300 episodes

History as told by the people who were there.

Witness History BBC World Service

    • History

History as told by the people who were there.

    The nightclub that changed Ibiza

    The nightclub that changed Ibiza

    In June 1973, the nightclub Pacha opened in Ibiza. Other clubs with the capacity to fit thousands of people on the dancefloor opened in the years after, turning Ibiza into a destination for music and party lovers from around the world. Vicky Carter speaks to Carlos Martorell who organised Pacha’s opening party and Francis Van Orden, a Dutch hippy who danced all night on the opening night.

    (Photo: Sunset over the sea with boats in the distance. Credit: BBC and Minnow Films)

    • 10 min
    Discovering Hale Bopp

    Discovering Hale Bopp

    Hale Bopp is one of the most widely observed comets of the 20th century. Its discovery in 1995 resulted in huge advances in science. Russell Crewe spoke to astronomer Dr Alan Hale who discovered the comet alongside Tom Bopp. This is a Made in Manchester production for the BBC World Service.

    (Photo: Hale Bopp Comet in the night sky. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 9 min
    Indonesia's forest fires

    Indonesia's forest fires

    Twenty five years ago in Indonesia, some of the worst forest fires in history devastated the environment and resulted in a smog which engulfed South East Asia for months. The fires, which were set deliberately, burned out of control for months. Mesdiono Matali Samad, known as Memes, worked on the Indonesian Red Cross relief effort helping people in East Kalimantan, Borneo. He's been speaking to Laura Jones.

    • 10 min
    Sweden’s pronoun battle

    Sweden’s pronoun battle

    Sweden has a long history of championing LGBTQ+ rights. But campaigners spent years battling to get the gender-neutral personal pronoun ‘hen’ included in Swedish dictionaries. The word was finally added in 2015. Maddy Savage spoke to Nasim Aghili from the "queer" art collective Ful, which rallied to get the word recognised. This is a Bespoken Media production for the BBC World Service.

    (Photo: Nasim Aghili. Credit: Thomas Straub)

    • 9 min
    The resignation of President Nixon

    The resignation of President Nixon

    On 8 August 1974 Richard Nixon became the first US president in history to resign from office, following the Watergate scandal. In 2014, Farhana Haider spoke to journalist Tom DeFrank, who watched the drama unfold minute by minute.

    (Photo: Nixon announces his resignation on national television. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 8 min
    The return of Asians to Uganda

    The return of Asians to Uganda

    When President Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986, he encouraged exiled Asians to return to Uganda and reclaim their homes and businesses to help rebuild the country.
    The economy had collapsed under the dictator Idi Amin after he expelled the Asian population in 1972.
    Dr Mumtaz Kassam went back to Uganda years after arriving in the UK as a refugee. She talks to Reena Stanton-Sharma about returning to her birthplace.
    Caption: Dr. Mumtaz Kassam receiving a Golden Jubilee Presidential medal at the 56th independence celebrations. Credit: Dr Mumtaz Kassam

    • 8 min

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