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Witness History: Archive 2011
10 minutes | Oct 8, 2013
Mixed race marriage victory in US
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. Image: Mildred and Richard Loving, pictured in 1967 (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)
12 minutes | Oct 7, 2013
Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-ins
On 1 February 1960, four young black men began a protest in Greensboro, North Carolina against the racial segregation of shops and restaurants in the US southern states. The men, who became known as the Greensboro Four, asked to be served at a lunch counter in Woolworths. When they were refused service they stayed until closing time. And went back the next day, and the next. Over the following days and months, this non-violent form of protest spread and many more people staged sit-ins at shops and restaurants. Witness hears from one of the four men, Franklin McCain.
12 minutes | Oct 7, 2013
The Freedom Riders
The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode on buses, testing out whether bus stations were complying with the Supreme Court ruling that banned segregation. Listen to Bernard Lafayette Junior, an eyewitness to how Martin Luther King managed to prevent inter-ethnic bloodshed on a night of extreme tension during the battle against segregation in the American South. Picture: A group of Black Americans get off the 'Freedom Bus' at Jackson, Mississippi, Credit: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images
9 minutes | Oct 4, 2013
Nelson Mandela's Autobiography
*** This programme was first broadcast on 25 October, 2011 *** In the mid 1970s Nelson Mandela began writing his autobiography in prison, on Robben Island. Mac Maharaj was one of the prisoners who helped edit and conceal the manuscript. Photo: Associated Press, Nelson Mandela before he was imprisoned.
9 minutes | Oct 4, 2013
The armed wing of the ANC party took its first violent action in 1961, when a bomb was planted at municipal offices in Durban. Ronnie Kasrils explained what happened that day. (Image: Ronnie Kasrils in 1961. Credit: Ronnie Kasrils)
9 minutes | Oct 2, 2013
Apartheid in the 1950s
A snapshot of the attitudes and emotions on both sides of the racial divide as the South Africa authorites cemented the foundations of Apartheid in 1957.
11 minutes | Oct 1, 2013
The Voyage of the Empire Windrush
In 1948 nearly 500 pioneers travelled from the Caribbean on the Empire Windrush. The passage cost £28, 10 shillings. Passenger Sam King describes the conditions on board and the concerns people had about finding a job in England - and what life was like in their adopted country once they arrived.
9 minutes | Dec 30, 2011
US troops in Iraq
US troops left Iraq earlier this month, well before their deadline of 31 December. We hear from one American soldier who remembers when they first invaded the country, almost nine years ago. Photo: John Crawford and a colleague in Iraq.
9 minutes | Dec 29, 2011
The Creation of Tetris
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.
9 minutes | Dec 28, 2011
Enid Blyton and the BBC
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.
9 minutes | Dec 27, 2011
The release of Sakharov
In December 1986 the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov was allowed to return to Moscow. He had spent seven years in internal exile. His release had been ordered by the reforming Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
9 minutes | Dec 26, 2011
The sinking of the Scharnhorst
She was one of Germany's greatest battleships during World War II. But on Boxing Day 1943 she was sunk in the freezing waters of the Arctic. Norman Scarth is a Witness listener who was on board a British ship and watched her go down. Photo: Norman Scarth the young sailor.
9 minutes | Dec 23, 2011
The Christmas Truce
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
9 minutes | Dec 22, 2011
As we approach Christmas we look back at the turning point in the career of the world's most famous evangelist - Billy Graham. He's preached the gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history - more than 200 million around the world - and it all began in north London in 1954. Claire Bowes has been speaking to the man who Mr Graham describes as the architect of international evangelism. PHOTO: Jerry Beavan and Billy Graham in the 1950s.
9 minutes | Dec 21, 2011
Concert for Bangladesh
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
9 minutes | Dec 20, 2011
The British Miners' strike
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
9 minutes | Dec 19, 2011
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.
9 minutes | Dec 16, 2011
Bangladesh wins independence
In 1971, Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan after nine months of war. Kamal Hossain, a leading political figure, was jailed during the conflict and only released shortly after Bangladeshi independence. Kamal Hossain tells Farhana Haider his feelings as his country won its freedom. PHOTO: Kamal Hossain (l) with the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
9 minutes | Dec 15, 2011
In December 1986 Kazakhs began protesting against Moscow's rule. The young demonstrators were objecting to a Kremlin decision to put a Russian in charge of their country. Hear how one 16 year old girl had her first taste of freedom.
9 minutes | Dec 13, 2011
As the former leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega faces charges of murder in his home country we take you back over 20 years to the moment he was removed from power by the USA. Manuel Noriega hid out in the Papal embassy - we hear from a man who found himself sleeping in the room next door to him. PHOTO: US Army in Panama City (Reuters)
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