Category: Talk - News Last Update: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 03:56:41 -0700 History as told by the people who were there.
Witness talks to people who lived through moments of history to bring you a personal perspective on world events.
Previews of Witness (All Active Shows)
Witness: Dambusters Fri, 17 May 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) A crewman recalls the famous 1943 British attack on Hitler's dams.
Witness: The Death of Marlene Dietrich Thu, 16 May 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) It is 21 years since screen star Marlene Dietrich died in Paris at the age of 90.
Witness: Announcing an Ethiopian coup Wed, 15 May 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) The story of a journalist who was caught up in an attempt to overthrow Ethiopia’s hardline ruler, Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1989
Witness: Polish protests in 1968 Tue, 14 May 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.3 Mb) How students in Poland tried to force changes on the communist authorities, but were met with arrests and repression.
Witness: The Great Gatsby Mon, 13 May 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) As a new film of the great American novel premieres this week, we hear about its author, F Scott Fitzgerald.
Witness: The Arctic Convoys Fri, 10 May 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) The story of a sailor, Jack Humble, whose ship was torpedoed while escorting a convoy to Russia in WW2.
Witness: FA Cup - The Matthews final Thu, 09 May 2013 09:28:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) It is 60 years since Stanley Matthews secured his place as a legend in British football.
Witness: The secret US bombing of Cambodia Wed, 08 May 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) How the New York Times revealed the secret and illegal bombing of Cambodia by American war planes during the Viet Nam war.
Witness: IRA Hunger Strikers Mon, 06 May 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) In 1981 the British government was faced with Irish republican prisoners starving themselves to death.
Witness: The White Collar Art Collectors Fri, 03 May 2013 09:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) In 1992, a retired postal worker from New York and his wife donated a priceless art collection to the US National Gallery of Art.
Witness: Pavarotti's British debut Fri, 03 May 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) On May 7th 1963 the great Italian opera singer first appeared on a UK stage - in Northern Ireland.
Witness: The children's crusade Thu, 02 May 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) How thousands of black American schoolchildren took to the streets to protest against racial segregation.
Witness: Australia's Aboriginal referendum Wed, 01 May 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) In May 1967 campaigning began across Australia to consolidate Aboriginal rights in the country.
Witness: The death of Hitler Tue, 30 Apr 2013 13:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) Hear from one of Hitler's former secretaries who was in the bunker during the dictator's last hours.
Witness: The Shooting of Rudi Dutschke Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:50:00 +0100 (4.3 Mb) In 1968 German students were calling for a revolution when their leader Rudi Dutschke was shot.
Witness: The ballerina and the coup Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) How a world famous ballet dancer became embroiled in a plot to overthrow the government of Panama.
Witness: Muhammad Ali and the military draft Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) How the American boxing champion's refusal to serve in Vietnam made him a hero to 1960s radicals.
Witness: The Hitler diaries hoax Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) 30 years ago a German magazine and an English newspaper believed they had found the dictator's private diaries.
Witness: Pau Casals Tue, 23 Apr 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) The acclaimed musician who became a symbol of resistance to Spanish dictator, General Franco.
Witness: Haile Selassie lands in Jamaica Mon, 22 Apr 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) In April 1966, Ethiopia's ruler made a spectacular arrival in Jamaica, the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement which revered him.
Witness: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:50:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) Hear from one of the very few survivors of the WW2 Jewish uprising.
Witness: The Khmer Rouge Thu, 18 Apr 2013 08:50:00 +0100 (4.3 Mb) Hear one boy's story of living through Year Zero.
Witness: The Funeral of Winston Churchill Wed, 17 Apr 2013 08:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) In 1965, Great Britain came to a standstill for the state funeral of its wartime prime minister.
Witness: The discovery of LSD Tue, 16 Apr 2013 08:49:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) It is 70 years since a Swiss scientist discovered the controversial hallucinogenic drug-LSD.
Witness: The First War in the Air Mon, 15 Apr 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) The story of a young British pilot who fought in the First World War.
Witness: First black golfer at the Masters Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.3 Mb) How Lee Elder broke the colour barrier at one of the world's top golf tournaments in 1975.
Witness: The Guinea Pig club Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) How severely burnt Second World War airmen learnt to overcome their terrible injuries.
Witness: The Great Famine in China Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:10:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) This programme contains disturbing scenes. Tens of millions of people died of starvation during the late 50s and early 60s in China.
Witness: Matabeleland Massacres Mon, 08 Apr 2013 07:50:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) This programme contains graphic descriptions of violence which are very disturbing. In the early 1980s, thousands of Zimbabweans were killed by government security forces in a campaign againsst dissidents.
Witness: James Brown at the Boston Gardens Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) The day after Martin Luther King was killed, the famous soul singer held a concert in Boston.
Witness: Howard Hughes Thu, 04 Apr 2013 09:00:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) One of the few reporters to meet the famously reclusive American billionaire remembers their 20-year relationship.
Witness: Operation Babylift Wed, 03 Apr 2013 08:50:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) In the spring of 1975 the USA began to airlift people out of Vietnam including hundreds of orphans.
Witness: The real Peter Pan Tue, 02 Apr 2013 09:56:00 +0100 (4.5 Mb) The tragic story of the real-life family that inspired the writing of Peter Pan.
Witness: Women and the law Mon, 01 Apr 2013 09:37:00 +0100 (4.4 Mb) It is over 175 years since Caroline Norton fought to change the law on mother's rights in Britain.
Witness: The Killing of Archbishop Romero Fri, 29 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How El Salvador's outspoken Roman Catholic Archbishop was shot dead while saying mass.
Witness: Vietnam POWs Thu, 28 Mar 2013 09:30:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In 1973, American prisoners of war first told how they had been tortured by the Vietcong.
Witness: The Terracotta Warrior Wed, 27 Mar 2013 09:26:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It is almost 40 years since a vast army of life-size statues of soldiers was found buried in China.
Witness: Life under Ceausescu Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:58:00 +0000 (4.5 Mb) The Romanian dictator ran one of the most feared secret police forces in communist Eastern Europe.
Witness: The Profumo Affair Mon, 25 Mar 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Fifty years ago, a sex scandal threatened to engulf the British government.
Witness: Meeting Saddam Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:40:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) An Iraqi official remembers formally identifying Saddam Hussein after his capture by American forces in December 2003. This programme was first broadcast in 2010.
Witness: Working for the Americans Thu, 21 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How one young Iraqi, who took a job with the US military, was threatened with death as a traitor.
Witness: Looting in Iraq Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) When US troops first rolled into Baghdad in 2003 there was chaos and looting in much of the city.
Witness: The US invasion force Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) Hear one American soldier's story of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003
Witness: The bombardment of Baghdad Mon, 18 Mar 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) 10 years on from the invasion of Iraq we listen back to memories of that time.
Witness: The Syrian uprising in Daraa Fri, 15 Mar 2013 17:05:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It is 2 years since anti-government demonstrations in Syria sparked off the current conflict.
Witness: Lebanese hostage crisis Thu, 14 Mar 2013 11:51:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Giandomenico Picco went to Beirut to try to free western hostages - hear his story.
Witness: Marie Stopes, Birth Control Pioneer Wed, 13 Mar 2013 09:49:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In 1921 Marie Stopes opened Britain's first birth control clinic in London.
Witness: The theft of Chaplin's body Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How thieves stole the body of Charlie Chaplin from a Swiss cemetery
Witness: Tibet uprising Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:11:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In March 1959 the people of Tibet turned against Chinese occupying forces.
Witness: Gay in the US military Fri, 08 Mar 2013 12:11:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Airman Leonard Matlovich fought the ban on gays in the US military way back in 1975.
Witness: Viagra Thu, 07 Mar 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) 15 years ago a new "wonder" drug was approved for use on the American market.
Skiing in Pakistan Wed, 06 Mar 2013 13:51:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) One man's mission to bring the fun back to the Swat Valley in Pakistan.
Witness: Armenia and Azerbaijan Mon, 04 Mar 2013 11:21:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It is 25 years since rioting broke out in the city of Sumgait in Azerbaijan.
Witness: The Bethnal Green tube disaster Fri, 01 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) It's seventy years since 173 people were crushed to death in an air-raid shelter in London.
Witness: Choosing a Pope Thu, 28 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.5 Mb) A Cardinal tells the story of the Papal Conclave that elected Pope Benedict in 2005.
Witness: The standoff at Wounded Knee Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:46:00 +0000 (4.5 Mb) 40 years ago American Indian activists took on the US authorities at the site of massacre.
Witness: The first World Trade Center attack Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) A member of the security staff recalls the huge bomb blast at the World Trade Center nearly a decade before 9/11
Witness: The Theft of the Scream Mon, 25 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) In 1994 Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" was stolen from a Norwegian art gallery.
Witness: The White Rose Fri, 22 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It is seventy years since three German students were executed in Munich for trying to start a revolt against Hitler.
Witness: Wales Dam Attack Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In 1963, three young Welsh nationalists took up arms against the construction of a controversial dam.
Witness: People Power in the Philippines Wed, 20 Feb 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) How four days of protests swept President Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986.
Witness: The Feminine Mystique Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It's 50 years since a frustrated American housewife published a text that helped inspire the women's liberation movement.
Witness: The Lost Egyptian Tomb Mon, 18 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In 1995, archaeologists in Egypt's Valley of the Kings made a remarkable discovery.
Witness: Human Shields in Iraq Fri, 15 Feb 2013 11:40:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How peace activists travelled to Baghdad in 2003 to try to protect civilians during the war in Iraq.
Witness: The fall of Singapore Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:38:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In February 1942 tens of thousands of Commonwealth soldiers were taken prisoner by the Japanese.
Witness: The Algerian Massacres Wed, 13 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In the 1990s, more than 150,000 died in a conflict between the Algerian military and radical Islamists.
Witness: James Bulger Tue, 12 Feb 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How two child killers shocked Britain 20 years ago.
Witness: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:59:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It is fifty years since the suicide of American poet Sylvia Plath.
Witness: Shergar Fri, 08 Feb 2013 15:36:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) It is 30 years since the Derby winning racehorse was stolen at gunpoint.
Witness: Marcel Proust Thu, 07 Feb 2013 10:05:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) The great French writer remembered by one of his aristocratic friends and by his faithful maid, Celeste.
Witness: "Ghana Must Go" Tue, 05 Feb 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Thirty years ago Nigeria expelled up to 2 million African migrants in just a few weeks. Most were Ghanaian.
Witness: Hugo Chavez and the failed coup Mon, 04 Feb 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In February 1992 a group of army officers tried to overthrow the government in Venezuela.
Witness: The battle of Stalingrad Fri, 01 Feb 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How German forces, close to starvation and running out of ammunition, surrendered to the Soviet Red Army.
Witness: Funeral of Gandhi Thu, 31 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How India came to a standstill in 1948 to mourn the Father of the Nation.
Witness: Peter the Great in London Wed, 30 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How the young tsar was inspired by a hell-raising visit to London in 1698.
Witness: The Eiffel Tower Tue, 29 Jan 2013 19:15:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) The inside story of the construction of one of the world's great monuments in 1887.
Witness: Lagos Armoury Explosion Mon, 28 Jan 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) In 2002 a weapons store exploded in Lagos, Nigeria. It was one of the largest civil disasters in the country's history.
Witness: Jimi Hendrix Fri, 25 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) The legendary guitarist's girlfriend recalls his early days in 60s London.
Witness: Adolf Hitler's Will Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:19:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Before Adolf Hitler killed himself towards the end of WW2, he dictated his last will and testament.
Witness: The Capture of USS Pueblo Wed, 23 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) How an American naval intelligence ship and its crew were captured by the North Koreans.
Witness: The Hunger Winter Tue, 22 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) How millions of Dutch faced starvation at the end of World War 2.
Witness: Bassel al Assad Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:15:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) 19 years ago, the heir to the Syrian presidency died in a car crash. Hear his tutor's memories.
Witness: Hunting for Klaus Barbie Fri, 18 Jan 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Two Nazi hunters tracked down the former Gestapo leader. He was living comfortably in Bolivia.
Witness: The Black Stars of Ghana Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) Legendary striker, Osei Kofi, remembers the golden days of Ghanaian football in 1960.
Witness: Roe v Wade Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:00:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) In 1973 a landmark case legalised abortion across the USA.
Witness: Chaim Soutine Tue, 15 Jan 2013 10:26:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) It is 120 years since the birth of the hugely influential Expressionist painter.
Witness: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study Mon, 14 Jan 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) For nearly 40 years, the US government conducted a secret experiment on 600 African-American men.
Witness: Tsunami Fri, 11 Jan 2013 13:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) A survivor from the Indonesian province of Aceh recalls the devastating 2004 Tsunami.
Witness: Festival in the Desert Thu, 10 Jan 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.5 Mb) Islamist rebels have recently banned music in Northern Mali. Today, we go back to the event in 2001 which launched Tuareg music on the world scene.
Witness: Tito on Vis Wed, 09 Jan 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) In 1944 the Yugoslav partisan leader found sanctuary on a tiny island in the Adriatic.
Witness: Johnny Cash in Folsom prison Tue, 08 Jan 2013 15:08:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) It is 45 years since the Country star first played a gig in a high-security jail.
Witness: Operation No Living Thing Mon, 07 Jan 2013 09:50:00 +0000 (4.5 Mb) A former rebel describes the invasion of the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown, in Jan 1999. Listeners may find his account disturbing
Witness: Donald Campbell's Fatal Crash Fri, 04 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.3 Mb) In January 1967 the world famous speed driver died in his jet-boat Bluebird.
Witness: Waiting for Godot Thu, 03 Jan 2013 09:00:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) How a play in which nothing happens revolutionised 20th century theatre.
Witness: The Keeling curve Wed, 02 Jan 2013 09:12:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) 55 years ago Charles Keeling began the detailed and long-term measurement of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Witness: Donald Woods flees South Africa Tue, 01 Jan 2013 09:29:00 +0000 (4.4 Mb) It is 35 years since the white newspaper editor was forced into exile.