Rare Historical Photos That Capture Important Moments To Remember
Every so often you catch a glimpse of a once in a lifetime photo that makes you think differently about a specific moment in history. From bygone structures
to vintage ads, and stars in the prime of their lives, the photos collected here provide new insight into the 19th and 20th centuries. There’s no better way to explore history than through photographs. Certain photos have a strong background story behind them, and some mark an essential event in the world’s history. Every so often, we catch a glimpse of one such photo and cannot help but dig deep and learn more about that specific moment in history.
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were incredibly action-packed as many stereotypes were broken, new countries were formed, and two World Wars were fought. From vintage ads to celebrities before they became stars, movements that propelled some productive social change, and bygone structures, some photographs give us new insights into the happenings of these two centuries. We have collected some of the rarest historical moments captured in pictures. These are the closest thing to the time machine that scientists have long been trying to create but in vain. With these pictures, we can learn many such things about past events, people, and places that we have only read in books so far. Are you ready to take a journey down memory lane? Let’s get started!
1969: Not Just For Men
In this photo, you see the famous Playboy Playmate Connie Kreski pictured with the stunning 1969 Shelby GT500 Fastback Mustang Convertible 351C “Playboy Pink.” This car wasn’t meant to be driven by men because this limited-edition model was designed only for the Playboy cover girls. Playboy magazine followed a tradition of letting out an annual “Playmate Of The Year Cars” edition since 1964. Don’t you think it looks pretty in the pink shade? We couldn’t help but think whether diamonds are a girl’s best friend or the Playboy Pink?
The car was equipped with a 428 Cobra Jet V-8 engine, so it would be foolish to challenge the girl for a race as there’s a lot of girl power. This Mustang convertible you see in this picture is one of the ten factory models produced in Playmate Pink. That’s why it was also called the Playmate Pink Mustang. This was a special-order model available for first-generation convertibles and coupes. Since it was a rare edition, there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the Playmate Pink. Only a handful of these cars indeed survived, and the collectors revere those that did. Interestingly, none ever was auctioned.
What happened was that every year the Playboy magazine announced the Playmate of the year and was gifted this pink car. However, contrary to popular perception, the car was a Mustang only in 1964 and 1969. Kreski was the winner in 1969 and received a Shelby GT500.
1944: Discovering Marilyn Monroe
Before becoming the iconic celebrity during the 1950s, Norma Jeane Dougherty was living a very normal life. Born in Los Angeles, Norma was raised between orphanages and foster homes. She got married at an early age to Jim Dougherty. When Jim got enlisted in the Marines during WWII, he was sent to the Pacific in April 1944. He left his 19-year-old, stunningly beautiful but timid wife Norma with his parents. During the 2nd world war, it was a tradition that females would work in factories that created military and defense-related equipment. Norma Jeane also decided to serve her country in April 1944 and started working in a drone assembling facility. She worked in Radioplane Munitions Factory in Van Nuys, California. This particular program was later shut down as newer technology replaced the drones’ guidance system. But, by that time, the 20th century’s biggest sex symbol was already discovered.
During that time, it was a routine drill for army photographers to tour the different factories across the country and capture female workers’ morale-boosting photographs. So, when Army photographer David Conover was sent to the factory by the U.S. Army Air Forces’ First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU) in June 1945 to take some pictures of the hardworking female employees, Conover spotted the perky brunette, Norma Jeane. He immediately recognized Norma’s potential and offered her to become a model, an offer she couldn’t refuse. By 1946, Norma had appeared on thirty-three magazine covers for mainstream magazines such as Pageant, Peek, and U.S. Camera. Then she signed a contract with an acting agency in the same year, and the rest is history.
1930s: For the Love of Boxing
This picture is proof that women can be boxers, and they have been active since as early as the 1930s. Americans loved boxing, and it became quite popular during the 1920s to such an extent that both women and men participated in boxing lessons. This photo depicts one such lesson held on the rooftop of the Bell Building, Paramount lot, Hollywood. The sport was so popular that every immigrant neighborhood had its local champion. Boxing, in fact, was like a flag of ethnic or racial pride. Author Jack Newfield wrote that through boxing, “rivalries [were] built on ethnic tension, and you could get ten thousand people for a fight between two neighborhood heroes.”
The women you see in the picture are participating in a boxing class. It shows the society wasn’t as strict as far as gender roles are concerned back in the era, as it commonly perceived. However, in the late 1930s, boxing as a sport was hugely impacted by one of the biggest economic crises in the history of the U.S., the great depression. Due to the ailing economy, many boxers in America were offered significantly low fees. This caused them to box only for passion and look for other ways of earning.
1960: Women Before Islamic Revolution in Iran
In Iran, the 1979 Islamic Revolution created a volcanic cultural shift, at least for women. However, things were completely different in pre-revolution Iran. A country where women are now arrested for not wearing the headscarf, which in the local Iranian language is called a Hijab, was once known for its progressive norms and liberal ideologies. In fact, in the 1930s, the old Shah of Iran had banned the veil, and police were ordered to remove the hijab if they saw someone wearing it. Fast forward to the 1980s, the newly formed Islamic Republic enforced a new dress code, making it compulsory for women of all ages to fully cover themselves and wear the hijab. Prior to the revolution, the hijab was widely worn, but it was upon the women to decide whatever they wanted to wear. They could also don western clothes too such as miniskirts, tight-fitting jeans, and sleeveless tops.
Baroness Haleh Afshar, a women’s studies professor at the University of York and a native Iranian who grew up in pre-revolution Iran in the 1960s wrote about the pre-revolution era that “you cannot stop women walking in the streets of Iran, but you wouldn’t see this today – her earrings and make up so clearly on show. There is this concept of ‘decency’ in Iran – so nowadays women walking in the streets are likely to wear a coat down to her knees and a scarf.”
1942: Print Catalogs Heydays
Can you imagine yourself working in such a setting today? We should be thankful for all the advancements we have made in printing as it has become so effortless for us. Check out this picture taken in 1942, where a woman is assembling the Sears Roebuck catalogs. This kind of workplace is good only when you are working with your friends. It would get quite discomforting for the workers if they have to work in such congested settings day-after-day.
Do you know that the print catalog story began in Venice in 1948? An Italian educator, humanist, and scholar named Aldus Prius Manutius published the first catalog ever. He established a printing company in Venice called The Aldine Press in 1949. His primary concern was to print the first editions of Latin and Greek classics accurately for generations to come. His biggest desire was to print and sell the books to all Venetians. Hence, he decided to publish a catalog of the books he wanted to print.
Generally, wars worsen the financial, political, and economic conditions of a society, but surprisingly, the two world wars fought during the 20th century had a relatively positive impact on print catalogs. It also marked a record rise in consumerism and helped in the development of catalog story.
1968: First Interracial Kiss on T.V.
November 22, 1968, is a historic day in the history of American T.V. because, on this date, the first inter-racial kiss took place between two of the science fiction genre’s most popular characters Capt. James T. Kirk and Lt. Nyota Uhura. In Star Trek’s episode Plato’s Stepchildren, the two characters share this path-defining kiss on national television. This particular kiss is also important because it took place exactly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage. William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols played the characters. This kiss helped in changing the attitudes of Americans about what should be allowed to be shown on T.V. It also normalized inter-racial relationships in the U.S., which was still struggling to deal with issues like racism and the civil rights movement was in full swing.
According to national T.V. critic for National Public Radio, Eric Deggans, the kiss shared by Uhura and Kirk “suggested that there was a future where these issues were not such a big deal. The characters themselves were not freaking out because a black woman was kissing a white man. … In this utopian-like future, we solved this issue. We’re beyond it. That was a wonderful message to send.”
The show’s producer Nicholas added that they “were just simply amazed, and people have talked about it ever since.”
1967: Second Inter-racial marriage Lawsuit
Loving vs. Virginia doesn’t represent a lawsuit. It is a symbol of change. Virginia resident Richard Perry Loving, a white man, married a Portuguese Cherokee woman of African descent, Mildred Delores, in 1958. At the time, interracial marriages were banned in Virginia and were regarded a crime. Loving fell in love with Delores, and they drove 80 miles to Washington DC just to get marry. They married in D.C. because they didn’t want to break Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that made marriages between whites and non-whites a crime.
When they returned to Virginia as a couple, they were arrested the very same day, in the middle of the night, for breaching the state’s law. This particular night started a legal battle that led to the landmark decision in June 1967 that legalized inter-racial marriage. The lawsuit that followed suit brought down anti-miscegenation laws in as many as 16 U.S. states. Recalling that night, Mildred told ABC News in a 1967 interview: “I guess it was about 2 a.m. I saw the lights, you know, and I woke up and it was the policeman standing beside the bed and he told us to get out and that we was under arrest.” “I think marrying who you want is a right no man should have anything to do with. It’s a God-given right,” Mildred Loving said 40 years ago.
1940s: Infant Gas Mask
Pictures like these inform us about the gravity of difficulties everyone faced during WWII. This particular photo further informs us about the ills of war and how it can impact the lives of people of all ages. Here you see infants wearing gas masks, which was more like a mandatory item every young child was forced to wear to have a chance at survival. This picture is part of London’s Imperial War Museum, where its original caption reads:
“Three nurses carry babies cocooned in baby gas respirators down the corridor of a London hospital during a gas drill. Note the carrying handle on the respirator used to carry the baby by the nurse in the foreground.”
The British government gave everyone gas masks, including the babies, in 1938 as a protection measure to prevent them from harming poisonous gas bombs that Germans were expected to drop over Britain. The gas masks were made for children up to 2 years old. Their design was such that it covered the baby’s entire body up until the legs. The masks were carried along everywhere, either in a cardboard box or in a tin box. Young children were issued colorful masks so that they find them attractive enough to wear. Reportedly, while wearing these masks, many babies became unnaturally still. The pump inside the gas masks most likely didn’t push enough air inside and suffocated the babies.
1922: Beauty Pageants Back Then…These Were The Winners
If you think that beauty pageants are all about flashing gorgeous dresses, well-toned bodies, and ladies wave confidently before the crowd, have a look at the beauty pageant winners in 1922. It wasn’t all that flashy and high-profile back in the day. Everything was quite minimalist and somewhat under-toned. Standards were way different in that era, and pageantry was a lesser ordeal. It must have taken one-tenth of the time it does today. In the early decades of the 20th century, attitudes about beauty pageants started to change. Before that, the public display of women was prohibited, but the societal norms started changing gradually.
One of the earliest documented beauty pageants was held in 1880 at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that beach resorts started to regularly hold pageants as a full-fledged entertainment show for the middle class. In 1921, to lure tourists into staying post Labor Day, the first Miss America Pageant was organized by Atlantic City in September and marketed the contestants as wholesome and youthful. This pageant started a tradition that would keep evolving throughout the century.
1920s: A young Inuit girl and her puppy
During the early 20th century, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police accompanied traders and missionaries, and lands occupied by the Inuit tribe weren’t very sought-after. However, as they started settling into more accommodating lands, their community multiplied quickly, and they moved into the outskirts. In the late 1920s, almost every Inuit community had come into contact with government agents, traders, and missionaries. In 1939, the Canadian Supreme Court decided that the Inuit will be categorized as Indians and fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction.
Do you know that the Inuit people were previously referred to as Eskimos as they inhabited the Arctic region, which is unarguably the most forbidding of all territories on the planet? They occupied lands that stretched around 12,000 miles from Serbia and went across the Alaskan coast, Canada, and Greenland. The Inuit, reportedly, are the most widely dispersed community in the world. However, only around 60,000 people make up the entire population of the Inuit. They were called Eskimo by the neighboring Abnaki Indians, and it means ‘eaters of raw flesh,’ while the term Inuit means ‘the people.’ When the U.S. purchased Alaska in 1897, they started whaling operations, which didn’t affect the Inuit much, but their population started decreasing, especially in the inland areas. Later on, in the 20th century, these people disappeared from their inland settlements and moved to coastal areas.
Timeless: Endless love
Have you read or heard about “The Hasanlu Lovers?” If not, don’t jump over to conclusions or get wrong ideas because of the caption because what this picture shows is the image of a kiss that’s approx. 3,000 years old. The remains of the Hasanlu lovers were discovered in Iran in 1972 at an excavation site. The picture shows two skeletons sharing a tender kiss. The remains are claimed to be 2,800 years old, but many believe it could be dated even longer. Teppe Hasanlu is an archaeological site in northwest Iran. A team of archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania made the discovery. Robert Dyson led the team. This picture received worldwide attention as it shows the skeletons buried in the ground in a pose that makes them appear to be kissing each other while dying. F
rom the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, this photo was on display at the Penn Museum. The genders of the skeletons remained a subject of extensive debate. Many researchers suggested that both were remains of a male, whereas many scientists concluded that the person on the left was a female. Their genders were an issue of debate because the left side skeleton’s physical characteristics needed for sex determination were less clear as it appears to be possessing both masculine and feminine traits. What’s certain is that the individual on the left was around 30 to 35 years old at the time of death, and the individual on the right was a male aged between 20 to 22 years.
1948: Kids for Sale
We all are familiar with signages about selling different household items, real estate, animals, and all sorts of goods. It’s not an uncommon sight, right? Would you believe that back in the 1940s, people used to sell their children? Yes, it is correct, and this rare photo from 1948 where a mother can be seen putting up her little kids on sale in Chicago is proof of that. The visibly pregnant mother knows it is an unethical and shameful thing to do, which is why she’s hiding her face. The children appear confused. The picture made headlines in 1948, and many newspapers reported about it with this caption:
“A big ‘For Sale’ sign in a Chicago yard mutely tells the tragic story of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Chalifoux, who face eviction from their apartment. With no place to turn, the jobless coal truck driver and his wife decide to sell their four children. Mrs. Lucille Chalifoux turns her head from the camera above while her children stare wonderingly. On the top step are Lana, 6, and Rae, 5. Below are Milton, 4, and Sue Ellen, 2″.
This story is undoubtedly moving, but even in the direst of situations, a parent cannot think of selling their flesh and blood. It definitely takes courage to do so. The Chalifouxs were bashed heavily for this act while their family members believed the two were paid to stage the picture. However, it turned out that Mrs. Ray was dead serious about selling the kids, and within two years, all of them, including the baby she was pregnant with, were sold off.
1950s: Odd Segregation
Isn’t it hard to believe that even zoos were segregated in the USA in the middle of the 20th century? In this picture, you can see the Memphis Tennessee Zoo. Reportedly, this zoo used to be closed for whites once a week. On that day, black people would visit the zoo. This sign is sad as it depicts the extent of racism prevailing in the country. Ernest Withers took this particular photo. The front and center of the gate show a sign that reads:
“NO WHITE PEOPLE ALLOWED IN ZOO TODAY.”
In the background, you can see African Americans enjoying the zoo. Withers witnessed the nascent civil rights movement as it developed in Memphis and Little Rock. He later wrote that black domestics were allowed in the zoo six days a week as they chaperoned white children. On Thursdays, it was the Maid’s Day Off, and that day only blacks could enter the zoo. In 1959, O.Z. Evers and the Binghampton Civic League filed a lawsuit in a federal court to open several public sites of the city, including the zoo, Memphis Museum, and the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, every day of the week. The city noted that: “The incidence of violence, vandalism and disorders among visitors to the parks of the city of Memphis is greatly increased in those parks frequented by Negro citizens.” However, the lawsuit moved rather slowly, and by the late 1960s, the park commission decided to desegregate all three sites.
1934: Last Photo of Bonnie and Clyde
American couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow met in 1930 in Texas, and soon they became the biggest threat for the law enforcement authorities. Reportedly, the couple committed multiple robberies and as many as13 murders. This picture is rare as it depicts the final moments of the couple before they were gunned down. It surfaced in December 2017 and is believed to be the last known picture of the infamous criminals. The two shared a close bond and were in love with each other. Perhaps their mutual liking for murders and robberies helped them bond. They traveled to the Central U.S. with their gang during the Great Depression. Their criminal activities captured the attention of mass media, and they frequently featured in newspapers during the public enemy era, which lasted from 1931 to 1934.
Contrary to public perception, Bonnie and Clyde preferred to rob small-town gas stations and relatively unknown stores. Until the time they were caught, the couple had murdered at least nine cops and four civilians. They were killed in 1934 by police near Gibsland, Louisiana. The 1967 Arthur Penn directorial Bonnie and Clyde was based on the life of this criminal couple. The 2019 Netflix movie The Highwaymen was based on the police’s pursuit of Bonnie and Clyde.
1940s: Final Kisses and Goodbyes
World War II did not only made a huge impact in the human history but also in the individual lives of many people, especially among those who took part in the battles. World War II significantly impacted human history and the individual lives of countless individuals, especially those who took part in the war. Even photographers had a massive responsibility on their shoulders as they were required to capture every pivotal moment and were expected to capture the perfect shot. However, this particular photo indicates that it’s not always all about the heroic triumphs or the weapons in wartime. It is about devastating losses and the pain of separating from your loved ones with the uncertainty regarding their return looming over all the time.
This photo is one of the most touching WWII photos. This is a picture of soldiers kissing their girlfriends before they head to the battlefields in 1940. In this picture, marines are kissing their girlfriends or spouse goodbye as they head to the battlefields. In September 1939, over a million German troops invaded Poland under the leadership of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Only two days later, France and Britain declared war on Germany. That’s how WWII started and led to this distressing photograph.
1913: Mailing Children is Legal
In the early 1900s, some parents took advantage of parcel posts in the most unreal and absurd manner. When the Parcel Post service from the Post Office officially began on January 1, 1913, millions of Americans were delighted as they could access all kinds of goods and services. But things took a twisted turn when almost immediately, some parents started sending their young kids from one destination to another via mail. It sounds unbelievable, right? But, it is indeed true that it was legal to send young children through the mail. The child you see in this picture is four-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff. On February 19, 1914, she was mailed to her grandparents’ home, 73 miles away from her parents’ home in Grangeville, Idaho. This particular case received nationwide attention, wrote Nancy Pope, and became so legendary that it was adapted for a book titled Mailing May.
Interestingly, Charlotte was mailed to her grandparents’ home for only $0.53. children were insured against any damage they sustain from mail handlers. However, this entire practice of mailing little kids was discontinued in 1915. Jenny Lynch, the official historian for the United States Postal Service, wrote that:
“It got some headlines when it happened, probably because it was so cute. Postage was cheaper than a train ticket.” “According to the regulations at that point, the only animals that were allowed in the mail were bees and bugs. There’s an account of May Pierstorff being mailed under the chicken rate, but actually chicks weren’t allowed until 1918.”
Lynch also explained the reason behind the discontinuation of this service.
1800s: These Ladies Might Drive One NOT to Drink
Anti-alcohol activists and prohibitionists have always been there since the time man crushed the first grapes. However, this turned into a nationwide movement in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Female prohibitionists were a primary force in instigating the movement during the 1800s that later turned into Prohibition. In this picture, you see a troop of prohibition-era ladies who look so threatening that anyone can stop drinking for good.
What became the great Prohibition movement in 1920 actually started in the 1820s and 30s with the Temperance Movement. This movement was started by women who resented the abuse of alcohol among men as domestic violence against women and incidences of suicide had reached an alarmingly high rate during that time. A wave of religious revivalism swept the United States, and calls for temperance were increased. Simultaneously, the Perfectionist and Abolitionist movements to put an end to slavery were also gaining momentum. In 1838, Massachusetts banned the sale of spirits in lesser than 15-gallon quantities under the new Temperance Law. However, this law was repealed only two years later. Maine was one of the first states to pass the state prohibition laws in 1846, and stricter laws were passed in 1851. Many other states followed suit until the beginning of the Civil War in 1861.
1930s: Bidding Farewell to the Finest Beer
Here you can see bootlegging gone wrong as a secretly operating beer firm’s entire beer is spilled out over streets in Detroit. This was a frequently occurring scene during Prohibition. December 5 is when the Prohibition movement came to its logical conclusion in the United States. This day is commonly referred to as the Repeal Day. Officially, the Prohibition movement kicked off on January 17, 1920, in Michigan, where the church, community leaders, and businesses left no stone unturned to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the U.S. The movement was in full swing since 1852. It was widely believed that Prohibition was the solution to reduce the crime rate, improve employee productivity and the quality of life for families.
The campaign was at its peak in 1916 after the citizens of Michigan approved the prohibition amendment in the state’s constitution. But on May 1, 1917, within hours of the Amendment’s implementation, bootlegging operations and smuggling networks were established. By the time the movement became effective at a national level, Michigan and Ontario residents had become a pro at the illegal smuggling and supplying of alcohol. By 1929, rum-running became the second largest industry in Detroit, netting approx. $215 million annually. Instead of improving family life, the Prohibition led to the development of a dangerous criminal class.
1932: All They Want is a Drink
After the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned the production, supply, and selling of intoxicating liquors, the period of Prohibition started in the USA. It was ratified by the states in January 1919 and went into effect nationwide in January 1920 after the Volstead Act was passed. The new law initially was successful to a great extent as there was a sharp decline in arrests of intoxicated people, and alcohol consumption dropped by 30%. But those who wanted to drink were able to find more inventive ways of getting it. This led to an increment in the illegal manufacturing and supply of liquor, referred to as bootlegging, across the country.
There was also an incline in the proliferation of illegal drinking spots known as speakeasies. There was also an unprecedented rise in gang violence and accompanying crimes. All these consequences led to waning the support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s. Congress proposed a resolution proposing the 21st Amendment in the U.S. Constitution in early 1933. This Amendment was to repeal the 18th Amendment. On December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, ending Prohibition.
1950s: Draft Beer at Work
Draught or Draft beer was a marketing term used to describe bottled or canned beers implying that the drinks will appear and taste the same as beers from a keg or cask in the 1950s. The general view surrounding the ethics of the workplace was quite different from what we witness these days. Many firms provided machines for dispensing beer or whiskey to frustrated and tired workers in factories and offices. They even offered mixed drinks in cans. This greatly normalized drinking at work, which generated safety threats, and the adverse consequences of this trend were realized very soon. The entire scenario was part of the Mad Men series. Draft beer was served in pressurized kegs and containers during the early 20th century.
In the U.K., artificial carbonation was introduced in 1936 after Watney’s pasteurized beer experiment called Red Barrel met success. However, this method of serving beer became popular in the U.K. only in the 1950s. Afterward, this became the preferred method of serving beer in the rest of Europe. It was known as en pression in Europe. By the early 1970s, the carbonation method became popular in the rest of the world. During this time, the term draft beer was almost exclusively used for beer served under pressure instead of beer served in a keg or cask.
1917: Woman Corralling at the White House
With the 19th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, women receive the right to vote. The Amendment was passed by Congress in June 1919 and ratified in August 1920. During the 19th century, women started organizing, petitioning, and picketing to win their right to vote. However, it took them several decades to achieve their goal. The first ray of light for the picketing women was in 1878 when Congress first introduced the Amendment. This photo is from August 28, 1917, when ten suffragists were arrested for picketing the White House. The protestors wanted to pressurize the then U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to support Congress’s Anthony Amendment. This Amendment was to guarantee them the right to vote. From January 10, 1917, the women started picketing daily and were joined by over one thousand women from across the country.
All the women picketed outside the White House daily, which led to several arrests between June and November 1917. Around 218 protestors from nearly 26 states were arrested during this time and charged with Obstructing Sidewalk Traffic. Ninety-seven of them spent their detention time in the Occoquan Workhouse, Virginia, or the District of Columbia prison. The protestors stood in front of the White House silently, held placards with messages like: “Mr. President, what will you do for Woman Suffrage?” or “How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?”
1940s: Muslims and Jews Hand in Hand
For more than 60 years, the Muslims and Jews have been at each others’ throats, both figuratively and literally. But things were quite different back when the Nazis were the biggest threat to the Jewish community’s survival and religion. In this picture, you can see an outstanding display of empathy and protectiveness between Jews and Muslims. A Muslim woman clad in traditional dress is protecting a Jewish woman from the Nazis in Sarajevo in 1941. Look how sweetly she is covering the Star of David on that Jewish lady’s dress. We must learn a thing or two from these women regarding maintaining a harmonious and cohesive society.
“These communities were dispersed in the aftermath of the Second World War, and as the older generation passes away, these stories will be lost.” That’s why Mughal believes that preserving and circulating pictures like these is so important.
“That’s the best thing for empathy and cohesion: shared learning and a common pride in who we are,” said Mughal.
Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters charity and co-author of The Role of the Righteous Muslims stated that the Muslims and Jews shared strong ties during WWII. He hopes that such gestures can counterbalance the narratives that drifted the two religions apart.
1920: Dining with Alligators
Alligators are dangerous creatures. We all know that and cannot believe otherwise. But this photo forces us to believe that alligators back in the 1920s weren’t as lethal as they have become now. Or maybe, they aren’t as terrifying and blood-thirst creatures as we think they are. This photo was taken at the California Alligator Farm in Los Angeles. The farm was famous for its ultra-friendly alligators, and visitors were allowed to have a picnic at the lake and freely mingle with the well-trained alligators for just $0.25. From 1907 to 1953, for almost half a century, this practice was followed, and there wasn’t a single case of mishap or accident that occurred at the farm.
Over 1,000 exotic alligators played the part of the perfect hosts reasonably well as the visitors dined and played with them. This farm remained a major tourist attraction in L.A. and made its owner Francis Earnest, a mining camp cook, and his partner alligator Joe Campbell extremely wealthy. Not even once did any of the alligators tried to bit or attack the visitors. The guests were entertained with various themes at the farm, from watching the alligators eating live chickens, performing tricks, and even having a wrestling stint with humans. They could even ride the alligators.
1950s: Stylish Afghan Women
It is somewhat ironic that back in the 1950s, people were far more liberal and open-minded than they are in the twenty-first century. In Afghanistan, burqas were never a compulsion in that era. In fact, the 1950s and 1960s were the most progressive and productive decades in Afghanistan’s history. Some of the biggest strides towards a westernized lifestyle and liberal attitudes were made during this period. However, Afghans never tried to cross the boundaries of respect and modesty. Despite having the reputation of being a neutral nation, the Afghans were influenced and courted heavily by the Soviet Union and the U.S. during the Cold War period. Afghans accepted financial aid from the U.S. and openly accepted machinery and weapons from the Soviets.
It was all quite harmonious and cordial between the western world and Afghans. Unfortunately, the time of peace was short-lived. This picture is critical as it serves as memorabilia of the peaceful era in Afghanistan when Kabul was graced by modern buildings alongside mud structures and traditional architectural marvels. Kabul offered a rare, exotic, and pleasing blend of east and west, modern and traditional, and progressive yet restrictive society. During that time, burqas were optional, and the country was rapidly moving on the path towards a prosperous and open society. This progress was halted in the 1970s after a series of invasions, bloody coups, and civil wars began, which haven’t ceased to this day.
1928: Hospital Bookmobile
If we want to maintain social distancing and restrict the transfer of viruses and germs, we must re-introduce the bookmobile culture. This photo was taken at the Los Angeles Public Library’s hospital and showed a bookshelf of the stylish bookmobile. It was taken in 1928 and revealed an important landmark of the times gone by. Much before the world was thronged by mobile phones and applications offering e-book downloads, libraries were the only place where people could read books. And there used to be bookmobiles, which were libraries on-the-go. This practice was followed for a long time to ensure people far and wide can access books, even when admitted to the hospital. The mobile units were introduced in the early 1900s.
Throughout the 19th century, books were accessible in a brick-and-mortar setting, but the bookmobile added the much-needed versatility and dimension to the fading library services. Mobile units like the one you see in this picture brought books and materials to patrons outside of the physical library, which soon became a trend, and bookmobiles were found almost everywhere. Within 20 years, over 50 bookmobiles were operating in the USA. The ALA Committee on Library Extension determined the type of vehicle to use, installing bookshelf and spare tire storage guidelines, etc.
1936: Migrant Mother
A mother’s love for her children is the one thing that can never change no matter how advanced the world becomes simply because it is the purest form of love. This photo brilliantly showcases this hard fact, and we cannot help but take cues from it. It is regarded as one of the most iconic photos in the history of America. Here you see a woman in ragged clothes holding a baby and two more kids, who are hiding their faces behind her shoulders. The mother’s one hand is lifted to her mouth while anxiety is deeply entrenched in her facial lines. The moment this photo appeared in a San Francisco newspaper in March 1936, it became the perfect symbol of hunger and desperation faced by countless Americans during the Great Depression. It was captured by photographer Dorothea Lange in a camp of migrant farmworkers in Nipomo, Calif. In 1960, Lange told Popular Photography magazine about her experience when she took this photo:
“I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet,” after spotting a sign of the campsite when driving on Highway 101 via San Luis Obispo County. She didn’t ask the woman’s name or her history. According to Lange, the woman told her she was 32-year-old, and she was feeding her children frozen vegetables and the birds her children had killed. That day, she had sold her car tires to buy food for her kids.
Pleased to Meet You
Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe meet one another for the first time in this rare photo from 1956.
Young Bill and Hillary
They were both nominated for the President of the United States but only Bill was elected for the Commander in Chief position and served for 2 terms…though he was impeached for his illicit affair with Monica Lewisky in his 2nd term of office. Before the 3 presidential elections, and before spending years inside the oval office and more than a political scandal, Bill and Hillary were living as an ordinary young couple. This was a photo of this couple taken back in the 70s. It looked like they were living just a very simple and happy life at university, far from problems and issues that they are facing right now.
1946: Medical Bears
If you’re suffering from rheumatism and looking for an affordable home remedy in Romania, you might find yourself lying under a big bear sitting on you. Taken in Romania in 1946, this is one of the common home remedies for healing rheumatism in the place.
Bill, Monica, and a Photobomb
Bill Clinton was not just known as a president of the United States, but his name also dragged him to shame. He used to have an affair with another woman working inside his good office. Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky pose for the photo before the public learned his affair that hit the airwaves months after. Likewise, the man within the background might have unwittingly designed the photobomb.
Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan Divorce
Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan were married for nine years from 1940 until 1949.The divorce papers filed by Wyman included affidavits from 17 different women who claimed to have had a sexual affair with Reagan while he was married to Wyman. Reagan attempted to have the divorce case sealed while he was Governor of California but failed.
In this photo, Sophia Loren appeared to be giving the beautiful Jayne Mansfield a serious side-eye look. The photo was taken in 1957 and it grabbed the attention of many. A few years have passed and Sophia said that was concerned with the falling wardrobe of Jayne that almost showed her breasts as shown in the photo. In the first glance, you will automatically notice that she looks like insecure of the other woman but when you look at the photo thoroughly, you will understand where her attention was actually at.
Civil Rights Activist
This is the photo of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a civil rights activist and Freedom Fighter from Arlington, Virginia. From an early age, she sought out ways to help in the Civil Rights movement, despite a very racist upbringing. Mulholland took part in. protests, sit-ins, and even spent time in prison for her support of blacks. She was also the first White person to integrate Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she joined the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
The Original Zipline
The first zipline was used in South America to cross gorges between mountains instead of walking miles out of the way. Ziplines reached the United States in 1923 and became a carnival favorite. There were nets that provided some safety precautions and the adventurous never were more than 30 feet off the ground for very long. To be honest, their version of divergent seems more fun.
Liz Taylor at 17 reading love letters from her then-boyfriend Glenn Davis, a Heisman Trophy winning football player.
A Man and Huge Lumber Stacks
These huge stacks of lumber that were drying in Seattle in 1919 were pretty amazing, isn’t it? However, you wouldn’t really get the right picture by just looking at the photo. Take a look at the man standing in the picture to know how huge these stacks are!
Taken in May 18, 1980, the eruption of the Mount St. Helens’ north face triggered the largest landslide in recorded history. A total of fifty-seven people lost their lives. This photo was taken eleven miles northeast at Bear meadow by Gary Rosenquist.
Dude Looks Like a Lady
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you’ll know that a crazier street party has never existed anywhere else. But did you know that it’s been just as crazy since its beginning? Here’s a group of men cross dressing during the 1938 Mardi Gras festival.
This poor soldier got home from World War II only to find out that his family had died in the war. The result is one of the most impactful historical photos ever.
Multi-purpose Gas Masks
Gas masks aren’t only for breathing clean air during a gas leak or a chemical attack. This pair of smart soldiers figured out that their gas masks could also be used to avoid crying while peeling onions.
First Pro Gamers
The first National Space Invaders Championship in 1980 was a precursor to modern e-sports. Over 10,000 participants competed.
Blues artist Big Jay McNeely entertains the crowd in Los Angeles in 1953. The crowd is absolutely enthralled with him.
Magnificent View from Space
Many love photos featuring the planets and the space, but this one is just remarkable. Astronaut David Scott taking in the magnificent view from the space. This was during an EVA from the Command Module Gumdrop. This photo was taken in 1969.
The First England Computer
Now that we have the smallest and most portable computers with innovative features and functions, it is so interesting to see how the very first computer in England looked like. This photo was taken in 1950 when computers had massive wires and seemingly hundreds of buttons.
Strange Mode of Travel
This man took a lot of chances with a very dangerous animal to rig up a hippo-powered cart that would only take him about as fast as a bicycle could.
The Other Knicks
This is the first of many historical photos showing a sports team. It shows the Knickerbockers baseball club in Hoboken, NJ in 1858. They were the first organized professional sports team.
How well did she like Ike?
Kay Summersby was a driver and personal assistant to General Dwight D. Eisenhower during his command of the United States and Allied Forces in World War II. An intimate affair between the two has been claimed but never confirmed. Summersby states in her autobiography that she left many of the details of the relationship untold to disguise the level of intimacy in the relationship but she does claim they attempted to have sex twice.
Gerald Ford Pratt Falls
President Gerald Ford was known for a number of famous falls during his Presidency. Ford had been a star athlete in college. The real reason that Ford fell a lot was a knee injury that caused his knee to buckle in certain positions. His staff tried unsuccessfully to manipulate circumstances to prevent Ford from falling in public.
Jimmy Carter Embarrasses Himself
During a 1977 visit to Poland, President Jimmy Carter addressed then leaders of Poland and their military in Polish. A bit more practice may have been needed by Carter’s interpreter as Carter claimed that he wished to grasp their private parts, wished to leave the United States forever, and then spoke Russian to a country dominated by the then Soviet Union.
German Respect for Stalin
Russia and Germany suffered more casualties during World War II than any other countries. This German soldier is enjoying a moment of disrespect for Stalin and a break from the war. One must remember that a hated enemy was also very much a human being and may well have been a relative.
Easter Eggs for Adolph
Russia and Germany suffered more casualties during World War II than any other countries. This German soldier is enjoying a moment of disrespect for Stalin and a break from the war. One must remember that a hated enemy was also very much a human being and may well have been a relative.
Which Side of the Road?
There seems to be a huge chaos in this photo. This was actually taken in Sweden in 1967. This was the first morning after the country changed to driving on the right side of the road from the left side. People seemed to be confused still about who goes to the left and who drives to the right.
They call it PTSD now
The mental impairment called post traumatic distress disorder has only recently been revealed as a major cause of erratic and violent behavior in people who have undergone serious trauma. This man’s eyes just tell the whole story after he suffered days of shelling. PTSD was called shell shock then.
The First Television
Television is older than you think. The first working television was developed in 1925. John Logie Baird was the first to put together components that made a transmittable moving picture possible. The British had full television service for those who could afford it at least five years before the U. S.
Russians Were First in Space
Sputnik 1 was launched in October 1957. This was the first functional and long lived Earth satellite created by man. The development inspired a billion dollar space race between the U. S. and the U.S.S.R. that culminated in an agreement that no country can own space.
No More Horse Diving
The Steel Pier in Atlantic City provided a rare and dangerous spectacle in the 1890s. A horse and rider dove almost 90 feet from a steel tower into the ocean. The show continued until the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shut it down. Strangely no horses were ever reported to have been injured.
When In France
Alfred Hitchcock poses on a bicycle while in France for the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.
One of the scariest historical photos, this one captures the immediate aftermath of the first ever nuclear detonation test in Nevada.
Keeping His Cool
Elvis was so cool in 1970 that he could even make a mug shot look good.
Young Robin Williams performs as a street mime in 1974. As with many historical photos, the photographer had no idea of the picture’s significance at the time. It was when Young Robin Williams performed as a street mime and he truly loves what he does. In the same way with most historical images, the photographer did not have any idea about the significance of the photo at that period of time. Robin Williams has been known as an award-winning comedian and actor who left the whole world in shock during his tragic death.
Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
This gigantic manta ray was photographed in 1933 by A.L. Khan. It was said to weigh 500 pounds and it is so big enough that was so rare to be seen under the sea. With its enormous size and weight, this manta ray is said to be a stuff of a nightmare for many. It was really so hard to believe that this kind of aquatic creature can be found under the sea.
This photo shows a farm boy who looked at his back when he heard a cracking sound from the sky. To his surprise, he saw a plane that is about to crash to the field owned by his family. This accident can cause death to the pilot but luckily, he was able to eject just before the plane touched the ground and was safe, far from the burning aircraft. It was truly a terrifying experience that no one will ever want to have.
Last Photo of a Rebel
His name has been found to be something rebellious and that was true. During his lifetime, James Dean was known to be very rebellious that can be judged by his wrongdoings. He loved cars and this photo was the ultimate photo of him with his muscle car. After this photo was taken, he turned his back and died on a deadly car crash that took place sometime in 1955. Everyone cannot imagine that his life will end in that way.
Pile of Skulls
Would you believe that piles of skulls can be used to make a fertilizer? Well, this photo will make you believe that it is very possible. This chilling late nineteenth century photo showed a completely staggering pile of bison skills which would be ground up to create a fertilizer.
One of the most beloved places on Earth, Disneyland in California, was a hit within the very first day. This photo shows the crowd on opening day of the park, in 1955, lining up outside the gate. These people had the privilege of being some of the first to ever see the magical place.
South Dakota is most famous for being the home to one of the many wonders of the world, Mount Rushmore. This mountain is so famous, because it has four of the greatest presidents in US historical carved into its rock face, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt. Here are the workers carving out. Washington’s face.
Not Much of an Improvement
It was so hard to believe that the treatment used on the man in this photo showed the state of the art plastic surgery. The man in this photo was a former soldier named Walter Yeo who received the treatment in 1917. This gave hope for someone who is doubting if he or she can still have his or her old look after a tragedy.
Side Show Circus
A few hundred years ago, people were simply not as big as they are today. Many circuses running throughout the US offered side shows, starring people (not so nicely labeled “freaks”) who looked differently from the norm. There were bearded ladies, little people, and of course, obese people, who people would come from far and wide to see.
The Future Terminator
Check out this photo of the young Arnold Schwarzenegger while he showed off his big muscles during the very first bodybuilding competition he joined in Austria. How funny it was to see the young man playing the guitar looked at his enviously while he caught the attention of everyone. He might be wishing that he could have those muscles too, but he cannot find his way to have his wish come true in an instant.
World’s First Selfie
Almost two hundred years before “selfie” became a commonly used term, photographer Robert Cornelius took what was probably the first selfie in history, in 1839. Did you know that the selfie was already a thing of the past? Hundreds of years passed before the term “selfie” became a universal term. Robert Cornelius attempted to take the first perfect self-portrait outside of his family’s store. Unfortunately, it came out fuzzy and off-centered.
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