British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Great Events of the 20th Century

Alternative title
Greatest Events of the 20th Century, The
A collection of newsfilm covering 101 newsworthy events of the 20th century. Items are: 1) Opening credits; 2) Queen Victoria’s funeral; 3) Wright brothers’ first flight; 4) Suffragette dies under King’s horse; 5) Battle of the Somme begins; 6) Abdication of the Czar; 7) Irish Free State treaty signed; 8) Suzanne Lenglen breaks Wimbledon record; 9) Start of UK General Strike; 10) Charles Lindbergh flies the Atlantic solo; 11) American golfer Bobby Jones wins Grand Slam; 12) Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor; 13) Edward VIII abdicates; 14) The Hindenburg disaster; 15) Hitler annexes Austria - Anschluss declared; 16) Germay invades Poland; 17) Evacuation of Dunkirk; 18) London Blitz begins; 19) Bombing of Pearl Harbor; 20) Battle of El Alamein begins; 21) The fall of Stalingrad - German Army surrenders; 22) D-Day landings; 23) The liberation of Paris; 24) the ‘Big Three’ at Yalta carve up post-war world; 25) Germans surrender to Montgomery.
26) Victory in Europe day; 27) First atomic bomb test in New Mexico; 28) Labour’s landslide election victory; 29) Atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima; 30) India gains independence; 31) Airlift in Berlin begins; 32) Mao’s communists take over China; 33) Korean War starts; 34) Britain explodes first bomb; 35) First nuclear powered submarine; 36) Roger Bannister breaks four-minute mile; 37) French surrender at Dien Bien Phu; 38) Le Mans race disaster; 39) Khruschev denounces Stalin; 40) First nuclear power station; 41) Soviets crush Hungarian revolution; 42) Suez crisis; 43) Manchester United players die in Munich air disaster; 44) Pele thrills crowds at the World Cup; 45) World’s first hovercraft takes off; 46) Kennedy inauguration; 47) Gagarin becomes the first man in space; 48) Berlin Wall goes up; 49) Cuban missile crisis; 50) Martin Luther King civil rights march.
51) Kennedy assassinated; 52) Beatles return from US in triumph; 53) Aberfan slag heap buries school; 54) Donald Campbell dies in Bluebird crash; 55) Six-day war begins; 56) Grosvenor Square anti-Vietnam riots; 57) Paris riots; 58) Soviets put down ‘Prague Spring’; 49) Concorde flies for the first time; 60) Astronaut Armstrong sets foot on the moon; 61: ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Northern Ireland; 62) Nixon - first US president to resign; 3) Khomini returns from exile; 64) Mountbatten assassinated by IRA; 65) British SAS storm Iranian Embassy; 66) British Task Force to sail for the Falklands; 56) HMS Sheffield sunk in Falklands was; 68) IRA bombs British Cabinet at Brighton; 69) Ethiopian famine - BBC report; 70) Heysel football stadium disaster; 71) Challenger spacecraft explodes; 72) US attacks Libya; 73) First film of Chernobyl nuclear power station; 74) Zeebrugge ferry disaster; 75) Exxon Valdes oil spill.
76) Hillsborough football stadium disaster; 77) Tiananmen Square massacre; 78) Berlin Wall falls; 79) Official end of Cold War; 80) Overthrow of Ceaucescu; 81) Nelson Mandela released; 82) Iraq invades Kuwait; 83) Thatcher falls from power; 84) Desert Storm - start of the Gulf War; 85) Soviet coup foiled; 86) Treaty of Maastricht - agreement reaction; 87) Los Angeles race riots; 88) British Royal Family crisis; 89) Windsor Castle damaged by fire; 90) Prince and Princess of Wales separate; 91) Arab Israeli peace agreement; 92) Yeltsin crushes parliamentary rebels; 93) Sarajevo mortar attack; 94) Britain’s oldest bank collapses; 95) Terrorist bomb kills 167 in Oklahoma; 96) Dolly the sheep - first clone of an adult animal; 97) Princess of Wales dies in Paris car crash; 98) Mother Theresa dies of a heart attack; 99) Millions watch funeral of Princess of Wales; 100) Hurricane Mitch devastates Central America; 101) President Clinton faces impeachment; 102) Nato planes bomb Yugoslavia.
Great Britain
Video; DVD (Region 2). col. 256 min. Videocassette. VHS. col. 212 min.
Year of production
Sale; 2000 sale: £19.99 (inclusive) video 2000 sale: £29.99 (inclusive) DVD
history of the 20th century; newsreel films


Gordon Carr
John Humphreys 

Distribution Formats


Production Company


Ace Editing


BBC Worldwide


British Pathe plc

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Carlton Visual Entertainment

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