The way history is taught to us in school is typically quite rigid and based in supposed fact. Yet, as time goes on and new discoveries are made, our perceptions of our past continually shift.
Particularly since the invention of photography, our historical records have become richer than ever. That still doesn’t mean that we don’t discover all sorts of new photos that change how we imagine our world. In fact, it happens all of the time. And it never, ever gets old.
1. General Custer with his friends in Peninsula, Virginia, 1862.
2. Bill Clinton poses for a picture with Monica Lewinsky.
3. Robin Williams posing as a mime in Central Park, 1974.
4. Colonel Anthony Biddle stands during a bayonet training exercise. He used to tell his soldiers to attack him, and he would disarm them easily. But it’s hard to see how he’d get out of this one!
5. Nineteen-year-old Robert Wadlow, who stood a whopping 8 feet, 7 inches tall, talks to a friend in Omaha, Nebraska, April 1, 1937.
6. A truck flees the pyroclastic clouds of an erupting Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines, June 17th, 1991.
7. One of the famously stoic British guards faints while Queen Elizabeth II rides by, 1970.
8. Published in Life magazine, this photo of a man suffering from AIDS, with his family beside him, from 1990 became the face of the AIDS crisis.
9. Photographer Charles Ebbets crouches just before taking his famous “lunch on a skyscraper” photo.
10. The only person to be known to have been struck by a meteor, Ann Hodges, shows off her bruise, 1954.
11. Albert Einstein’s office the exact way it was left the day of his death, 1955.
12. Sophia Loren and Jane Mansfield in Beverly Hills, 1957.
13. A Soviet soldier stands with the head of a Hitler statue, Berlin, 1945.
14. Mortar fire, captured with a long exposure, over a World War I battlefield, 1917.
15. Jimmie Nicol during his time filling in for an ill Ringo Starr on tour with The Beatles.
16. Sean Connery signing a coconut for a Jamaican girl on the set of Dr. No, 1962.
17. Veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg reunite and shake hands on the 50th anniversary of the campaign, 1913.
18. Protesters smash windows at San Francisco City Hall after the ruling of involuntary manslaughter was given to Dan White, the man who shot Harvey Milk, 1979.
19. President George H.W. Bush throws out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers game, 1991.
20. A color photo from the cockpit of a B-17 Bombardier as it heads for Germany during WWII.
21. These men from Ohio test out their new car, and go a whopping 25mph, 1924.
22. Marilyn Monroe shakes hands with Queen Elizabeth II, both of them just 30 years old, at a movie premiere in October of 1956.
23. A 16-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger poses during his first body-building competition, 1963.
24. Dick Winters and the Easy Company sit at Hitler’s residence, the Eagle’s Nest.
25. Atari’s National Space Invaders Competition, 1980.
26. The recipient of the first-ever plastic surgery, Walter Yeo, who was a victim of an explosion during WWI, 1917.
27. Soldier make use of their gas masks to peel onions.
28. German soldiers after putting a gas mask on their mule, 1916.
29. Louis Armstrong plays trumpet for his wife, Giza, 1961.
30. The end of Prohibition, 1933.
31. Mark Twain explores Nikola Tesla’s labratory, 1894.
32. Nurses at an English hospital experiment with baby gas masks, 1940.
33. A pyramid constructed with captured German helmets, New York, 1918.
34. Joseph Goebbels at his wedding to his wife Magda, with best-man Adolt Hitler following behind, 1931.
35. Bombs falling over Kobe, Japan, 1945.
36. The first black child to attend a white elementary school in the south, Ruby Bridges, is escorted to and from the school, November 14, 1960.
37. The first photo taken from space, 1946.
38. Women workers delivering ice, 1918.
39. Arnold Schwarzenegger shows off his muscles to a couple of elderly women, 1970’s.
40. A dog sits atop a cannon in France during World War I.
41. German soldiers practice shooting, 1935.
42. German soldiers execute a communist, Munich, 1919.
43. During World War II, if a plane landed on the wrong carrier, it would be graffitied and sent back.
44. A division of classes, Great Britain, prior to World War II.
45. The last public execution in the United States, 1936.
46. Ham the chimp poses with a newspaper announcing his successful trip to space.
47. Klu Klux Klan members ride a ferris wheel in Canon City, Colorado.
48. A man tests out a prototype of an early football helmet.
49. Union prisoners of war receive their rations at Fort Sumpter, South Carolina, 1864.
50. Childhood friends reunite on opposite sides of a demonstration, 1972.
51. A soldier comforts his comrade during the Korean War, 1950’s.
52. An Italian woman takes a look at a Scottish soldier’s kilt after the liberation of Rome, 1944.
53. Children wearing gas masks, 1941.
54. Soviet sailors with an orphan named Lucy, 1943.
55. Families enjoy a Christmas party in an underground shelter, London, 1940.
56. A German soldier shares his rations with a Russian mother and her child, 1941.
57. 18-year-old French resistance fighter Simone Segouin, Paris, August 19, 1944.
58. Allied soldiers, standing atop the Reich Chancellory, mock Hitler, 1945.
59. The last surviving veteran of the Civil War, Bill Lundey, poses with a jet fighter, 1955.
60. The last picture ever taken of Adolf Hitler, April 30, 1945.
61. An American soldier offers a hand to a woman and her child as they emerge from a tunnel following a battle between Japan and the U.S.
62. U.S. soldiers listen to Bernard Herzog after they liberated him from Santo Tomas prison camp, Manila, Philippines.
63. A “Powder Monkey,” a boy employed on a ship to powder the guns, poses on the deck of the USS New Hampshire, 1864.
64. Nine kings pose for a photo in Windsor Castle, May 20, 1910.
65. General Douglas MacArthur signs the formal surrender of Japan, 1945.
66. German fighter pilot, The Red Baron, with his dog, 1916.
67. The headquarters for the Italian Fascist Party and Benito Mussolini, 1934.
68. The Hungarian Revolution, 1956.
69. Joseph Goebbels, moments after he was told the photographer was Jewish, 1933.
70. A tower of confiscated barrels full of alcohol, ready to be burned during prohibition, 1924.
71. SAS soldiers in Africa, January 19, 1943.
72. Soviet soldiers watching an acrobat display on the march to Berlin, 1945.
73. The main gate, “The Gate of Death,” to Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
74. The SAS as they storm the Iranian Embassy to free hostages, 1980.
75. Three Japanese archers, circa 1870-1880.
76. Yuri Gagarin, the first man to be sent into space, 1961.
77. New York shoe-shine boys getting hot dogs. The photo was taken by director Stanley Kubrick, 1947.
78. A German soldier is carried to off the battlefield after losing his arm.
79. Australian soldiers pass through Chateau Wood, Belgium during World War I.
80. The first prototype for Mt. Rushmore, 1941.
81. The Reichserntedankfest Rally in Buckeberg, Germany, 1934.
82. Nazis singing to encourage a boycott of Jewish shops, 1933.
83. SS Troops relax during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
84. Nazi cathedral in the Cathedral of Light, 1937.
85. Two Soviet soldiers who froze to death inside their foxhole in Finland, 1940.
86. Stalin makes a joke in an off-the-record photo by his bodyguard, Vlasik.
87. Simone Segouin poses for a photo with a German MP 40.
88. A pilot tests the effects of gravity on a living mammal in a free fall, 1958.
89. The first photo of Machu Picchu after it was rediscovered, 1912.
90. Gadget, the very first atomic bomb.
91. A young Winston Churchill, 1895.
92. The control room of a German UB-110 submarine, 1918.
I never saw any of those in my old history textbooks. Maybe if I had, I would have paid more attention in history class!