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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 18:28 GMT
Live Aid to the millennium: 1983-2001
Broadcasting has played a key part in people's lives, giving access to historic news events taking place around the globe. BBC News Online recalls some memorable moments.

In 1984 the world was alerted to a famine of biblical proportions in Ethiopia by BBC correspondent Michael Buerk.

Pop star Bob Geldof decided he could not sit back and watch the suffering and organised the 16-hour Live Aid phenomenon.

A famine of biblical proportions
Live Aid took place on 13 July 1985 and was simultaneously held in London and Philadelphia.

The worldwide audience, which is one of the largest ever amassed, included 24.5m Britons.

The event raised more than 60m but despite this huge international effort, 1.2m people still starved to death.


Headlines were also hit following the Hillsborough Stadium disaster of 1989, which claimed the lives 96 Liverpool fans.

The BBC's Peter Jones was commentating on the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when the tragedy unfolded before his eyes.

Thousands of tributes were laid wherever there was room and a shrine of scarves was formed at the ground.

Berlin Wall

A hole in the Berlin Wall
East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin Wall
History was made in 1989 with the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

For 28 years the concrete and wire screen had sliced through Germany, dividing families, villages and the capital itself.

The East German Government had called it an anti-fascist protection barrier. For the West it was the most chilling symbol of the Cold War.

German reunification followed, and with it an end to the Cold War.


Another historic moment was captured on film in November 1995. Millions tuned in to watch the Princess of Wales give an unprecedented and honest interview with the BBC's Panorama programme.

The princess won widespread public support after candidly describing her fight against bulimia , the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles and her relationship with the Royal Family.

She also spoke of her distress at the media's invasions into her private life, saying it was "abusive".

The funeral
The nation mourned Diana's death
On 31 August 1997 the nation awoke to the news of Diana's death following a car crash in France.

What followed was an extraordinary and global outpouring of grief.

The world came to a standstill for her funeral on 6 September.

More than a million people lined the streets of London and an estimated 2.5 billion watched live coverage of Britain's farewell to the "people's princess".


Three years later, a new millennium dawned.

The year 2000 began in the South Pacific. Dancers on a coral beach on the tropical atoll named Millennium Island were the first to welcome the third millennium.

The UK welcomed the 21st Century to the familiar chimes of Big Ben striking midnight.

Street celebrations
Millennium revellers celebrate in the streets
Up to three million people celebrated in London as the River Thames was lit up by fireworks.

An estimated 180,000 people packed into Edinburgh's streets to see in Scotland's largest ever Hogmanay, while the focus of Wales's celebrations was a concert in Cardiff by the Manic Street Preachers.

And in Northern Ireland, up to 30,000 people thronged Belfast's city centre for midnight celebrations followed by firework display on the banks of the river Lagan. Midnight in New York was marked with 18 hours of pageants reflecting different parts of the world.

Up to a million people watched as a giant crystal globe, illuminated by almost 500 coloured bulbs, descended down a pole on top of a skyscraper in Times Square.

Charting its past, present and digital future
See also:

22 Mar 01 | Entertainment
22 Mar 01 | Entertainment
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