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TV killed the radio star

Can you imagine a time when, instead of watching dramas at home on a screen, people listened to them on the radio - a time when the most popular of those dramas were made in Australia? This Four Corners program from 1964 examines the reasons for the death of Australian radio serials, the role played by television in their ...

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Cambodian refugees

How do people become refugees? From the late 1960s, the small Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia was dragged into a war that was not of its making. Many thousands of its people suffered terribly when their country was caught up in the Vietnam War. Watch as ABC reporter Andrew Swanton covers the flight of refugees into the ...

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Ken Burns on historical documentaries

How can TV documentaries help us to understand the past? Ken Burns is a highly regarded American television documentary maker. He has made outstanding historical documentaries on such topics as the American Civil War, baseball, jazz and the 1930s Depression. In this 2004 ABC Words program, Burns speaks to James Griffin ...

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Teenage drinking in the 1970s

Do you think that Australian teenagers drink too much alcohol? If so, do you think this is a new problem? Discover what teenagers thought about such drinking back in the 1970s. This ABC program from 1977 looks at the issue of teenage drinking, some possible reasons for it and some of the social problems arising from it.

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Adoption of Indigenous Australian children

Imagine being taken away from your family and forced to live with people from another language, place and culture. This interview, recorded a week before the 1967 Referendum, captures an the perspective of Margaret Valadian, a prominent young Aboriginal Australian, on the practice of adoption and the removal of Aboriginal ...

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Franklin River campaign

How important is the environment in an election campaign? In this clip, explore the issue that changed Australia's conservation landscape forever: the fight to save the Franklin River. Watch how the Tasmanian Wilderness Society used political and media strategies to influence the outcome of the 1983 federal election in ...

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Defeat of the Inca Empire Conquistador

Imagine a thriving society: food is abundant, roads connect cities replete with gold and silver, and large and powerful armies protect the rulers of millions of citizens. In this clip from the 1985 documentary 'Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon', reporter Jack Pizzey considers how such a successful society was subdued ...

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Life in a World War II commando company

Discover the hazards and the extreme hardships experienced by Australians fighting the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. In this ABC Open report, World War II veteran Russell Blanch recalls some of his experiences while serving in an Australian commando company in the rugged mountains and dense jungles of New Guinea.

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The cost of the Iraq War

What are the real costs of war? Is military success all that matters when deciding whether the outcome of a war is successful? In March 2003, US President George W Bush sent military forces into Iraq to find and destroy reported weapons of mass destruction, and to end the regime of President Saddam Hussein. Although the ...

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Judgement and justification after the Iraq War

What are the consequences of human rights abuses in a time of war? In March 2003, the USA led a coalition of nations in a military campaign in Iraq. One of the main justifications for the war was the reported existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) but as the war progressed and no WMDs were found, suspicion about ...

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The Larrakia land rights petition

Imagine a petition over three metres long and containing 1,000 signatures. In this ABC News broadcast from 2012, Adrienne Frank reports on a rare viewing of the milestone land rights petition organised by the Larrakia people of the Darwin area in 1972.

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Alvin Toffler discusses women's liberation

How was Australian society affected by the women's liberation movement in the 1960s and 70s? One issue, the struggle for women to access the same opportunities as men, caused much uncertainty about the future of the family. In this clip, writer and futurist Alvin Toffler offers his unique take on women's liberation and ...

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The Moghul emperors of India

Discover an empire so wealthy that its rulers could construct magnificent palaces with ceilings of silver and jewels set in their walls. In this half-hour video made in 1977, writer and presenter Keith Adam will guide you through the rich history of the last great empire in India before it lost territory to its Hindu neighbours ...

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Tokugawa shogunate is overthrown

How did Japan's Tokugawa shogunate come to an end? The entry of the US fleet into Tokyo Bay in 1853 and the events that followed exposed the shogunate's policy of isolation as a potential threat to the country. Western influence, and Japan's response to it, would have an enormous impact on the country's future. This clip ...

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Modernising Japan in the Meiji era

The restoration of Emperor Meiji in 1868 ushered in a period of rapid change in Japan. The country not only borrowed practices and technologies from Western countries, in less than forty years it too had become an imperialist power. This clip is fifth in a series of six.

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Tragic consequences of Japan's modernisation

Japan went through a remarkable transformation between 1868 and the death of the Emperor Meiji in 1912. But Japan's modernisation was accompanied by its rise as an imperialist power, with tragic results. Watch this clip to learn about the consequences of Japan's dream of empire. This clip is last in a series of six.

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Honouring Indigenous defence personnel

How would it feel to fight for your country overseas but, on returning, be denied the service benefits and status awarded to other veterans? As a mark of overdue recognition, ceremonies to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans have been held across Australia every year since 2007. This ABC News program reports ...

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Charles Perkins campaigns for Aboriginal rights

Why was 1967 a turning point in the struggle for legal equality and the civil rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? In this clip, we encounter leading Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins as he addresses a range of public meetings held to raise awareness of racial discrimination and to bring about change ...

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Surfies, clubbies and a changing way of life

What effect did the rise of surfboard riding and its accompanying surf culture have on surf lifesaving? In the early 1960s, surf lifesaving was regarded as a model of the values that underpin the Australian way of life. This clip from 1964 explores the collision between the new surf culture and the traditions of the surf ...

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Surf culture hits Australia in the 1960s

How did surf culture change Australian popular culture? Rock music and the concept of the 'teenager' had arrived in Australia in the 1950s but in the 1960s the surfboard gave rise to a new youth subculture. This clip from 1964 explores conflict in the water and cultural changes that came with the rise of the 'surfie'.