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About This Site

On This Day is a showcase of some of the most significant as well as some of the quirkier stories broadcast by BBC News since 1950 and now including a new World War II section.

You will probably enter the site via the front page. This will always be today’s date and will offer a choice of reports drawn from the years 1950-2005 and 1939-45.

Nearly all the stories contain video or audio and are written as if the event had only just occurred, drawing on archive media, old newspapers and historical reference books.

What happened next?

All news reports finish with an "In Context" box. This gives a brief rundown on what happened next and could also reveal details such as what became of personalities who featured in a story long before they became household names.

The timelines are intended to show you where you are within a long-running story and provide links to other related reports.

There are several ways to look round the site - you can search by date, as well as by theme and by correspondent. (Ever wondered what John Humphrys looked like before he began all those early shifts on Radio 4’s Today programme? Take a look at his timeline to find out.)

Your memories

You can read many interviews and eyewitness accounts on the site offering a different, more personal perspective of some of the significant and memorable stories featured. On This Day is no longer in a position to publish new emails from users, however, you can still contact us by writing to

While the BBC owns the copyright to nearly all the media on the site, some material has been licensed from other broadcasters as is normal in the world of TV news.

We hope you enjoy using the site.

Witness memories
0 Looking back
A selection of the best of your memories

World War II - 1939 to 1945
0 Britain and France joined the war on 3 September 1939A compilation of key stories as they broke throughout the war

On This Day
0 Graphic image - text with red squaresHeadlines delivered to your desktop - find out about RSS

BBC History>>
0 BBC HistoryArticles, biographies and multimedia on historical events

BBC Radio 4 History>>
0 Radio 4 logoFind out what Radio 4 has to offer history lovers

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