100th Anniversary of the birth of Richard Feynman

11 May 1918 was the birthday of Richard Feynman – one of the leading physicists of the 20th Century – whose work in physics, and the public communication of his ideas, was to have a massive impact on science that continues to reverberate into today’s world. He showed an early interest in science, and by the age…Read more

History’s Greatest Lies – 1985: The Rainbow Warrior

  The bombing of the Green Peace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior in The Port of Auckland was an act of state sponsored terrorism. New Zealand has always been sensitive towards environmental causes and was openly critical of the French nuclear testing taking place in nearby Polynesia. Executive director of Green Peace France, Jean-François Julliard explains….Read more

WW1 was to be the war to end all wars – so why did peace only last 20 years?

Impossible Peace   The tumultuous two decades between the First World War and the Second World War are sometimes referred to as the Impossible Peace. Historically, it is a relatively short period, yet it was an era of significant global change. The once mighty empires that stood for hundreds of years were in decline; Europe…Read more

The battles won and battles lost that shaped the outcome of the greatest conflict in history

Battles Won and Lost   Every battle is both a victory and a defeat – it depends which flag you fly. The First World War was a war of attrition. Opposing armies faced each other at a front fighting each other with very little gains in terms of territory and resources for either side. This…Read more

History’s Greatest Lies – 1972: Watergate Scandal

  With respect to the investigation presently underway in Washington DC by special counsel Robert Mueller into the activities of the campaign committee of the forty-fifth president of the United States, and how that may transpire, The Watergate scandal is arguably the greatest political scandal in US history. Following a break-in by five men at…Read more

Kingpin – The most famous kingpins in crime history

Kingpin Wednesdays at 8:30pm AEST from May 2 until May 23   Kingpin examines the life and crimes of four of the most notorious crime bosses of recent times with interviews of those who were there, archive footage, surveillance photographs and brilliantly cast breathtakingly vivid re-enactments. Originally a bowling term, the Kingpin was the pin that…Read more

50th Anniversary of the Battle of Coral-Balmoral

  The Battle of Coral-Balmoral, an intense, continuous and raging gunfight that drew Australian and New Zealand troops into a lethal vortex beginning on 12 May 1968, turned out to be one of the most significant actions of the Vietnam War. Sustained intense fighting continued across a 26-day period, night and day, with the Australian positions…Read more

100th Anniversary of the Abbeville Conference

    Relations between the United States and Germany during the First World War steadily worsened as the conflict progressed, with Germany’s submarine warfare, directed against merchant vessels as well as naval ships, a particularly sore point. The United States broke off diplomatic relationships with Germany in early 1917, and then on 6 April, amid tremendous…Read more

200th Anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx

One of the most influential thinkers of history, Karl Marx was born on 5th May 1818, in Trier, Germany. The philosophy he developed, called Marxism, became the fundamental platform of communism, a form of Government that was eventually adopted by around one third of the world’s population during the 20th century. Marx was born into…Read more

The Man With the Donkey – John Simpson Kirkpatrick

One of the iconic figures of the Gallipoli campaign was John Simpson Kirkpatrick – a private soldier who landed at ANZAC Cove on April 25th 1915, serving as a stretcher-bearer with the 3rd Field Ambulance. He had deserted from the British merchant navy some five years before and on his Australian Army enlistment forms he…Read more

Marie Antoinette – Let them eat cake

It is one of the most famous quotes of all time – but was it really a quote or in reality a great historical falsehood? Most are familiar with the remark attributed to Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, around 1789, when told that many of her subjects could not afford bread. She supposedly responded “Qu’ils…Read more

Architect Extraordinaire – The Jørn Utzon Story

Without doubt one of the most famous architects of modern times, Jørn Oberg Utzon was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on 9 April 1918, eventually carving out a legendary career in architecture matched by few others. He is best known as the designer of the Sydney Opera House, a building that made him internationally famous and become…Read more

Cleopatra – Queen of the Nile

Cleopatra VII Philopator, (69-30 BC) was the last active ruler of ancient Egypt, just before the country became a province of the Roman Empire One of the most famous women of antiquity, much of Cleopatra’s history is common knowledge, but there are many interesting, and perhaps lesser known facts that helped define her life – and…Read more

Luck of the Irish – Brendan “Paddy” Finucane

The story of Brendan “Paddy” Finucane, the Irish Spitfire ace from the Battle of Britain, makes remarkable reading from many standpoints, not only from his prodigious feats and bravery shown as a pilot, but the strange path he walked to arrive there. He was born in Dublin in 1920 where his father had been active in…Read more

Dentistry in the 1700’s

Going to the dentist is an experience that few people enjoy, although modern practice has resulted in largely painless treatments. But winding back the clock to much older times, dental work, in particular the removal of an aching tooth, was a much dreaded procedure usually resulting in great pain and often septicaemia because of poor…Read more

A Big Man – the Daniel Boone Story

Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was one of the most famous frontiersmen in the history of the United States, helping explore and open up wilderness areas for settlement during the second half of the 18th century. In an amazing life he became a skilled hunter, trapper and pioneer and maintained an extraordinary relationship with Native Americans –…Read more

U.S.S Cyclops Disappears

One of the most enduring and mysterious maritime incidents of modern history is the disappearance of the large American transport and collier ship U.S.S Cyclops that occurred on 5 March 1918. This vessel, weighing in at close to 20,000 tonnes was carrying 306 passengers and crew, together with a large cargo of manganese ore that was to be…Read more

The Big Bang – Halting Nuclear Testing During the Cold War

During the mid 1950’s there was an alarming escalation in the testing of nuclear weapons, mostly by the two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, although the United Kingdom was also involved. This was known as the nuclear arms race and both superpowers were stockpiling nuclear weapons at a frightening rate at the height…Read more

The First Corned Beef Sandwich in Space

A simple corn beef sandwich, reportedly containing no mustard or pickles, played a unique role in the US Space Program, resulting in a high-level investigation by the US House of Representatives and NASA. On impulse, astronaut John Young decided to take a corn beef sandwich into space with him on the Gemini 3 mission of 23 March…Read more

Flight Into Oblivion – The MH 370 Story

One of the great aviation mysteries of modern times is the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH 370), a flight en-route from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing, China. The aircraft was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew. MH 370, a Boeing 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines, departed Kuala Lumpur on schedule soon after midnight local time…Read more