254 episodes

History as told by the people who were there. All the programmes from 2017.

Witness History: Witness Archive 2017 BBC

    • History

History as told by the people who were there. All the programmes from 2017.

    "Spend, Spend, Spend" - The Miner's Wife Who Won Big

    "Spend, Spend, Spend" - The Miner's Wife Who Won Big

    In 1961, Viv Nicholson became a household name in Britain when she and her husband scooped a massive win on the football pools. Asked what she would do with the money, Nicholson famously replied "Spend, Spend, Spend" and the tabloids followed her closely over the next few years as she spent the winnings on the high life. Viv Nicholson's story later became a successful West End musical and stage play. Simon Watts talks to her son, Howard Nicholson, author of "You Don't Know Viv".



    PHOTO: Howard and Viv Nicholson (left and centre) with British entertainer Bruce Forsyth (Getty Images)

    • 9 min
    Voyager: Around The World On One Tank of Fuel

    Voyager: Around The World On One Tank of Fuel

    How two pilots, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, became the first to fly non-stop around the world without refuelling in December 1986. Their experimental aircraft was designed by Dick's brother, Burt Rutan. It had to be incredibly light to carry the huge weight of fuel required. But that meant the plane was vulnerable to breaking up in turbulence. Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager endured storms and equipment malfunctions to set the world record. They spent 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds in the air. Alex Last speaks to Dick Rutan about their achievement.

    Photo: The Voyager aircraft designed by Burt Rutan (NASA).

    • 11 min
    The Climbers of Leningrad

    The Climbers of Leningrad

    Mountaineers risked their lives to camouflage churches and palaces in the great Russian city during World War Two. The city was besieged by the Germans and under bombardment. The climbers used paint and canvas to conceal the landmarks from enemy attack. Mikhail Bobrov was just 18 years old when first got sent up the city's spires. He's been speaking to Monica Whitlock about his wartime experiences.



    Photo: A climber suspended from a spire in Leningrad. Credit: Tass/PA.

    • 9 min
    The First Kwanzaa

    The First Kwanzaa

    In December 1966, a group of Black activists in Los Angeles created the winter holiday Kwanzaa to try to reclaim their African heritage. It's now celebrated by millions across the US.



    Lucy Burns speaks to Terri Bandele, who attended the first Kwanzaa celebrations aged 11.



    Picture: Children at the first Kwanzaa celebration - courtesy of Terri Bandele (on right)

    • 9 min
    Trivial Pursuit

    Trivial Pursuit

    The game has become a holiday tradition with families around the world since its launch in 1981. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to the designer of Trivial Pursuit, Michael Wurstlin, about how it was first created.



    Photo: The original Trivial Pursuit game. Credit: BBC.

    • 9 min
    To Kill A Mockingbird

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    One of the most successful American films of all time was released on Christmas Day 1962. Written by the best-selling author Harper Lee it starred Gregory Peck as a lawyer who stood against prejudice in the Deep South of the USA. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to Gregory Peck's son Carey Peck about the film, and about his family's long-standing friendship with the reclusive Harper Lee.



    Photo: Gregory Peck with the author Harper Lee in 1962. Credit: Getty Images.

    • 10 min

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