Witness

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

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

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      Britain's Land Girls


      Around 80 thousand women and girls volunteered to join the Women's Land Army during the Second World War. They helped provide vital food supplies to a country under siege. Kirsty Reid has spoken to Mona McLeod who was just 17 years old when she started working 6 days a week on a farm in Scotland. Mona has written a book about her experiences: 'A Land Girl's Tale'. Photo: Land girls carrying bundles of straw in 1941. (Credit: Maeers/Fox Photos/Getty Images)


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      10m
       

      Steve Biko: Black Consciousness Leader


      The anti-apartheid activist was buried on September 25th 1977. He had died in police custody just two weeks earlier. Thousands of people attended the funeral. Alex Last spoke to one of the early members of the Black Consciousness movement, Mamphela Ramphele who had a relationship with Steve Biko. Photo: Anti-apartheid activist attending the burial ceremony of Steve Biko, October 1977. (Photo credit STF/AFP/GettyImages)


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      8m
       

      The Cross Border Horse Race


      A showdown on the American/Mexican border on September 14th 1958 - in which two horses raced along either side of the border fence. Lucy Burns speaks to Ralph Romero, whose father was the owner of Relampago, the Mexican horse. Photo: Relampago, courtesy of Ralph Romero


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      8m
       

      Roselle - The 9/11 Guide Dog


      After the 9/11 attacks, a New York guide dog called Roselle was hailed as a hero for helping her owner safely down 78 flights of stairs and away from the Twin Towers before they collapsed. Simon Watts talks to Roselle's owner, Michael Hingson. PHOTO: Roselle and Michael Hingson, right, meeting a 9/11 rescue team (Getty Images)


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      8m
       

      Australia's Rabbit Plague


      For decades, Australia's countryside was ravaged by billions of rabbits. So in the 1950s, the government released the disease myxomatosis to kill off the rabbit plague. We hear from farmer, Bill McDonald, who remembers Australia's battle against the bunnies. (This programme is a re-broadcast). (Photo: Rabbits around a waterhole at the myxomatosis trial enclosure on Wardang Island in 1938. Credit: National Archives of Australia)


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      9m
       

      Shark Attack Survivor


      When Australian spearfishing champion Rodney Fox survived an horrific attack by a Great White Shark in 1963, it inspired him to learn more about the predator that tried to eat him. He invented the Shark Cage to help him do it safely. Rodney's was one of the worst non-fatal shark attacks ever recorded. He's been describing his miraculous escape from the jaws of death to Rebecca Kesby. (Photo: A Great White Shark - Getty Images)


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      9m
       

      The Transatlantic Locust Plague


      A plague of African desert locusts flew 5,000 kilometres non-stop to the Caribbean in 1988 in a journey never before recorded. They are thought to have come over with Hurricane Joan and the islanders were horrified at the sight of millions of dead and dying locusts on the beaches. Ministries of Agriculture feared the insects would become an established pest and would ruin crops but the surviving locusts seemed disorientated and soon died out. Claire Bowes has been speaking to an entomologist...


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      9m
       

      Sabra and Shatila - A Massacre in Lebanon


      A doctor working in Sabra and Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon recalls the massacre there in September 1982. Over the course of three days, Lebanese Christian militiamen killed and raped hundreds of the Palestinian inhabitants of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut in revenge for the assassination of their leader, Lebanese president elect, Bashir Gemayel. Dr Swee Ang treated the wounded in the basement of the only hospital in the camp; she tells Louise Hidalgo her story. Photo: A Palestinian woman...


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      9m
       

      The German Schoolboy Arrested for Writing a Letter


      Karl-Heinz Borchardt was arrested just after his 18th birthday by communist secret police in East Germany. His crime was writing a letter to the BBC World Service in protest at the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He has been speaking to Abby Darcy about how he was caught out by the Stasi. Photo: Karl-Heinz Borchardt at the time of his arrest. Copyright: Dr Karl-Heinz Borchardt .


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      9m
       

      The Hippydilly Squat


      A group of hippies known as the London Street Commune occupied a sixty-room mansion in central London in September 1969. 144 Piccadilly became a flash point for the conflict between alternative culture and the mainstream – and it was later cleared by the police. Lucy Burns speaks to Richie Gardener, who was one of the squatters. Picture credit: A policeman removes a flag from the balcony of 144 Piccadilly as squatters are evicted from the building, London, 21st September 1969. (Photo by ...


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      9m