Witness

History as told by the people who were there.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004t1hd

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      My 10-Year Battle to Adopt in Guatemala


      In 2007 Guatemala overhauled its much-criticised adoption system. All future foreign adoptions were immediately suspended, while some 3,000 cases already underway were caught in legal limbo. Many of these cases have taken years to resolve. American Ruth Sheeham tells Mike Lanchin about her long struggle to secure the adoption of Luis, a young Guatemalan child she first met ten years ago. (Photo: Ruth Sheeham with Luis in Guatemala City, courtesy of Ruth Sheeham)


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      9m
       

      The Writer With Cerebral Palsy Who Made History


      Irish writer Christopher Nolan became the first severely disabled person to win the prestigious British literary prize, the Whitbread Book of the Year in 1988. Nolan was physically disabled at birth by severe cerebral palsy, leaving him paralysed from the neck down. He won for his autobiographical book: Under the Eye of the Clock. Christy wrote by tapping a keyboard with a device strapped to his head. Farhana Haider has been listening to the BBC archives and speaking to the art critic...


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      9m
       

      Eisenhower's Farewell Address


      American president Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address in January 1961 is regarded as one of the greatest speeches made by a US president. In it, he warned Americans against the military industrial complex, a phrase that he coined for the first time, and not to live just for today. Eisenhower, who had been the allied commander in Europe during World War Two, was succeeded by his young Democratic rival, John F Kennedy, who was seen as representing the new post-war generation. Louise Hidalgo...


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      8m
       

      South Africa's Truth And Reconciliation Commission


      When Apartheid was abolished in the 1990's, South Africans had to find a way to confront their brutal past without endangering their chance for future peace. But it was a challenging process for many survivors of atrocities committed by the former racist regime. Justice Sisi Khampepe served on the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and as she tells Rebecca Kesby, she had to put aside her own emotions and experiences at the hands of the police, to expose the truth...


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      10m
       

      How British Women Helped Win World War One


      For the first time women were encouraged to join the workforce to help win the war. As millions of men were mobilised for military service, British women began to do many jobs that had been the preserve of men. They worked in industry, on the land, in the civil service. But tens of thousands were employed in munitions factories. It was long, hard and dangerous work. Using the BBC archive we hear from women who worked as 'Munitionettes' Photo: British recruitment posters urging women to...


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      9m
       

      Reaching out After World War Two


      German children from Dusseldorf were invited to stay in the English town of Reading shortly after WW2 had ended. Hear how two girls became lifelong friends as a result. Chris Browning has been hearing from June Whitcombe and Gretel Rieber about their memories of that time, and about the local mayor, Phoebe Cusden, who single-handedly organised the exchange. (Photo: June (L) and Gretel (R) in the 1940s. Courtesy of June Whitcombe)


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      8m
       

      When France Said 'Non' To Britain Joining Europe


      In 1963 France stopped Britain from joining the European Economic Community, now the EU. The news shocked Britain which had been negotiating to join the EEC for more than a year. Claire Bowes has been speaking to Juliet Campbell, a diplomat who was at the talks in Brussels about the moment when Britain was shut out of the club which was making Europe prosperous. Photo: 14th January 1963 Charles de Gaulle, President of France, at a press conference during which he stated that Britain was...


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      9m
       

      The Algerian Massacres


      In the 1990s, the Algerian military was locked in a brutal struggle with radical Islamists. It's estimated that more than 150,000 people were killed. The conflict was marked by massacres of entire villages. In 2013, Alex Last spoke to Marc Marginedas, a Spanish journalist who reported on the infamous massacre of Sidi Hamed in January 1998. (Photo: Women mourn victims in Sidi Hamed. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)


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      9m
       

      The First iPhone


      The touchscreen smartphone changed mobile technology for ever. It was unveiled on January 9th 2007 by the Apple boss Steve Jobs. Within a few years smartphones had changed the way billions of people lived their lives. Ashley Byrne has been speaking to Andy Grignon a senior developer on the project. Photo: Steve Jobs at the iPhone launch in San Francisco in 2007. Credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images


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      9m
       

      The Boy Who Stayed Awake For Eleven Days


      California high school student Randy Gardner set the world record for staying awake in 1964, going without sleep for over 264 hours. He was monitored by his school friend Bruce McAllister and Stanford University sleep scientist William Dement - they speak to Lucy Burns about their memories of the experiment. Photo: Randy Gardner (in blindfold) describes scents offered to him by Bruce McAllister, while Joe Marciano Jr. takes notes, San Diego, California, 1964 (Don Cravens/The LIFE Images...


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