Witness

By BBC World Service

About this podcast   English    United States

History as told by the people who were there.
yesterday
On May 21st 1998 the president of Indonesia resigned after 31 years in power. He stood down in the wake of demonstrations and riots across the country. The riots had broken out after the shooting of four student demonstrators by armed police in the capital Jakarta. In 2014 Alex Last spoke to Bhatara Ibnu Reza who took part in the demonstrations and who was with one of the students when he died. Photo: Students celebrate outside the Parliamentary buildings, Jakarta after Indonesian President Suharto announced his resignation. Credit: Adam Butler/PA
May 18, 2018 · transcript
How Lt. Jack ReVelle disarmed two thermonuclear bombs which crashed in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1961. The bombs had been sucked out of a B-52 bomber which broke up in mid air and crashed on a flight over the eastern United States. Accidents involving nuclear weapons are known as Broken Arrows in US military terminology. At the time, Jack Revelle led a US Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team based in Ohio. Photo: One of the bombs Jack disarmed remained virtually intact.(USAF)
May 17, 2018
The play Look Back in Anger exploded onto London's cultural scene in May 1956 and helped to change British theatre forever. The play by John Osborne is about a disillusioned university graduate coming to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values. One writer described it as a cultural landmine. Actress Jane Asher starred in an early production and has been speaking to Louise Hidalgo for Witness. Picture: Jane Asher, Victor Henry and Martin Shaw at a rehearsal for the 1968 revival of John Osborne's play Look Back In Anger at the Royal Court theatre. (Credit: Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
May 16, 2018 · transcript
In May 1968 student demonstrations spread across France and when workers joined the protests the whole country was brought to a standstill. Jean-Claude Pruvost was a young policeman who had to face the violent protests on the streets of Paris as the authorities tried to restore control. He has been speaking to Lisa Louis for Witness. Photo: Protesters face police in front of the Joseph Gibert bookstore, Boulevard Saint Michel in May 1968. (Credit: Jacques Marie/AFP/Getty Images)
May 15, 2018 · transcript
In 1907 Italian doctor, Maria Montessori opened a nursery where young children learnt independently, through practical work and playing with educational toys. The revolutionary teaching method soon spread around the world. Anya Dorodeyko spoke to the Italian educator's great granddaughter, Carolina Montessori and teacher Nan Abbott, who was trained by Dr Montessori in the 1940s. Photo: Children develop their problem solving skills through play at a Montessori school in 1919. Credit: Davies/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
May 12, 2018 · transcript
In 1943, the Royal Air Force attacked a set of dams in Germany's Ruhr valley which were considered indestructible. Flying low and at night, the crews used special bouncing bombs to bring down two of their targets. The Dambusters mission was a huge propaganda success for Britain and later inspired a famous film. In 2013, Simon Watts talked to Johnny Johnson, one of the few survivors of the raid. PHOTO: Johnny Johnson (far left) with the rest of 617 squadron (DAMBUSTERS) at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, 22 JULY 1943 (Imperial War Museum).
May 11, 2018
In 1985 several members of the same American family were arrested for selling Navy secrets to the USSR. The alleged ring leader, John Walker, had been spying for the Soviets for 20 years. But the FBI suspected that John's elder brother Arthur had been involved in spying even earlier. Dina Newman speaks to Arthur Walker's lawyer, Sam Meekings. Photo: the alleged spy ring leader John Walker started his career in the Navy on board the USS Forrestal, a US aircraft carrier. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images.
May 10, 2018 · transcript
On the 10th May 1981 a baby was born after having been successfully operated on whilst still in the womb. The paediatric surgeon who developed the technique was Dr Michael Harrison. He has been speaking to Ashley Byrne about the challenges he faced. Photo: an ultrasound of a foetus in the womb. Credit: Science Photo Library.
May 9, 2018
In June 2001, more than half a century after being driven into exile by communists, Bulgaria’s former King Simeon II made a dramatic comeback by winning the country’s parliamentary election. Farhana Haider has been speaking to Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha about his remarkable journey from child king to prime minister. Photo: King Simeon II 1943 Credit: Bulgarian Royal Family
May 8, 2018
In May 1963, leaders of 32 newly-independent African nations came together for the first time in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. At stake was the dream of a united Africa. Alex Last spoke to Dr Bereket Habte Selassie who took part in that first gathering. Photo: Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (C) and Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah (L) during the formation of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa in May 1963. Credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images

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