254 episodes

History as told by the people who were there. All the programmes from 2015.

Witness History: Witness Archive 2015 BBC

    • History
    • 4.2 • 5 Ratings

History as told by the people who were there. All the programmes from 2015.

    Gay and lesbian support for the British miners' strike

    Gay and lesbian support for the British miners' strike

    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 & Gay Pride march. Credit: Colin Clews

    • 8 min
    The Millennium Bug

    The Millennium Bug

    There was a frenzy of celebrations on New Year's Eve 1999. But amid the partying, there was also some anxiety over the effects of a potential global computer meltdown, the so-called Millennium Bug - or Y2K.



    (Photo: The White House Y2K Crisis Centre in Washington in 1999. Credit : AP)

    • 9 min
    The Poster Boy for the Communist System

    The Poster Boy for the Communist System

    In 1935, Alexei Stakhanov, a coal miner, became a Soviet celebrity. He invented a more efficient coal production method and started a movement to encourage innovation amongst Soviet workers. His daughter, Violetta Stakhanova, tells Dina Newman about her father's achievements and his eventual downfall. Photo: Alexei Stakhanov at work, 1935. Credit: Stakhanov family

    • 9 min
    Rasputin

    Rasputin

    In December 1916, the infamous mystic, Grigori Rasputin, 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 had met Rasputin, we tell the story of the 'Mad Monk'.



    (Photo: Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk and courtesan. Credit: Dmitri Wasserman/Getty Images)

    • 9 min
    The Donner Party

    The Donner Party

    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.

    • 8 min
    The Beagle 2 Mission to Mars

    The Beagle 2 Mission to Mars

    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.

    Rob Walker has been delving into the BBC’s archives to hear Colin’s Pillinger’s account of the daring mission and has also spoken to his daughter, Shusanah.

    (Photo: Lead Scientist, Colin Pillinger, poses with a model of Beagle 2 in November 2003. Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    • 9 min

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