Rare Historical Photos & The Story Behind Them

You can read about history all you want, but nothing really captures what happened quite like seeing it first hand. That’s why history textbooks are packed with photographs.

These photos of rare historical moments will give you a new appreciation of history, and maybe a new perspective. They’re touching, enlightening, and heartbreaking all at once. Just have a look.

A mother and her daughter falling from a fire escape, 1975


On July 22, 1975 in Boston, a 19-year-old and her 2-year-old goddaughter were trapped in a burning building. A firefighter shielded them from the flames as a fire ladder inched closer. Then the fire escape collapsed. The woman died from her injuries, but her two-year-old goddaughter survived because she landed on the woman’s body. It’s tragic, going from the hope of immediate rescue to a deadly fall in seconds.

The photograph, which is a part of a series, shows 19-year-old Diana Bryant and her 2-year-old goddaughter Tiare Jones falling from the collapsed fire escape of a burning apartment on Marlborough Street in Boston. The fire escape at the fifth floor collapsed as a turntable ladder was extending to pick up the two at the height of approximately 50 feet (15 meters). Bryant died from her injuries, but Jones survived the fall, which was softened by her landing on Bryant’s body. The photo also shows falling potted plants.

A mother and her daughter falling from a fire escape, 1975 (5)

The baby survived because she landed on the woman’s body.

The photographs were awarded the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography as well as World Press Photo of the Year. The photo was taken with a motorized camera. It was first published in the Boston Herald and then in newspapers around the world to much hostile reader reaction. The media was charged with invading the privacy of Diana Bryant and pandering to sensationalism. The picture also prompted officials in Boston to rewrite its laws regarding fire escape safety. Fire safety groups around the country used the photo to promote similar efforts in other cities.

Actress Marlene Dietrich kisses a soldier returning home from war, 1945

Actress Marlene Dietrich kisses a soldier returning home from war, 1945

This photo shows Marlene Dietrich passionately kissing a GI as he arrives home from World War II. It seems that the guy on the left holding her up is enjoying the view. It was first published in Life Magazine with the caption: “While soldiers hold her up by her famous legs, Marlene Dietrich is kissed by a home-coming GI”. Photo taken by Irving Haberman. 

The priest and the dying soldier, 1962

The priest and the dying soldier, 1962

Navy chaplain Luis Padillo gives last rites to a soldier wounded by sniper fire during a revolt in Venezuela. Braving the streets amid sniper fire, to offer last rites to the dying, the priest encountered a wounded soldier, who pulled himself up by clinging to the priest’s cassock, as bullets chewed up the concrete around them. The photographer Hector Rondón Lovera, who had to lie flat to avoid getting shot, later said that he was unsure how he managed to take this picture. The Catholic priest, Luis Padillo, would walk the streets, even through sniper fire, offering last rites to the fighters. Besides priest’s bravery, he also knows the enemy will think a lot before shooting him (just imagine the propaganda) and the enemy soldiers are catholic and would refuse that order.

Even more intense about this picture is the setting, in the background is a carnicería (a butcher’s shop). In Spanish acarnicería means both a “butcher’s shop” and “slaughter, carnage”. The phrase “fue una carnicería” (English equivalent: “it was carnage”) is so common in the Spanish language. The parallel really catches one’s eye and draws the horror of the scene even further.

The photo was taken on June 4 (1962) by Hector Rondón Lovera, photographer of Caracas, for the Venezuelan newspaper, La Republica. It won the World Press Photo of the Year and the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Photography. The original title of work is “Aid From The Padre”.

Color photos from pre-war Nazi Germany

Nazis on parade.

Nazi Party was not just a political organization, it was a psychological propaganda machine. The Nazis had an incredible sense of aesthetics and fully understood the power of iconography and branding. Enter inside the Nazi world through these amazing color photos and be thrilled. The symbols and colors of Nazism were all carefully orchestrated to have maximum psychological effect. There was nothing accidental about the structure of the crooked cross or the usage of dramatic colors such as red, white and black. Long, draping banners and standards with Roman eagles and gilded leaves all were designed to evoke images of strength, power, and a connection to history.

Nazi rally, 1937.

Lesbian couple at Le Monocle, Paris, 1932

Lesbian couple at Le Monocle, Paris, 1932 (1)

During the 1920’s Paris had gained a reputation for the variety of its nighttime pleasures and for its free and easy attitude toward life in general. Within this climate of relative tolerance many gay and lesbian nightclubs opened and flourished. Among these was Le Monocle, which is credited with being one of the first, and certainly the most famous of lesbian nightclubs. It was opened by Lulu de Montparnasse in the Montmartre area, which at that time was the main gathering place for Parisian lesbians. As historian Florence Tamagne explains, lesbians during that time were often found sitting together at Montmartre’s “outdoor cafes or dancing at the Moulin Rouge.” As for Le Monocle, “All the women there dressed as men, in Tuxedos, and wore their hair in a bob.”

Lesbian couple at Le Monocle, Paris, 1932 (3)

Inside Le Monocle, mid-1930s.

Why the name Le Monocle? The name Le Monocle derived from a fad at the time where women who identified as lesbian would sport a monocle to indicate sexual preference. The writer Colette once observed the fad by describing women in the area as “often affecting a monocle and a white carnation in the buttonhole”. A monocle was something of a lesbian “uniform” in those days.

Le Monocle stayed open from the 1920s thru early 1940s. After the Nazi occupation of France, the nightclub was closed and the homosexuals were persecuted. Years later the club was reopened by a new owner, but the golden age of Le Monocle had ended.

The remains of the astronaut Vladimir Komarov, a man who fell from space, 1967

The remains of astronaut Vladimir Komarov, a man who fell from space, 1967 (1)

Mankind’s road to the stars had its unsung heroes. One of them was the Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. His spaceflight on Soyuz 1 made him the first Soviet cosmonaut to fly into outer space more than once, and he became the first human to die on a space mission—he was killed when the Soyuz 1 space capsule crashed after re-entry on April 24, 1967 due to a parachute failure. However, because he died when the capsule crashed into ground, he is not considered the first human fatality in outer space. The above photograph shows the charred remains of Komarov being looked over by Soviet officials during his open casket funeral. Only a chipped heel bone survived the crash.

All this foretold tragedy started with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet Union, and the government demanded something big from the space program. Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, decided to stage a spectacular midspace rendezvous between two Soviet spaceships. The plan was for two Soviet Space vehicles to launch into space and perform a dramatic orbital docking that would allow cosmonauts to move between ships. The first capsule to be launched would be the Soyuz 1, with Komarov inside. The next day, a second vehicle (Soyuz 2) would take off, with two additional cosmonauts; the two vehicles would meet, dock, Komarov would crawl from one vehicle to the other, exchanging places with a colleague, and come home in the second ship. Brezhnev made it very clear he wanted this to happen.

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992

A KKK child and a black State Trooper meet each other, 1992 2“No one is born racist”. A white child and a black State Trooper during a KKK protest, 1992.

The Trooper is black. Standing in front of him and touching his shield is a curious little boy dressed in a KKK hood and robe. In this picture innocence is mixed with hate, the irony of a black man protecting the right of white people to assemble in protest against him.

The Ku Klux Klan was holding a rally in the northeast Georgia community of Gainesville, where the white supremacist group hoped to breathe some life into its flagging revival campaign of the late 1980s and early ’90s. Assigned as a backup photographer for the local daily, The Gainesville Times, was Todd Robertson. At the Klan rally, there wasn’t a tremendous amount of action for Robertson to record. According to news reports from the day, there were 66 KKK representatives, encircled by three times as many law enforcement personnel. The downtown square was otherwise empty, with about 100 observers at the fringe, mostly there to demonstrate against the Klan.

Fidel Castro smoking a cigar and wearing two Rolex watches during a meeting with Khrushchev, Kremlin, 1963

Fidel Castro lighting a cigar and wearing two Rolex watches during a meeting with Khrushchev, Kremlin, 1963

Here Fidel Castro is seen smoking a Cuban cigar and wearing two Rolex watches in the Kremlin while he chats with Khrushchev, in front of a Karl Marx picture. The non-verbal body language in this photo is absolutely fascinating. Notice everybody in the room is staring at Castro’s cigar, and that everybody sitting is smiling with their hands folded in front of them on the table, and the three guys standing below the portrait of Marx, have their arms behind their backs. At that time this sort of pictures were censored, but after the fall of the Soviet Union, many photos and other documents stored away were released, including this one too.

Job hunting in 1930’s

Job hunting in 1930'sUnable to find another job locally, many unemployed people hit the road, traveling from place to place, hoping to find some work.

During the Great Depression, millions of people were out of work across the United States. Unable to find another job locally, many unemployed people hit the road, traveling from place to place, hoping to find some work. A few of these people had cars, but most hitchhiked or “rode the rails.” A large portion of the people who rode the rails were teenagers, but there were also older men, women, and entire families who traveled in this manner. They would board freight trains and crisscross the country, hoping to find a job in one of the towns along the way.

Michael Collins, the astronaut who took this photo, is the only human, alive or dead that isn’t in the frame of this picture, 1969

Michael Collins, the astronaut who took this photo, is the only human, alive or dead that isn't in the frame of this picture, 1969


Even if you were born after this picture was taken, the materials you’re made from are still on the frame of this picture.

Collins took this picture of the Lunar Module, containing Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong with Earth in the background, during the Apollo 11 mission. This makes him the only person ever to have lived who was not inside the frame of the photo. Matter cannot be created or destroyed. That means that every human that lived up to the point of this photo being taken still exists, at least in some form, and every human that has been born since then was also is in this photo, at least in some form. So even if you were born after this picture was taken, the materials you’re made from are still on the frame of this picture.

For his second and final mission in space, Collins served as command module pilot for Apollo 11. While fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first manned landing on the lunar surface, Collins waited on board of the module for 21 and a half hours. As the command module drifted behind the moon, cutting off his communication with Earth, he wrote:

“This venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two. I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon, I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.”

Einstein at the beach, 1939

Einstein at the beach, 1939


David Rothman was in his work clothes and Albert Einstein was dressed for the beach when they posed on this rock at Horseshoe Cove in Nassau Point in the summer of 1939.

Pictured here in September 1939, Einstein relaxes on the beach near his Long Island summer home with friend and local department store owner David Rothman. After some initial confusion in the store resulting from Einstein’s thickly accented request for a pair of “sundahls,” which Rothman interpreted as “sundial,” the scientist was able to successfully purchase the white sandals on his feet for $1.35. He laughed off the episode, blaming “mine atrocious accent!” The men remained close friends thereafter, later forming a neighborhood string quartet together.  The original black and white photograph.

In 1939 Einstein rented this cottage on Nassau Point in Cutchogue so he could put his sailboat in Horseshoe Cove. For Einstein Long Island only meant a place where he could enjoy himself. The neighbors said the two main activities Einstein did to occupy his time there were: sailing and violin playing. Einstein, who never learned to swim, had no pretensions about his nautical prowess. He had named his glorified rowboat the Tinef, which is supposedly Yiddish for junk. It was small, maybe about 15 feet (4.5 meters) or so, and very unprepossessing.

Residents of West Berlin show children to their grandparents who reside on the Eastern side, 1961


The building of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 divided families and neighborhoods in what had been the capital of Germany. The Wall represents a uniquely squalid, violent, and ultimately futile, episode in the post-war world. Life was changed overnight in Berlin. Streets, subway lines, bus lines, tramlines, canals and rivers were divided. Family members, friends, lovers, schoolmates, work colleagues and others were abruptly separated. In some cases, children had been visiting their grandparents on the other side of the border and were suddenly cut off from their parents.

West Berliners could not visit East Berlin or East Germany. All crossing points were closed to them between 26 August 1961 and 17 December 1963. West Berlin was an island completely surrounded by East Germany. When Germany was split, the Soviet Union took the Eastern part, but obviously the allies didn’t want to give up the entire capital city to them. The Berlin Blockade occurred in 1948-1949 when the Soviets blocked all access to West Berlin in an attempt to basically get the allies to give their part of the city up. During this time the only way in was via the air and the allies had to supply the West Berliners with food and other necessities by airplane. In one year they flew over 200,000 flights.

A Jewish menorah defies the Nazi swastika, 1931

A menorah defies the Nazi flag , 1931


She wrote a few lines in German on the back of the photo. “Chanukah, 5692. ‘Judea dies’, thus says the banner. ‘Judea will live forever’, thus respond the lights.”

It was the eighth night of Chanukah in Kiel, Germany, a small town with a Jewish population of 500. That year, 1931, the last night Chanukah fell on Friday evening, and Rabbi Akiva Boruch Posner, spiritual leader of the town was hurrying to light the Menorah before the Shabbat set in.

Directly across the Posner’s home stood the Nazi headquarters in Kiel, displaying the dreaded Nazi Party flag in the cold December night. With the eight lights of the Menorah glowing brightly in her window, Rabbi Posner’s wife, Rachel, snapped a photo of the Menorah and captured the Nazi building and flag in the background. She wrote a few lines in German on the back of the photo. “Chanukah, 5692. ‘Judea dies’, thus says the banner. ‘Judea will live forever’, thus respond the lights.”

The image, freezing in time a notorious piece of the past, has grown to become an iconic part of history for the Jewish community. But until just recently, not much was known about the origins of the photo. Both the menorah and photo survived World War II, with the Hanukkah finding its way to Yad Vashem through the loan of Yehudah Mansbuch. Mansbuch is the grandson of the woman who took the picture, and he retains the original snapshot. When Yad Vashem was putting together its plans to open the Holocaust History Museum, a team of researchers set out to learn more about this famous photo. Their inquiries led to Mansbuch, who explained how his grandmother and grandfather had lived under Nazi oppression in Kiel, Germany, eventually fleeing to then-Palestine in 1934.

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Szalasi is given the last rites before being hanged as a collaborator, 1946

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Szalasi is given the last rites before being hanged as a collaborator in Budapest, 1946

Ferenc Szálasi was tried by the People’s Tribunal in Budapest in open sessions and sentenced to death for war crimes and high treason.

Ferenc Szálasi was the leader and all-powerful head of the fascist Arrow Cross movement, the regime that came to power in Hungary with the armed assistance of the Germans on October 15-16, 1944. After that date, the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews was in his hands. Szálasi’s hatred of the Jews was a pillar of his Weltanschauung. He seriously believed in the theory of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. In June 1943, he declared that the Jews, de facto and de jure, ruled the word: “Plutocracy, freemasonry, the liberal democracy, parliamentarism, and the Marxism are all but instruments in the hands of Jews so that they can hang onto their power and control over the world.” Firmly believing himself to be a good Christian and a Catholic, Szálasi argued that anti-Semitism was taught in the Bible itself. Unlike Hitler or Alfred Reosenberg, Szalasi was merely an anti-Semite. He knew in inferior and superior races; he merely hated the Jews.

He was head of the state during the final three months of Hungary’s participation in World War II, after Germany occupied Hungary and removed Miklós Horthy by force. During his brief rule, Szálasi’s men murdered 10,000–15,000 Jews. On 19 November 1944, Szálasi was in the Hungarian capital when Soviet and Romanian forces began encircling it. By the time the city was encircled he was gone. The “Leader of the Nation” (Nemzetvezető) fled to Szombathely on 9 December. By March 1945, Szálasi was in Vienna. Later, he fled to Munich.

A Japanese boy standing at attention after having brought his dead younger brother to a cremation pyre, 1945

A Japanese boy standing at attention after having brought his dead younger brother to a cremation pyre, 1945

Joe O’Donnell, the man who took this photo at Nagasaki, was sent by the U.S. military to document the damage inflicted on the Japanese homeland caused by air raids of fire bombs and atomic bombs. Over the next seven months starting September 1945, he traveled across Western Japan chronicling the devastation, revealing the plight of the bomb victims including the dead, the wounded, the homeless and orphaned. Images of the human suffering was etched both on his negatives and his heart.

In the photo, the boy stands erect, having done his duty by bringing his dead brother to a cremation ground. Standing at attention was an obvious military influence. Looking at the boy who carries his younger sibling on his back, keeps a stiff upper lip, tries so hard to be brave is heart-breaking. He has epitomized the spirit of a defeated nation.

The iceberg that sunk the Titanic, 1912

The iceberg that sunk the Titanic, 1912


Photograph taken from the ship “Prinz Adalbert”

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the ocean liner Titanic struck an iceberg. Less than three hours later, she lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, having taken with her more than 1,500 of the roughly 2,200 people on board. The exact size of the iceberg will probably never be known but, according to early newspaper reports the height and length of the iceberg was approximated at 15-30 meters high and 60-120 meters.

The iceberg that sunk the Titanic, 1912 2

Another iceberg photographed April 20, from the German steamer “Bremen”

Berlin at the end of the War, 1945

Berlin in 1945

Berlin as the capital and cultural center of the German Reich was bombed very heavily. With over 45,000 tons of bombs in two weeks the city was almost completely destroyed. The irreplaceable architectural gems of the Schlüter, Knobelsdorf, Schadow and Schinkel were annihilated. Palaces, museums, churches, monuments and cultural sites fell victim to the bombs. Overall, Berlin was bombed 363 times by British, American and Russian aircraft. About 50,000 civilians were killed. They burned, suffocated, were buried under the ruins or lacerated by the bombs.

At the first photo the area extending north beyond the Brandenburg Gate was later controlled by Soviets for almost 40 year. Note the portrait of Stalin in the center. This photo was taken by William Vandivert, on July 1945.

About 100 people participate in a lottery to divide a 12 acre plot of sand dunes, that would later become the city of Tel Aviv, 1909

About 100 people participate in a lottery to divide a 12-acre plot of sand dunes, that would later become the city of Tel Aviv, 1909

In 1909 a number of Jewish residents decided to move to a healthier environment, outside the crowded and noisy city of Jaffa. They established a company called Ahuzat-Bayit and with the financial assistance of the Jewish National Fund purchased some twelve acres of sand dunes, north of Jaffa.

In April 1909, 66 Jewish families gathered on a desolate sand dune to parcel out the land by lottery using seashells. This gathering is considered the official date of the establishment of Tel Aviv. The lottery was organised by Akiva Arye Weiss, president of the building society. Weiss collected 120 sea shells on the beach, half of them white and half of them grey. The members’ names were written on the white shells and the plot numbers on the grey shells. A boy drew names from one box of shells and a girl drew plot numbers from the second box. A photographer, Avraham Soskin, documented the event. The first water well was later dug at this site (today Rothschild Boulevard, across from Dizengoff House). Within a year, Herzl, Ahad Ha’am, Yehuda Halevi, Lilienblum, and Rothschild streets were built; a water system was installed; and 66 houses (including some on six subdivided plots) were completed.

About 100 people participate in a lottery to divide a 12-acre plot of sand dunes, that would later become the city of Tel Aviv, 1909 2

The same area in 1911

The unbroken seal on King Tutankhamun’s tomb, 1922

The unbroken seal on King Tut's tomb big

The seal was actually a seal to the King Tut’s fifth shrine. The king was buried in a series of four sarcophagi, which were in turn kept inside a series of five shrines. That is the seal to the fifth shrine, so technically not a room at all. This unbroken seal stayed 3,245 years untouched. The late discovery of Tut’s tomb resulted from the fact that it was covered by debris from that of Ramesses IV which was located directly above its entrance. While the outermost shrine of the youthful pharaoh had been opened not once but twice in ancient times, the doors of the second of the huge shrines of gilded wood containing the royal sarcophagus still carried the necropolis seal which indicated the pharaoh’s mummy was untouched and intact.

The tomb of the boy-king was opened by the famous archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter in the early 20’s. The tomb contained treasure more spectacular than any previous discoveries. Shortly after Howard Carter removed the lid of the outermost shrine in Tutankhamun’s Burial Chamber, he discovered three more. Harry Burton photographed the ornately decorated doors of the second shrine while closed, their simple copper handles secured together tightly by a rope tied through them. The knotted cord was accompanied by a delicate clay seal featuring Anubis, the ancient Egyptians’ jackal god entrusted with the protection of the cemetery.

American Nazi organization rally at Madison Square Garden, 1939

American Nazi organization rally at Madison Square Garden, 1939

Supposedly 22,000 Nazi supporters attended an American Bund rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden in February 1939, under police guard. Demonstrators protested outside. An American Bund parade through New York’s Yorkville district on Manhattan’s Upper East Side drew both supporters and protesters and the press. Aside from its admiration for Adolf Hitler and the achievements of Nazi Germany, the German American Bund program included antisemitism, strong anti-Communist sentiments, and the demand that the United States remain neutral in the approaching European conflict.

There is a reason Washington is up there and not Jefferson or Madison. Fascism was an ideology that emphasized action and heroism over intellectualism and philosophy. This is why Hitler’s ideal Aryan concept was a strong, handsome, and physically fit person rather than someone with a mind for civics. Men of action were the ideal example figures. The other part of fascism was extreme patriotism, which is why each nation/group had its own fascist symbolism and mythology. It wasn’t like communism where concepts were supposed to transcend ethnic boundaries, but an ideology where each nation had its own flavor. Washington, as a military leader, patriotic father, and someone whom a legend of heroism and virtue has grown up around, was/is the ideal figure for fascist groups looking to pull a symbol out of American history. Facists will always wrap themselves in the most patriotic props.

A German soldier shares his rations with a Russian mother, 1941

A German soldier shares his rations with a Russian mother, 1941

Germany deliberately starved occupied Soviet territories by plundering their food for German use. This was the ‘Hunger Plan’, which starved to death millions of people. It was in part a practical decision to have German forces live off the land, but it also fit nicely into German plans to exterminate the population of the Soviet Union. And this makes this photo particularly poignant. This is a good man who has no idea that his role will ultimately make his gesture futile and starve them to death anyway. This photo was taken in 1941 by the photographer of the 291st Division of the Wehrmacht George Gundlach. One of the many, out of the photo album “Volkhov’s battle. Documents of horror 1941-1942″.

The tents were made from shelter quarters, which each man carried, with an aluminium central pole that fitted through rings in the corner.The tent wasn’t so waterproof, and that’s why the helmet is resting on the pole, to prevent the rain going inside.

The soldier was part of 291st Division of the Wehrmacht. The Wehrmacht engaged in plenty of deliberate mass killings, especially on the Eastern Front. Hitler literally declared the war with the Soviets a war of extermination, and gave every Wehrmacht officer the power to execute without trial. The Wehrmacht also often closely cooperated with the SS in the rounding up and execution of Jews under the guise of anti-partisan actions. The Wehrmacht were absolutely not just “a mix of good and bad people” who sometimes were forced to do awful things; they were a highly indoctrinated, ideologically inspired force which enthusiastically massacred people. The “Guidelines for the Conduct of the Troops in Russia” issued by the OKW on May 19, 1941 declared “Judeo-Bolshevism” to be the most deadly enemy of the German nation, and that “It is against this destructive ideology and its adherents that Germany is waging war”. The guidelines went on to demand “ruthless and vigorous measures against Bolshevik inciters, guerrillas, saboteurs, Jews, and the complete elimination of all active and passive resistance.” For example, the Wehrmacht would mass execute civilians if one soldier was killed by a partisan (civilian fighting guerrilla warfare). Often they would just march into a town, burn all the buildings with flamethrowers, and shoot all the civilians.

John Lennon signs an autograph for Mark Chapman – his murderer, December 8, 1980

John Lennon signs an autograph for Mark Chapman - his murderer, December 8, 1980

According to Chapman he actually had the gun in his pocket when this photo was taken, but he chickened out. He hung around in front of the Dakota getting his nerves up until John and Yoko came home later that night.

Chapman waited outside Lennon’s apartment beginning in the afternoon. Lennon and Yoko walked outside to go somewhere and Chapman asked him to sign his record (it was a special edition record, somewhat rare for one reason or another). After Lennon signed the record he asked Chapman “Is that all?” Basically asking if Chapman wanted anything else signed to which Chapman replied “No”. Chapman then waited outside of Lennon’s apartment for Lennon to return. He waited several hours and spent some of the time waiting reading The Catcher in The Rye (a book he was infatuated with). Lennon was returning from the recording studio that night. He was carrying tapes from the studio under his arm when he was shot. Chapman then read more of his book while waiting for the police to come. The first to respond after the shooting was a security guard from The Dakotas (the apartments John and Yoko lived in) who approached Chapman as he sat reading. Apparently the all the security guard could do was sob and kept asking Chapman “Do you know what you did?”.

Mark Chapman was an individual who had experienced many problems, that were left unchecked and allowed to escalate. He heard voices and had obsessive thoughts about things, including Catcher of the Rye by J. D Salinger. He had grown up idolizing Lennon, but after becoming a born-again Christian he was angered at the singer’s claim that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” an instead turned on him.

The vulture and the little girl

The vulture and the girl

The vulture is waiting for the girl to die to eat her. The photograph was taken by South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter, while on assignment to Sudan. He took his own life a couple of month later due to depression

“The parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane, so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter. A vulture landed behind the girl. To get the two in focus, Carter approached the scene very slowly so as not to scare the vulture away and took a photo from approximately 10 meters. He took a few more photos before chasing the bird away.”

In 1994, South African photojournalist Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer prize for his disturbing photograph of a Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture. That same year, Kevin Carter committed suicide.

Turkish official teasing starved Armenian children by showing bread during the Armenian Genocide, 1915


The Armenian Genocide also known as the Armenian Holocaust, and traditionally among Armenians, as the Great Crime was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. It took place during and after World War I and was implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. Even today, almost a century later, the Euphrates River is filled with the bones of dead Armenians. The Assyrians, the Greeks and other minority groups were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.

It is acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, as scholars point to the organized manner in which the killings were carried out to eliminate the Armenians, and it is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust.The word genocide was coined in order to describe these events.

The starting date of the genocide is conventionally held to be April 24, 1915, the day when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Thereafter, the Ottoman military uprooted Armenians from their homes and forced them to march for hundreds of miles, depriving them of food and water, to the desert of what is now Syria. Massacres were indiscriminate of age or gender, with rape and other sexual abuse commonplace. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities were founded as a result of the Armenian genocide.

The 2800 years old kiss

The 2800 year old kiss

This is from an archeological site called Hasanlu, level IVB, which was burned after a military attack. People from both fighting sides were killed in the fire, which apparently spread quite unexpectedly and quickly through the town. These skeletons were found in a plaster grain bin, probably hiding from soldiers, they almost certainly asphyxiated quickly because of the fire. They are both male, which could indicate a family connection (or maybe a homosexual relationship). The “head wound” is actually from modern-day excavators. The skeleton couple was unearthed in 1972.

Theses skeletons were found in a bin with no objects. The only feature is a stone slab under the head of the skeleton on the left hand side (SK335). Some sources claim that skeletons, appearing to kiss each other, were buried 6000 years ago, but that’s not true. The archeologist who studied the skeletons say they were there since 2800 years ago. The University of Pennsylvania has determined that the couple died together in about 800 B.C. The skeletons do appear like they are kissing each other before they died – as if to signify that love is eternal.

The source of this image comes from the Penn Museum and they have name it as “The Lovers”. Its description reads:

“The Lovers” from 1972 season at Hasanlu
Hasanlu is an archaeological excavation site in Iran, Western Azerbaijan, Solduz Valley. Theses skeletons were found in a Bin with no objects. The only feature is a stone slab under the head of the skeleton on the left hand side (SK335).
Penn Museum

Teppe Hasanlu, located in northwest Iran is a very famous archaeological site of an ancient city and was excavated in 10 seasons between 1956 and 1974 by a team from the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania and the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Many valuable artifact were unearthed, including this eternal couple.


Testing a bulletproof vest, 1923

Testing a bulletproof vest, 1923 (1)

General Patton’s dog on the day of Patton’s death on December 21st, 1945

General George S. Patton's dog on the day of Patton's death on December 21st, 1945

General George Patton led U.S. armies in World War II. He was notorious for his strong opinions and inability to avoid controversies. In life he was called “Old Blood and Guts.” His death has been a subject of mystery and intrigue. Although his commanding style was domineering, some might say bullying, and he had some definite anger management issues, General Patton was a devoted dog lover. He bought the first of many Bull Terriers for his daughters just after World War I. Although Tank turned out to be totally deaf, he always somehow knew when General Patton was to arrive home and met him at the front door.

The first photograph upon discovery of Machu Picchu, 1912

The first photograph upon discovery of Machu Picchu, 1912