300 episodes

History as told by the people who were there.

Witness History BBC

    • History
    • 4.5, 2 Ratings

History as told by the people who were there.

    The book that changed the way we eat

    The book that changed the way we eat

    The best selling book that highlighted the health and environmental benefits of a plant based diet. The publication of "Diet for a Small Planet" in 1971 helped start a conversation about the social and environmental impacts of the foods we choose. Frances Moore Lappé has been telling Farhana Haider about the writing of her ground breaking book.

    Photo Cover of first edition, first print Diet for a Small Planet 1971. Courtesy of Frances Moore Lappé

    • 11 min
    Britain's World War Two crime wave

    Britain's World War Two crime wave

    During times of crisis in the UK, World War Two is often remembered as a period when the country rallied together to fight a common enemy. British politicians still refer to the so-called "Blitz Spirit" when calling for national unity. But as Simon Watts has been finding out from the BBC archives, there was a crime wave during the war years, with a massive increase in looting and black marketeering.

    PHOTO: A government poster from World War Two (Getty Images)

    • 9 min
    Explaining autism

    Explaining autism

    Ground-breaking work by developmental psychologist Professor Uta Frith has revolutionised our understanding of autism. Beginning in the 1960s, Professor Frith's research has overturned the long-held belief that autism was a social or emotional disorder, showing instead that it's the result of physical differences in the brain. Uta Frith has been talking to Louise Hidalgo.

    Picture: Uta Frith at her desk at the Medical Research Council Developmental Psychology Unit in London in the late 60s/early 70s (exact date unknown). From the personal collection of Uta Frith.

    • 9 min
    The first 3D printer

    The first 3D printer

    In 1983 Chuck Hull invented the first 3D printer. It could produce small plastic objects directly from a digital file on a computer. Instead of using ink the printer used plastic - adding layer upon layer to create an object. At first no-one was interested but now 3D printing technology is used widely, both by amateur hobbyists and industry. It's been taken up enthusiastically in the medical world to help separate conjoined twins and the next step is to help create human tissue for regenerative medicine.

    Photo: This tiny cup was the first thing made using a 3D printer, in 1983.
    Courtesy of Chuck Hull at 3D Systems.

    • 8 min
    Kowloon Walled City

    Kowloon Walled City

    A unique way of life came to an end in Hong Kong in 1993 when Kowloon Walled City was demolished. When the rest of Hong Kong was a British colony, the seven acres of the Walled City were still nominally under the control of mainland China – but it became a lawless world of its own, a haven for gang crime and illegal dentistry. At one point it was one of the most of the most densely populated places the world has ever seen.

    Lucy Burns speaks to Albert Ng, who grew up in Kowloon Walled City, and urban designer Suenn Ho, who studied it before its demolition.

    PICTURE: Kowloon Walled City in January 1987 (Photo by South China Morning Post staff photographer via Getty Images)

    • 10 min
    The Miami riots

    The Miami riots

    After four white policemen were acquitted of killing a black man - Miami rioted. Citizens took to the streets on the night of May 17th 1980. The unrest lasted for three days. 18 people died, hundreds were injured, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage were done to property. Sheila Cook has been hearing from Lonnie Lawrence who was a childhood friend of the dead man, but also a spokesman for the police force involved.

    Photo: A Florida National Guardsman directs traffic away from the northwest section of Miami as fires burn out of control and looting continues. Credit: Getty Images.

    • 8 min

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