251 episodes

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

The History Hour BBC

    • History
    • 4.4 • 9 Ratings

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

    Darfur's ethnic war

    Darfur's ethnic war

    We hear about the start of the war in Darfur, through the eyes of a teenage boy whose life was changed when the Sudanese military allied to a local militia, the Janjaweed, laid waste to villages across the region, killing and raping as they went. We hear from a survivor of Norway's worst day of terror, when a far-right extremist, Anders Breivik, launched a bomb attack on government offices and attacked a summer camp. Plus a story from our archives from a British army officer during World War Two who witnessed the end of Italy's colonial rule in East Africa during a final battle in the Ethiopian town of Gondar. From Brazil, the women's rights activist whose story of abuse inflicted by her husband inspired the country's first legislation recognising different forms of domestic violence in 2006. Lastly, the story of how the family of the artist Vincent Van Gogh worked to get him recognised as a great painter after he died penniless in 1890.


    Photo: A young Darfurian refugee walks past a Sudan Liberation Army Land Rover filled with teenage rebel fighters on October 14 2004 in the violent North Darfur region of Sudan. (Photo by Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images)

    • 50 min
    When the Taliban ruled Kabul

    When the Taliban ruled Kabul

    Afghans remember life under the Taliban in 1990s Kabul, and we ask Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network about the fall and rise of the Taliban. Plus, Jane Goodall on her ground-breaking study of chimpanzees, why race riots swept northern England in 2001, the remarkable story of a boy trapped in China's Cultural Revolution, and the invention of the jet engine.

    Photo: Taliban gunners outside Kabul in November 1996.(Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 50 min
    North Korea's 1990s famine

    North Korea's 1990s famine

    When the USSR collapsed it could no longer support North Korea, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths due to starvation and malnutrition. We hear from one survivor and Prof Hazel Smith who explains some of the contributing factors behind the 'long, slow famine'. Also on the programme, the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, why the UK sent all its gold to Canada during World War Two, battling for Roma rights and the mystery behind Cuba's blindness epidemic. All told by the people at the heart of the stories.

    Photo: North Korean boys at a kindergarten in Pyongyang pose for a World Food Programme Emergency Food Assistance photographer in 1997. Their thin arms and legs, knobby knees and distended abdomens show that they are seriously malnourished. (Credit: Susan North/AFP/Getty Images)

    • 50 min
    Supernatural sightings

    Supernatural sightings

    Is there anybody out there? Max Pearson hears about a UFO sighting in rural Zimbabwe in 1994 and talks to Gideon Lewis-Kraus of the New Yorker about whether the US Pentagon is taking UFOs more seriously. Plus, the birth of communist China, a wind power pioneer, trailblazing Chinese students and a radical Syrian playwright.
    Image: Composite of children's illustrations of UFO, Zimbabwe 1994.

    • 50 min
    The Confederate flag and America’s battle over race

    The Confederate flag and America’s battle over race

    In June 2015 an American anti-racist activist climbed a flagpole on the South Carolina state house grounds to take down the Confederate flag. The protest followed the killing of 9 black people at a historic Charleston church by a white supremacist who was pictured holding the flag. We discuss the
    history of this divisive symbol of America's racist past. Also how life in the Chinese countryside has been dramatically changed by 40 years of migration to the cities. Plus, from the 1980s, a British TV event that shifted attitudes towards victims of rape, East Germany’s iconic Trabant car and the man behind Mindfulness.



    Photo Bree Newsome taking down the Confederate flag at the State House in Columbia, SC, on Saturday 27th June 2015. Credit Adam Anderson / Reuters.

    • 50 min
    When Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor

    When Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor

    On 7 June 1981 Israeli fighter jets launched a surprise attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor located outside Baghdad, killing 11 people. The French-built reactor was still under construction and there was no leakage of nuclear material, but the bombing was widely condemned internationally. We hear from Dr Fadhil Muslim al Janabi, a former consultant for Iraq's nuclear agency. Also this week, eye-witness testimony to the fall of Madrid in 1939; Hamas' unexpected election victoryin 2006, the plight of legal sex workers in Tunisia and taking part in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the consecration of Coventry's new cathedral.

    Photo: The Tammuz light-water nuclear materials testing reactor under construction in Al-Tuwaitha, just outside of Baghdad, 1979. (Getty Images)

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC