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The History Hour

Podcast The History Hour
Podcast The History Hour

The History Hour


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  • The earthquake that devastated Haiti
    In 2010 the Haitian capital and surrounding areas were hit by a catastrophic earthquake. Much of Port Au Prince was flattened and more than a hundred thousand people were killed. Amid the destruction and death people's first instinct was to pull together and help one another. A survivor describes what happened after his family home collapsed around him. Plus, a prisoner who took part in the dramatic Attica prison uprising of 1971, the professor who used DNA to unravel a 200-year-old royal mystery from France, and one of the first settlers of Copenhagen's famous hippy commune, Christiania. Photo: Men gather to try to reach those still buried in the rubble beneath the Haitian Department of Justice building in January 2010.(Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
  • 9/11 and the war on terror
    In a special edition on the terrorist attacks on America, we hear from the White House official who broke the news to the President and a Muslim first-responder who worked at Ground Zero. Plus, personal memories of the US intelligence failures in the run-up to 9/11 and the bombing of Afghanistan which followed. We also get a dramatic first-hand account of the death of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of the Afghan resistance against the Taleban, who was killed by an al-Qaeda suicide bomber on the eve of the attacks on New York and Washington. And former BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus joins us to analyse the war on terror and the gains made - or not made - in the twenty years since a day which changed the world. Photo: Smoke pours from the World Trade Centre after it was hit by two passenger planes on September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Credit: Robert Giroux/Getty Images)
  • Surviving the fall of Saigon
    When South Vietnam fell in 1975, most could not escape. In the last days, the US airlifted its remaining personnel and some high ranking Vietnamese officials - but millions were left behind to await their fate. Hear the account of one South Vietnamese veteran who remained in Saigon as North Vietnamese forces took the city. Also on the programme: the 1990s electric car that was taken out of production, we go up close with North Korea's Kim Il Sung, the Gdansk shipyard strike in Poland, and the Sicilian businessman who tried to defy the Mafia. Photo: A South Vietnamese soldier helps his wounded friend during fighting with communist forces in Saigon, 28th April 1975 (Bettmann/Getty Images)
  • My father survived the sinking of the Titanic
    Fang Lang was one of six Chinese men who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The six faced racism and a hostile immigration system when they reached America. Unlike other survivors, their stories remained untold for decades. We hear from Fang Lang's son Tom and Arthur Jones whose documentary called The Six tells the story of those six Chinese survivors. Also John Maynard Keynes, the economist who transformed the world, changing attitudes in Mexico towards disabled women plus Nigeria’s war against indiscipline in the 1980s and the contested legacy of one of the most revered Arab poets of the twentieth century. Photo: Tom’s father, Fang Lang. Credit: LP Films.
  • US withdrawal: The Fall of Saigon
    The desperate scramble to evacuate the US embassy at the end of the Vietnam war in 1975, also the 1940s Indian radio station calling for independence. We'll look at life as a 'human shield' in Iraq under Saddam, the man who invented the term 'genocide' and why, and the messy diplomatic embarrassment of Nicolae Ceaușescu's visit to The Queen in 1978. (Photo: A CIA employee helps Vietnamese evacuees onto an Air America helicopter from the top of 22 Gia Long Street, a half mile from the U.S. Embassy. April 1975. Getty Images.)

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