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The History Hour

Wartime surrenders and the birth of Barbie

The History Hour
The History Hour

Max Pearson presents a compilation of stories from this week’s Witness History episodes.

In the autumn of 1945, World War II surrender ceremonies took place across the Japanese Empire. Thousands of people watched the incredible moment Japanese generals handed over their swords in China's Forbidden City in Beijing.

Historian James Holland, talks about the ritual and significance of a surrender.

Also, the first Barbie doll was sold in 1959. It took Ruth Handler, who created it, years to convince her male colleagues that it would sell.

The plastic creation sold 350,000 in the first year and went on to take the world by storm selling millions. It’s now even been turned into a live action film starring Margot Robbie.

Contributors: John Stanfield, signed surrender declaration documents on behalf of the British at the end of World War II James Holland, historian, writer, and broadcaster Ramona Reed on her father Dean Reed who became known as ‘Red Elvis’ Vents Krauklis, a demonstrator in the Latvian capital, Riga in 1991 Professor V. Craig Jordan, who helped bring the drug tamoxifen to the world’s attention Ruth and Elliot Handler from a BBC documentary broadcast in the 1990s

(Photo: Barbie in her various incarnations. Credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

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