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Associated Press releases 550,000 historic clips on YouTube


How's the rest of your day shaping up? Busy afternoon of work ahead?


Continue through this story and there's a strong chance the rest of your day - or even month - could be swallowed up as you embark on a journey through history via YouTube.

The Associated Press and British Movietone has recently carried out one of the largest "knowledge dumps" in YouTube history, uploading over 550,000 videos of archival footage from as early as 1895. 

"At AP we are always astonished at the sheer breadth of footage that we have access to," said (a slightly smug?) Alwyn Lindsey, AP's director of international archive, "and the upload to YouTube means that, for the first time, the public can enjoy some of the oldest and most remarkable moments in history."

To ease the task of navigating through this monstrous volume of footage, AP's Archive YouTube channel has divided the videos into subject matter (Accidents and Natural Disasters, Celebrity Stories, Crime, Iconic Moments in History, Fashion and Beauty, International Politics, Science and "Weird") and will continue to curate a series of playlists. 

We've had a preliminary dig and brought you five of our favourite clips from the archive. Happy learning.

Frank and Louie, the cat with two faces

This is Frank and Louie. He's extraordinary. Not only is he the longest-living cat to have two faces (a rare condition of diprosopus, termed as a 'Janus cat' when apparent in felines), he is also one of the only cats in human history who hasn't clawed their owner's eyes out when attempting to walk them on a leash. And yes, only one channel of the audio works.

Tiannamen Square Demonstration 

You may have seen it in plenty of "historical montages", but have you ever watched the Tiannamen Square Demonstration footage in isolation? Oh you have? Well, no harm watching it again then.

Spacewalk to install equipment and repair Hubble telescope

If you found yourself sweating in places you didn't even know had glands while watching Gravity, this footage threatens to drain your fluid reserves. Get this wrong, and astronaut John Grunsfeld could drift off into the big inky black with no George Clooney to rescue him.

Martin Luther King arrested while on a March in Selma, Alabama

The other Martin Luther King speech, made in Brown Chapel AME Church. A powerful, powerful moment in the history of civil rights.

Amy Winehouse talks to APTN about fame, 2004

A lip-chewing interview that's gained renewed interest following Asif Kapadia's documentary, this is Amy Winehouse at her best: unabashed, brutal and just a tad snippy. 


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