219 episodes

An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.

The History Hour BBC

    • History
    • 4.6 • 59 Ratings

An hour of historical reporting told by the people who were there.

    The fall of Addis Ababa

    The fall of Addis Ababa

    In May 1991, the brutal Ethiopian dictator, Colonel Mengistu and his military regime were on the verge of collapse after years of civil war. The end came when a Tigrayan-led rebel movement advanced on the capital Addis Ababa and took power. We get a first-hand account from an American diplomat and hear how the events of 1991 contributed to the current crisis in Ethiopia. Plus, the controversy in France over banning headscarves and other religious symbols from schools, the Nazis' terrifying V1 bombing campaign in World War Two and the story of the Haitian slave leader, Toussaint Louverture.

    Photo: EPRDF rebels in Addis Ababa, 28 May, 1991 (BBC)

    • 51 min
    Disability History special

    Disability History special

    We look back at the fight for disability rights in the UK and India in the 1990s, plus the remarkable life of Helen Keller as told by her great niece, how a Rwandan Paralympic volleyball team made history, and the invention of the iconic disability vehicle, the Invacar. And we speak to Colin Barnes, Emeritus Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds University, about the historic struggle for disabled rights and recognition.

    Photo: A disabled woman on her mobility scooter is carried away by four policemen after obstructing the traffic outside the Houses of Parliament. Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

    • 50 min
    The world's first woman premier

    The world's first woman premier

    Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected prime minster of Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was known then, in 1960 following the assassination of her husband, Solomon Bandaranaike and became the first female prime minister in the world. We hear from Dr Asanga Welikala about her legacy. Plus the first Arab leader to visit Israel, the former hostage taken captive by Somali pirates in 2008 who came to sympathise with their plight and the Jewish refugees given sanctuary by America during WW2. Also the revolutionary and graphic book for women published in 1973 which helped us understand women's bodies and is now published in 33 different languages.

    Photo: Sirimavo Bandaranaike the Prime Minister of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), 1960. Credit Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    • 50 min
    The Guerrilla Girls

    The Guerrilla Girls

    In 1985 a group of anonymous female artists in New York began dressing up with gorilla masks on their heads and putting up fly-posters around the city's museums and galleries. We hear from two of the original Guerrilla Girls, who launched a campaign to demand greater representation for women and minorities in the art world. Also on the programme, the rarely heard voices of Africans who were forced to take sides in WW1; how Pluto lost its status as a planet, the invention of a revolutionary sign language, Makaton, in the 1970s, and changing 20th century theories of child rearing.

    PHOTO: Some of the Guerrilla Girls in 1990 (Getty Images)

    • 49 min
    The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

    The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin

    In 1995, the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. We hear how his death scuppered hopes of peace in the Middle East. Plus, the racism endured by children born to black American soldiers and German mothers after World War Two, the rebuilding of Dresden's most famous church, and nude theatre in London and New York.

    PHOTO: Yitzhak Rabin in 1993 (Getty Images)

    • 50 min
    US presidential history special

    US presidential history special

    Eyewitness accounts of moments in US presidential history: Inside JFK's election victory, remembering Shirley Chisholm - the first African American from a major party to make a presidential run, plus a senator's account of the Watergate hearings, the rise of the religious right and the story of President Bush's 9/11.

    Photo: US President John F. Kennedy giving his first State of the Union address to Congress in January 1961. (Credit: NASA/SSPL/Getty Images)

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

Monty10175 ,

Very interesting

History the way it should be presented. Very personal and intense. Fascinating.

Natalie Medlock ,

Favourite podcast.

Most digestible and fascinating way to consume history. Broadens my thinking in the only way history can. Shouldn’t have bothered going to school.

Petegasson ,

Brilliant

Wish I had found this podcast years ago. Simply brilliant, a great collection of stories. Thank you from Whakatane, New Zealand

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