Here’s our regularly-updated selection of films that may be of use to news editors and journalists in covering important anniversaries, contextualising current events or illustrating trending topics.
British Royal Family
With the British Royal Family in the media spotlight, British Pathé remains the home of royal footage, with Collections covering the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and other members of the royal family across the years 1896-1984.
NATO Annual Summit
With NATO holding its annual summit on 3 & 4 December, where the organisation’s 70th birthday from earlier this year (4 April) will be celebrated, take a look back at these films showing its formation. NATO originally had 12 member states, though has since expanded to include 29.
3 December marks the 75th Anniversary of the British Home Guard being formally stood down. It had been composed of 1.5 million local volunteers who had been ineligible for military service, designed to act as a secondary defence force in case of invasion by Nazi Germany.
HMS Nelson Strikes a Mine
4 December marks 80 Years since HMS Nelson struck a German mine at the entrance of Loch Ewe in Scotland, during WW2. The sister ship to HMS Rodney, HMS Nelson was one of two British battleships to carry 16-inch naval guns, all carried forward of the bridge, given limitations surrounding warship construction in the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty.
The Wal Wal Incident
5 December marks the 85th Anniversary of the Wal Wal Incident, a border skirmish between Italian and Ethiopian troops which precipitated the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The resulting international crisis, the Abyssinia Crisis, caused Italy to quit the League of Nations, discrediting it and moving Fascist Italy closer to an alliance with Nazi Germany. These films look back at the crisis.
The 21st Amendment
On 5 December 1933, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in the United States. It repealed the 18th Amendment, which had enacted the Prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition had been in effect for approximately 13 years. These films look back at the Prohibition era.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor
On 7 December 1941, Japanese forces attacked the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor. It prompted America to declare war against Japan, and enter WW2 on 8 December 1941. These films look back at the attack, its aftermath, and America’s entry into the war.
9 December marks the 40th Anniversary of smallpox being declared eradicated. Edward Jenner had discovered in 1798 that vaccination could prevent the disease, and in 1967, the World Health Organisation intensified efforts to eliminate it. These films look back at the worldwide inoculation campaign.
Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Reverts to British Control
12 December marks the 40th Anniversary of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia reverting to British control. Following the Lancaster House Agreement on 21 December 1979, Christopher Soames was its Governor-General, overseeing an interim government until the country would achieve independence on 18 April 1980.
The Battle of the River Plate
13 December marks the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate, the first naval battle of WW2. Three British cruisers, HMS Exeter, Ajax and Achillies, found and engaged the German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee off the coast of Uruguay.
The USSR Expelled From the League of Nations
14 December marks 80 Years since the USSR were expelled from the League of Nations, following the invasion of Finland during the Russo-Finnish War, or ‘Winter War’ during WW2. These films look back at the conflict, in which soldiers fought in temperatures as low as −43°C.
The Battle of the Bulge
16 December marks 75 Years since the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during WW2. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region, with German forces intending to encircle and destroy four Allied armies. Though the offensive was a complete surprise attack, it was unsuccessful.
Or you can license individual clips online.