

Photo: AP

Beatlemania20150904

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

Photo: AP

Beirut Barracks Bombing20131023

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

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

Beirut Bombing20100419

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

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

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

Bering Strait Swimmer2012080720120808 (WS)
20120812 (WS)

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

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

Lynne Cox talks to Witness.

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

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

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

Biafra20100115

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

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

Biba20140901

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

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

Bibles In Us Schools20160816

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

Photo: Ellery Schempp aged 16 courtesy of Ellery Schempp

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

Big Brother - The Beginning Of Reality Tv2012122820121229 (WS)

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

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

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

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

Bionic Heart20140826

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

Inside Story : Heart Team BBC

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

Birmingham Pub Bombings20131121

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

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

Birth Control In The Usa20111013

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

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

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

Birth Control In The Usa20111014

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

Birth Control In The Usa20111017
Birth Of The Euro20120102

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

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

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

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

(PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images).

Birth Of The Euro20120103

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

Birth Of The Euro20120107
Birth Of The Euro20120108
Black In The Ussr20160620

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

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

Black July2013072320130728 (WS)

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

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

Black Sabbath20160212

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

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

Black Stars Of Ghana2013011720130118 (WS)
20130120 (WS)

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

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

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

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

PHOTO: Osei Kofi speaking to the BBC.

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

Black Wednesday2011091620110917

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

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

Image: VT Freeze Frame.

Black Wednesday20110918
Blasphemy In Pakistan2012092020120921 (WS)
20120923 (WS)

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

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

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

Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

Bobby Fischer2012082820120829 (WS)
20120902 (WS)

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

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

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

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

PHOTO: AP

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

Bokassa's Downfall20100920

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

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

Witness remembers his rule, and his downfall.

(Photo: Bokassa at his coronation.

Getty Images).

Born On The Fourth Of July20160704

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

Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110711

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

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

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

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

PHOTO: Press Association.

Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110712

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

Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110716
Boycott Of "the Sun" Newspaper20110717
Bradford Riots20110711

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

There were running battles between police and young British Pakistanis.

Mohammed Amran was on the streets throughout.

Photo: Press Association.

Brazil Protests: Caras Pintadas20130823

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

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

Britain's Executioner - Albert Pierrepoint20151103

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

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

Britain's First Nudist Beach20110808

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

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

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

Britain's First Nudist Beach20110809

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

Britain's First Nudist Beach20110814
Britain's Palestine Patrols20151126

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

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

Britain's Secret Code-breakers20160211

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

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

British Forces In Afghanistan20141031

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

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

British Miners' Strike20140304

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

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

Buena Vista Social Club20150930

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

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

Bugging The Us Embassy In Moscow20161017

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

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

Burma Elections20101105

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

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

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

Burma's 1988 Protests20130808

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

Thousands of people were killed.

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

Burning Man20160829

This week more than seventy thousand people are gathering in the middle of the desert in Nevada for Burning Man - part festival, part counter-culture phenomenon. This year it's the event's thirtieth anniversary - and we've been speaking to founder and Chief Philosophical Officer Larry Harvey about how they first got started.

Picture: Dancers at the 1998 'Burning Man' festival create patterns with fireworks in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada just prior to burning a five-story, neon-lit effigy of a man on the last night of the week-long festival (MIKE NELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Camaron - Flamenco Legend20110704

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

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

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

Photo: Getty Images

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

Cameroon's Lake Nyos Disaster20110904

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

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

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

Canada Kidnap20111023

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

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

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

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

Getty Images.

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

Canada's Biggest Peacetime Evacuation20131108

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cathy Come Home20111116

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

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

Cathy Come Home20111117

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

Cathy Come Home20111120
Cathy Come Home2011112120111122
Cesar Chavez - Yes We Can!2012111620121117 (WS)

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

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

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

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

Chaim Soutine2013011520130116 (WS)
20130120 (WS)

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

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

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

Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution20161102

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

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

Chairman Mao's Little Red Book20160107

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

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

Chanel No. 520110529

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

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

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

Charles Rennie Mackintosh20150820

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

(Photo: Charles Rennie Mackintosh circa 1900)

Che Guevara20101008

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

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

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

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster20160426

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

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

Chiapas Uprising20101231

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

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

They called themselves, Zapatistas.

Chicago's Police Torture20170111

In January 2003, the city's governor announced that four men living on death row were to be pardoned. They had given false confessions after being tortured by police. Darrell Cannon, another of the victims, and his lawyer Flint Taylor spoke to Rachael Gillman for Witness.

Photo credit: Tim Boyle

Child Evacuees From The Spanish Civil War20110827

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

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

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

It was 23 years before he saw them again.

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

PHOTO: Hutton Archive/Getty Images.

Child Evacuees From The Spanish Civil War20110828

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

Child Prisoners Of The Japanese20150813

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

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

Child Refugees From The Spanish Civil War20160713

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

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

Chile Coup20100910

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

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

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

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

By a twist of fate, the young playwright survived.

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

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

Chile Votes Against Pinochet20161012

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

(Photo: Getty Images)

Chilean Students Set On Fire2013070220130706 (WS)

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

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart20160721

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

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

Choosing A Pope2013022820130301 (WS)

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

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

Christian Dior's New Look20160217

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

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

Christian: The Lion From London2014073020140803 (WS)

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

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

Christmas Truce20101224

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

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

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

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

Citizen Kane20160516

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

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

Coca Cola Change20111016

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

Concert For Bangladesh20111226

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

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

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

Photo: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Concordski Plane Crash20160601

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

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

Condemned As A Spy In The Ussr20160304

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

Conflict Over A Tree In The Dmz20160818

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

Photo credit: Getty Images

Crossing The Rubicon20120109

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

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

Crossing The Rubicon2012011020120111

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

Crossing The Rubicon20120115
Cuban Fighters In Angola20151204

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuban Missile Crisis - The Photos2012101520121022 (WS)

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

It brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

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

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

Cuban Missile Crisis - The Showdown2012102620121027 (WS)

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

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

His son Sergei remembers those fraught few days.

Photo: Courtesy of Sergei Khrushchev.

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

Cuba's 'special Period'20151125

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

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

Cultural Revolution20100517

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

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

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

Dambusters20130517

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

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

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

Danish Cartoons20151001

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

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

Danish Jews Escape The Holocaust20131008

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

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

Danish Jews Escape The Holocaust20151014

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

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

Date Rape20160603

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

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

Death In The Boxing Ring20131113

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

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

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

Death Of An Anarchist20161219

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

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

Death Of Grenada's Revolution20131018

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

Photo: Maurice Bishop in 1983. BBC Pictures

Death Of King George Vi20120206

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

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

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

Witness brings together BBC recordings from the time.

PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Death Of King George Vi20120207

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

Death Of King George Vi20120212
Death Of The Dodo20101029

Why did the Dodo become extinct?

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

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

Degenerate Art And The Nazis20131104

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

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

Denmark's 2nd Eu Referendum20160705

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

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

Dennis Tito - The First Space Tourist20110502

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

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

He has been talking to Witness.

Derek Jarman20161220

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

Photo: Derek Jarman in 1991. Credit: BBC

Devil's Island20150811

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

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

Dien Bien Phu20160519

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

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

Digging Up The Truth20161205

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

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

Dingo Baby Trial2012091320120914 (WS)
20120916 (WS)

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

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

Lindy claimed her daughter was stolen by a wild dog.

Photo: Getty Images

Dissidents Declared Insane20120417

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

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

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

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

Dissidents Declared Insane20120422

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

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

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

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

Dj Kool Herc And The Birth Of Hip Hop20150922

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

Photo: DJ Kool Herc. Credit: Getty Images.

Domestic Violence In Brazil20160921

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

Photo: Maria da Penha now.

Donald Campbell's Fatal Crash2013010420130105 (WS)

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

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

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

Photo:

Donald Woods Flees South Africa2013010120130102 (WS)

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

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

Photo: Donald Woods and Nelson Mandela. BBC

Drop City20110904

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

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

photo: Getty Images.

Duke Ellington Plays Afghanistan20130919

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

Dunblane School Shooting20110310

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

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

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

Witness speaks to the father of one of the victims.

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

Dustbowl Storms In The Us20131112

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

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

Dusty Plays South Africa2012122420121225 (WS)

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

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

Photo: Dusty in 1964 - BBC.

Dutch Elm Disease20160715

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

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

Duvalier Flees Haiti20110207

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

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

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

East Timor Massacre20151112

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

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

East Timor Referendum2012083020120831 (WS)
20120902 (WS)

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

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

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

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

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

Edith Piaf20131231

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

Egypt's Facebook Girl20170407

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

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

Eichmann On Trial20120409

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

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

The trial helped reveal the full details of the holocaust.

Witness speaks to one of the prosecutors, Gabriel Bach.

The programme was first broadcast in 2010.

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

Eichmann On Trial20120410

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

Eichmann On Trial20120415
Elvis - The Comeback Special2012081620120817 (WS)
20120819 (WS)

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

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

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

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

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

Enid Blyton And The Bbc2011122820111229
20120102 (WS)

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

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

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

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

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

Enid Blyton And The Bbc20120102

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

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

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

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

PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

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

Eritrea's Long War20130902

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

Photo: EPLF fighters on patrol in Eritrea, 1978.

Ernest Hemingway In Cuba20160504

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

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

Escape From Sobibor Death Camp20131014

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

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

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

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

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

Escape From The Kgb20130719

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

PHOTO: Associated Press.

Escape From The South Atlantic20160510

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

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

Estonia's Bootleg Vodka Poisoning20160909

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

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

Ethiopian Jews20100105

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

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

Ethiopia's Red Terror20170410

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

Photo: Human remains. Copyright: BBC.

Evita's Odyssey20130916

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

Executed For Being Too Capitalist20160414

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

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

Executions In Cuba20160707

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

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

Expulsion Of The Chagos Islanders20110814

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

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

Image: Science Photo Library.

Fall Of Berlin20110502

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

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

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

Fall Of Berlin20110503

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

Fall Of Berlin20110507
Fall Of Berlin20110508
Fania All Stars - Legends Of Salsa20160826

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

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

Farzad Bazoft20120316

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

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

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

Photo: VT Freeze Frame

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

Father Charles Coughlin - America's First Radio Priest20161018

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

PHOTO: Father Coughlin at the microphone (Associated Press)

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

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

Fermat's Last Theorem20110627

Solving the problem had intrigued mathematicians for centuries.

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

But then someone pointed out a flaw in his calculations.

It took him another year to correct it.

Solving the problem which had intrigued mathematicians for centuries.

Festival In The Desert2013011020130111 (WS)
20130113 (WS)

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

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

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

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

Fidel Castro Takes Havana20160106

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

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

Fighting For Castro At The Bay Of Pigs20160420

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

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

Fighting For Rural Women In South Africa20161209

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

Photo:Sizani Ngubane

Fire: Bollywood Explores Lesbian Love20151117

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

(Photo: Shabana Azmi. Credit: AFP)

First Successful Sex Change2012113020121201 (WS)

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

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

Fleeing Deportation To The Ussr20160811

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

Forced Sterilisation In Peru20160627

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

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

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

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

Four Little Girls20130913

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

Frank Zappa20110928

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

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

Freckleton Air Disaster20140822

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

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

Freddie Mercury20101126

The last days of Freddie Mercury battle with Aids.

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

French Algerian Massacre20111023

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

Some were shot, others drowned in the Seine.

For years the killings were not acknowledged.

We hear from one man whose sister died that day.

Friends2014092420140928 (WS)

The American TV show Friends hits TV screens

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

Gallipoli20120426

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

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

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

PHOTO: Anzac Cove (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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

Gandhi20100129

The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Copyright: BBC.

Gay Marriage20130617

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

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

Gays And Lesbians And The British Miners' Strike20151207

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

George Blake Escapes20111021

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

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

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

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

George Blake Escapes20111024

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

Georgia In Crisis20101222

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

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

Economic and political difficulties crippled the government.

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

Georgia In Crisis20161227

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

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

Georgia O'keeffe20170309

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

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

Georgia's Rose Revolution20111126

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

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

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

German Refugees In Post-war Europe2012100120121008 (WS)

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

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

Hear from one woman who lived through that time.

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

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

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

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

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

Hear from one woman who lived through that time.

Ghana Coup20100101

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

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

Giandomenico Picco - Hostage Negotiator2013031420130315 (WS)

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

Photo: Giandomenico Picco in 1991. VT Freeze Frame.

Grace Kelly And Prince Ranier20110417

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

Their wedding turned into a media frenzy.

One of her bridesmaids remembers that day.

(Photo credit: Associated Press).

Grand Theft Auto2013122520151224 (WS)

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

Great Fire Of London20110911

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

Two diarists recorded what happened.

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

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

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

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

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

Great Lisbon Earthquake20111115

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Lisbon Earthquake20111119

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

Greenham Common20110911

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

The women of Greenham Common.

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

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

Gujarat Riots2012030220120303

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

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

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

Haile Selassie In Jamaica20160418

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

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

Haile Selassie Visits Jamaica20130422

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

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

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

Haiti Duvaliers20100121

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

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

Hamlet20101230

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

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

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

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

Hands Across America20160524

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

Photo: Santa Monica California. Credit: Associated Press.

Harry Houdini20161031

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

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

Helmand Convoy20160825

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

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

History Of Tv20100120

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

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

Hitler's Book20100127

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

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

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

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

He's only just found out what it is.

Hitler's Death20100430

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

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

Hitler's Nuclear Programme20160506

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

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

Hitler's Will2013012420130125 (WS)

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

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

Hms Trinidad20130906

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

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

How Europe Won Over The British Left20160908

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

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

How Little America Was Built In Afghanistan20120325

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

The aim was to irrigate the deserts of Helmand.

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

Photo: Lashkar Gah from the air, 1957.

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

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

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

Hurricane Andrew2012082320120824 (WS)
20120826 (WS)

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

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

Bryan Norcoss recalls the hurricane for Witness.

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

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

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

Hurricane Katrina20100830

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

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

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

Hurricane Katrina20150828

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

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

Hurricane Mitch20131030

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

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

Iceland's Women Strike20151023

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

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

Idi Amin20100125

In 1971 the notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin took power. It was a day of great joy.

Overthrowing a government in Uganda is not an easy job. We hear from a soldier who helped bring Idi Amin to power in 1971. It was a day of great joy, armoured vehicles were decorated with flowers and girls threw themselves at him!

But three years later with rumours of human rights abuses growing he's persuaded to help overthrow him. But when that goes wrong he ends up face to face with the dictator.

In 1971 the notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin took power.

It was a day of great joy.

Overthrowing a government in Uganda is not an easy job.

We hear from a soldier who helped bring Idi Amin to power in 1971.

It was a day of great joy, armoured vehicles were decorated with flowers and girls threw themselves at him!

But three years later with rumours of human rights abuses growing he's persuaded to help overthrow him.

But when that goes wrong he ends up face to face with the dictator.

India Anti-sikh Riots20151110

Following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, India was gripped by anti-Sikh riots. Thousands of people were killed. One Delhi suburb, Trilokpuri, saw the worst of the bloodshed. Hear from survivor, Mohan Singh, and Rahul Bedi, one of the first journalists to reach the affected area.

PHOTO: Mohan Singh in his home in Delhi (Credit :BBC)

India Disability Rights20151218

In December 1995, the first disability rights legislation was passed by India's parliament. An estimated 60 million people, almost six percent of India's population, are affected by physical or mental disabilities. Witness been speaking to Javed Abidi who led the campaign to change the law.

Photo: Disability rights campaigners protest in Delhi, December 19th 1995. Credit: Javed Abidi)

India's Partition - Part Two20100816

When India gained independence it was split into two new countries - India and Pakistan

The Partition of India led to millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs fleeing their homes during terrible religious violence.

This is the second of two programmes remembering that time.

Listen to the story of Chandra Joashi, who was only twelve years old when his family was caught on the wrong side of the dividing line.

Indonesian Killings20111028

In the autumn of 1965 a purge of communist sympathisers began in Indonesia.

Hundreds of thousands of people were caught up in the terror - many of them were killed.

Others like Carmel Budiardjo and Putu Oka, were jailed for years without trial.

Indonesian Killings20111029

In the autumn of 1965 a purge of communist sympathisers began in Indonesia.

Indonesian Killings20111030
Internment In Northern Ireland20140808

In August 1971 the British Army began detaining hundreds of people suspected of belonging to paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. They were held without charge or trial. We hear from Gerry McKerr, who was detained for more than three years under the internment laws.

Photo: Belfast, August 1971 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ira Hunger Strike20130506

In 1981 the British government was faced with prisoners on hunger strike. The Irish republican activists were demanding to be treated as political prisoners not criminals. Several of them died in Northern Ireland - hear from one who survived.

Photo:AFP/Getty Images

Ira Jail Break2012092720120928 (WS)
20120930 (WS)

In September 1983 a group of IRA prisoners escaped from the high security Maze jail in Northern Ireland.

Most of them had been jailed for bombings and killings carried out as part of their campaign against British rule.

Hear from 'Bik' McFarlane - one of the leaders of the breakout.

(Image: The Maze prison with its H blocks Credit: Press Association)

Iran Hostage Crisis - The Canadian Story2012112920121130 (WS)
20121202 (WS)

In November 1979 Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran taking everyone inside hostage. But six Americans escaped - they sought refuge in the Canadian embassy. Their story is told in the Hollywood movie Argo.

Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor had to get them safely out of the country.

Photo: Iranians climbing the gates of the US embassy at the beginning of the hostage crisis. Copyright: AFP/Getty Images.

Iran Student Protest20130709

In July 1999, students in Iran took to the streets demanding reform. At the time it was the largest anti government protest since the Islamic revolution. We hear the story of one student who became an unwitting symbol of the protest movement.

(Photo: Ahmad Batebi holds up a T-shirt belonging to an injured friend, Tehran, July 12, 1999. Credit: Reuters)

Iran-iraq War20100922

On September 22nd 1980 Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi troops into Iran.

The Iran-Iraq War lasted for eight years and was to become one of the bloodiest wars in recent history.

Pooneh Ghoddoosi was just a child when it started - a teenager when it ended.

Iraq: Ten Years On - Looting In Baghdad2013032020130321 (WS)
20130324 (WS)

In April 2003, Baghdad descended into chaos as American troops took control of the city.

In April 2003, Baghdad descended into chaos as American troops took control of the city. We hear the story of one Iraqi doctor who witnessed the lawlessness that engulfed Iraq's capital.

(Photo: Looters in Baghdad 11 April 2003. AFP/Getty)

Iraq: Ten Years On - The Invasion Of Iraq2013031920130320 (WS)
20130324 (WS)

John Crawford a college student and reserve soldier - was part of the US land invasion force that rolled into Southern Iraq in March 2003. Hear his story.

Photo: US soldiers on waiting on the border between Kuwait and Iraq. Scott Nelson/Getty Images

Iraq: Ten Years On - Working For The Americans2013032120130322 (WS)

How one Iraqi who took a job with the US military, was threatened with death as a traitor.

How one young Iraqi who took a job with the US military, was threatened with death as a traitor. Wisam worked as a delivery man and a translator for the Americans. He was sent a letter by the militias containing a bullet and told his days were numbered.

Photo: Wisam, Baghdad, 2009

Iraq:ten Years On - The Capture Of Saddam Hussein2013032220130323 (WS)

In December 2003 the former Iraqi leader was finally caught by American forces.

In December 2003 the former Iraqi leader was finally caught by American forces. He was found hiding in an underground bunker. Muwafaq al Rubaie helped to identify him, face-to-face.

Photo: AP/US Army

Iraqi Chemical Attacks20130920

In 1988 the Reagan administration decided not to punish Iraq for gassing Kurds in Halabja

Iraqi Shia Uprising - 199120160324

At the end of the First Gulf War in 1991, after Iraqi troops had been driven out of Kuwait, thousands of Iraqis rose up against Saddam Hussein. Some of the rebels were returning conscripts, some were Kurds, but many were Shias who had suffered oppression at the hands of Saddam's Baathist regime.

(Photo: Iraqi Shia women in ruined Karbala, breast-feeding their children. Their homes were destroyed during clashes between the Iraqi forces and Shia rebels. Credit: Rabih Moghrabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq's Awakening Movement20140704

In 2006 Sunni tribal militia turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq and began working with US forces. It was a turning point in the insurgency in Iraq.

We hear from a former US Marine, David Goldich, who served in Anbar province and witnessed the emergence of the Awakening movement.

Photo: Members of the Sunni Anbar Awakening with Iraqi police commandos and US troops, September 2007. (Ahmed Al Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq's Secret Nuclear Programme20160609

In June 1981 Israeli war planes destroyed Iraq's new, French-built nuclear reactor. Two senior Iraqi nuclear scientists, who were in Baghdad that day, tell Witness how the world's first air strike against a nuclear plant would trigger Iraq's secret programme to acquire nuclear weapons.

Photograph: journalists are shown a destroyed nuclear reactor at Iraq's main nuclear research centre just south of Baghdad, ten years after the Israeli attack (Credit: Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq's Sectarian Violence20130628

The recent surge in violence in Iraq has echoes of the sectarian conflict in 2006-07

The recent surge in violence in Iraq has echoes of the sectarian conflict in 2006-07. We hear from May Witwit, an Iraqi academic who lived throught that bloody period. She eventually fled the country, after seeing her name on a militia hit list.

(Photo: Iraqi women mourn the death of their murdered relatives, Nov 2006. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Irish War Of Independence20100108

Memories of the Irish war of independence which began over 90 years ago this month.

The Irish Republican Army began its fight against British rule in January 1919. Witness hears stories from a former IRA fighter, and a child of those times.

Irving T Bush - Builder Of Bush House2012071120120715

After 70 years, the BBC World Service is leaving its home at Bush House in central London.

BBC Arts Reporter Vincent Dowd uncovers the story of Irving T Bush, the American businessman who gave his name to an iconic building.

(Image: Bush House).

Israel's Nuclear Secrets20131003

In October 1986, an Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, revealed his country's secret nuclear weapons programme. Vanunu told his story to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. He was later kidnapped by Israeli agents, taken back to Israel and put on trial for espionage.

Photo: Mordechai Vanunu in detention, Israel, 1986 (AP)

In October 1986, Mordechai Vanunu revealed Israel's secret nuclear weapons programme

Italy Votes For Divorce20170215

In May 1974, Italians defied the Catholic Church and overwhelmingly backed divorce in a referendum. The vote is now seen as a watershed in modern Italian history. Alice Gioia talks to two women involved in the campaign.

PHOTO: A rally in support of divorce in Italy (Getty Images)

Italy's Partisan Fighters20160905

In September 1943, Partisan fighters in Italy began organising in large numbers to help the Allies defeat Nazi Germany and rid their country of the remnants of Benito Mussolini's fascist state. As World War Two drew to a close, there was vicious fighting in many villages between the Partisans and Italians still loyal to the dictator. Alice Gioia speaks to a brother and sister who both took part in the Partisan struggle.

PHOTO: Italian Partisans celebrating victory, May 1945 (personal collection)

It's A Wonderful Life20151224

In December 1946, the classic Christmas film "It's a Wonderful Life" had its premiere in Hollywood. Starring Jimmy Stewart, the movie's message of hope and redemption is loved by millions. Simon Watts talks to former child star, Karolyn Grimes, who played six-year-old Zuzu Bailey.

PHOTO: Karolyn Grimes with Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" (Getty Images)

Ivory Coast Civil War20110307

How a brutal civil war broke out in Ivory Coast in 2002.

In 2002, a brutal civil war broke out in Ivory Coast.

It turned the once prosperous city of Abidjan into a place where African migrants and westerners all feared for their lives.

Paul Welsh covered the Civil War for the BBC.

He recalls the atmosphere in Abidjan and how journalists themselves were targetted.

Jacqueline Du Pre2012082020120821 (WS)
20120825 (WS)
20120826 (WS)

makes one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th Century.

Jacqueline Du Pre makes one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th Century.

In August 1965, at the age of just 20, the British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre recorded the Elgar cello concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli.

It became one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th Century.

Du Pre's career was cut short less than a decade later by multiple sclerosis.

(Image: Jacqueline Du Pre in rehearsal)

Jacqueline Du Pre20160802

In August 1965, at the age of just 20, the British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre recorded the Elgar cello concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. It became one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th Century. Du Pre's career was cut short less than a decade later by multiple sclerosis.

(Photo: Jacqueline Du Pre in rehearsal)

Jacques Brel20150924

In 1966 the Belgian singer-songwriter suddenly announced on stage that he was going to stop performing. At the time, he was world famous, having sold tens of millions of records around the globe. The song Ne Me Quitte Pas was among his many hits. We hear from his daughter, France Brel.

(Photo: Jacques Brel in Paris in October 1966. Credit: AFP)

Jailed For Speaking His Mind In China20140515

In 1957 the Chinese Communist leader Chairman Mao made a speech encouraging criticism of his Communist system saying 'Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend'. We hear from Harry Wu, who made his views known and ended up in prison for nearly twenty years.

(Photo: Harry Wu with portrait of Chairman Mao. Credit: AFP/Getty)

Jamaica Slave Rebellion20101227

The story of a major revolt by slaves that was brutally crushed in 19th century Jamaica.

The emergence of Samuel Sharpe as a Jamaican national hero as he led the island's slaves in a rebellion against the overseers and sugar plantation owners in 1831.

James Brown At The Boston Gardens20130405

The soul singer's April 1968 concert was held amid rioting and violence provoked by the assassination of Martin Luther King.

But despite the fears of the city's authorities, the streets of Boston were quiet the night James Brown and his band played.

Listen to two people who were there.

(Photo: Evening Standard, Hulton Archive)

Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis20120417

In 1997, left-wing rebels held 71 people hostage for over four months in Peru.

One of the diplomats taken captive was the Bolivian ambassador to Peru.

Photo: Peruvian soldiers bring the siege to an end. AP Wire

Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis20120418

In 1997, left-wing rebels held 71 people hostage for over four months in Peru.

One of the diplomats taken captive was the Bolivian ambassador to Peru.

Photo: Peruvian soldiers bring the siege to an end. AP Wire.

Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis20120422

In 1997, left-wing rebels held 71 people hostage for over four months in Peru.

Japanese Prisoner Breakout20140805

In the early hours of 5 August 1944, hundreds of Japanese prisoners of war being held near the Australian town of Cowra staged the largest breakout of World War Two. Hear oral history accounts of that night from the archives of the Australian War Memorial's Australia–Japan Research Project.

Photo: The No. 12 Australian Prisoner of War Camp near Cowra, Australia. Credit: The Australian War Memorial.

Jean-michel Basquiat20140217

In the early 1980s a young black graffiti artist took the New York art world by storm. Soon, his paintings were selling for huge sums but he would die before the decade was out. Hear from Patti Astor who knew him in his heyday.

Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat painting titled "Dustheads" sold at Christies in NY for over $48 million in 2013 (AP/Christie"s)

Jeopardy20100602

is a popular American quiz show.

Ken Jennings is the man who kept on winning it.

Ken Jennings is the man who won the popular US quiz show Jeopardy more times than anyone else.

He tells Witness how it felt during his winning streak.

Jeopardy is a popular American quiz show.

Jfk In Ireland20130627

Novelist Colm Toibin recalls US President John F Kennedy's visit to Ireland in June 1963

In June 1963 the US President John F Kennedy made a state visit to Ireland, his ancestral home. Irish novelist Colm Toibin remembers the effect he had on the people lining the streets to welcome him.

(Image: President John F Kennedy in the middle of a crowd. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Jimi Hendrix2013012520130126 (WS)

In early 1967, the American guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, took London by storm.

His flamboyant style and new ways of playing the electric guitar enthralled everyone from the Beatles to Eric Clapton.

His English girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, recalls her relationship with a man who would become a musical legend.

PHOTO: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The legendary guitarist's English girlfriend remembers his early days in 60s London.

John Muir And America's Wild Places20160819

In August 1916, the US Congress created the National Park Service to protect America's finest landscapes and encourage people to visit them. One of the inspirations for the Park Service was the work of the Scottish-born naturalist, John Muir, whose lyrical writings about the Yosemite Valley gained huge popularity. Simon Watts tells John Muir's story through readings from his work and contributions from Mary Colwell, author of "John Muir: The Scotsman who saves America's Wild Places".

PHOTO: John Muir (Getty Images).

NOTE: The wildlife audio in this programme is used courtesy of the National Park Service, the National Audubon Society and Kevin Colver.

Johnny Cash Plays Folsom Prison2013010820130109 (WS)
20130113 (WS)

It is 45 years since the Country and Western star played his first gig in a high-security jail. But the singer had been interested in prisoners' lives for years. His drummer remembers the day they first set foot in the prison.

Photo: Johnny Cash - BBC.

Josephine Baker - Black American Superstar20131010

In 1925 a young black American dancer became an overnight sensation in Paris. Her overtly sexual act soon made her one of the most famous women in Europe. Her name was Josephine Baker - hear from her adopted son Jean-Claude Baker about her dancing, and her life.

(Photo: Josephine Baker in her heyday. Credit: Walery/Getty Images)

Kabul Musicians' Quarter20150928

The area which had housed Afghanistan's traditional musicians for generations was destroyed during factional fighting in 1992. Ustad Ghulam Hossain, master of the rubab instrument, had to flee the city with his family. Monica Whitlock has spoken to him about the music and the traditions which have been lost in the rubble. With thanks to Mirwaiss Sidiqi.

Photo: Ghulam Hossain with his rubab.

Karakoram Highway20160531

In 1979 one of the great engineering feats of the 20th Century was completed and the Karakoram highway between Pakistan and China was finally opened to the public. The highway, also known as the Friendship Highway in China, was started in 1959. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions under which it was constructed, it is also sometimes referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Witness has been speaking to Major General Parvez Akmal who worked on the construction and maintenance of the highway.

(Photo: The majestic Karakorams on the border of Pakistan and China. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Jarrett In Cologne20111105

How a jazz concert organised by a 17-year old turned into a bestselling album.

And how it almost didn't happen.

Vera Brandes describes the difficulties surrounding the legendary performance by the American pianist.

Photo credit: Jacques Munch/AFP/Getty Images.

Kenya’s Torture Chambers20151116

In 1986, dozens of Kenyans were detained and accused of belonging to an underground opposition movement called Mwakenya. They were taken to Nyayo House - a government building in the centre of Nairobi - and secretly tortured. Many more were arrested by President Moi’s government in the years that followed. But it was not until he left office that the full details of Kenya’s torture chambers emerged. Witness speaks to Wachira Waheire one of the former detainees.

(Photo: Wachira Waheire inside one of the cells in Nyayo House after they were opened to the public)

Kenya's Hit Record: Jambo Bwana20170208

The story of a 1980s Kenyan pop song which became an unlikely global hit. The song, Jambo Bwana was recorded by the veteran Kenyan band, Them Mushrooms, and first proved to be a huge hit amongst tourists on the Kenyan coast. We hear from members of Them Mushrooms, Teddy Kalanda Harrison, and his brother Billy Sarro Harrison, who recorded the song in February 1980

Photo: Teddy Kalanda Harrison and the Kenyan band Them Mushrooms presented with their platinum record for Jambo Bwana (Teddy Kalanda Harrison)

Kia Ora: Maori Rights Breakthrough In New Zealand20160520

In 1984, Naida Glavish, a New Zealand telephone operator became famous for greeting customers in her native Maori language. Instead of "good morning" she insisted on saying "Kia Ora". The New Zealand prime minister supported her, and two years later Maori became an official language of New Zealand. Dina Newman spoke to Naida Glavish.

(Photo: Naida Glavish as president of the Maori Party in 2013. Credit: Joel Ford/Getty Images)

Kidnap In Ethiopia20100106

How a young journalist ended up spending rather more time in Ethiopia than he'd planned.

When Marxist rebels began their fight against the government of Ethiopia in the 1970s, they were willing to use any means to further their cause. Jon Swain was a young journalist who, for a time, was caught up in their fight.

Kidnap Of Us Ambassador In Brazil20110928

In September 1969 left-wing activists kidnapped Charles Burke Elbrick in Rio de Janeiro.

They demanded the release of 15 of their comrades in exchange for his life.

One of the kidnappers was Fernando Gabeira, then a young journalist.

Photo: Fernando Gabeira in 2008.

AFP/Getty Images.

Kidnap Of Us Ambassador In Brazil20110929

In September 1969 left-wing activists kidnapped Charles Burke Elbrick in Rio de Janeiro.

Kim Philby The Spy20111117

How a Soviet agent managed to fool the British intelligence service for years.

Even after he'd been identified as a spy by the Americans, Kim Philby, was allowed to stay in Britain.

Photo: Kim Philby (right) protesting his innocence to the media.

Getty Images.

Kim Philby The Spy20111118

How a Soviet agent managed to fool the British intelligence service for years.

Kim Philby: The Third Man20160511

On May 11th 1988 one of the most notorious double agents of the Cold War, the English communist spy, Kim Philby, died in Moscow. Philby, who was the so-called Third Man in the Cambridge spy ring, had defected to the USSR a quarter of a century earlier. Witness has been speaking to his granddaughter, Charlotte Philby, about her memories of visiting him in exile.

Photo: In November 1955, Kim Philby (right) denies to journalists that he is the Third Man, after the defection of two other Cambridge spies to Moscow. (Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Kindertransports20101203

In December 1938 the Kindertransports began, carrying Jewish children to safety in Britain

The first trains full of Jewish children left Berlin in early December - heading for sanctuary in Britain.

The Kindertransports only stopped with the outbreak of war in September 1939.

They helped thousands of children from all over Nazi occupied Europe to escape the Holocaust.

Korea Divided20150814

After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Korea is split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces in the north and the US military in the south. Shin Insup tells Witness what happened in the northern city of Pyongyang.

(Photo: Korea 38th parallel. Credit: Getty Images/AFP)

Korean War20100107

It's sixty years since the beginning of the Korean War - one man remembers that time.

The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 led to millions of deaths - most of them civilian. Witness hears one man's story of the loss and hardships brought by war.

Krakatoa20130826

130 years ago, the Krakatoa volcano exploded, triggering a tsunami that caused devastation in Indonesia and beyond. Using archive recordings, Simon Watts tells the story of one of the world's biggest natural disasters. He also speaks to historian Simon Winchester. This programme was first broadcast in 2010.

PHOTO: Associated Press.

Kurdish Singer Ahmet Kaya20161111

In 1999 the famous folk singer was awarded one of Turkey's most prestigious musical awards. But his announcement at the ceremony that he would record a song in his native Kurdish spelt the end of his career. Cagil Kasapoglu speaks to his widow, Gulten Kaya, about the night that changed their lives.

Photo: Ahmet Kaya on stage (credit: GAM Productions)

Kuwaiti Women Secure The Vote20170307

On 7 March 2005 a group of women held an unprecedented rally outside the Kuwaiti parliament. They were trying to force the all-male body to change the electoral law. Two months later they succeeded. Zeinab Dabaa has been hearing from Rola Dashti, one of the organisers of the protest, who later became one of the first women to be elected to her country's legislature.

(Photo: Kuwaiti candidates for the 2006 parliamentary election, Aisha al-Rashid (R) and Rola Dashti (C), the first ever women to be allowed to stand for office Credit: Yasser al-Zayya/AFP/Getty Images)

La Penca Bombing2012052920120530
20120530 (WS)

In May 1984 a bomber tried to kill an anti-Sandinista rebel leader in Nicaragua.

The attack took place at a press conference and several journalists were killed and injured.

Swedish journalist Peter Torbiornsson believes he inadvertently helped the bomber.

La Penca Bombing2012052920120603
20120603 (WS)

In May 1984 a bomber tried to kill an anti-Sandinista rebel leader in Nicaragua.

The attack took place at a press conference and several journalists were killed and injured.

Swedish journalist Peter Torbiornsson believes he inadvertently helped the bomber.

Lagos Armoury Explosion2013012820130129 (WS)
20130204 (WS)

Survivors relive the tragedy of the arms dump explosion in Lagos, Nigeria, 2002

In 2002, a huge weapons store exploded in Lagos, Nigeria, raining down explosives on the packed city.

More than a thousand people died, thousands more fled their homes.

We speak to some of the survivors.

Photo: AFP

In 2002 more than 1000 people died after a huge weapons store exploded in Lagos, Nigeria.

Land Speed Record20101015

October 15th 1997 a British team set a land speed record which still hasn't been beaten.

Andy Green was the driver who travelled faster than the speed of sound - in a car - to set the world land speed record.

He tells Witness how it happened.

Last Days Of Nasser20101001

A chauffeur recalls the dramatic final days of President Nasser of Egypt.

President Nasser of Egypt electrified the Arab world with his charisma and his dream of Arab nationalism uniting the Middle East.

His death in 1970 was a traumatic moment for millions of Egyptians.

Witness speaks to a former Egyptian chauffeur who observed Nasser's final days first-hand.

Latinos Protest Against Vietnam20150826

In August 1970, tens of thousands of Mexican-Americans took part in a march against the Vietnam War known as the Chicano Moratorium. The protest in Los Angeles ended in chaos as police and demonstrators fought running street battles, resulting in three deaths. Rosalio Munoz was the organiser of the Chicano Moratorium.

PHOTO: The poster for the Chicano Moratorium (Courtesy: Rosalio Munoz).

Lebanon's Baalbek Festival20160804

The Middle East's oldest arts festival was first held n the ancient Roman ruins of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon in the summer of 1956. Some of the greatest names in music, theatre and dance performed there - Margot Fonteyn, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbert von Karajan, the Lebanese singer Fairuz. Witness talks to Mona Joreige whose aunt helped to organise the first Baalbek festival, and who was herself part of the organising committee for more than 20 years.

(Photo: Syrian singer Mayada al-Hinnawi performing at the 2015 Baalbek International Festival. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Lee Harvey Oswald And The Ussr2012112220121123 (WS)
20121125 (WS)

Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of killing President John F Kennedy in November 1963 had spent more than two years living in the USSR. He had defected there after serving as a US Marine.

He got a job in Minsk, and got married but was then welcomed back to the USA.

Photo: Associated Press, Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody.

Lehman Brothers20110916

On 15 September 2008, the US investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

Two New Yorkers at the centre of the crisis talk about the events leading up to that day.

Photo: AFP.

Lehman Brothers20110918
Lehman Brothers20110919
Libya Coup20100831

In 1969, a group of Libyan army officers take power in an overnight coup.

Before dawn on 1 September 1969, a group of army officers seized control of Libya from the reigning monarch.

Among them was a young soldier called Muammar Qadhafi.

Witness hears from two Libyans who experienced those heady and confusing events.

Libyan Prison Massacre20110725

In 1996 over a thousand prisoners were killed at Abu Salim jail in Tripoli.

Many people see the killings as the spark that eventually led to the uprising against Colonel Gaddafi's government.

When protestors first went on the streets of Benghazi in February this year it was to demonstrate against the arrest of a lawyer who was investigating the killings.

Photo: AP

In 1996 over a thousand prisoners were killed at a jail in Tripoli.

Libya's Coup - 196920110904

On 1 September 1969, a military coup in Libya toppled the King and brought to power Colonel Gaddafi - for many Libyans, the only leader they have ever known.

In contrast to today's long-drawn out and bloody struggle for power, it was all over very quickly in 1969.

Photo: Getty Images

The coup that brought Colonel Gaddafi to power in Libya.

Libya's Coup - 196920110905

The coup that brought Colonel Gaddafi to power in Libya.

Lindow Man2014080620140810 (WS)

In 1984, the 2000 year old remains of a man were found preserved in a peat bog in England

In August 1984, the 2000 year old remains of a man were discovered preserved in a peat bog in England. It was believed he was a victim of ritual sacrifice. We speak to Rick Turner, the local archaeologist who found "Lindow Man"

Lord Mountbatten20100906

, pillar of the British establishment, was killed by the IRA in 1979.

On September 5th 1979, world leaders and European royalty gathered in London for the funeral of Lord Mountbatten.

He'd been killed in a bomb attack by Irish republicans.

His grandson Timothy Knatchbull tells Witness about the day he lost, not just his grandfather, but his identical twin brother

Lord Mountbatten, pillar of the British establishment, was killed by the IRA in 1979.

Lord Of The Flies20140916

It is 60 years since William Golding's acclaimed novel was first published. The story, of schoolboys marooned on an island, tackles questions of human nature and whether people are intrinsically good, or evil.

(Photo: William Golding. Credit: BBC)

Los Topos - Mexico's Earthquake Rescuers2014091720140921 (WS)

How an earthquake in Mexico City in 1985 led to the creation of an elite rescue group.

In 1985, an earthquake devastated the centre of Mexico City, killing at least 10,000. With the emergency services struggling to cope, a small group of Mexicans began to dig out survivors themselves. Nicknamed Los Topos, or "The Moles", they are now an elite rescue group who travel the world digging people out of rubble. Witness talks to Eduardo Acevedo, one of the first members of Los Topos.

PHOTO: Eduardo Acevedo, left, on a mission with Los Topos (Associated Press).

Lsd Road Trip2014082720140831 (WS)

Writer Ken Kesey and friends drove across America experimenting with LSD in summer 1964

In the summer of 1964 writer Ken Kesey and his Merry Band of Pranksters set off on a psychedelic journey - experimenting with LSD while driving across America in a converted school bus. Immortalised in the book The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, their trip would become one of the defining moments of American counterculture. Witness has been speaking to surviving Prankster Ken Babbs.

Picture: Ken Kesey on April 24, 1997 in Springfield, Oregon, with his bus, 'Further' (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard, File)

Mad Cow Disease - Cjd2012122120121222 (WS)

In the 1990s it became clear that a brain disease could be passed from cows to humans.

In the 1990s it became clear that a brain disease could be passed from cows to humans. The British government introduced a ban on beef on the bone. But for some people it was too late, members of their families were already sick.

Photo: BBC.

Mad Cow Disease And Cjd20160316

In March 1996 the British government admitted that there was a probable connection between a disease affecting cattle and a devastating brain illness affecting humans, called variant CJD. A ban was introduced against the sale of beef on the bone. But for some people it was too late, members of their families were already sick.

Photo: copyright BBC.

Madame Mao20140908

The Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong died on 9 September 1976. Among those jockeying for power after his death, was his widow Jiang Qing. American, Sidney Rittenberg, remembers her rise and fall.

(Photo: Jiang Qing (right) alongside Mao Zedong in 1967. Credit AFP/Getty Images)

Madrid Train Bombings20110311

On March 11th 2004, bomb attacks in Madrid left 191 people dead.

Bombs planted on Spanish commuter trains and detonated at the height of the morning rush hour caused chaos.

One rescue worker remembers that day.

Photo: One of the wrecked trains outside Atocha station (AP).

Maitatsine2012122720121228 (WS)
20121230 (WS)

In 1980 thousands died in the Nigerian city of Kano in an uprising by an Islamic sect.

In December 1980, thousands were killed in the Nigerian city of Kano following an uprising by an Islamic sect.

The sect was led by a radical preacher, Maitatsine.

We hear from a witness who saw hundreds of suspects summarily executed as the Nigerian state tried to crush the uprising.

Photo: Kano old city wall c. 1975

Making Doctor Who20131122

On 23 November 1963 the first episode of Doctor Who, one of the world's best loved TV programmes was shown. Witness speaks to Carole Ann Ford, who played the Doctor's grand-daughter.

(Photo: First episode of the world’s longest running sci-fi series Doctor Who with William Russell as Ian, Carole Ann Ford as Susan, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara and William Hartnell as Doctor Who)

Mallory On Everest20160406

In 1999 the body of the legendary British mountaineer, George Mallory, was found on Mount Everest. Mallory disappeared on the mountain in 1924 after making a final push for the summit with his fellow climber Andrew Irvine. They were never seen again. Witness has been speaking to Jochen Hemmleb one of the original members of the team that discovered George Mallory's remains.

Photo: George Mallory. Credit: Getty

Manchester United 196820110524

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup.

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup at Wembley.

A supporter and a player talk about the match, and the emotions.

Listen to David Sadler, and life-long fan Brian Hughes.

Manchester United 196820110528

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup.

Manchester United 196820110529

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup

In May 1968 Manchester United Football club won its first European cup at Wembley.

A supporter and a player talk about the match, and the emotions.

Listen to David Sadler, and life-long fan Brian Hughes.

Photo: David Sadler in action.

Getty images.

Mao's American Comrade20131001

Mao declares the formation of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. We hear from an American who helped to plan the revolution in the caves of Yan'an. Sidney Rittenberg remembers what the early days of communist rule were like in China.

Mao's Long March20140501

In 1934 Mao Zedong led some eighty-six thousand communist followers on an epic journey across China to escape the nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek.

Tens of thousands died on the year-long retreat, which became known as the Long March.

We hear from Zhong Ming, one of the few survivors still alive.

Photo: Communist leader Mao Zedong (left) during the Long March (Keystone/Getty Images)

Marcel Duchamp And His Fountain20161020

In October 1942, the great French conceptualist artist Marcel Duchamp helped put on the first major surrealist exhibition in New York. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to Carroll Janis, whose parents were friends of Duchamp, about the exhibition, the man and his art, including Duchamp's famous urinal.

Picture: A replica of Marcel Duchamp's iconic work, Fountain, at the opening of an exhibition in London in 2010. Duchamp first exhibited Fountain in 1917 (Credit: Geoff Caddick)

Marcus Garvey20160517

In 1916 Marcus Garvey arrived in the US and began a movement for black pride. His dream was that black people would live independently of whites in a new empire in Africa.

Photo: August 1922 Marcus Garvey is shown in a military uniform as the "Provisional President of Africa" during a parade on the opening day of the Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World in Harlem, New York City. (Credit: AP Photo/File)

Marie Stopes, Birth Control Pioneer2013031320130314 (WS)
20130317 (WS)

In March 1921 Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London.

In March 1921, Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London. The Mother's Clinic in Holloway offered advice to married mothers on how to avoid having any more children. Hear testimonies on the early days of birth control in Britain from the BBC archive. Picture: Popperfoto/Getty Images.

Marie Stopes: Birth Control Pioneer20160303

In March 1921, Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London. The Mother's Clinic in Holloway offered advice to married mothers on how to avoid having any more children. Hear testimonies on the early days of birth control in Britain from the BBC archive. This programme was first broadcast in 2013.

(Photo: Dr Marie Stopes, photographed in 1953. Credit: Baron/Getty Images)

Mariel Boatlift From Cuba20110529

How 125,000 Cubans left the island by boat in 1980

In 1980, more than 100,000 Cubans left the island in a boatlift from Mariel harbour.

Witness speaks to the writer, Mirta Ojito, about how she fled from communism with her family.

Photo: Mirta (left) with her father and sister.

Marooned In Stalin's Russia20140811

At the start of the Second World War hundreds of thousands of Polish civilians were imprisoned in the Soviet Union following the occupation of their country by the USSR. But in August 1941, after Nazi Germany invaded Russia, many of the Poles were suddenly set free. We hear from one former prisoner who found himself stranded in Soviet Central Asia for the rest of the Second World War.

Photo: Nazi troops order Soviet women to leave their homes, summer 1941 (Keystone/Getty Images)

Martha Stewart In Jail20140731

In July 2004, the American TV celebrity was convicted for lying to federal prosecutors and sent to jail for five months. Famous for her cookery and home-making books, Stewart had many fans in prison and even managed to make friends. One of them, Susan Spry, talks to Witness.

(Photo: Martha Stewart. Credit: Getty Images)

Marvel Comics And 'the Fantastic Four'20161024

In 1961 a new generation of comic-book super heroes with more credible characters, was launched in the US to great acclaim. The 'Fantastic Four' was the creation of Marvel's writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. It propelled the company from a small division of a publishing company to a pop culture conglomerate. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Roy Thomas, who began as a young writer at Marvel in the 1960s and rose to become its editor-in-chief.

Photo:

Mary Quant And The Mini Skirt20120304

It is almost 50 years since the young British designer led a fashion revolution.

She remembers how the look that came to embody swinging London was created.

(Photo: Mary Quant. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images).

Mass Executions In Iran20150824

In the summer of 1988 thousands of political prisoners were suddenly executed in Iran. The killings, ordered by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, were kept secret at the time. Witness hears from Chowra Makaremi, whose mother was among those put to death.

(Photo: Chowra's mother, Fatemeh, executed in 1988.Courtesy of the family)

Mass Graves In Hue, Vietnam20151019

In 1968, US troops in South Vietnam discovered the victims of a Communist offensive in the old imperial capital, Hue. Much of the city had been overrun by the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong guerillas during the Tet offensive. During the occupation, hundreds, possibly thousands, linked to the South Vietnamese regime were executed. We hear from Phil Gioia, from the 82nd Airborne Division, who discovered one of the first graves.

(Photo: A South Vietnamese woman mourns over the body of her husband, found with 47 others in a mass grave near Hue. Credit: AP)

Mass Wedding In New York City2012070320120704
20120708 (WS)

In 1982 4,000 people got married in a mass blessing carried out by Reverend Sun Myung Moon

He founded the Unification Church in Korea and his followers believe he should choose their spouses.

Hear from an American bridegroom who married his Korean wife that day.

(Image: Philip Shanker and his Korean bride).

Mau Mau Uprising20111030

It is 55 years since the Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi was arrested in Kenya.

He had been fighting against white rule in the British colony.

Photo: Mau Mau suspects in a prison camp.

Getty images.

Medicare20160718

In July 1966, US government health insurance programme Medicare came into force, providing limited free health insurance for the over 65s. Ted Marmor was assistant to Wilbur Cohen, one of the architects of the plan. He speaks to Witness about his memories of that time.

PICTURE: President Lyndon B Johnson signs the Medicare Bill with Harry S Truman in Independence, Missouri on July 30, 1965. (AP Photo)

Meeting Osama20100128

What is Osama bin Laden really like? Witness talks to someone who knows.

When the Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan agreed to go and interview Osama bin Laden fourteen years ago, he was apprehensive. By the time he reached his mountain hideout - he was shaken and scared -but what was the man himself really like?

Meeting Picasso20160727

In the summer of 1951 a young art historian met for the first time one of the greatest painters of the modern era. John Richardson recalls getting to know Pablo Picasso in the south of France.

Photo: AFP/Getty

Megan's Law2012073020120731 (WS)
20120804 (WS)
20120805 (WS)

Eighteen years ago a little girl was raped and murdered in New Jersey, USA.

After her death her parents began campaigning for a change in the law to force public awareness of sex offenders.

(Photo: Megan's mother Maureen testifying at the trial of her murderer. Credit: AP)

Eighteen years ago a little girl was raped and murdered - her killing changed US law.

Mexico City Massacre20111009

Just before the 1968 Olympics, the Mexican government cracked down hard on demonstrators.

Just before the 1968 Olympics, the Mexican government cracked down hard against student demonstrators.

Some were killed, others arrested - David Huerta was one of the young protestors, hear his story.

Photo: Mexican soldiers arresting students after the shooting (Associated Press).

Mexico Slashes Car Use20170308

In the 1970s and 80s a deadly cocktail of toxic factory fumes and car pollution turned Mexico City into the world’s most polluted city. In response, the authorities came up with an ambitious solution: curb the use of each of the city’s two million cars for one day a week, the first time any country had tried such a bold plan.

Ramon Ojeda Mestre is an environmentalist who was behind the initiative, introduced in November 1989. He tells Mike Lanchin about overcoming fierce opposition to the plan, and how some critics even predicted riots from irate motorists.

(Photo credit: Alamy)

Mexico's Tequila Crisis20160119

In January 1995 Mexico's economy went into melt-down following the sudden devaluation of its currency, the peso. The government was forced to seek a multi-billion dollar bailout from the US and the IMF. Witness hears from Luis de la Calle, a top Mexican official who helped negotiate the package.

(Photo: American and Mexican officials sign a US$20 billion rescue package for the Mexican economy at a ceremony at the US Treasury in Washington. Credit: Pam Price/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Jackson's Thriller20151223

In 1982 the world's best selling album was released. Thriller included hits such as Beat It, Billie Jean and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' as well as the title track. Witness speaks to Anthony Marinelli who worked on the seminal album.

(Photo: Michael Jackson and assorted zombies in the video for Thriller in 1983, publicity handout)

Mickey Mouse Goes To Europe20130412

When Disney opened its first theme park in Europe, just outside Paris, it was beset with problems from the start. It was years before the venture would break even. Bob Fitzgerald was the first CEO charged with launching Euro Disney, but his background was in the arts and he was more used to running operas and productions of Shakespeare than theme parks.

(Image: Getty)

Microwave Ovens20170123

Domestic microwave ovens first became widely available in 1967 in the United States. Until then they had mainly been used in restaurants or vending machines. Dr John Osepchuk, an engineer and expert in microwave technology spoke to Cagil Kasapoglu about the innovation.

Photo: A Londoner demonstrates how to use a new vending machine with frozen meals and a microwave oven for heating. Credit: Jim Gray/Keystone/Getty Images

Miguel Angel Blanco2012071820120722
20120722 (WS)

In July 1997, the armed Basque separatist group, ETA, kidnapped a young local councillor called Miguel Blanco and threatened to kill him within 48 hours.

The ultimatum sparked nationwide protests against ETA on a scale never previously seen in Spain.

Witness speaks to former Spanish Interior Ministry official, Gustavo de Aristegui.

PHOTO: Miguel Angel Blanco's sister, Maria del Mar, in front of a mural of her brother. (Getty Images)

How the killing of a young Basque councillor sparked huge anti-ETA protests in Spain.

Military Coup In Chile20130911

On September 11th 1973, Gen Augusto Pinochet ousted the socialist government in Chile

Military Coup In Turkey20110918

On 12 September, 1980, the army took control in Turkey.

It was not the first time they had done so - but their actions still haunt Turkish politics today.

An admiral and a former student activist recount their very different memories of that time.

Photo: Getty Images.

Miracle On Ice20100222

When the US hockey team met their Russian rivals at the 1980 Olympics, tensions were high.

When the USA and the Soviet Union met in an ice-hockey match during the 1980 Winter Olympics - political tensions were high.

Witness hears from two of the players who took part.

Miriam Makeba20150915

The story of the great South African singer who spent 30 years in exile. She was invited to the United States in 1959 and became an overnight star, but was blocked from returning home by the South African apartheid regime. Known as Mama Africa by her millions of fans, she had a remarkable life and career performing around the world. Only after Nelson Mandela was freed, did she finally return home.

(Photo: South African singer Miriam Makeba performing at the Olympia in Paris in 1964. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Missing Plane Mystery20140324

In 1947, passenger plane Star Dust vanished without trace over the Andes, after sending a cryptic final message via Morse code. Its disappearance sparked rumours of espionage and alien abduction, but the truth of its fate was finally revealed in 2000. Hear from the relatives of those on board.

(Photo: An Avro Lancastrian aircraft. Credit: J. A. Hampton / Hulton Archive)

Mission To Mars20111113

In November 1964 the first spacecraft to go to Mars left Earth

It was to send back the first photographs of the Red Planet.

Engineer John Casani designed the Mariner craft.

Mo Farah2012091020120911 (WS)
20120915 (WS)
20120916 (WS)

The Somali-born runner, Mo Farah, has become one of the heroes of the London 2012 Olympics after winning Gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres for his adopted country.

As Farah leads a parade of British athletes through London, Witness speaks to Alan Watkinson, the school sports teacher who transformed Farah's life.

(Image: Mo Farah. Credit: Associated Press)

How a London school sports teacher changed the life of the Somali-born Olympic champion.

Mobutu Sese Seko Of Congo2011112420111125

Of the "Big Men" who ruled Africa after independence, few were as notorious as Mobutu Sese Seko.

During his 32 years in power, Mobutu renamed Congo as Zaire and stole many millions of dollars.

As the people of Congo prepare to vote for a new president, a former advisor to Mobutu remembers his years in power.

Witness also hears from Michaela Wrong, author of "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz".

PHOTO: Mobutu shares a joke with a foreign visitor (HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES)

How Mobutu Sese Seko run a kleptocratic dictatorship in Congo for 32 years.

Mobutu Sese Seko Of Congo20111128

How Mobutu Sese Seko run a kleptocratic dictatorship in Congo for 32 years.

Modern Art In Tehran2012101220121013 (WS)

It is 35 years since the opening of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

It contains one of the finest collections of modern Western art outside Europe and North America.

Hear from its founder and architect - Kamran Diba

Photo: A woman visitor to the Museum. AFP/Getty Images.

Mods And Rockers2014051420140518 (WS)

In 1964, rival youth gangs clashed at the English resort of Brighton over the Bank Holiday weekend. The fighting sparked moral panic about a generation of apparent juvenile delinquents. Witness speaks to Alfredo Marcantonio, a Mod who was caught up in the clashes.

(Photo: Mods confined to Brighton beach by the police. Credit: Getty Images)

Monkeys In Space2014052820140601 (WS)

In May 1959, for the first time America sends two monkeys into space and brings them back alive.

It's a watershed moment for the US space agency, Nasa, and paves the way for future manned space missions.

Photo: Keystone\Getty Images

(Originally broadcast in May 2012)

Montserrat Volcano20110626

Fourteen years ago the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

Much of the south of the island was covered with ash and 19 people died.

Hear Rose Willock, broadcaster and 'voice of Montserrat' as she remembers the 25 of June 1997.

(Photo: BBC)

In June 1997 the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

Moral Majority20160614

In June 1979 the Moral Majority was launched and changed the course of American politics. It was set up to promote family values by religious conservatives from Catholic, Jewish and evangelical Christian communities. It urged protestants in particular to go against the tradition of separating politics and religion and register to vote, and to vote Republican. Richard Viguerie was one of the driving forces behind the movement.

(Photo: Ronald Reagan with Richard Viguerie in Atlanta, Georgia, 1975, courtesy of ConservativeHQ.com)

Mtv20110802

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

Mtv20110807
Mtv Turns 3020110801

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

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

Witness hears from one of the founders of MTV.

Mtv Turns 3020110802

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

Mugabe Becomes Zimbabwe's Leader2014042320140427 (WS)

In April 1980, Robert Mugabe became the first prime minister of Zimbabwe

In April 1980, Robert Mugabe became the first prime minister of Zimbabwe - formerly Rhodesia. He had just won historic elections, ending years of white minority rule. We hear from Wilf Mbanga who was once part of Mr Mugabe's inner circle.

(Photo: Wilf Mbanga (centre) tells joke to Robert Mugabe (L) and Julius Nyrere of Tanzania (R) , Delhi, 1984. Credit: Bester Kanyama)

Mules And The Mujahideen2012091920120920 (WS)
20120922 (WS)

Twenty-five years ago, a shipment of mules was sent from the USA to Afghanistan.

They were part of Ronald Reagan's effort to help fight the Soviets.

Witness hears from a Mujahideen commander and an American vet who dealt with the animals.

Photo: AFP/Getty images.

Murder Of Polish Priest20111106

In late October 1984 the body of a Polish priest was found in a town outside Warsaw.

He was Father Jerzy Popieluszko and he had become the spiritual leader for the banned trade union Solidarity.

It was later revealed that he had been kidnapped and killed by members of the Communist secret police.

Musicians Of The Iranian Revolution20150916

In September 1978 in the heat of Iran's revolution, the country's top musicians decided to join the popular uprising. After the massacre of demonstrators by the Shah's armed forces in Jaleh Square, state employed musicians went underground and started recording revolutionary songs. These songs became some of the most iconic in recent Iranian history. Bijan Kamkar remembers how the group secretly produced music in a basement.

(Photo: Bijan Kamkar, on the far left, with a group of Iranian musicians. Courtesy of Bijan Kamkar)

Namibian Independence20160321

In March 1990, Namibia - formerly the South African colony of South West Africa - became independent. Andimba Toivo ya Toivo was one of the founders of liberation group SWAPO, the South West African People's Organisation.

Photo: Andimba Toivo ya Toivo on release from detention in March 1984 - Associated Press

Ned Kelly's Last Stand20111124

How the infamous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, was finally captured in 1880.

Ned Kelly, the infamous Australian outlaw, was captured in the remote settlement of Glenrowan in 1880.

In a dramatic last stand, Kelly and his gang

took hostages and tried to derail a police train.

Kelly was hanged a few months after his capture.

The rest of the gang were killed.

Witness brings together eye-witness accounts of the last stand.

The programme also hears from the Australian historian, Professor Carl Bridge.

PICTURE: Ned Kelly is shot and captured while wearing his armour.

(HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES).

Ned Kelly's Last Stand20111125

How the infamous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, was finally captured in 1880.

New York Blackout2012071620120717
20120722 (WS)

It is 35 years since the streets of the Big Apple were plunged into darkness.

In the height of a summer heatwave there were riots on the streets.

But as one New Yorker remembers - it wasn't all bad.

Photo: New Yorkers walking home in the dark. Copyright: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

New York Jewel Heist20141028

In October 1964 thieves carried out an audacious jewel robbery. They stole some of the world's most famous gems from the American Museum of Natural History. Witness hears from Jack Murphy, one of the gang members.

Nigeria's "war Against Indiscipline"20151130

In 1984 General Muhammadu Buhari's military regime launched an unusual campaign to clean up Nigeria. Under the policy, Nigerians were forced to queue, be punctual and obey traffic laws. The punishments for infractions could be brutal. Veteran Nigerian journalist Sola Odunfa recalls the reaction in Lagos to the War Against Indiscipline.

Photo: The Oshodi district of Lagos, 2008 (AFP/Getty Images)

Nigeria's First Coup20160115

On 15 January 1966 a small group of Nigerian army officers launched a bloody coup against the civilian government. It marked the start of the military's involvement in Nigerian politics which would last for decades and set Nigeria on a path to civil war. We hear from one of the soldiers who took part, Colonel Ben Gbulie.

**This programme was first broadcast in 2014**

(Photo: Nigerian troops on the streets of Lagos, 16 January 1966. Credit: AP)

Noel Coward Plays Vegas20150908

In the 1950s, the quintessentially English singer, actor and playwright, Noel Coward, was invited to do a show in Las Vegas, which was then controlled by the Mob. At the time, Coward's career was on the decline. But against the odds, his Las Vegas show turned out to be a huge success.

Photo: Actor, dramatist, and composer, Noel Coward rehearsing for a show at the Cafe de Paris, London,1951. (Photo by Jimmy Sime/Central Press/Getty Images)

North Korea Train Explosion20140415

An explosion at a train station in North Korea killed around 170 people and destroyed thousands of homes in April 2004. In a rare moment of openness, authorities in Pyongyang asked the United Nations for help. Hear from a Western aid worker who travelled to Ryongchon to assess the damage.

(Photo: North Koreans clear rubble after the Ryongchon train explosion. Credit: Gerald Bourke/World Food Programme/Getty Images)

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan20150911

The story of how the Pakistani Qawali singer became an international music sensation.

Photo: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing in California in 1993 (AP Photo)

Obesity20170228

In 1997 obesity was first recognised as a global problem when the World Health Organisation first agreed to discuss the issue. Researchers had discovered startling information about an increase in the number of overweight people in the developing world. The consultation was led by a group calling itself the International Obesity Task Force which was led by Professor Philip James. He's been telling Claire Bowes how he had to persuade the WHO that areas of the world struggling with malnutrition were now also suffering from obesity.

PHOTO: BBC Copyright.

Octavio Paz20161103

In October 1990 the Mexican poet and essayist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. A prolific writer, Paz was the first Mexican to win the Prize. Mike Lanchin has been hearing from Professor Jason Wilson and Mexican writer, Alberto Ruy Sanchez, who knew him well.

Photo: Octavio Paz and his wife speaking to the press in New York after learning he won the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature (EVY MAGES/AFP/Getty Images)

Oj Simpson Car Chase20110614

The LAPD detective who spoke to OJ Simpson as he was chased through Los Angeles in 1994

In June 1994, America watched in disbelief as the police chased the retired sports star OJ Simpson, along the freeways of Los Angeles.

LAPD detective Tom Lange contacted OJ Simpson by cell phone and tried to calm him down.

Oj Simpson Car Chase20110618

The LAPD detective who spoke to OJ Simpson as he was chased through Los Angeles in 1994.

Oj Simpson Car Chase20110619
Oklahoma: The Musical2014070220140706 (WS)

In World War Two an optimistic musical about American rural life became a hit on Broadway

In the middle of World War Two an optimistic musical about American rural life in the early 1900s, became a hit on Broadway. Created by Rodgers and Hammerstein its songs were soon being sung around the world. Gemze DeLappe was in the original production.

(Photo: Female chorus line from Oklahoma. Credit: Courtesy of Rodgers and Hammerstein Organisation)

Omarska Concentration Camp2012080620120807 (WS)
20120811 (WS)
20120812 (WS)

The story of a survivor of Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia.

Omarska was the first concentration camp discovered in Europe since World War II.

One survivor, Satko Mujagic, tells of the torture and beatings inmates suffered during his ten weeks of incarceration.

(Image Survivors of Omarska. Credit AP)

Operation Babylift20130403

As the Vietnam war ended and Saigon fell to communist forces, the US tried to fly thousands of orphans out of the country. One of the planes full of children crashed shortly after take off. Hear from two survivors.

Photo: A North Vietnamese tank rolling through Saigon in April 1975. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Operation Barbarossa20110626

An eyewitness account of the launch of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union

A frontline Soviet officer tells of what he saw the night that Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa - Germany's invasion of the USSR.

Operation No Living Thing2013010720130108 (WS)
20130114 (WS)

In January 1999, a combined rebel force invaded the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown.

Despite the presence of a Nigerian-led intervention force, the rebels took much of the city.

Thousands were killed.

We talk to a former rebel soldier who was there. Some listeners may find his account disturbing.

Photo: Nigerian ECOMOG troops in Freetown Jan 1999 AFP/Getty Images

Outback Internment20160926

During WWII some Germans and Austrians classed as 'enemy aliens' by the British were sent halfway across the world to be interned in prison camps in the Australian outback. Bern Brent was a 17 year old refugee from Berlin, who'd fled the Nazis on the Kindertransport - but he was taken away from his life in London and put on a troop ship heading for Melbourne. Hear his story.

Photo: 'Enemy aliens' being rounded up in Britain. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Pablo Neruda20140711

In July 1904, the great Latin American poet Pablo Neruda was born in a remote town in the south of Chile. Witness presents an interview which Neruda gave to the BBC in 1965. Listen to the memories of fellow Chilean author, Ariel Dorfman.

Picture: Pablo Neruda receives the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Pakistan Ban On Alcohol20160331

In the spring of 1977, just weeks before he was removed from office, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto introduced a ban on alcohol for Pakistan's muslim population. But did prohibition stop Pakistanis from drinking?

(Photo: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan Earthquake 200520151008

On 8 October 2005 a massive earthquake hit Pakistani-administered Kashmir. It left 87,000 people dead and more than four million homeless. Tariq Naqqash is a journalist based in Muzaffarabad, the city worst affected by the quake.

(Photo: Collapsed houses in Muzaffarabad. Credit: Associated Press)

Pakistan Nuclear Test20110529

It is 13 years since Pakistan first tested a nuclear weapon.

Dr Samar Mubarakmand was a senior figure at the country's Atomic Energy Commission.

He was given the job of organising the test.

He talks to Witness.

Pakistan's Women Only Police Station20160210

In 1994 Pakistan opened its first all-female police station, in the city of Karachi. Witness has been speaking to two women police officers, Shagufta Majeed and Syeda Ghazala, who worked there.

(Photo: Police officers Syeda Ghazala (L) Shagufta Majeed (R) in Karachi)

Palestine Post20100201

Mordechai Chertoff was the foreign editor on the Palestine Post (precursor to the Jerusalem Post) when it was bombed in 1948. He tells Witness how, despite the attack, the newspaper still came out the next morning.

The bombing of a Jewish newspaper in Jerusalem over 60 years ago.

The Palestine Post was the precursor to today's Jerusalem Post - and back in 1948, just before the birth of Israel - it was a target for bombers.

A former journalist remembers.

Palestinian Story2010060120100607

In 1948 the creation of Israel led to many Palestinians becoming refugees.

The creation of the state of Israel in 1948, led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

We hear one man's story from that time.

Palomares Nuclear Accident20160108

In January 1966, two American military planes crashed over the remote Spanish village of Palomares. One of them was carrying four nuclear weapons. Captain Joe Ramirez was one of the first US servicemen on the scene. He took part in the desperate search for the missing bombs.

(Photo: One of the four bombs recovered from the sea. Credit: Sandia National Laboratories)

Paris Protests Of 196820160518

How student protests and workers' strikes threatened to bring down France's government. Paris saw some of the worst of the unrest as protesters clashed with riot police. The students wanted changes to the archaic university system, while the workers pressed for reforms of the labour laws. Witness speaks to Guy Sorman, a 24-year-old student at the time.

Photo: AP/Guy Kopelowicz.

Partition2014082020140824 (WS)

British India was divided into two new independent countries - India and Pakistan - in August 1947. But millions of people found themselves on the wrong side of the new borders. Witness speaks to the veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar about Partition.

Picture: Kuldip Nayar (right) during a vigil at the border between India and Pakistan on 14 August, 2011. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Partition - Part 120100813

When India gained independence it was split into 2 new countries, India and Pakistan.

The Partition of India led to millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs having to flee their homes during terrible religious violence.

This is the first of two editions of Witness remembering that time.

Paul Robeson's Comeback Concert2014050720140511 (WS)

In May 1958 the great African-American singer performed at Carnegie Hall. For the previous eight years, because of his left-wing politics and civil rights activism, he had been banned from performing in most American concert halls. We hear from his granddaughter Susan Robeson.

In May 1958 the great African-American singer performed at Carnegie Hall. For the previous 8 years, because of his left-wing politics and civil rights activism, he'd been banned from performing in most American concert halls. We hear from his granddaughter Susan Robeson.

Pavarotti's Uk Debut20130507

On May 7th 1963, Luciano Pavarotti first perfomed on a British stage, in Northern Ireland. He was relatively unknown in those days but as a young singer who performed alongside him remembers, his talent shone out to everyone who heard him.

Photo: Margaret Smyth as Kate and Luciano Pavarotti as Capt. Pinkerton, Belfast 1963.

Pearl Harbour20111212

It is 70 years since Japanese planes attacked the US Navy base in Hawaii.

The action forced the USA into World War II.

Jack Hammett, was a young naval medic who survived the carnage.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

People Power In The Philippines2013022020130221 (WS)
20130224 (WS)

How four days of huge protests brought down Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

In 1986, four days of huge public protests brought down President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. Kate McGowan, in Manila, talks to the leading Filipino novelist, Jose Dalisay, about the demonstrations. This edition of Witness was first broadcast in 2011.

PHOTO: A rebel soldier points his gun at a portrait of Ferdinand Marcos during the uprising. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Peron Returns20100621

In 1973 Juan Peron returned to Argentina from exile.

But his homecoming turned to chaos.

When former President Juan Peron returned to Argentina from exile in 1973 he was greeted by a crowd of millions at the airport.

But chaos soon broke out.

Peter The Great In London2013013020130131 (WS)
20130203 (WS)

How the young tsar's visit to 17th century England inspired him to modernise Russia.

In January 1698, the young Peter the Great began a three-month visit to London.

During his stay, the young Tsar got drunk and pursued actresses, but also found time to study British technology closely.

Peter left London determined to turn Russia into a more western nation equipped with a Navy to rival England's.

Witness tells the story of the tsar's visit using contemporary accounts. The programme also hears from Professor Anthony Cross, author of Peter the Great Through British Eyes.

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Philippines People Power Revolution20160224

In February 1986, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos took to the streets to overthrow President Ferdinand Marcos. His corrupt and brutal regime had ruled the Philippines for 20 years, After four days, President Marcos and his wife Imelda, were forced to flee. We hear from acclaimed Filipino writer, Jose Dalisay, who was one of those who took part in the People Power revolution.

(Photo: Anti-Marcos demonstrators in Manila)

Phoolan Devi - Bandit Queen2012091120120912 (WS)
20120916 (WS)

It is 30 years since a teenage Indian woman spread fear in the North East of the country.

She committed ruthless and violent acts as revenge, she said, for the abuse she had suffered at the hands of upper-caste men.

Listeners may find some of the descriptions of violence in this report shocking.

(Image: Phoolan Devi)

Picasso20110801

Sixty years ago a young art historian got to know the greatest painter in the world.

John Richardson met Picasso in the South of France in 1951.

Photo: AFP/Getty.

Plane Spotters2011120320111204

In November 2001 a group of British tourists were arrested and put on trial for spying in Greece.

They were not spies, but aircraft enthusiasts.

Hear how their British hobby resulted in suspicion, and ultimately jail.

Paul Coppin with Greek police.

Photo AP News.

In November 2001 a group of British tourists were arrested and put on trial in Greece.

Plane Spotters Arrested In Greece20161122

In November 2001 a group of British tourists was arrested and put on trial for spying in Greece. But they were not spies, they were aeroplane enthusiasts. Chloe Hadjimatheou hears from Paul Coppin, one of the men detained and later jailed.

Photo: Paul Coppin with Greek police (AP News)

Playboy Club20100301

Fifty years ago the first Playboy Club opened in Chicago - with bunnies.

When Hugh Hefner opened his first Playboy Club in Chicago fifty years ago he decided to dress all the bargirls and waitresses in bunny costumes.

They were known as Bunnygirls - in today's programme we hear from a former Bunnygirl, and Hugh Hefner himself.

Poisoned In Kosovo20160307

In 1999, Kosovo Roma Gypsies escaped ethnic violence but ended up in a refugee camp next to a disused lead processing plant. It took years of campaigning, and dozens of deaths, before they were rehoused. Dina Newman reports.

Photo: Four year old Jenita Mehmeti (bottom row centre), the first official victim of lead poisoning. Credit: Paul Polansky archive

Pollard Spy Case2012060720120608 (WS)
20120610 (WS)

It's 26 years since an American intelligence analyst admitted selling secrets to Israel.

Jonathan Pollard sold tens of thousands of confidential documents to Israeli agents over an 18-month period.

We hear from one of the investigators who brought him down.

Photo: Jonathan Pollard/AP

Pong And The Birth Of The Computer Game2012123120130101 (WS)
20130107 (WS)

It is 40 years since a video game was invented which would change the way we play.

It is 40 years since a video game was invented which would change the way we play. An on screen version of table tennis, to begin with Pong was only played in video arcades. But soon a home version was created which people could plug into their televisions.

Photo credit: BBC.

Pope John Paul Ii Visits Cuba20120401

In 1998 the then Pope, John Paul II, made a visit to the communist island.

It marked a change in relations between the Church and the government of Fidel Castro.

But some Cubans hoped it would lead to much greater changes.

Photo: AP/Vatican, Arturo Mari.

President Kennedy's Visit To Ireland20110627

President Kennedy's emotional visit to Ireland shortly before his assassination in 1963.

The Irish author, Colm Toibin remembers President Kennedy returning to the land of his forefathers -- and being taken to the nation's heart as if he were one of its own.

President Kennedy's Visit To Ireland20110628

President Kennedy's emotional visit to Ireland shortly before his assassination in 1963.

President Kennedy's Visit To Ireland20110702
President Kennedy's Visit To Ireland20110703
President Mitterrand's Secret Second Family20141118

In November 1994, a French magazine revealed that President Mitterrand had a secret daughter, with his mistress of more than 30 years. Witness speaks to Sebastien Valiela, the paparazzo who broke the story.

(Photo: Mazarine Pingeot with her father Francois Mitterrand, as published in Paris Match November 1994. Credit: Sebastien Valiela)

President Sadat Of Egypt Visits Israel20111126

In 1977, Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to visit Israel and address the Israeli parliament, or Knesset.

At the time, Egypt was still formally at war with Israel - a country which no Arab nation then recognised.

Sadat's visit led to a formal peace treaty betweem the two countries.

Louise Hidalgo talks to the Egyptian cameraman, Mohamed Gohar - a favourite of Sadat's.

PHOTO: Sadat addressing the Knesset (AFP/Getty Images)

How Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to visit Israel in 1977.

President Sadat Of Egypt Visits Israel20111127

How Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to visit Israel in 1977.

Princess Diana And Panorama20101119

It is 15 years since Princess Diana spoke openly about the breakdown of her marriage.

The week that Prince William chose to announce his engagement coincides with the anniversary of an interview that the late Princess Diana gave to the BBC TV programme Panorama.

Princess Diana's Minefield Walk20170112

In January 1997 the world's most famous woman, Diana Princess of Wales, called for an international ban on landmines. She was visiting Angola where she caught global attention by walking through a live minefield. Paul Heslop from the Halo Trust helped organise the Princess' visit and was with her during her iconic walk. He spoke to Farhana Haider about the impact of Princess Diana's campaign.

Photo: Princess Diana with Paul Heslop in a landmine field in Angola, 15th January 1997. (Credit: Alamy)

Prison Camp In Ww2 Manila, Philippines20131227

Thousands of foreign civilians were interned in camps when Japanese troops occupied the Philippines in World War II. Many of the inmates suffered from acute malnutrition. We hear the story of one boy, Desmond Malone, who was interned at the Santo Tomas camp in Manila.

Photo: American inmates of the Santo Tomas internment camp after liberation by US forces in February 1945 (AP Photo/Pool)

Protests For The Mother Tongue20140221

In February 1952 thousands of people marched in Dhaka in defence of the Bengali language. Eight of the protesters were shot dead by police. It became known as Bangladesh's Language Movement Day. We hear from Abdul Gaffar Choudhury, one of the demonstrators, whose song about the protests became the anthem of the movement.

(Photo: Student demonstrators gather by Dhaka University, February 1952. Courtesy of Prof Rafiqul Islam and Liberation War Museum).

Prozac20160205

In the spring of 1988 a new kind of anti-depressant went on the market. The media called it a 'wonder drug' and it became so well-known that people would ask for it by name. But was Prozac over-hyped? Dr David Wong was part of the team who developed it for the drug company Eli Lilly - he has been speaking to Ashley Byrne about Prozac.

Photo: A packet of Prozac. Copyright:BBC.

Purple Rain20140725

It's 30 years since the release of the film Purple Rain, starring pop music phenomenon Prince. It would go on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song Score. Witness speaks to Robert Rivkin, known as Bobby Z, the drummer in Prince's backing band The Revolution.

Photo: Prince. Credit: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth Ii's Diamond Jubilee: Punk Rock And The Queen20120601

In 1977, The Sex Pistols punk rock band mocked Britain's Silver Jubilee celebrations.

They even wrote a song with the same title as the national anthem - God Save the Queen.

(Image: The Sex Pistols - left to right - Paul Cook, Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones and Glen Matlock. Credit: Press Association).

Rabin Assassination20101105

It is exactly 15 years since the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.

On November 4th 1995 the Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen sang at a peace rally in Tel Aviv alongside Israel's leader Yitzhak Rabin.

Moments later the Prime Minister was shot.

Aviv Geffen talks to Witness about that night, and its effect on his life.

Race Riots In Liverpool20160725

In July 1981 race riots broke out on the streets of Liverpool. It was the first time that British police used CS gas to control civil unrest in mainland Britain. Witness has been hearing from a man who took part in the riot.

(Photo: Lines of police with riot shields face a group of youths during riots in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, July 1981. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Rachel Beer - First Lady Of Fleet Street20110614

The story of the rise and fall of the first ever woman editor of a British newspaper

An account of the remarkable life of Rachel Beer, who challenged the prejudices of Victorian England and reached the top in journalism, only to be engulfed by disaster and lose everything.

Rachel Beer - First Lady Of Fleet Street20110615

The story of the rise and fall of the first ever woman editor of a British newspaper.

Rachel Beer - First Lady Of Fleet Street20110618
Rachel Beer - First Lady Of Fleet Street20110619
Racial Equality On The Dance Floor20151124

In November 1978 a British nightclub in the city of Birmingham was forced to lift its restrictions on black and Chinese people after the country's Commission for Racial Equality ruled their entry policy racist. It was one of the first cases of its kind in the UK. Witness has been hearing from David Hinds, vocalist for the Birmingham based British Reggae Band, Steel Pulse.

(Photo: Reggae Band, Steel Pulse performing on Top of the pops 1978)

Radiocarbon Dating Of The Turin Shroud20160314

The Turin Shroud is one of the most revered relics of the Catholic Church: a piece of linen cloth that appears to show the imprint of a blood-stained crucified man. Some Christians believe it is the ancient cloth that Jesus Christ was buried in.

In 1988, the Church allowed scientists to perform a radiocarbon dating test on a small sample of the shroud. The results are still controversial.

Witness speaks to Professor Michael Tite who supervised the testing process.

(Photo: Picture showing a facsimile of the Shroud of Turin at the Cathedral of Malaga. Credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

Rasputin20151229

In December 1916, the infamous mystic, Grigori Raspuin, was murdered by Russian aristocrats. Rasputin, a Siberian peasant and wandering holy man, had become a powerful figure at the Russian Imperial court. The Czar and his wife believed Rasputin had special powers that could heal their son, who was suffering from haemophilia. Using written accounts and archive recordings of those who'd met Rasputin, we tell the story of the 'Mad Monk'

Photo: Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk and courtesan. (Photo by Dmitri Wasserman/Getty Images)

Recreating Down Syndrome In Mice20161208

In 2005 British scientist Elizabeth Fisher and a colleague successfully transplanted a human chromosome into a mouse for the first time. It transformed medical research into the genetic condition Down Syndrome that affects millions of people worldwide. Professor Fisher tells Louise Hidalgo about the challenges researchers faced and their thirteen-year struggle to create the first Down Syndrome mouse.

Photo: Science Photo Library

Re-education In Communist China20130923

Hear from a British man who spent five years being 're-educated' in China in the 1950s

Remembering Chairman Mao20160906

On September 9th 1976 the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong died. American Sidney Rittenberg first met him in the 1940s and he spent decades living in Communist China. He spoke to Rebecca Kesby about of one of the world's great revolutionaries.

Photo: a poster of Chairman Mao in Beijing in the 1960s. Credit: AFP.

Restoring 'the Last Supper'20160608

In 1999 art restorers in Milan finally finished work on da Vinci's masterpiece. It had taken them 20 years to complete and had cost millions of dollars. Witness hears from Pinin Brambilla who led the ambitious project.

Photo: AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

Retreat From Dunkirk20110606

A British soldier tells us of one extraordinary day on the beaches of Dunkirk during World War II.

We hear of how he managed to work his way through the chaos and constant danger, and escape to England.

One soldier's frank account of his chaotic World War Two retreat from Dunkirk.

Revolution At The Lse20100112

How students in the sixties brought the London School of Economics to a halt.

Students in London in the 1960s believed that they could change the world with occupations and sit-ins. When the authorities built steel gates at the London School of Economics - the students couldn't let them stand. Our history programme Witness hears from two former revolutionaries about those heady days of protest.

Ritalin20160607

The drug Ritalin was originally used as a stimulant for adults - until researchers discovered it could help children concentrate. It's now taken by millions of patients around the world to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.

Witness speaks to Dr C Keith Conners, one of the researchers behind the first randomised clinical trial of Ritalin on children in 1964.

PICTURE: Ritalin blister-packs and packet. Ritalin is a proprietary brand of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Copyright Science Photo Library.

Riverdance20160513

Irish dance sensation Riverdance debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in 1994. Witness speaks to dancer Jean Butler, who was the female soloist in the Eurovision performance - and then in the hit stage show which followed.

Image: Riverdance on stage, Credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns

Roald Dahl's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory20170125

One of the best-loved children's stories of all time, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, was first published in January 1964. Roald Dahl's nephew Nicholas Logsdail was one of the few people to read the first draft. He tells Witness what he thought of it and talks about the adventures he and his uncle had together when he was a small boy.

Extracts from audio book ©2014 Roald Dahl and Penguin Books Ltd

Picture: Roald Dahl, 1971 (Credit: Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Robert Kennedy's Funeral Train2013060720120608

In June 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy was gunned down during his campaign for the American presidency. Amid the nationwide mourning that followed, his funeral train travelled from New York to Washington with huge crowds lining the tracks. Witness speaks to Kennedy's former press secretary and to his former bodyguard. This programme was first broadcast last year.

PHOTO: Robert Kennedy in 1968 (US National Archive/Getty Images)

How Americans lined the route of Senator Robert Kennedy's funeral train in 1968.

In June 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy was gunned down during his campaign for the American presidency.

Amid the nationwide mourning that followed, his funeral train travelled from New York to Washington with huge crowds lining the tracks.

Witness speaks to Kennedy's former press secretary and to his former bodyguard.

(Photo: Robert Kennedy campaigning in 1968. Credit: Getty Images).

Roe V Wade2013011620130117 (WS)
20130120 (WS)

40 years since the landmark decision in the US Supreme Court which made abortion legal.

Hear from the young lawyer who brought the case. Her name was Sarah Weddington and she was fresh out of law school.

Photo: Sarah Weddington.

Rolling Stone Magazine20161110

In November 1967 an iconic popular culture magazine was launched in the US. It quickly became known for its music coverage, interviews with stars and in depth political reporting. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Michael Lydon, the first managing editor of 'Rolling Stone' Magazine.

Photo: Front page of the first issue of "Rolling Stone" magazine, 9 November 1967 (Credit: Alamy)

Romanian Family History20110425

It is 21 years since a Romanian woman was finally able to uncover her family history - kept hidden for decades by the communist secret police.

Nick Thorpe reports for Witness.

One family's extraordinary story kept hidden for decades by the communist secret police.

Romania's Orphans20160405

In 1989 the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was removed from power in Romania. As the country opened up to the outside world, news began to emerge of children living in terrible conditions in the country’s orphanages. Izidor Ruckel was one of them - he was abandoned by his birth parents at a home for “irrecoverable? or disabled children. He spoke to Witness about his childhood.

Photo: BBC News

Romany: Pioneer Wildlife Broadcaster20151111

Romany of the BBC was a pioneer naturalist broadcaster of Roma Gypsy origin. His programmes were popular in the UK in the 1930s and 40s. Dina Newman explores his life and his work.

Photo: Romany and his spaniel Raq. From the family archive

Ron Kovic -- Ex Us Marine And Peace Activist20110704

How ex-US Marine Ron Kovic became a peace activist after being paralysed in Vietnam.

Ron Kovic tells of how he was shot and paralysed during a battle in Vietnam, and then went on to become a leading voice in the American anti-war movement.

Ron Kovic -- Ex Us Marine And Peace Activist20110705

How ex-US Marine Ron Kovic became a peace activist after being paralysed in Vietnam.

Ron Kovic -- Ex Us Marine And Peace Activist20110709
Ron Kovic -- Ex Us Marine And Peace Activist20110710
Roosevelt In The Amazon2012072320120724 (WS)
20120728 (WS)
20120729 (WS)

How the American president Theodore Roosevelt nearly died in the Amazon in 1914.

After Theodore Roosevelt lost the American presidential election of 1912, he decided to explore an unknown tributary of the Amazon called the River of Doubt.

It was a trip that nearly killed both Roosevelt and his son, Kermit.

Witness brings together first-hand accounts of the trip, with the help of Candice Millard, author of River of Doubt - Roosevelt's Darkest Journey.

PHOTO: Roosevelt on the campaign trail in 1912 (Getty Images).

Rosa Luxemburg20110308

, the revolutionary theorist and feminist icon, was born 140 years ago

To mark a century of International Women's Day we bring you a portrait of the revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg.

Feminist icon, writer and theorist - Lenin called her the Eagle of the Revolution.

Rosa Luxemburg, the revolutionary theorist and feminist icon, was born 140 years ago.

Russian Revolution2012103020121031 (WS)
20121104 (WS)

It is 95 years since the October Revolution which led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

Hear an account from the BBC's archive, of a young woman living in Moscow.

Photo: A demonstration in Moscow during the revolution. AFP/Getty Images

Russia's 'dog Man'20161230

In November 1994, the Russian conceptual artist Oleg Kulik posed in front of an art gallery in central Moscow, naked, pretending to be a guard dog and attacking passers by. It was his way of highlighting the fact since the collapse of the USSR three years earlier, Russians had lost their ability to relate to each other, and were reduced to living like animals. Dina Newman speaks to Kulik about his protest performance, which made him famous around the world.

Photo: Oleg Kulik impersonating a Mad Dog, 25th Nov 1994, Moscow. Credit: private archive

Russia's First Dj20150902

Russia's first radio DJ, Seva Novgorodsev, went on air on the BBC Russian Service in 1977, at the height of the Cold War. Over the years, his pop music shows gained millions of fans throughout the Soviet Union. As Dina Newman reports, for many Russians, his name became synonymous with the BBC.

(Photo: Seva in 1990, courtesy of Seva Novgorodsev)

Russia's Forbidden Art20160112

Fifty years ago, a Russian painter and archaeologist, Igor Savitsky, created a museum in the remote desert of Uzbekistan, where he stored tens of thousands of works of art that he had saved from Stalin's censors. The Savitsky museum, in Nukus, would come to be recognised as one of the greatest collections of Russian avant-garde art in the world. Witness talks to the son and grandson of one of the artists, Alexander Volkov, whose work Savitsky saved.

(Photo:the Karakalpak Museum of Art, home of the Savitsky art collection. Credit: Chip HIRES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Rwanda Genocide20100406

On April 6th 1994 the genocide in Rwanda began.

Journalist Lindsey Hilsum lived through it

The killing that began in Rwanda on April 6th 1994, was to last for 100 days.

Hundreds of thousands of people were killed by their fellow citizens.

Journalist Lindsey Hilsum was there.

Ryan White20111202

To mark World Aids Day Louise Hidalgo reports on the story of Ryan White.

He was a haemophiliac who was banned from school after testing HIV positive.

His death from Aids, changed attitudes towards the disease in the USA.

PHOTO: Associated Press

The story of a young haemophiliac who was banned from school after testing HIV positive.

Sabotage Of Nazi Nuclear Programme20141006

In October 1942 Norwegian commandos began a series of raids on a heavy water plant in German-occupied Norway. They had to destroy it in order to stop the Nazis from developing an atomic weapon. Joachim Ronneberg is the last surviving member of the Norwegian team.

Photo: The hydro-electric power station where the heavy water plant was situated. Credit: Hulton Archives/Getty Images.

Saddam Execution20091230

What was it like growing up in the shadow of Saddam Hussein?

On the 30th of December 2006 the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity.

But what was it like growing up in his shadow? Lucy Williamson investigates.

Saddam Hussein Trial20141119

In November 2006 Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in a Baghdad courtroom. The trial of the deposed President by the Iraqi Interim Government followed the American led invasion of Iraq. Witness has been speaking to Ramsey Clark, one of Saddam Hussein's defence team.

(Photo: Ramsey Clark (L) and Saddam Hussein (R) courtesy of Ramsey Clark)

Saddam Hussein's "human Shields"20130819

Hundreds of foreign nationals were held hostage in Iraq in the run up to the First Gulf War. We hear the story of the Lockwood family, whose 5 year old son, Stuart, was paraded on TV next to Saddam Hussein.

Photo: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein patting 5 year old Stuart Lockwood, 23 August 1990, Baghdad AFP/Getty Images.

Samantha Smith20110802

The story of a child who dreamed of world peace.

She wrote a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union and found herself invited to summer camp on the Black Sea.

This programme was first broadcast last year.

Photo: Getty images.

Samantha Smith20110803

The story of a child who dreamed of world peace.

San Salvador Offensive20111113

In November 1989 the civil war in El Salvador hit the capital city.

Rebels fighting the US-backed goverment began attacks in San Salvador.

But after less than two weeks of gun-battles and street fighting the rebels left the capital.

Image: VT Freeze Frame.

Sara Ginaite Lithuanian Jewish Partisan20161213

During World War Two, a young Jewish woman, Sara Ginaite, escaped from the Kaunas Ghetto in Lithuania to fight the Nazis, With her husband Misha, she joined a detachment of communist-led partisans in the Rudnicki forest. They took part in the liberation of Vilnius, where she was famously photographed by a Soviet officer. Now in her 90s, Sara speaks to Witness.

Photo: Sara Ginaite, a Jewish Lithuanian partisan , during the liberation of Vilnius , 1944.

Sarin Gas Attack In Tokyo20120325

In March 1995 members of a Japanese cult released nerve gas in the metro.

Thirteen people died and thousands were injured.

Hear one man's account of the Aum Shinrikyo attack.

Photo of Shoko Asahara the Aum leader. AP WirePhoto.

Satyajit Ray: Working With India’s Cinematic Master20151015

Bengali film director Satyajit Ray has been described as one of the most influential directors in world cinema, with acclaimed US director Martin Scorsese among those crediting him as an inspiration. Early on in his career, Satyajit Ray released the Apu trilogy. The series followed the life of a man Apu from his childhood growing up in rural Bengal to adulthood. The films garnered critical acclaim, winning many awards worldwide. Soumitra Chatterjee, the actor who played the title character in the final film, spoke to Witness about the legendary director.

(Photo: Satyajit Ray in 1989 during the ceremony where he was to be made a member of the Legion of Honour: Credit AFP/Getty Images)

Saving Orphaned African Elephants20161123

Amid the slaughter of African elephants by poachers, a Kenyan-British woman became the first to successfully hand-rear orphaned baby African elephants. As infants, elephants are dependent on their mother's milk and are extremely vulnerable. Without their mothers, orphans struggle to survive. In 1987 Dame Daphne Sheldrick worked out a formula that can keep them alive. The charity she set up, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, has now raised over 200 orphaned elephants in Kenya..

Photo: Feeding time for orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust nursery in Nairobi, Kenya (AFP/Getty Images)

Saving The Tiger20130912

In 1973 PM Indira Gandhi launched a campaign to save the Bengal Tiger from extinction

Search For The Loch Ness Monster2012101120121012 (WS)
20121014 (WS)

It is 25 years since the most in-depth and expensive survey of Loch Ness.

The scientists were searching for infallible evidence of the mythical monster.

Hear from the man in charge of Operation Deepscan - Adrian Shine.

(Image: A 1934 picture of the alleged monster. Credit: Getty Images)

Seven Years In Tibet20160215

In 1944, two Austrian mountaineers fled into the forbidden land of Tibet to escape from a prisoner-of-war camp in India. Heinrich Harrer and his friend Peter Aufschnaiter spent seven years as guests of the Tibetans, gaining a unique perspective on a way-of-life that was about to disappear. Harrer became the young Dalai Lama's tutor and later wrote a famous account of his visit called Seven Years in Tibet.

PHOTO: The Dalai Lama in the 1930s (Getty Images)

Sexual Harassment In India20170130

In 1988 a woman in India accused the Director General of Police in Punjab, KPS Gill, of sexual harassment. It was the first case of its kind to reach court and the country was forced to confront the taboo. Claire Bowes has been speaking to Rupan Deol Bajaj about the incident she couldn't ignore and why she spent 17 years of her life trying to convict KPS Gill.

Photo: Rupan Deol Bajaj (courtesy of Rupan Deol Bajaj)

Shah Into Exile20100118

Two women tell their stories of exile because of the revolution in Iran over 30 years ago.

Two very different women tell Witness their stories of exile from Iran. One of them is the former Empress Farah Pahlavi, who left during the upheaval of 1979.

Shakespeare's Jubilee20160422

In 1769, the great English actor, David Garrick, organised the first national celebration of Shakespeare at Stratford-On-Avon. The three days of festivities were attended by the cream of society, but were nearly ruined by one of the biggest floods in the town's history. Simon Watts introduces accounts from the time.

(Photo: Shakespeare. Credit: Getty Images)

Sharia Returns To Nigeria20160128

In 2000, Zamfara became the first Nigerian state to implement full Sharia law. In a country split between a mainly Muslim north and a largely Christian south, the move sparked a national political storm. We hear about life in Zamfara from Ibrahim Dosara, a former state employee who began working for the BBC amid the Sharia controversy.

(Photo: A cinema in Zamfara state prepares to close ahead of the introduction of Sharia)

Sharon At The Al-aqsa Compound2012092820120929 (WS)

In September 2000 the Israeli opposition leader visited the Al-Aqsa compound.

In September 2000 the Israeli opposition leader visited the Al-Aqsa compound in Jersualem's old city.

Hear from an Israeli, and a Palestinian who were there that day.

Photo: Ariel Sharon at the compound. Credit: AFP/Getty Images.

Shoot2012111920121120 (WS)

In November 1971 a young American artist decided to get a friend to take a shot at him.

His name was Chris Burden and the shooting would go down in the history of performance art.

He has been speaking to Witness about the ideas behind the event.

Siege Of Vukovar20130926

In 1991, the Yugoslav Army pounded the Croatian town for 87 days, horrifying the world.

Silent Spring2012092420120925 (WS)
20121001 (WS)

It is 50 years since the publication of a book which helped launch the green movement.

It is 50 years since the publication of a book which helped launch the environmental movement.

Rachel Carson was the biologist who highlighted the dangers of pesticides, particularly DDT.

Sister Dorothy Stang20120214

In February 2005 a Catholic nun working in the Amazon was murdered.

Her killing had been ordered by powerful landowners who objected to her work with the rural poor.

Her brother David tells the story of her work, and her death.

Photo: Carlos Silva/AFP

Audio Clips: Courtesy of Greenpeace.

Sister Dorothy Stang20120215

In February 2005 a Catholic nun working in the Amazon was murdered.

Skiing In The Swat Valley2013030620130307 (WS)
20130310 (WS)

One man's mission to bring fun back to the battle-scarred Swat Valley in Pakistan.

One man's mission to bring fun back to the battle-scarred Swat Valley in Pakistan. We speak to Matee Ullah Khan, ski enthusiast the pioneer instructor behind a local ski school in Malam Jabba.

Skylab Falls To Earth20130711

In 1979, the world held its breath as the American space station, Skylab, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. NASA tried desperately to control Skylab's descent, but large fragments hit south-west Australia instead of the Indian Ocean. Witness speaks to two residents of Esperance, a remote coastal town which bore the brunt of the impact.

(Image: Saturn V giant booster used for all the Apollo and Skylab NASA space missions between 1967 and 1972. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Smoking And Lung Cancer20130626

It wasn't until the 1950s that British researchers first connected cigarette smoking with the huge rise in people suffering from lung cancer. Initially, scientists had thought pollution was a much more likely cause. Hear an archive of Sir Richard Doll who carried out the original studies and Sir Richard Peto who worked with him.

(Image: A man holding a cigarette and blowing out smoke. Credit: Press Association)

Smoking And Lung Cancer20160616

It was not until the 1950s that British researchers first connected cigarette smoking with the huge rise in people suffering from lung cancer. Initially, scientists had thought pollution was a much more likely cause. Hear an archive interview with Sir Richard Doll who carried out the original studies and Sir Richard Peto who worked with him.

This programme was first broadcast in 2013

(Photo: A man smoking a cigarette. Credit: Press Association)

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs20160203

In February 1938, the world's first full-length animated feature film went on general release. It was Walt Disney's classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Disney had had to gamble all his money, and take out a loan against his life insurance to finish it. Witness listens back through the archives to some of those who worked on it, and talks to film writer and enthusiast, Brian Sibley, who met many of those involved.

Photograph: An illustration from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Walt Disney from a French book, 1940 (Credit: Apic/Getty Images)

(correction: Snow White cost $1.5 million to make, not the figure quoted in the programme)

Somalia 199120100126

What was it like living in Mogadishu at the height of Somalia's civil war?

Somalia has been in a state of civil war for almost 20 years now. We talk to one man who headed back to Mogadishu when the fighting was fierce - not to join the battle, but to help the sick and injured.

Somalia has been in a state of civil war for almost 20 years now.

We talk to one man who headed back to Mogadishu when the fighting was fierce - not to join the battle, but to help the sick and injured.

South African Student Sit-in Against Apartheid Injustice20110828

White students in apartheid South Africa stage a sit-in protest against racial injustice.

The story of how students at the officially designated "white" University of Cape Town campaigned in support of an academic who had fallen foul of apartheid's racist laws.

Picture courtesy UCT.

Soviet Protest Pioneers2012082920120830 (WS)
20120903 (WS)

In 1968, seven Soviet intellectuals held a pioneering protest against the power of the Communist Party.

Held in Moscow's Red Square, the demonstration was against the Soviet decision to crush the reformist movement in Czechoslovakia known as the Prague Spring.

Although tiny in the number, the intellectuals attracted media attention in the West, even inspiring a protest song.

Dina Newman talks to Pavel Litvinov, who organised the Moscow demonstration.

How seven Soviet intellectuals held a pioneering protest in Moscow in 1968.

Soviet Veterans20100119

Over twenty years ago Soviet troops were fighting in Afghanistan - we hear from veterans.

Coalition troops in Afghanistan face many of the same challenges that Soviet troops faced in the country more than twenty years ago. Witness has been speaking to Soviet veterans of that war.

Soviet Woman Bomber Pilot20161206

Yelena Malyutina was a Soviet female bomber pilot who fought in WW2 and was wounded in action in 1944. She was in one of the three Soviet women's flying regiments which fought on the front line. Before her death in 2014, she was interviewed by Lyuba Vinogradova, author of 'Defending the Motherland: Soviet Women' who fought Hitler's Aces. Dina Newman reports.

Photo:Yelena Malyutina and Lyuba Vinogradova (credit: private archive)

Space Crash20160622

In June 1997 a resupply vessel crashed into the Mir space station. It was worst collision in the history of space flight and it sent Mir spinning out of control. Michael Foale was one of the three astronauts on board who had to try to repair the damage and get the space station back on course.

Photo: Mir Space Station. Credit: Getty Images.

Spanish Embassy Killings20160201

On 31 January 1980, 37 people were killed, many of them burnt alive, when police stormed Spain's embassy in Guatemala City, to end an occupation by peasant farmers. Witness hears from Gustavo Molina, the son of a prominent Guatemalan politician who was among the dead.

(Photo: Red Cross workers with stretchers outside the Spanish embassy in Guatemala City, Jan. 1980. Credit: AP)

Spice Girls2011121920111220

Christmas 1996 and the Spice Girls are number one.

'Girl power' is taking over the world.

In 1996 the Spice Girls were at the top of the charts.

Their brand of cheeky British pop had taken the world by storm - they called it 'girl power'.

We hear from two Spice Girls insiders about the early days when Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary and Ginger were complete unknowns who used to travel by bus.

PHOTO: Spice Girls at an awards ceremony in December 1996.

Spice Girls2011122420111225

Christmas 1996 and the Spice Girls are number one.

'Girl power' is taking over the world.

Spice Girls20111225

Christmas 1996 and the Spice Girls are number one. 'Girl Power' is taking over the world.

In 1996 the Spice Girls were at the top of the charts.

Their brand of cheeky British pop had taken the world by storm - they called it 'Girl Power'.

We hear from two Spice Girls insiders about the early days when Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary and Ginger were complete unknowns who used to travel by bus.

PHOTO: Spice Girls at an awards ceremony in December 1996.

Spinsters' Rights20160308

In the wake of the first World War, millions of British women were left single after the men they would have married had died during the conflict. They were forced to find different ways to live their lives - and they became a force for huge social change. For International Women's Day, Witness delves into the BBC archives to find some of their stories.

Picture: Florence White, organiser of the National Spinsters' Charter, campaigning for pensions for single insured women at 55 instead of 65. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Spying For America In Russia20160729

In July 1977, CIA case officer Marti Peterson was detained and deported from the Soviet Union for spying. She was the handler for Alexandr Ogorodnik, one of America's top Soviet moles at the time. It was her first assignment for the US intelligence agency. Peterson speaks to Witness about her cloak and dagger life in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.

Photo: the KGB building in central Moscow (NIKOLAI MALYSHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Spying For The Stasi20131022

In 1991, one of East Berlin's most famous poets was revealed to have been an informer for the secret police. Sascha Anderson speaks to Witness about his double life.

Photo: A shelf in the files department of the Stasi-archives in Berlin. Credit: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images.

The avant-garde poet who informed for the East German secret police.

Sri Lanka Killings20151022

In October 1995 during Sri Lanka's brutal civil war Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a remote Sinhalese village. Witness hears from a survivor and from journalist, Amal Jayasinghe. Some listeners might find parts of the programme disturbing.

(Photo: Villagers flee Kotiyagala in Sri Lanka's southeast. Credit: Sena VIDANAGAM/AFP/Getty Images)

Stanley Kubrick20130816

Fifty years ago, the legendary film director, Stanley Kubrick, premiered his classic cold war satire Dr Strangelove. It was the start of his long relationship with the set designer, Sir Ken Adam. Sir Ken talks to Vincent Dowd about working with one of the most talented - and difficult - men in film.

Photo: Columbia Tristar/Getty Images.

Star Trek20100913

How the sci-fi classic Star Trek was born.

Herb Solow was head of the TV studio which made the first series of Star Trek.

He tells Witness how it became a success despite the early bad reviews.

Star Trek - The Early Years20160907

On 8 September 1966 the cult American science fiction series first went on air. It was not an immediate hit with audiences. Herb Solow, the original producer of the series, spoke to Ashley Byrne about how the first Star Trek was made.

(Photo: Left to right, William Shatner as Captain James T Kirk, DeForest Kelley as Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Star Wars - The Film2012052120120527

It is 35 years since one of the biggest movie franchises of all time hit cinema screens.

It was made on a low budget and much of the filming was done in England.

Hear from one of the English actors who found fame through Star Wars, playing the robot C3PO.

Photo: Anthony Daniels with C3PO. (Getty Images.).

Star Wars: C3po's Story20151217

In the mid-1970s, English classical actor Anthony Daniels was asked to audition for a role as a droid in a new science fiction film by a little-known Hollywood director. The film turned out to be Star Wars and the director, George Lucas. Star Wars went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time; while Anthony Daniels turned C3PO into one of the most famous robots in cinema history.

(Photo: Anthony Daniels with C3PO. Credit: Associated Press)

Stealing The Mona Lisa20110822

The theft of the Mona Lisa in August 1911.

The theft of the Mona Lisa from the museum of the Louvre in Paris in August 1911.

The search for the famous painting would take two years and helped to cement its fame around the world.

We hear how even the famous artist Pablo Picasso was arrested during the police investigation that involved detectives in both Europe and America.

Stealing The Mona Lisa20110823

The theft of the Mona Lisa in August 1911.

Stealing The Mona Lisa20110828

The theft of the Mona Lisa from the museum of the Louvre in Paris in August 1911

The search for the famous painting would take two years and helped to cement its fame around the world.

We hear how even the famous artist Pablo Picasso was arrested during the police investigation that involved detectives in both Europe and America.

Student Uprising In Greece In 197320111114

The leader of a student protest in Greece nearly 40 years ago tells Alan Johnston about the moment when the country's military junta sent in the tanks, and how she only just managed to escape with her life.

This programe was first broadcast last year.

Alan Johnston reports on a student uprising against military rule in Greece in 1973.

Student Uprising In Greece In 197320111115

Alan Johnston reports on a student uprising against military rule in Greece in 1973.

Student Uprising In Greece In 197320111119
Student Uprising In Greece In 197320111120
Studio 5420120426

It is 35 years since the legendary New York night club opened its doors.

Its door policy was strict, its dance floor was full of the coolest people in the city.

Listen to 3 people who knew it in its heyday.

Photo: Former Canadian First lady, Margaret Trudeau, dancing at Studio 54. (Central Press/Getty Images)

It is 35 years since the legendary New York night club opened its doors - to cool people.

Studio 5420120427

It is 35 years since the legendary New York night club opened its doors - to cool people.

Studio Ghibli - Japanese Animation20160817

In August 1986 the first Studio Ghibli film hit the cinema screens. It would go on to bring Japanese animation to a world audience. Hirokatsu Kihara was a young animator who joined the studio to work on 'Castle in the Sky' its first feature length film. He has been speaking to Ashley Byrne of Made in Manchester about the early days of the great animation studio.

Photo: Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki, one of the founders of Studio Ghibli. Credit: Getty Images.

Suffragette Art Attack20140310

On March 10th 1914, suffragette Mary Richardson attacked a priceless painting in London's National Gallery with a meat cleaver. She was campaigning for women's right to vote in Britain. The painting, the Rokeby Venus, by Spanish 17th Century artist, Diego Velázquez, was later restored.

Photo: Detail of The Rokeby Venus photographed shortly after the attack

Suicide Of Gay Footballer2012050320120504
Suicide Of Gay Footballer2012050320120506
Suicide Of Gay Footballer20120504

Justin Fashanu, Britain's first openly gay footballer, killed himself in May 1998.

He committed suicide in London, following allegations that he had sexually assaulted a teenager.

His niece Amal Fashanu speaks to Witness about her favourite uncle.

Suicide Of Gay Footballer20120506

Justin Fashanu, Britain's first openly gay footballer, killed himself in May 1998.

Surviving Pearl Harbor20151202

On 7 December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Thousands of American servicemen died in a raid which brought their country into World War Two. Former Navy mechanic, Adolph Kuhn, tells Witness how he survived.

(Photo: The USS Arizona sinking at Pearl Harbor. Credit: Getty Images)

Surviving Ravensbruck20151127

In November 1938, the SS commander Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction in Nazi Germany of the only concentration camp built specifically for women. It would be called Ravensbruck. Selma van der Perre tells Witness about the horrors of life in Ravensbruck, including experiments on women and children, and how she survived.

Photograph: women at Ravensbruck concentration camp (Credit: Das Bundesarchiv)

Tanzania's Ujamaa Policy20160602

In the late 1960s Tanzania's first post-independence president, the charismatic Julius Nyerere, believed that endemic poverty in rural areas could only be addressed if peasant farmers relocated to larger villagers and worked collectively. It was part of a new experimental form of socialism, known as Ujamaa.

Photo: Tanzanian women cultivating the soil (AFP/Getty Images)

Teletubbies20170330

In March 1997 the BBC launched one of the most successful children's TV programmes ever. Teletubbies was aimed at toddlers and became controversial for its use of playful language - the BBC fielded complaints from parents who feared that the 'gibberish' language used would stop their children from learning how to speak properly.

Claire Bowes speaks to original cast member Pui Lee Fan, who played red Teletubby Po.

PHOTO: courtesy of DHX media

Telstar2012070920120715
20120710 (WS)

It is 50 years since the first ever transatlantic satellite TV broadcast.

France, Britain and America worked together to make it happen.

Telstar was the name of the satellite which beamed the live pictures across the world.

Hear from one of the engineers who helped to make it possible.

Tenerife Air Disaster20160309

In March 1977 the worst accident in the history of civil aviation took place in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Two jumbo jets, one Pan Am, the other KLM, collided on a runway. Captain Robert Bragg was co-pilot of the Pan Am plane - hear his memories of the crash.

Photo: Central Press/Getty Images

Thai Student Massacre20111016

In October 1976 security forces opened fire on student demonstrators in Bangkok.

We hear from one of the students who survived the shooting but was arrested and held for several months.

Thai University Massacre20161005

On October 6th 1976 Thai security forces opened fire on student demonstrators in Bangkok. Dozens of students were killed and thousands were arrested. The killings heralded a new era of military rule in Thailand.

Photo: Police stand guard over Thai students on a soccer field at Thammasat University, in Bangkok, Thailand. (Credit: AP Photo/Gary Mangkorn.)

The "don't Die Of Ignorance" Aids Campaign20160822

In 1986 the British government launched the world's first ever public health campaign on Hiv Aids. It was highly controversial and faced considerable opposition from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Mike Lanchin speaks to former Health Minister, Norman Fowler, whose insistence made the campaign a reality.

Photo: Norman Fowler of a poster reading "Aids Don"t Die Of Ignorance," Nov. 1986 (Crown Copyright)

The "last Indian"2012090720120908 (WS)

In 1911, an American Indian called Ishi emerged from the North Californian forest after decades in hiding from Indian-hunters.

He is thought to be the last survivor from the Yahi tribe.

Ishi became a tourist attaction in San Francisco and many recordings were made of his stories and music.

Louise Hidalgo retraces Ishi's story.

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California.

How a Yahi Indian called Ishi emerged from the Northern Californian wilderness in 1911.

The 1948 French Miners' Strike20161125

How coal miners in post-war France went from being seen as heroes, to being seen as pariahs. Their left wing views were even perceived as a threat to democracy itself. Lisa Louis has been speaking to Norbert Gilmez who lost his job, and was blacklisted after taking part in the 1948 strike.

Photo: French President Francois Hollande welcomes former striker Norbert Gilmez during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris. September 2016. Credit:Reuters.

The 1960 Coup Against Haile Selassie20151214

In December 1960, while the Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, was out of the country, his Imperial Bodyguard took over the capital Addis Ababa and proclaimed his son the new emperor. We speak to Dr Asfa-Wossen Asserate, the grand nephew of Haile Selassie, about the coup. Dr Asfa-Wossen is the author of King of Kings, a new history of Haile Selassie's rule. Photo: Emperor Haile Selassie in the Royal Palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, circa 1960. (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The 1973 Oil Crisis20141030

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. We hear from former deputy secretary general of OPEC, Dr Fadhil Chalabi, about the struggle for control of oil in the early 1970s.

(Photo: An American car displays a 'No Gas' sign during the 1973-74 oil crisis)

The €abscam’ Corruption Investigation20160202

A major undercover corruption investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation became public in February 1980.

Codenamed 'Abscam', the operation used a fictitious Arab sheikh who was supposedly looking to invest millions of dollars in the US.

The case shocked America when it was revealed that half a dozen Members of Congress had been recorded receiving bundles of cash from representatives of the bogus sheikh in return for political favours.

Witness speaks to John Good who was the FBI agent in charge of the investigation.

(Photo: Former FBI agent, John Good)

The Abduction Of Mehdi Ben Barka20161028

In 1965 French agents in Paris helped kidnap and disappear Mehdi Ben Barka, a Moroccan dissident and global left-wing activist. He was taken to a villa in Paris where it is believed he was murdered by Moroccan security officials. His body has never been found. The case became a national scandal in France. The BBC's Alex Last hears from Bachir Ben Barka, who is still fighting to find out what really happened to his father.

Photo: Mehdi Ben Barka (AP)

The Aberfan Disaster20161021

On 21st October 1966, tragedy struck a village in Wales when a landslide of coal waste engulfed a primary school. 144 people, most of them children, were killed. Rob Walker introduces interviews and reports from the BBC archive to commemorate the disaster.

Photo: Rescue workers trying to reach children trapped in Pantglas Junior school. Credit: Press Association.

The Achille Lauro Hijacking2012100820121009 (WS)
20121015 (WS)

In 1985 the crew and passengers of an Italian luxury cruise liner were held hostage by gunmen from the Palestine Liberation Front in the Red Sea.

The hijackers spent three days attempting to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails before trying to make a get away.

Photo: The Achille Lauro and Egyptian security forces. AFP/Getty Images.

In 1985 a luxury cruise liner was held by Palestinian gunmen in the Red Sea.

Photo: The Achille Lauro and Egyptian security forces.

AFP/Getty Images.

The Adventures Of Tintin20160118

In January 1929, Belgian cartoonist Herge created one of the most famous cartoon characters in history - Tintin. Herge's real name was Georges Remy. He spoke to the BBC in 1977.

(Photo: Covers of comics series Tintin translated in several languages. Credit: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

The Aids Patient Zero Myth20170313

In the early days of AIDS, a misunderstanding made one man the face of the epidemic. French-Canadian air steward Gaetan Dugas developed the symptoms of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, but a misreading of scientific data led to him being identified as "Patient Zero", giving the mistaken impression he was responsible for the spread of the disease.

Lucy Burns speaks to researcher William Darrow, who worked on the epidemic, and to Gaetan Dugas' friend Rand Gaynor.

PICTURE: Rand Gaynor.

The American Pow Who Chose China20111028

When the Korean War ended, a few US POWs chose to stay and live under communism.

When the Korean War ended, a few US POWs chose to stay with their captors and live under communism.

David Hawkins was one of them.

He tells his remarkable story to Witness.

The Amman Bombings20151109

On 9 November 2005, three hotels in Jordan's capital were targeted by suicide bombers. Nearly 60 people were killed in the country's worst terror attack. BBC journalist Caroline Hawley was in one of the bombed hotels and she has returned to Jordan on the 10th anniversary of the bombings to speak to a couple whose wedding celebration was torn apart by a suicide bomber.

(Photo: Nadia al-Alami and Ashraf al-Akhras on their wedding day, before the attack. Courtesy of the family)

The Amritsar Massacre Of 191920160413

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 movement. Witness hears eye-witness testimony from the time.

(Photo: A young visitor looks at a painting depicting the Amritsar Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, 2010. Credit: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

The Anc's Armed Struggle20131211

In 1961 the African National Congress decided to take up arms against Apartheid. The organisation's military wing was called Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation. Ronnie Kasrils was a young anti-Apartheid activist who planted one of the first bombs aimed at sabotaging the South African government's infrastructure.

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

The Anschluss2012051520120520

In March 1938 Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany - it would not regain its independence for more than 17 years.

One Vienna resident remembers the day that Hitler's troops marched in.

Photo: Austrians welcoming German troops. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The Arab Spring And Syria20160209

In the early months of 2011 demonstrators took to the streets across the Arab world. We go back to some of the first protests to take place in Syria. The roots of the country's bitter civil war lie in the government crackdowns that followed. Hear from one Syrian who was there.

(Photo: Anti-government activists on the streets of Daraa in Syria in March 2011. Credit: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

The Arctic Convoys20130510

We hear the story of Jack Humble, whose ship was torpedoed while escorting a convoy inside the Artic Circle.

From 1941-45, Allied sailors and ships battled storms, bombers and U-boats to ferry war supplies to Russia in WW2.

Photo:

The Arrest Of James Earl Ray20160606

How the man convicted for killing the civil rights leader Martin Luther King was detained in London in June 1968. After Dr King's murder, James Earl Ray had fled to Europe using a Canadian passport and a false name. Witness hears from some of those people who encountered him during his brief stay in the UK.

(Photo: James Earl Ray giving evidence before the US House Committee Investigation of Assassinations in August 1978, at which he denied involvement in the murder of Martin Luther King. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

The Arrest Of Klaus Barbie2013011820130119 (WS)

Thirty years ago, the former Gestapo chief, Klaus Barbie, was arrested in Bolivia.

He had been in hiding in South America since 1949.

Nazi hunters, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, helped track him down.

Photo: Klaus Barbie on his way to court in Lyon, France (AFP)

The Assassination Of Ahmed Shah Massood2011090920110910 (WS)
20110911 (WS)

Two days before 9/11, Al Qaeda killed an Afghan anti-Taleban leader.

Two days before 9/11, Al Qaeda killed an Afghan leader in a suicide bombing.

Ahmed Shah Massood had been one of the main figures opposing the Taleban.

Photo: VT Freeze Frame.

The Assassination Of Anwar Sadat20151007

In October 1981, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated as he attended a military parade in Cairo. His widow Jehan, who was there, remembers that day; and tells Witness that she always knew he would be killed for being the first Arab leader to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Photograph: President Anwar Sadat (right) and his then deputy, Hosni Mubarak, at the military parade where moments later Sadat was gunned down by four army officers. (Credit: AFP PHOTO/AFP/GettyImages)

The Assassination Of Benigno Aquino20150825

On August 21 1983, the opposition leader, Benigno Aquino, was shot dead in the Philippines.

He was killed at Manila airport, minutes after returning from exile in the US.

We hear from his brother-in-law, Ken Kashiwahara, who was with him that day.

Photo: Benigno Aquino on the plane home (courtesy of K. Kashiwahara)

The Assassination Of Georgi Markov2012022920120304 (WS)

The Bulgarian dissident was attacked by a man with a poisoned umbrella on his way to work at the BBC World Service in Bush House.

He died several days later in a London hospital.

We hear from a colleague and friend, and one of the doctors who tried to save him.

Photo: Georgi Markov

The Bulgarian dissident was attacked with a poisoned umbrella on his way to Bush House.

The Assassination Of Indira Gandhi20131031

On 31 October 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards. We speak to RK Dhawan, one of her closest aides, who was with her in the garden that morning and was a witness to her assassination.

(Photo: Indian school children light candles to pay tribute to the late former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Credit: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

The Assassination Of Indira Gandhi20141029

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October, 1984. We speak to RK Dhawan, one of her closest aides, who was with her in the garden that morning and was a witness to her assassination.

This programme was first broadcast in 2013.

Photo: Indian school children light candles to pay tribute to the late former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Credit: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

The Assassination Of Leon Trotsky20150819

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

Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, then aged 14, was living with his grandfather. He recalls how he arrived home from school that fateful day.

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

The Assassination Of Ruth First2012081720120818 (WS)

The parcel bomb attack that killed anti-apartheid activist Ruth First in 1982.

Former anti-apartheid activist Alpheus Manghezi recalls the day in August 1982 when his colleague Ruth First was killed by a parcel bomb delivered to her office. Both Manghezi and First were living in exile in Mozambique. Manghezi describes how he visited the scene together with the Mozambican president, Samora Machel. The assassins were later identified as agents of the South African state.

(Image: Former South African president Nelson Mandela unveiling a plaque dedicated to Ruth First and Joe Slovo in London. Credit: Getty Images)

The Assassination Of The Mirabal Sisters20161128

On November 25th 1960, three sisters and political activists in the Dominican Republic were beaten to death on the orders of the dictator, General Trujillo. Their deaths sparked outrage, and inspired the assassination of the leader himself six months later.

(Photo; The three Mirabal Sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa)

The Assassination Of Trujillo20160530

On May 30th 1961 Rafael Trujillo, the dictator in the Dominican Republic, was shot dead. Tim Mansel has spoken to 3 people with different reasons for remembering the day he was killed.

Photo: Antonio Imbert, one of the men who shot Trujillo. Credit:Tim Mansel.

The Atocha Lawyers Massacre In Spain20170124

In January 1977, fascist gunmen killed five people at a left-wing law firm in Atocha Street, Madrid. The murder was a turning-point in Spain's transition to democracy. Simon Watts talks to Alejandro Ruiz-Huerta Carbonell, the last survivor of the killings.

(Photo: A monument to the Atocha Street Lawyers in Madrid. Credit: Getty Images)

The Attack On Fela Kuti20150923

The day the Nigerian military stormed the musician's compound in Lagos. They burned down the buildings and threw his mother out of a window - she never recovered. Hear from one of his former wives about the events of that day.

(Picture: Fela Kuti in 1986. Credit: Associated Press)

The Attempt On Ronald Reagan's Life20160330

On March 30th 1981 a man tried to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan. Mr Reagan and three of his security men were shot and wounded. Special Agent Jerry Parr helped save the President's life that day.

Photo: Security men rush to disarm the attacker. Credit: Associated Press.

The Attempt To Kill Khaled Meshaal20160216

In 1997 Israeli secret agents tried to kill a Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Jordan. But they botched their assassination attempt and a diplomatic scandal followed. In February 1998 the head of Israel's secret service, Mossad, was forced to step down after an official inquiry into what went wrong. Hear from Mishka ben David, a former Mossad agent, who played a part in the events in Jordan.

Photo: Khaled Meshaal in 2003. Credit: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images.

The Attica Prison Riot20130909

In September 1971 prisoners in a high security jail in the US rose up against their guards

The Auschwitz Cellist20150901

In 1943, the cellist, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She expected to be killed in the gas chambers, but survived because she was recruited to play in an orchestra set up by the women prisoners. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch talks to Witness about her experience and the power of music in the darkest moments in history.

PICTURE: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch in 1938 (Private Collection).

The Back To Africa Movement20160223

At the end of the 19th Century, African-Americans in the southern states of the US faced a wave of political and racial violence. Lynchings reached a peak. Black people were prevented from voting and subject to laws which enforced racial segregation.

In response, thousands sought to leave the US and travel to Liberia. More emigrants left from Arkansas than any other southern state.

We hear from Professor Kenneth Barnes of the University of Central Arkansas. He uncovered a fascinating series of letters that reveal why so many black Arkansans dreamed of Liberia and what happened to them when they got there.

(Photo: Departure of African American emigrants for Liberia; from The Illustrated American, 21 March 1896. Credit: The New York Public Library Digital Collections, 1890 - 1899)

The Ballerina And The Coup20130426

In April 1959 Dame Margot Fonteyn was part of a bizarre plot to topple the government of Panama.

The ballerina's husband, Roberto Arias, the son of a former president, led the failed coup.

Dame Margot bought hundreds of uniforms for the rebellion in New York.

Photo: Dame Margot Fonteyn and her Panamanian husband (McCabe/Express/Getty Images)

The Baltic Chain Protest20100823

How millions of people in the Baltic states held hands to protest against Soviet rule.

One of the key moments in the protests in Eastern Europe in 1989 came when millions of people in the Baltic states formed a human chain by holding hands across their three countries.

It was a key point in what became known as the Singing Revolution.

Witness talks to one of the organisers of a protest which defied the might of the Soviet Union.

The Band That Made The Beatles20141013

In October 1957 John Lennon and Paul McCartney performed together for the first time in The Quarrymen, which went on to become The Beatles. Rod Davis played banjo in The Quarrymen, and tells us about the origins of the most famous group in the world.

Photo Credit: The Quarrymen on the back of a lorry as part of a procession round Woolton Village in Liverpool, July 6th 1957. Rod Davis is far right, John Lennon is third from right. Photo copyright: Rod Davis

The Bari Raid 194320151201

How a devastating air raid on the Italian port of Bari during World War Two led to the deadly release of mustard gas. Winston Churchill ordered the incident to be kept secret for years. We hear from Peter Bickmore BEM, who was injured during the raid.

(Photo: Seventeen Allied ships go up in flames in Bari, Italy, after a raid by German bombers on 2 December 1943. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

The Battle For Mixed Race Marriage In The Us20160610

In 1958, a mixed-race couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, were arrested and then banished from the US state of Virginia for breaking its laws against inter-racial marriage. Nine years later, Mildred and Richard Loving won a ruling at the Supreme Court declaring this sort of legislation unconstitutional. Witness speaks to the Lovings' lawyer, Bernie Cohen.

PHOTO: Mildred and Richard Loving in the 1960s (Associated Press)

The Battle In Seattle20111203

In November 1999 police battled with anti-globalisation protestors for control of the streets of Seattle.

The demonstrators were protesting against World Trade Organisation talks taking place in the US city.

Norm Stamper was the Chief of Police in Seattle at the time.

Photo: AP

In November 1999 police battled with anti-globalisation protestors for control of Seattle.

The Battle Of Algiers20100111

One man's experience of the Algerian war of Independence.

It was the late 1950s when a young Frenchman, who now goes by the name Ted Morgan, was conscripted to fight for France against Algeria's freedom fighters. Over fifty years later he is still haunted by what he saw, and did, during that war.

The Battle Of El Alamein20151105

In October and November 1942, the Allies fought a famous battle against German and Italian troops close to the small Egyptian village of El Alamein.

General Bernard Montgomery, the British commander, knew that victory was crucial. But his offensive was in danger of stalling almost as soon as it began.

Witness speaks to Len Burritt who was then a 24 year old wireless operator with the British Seventh Armoured Division.

(Photo: A German tank is knocked out and British troops rush up with fixed bayonets to capture the German crew at the Battle of El Alamein. Credit: Getty Images)

The Battle Of Gettysburg20130701

It is 150 years since a crucial battle in the American Civil War, which also inspired one of the most famous speeches in US history, the Gettysburg Address. Listen to diaries, and journals from the time.

Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

The Battle Of Passchendaele2012073120120801 (WS)
20120805 (WS)

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.

Photo: Getty Images.

The Battle Of Tora Bora20151209

After the Taliban fell from power in Afghanistan in the winter of 2001, the hunt for Osama bin Laden began in earnest. One American in particular led the search. He was CIA commander, Gary Berntsen, who had been tracking the al-Qaeda leader for years. In December 2001 he ordered a small group of special forces soldiers and Afghan fighters into the White Mountains close to Pakistan in the hope of cornering bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora.

(Photo: Afghan fighters look out over a smoking valley after a U.S. B-52 aircraft bombed a front line position in the mountains of Tora Bora in north-eastern Afghanistan. Credit: Associated Press)

The Battle Of Verdun20160218

In February 1916, France and Germany began one of the most devastating battles of the First World War During 10 months of fighting at Verdun, around 800,000 men were killed, wounded or were declared missing. In France, the battle became synonymous with the horrors of war on the Western Front. Using archive recordings of French and German veterans, we tell the story of Verdun.

Photo:French troops under shellfire during the Battle of Verdun. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

The Bbc's First Man In Moscow20131025

In 1963, Erik de Mauny became the first BBC correspondent based in the Soviet Union.

The BBC had tried to open a bureau there during World War II, but only succeeded 20 years later.

De Mauny's son, Marc, talks about the hurdles his father had to overcome while reporting from behind the Iron Curtain.

Photo: Erik de Mauny (BBC)

The Beagle 2 Mission To Mars20151225

On Christmas Day 2003, an unmanned British space craft called Beagle 2 was due to touch down on Mars and begin searching for evidence of life. The mastermind of the mission, professor Colin Pillinger, had helped to generate huge public interest in Beagle 2. But the lander failed to communicate and was presumed lost. It was discovered on the surface of Mars in January 2015 less than a year after professor Pillinger’s death.

Witness delves into the BBC’s archives to hear Colin’s Pillinger’s account of the daring mission and also speaks to his daughter, Shusanah.

(Photo: Lead Scientist, Colin Pillinger, poses with a model of Beagle 2 in November 2003. Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The Beilis Case: An Anti-jewish Trial20160722

In 1913, Mendel Beilis, a Jew from Kiev, was accused of a "ritual murder". The trial became a focus of anti-Semitic rhetoric in imperial Russia and attracted attention around the world. Dina Newman reports.

Photo: Mendel Beilis in 1913. Credit: Topfoto.

The Belfast Blitz20160505

In 1941, Belfast in Northern Ireland was devastated by German bombing. More than a thousand people were killed, thousands more fled the city. Belfast was poorly defended, despite it being a key industrial centre for the British war effort. We hear from two survivors of the Belfast Blitz; Marion Kirkpatrick and Kathleen Regan.

Photo: Residents survey the severe damage to houses along a street in Belfast, in April 1941 (AP Images)

The Bermuda Triangle20111210

The story of the Bermuda Triangle began when five US Navy planes went missing in 1945.

No trace of the bombers was ever found - and since then - other ships and planes have diappeared in the same area of the Atlantic Ocean.

Witness hears from one man who took part in the original search for Flight 19.

The Bethnal Green Tube Disaster2013030120130302 (WS)

It's 70 years since 173 people were crushed to death at an air-raid shelter in London.

It's 70 since 173 people were crushed to death at an air-raid shelter in east London during World War II. They were killed as they sought refuge in an underground train station. Sixty-two children were among the dead. We hear from one of the children who survived.

Photo: Londoners sheltering from an air-raid in an underground train station, during World War II (Getty Images).

The Betty Ford Center20131004

Following her own struggles with drink and prescription drugs, former American First Lady Betty Ford opened a drug and alcohol treatment centre on 4 October 1982. The Betty Ford Center is now one of the most famous rehabilitation centres in the world. Lucy Burns spoke to Joseph Cruse, one of the doctors who helped her recover.

Photo: Betty Ford, courtesy of Gerald R Ford Memorial Library (public domain).

The Bhopal Gas Disaster2012120320121204 (WS)

In December 1984 thousands of people in the Indian city were killed by a chemical leak.

In December 1984 thousands of people in the Indian city of Bhopal were killed by leak from a chemical plant. The city was enveloped by a cloud of poisonous gas. Two survivors of the disaster have spoken to Witness.

Photo:Waiting for treatment outside the hospital. Copyright: Bedi/AFP/Getty Images

The Biafran War2012053120120601
20120601 (WS)

Between 1967 and 1970 there was a civil war in Nigeria over the formation of the state of Biafra.

Over a million people died through famine, disease and fighting.

Witness hears from a man who fought in the war as a boy.

(Image: a starving child in Biafra. Credit: Partington/Express/Getty Images.)

Between 1967 and 1970 there was a civil war in Nigeria over the formation of Biafra.

The Birth Of Karaoke20150929

Daisuke Inoue was playing in a band in Kobe Japan in 1971 when he invented the Karaoke machine. He came up with the idea for a customer who wanted to impress business clients by singing along to his favourite songs.

(Photo: Heather from Eastenders sings karaoke)

The Birth Of The United Nations20151026

In October 1945, countries ratified the founding charter of a new organsation, the United Nations, that it was hoped would ensure there was never a world war again. Earlier that year thousands of delegates from around the world had met in San Francisco to hammer out the charter. Witness talks to two people who worked for the UN that year; and to historian Stephen Schlesinger.

Photo: a delegate from Saudi Arabia addresses the UN's founding conference in San Francisco (Credit: the UN)

The Bobbitt Story20160623

On 23 June 1993 a young wife cut off her husband's penis in a frenzied attack. She was Lorena Bobbitt - he was John Wayne Bobbitt - and their story was soon a talking point all over the world. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to John Bobbitt's lawyer, Greg Murphy, about the case.

(Photo: John Wayne Bobbitt arriving at court. Credit:AFP/Getty Images)

The Bombardment Of Baghdad20120325

On 20 March 2003 the US and its allies began their air strikes against Iraq.

For millions of ordinary Iraqis it meant the beginning of three weeks of fear and helplessness.

Hear what it was like for just one schoolgirl who lived through the bombardment.

(Photo: Ramizi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images).

The Boxing Day Tsunami And Aceh2013011120130112 (WS)

When the earthquake and tsunami of December 2004 hit Indonesia, over 130,000 people died.

Dendy Montgomery was living in the city of Bandah Aceh which was laid waste by the disaster despite being 5 kilmoetres inland.

The Break-up Of The Soviet Union20161226

In December 1991 the leaders of three Soviet Republics - Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia - signed a treaty dissolving the USSR. They did it without asking the other republics, and against the wishes of the USSR's overall President Mikhail Gorbachev. By the end of the year Gorbachev had resigned and the Soviet Union was no more. Dina Newman has spoken to the former President of Belorussia, Stanislav Shushkevich, and the former President of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, who signed that historic document alongside Boris Yeltsin.

Photo: the leader of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, the leader of Belorussia, Stanislav Shushkevich and the leader of Russia, Boris Yeltsin at the signing ceremony. Credit: AP

The Brighton Hotel Bombing20131015

In October 1984, Margaret Thatcher survived a bomb attack on the hotel where she was staying.

Five people were killed and more than 30 others injured in the explosion, which was carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

We hear from a government official in the hotel at the time.

Photo: The Grand Hotel in Brighton after the IRA bombing (John Minihan/Express/Getty Images)

The British Miners' Strike20111225

Christmas 1984 was a difficult time for British miners who had been on strike for nine months.

They had taken industrial action to try to save their coal mines from government closure.

Listen to one miner's wife tell how her family made it through the anger and deprivation of that time.

Photo: BBC

Christmas 1984 - a time of hardship for the protesters against the closure of coal mines.

The Brixton Riots20110411

In April 1981 the streets of South London erupted in violence.

The fighting was mainly between young members of the black community and the Metropolitan police.

A former rioter and a former policeman tell their very different stories.

This programme was first broadcast last year.

Photo: Press Association.

The Buddhas Of Bamiyan20160302

In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed huge ancient statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. The statues were carved into the cliffs above the Bamiyan valley. Sayid Mirza Hossein, a local farmer, was taken prisoner by the Taliban and forced to pack explosives around the ancient Buddhas. He told Witness what it felt like to destroy something that he had seen every day of his life.

(Photo: Taliban fighters looking at the Bamiyan cliffs. Credit: Getty Images)

The Building Of The Eiffel Tower2013012920130130 (WS)

The Capture Of Abimael Guzman20160916

In September 1992 security forces in Peru tracked down and arrested the leader of the Maoist rebels, Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path. Abimael Guzman was found hiding in a safe house in the capital, Lima, which fronted as a ballet school. Mike Lanchin hears from two police officers who caught the elusive Guzman.

Photo: Abimael Guzman behind the bars of a cage during his presentation to the press by Peruvian authorities, Sept. 1992 (HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Capture Of President Izetbegovic2012050120120506
The Capture Of President Izetbegovic20120506

In May 1992 the Bosnian president was taken captive by Serb soldiers.

The siege of Sarajevo had just begun.

With him, was his daughter Sabina - hear her story.

Photo: President Alija Izetbegovic - VT Freeze Frame.

The Capture Of The Uss Pueblo20120103

In January 1968 an American spy ship was captured by North Korean forces.

Its crew were held for almost a year but they found small ways to resist.

Hear from one of the US sailors on board.

Photo of the Pueblo's crew taken by North Korean military.

The Capture Of The Uss Pueblo20120104

In January 1968 an American spy ship was captured by North Korean forces.

The Capture Of The Uss Pueblo20120107
The Capture Of Uss Pueblo2013012320130124 (WS)
20130127 (WS)

American spy ship USS Pueblo was captured by North Korean forces forty-five years ago

Forty-five years ago an American spy ship was captured by North Korean forces.

The crew of USS Pueblo were held for almost a year, but they found small ways to resist.

'Skip' Carl Schumacher, a 24 year-old 1st Lieutenant, who was on board USS Pueblo, describes their ordeal.

Photo: USS Pueblo's crew taken by North Korean military.

The Caracazo Protests20160225

In February 1989 government austerity measures sparked days of violent protests in Venezuela. Hundreds of shops and businesses were looted in the capital, Caracas. More than 300 people were killed as the Army took back control of the streets. But many of the victims were innocent bystanders, not involved in the violence - like the husband of Yris Medina, who told her story to Witness.

(Photo: Venezuelan police in the street controlling crowds. Jose Cohen/AP Photo)

The Carnation Revolution In Portugal20140424

On April 25 1974 a coup carried out by left-leaning army officers led the way to democracy in Portugal. The largely peaceful handover of power became known as the Carnation Revolution. Hear from Adelino Gomes, who was a young journalist in Lisbon at the time.

The Challenger Disaster20160127

In January 1986 a space shuttle launch went horribly wrong. Six astronauts and a teacher - Christa McAuliffe - were killed. Hear from Barbara Morgan, another teacher who trained alongside the Challenger crew.

(Photo: Christa McAuliffe (left) and Barbara Morgan. Credit: Nasa)

The Christmas Truce20111225

On Christmas Eve 1914, during World War I, British and German soldiers stopped fighting.

Many of them left their trenches and started to talk and exchange gifts.

But after a few hours of peace they were ordered back to their guns.

Photo: Associated Press.

The Cia's Cultural War: How The Cia Secretly Funded The Magazine Encounter20151119

In autumn 1953, a new literary magazine was launched in London that would become the magazine of choice of the English-speaking liberal intelligentsia. The magazine was called Encounter. And fourteen years later, it would emerge, it had been funded by the CIA as part of a cultural Cold War.

Photograph: British poet Sir Stephen Spender, co-editor of Encounter, a year after he resigned when it became clear the magazine had received CIA funding (credit: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

The Collapse Of The Larsen B Ice Shelf20170331

In March 2002 a massive ice shelf with a surface area of more than 3,200 square kilometres collapsed into the ocean around western Antarctica. The Larsen B ice shelf had existed for more than 10,000 years, but it split apart in a period of just 35 days. Mike Lanchin hears from the leading glaciologist Pedro Svarka who saw it happen.

Photo: Satellite images showing the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in early 2002 (Science Photo Library)

The Controversial 'god Of Vengeance'20151020

In 1923 the entire cast of a Yiddish play was arrested in New York and charged with staging an immoral performance. Written by the celebrated Polish-Jewish writer Sholem Asch, 'God of Vengeance' is set in a brothel and deals with themes such as prostitution, religion and corruption. David Mazower, the playwright's great-grandson, speaks about the controversy.

(Photo: Sholem Asch, left, with Russian playwright Maxim Gorky,1920s. Courtesy of David Mazower)

The Crate Escape2012110520121106 (WS)
20121112 (WS)

In London in 1984, a joint Nigerian-Israeli team attempted to kidnap and repatriate the exiled former Nigerian minister Umaru Dikko.

Dikko, who'd fled Nigeria after a military coup, was accused of stealing $1 billion of government money.

We hear from Charles David Morrow, the young British customs officer who foiled the kidnap plot.

Photo: Umaru Dikko shortly after his release. BBC

An incredible plot to kidnap, drug and repatriate Nigerian exile Umaru Dikko in 80s London

Dikko, who'd fled Nigeria after a military coup, was accused of stealing 1 billion dollars of government money.

The Creation Of Modern Nigeria In 191420140124

In January 1914, Britain merged two separate colonial territories in West Africa to form the modern state of Nigeria. It was called the Amalgamation of Nigeria. We hear rare archive recordings of witnesses to this defining period in Nigerian history, including the British colonial officer responsible for unification, Lord Frederick Lugard and the Nigerian nationalist, Ernest Ikoli.

Photo: Amalgamation Day, Lagos, 1 January 1914

The Creation Of Tetris20111229

In 1984 one of the most popular computer games ever was invented in Moscow.

Hear from Alexey Pajitnov, the Russian who created it, and Henk Rogers, the American who helped to sell it around the world.

Photo: Henk and Alexey.

The Creation Of Tetris20111230

In 1984 one of the most popular computer games ever was invented in Moscow.

The Creation Of The Mini20160429

In 1959 the British Motoring Corporation unveiled a new, and very small, family car. It was called the Mini and it was an immediate hit with the public. It would become an icon of British design.

(Photo: The Mini at its launch, surrounded by all the people, and luggage that could fit inside. Credit: R Viner/Getty Images)

The Crusaders Capture Jerusalem20110715

The tale of the momentous and bloody capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099

A graphic account of one of the major events in the history of the Middle East.

The conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders more than 900 years ago.

The Crusaders Capture Jerusalem20110718

A graphic account of one of the major events in the history of the Middle East.

The conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders more than 900 years ago.

The tale of the momentous and bloody capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099.

The Cuban Five20140925

In September 1998 five Cuban spies were arrested in Miami by the FBI. After a controversial trial, they were given lengthy jail sentences. Three of them are still in American prisons. Witness speaks to one of the Cubans, Rene Gonzalez, who was released in 2011.

(Photo: Portraits of the Cuban Five. Credit: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)

The Curious Story Of Mary Toft20160923

In September 1726, a Surrey woman called Mary Toft claimed to be giving birth to rabbits. The case became a sensation which gripped Georgian England - but the real story may have been much darker. Witness hears eye-witness accounts from the time, and historian Karen Harvey puts the story into context.

IMAGE: "Cunicularii or the wise men of Godliman in consultation", etching by William Hogarth illustrating the Mary Toft story, 1726. Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

The Cuyahoga River Fire20160628

In June 1969 the heavily polluted Cuyahoga River, in Ohio in the USA, caught fire. It became a national embarrassment and inspired new laws to protect the environment. Hear from one of the local officials who had to try to clean it up.

(Photo: The Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, Ohio)

The Dance Theatre Of Harlem20160824

In August 1969, Arthur Mitchell founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem - the first classical ballet company to focus on black dancers. Virginia Johnson, now the organisation's director, was a founder member.

(Photo: The Dance Theatre of Harlem, circa 1970. Virginia Johnson pictured back row, third from left. Credit: Marbeth)

The Day Sweden Turned Right20160902

On September 3rd 1967 all Swedish drivers had to change the habits of decades, and swap to driving on the right-hand side of the road. It brought them into line with most of the rest of Europe (except of course for Britain and Ireland) but caused a day of chaos. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Bjorn Sylven who remembers that day.

Photo: The moment when the traffic changed from left-hand drive to right-hand, in Kings Street, Stockholm, at exactly 5am, on September 3rd 1967. Credit: AP

The Db Cooper Mystery20151123

In November 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a plane flying from the US city of Portland to nearby Seattle. He demanded $200,000 in cash and four parachutes. ‘Cooper’ later jumped from the aircraft and has never been seen again. The case remains one of America's biggest criminal mysteries. We hear from the co-pilot on the flight, Bill Rataczak.

(Photo: Artist sketches of D.B. Cooper. Credit: FBI)

The Death Of Bassel Al Assad2013012120130122 (WS)
20130128 (WS)

It is 19 years since the heir to the Syrian presidency died in a car crash.

It is 19 years since the heir to the Syrian presidency died in a car crash. His younger brother Bashar, would eventually become the next President. Hear from someone who knew him well.

Photo: AP Wire.

The Death Of Bruce Lee20160720

On 20th July 1973 the film star and martial arts legend Bruce Lee died suddenly in Hong Kong. He was just 32 years old. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to his friend and fellow martial arts expert Dan Inosanto about his life, and sudden death.

Photo: Bruce Lee. Credit: AFP

The Death Of Che Guevara2014100820141012 (WS)

In October 1967 the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara was captured and killed in Bolivia. Witness speaks to Felix Rodriguez, the CIA operative who helped track him down, and was one of the last people to speak to him.

(Photo: Felix Rodriguez (left) with the captured Che Guevara, shortly before his execution on 9 Oct 1967. Courtesy of Felix Rodriguez)

The Death Of Dag Hammarskjold20110919

The Secretary General of the UN was killed in a plane crash 50 years ago.

He was on his way to Congo, in an attempt to prevent war.

Two people who knew him well remember the man.

Photo: Associated Press.

The Death Of Dag Hammarskjold20110920

The Secretary General of the UN was killed in a plane crash 50 years ago.

The Death Of Dag Hammarskjold20110925
The Death Of Dylan Thomas20131107

In November 1953 the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died in New York aged just thirty-nine. Witness presents interviews from the BBC archives.

Picture copyright BBC - Dylan Thomas, making a broadcast on the BBC in November 1948.

The Death Of Edith Cavell20151012

On 12 October 1915 a British nurse was executed by German troops during World War One. Her death made her a propaganda icon for Britain and its allies.

(Photo: Edith Cavell in 1890. Credit:Getty Images)

The Death Of Evita Peron2012072520120726 (WS)
20120728 (WS)
20120730 (WS)

It is 60 years since the Argentine first lady died.

During her short life she had become an icon for women and the poor in Argentina

Hear from two very different women who remember meeting her.

(Photo: Juan and Eva Peron in 1950. Credit: Associated Press)

The Death Of Frida Kahlo20140714

On July 13 1954, the celebrated Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, died at the age of 47.

The art critic, Raquel Tibor, lived in Frida's house during the last year of the artist's life -- she speaks to Witness about the pain and torment of her final days.

Photo: Frida Kahlo with her husband, the painter Diego Rivera, at their home in Mexico city, April 1939 (AP)

The Death Of General Patton20151221

In December 1945, one of America's most famous miltary commanders, General George S Patton, died from injuries sustained in a car crash, just months after the end of the Second World War. Witness talks to his grandson, George Patton Waters, about his memories of this colourful and often unorthodox man.

Photo: General George Patton in Paris in August 1945 to celebrate the first anniversary of the city's liberation. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The Death Of Getulio Vargas2012082420120825 (WS)

The death of a president that shocked Brazil.

In 1954 the president of Brazil, Getulio Vargas, chose to die rather than submit to the military.

His sudden death resulted in a wide expression of public grief.

His legacy was a letter to the Brazilian people that has passed into history.

(Image: Getulio Vargas)

The Death Of Getulio Vargas20140825

In 1954 the president of Brazil, Getulio Vargas, chose to die rather than submit to the military. His sudden death resulted in a wide expression of public grief. His legacy was a letter to the Brazilian people that has passed into history.

Photo: Getulio Vargas, 1930 (Getty Images)

The Death Of Jonas Savimbi20160222

In February 2002 the controversial Angolan rebel leader was killed by government forces. He had led his UNITA guerrillas for almost four decades, as Angola found itself on the front-line of the Cold War between East and West. But by the time he died, Savimbi had been abandonned by his former backers in Washington. Hear from one of his closest aides, Alcides Sakala.

(Photo: Jonas Savimbi addresses his troops in Jamba, December 1985. Credit: Trevor Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

The Death Of Joseph Stalin2013030520130306 (WS)

60 years ago the Soviet dictator died and the whole of the USSR was plunged into mourning.

Sixty years ago the Soviet dictator died and the whole of the USSR was plunged into mourning. Although many people were genuinely grieving, others had to put on a show of sadness. Hear from two young Russians of the time about how his death affected them.

Photo: Associated Press

The Death Of King Faisal20170324

On March 25th 1975, the King of Saudi Arabia was assassinated, shot at point-blank range by one of his nephews. King Faisal's oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani was standing beside the king when the shots were fired. His daughter, the academic and author Dr Mai Yamani, talks to Louise Hidalgo about the impact of his death on her father and on Saudi Arabia.

Picture: King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, 1967 (Credit: Pierre Manevy/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Death Of Leonid Brezhnev20111113

The Soviet leader died in November 1982 after years of ill health.

He had ruled the USSR for 18 years and presided over a period of economic and political stagnation.

Image: Associated Press.

The Death Of Leonid Brezhnev20111114

The Soviet leader died in November 1982 after years of ill health.

The Death Of Marilyn Monroe2012080320120804 (WS)

Marilyn Monroe is perhaps Hollywood's most enduring sex symbol and on the 50th anniversary of her death, two of her photographers - Eve Arnold and George Barris - remember the woman, her charm, her insecurity, her films and her affairs.

(Image: Marilyn Monroe on set in the film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Credit: AP Photo/Courtesy Running Press)

It's 50 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood's ultimate sex symbol.

The Death Of Nehru20140527

In May 1964 India's first prime minister and the man who led India to independence died.

His niece, the writer Nayanatara Seghal, remembers her famous uncle.

Photo: Indira Gandhi paying her respects at the body of her father, Jawaharlal Nehru.(AFP/Getty Images)

The Death Of Paquirri20130925

The fatal goring of the legendary bullfighter Francisco Rivera Pérez in September 1984

The Death Of Princess Diana2012083120120901 (WS)

The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, killed in a car crash on 31 August 1997.

Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997.

Her companion, Dodi al-Fayed and the driver of the car also died.

Witness speaks to one of her closest friends and a French doctor who attended the scene of the accident.

(Image: Princess Diana. Photo credit VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)

The Death Of Robert Maxwell20111105

It is 20 years since the newspaper magnate disappeared off his yacht.

After his death it soon became clear that his publishing empire was in serious financial difficulties.

We hear from one man who knew him well.

The Death Of Roberto Calvi2012061820120619

On June 17, 1982 an Italian banker was found dead in mysterious circumstances in London.

He had been in charge of a bank with close ties to the Catholic church.

He was known as God's Banker.

Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images.

The Death Of Roberto Calvi2012061820120624

On June 17, 1982 an Italian banker was found dead in mysterious circumstances in London.

The Death Of Rock Hudson20151002

In October 1985 the Hollywood superstar became the most high profile celebrity to acknowledge he was suffering from Aids. Fellow actor Angie Dickinson remembers her friend.

(Photo: Rock Hudson at the BBC)

The Death Of Steve Biko2012091220120913 (WS)
20120915 (WS)
20120917 (WS)

It is 35 years since the anti-apartheid activist died in a police cell.

The South African police claimed he'd starved himself to death.

Helen Zille was the journalist who helped uncover the truth behind his demise.

(Image: Members of the Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA) hold a candle light memorial ceremony to mark the death anniversary of the anti-apartheid activist and founder of the Black Conscioussness Movement Steve Bantu Biko. Credit: RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/GettyImages)

The Death Of Thich Quang Duc20130710

***Some listeners may find this report disturbing***

In June 1963, Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc shocked the world by setting himself on fire in protest against the Catholic South Vietnamese government. Sister Chan Khong was there.

(Photo: Sister Chan Khong. BBC copyright)

The Death Of Tom Simpson20110718

In July 1967 the British cyclist rode himself to death on the Tour de France.

His teammate talks to Witness about Tom and the Tour.

This programme was first broadcast last year.

The Death Of Tom Simpson20110719

In July 1967 the British cyclist rode himself to death on the Tour de France.

The Death Of Tom Simpson20110723
The Death Of Tom Simpson20110724
The Dieppe Raid20150818

In the early hours of 19th August 1942, a convoy of Allied ships approached the port of Dieppe carrying more than 6,000 troops. The mainly Canadian force was supposed to carry out a hit and run raid that would help the Allies learn and plan for the real invasion of occupied France later in the war. But almost immediately things started to go wrong.

Ronald Miles, then aged 20, was a crew member on a landing craft.

(Photo: Two German prisoners brought back from the Allied raid on Dieppe, blindfolded after landing. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

The Dionne Quintuplets2012052820120603
20120603 (WS)

The story of the "miracle babies" who became global superstars in the 1930s.

In May 1934, the first quintuplets ever to survive birth were born in a tiny rural settlement in northern Canada.

The Dionne babies became global superstars and millions of people visited their specially-built nursery.

But, once their fame was over, the Dionne Quintuplets all struggled to adapt to daily life and had to fight for compensation.

Witness speaks to a biographer of the Quintuplets and brings together archive recordings from the height of their fame.

PHOTO:

The Disappearance Of Amelia Earhart2012070220120703
20120708 (WS)

In July 1937 the female flyer disappeared in her plane somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

She was attempting to fly around the world following the Equator.

With her record breaking solo fights and her striking looks she had become an international celebrity by the time she died.

Photo:Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan shortly before their disappearance. Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The Disappearing Sea20151021

In October 1990, Professor Denys Brunsden of King's College, London, was one of the first Western scientists to confirm the shrinking of the Aral Sea. Dina Newman spoke to Prof Brunsden.

(Photo: Abandoned Ship in Aralsk, Kazakhstan. Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

The Donner Party20151228

In 1846, a group of pioneers were trying to reach California by wagon train when they were trapped by snow over the winter - and some were forced to eat each other to survive. Their gruesome story has become a legend of the American West.

PHOTO: The slopes of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada range, near Lone Pine, California, USA. 20/04/2008.

The Eames Chair20160105

In 1956, designers Charles and Ray Eames created one of the most famous piece of furniture of the twentieth century – the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Witness speaks to their grandson, Eames Demetrios.

PICTURE: Charles and Ray Eames’ laid-back, leather-covered reclining armchair lounger with matching molded Ottoman, is part of a Library of Congress exhibit showing examples from over a million items of the Eames’ works. (AP Photo)

The Early Days Of Hiv/aids20110604

The experience of a Ugandan-born woman diagnosed with HIV in the early days of the virus

It's 30 years since the HIV virus was first identified by medical experts.

In the early days, carriers of the virus were stigmatised and treatment was in its infancy.

Alan Johnston talks to Ugandan-born Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma about her experiences of having HIV back in the 1980s.

The Early Days Of Hiv/aids20110605

It's 30 years since the HIV virus was first identified by medical experts.

In the early days, carriers of the virus were stigmatised and treatment was in its infancy.

Alan Johnston talks to Ugandan-born Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma about her experiences of having HIV back in the 1980s.

The experience of a Ugandan-born woman diagnosed with HIV in the early days of the virus.

The Easter Rising20160325

At Easter 1916, Irish rebels tried to launch a revolution against British rule. Their small army held out in the General Post Office in Dublin for a week before surrendering to British troops. Simon Watts tells the story of the Easter Rising through archive eye-witness accounts.

PHOTO: The aftermath of the Easter Rising (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The End Of El Salvador's Civil War20170116

In January 1992 a peace treaty was signed by El Salvador's Marxist FMLN rebels and the US-backed government to end one of the most bitterly fought Cold War conflicts in Latin America. It took two years of UN-brokered negotiations to reach a deal, which saw the FMLN lay down its weapons and become a legal political party. In return, the government agreed to radical reforms of the military and the creation of a new civilian police force. Mike Lanchin hears from a former female guerrilla about her experience of war and peace.

Photo: Two women launch doves during celebrations in San Salvador of the peace accords signed by the government and the guerrillas (FRANCISCO CAMPOS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Eruption Of Mount Pinatubo20160615

On 15 June 1991 one of the largest volcanic eruptions of recent times occurred at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The volcano had been dormant for over 600 years. The eruption produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mudflows, and a cloud of volcanic ash hundreds of kilometres wide. Witness has been speaking to volcanologist, John Ewert, who was part of the team monitoring the volcano.

(Photo: Clark Airbase Philippines. John Ewert 4th from right. Photo courtesy of John Ewert)

The Excavation Of Masada20160809

In August 1963, work started on the excavation of one of Israel's most important archaeological sites - Masada by the Dead Sea, site of a famous mass suicide two thousand years ago. David Stacey was one of the volunteers on the dig.

PICTURE: An aerial photo taken on May 13, 2008 shows the ancient hilltop fortress of Masada in the Judean desert (MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

The Execution Of Anne Boleyn20160523

In May 1536 the Queen of England was executed on the orders of her husband, Henry VIII. She was the second of his six wives, but why did she deserve to die?

(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Execution Of Ted Bundy20140123

In January 1989, serial killer Ted Bundy was executed by electric chair in Florida. It's thought he'd killed dozens of young women and girls. His defence lawyer recounts the events of that morning and his memories of a client who he found both smart and engaging.

PHOTO: AP

The Execution Of The Ceauescus2012122520121226 (WS)

On December 25th 1989, Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu were executed by firing squad.

It was the end of one of the most repressive regimes in former communist eastern Europe.

Petre Roman took part in the revolution that overthrew the Ceauşescus and became the country's first democratic prime minister.

Photo: Nicolae Ceauşescu shortly before his execution.

The Execution Of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto20160404

On April 4th 1979 Pakistan's first democratically elected Prime Minister was hanged at a jail in Rawalpindi. He'd been overthrown in a military coup almost 2 years earlier. Hear from the officer who ran that jail, and watched over Mr Bhutto during the last year of his life.

Photo: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 10 years before his death - in 1969. Credit: BBC.

The Falklands War20120402

It is 30 years since Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands.

In the first of 2 programmes we hear the story from the point of view of a resident of the islands who lived through the invasion and the subsequent war between Britain and Argentina.

Photo: Press Association.

The Falklands War20120403

It is 30 years since Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands.

The Falklands War20120408
The Fall Of Berlin2011051720110521 (WS)
20110522 (WS)

The Red Army took control of the German capital Berlin, in May 1945.

The Soviet soldiers had a terrifying reputation and civilians in their path feared looting and violence.

One German woman who survived that time tells her story.

This programme was scheduled for broadcast on May 2nd but postponed due to the death of Osama bin Laden.

The Fall Of Bukhara20160830

In 1920, the Communist Red Army bombed the old city of Bukhara and took over the Central Asian kingdom. This was the end of an important centre of Islamic culture. Dina Newman speaks to the son of one of the Bukharan reformers who had made a pact with the Communists.

Photo: The Last Emir of Bukhara, 1911 (credit: Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Prokudin-Gorskii Collection)

The Fall Of Emperor Tewodros Ii20160323

Emperor Tewodros II is one of the towering figures of modern Ethiopian history. He tried to unify and modernise Ethiopia. But his reign was also marked by brutality.

He faced a rising tide of rebellion inside the country and then in 1868 a British military expedition marched into the Ethiopian highlands. Their aim was to free British diplomatic envoys the Emperor had imprisoned.

Tewodros II made a last stand at Magdala, his mountain top fortress.

Drawing of Tewodros II. Credit: Getty Images.

The Fall Of Paris20160617

In June 1940, German forces, having swept across Belgium and Holland, and into France, were closing in on Paris. In the face of the German army, millions of French, Dutch and Belgians had taken to the roads in one of the biggest exoduses of people the world had ever seen. Witness talks to Daphne Wall, who lived in Paris in 1940 as a young English girl and whose family joined the exodus south as Paris fell.

Photograph: the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler visits the Eiffel Tower following the occupation of Paris by the German army on the 14th June 1940 (Credit: Harwood/Keystone/Getty Images)

The Fall Of The Berlin Wall20141107

It had been one of the enduring icons of the Cold War. It had divided East Berlin from West Berlin; and socialism from capitalism. But on 9 November, 1989, after weeks of anti-Communist protests across East Germany, that all changed. Hear from two East Germans - Aram Radomski and Siegbert Schefke - who were among the first to cross from East to West Berlin.

Photo: copyright Siegbert Schefke

The Fall Of The Taliban20151113

On 13 November 2001, the Taliban administration collapsed in Afghanistan. Northern Alliance fighters, aided by American air strikes, had driven the Islamic fundamentalists from power. Monica Whitlock has been speaking to Afghan writer, Aziz Hakimi about life under Taliban rule.

(Photo: Residents of Kabul listening to music on the radio in November 2001. Credti: Associated Press)

The Farewell Dossier2012072620120727 (WS)
20120729 (WS)

How a mole in the KGB sent secrets to France and the USA in 1981.

His codename was 'Farewell' - and the information he gave to the West helped helped to hasten the end of the Soviet Union.

Photo: Francois Mitterand and Ronald Reagan outside the White House. AFP

The Feminine Mystique2013021920130220 (WS)
20130224 (WS)

In 1963, a frustrated American housewife, Betty Friedan, published one of the key texts in feminist thought. With its call for women to leave the home and enter the workplace, the Feminine Mystique paved the way for the women's liberation movement. Jo Fidgen speaks to two of Betty Friedan's children for Witness. The programme also contains archive recordings of Friedan herself.

PHOTO: The Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

It's 50 years since a frustrated American housewife wrote one of the bibles of feminism.

The First Alzheimer's Patient20160113

In 1901, the German psychiatrist Dr Alois Alzheimer treated a 51-year-old woman, Auguste Deter, who had developed a type of dementia. The illness he documented became known as Alzheimer’s disease. We speak to Professor Konrad Maurer, who discovered Dr Alzheimer's original case file on Auguste Deter, which had been lost for almost a century.

Photo: Auguste Deter photographed in the psychiatric hospital in Frankfurt where Dr Alzheimer worked, c.1901

The First Batman Tv Series20160129

In January 1966 the popular comic superheroes, Batman and Robin, hit TV screens in America for the very first time. The series became an overnight sensation. We speak to the daughter of William Dozier, the executive producer who created the tongue-in-cheek shows.

(Photo: Batman and Robin sitting in the batmobile. Credit: 20th Century Fox/Getty Images)

The First Cia Coup In Latin America20160726

In 1954 a group of army officers, supported by the CIA, overthrew the elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. It was the first CIA-organised coup in Latin America. President Arbenz's son, Juan Jacobo, remembers the family's flight into exile.

Photo: Army officers opposed to President Arbenz go over a map of the territory on their push to Zacapa and then to Guatemala City, July 1954. (AP Photo)

The First Fleet Lands In Australia20160126

A British fleet of 11 ships established a penal colony in Australia in 1788. It was the first step towards claiming Australia as a British territory. For the indigenous population, the arrival of British settlers brought violence and disease which would decimate the population.

(Photo: Royal Navy ships took 750 British convicts to New South Wales, where they established the first European settlement in Australia. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The First Flight Of Concorde20120302

On 2 March 1969 the supersonic airliner took to the skies for the first time.

But at the time, some campaigners believed it could damage buildings by flying so fast.

Hear from the French pilot who guided it through its maiden trip.

Photo: VT Freeze Frame.

The First Flight Of Concorde20120303

On 2 March 1969 the supersonic airliner took to the skies for the first time.

The First Glastonbury Festival20150917

We hear from farmer Michael Eavis, who began the Glastonbury music festival in 1970 and whose family still runs it today.

(Photo: The first Glastonbury festival on Worthy Farm in 1970)

The First Heart Transplant20151203

On 3 December 1967, two brothers carried out the world's first heart transplant operation. Christiaan and Marius Barnard were both working as surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa. Christiaan Barnard led the team which carried out the transplant. In 2009 Marius Barnard spoke to Witness about the operation, and about his relationship with his older brother.

(Photo: Leader of the heart transplant team Christiaan Barnard. Credit: Press Association)

The First Ivf Baby2012072420120725 (WS)
20120729 (WS)

In July 1978 the first baby to be conceived in a laboratory was born in England.

She was called Louise Brown and her mother had been treated with a new technique, in vitro fertilisation.

Millions of children have since been born using IVF.

(Photo: Louise Joy Brown. Credit: Getty Images)

The First Lady Of Cuban Ballet20151028

World-famous prima ballerina Alicia Alonso talks to Witness about her long and successful career on the stage, and how in 1959 she founded the prestigious Cuban National Ballet.

(Photo: Alicia Alonso courtesy of A. Alonso)

The First Loebner Prize20161108

In 1991, the first Loebner Prize was held. The judges at the competition had to determine whether they were communicating with humans or computer programmes. The winner of the prize was the computer programme that most fooled the judges.

Rachael Gillman has been speaking to Dr Robert Epstein, who was the organiser of the first competition.

Photo Credit: Digital Equipment Corporation

The First Palestinian Intifada20140724

In 1987, the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israeli military rule began in Gaza. Palestinian-born Maher Nasser had gone to work for the United Nations in Gaza shortly before the intifada began; and he tells Witness what life was like there before and during the unrest.

(Photo: a Palestinian demonstrator throws a rock during violent protests against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in December 1987. Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

The First Panda In America20131126

In November 1936, a US socialite and her Chinese-American guide captured a giant panda cub in the forests of China. Ruth Harkness took the cub to the USA and kept it in her New York flat, before selling it to a Chicago zoo.

Photo: Quentin Young, the panda cub and Ruth Harkness. Courtesy of Jolly Young.

The First Russian Revolution Of 191720170314

In March 1917 Tsar Nicholas II abdicated ending centuries of autocratic royal rule in Russia. The revolution started with demonstrations in the capital Petrograd (St. Petersburg) against the First World War and shortages of food. Troops joined the protestors in the streets, A Provisional Government was set up to replace Tsarist rule but it had to share power with a new Council of Workers and Soldiers Deputies, called the Petrograd Soviet. Hear eyewitness accounts of the revolution from the BBC radio archive.

Photo: 12th March 1917: Barricades across a street in St Petersburg, as a red flag floats above the cannons, during the Russian Revolution. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The First Starbucks20160412

In 1971 the first Starbucks coffee shop opened in Seattle. Witness hears from two of the founders of the company that changed the way millions of people start their day.

Photo of the first Starbucks coffee store in Pikes Place Market in Seattle (courtesy of Zev Siegl).

The First Tanks20160915

September 15th, 1916 was the date that tanks were first used in warfare. They were driven by British soldiers fighting against German troops during the Battle of the Somme in World War One. Alex Last presents interviews with some of those soldiers from the BBC archive.

A British tank in France during World War I. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Flavr Savr Tomato - The World's First Genetically Engineered Food20170328

In 1994 the world's first genetically engineered food went on sale in the US. It was a tomato, called the 'Flavr Savr' which stayed fresh for up to 30 days. It was developed by an American biotechnology company called Calgene and Claire Bowes has been speaking to the former CEO, Roger Salquist, about the ten year journey to get the genetically engineered tomato to market.

Photo: Roger Salquist, former Chairman and CEO of Calgene (courtesy of Roger Salquist)

The Football War2012062620120627

It is over 40 years since a brief but bloody war between Honduras and El Salvador.

The conflict coincided with the two countries meeting in the qualifiers for the 1970 football World Cup.

Hear the story as told by the captain of El Salvador's football team - Salvador Mariona.

The Football War2012062620120701

It is over 40 years since a brief but bloody war between Honduras and El Salvador.

The Founding Of Mensa20161003

In 1946, Roland Berrill and Lancelot Ware were travelling on a train when they sparked up a conversation about intelligence testing. That chance encounter sparked the high IQ club, Mensa. Rachael Gillman speaks to the society's archivist Ian Fergus about those early days.

(Photo: A computer generated image of the human head and brain. Credit: Getty Images)

The Founding Of Napster2012081320120814 (WS)
20120818 (WS)
20120819 (WS)

Shawn Fanning talks about how, as a teenager, he founded the file sharing website Napster.

His was an extraordinary but shortlived success.

The site attracted millions of users but also became a target for the music industry. Founded in 1999, it was closed down in 2001.

(Image: Shawn Fanning. Credit: AP Photo/George Nikitin)

Shawn Fanning talks about how he founded the file sharing website Napster.

The Foxcatcher Story20160226

In 1996 an American multi-millionaire murdered one of the wrestlers he was sponsoring. The murder victim, Dave Schultz ,was an Olympic champion. The killer, John du Pont, was the heir to the Du Pont chemicals fortune and had spent millions supporting athletes and allowing them to train on the facilities he had built on his farm, Foxcatcher. Dave Schultz's brother Mark talks to Witness.

(Photo: John du Pont (centre) talking to two wrestlers at the Foxcatcher farm, 1992. Credit: Tom Mihalek/Getty Images)

The Freedom Tower In Tehran20160114

In January 1972 a vast new monument was opened to the public in Tehran. It was called 'Shahyad' and was dedicated to centuries of Iranian royalty. Hossein Amanat was the young architect employed to design it. After the Iranian revolution of 1979 the monument's name changed, but it has remained a centrepiece for public events and demonstrations in the city.

Photo: Hossein Amanat in front of his tower. Credit: Hossein Amanat.

The Frontier Gandhi20140425

In 1930 protestors gathered in Qissa Khwani Bazaar to object to the the arrest of independence activist Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan - also known as The Frontier Gandhi. The gathering in Peshawar was a non-violent one, but British soldiers opened fire and hundreds of people were killed.

We dip into the archives for a recording of a British colonial officer, Olaf Caroe, who gave his account of this violent episode in the story of Indian independence to the BBC in the 1970s.

Picture: Mahatma Gandhi with Pashtun leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 1938 in Peshawar, during a political meeting. Courtesy of OFF/AFP/Getty Images

The Funeral Of Charles Darwin20160427

In April 1882, the great English naturalist Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution changed forever the way we look at the world and our place in it, was buried at Westminster Abbey. The funeral was the greatest honour that Britain could give. But, as Witness reports, the national commemoration almost didn't take place.

(Photo: English naturalist, Charles Darwin, 1809-1882. Credit: Spencer Arnold/Getty Images)

The Funeral Of Gandhi2013013120130201 (WS)
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The Funeral Of Jan Palach20160122

In January 1969 hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to mourn student activist, Jan Palach, who had set himself alight in protest at the crushing of Czechoslovakia's 'Prague Spring'. Hear from two of the students who helped organise his funeral, and the priest who spoke.

Photo: Members of the public filing past Jan Palach's coffin, 28th January 1969. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive-Getty Images

The Funeral Of Sir Winston Churchill2013041720130422 (WS)

In January 1965 Britain held a state funeral for the man who led it through World War Two.

In January 1965 Britain held a state funeral for the Prime Minister who led it through World War Two. His granddaughter Emma Soames spoke to Witness in 2011.

Photo: Press Association.

The General Strike2012050420120505
The General Strike20120505

In May 1926 workers across Britain went on strike in support of coal miners.

Hear the memories of Hetty Bower, a left-wing Londoner who helped the strikers.

Photo: Armoured cars protect a food convoy in London during the strike. Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

The Goons20110821

It is 60 years since The Goon Show first hit the airwaves

A surreal comedy, much of it was written and performed by the comedian Spike Milligan.

His producer Charles Chilton remembers him.

The Gotti Trial20110405

John Gotti was a mafia boss who had escaped jail for years.

John Gotti was a mafia boss who had escaped prison for years.

In April 1992 he was finally convicted on several counts of murder - and was jailed for life.

One of the prosecutors, Patrick Cotter, tells his story.

Photo of John Gotti: AP.

The Gotti Trial20110409

John Gotti was a mafia boss who had escaped jail for years.

The Gotti Trial20110410

John Gotti was a mafia boss who had escaped jail for years.

The Great Depression: One Man's Story20151029

In October 1929, Wall Street crashed and the greatest depression the world had ever seen began. Harry Leslie Smith tells Witness his story of growing up in extreme poverty in the north of England, and how his sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care.

Photo: unemployed men queue for work at a dockyard during the Great Depression (Credit:Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The Great Escape20101228

The last surviving member of a mass breakout from a German prisoner of war camp speaks.

The film, The Great Escape, has become a favourite in the UK.

It is about a mass breakout from a German prison camp during World War 2.

Ken Rees is the last surviving member of the escape effort.

The Great Fire Of Smyrna20160913

Smyrna on Turkey's Aegean coast was one of the richest cities in the Ottoman Empire. It had a diverse mix of peoples and religions - Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Levantines, and Jews. The city was famous for its tolerant and cosmopolitan way of life.

But that began to change in the aftermath of World War One. The Greek army occupied Smyrna and its surroundings and was responsible for atrocities against Turks. Then in September 1922, Turkish forces routed the Greek army and re-entered the city. They began a campaign of rape, murder and looting mainly targeted at Armenians and Greeks. Within days the city was ablaze.

Rob Walker has been speaking to Jacques Nalbantian, who was five years old when the fire broke out, and to the historian Giles Milton.

(Photo: Turkish soldiers on the march near Smyrna in September 1922. Credit: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Great Plague20160629

In the summer of 1665, London was gripped by one of the worst epidemics in its history. The outbreak later became known as the Great Plague. Witness hears eye-witness testimony from the time, including an account by famous diarist Samuel Pepys.

(Photo: The angel of death presides over London during the Great Plague of 1664-1666, holding an hourglass in one hand and a spear in the other. Published in The Intelligencer, 26 June 1665. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Great Train Robbery2012082720120828 (WS)
20120901 (WS)
20120902 (WS)

of 1963, when thieves stole more than £2 million.

The Great Train Robbery of 1963, when thieves stole more than £2 million.

The Royal Mail train was bound from Glasgow to London when it was held up.

Most of the robbers ended up behind bars, but most of the money has never been recovered.

The Greek Military Coup20140421

In April 1967, seven years of military dictatorship began in Greece. Thousands of people were arrested and tortured during the rule of the Colonels. Witness speaks to Gerasimos Nortaras, who was part of the armed resistance to the military. He was captured, but refused to give away his fellow fighters, even under brutal torture.

The Green March20151104

In November 1975, a huge crowd of Moroccans marched into the desert colony of Spanish Sahara to claim it from Madrid. About 350,000 people took part in the Green March, which is now considered one of the key events in the history of Morocco and the wider region. Seddik Maâninou covered the Green March for Moroccan TV.

(Photo: The Green March. Credit: Getty Images)

The Green March In The Sahara20131106

In November 1975, King Hassan the Second ordered hundreds of thousands of Moroccans to march into disputed territory in the desert. He wanted to claim the colony of Spanish Sahara for Morocco. The Green March led to a diplomatic victory for the King, but sparked a guerrilla war and decades of instability in the region. Witness speaks to a Moroccan who was on the march.

In 1975 hundreds of thousands of Moroccans marched into disputed territory in the desert.

The Guinness Book Of Records20150827

It's sixty years since the first edition of one of the world's best-selling books was published. Compiled by the McWhirter brothers, the idea for the book arose after an argument at a shooting party in Ireland.

(Image: Norris and Ross McWhirter. Credit: Guinness World Records)

The Hama Massacre 19822011041720110418

In 1982 people in the Syrian city of Hama rose up against the Assad regime.

We hear from two men who as children, lived through the government crackdown that followed.

(Photo credit: Hama skyline).

The Hanafi Hostage Siege In Washington Dc20170310

In March 1977 a group of American Muslims took over a hundred people hostage in Washington. The siege ended after ambassadors from three Islamic countries helped with the negotiations. Simon Watts has been speaking to Paul Green, one of the hostages who was held for almost 40 hours.

PHOTO: Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, the leader of the hostage-takers, arriving for a court hearing in Washington with his wives (AP)

The Harold Wilson Plot20160329

In March 1976, the British prime minister Harold Wilson unexpectedly resigned. Wilson had dominated British politics for over a decade, and no-one could understand why he was stepping down. Witness has been talking to one of two journalists who Wilson summoned shortly afterwards to a series of secret meetings. What would he reveal?

(Photo: Harold Wilson on his way to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth. Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)

The Harrier In The Falklands War20160419

In 1982, a British naval task force sailed to the south Atlantic to retake the Falkland Islands. To provide crucial air cover, the British fleet relied on an unusual and underrated aircraft, the Harrier, We hear from piilot and author, David Morgan DSC, who flew the Harrier during the conflict.

Photo: A Sea Harrier on the flight deck of HMS Hermes heading to the Falklands , April 1982..(Getty Images)

The Heyday Of Somali Music20150903

The fall and rise of Maryam Mursal, who was one of the superstars of Somali music in the 1970s. Musicians were employed by Siad Barre's socialist state and were seen as crucial to nation-building. But many fell foul of the regime, and Maryam was one of them.

Photo: Maryam Mursal

(Credit: Real World Records)

The Hitler Diaries Hoax20110425

In 1983 a German magazine believed it had found Hitler's wartime diary.

It sold the rights to other papers including the Times in London.

Journalist Phillip Knightley doubted their authenticity from the start.

The Hitler Diaries Hoax20110426

In 1983 a German magazine believed it had found Hitler's wartime diary.

The Hitler Diaries Hoax20110430
The Hitler Diaries Hoax20110501
The Hobbit2012092120120922 (WS)
20120923 (WS)

How an Oxford academic came up with a story that charmed children for generations.

How Oxford academic JRR Tolkein came up with The Hobbit, a story that charmed children for generations.

Hear excerpts from the BBC's archive of interviews, including JRR Tolkein himself.

(Image: JRR Tolkein in 1967. Credit: Associated Press)

The Hollywood Blacklist20120109

A list of radicals in Hollywood and the entertainment industry was published by US anti-communists more than 60 years ago.

The list was known as Red Channels and people whose names were on it found their careers in jeopardy.

Walter Bernstein was a young screenwriter at the time.

A list of radicals in the US entertainment industry was published more than 60 years ago.

The Hoover Free Flights Promotion20161014

In 1992 the vacuum cleaner manufacturer Hoover began offering free flights to British customers with every appliance they bought. The promotional campaign soon came unstuck when thousands of people took them up. Harry Cichy led the campaign to try to make the company provide the flights. He's been speaking to Susan Hulme for Witness.

Photo: A cleaning lady vacuuming a red carpet. Credit: Getty Images.

The Hungarian Picnic20110818
The Hungarian Picnic20110821

The picnic that led to the first breaches of the Iron Curtain in 1989

The picnic planned as a demonstration for European integration that ended with hundreds of East Germans escaping to the West through the Iron Curtain.

We talk to one of the organisers of the picnic, on the border between Austria and Hungary in 1989, that prefigured the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Hunger Winter2013012220130123 (WS)

The Imaginary War Heroes20160509

During World War Two, Soviet propaganda promoted a heroic feat that never happened. It was the story of a small ill-equipped unit who destroyed over a dozen German tanks, delaying the German advance on Moscow. But it's unlikely that they destroyed a single tank, despite being widely promoted as heroes, during and after the war.

Photo: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walks near World War Two veterans at a wreath-laying ceremony in Dubosekovo on May 7, 2010 during a visit to a memorial to the 28 Panfilov heroes. Credit: Dmitry Astakhov/AFP/Getty Images.

The Iran-iraq War2012102520121026 (WS)
20121028 (WS)

In the autumn of 1980 one of the longest wars of the 20th Century began.

The Israeli Airlift Of Ethiopian Jews20160525

In May 1991, at the end of Ethiopia's civil war, 14000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in just 36 hours during "Operation Solomon". An ancient Jewish community had lived in Ethiopia for centuries but amid war and famine, many tried to reach Israel. In 1984, Israel had rescued thousands of Ethiopian Jews from refugee camps in Sudan, Operation Solomon was meant to bring the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel. We hear from Daniel Nadawo, an Ethiopian Israeli, about his memories of the dramatic airlift.

Photo: Ethiopian Jews known as 'Falashas' sit on board an Israeli Air Force Boeing 707, during Operation Sololmon, May 25th 1991 (AFP/Getty Images)

The James Bond Theme Tune20161114

In 1962 Monty Norman wrote the music for the first James Bond film, Dr No, including the theme tune which has featured in all the 24 Bond films since. As he tells Rebecca Kesby, the iconic tune was born out of a melody he'd originally composed for an Asian/Caribbean theatre production. But a few important changes made it the world's best known spy-thriller theme.

(Photo:

The Jarrow Crusade20151102

In the 1930s, many parts of Britain were suffering the effects of the Great Depression.

But conditions were particularly harsh in the town of Jarrow, in the north-east of England. In 1936, two hundred men marched the 300 miles from Jarrow to London to protest against mass unemployment and to demand that new industries be established in their town. They called it the Jarrow Crusade.

Witness delves into the BBC archives to hear the voices of the marchers.

(Photo: Marchers on the Jarrow Crusade. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

The Jonestown Massacre20131118

In November 1978 an American cult leader, Jim Jones, ordered more than 900 people to kill themselves. He had brought his followers to live in a remote settlement in Guyana in South America - they called it Jonestown. Hear from one of his disciples who escaped the killing that day. This programme was first broadcast in 2009.

Photo: The aftermath of the Jonestown Massacre. Associated Press.

The Joy Of Sex20111031

It is almost 40 years since the publication of a groundbreaking book about relationships.

It was written by a British academic and illustrated with images of real people.

It went on to sell millions of copies around the world.

Image © Chris Foss courtesy www.ChrisFossArt.com.

The Kasztner Affair20160315

In March 1957, Rezso Kasztner was assassinated in Tel Aviv. He was a Hungarian Jew who had saved nearly 1700 people from the Holocaust by negotiating with Nazis. In Israel he had been accused of being a Nazi collaborator.

(Photo: Rezso Kasztner, courtesy of Kasztner family)

The Keeling Curve2013010220130103 (WS)
20130106 (WS)

How a young American scientist began the work that would show how our climate is changing.

How a young American scientist began the work that would show how our climate is changing. His name was Charles Keeling and he meticulously recorded levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. His wife and son remember him.

Photo: John Giles/PA Wire

The Killer Lake20110904

in Cameroon.

The Killing Of Archbishop Romero2013032920130330 (WS)

On 24 March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was shot dead while saying mass in San Salvador.

On 24 March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was shot dead while saying mass in San Salvador. His murder by a right-wing death squad, pushed El Salvador towards bloody civil war. Today, he is still revered by many Catholics as a saint.

Photo: A portrait of Archbishop Romero on a wall in San Salvador (AFP)

The Killing Of Miguel Angel Blanco20140722

In 1997 a young Spanish politician was kidnapped and murdered by the Basque separatist group ETA. His death led to one of the biggest demonstrations ever seen in Spain. Witness speaks to Gustavo de Aristegui, an interior ministry official who later became a friend of the family.

(Photo: Miguel Angel Blanco's sister, Maria del Mar, in front of a mural of her brother. Credit: Getty Images)

The Killing Of Olof Palme20120229

On 28 February 1986, the Swedish Prime Minister was killed on a Stockholm street.

He had been for an evening at the cinema with his wife.

The police investigation into his murder is still open.

Photo: Associated Press.

The King Of Highlife20150907

Ghanaian musician E.T Mensah took Africa by storm in the 1950s with a new style of dance band Highlife music. For many, it was the soundtrack to a new, independent Africa.

Photo: E.T Mensah and the Tempos band c.1955 Copyright. John Collins

The Kitchen Debate20110725

In July 1959 two Cold War leaders argued over whose system was best

But who won the argument when Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon went head to head in public?

And why were they talking about kitchen appliances?

Photo: AP.

The Kitchen Debate20110726

In July 1959 two Cold War leaders argued over whose system was best.

The Kitchen Debate20110731
The Kkk And The Killing Of Viola Liuzzo20151210

In December 1965, three members of the Ku Klux Klan were found guilty over the murder of white civil rights activist, Viola Liuzzo, in one of the first successful prosecutions of its kind in the United States. Viola Liuzzo was killed on the final day of the Selma to Montgomery march, when thousands of civil rights activists marched to demand that blacks be allowed to register to vote. Witness talks to one of the lawyers involved in the landmark case.

Photo: A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1965. (Credit: Harry Benson/Getty Images)

The Kon-tiki Adventure2012080220120803 (WS)
20120805 (WS)

The story of Thor Heyerdahl's crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft, the Kon-Tiki.

In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl sailed his balsa wood raft, the Kon-Tiki, across the Pacific Ocean to add weight to his belief that ancient peoples were capable of long sea journeys.

He also wanted to prove that it was possible that Polynesia was first colonised by natives of South America.

(Image: The Kon-Tiki raft. Credit: Getty Images)

The Kray Gang20160812

In August 1982 the notorious London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed out of prison for their mother's funeral. Though the Kray twins were serving life sentences for murder, their reign of terror and violent crime had seen them mix with London's social elite. Witness has been hearing from Maureen Flanagan, who was Mrs Kray's hairdresser and a close family friend.

Photo: Ronnie and Reggie Kray, London 1964 (Photo by Terry Disney/Express/Getty Images)

The Kursk Disaster20100812

It's exactly 10 years since the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank in the Barents sea.

When the submarine Kursk went missing on a training exercise - teams of experts from around the world offered to help.

One of them tells Witness how it feels to be stuck at the bottom of the sea.

The Lascaux Caves20160912

On September 12th 1940 a group of French schoolboys discovered the Lascaux caves with their palaeolithic cave paintings in the Vézère Valley in south-western France. It was one of the biggest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Lisa Louis has spoken to Simon Coencas, one of the boys who found the cave.

The Last Case Of Smallpox In The Uk20160831

In the summer of 1978 a British woman, Janet Parker, became the last known victim of the deadly virus smallpox. Professor Alasdair Geddes describes diagnosing smallpox in Janet Parker in 1978 and the events that followed.

This programme is a rebroadcast. Claire Bowes spoke to Professor Alasdair Geddes in 2014.

Image: Smallpox virus, Credit: Science Photo Library

The Last Day Of Lebanon's Civil War20161013

On October 13th 1990, the Syrian airforce forced their most outspoken opponent in Lebanon, General Michel Aoun, to take refuge in the French embassy in Beirut, ending the last chapter of Lebanon's bitter 15-year civil war. Veteran Lebanese journalist, Hanna Anbar, remembers that day.

Photo: Syrian soldiers celebrate in front of the presidential palace in east Beirut after capturing it from troops loyal to General Michel Aoun, October 13th 1990 (Credit: Nabil Ismail/AFP/Getty Images)

The Last Days Of British Rule In India2014072320140727 (WS)

In summer 1947 India declared independence after hundreds of years of British rule.

In the summer of 1947 India declared independence after hundreds of years of British rule. English-born Anne Wright had moved there when she was a child. She speaks to Witness about life in the last days of British India.

Photo: Anne Wright (left) with her sister, at home in India.

The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas20160208

The larger than life vaudeville star - Sophie Tucker - died on February 9th 1966. The jewish singer and nightclub entertainer was known across America for her risqué performances and her self-effacing humour. But she was also an early pioneer in the recording business. Hear from two people who knew her.

Photo: Sophie Tucker Getty Images.

The Last Viceroy Of India2012081520120816 (WS)
20120820 (WS)

The daughter of the last British viceroy in India, Lord Mountbatten, remembers the transfer of power in 1947. Lady Pamela Hicks, who is now in her eighties, accompanied her father as he attended celebrations in both Karachi and Delhi. She remembers encounters both with Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, and Pandit Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India.

The daughter of the last British viceroy in India remembers the transfer of power in 1947.

The Launch Of Vogue Russia20161229

After the collapse of the USSR, Vogue Magazine launched in Russia in 1998. But it was a difficult beginning for the glossy fashion publication as the country was in the middle of an economic crisis at the time. Aliona Doletskaya was the first Editor in Chief, and she told Rebecca Kesby how she wanted to represent the best of Russian design as well as bring the West to Russians.

(Photo: Russian top model Natalia Vodianova holds up a T-shirt decorated with her portrait in front of a poster of her at the Vogue Fashion's Night Out in Moscow. Credit: EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV)

The Legalisation Of Solidarity2014041620140420 (WS)

In April 1989 the Polish trade union Solidarity was legalised once again, after eight years operating underground. It was a key step towards Solidarity’s defeat of the Moscow-backed communist authorities at elections later that year. Witness hears from Solidarity's former spokesman, Janusz Onyszkiewicz.

Photo: Polish Solidarity spokesmen Janusz Onyszkiewicz (L) and Jozef Slisz (R) look on as advisor Bronislaw Geremek calls for the legalisation of independent political parties on 6 June, 1989. (Credit: Getty Images)

In April 1989 the Polish trade union Solidarity was legalised once again.

In April 1989 the Polish trade union Solidarity was legalised once again, after eight years operating underground. It was a key step towards Solidarity’s defeat of the Moscow-backed communist authorities at elections later that year. Witness hears from its Solidarity's former spokesman, Janusz Onyszkiewicz.

Photo: Polish Solidarity spokesmen Janusz Onyszkiewicz (L) and Jozef Slisz (R) look on as advisor Bronislaw Geremek calls for the legalisation of independent political parties on June 6th 1989. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The Leningrad Symphony20150918

In an act of defiance during World War Two, starving musicians in the besieged city of Leningrad performed Shostakovich's new Seventh Symphony. The piece was composed especially for the city, which had been cut off and surrounded by invading Nazi troops. During the siege an estimated one million civilians died from starvation, exposure, and the bombardment by German forces. Hear archive recordings of Ksenia Matus who played the oboe in the orchestra, and hear from Sarah Quigley, the author of a novel about Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. Dina Newman reports.

(Photo: Official Soviet picture of Dmitri Shostakovich working on his famous Seventh ("Leningrad") Symphony. AFP/Getty Images)

The Lod Airport Massacre2012053020120531
20120531 (WS)

Note that some people might find today's programme upsetting.

It is 40 years since Japanese gunmen attacked the Lod airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. They were left-wing militants working for a Palestinian organisation.

Twenty-six people were killed that day and more than 70 others were injured.

Witness hears from Ros Sloboda, one of the survivors of the shooting.

(Image: the aftermath of the attack. Credit: AFP)

The Lod Airport Massacre2012053020120603
20120603 (WS)

Note that some people might find today's programme upsetting.

It is 40 years since Japanese gunmen attacked the Lod airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. They were left-wing militants working for a Palestinian organisation.

Twenty-six people were killed that day and more than 70 others were injured.

Witness hears from Ros Sloboda, one of the survivors of the shooting.

(Image: the aftermath of the attack. Credit: AFP)

It is 40 years since gunmen attacked an Israeli airport. We hear from a survivor.

It is 40 years since gunmen attacked an Israeli airport.

26 people were killed that day.

More than 70 others were injured.

Ros Sloboda was one of the survivors of the shooting, she talks to Witness.

Photo: the aftermath of the attack. Credit: AFP

The Longest Ever Raft Journey20140102

The Las Balsas expedition saw 12 men set off on three primitive rafts across the Pacific Ocean from South America to Australia - to prove that ancient peoples could have travelled between the two continents. The 1973 voyage was the longest ever journey by raft - double the length of the famous Kon-Tiki expedition. We hear from two of the crew members - American Mike Fitzgibbons and Gabriel Salas from Chile - about their battles with storms, sharks and a grumpy monkey.

Picture: The 12 man