Witness

The story of our times told by the people who were there.

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

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      The Bonus Army


      In the summer of 1932, tens of thousands of American First World War veterans marched on Washington DC to demand the bonus they'd been promised by the government for their part in the war. It was the height of the Great Depression and many were unemployed and hungry. They called themselves the Bonus Army. Louise Hidalgo talks to author Paul Dickson about their story. Photograph: Bonus Army marchers stage a mass vigil on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington while the Senate...


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      9m
       

      The Killing of Gianni Versace


      On July 15th 1997 the Italian fashion designer was shot dead on the steps of his Florida mansion. His murder sparked a huge manhunt and shocked the world of fashion. Mike Lanchin spoke to journalist Cathy Horyn about the man, and his life. Photo: A police car outside Gianni Versace's Miami home in July 1997. Credit: Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images


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      Nintendo's Family Computer


      The Famicom gaming console was a breakthrough in the world of computer games. Launched in Japan in 1983, it brought games out of arcades and into people's living rooms. When it reached markets in the West it was renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo designer Masayuki Uemura has been speaking to Ashley Byrne about how it was developed. Photo: Masayuki Uemura, holding Donkey Kong software for the original Famicom console. (Credit: Kyodo News via Getty Images.)


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      The Mont Blanc Tunnel


      In July 1965 an 11-km tunnel dug deep beneath the Alps was opened to traffic. Linking France and Italy, the Mont Blanc tunnel was a remarkable feat of engineering. Franco Cuaz, a consultant on the project and the tunnel's first operations manager, speaks to Mike Lanchin about the risks and challenges of the ambitious project. Photo: Final preparations are made for the opening of the Mont Blanc Tunnel on the French-Italian border, July 1965. (Keystone/Getty Images)


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      The Oka Crisis


      Indigenous Canadians objected to plans to develop a golf course on the site of a burial ground in Quebec in 1990. The dispute led to a summer-long siege between Mohawk protestors and Canadian security forces. Ellen Katsi'tsakwas Gabriel is a Mohawk activist who spoke to Rebecca Kesby about the crisis. Photo: A Mohawk activist confronts a soldier. Credit: IATV NEWS.


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      Castlemorton Common: Britain's Biggest Illegal Rave


      In the summer of 1992, thousands of ravers and New Age travellers gathered for an illegal free festival on common land near the Malvern Hills in the English Midlands - to the horror of local residents. It was a high point for British rave culture, but also the beginning of the end. The Castlemorton Common event led to a change in the law giving police increased power to shut down events playing music "characterised by the emission of repetitive beats". Lucy Burns speaks to Lol Hammond, a...


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      The Rudolf Nureyev Phenomenon


      In 1961, one of the world's best ballet dancers, Rudolf Nureyev, defected from the USSR to the West, causing a worldwide sensation. Dina Newman spoke to Victor Hochhauser, the international impresario who organised that historic tour. Photo: Rudolf Nureyev receives flowers after his performance of 'Swan Lake' in Paris in 1963. Credit: AFP/Getty Images


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      The Imprisonment of Irina Ratushinskaya


      The dissident poet was sentenced to 7 years in a Soviet Labour camp. She suffered from cold, malnutrition and harsh treatment, but she continued to write poems secretly. She was released on the eve of a nuclear summit between the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Irina Ratushinskaya died on July 5th 2017. She spoke to Louise Hidalgo for Witness in 2016. (Photo: Irina and her husband Igor, arriving in London in December 1986. Credit: Topfoto)


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      The Birth of UKIP


      In 1993 academic Dr Alan Sked formed the UK Independence Party to campaign against Britain's membership of the European Union. The party played a vital part in the debate about Europe before and after the referendum which led to Brexit - Britain's exit from the Union. Photo: Dr Alan Sked during an early party political broadcast.


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      The First Tamil Suicide Bombing


      In July 1987 separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka attacked an army camp. It was the first of hundreds of suicide attacks carried by the group known as the "Black Tigers" against both military and civilian targets during the country's long running civil war. Farhana Haider hears from a former Tamil resident of Sri Lanka and from one of the only filmmakers to have spent any time with the Black Tigers. Photo: Captain Miller shrine at Nelliady, Jaffna, Sri Lanka on Black Tigers Day,...


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