The History Show

    Sunday, 6pm

    The Irish and World War One

    This August will mark the centenary of the start of World War One. We will be commemorating this anniversary on The History Show with special programmes and short items telling the stories of Irish people who were involved in the war. We will also be examining what was happening here during these turbulent years.

    Do you have relatives who were involved in the First World War? We would like to hear their stories. Email: history@rte.ie

    The History Show Sunday 21 December 2014

    Full Programme

    Christmas Truce

    The 1914 Christmas truce has become something of legend. And when events become legends, the details can get a bit exaggerated.  Historians Catriona Pennell of the University of Exeter and Paul Rouse from UCD talked about the truce and separated fact from fiction.

    Santa Letter

    In the files of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, there's a letter to Santa that dates from 1933. Written by an eight-year-old boy, it offers a unique insight into the experience of the poor of Belfast at the time. Lorcan Clancy spoke to historian Georgina Laragy, who discovered the historic letter.

    Saint Vincent de Paul

    This year the Saint Vincent de Paul Celebrates 170 years of fighting poverty in Ireland - and now at this time of giving we thought we'd reflect on the work of this dynamic charity was set up, just before the famine - as Louise Denvir reported.

    Its A Wonderful Life

    Over the years, the film It's a Wonderful Life has become a Christmas institution. The Frank Capra picture tells the story of a frustrated businessman who's shown by his guardian angel what the world would be like if he'd never been born. Lorcan Clancy took a closer look at a film that has become a staple of the holiday season.

    Xmas Movies for History Buffs

    Steven Benedict gave us a round-up of movies on television this Christmas for people with an interest in history.

    Night of the Big Wind

    A terrifying storm which hit this country in 1839 has become known as Oíche na Gaoithe Móire (The Night of the Big Wind).  It was the worst storm in 300 years and has yet to be paralleled.   Dr. Kieran Hickey Lecturer in Physical Geography at NUI Galway talked about how this storm impacted the country and its people.

    Christmas Truce

    In December 1914, World War One had been raging for four months on the Western Front.  The fighting had reached a stalemate, with soldiers from both sides encamped in cold and muddy trenches. 

    On Christmas Eve, something extraordinary happened - soldiers set aside their weapons and their hatred and came together to celebrate Christmas.  Lorcan Clancy recreated the story of the 1914 Christmas truce.

     

    The 1914 Christmas truce has become something of legend. And when events become legends, the details can get a bit exaggerated.  

    Historians Catriona Pennell of the University of Exeter and Paul Rouse from UCD talked about the truce and separated fact from fiction.

     

     

    We were also joined by Brendan McQuaile who sang Cormac McConnell's song about the Christmas Truce.

     

     From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear

     

     German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment meet in no man's land.

    Santa Letter

    Children's letters to Santa are usually sent straight to the man himself, who keeps them in his records at the North Pole. In the files of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, there's a letter to Santa that dates from 1933. Written by an eight-year-old boy, it offers a unique insight into the experience of the poor of Belfast at the time. Lorcan Clancy spoke to historian Georgina Laragy, who discovered the historic letter.

     

    Saint Vincent de Paul

    This year the Saint Vincent de Paul Celebrates 170 years of fighting poverty in Ireland - and now at this time of giving we thought we'd reflect on the work of this dynamic charity was set up, just before the famine - as Louise Denvir reported.

     

    The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Ireland, 170 Years of Fighting Poverty is now available in bookshops across Ireland.

    Its A Wonderful Life

    Over the years, the film It's a Wonderful Life has become a Christmas institution.

    The Frank Capra picture tells the story of a frustrated businessman who's shown by his guardian angel what the world would be like if he'd never been born. Lorcan Clancy took a closer look at a film that has become a staple of the holiday season.

     

    Xmas Movies for History Buffs

    Steven Benedict gave us a round-up of movies on television this Christmas for people with an interest in history.

     

    The movies are listed here in alphabetical order:

    Atonement UTV, December 29 @ 23.15

    The Best Years of Our Lives TG4, January 1 @ 13.05

    Casablanca More4, December 26 @ 14.30

    Django Unchained RTE One, January 1 @ 21.20

    Doctor Zhivago RTE One, December 31 @ 08.25

    The Good Shepherd BBC Four, December 28 @ 21.00

    The Help RTE One, January 2 @ 21.30

    To Kill a Mockingbird TG4, December 26 @ 12.50 

    The King’s Speech RTE One, December 23 @ 21.35

    Out of Africa Five, December 28 @ 15.55

    The Secret of Kells TG4, December 25 @ 11.45

    The Searchers More4, December 27 @ 11.25

    Unforgiven Five, December 21 @ 23.15

    War Horse RTE 2, December 24 @ 19.25

    Night of the Big Wind

    A terrifying storm which hit this country in 1839 has become known as Oíche na Gaoithe Móire (The Night of the Big Wind).

    Occurring on the Feast of the Epiphany and arriving in the middle of night without warning, the storm terrified a generation and entered our folklore. The horrific storm with hurricane type wind speeds and the lowest depression on record was felt by many of our superstitious ancestors to be the demonic work of the ‘ fairies’ or the wrath of God.   

    Whatever the cause, it was the worst storm in 300 years and has yet to be paralleled.

    But in an era in which climatologists warn of  increasingly extreme weather conditions, and in light of the recent winter storms of 2014, the story of ‘Oíche na Gaoithe Móire’ (the Night of the Big Wind) is not so much a lesson in history as a vivid warning of what may yet come again. 

     

    Oirhce na Gaoithe Moire, a documentary which will be shown on RTE One and BBC 2 Northern Ireland at 10.15pm on the 6th January 2015 - the very same night this awful storm, the worst we have on record, came 176 years ago. 

    Dr. Kieran Hickey Lecturer in Physical Geography at NUI Galway talked about how this storm impacted the country and its people.

    Death of Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh

    The History Show team would like to extend sincere sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of historian, Dr. Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh who died this week.

    Margaret is the author of Kathleen Lynn: Irishwoman, Patriot, Doctor (2006), Edward Hay, Historian of 1798, Catholic Politics in an era of Wolfe Tone and Daniel O'Connell (2010) and Quiet Revolutionaries: Irish Women in Education, Medicine and Sport, 1861-1964 (2011).

    May she rest in peace.

    About The Show

    Bringing the past to life! Discover how our world was shaped as Myles Dungan and guests explore events ranging from medieval times to the recent past.

    We want to help explain ourselves to ourselves. We will search out fresh angles on familiar topics, seek out the unfamiliar and will not shy away from bizarre or controversial issues. Our ultimate goal is to make The History Show the primary port of call for those with an intense or even a modest interest in the subject. We want to entice the casual and the curious to join us in celebrating the past.

    Our aim is to create informative, reflective, stimulating and above all, entertaining radio.

    So do join us on Sundays from 6.05pm for The History Show with Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio 1.

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