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Latest Podcast Episodes

22nd January 1905: Bloody Sunday massacre in Saint Petersburg
22 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 22nd January 1905, the Bloody Sunday massacre took place in the Russian capital Saint Petersburg. Soldiers of the Imperial Guard fired on protesters led by the Orthodox Priest Father Georgy Gapon as they marched towards the Winter Palace where they planned to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II. By 1905 there was growing discontent amongst the urban working class. Father Gapon had established the "Assembly of the Russian Factory and Mill Workers of the City of St. Petersburg" to promote workers’ rights in 1903, but after four Assembly members from the Putilov ironworks were sacked from their ...

21st January 1983: First DeLorean sports car produced (famous as the ‘Back to the Future’ car)
21 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

The DeLorean DMC-12 sports car was later used as the time machine in Back to the Future. The DeLorean Motor Company was founded by engineer and automobile executive John DeLorean in 1975. The prototype DeLorean Safety Vehicle was completed in October 1976 with initial investment from celebrities including Johnny Carson and Sammy Davies Jr. Meanwhile DeLorean secured significant financial incentives from the Northern Ireland Development Agency to build the manufacturing plant in Dunmurry, a suburb of Belfast, in an attempt to cut unemployment and curb sectarian violence. The factory was built in 1978 with production of the car scheduled to begin ...

20th January 1942: Nazi leaders meet at the Wannsee Conference
20 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 20th January 1942, a number of senior Nazis met at the Wannsee Conference where they discussed what was referred to as the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich called the meeting, in which he outlined the deportation of European Jews to extermination camps in Poland where they would be systematically murdered. Six months earlier, on the 31st July 1941, Hermann Goering had ordered Heydrich as his second-in-command to submit plans "for the implementation of the projected final solution of the Jewish question". Heydrich was a trusted member of the Nazi elite, and had been referred ...

19th January 1917: 73 people killed in the Silvertown munitions factory explosion in London
19 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

The Brunner Mond chemical factory had been built in 1893 to manufacture caustic soda and soda crystals. However, declining demand for caustic soda meant that production ceased in 1912 and parts of the factory stood idle. Due to a crippling shell shortage following the onset of the First World War, the War Office chose to use the spare capacity at the Silvertown site to purify TNT for explosive shells. The chief scientist at the factory described the purification process as “manifestly very dangerous” and the company bosses themselves tried to dissuade the government for going ahead with the plan. Despite ...

18th January 1871: Wilhelm I declared German Emperor
18 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 18th January 1871, Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed the first German Emperor. The creation of the federal Empire made Wilhelm the head of state and president of the federated monarchies that made up the 27 constituent territories. Wilhelm had been made the President of the North German Confederation on its formation in 1867, and during the Franco-Prussian War took a leading role in the command of the German forces. With patriotic fervour as a result of the enormously successful German advance, in November 1870 the remaining states south of the river Main joined the North German Confederation. The ...

17th January 1944: Allies launch the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Second World War
17 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

The Battle of Monte Cassino began when Allied forces launched the first of four attacks against the Gustav Line in Italy. The Gustav Line, which together with the Bernhardt and Hitler lines formed a series of defences known as the Winter Line, had been established by the Germans and Italians to defend Rome from a northern advance by the Allies. The Allied forces had secured a foothold in Italy in Operation Avalanche the previous September, having first captured Sicily. By early January 1944 the Allies had advanced a long way north, but their progress had been stopped by poor weather that ...

16th January 27 BCE: Octavian becomes Augustus, Roman Emperor
16 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 16th January 27 BCE, the Roman Senate granted Octavian the titles Augustus and Princeps. The title Augustus is understood to roughly translate as “the illustrious one” and, although the title did not grant him political authority, many historians see this as the point at which Augustus’ rule as first Roman Emperor began. Octavian’s rise to power, and his position as Emperor, was achieved over a long period of time. Julius Caesar was his great-uncle, and in Caesar’s will was declared his adopted son and heir. Consequently he inherited Caesar’s property and lineage, but also a number of titles ...

15th January 1919: Great Molasses Flood kills 21 people in Boston
15 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

21 people were killed and a further 150 were injured after 2.3 million gallons of molasses swept through North End in Boston, Massachusetts after a storage tank collapsed. The 50 ft (15 m) tall tank on Commercial Street had been built in 1915 by the Purity Distilling Company to store molasses that were then fermented to produce industrial alcohol for liquor and munitions manufacturing. Demand for the latter had soared following the outbreak of the First World War, and the company had rushed to take advantage. The storage tank was built quickly and was already known to leak, since the ...

14th January 1943: Churchill and Roosevelt meet at the Casablanca Conference
14 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

On the 14th January 1943, the Casablanca Conference began in Morocco. Primarily a military meeting between the USA and Britain, the conference resulted in a declaration of the doctrine of "unconditional surrender". The conference saw the Combined Chiefs of Staff join American President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to discuss the future strategy for fighting the Second World War. Representing the Free French forces, Generals Charles de Gaulle, and Henri Giraud were also in attendance. Roosevelt’s attendance at the conference marked the first time a President had left American soil during wartime. Meanwhile the Soviet leader ...

13th January 1842: William Brydon, the sole survivor of 4,500 British soldiers, arrives at Jalalabad in Afghanistan
13 Jan 2018 @ 03:05 am

Dr William Brydon of the British East India Company Army was the only survivor of an army of 4,500 men and 12,000 camp followers to reach safety at Jalalabad in Afghanistan. Although it later emerged that a further 115 British officers and soldiers, along with their wives and children, had survived as hostages Brydon was the only Briton to have escaped from Kabul without being captured. Part of the First Anglo-Afghan War, British troops had maintained a garrison in Kabul since 1839 following the restoration of the British-supported Shuja Shah. On 2 November 1841 a group of locals, under the leadership ...