174 episodes

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

The History Hour BBC

    • History

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

    Storming the Stasi HQ

    Storming the Stasi HQ

    The fall of East Germany's secret police; racism, injustice and a child execution in the US, plus the killing of Osama Bin Laden; the woman who negotiated peace in the Philippines, and the man who saved British aristocrats' country houses.

    Photo Photo:East Germans streaming into the secret police headquarters in Berlin on the night of January 15th 1990. Credit: Zöllner/ullstein bild/Getty Images.

    • 50 min
    The Computers for Schools revolution

    The Computers for Schools revolution

    In 2009, Uruguay became the first country in the world to give a laptop computer to every child in state primary schools. We hear from the man whose initiative is credited with transforming the lives of students and teachers. Plus, a US soldier's account of the battle for the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, and memories of the Brazilian rubber-tapper and environmentalist Chico Mendes.

    PHOTO: Two Uruguayan children enjoying their laptops (Courtesy Plan Ceibal)

    • 50 min
    The book that warned of an end to civilisation

    The book that warned of an end to civilisation

    In 1972 a book which outlined the possible future of the world became a best-seller. 'The Limits to Growth' was based on computer modelling which suggested that if economic growth remained unfettered, there'd be a 'traumatic' decline in civilisation from 2020. It also suggested global policy changes which could prevent a downward trend. Find out which path the world took and why...

    Plus, why East German punks were targeted by the secret police in the 1980s, a top UN negotiator remembers how peace was won in El Salvador in 1991, the first black sitcom in Britain and the launch of the Chippendales - the first male strip show for women - in 1979.

    Photo: Front cover of 'The Limits to Growth' published in 1972.

    • 50 min
    The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

    The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

    On 24th December 1979 Soviet troops poured into Afghanistan in support of an anti-government coup. The Soviet occupation would last for nine years.

    Plus, the hidden history of the board game Monopoly, the invention of chemotherapy, the heaviest aerial bombardment of the Vietnam war at Christmas 1972, and the street-performer origins of the global circus phenomenon Cirque du Soleil.

    Picture: Russian tanks take up positions in front of the Darulaman (Abode of Peace) Palace in Kabul, January 1980. (Henri Bureau/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

    • 49 min
    The Romanian revolution

    The Romanian revolution

    In this edition the fall of the Ceaușescus in Romania in December 1989, a global panic over bees in the early 2000s and WW2 black GIs finally recognised decades after the war. Plus the building of Abuja as Nigeria's capital and a woman's right to pray in some Hindu temples in India.

    (Photo: The army join the revolutionaries in Romania 1989. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 50 min
    The Cuban writer who defied Castro

    The Cuban writer who defied Castro

    On 7 December 1990 the dissident Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas killed himself in New York after years of suffering from AIDS. Before fleeing Cuba, Arenas had been jailed for his homosexuality, sent to re-education camps and prevented from writing. We hear from his friend and fellow writer, Jaime Manrique. Plus the memories of the daughter of the renowned British sculptor, Henry Moore; how the DEA helped track down Pablo Escobar; the ill-fated voyage of Shackleton's ship The Endurance; and inside one of the most notorious prison camps in post Soviet Central Asia.

    (Photo: Reinaldo Arenas. Credit: Sophie Bassouls/Sygma/Sygma/Getty Images)

    • 50 min

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC