Historical photos show the true colors of prominent people from the past, bringing out the best and the worst of the dark age
Historical photos give us a glance into the past, bringing us closer to the most important events. Joseph Niepce’s camera obscura was used in 1827, and people used the new invention to capture the most brilliant moments of their lives.
In this article, we give you a chance to travel back in time. These rare photos will blow your mind and give you a completely different perspective.
People liked to take photos of things that made them proud or sad. Some of these photos will probably bring tears to your eyes.
1. Black Americans weren’t allowed to swim alongside other people in 1969, so Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons over so he can cool his feet in a pool
2. A German soldier ignores orders and helps a small boy cross the Berlin Wall and reunite with his family in 1961
3. San Francisco policeman stops a man, scolding him for not wearing a face mask during the 1918 influenza pandemic
What’s the true meaning behind these photographs? Marcelo Guimarães Lima, a visual artist, writer, and teacher, uses an abstract approach to determine the raw power of the past. His work is focused on common issues from the past, regardless of whether they are linked to society, history, or politics.
According to him, the birth of photography changed the image of our existence, because “it did change the world for us, image viewers and image producers.”
“The change of circumstances (that can also, at critical times, change the subjects), the permanence of challenges and struggles related both to the short and the long durations and processes.”
4. Princess Diana shakes hands with a patient diagnosed with AIDS without any protective gloves, 1991
5. Charles Thompson arrives at Public School No.27 in September 1954, four months after the Supreme Court said that racial segregation doesn’t belong to the US Constitution. He was the only African-American kid in the school. Richard Stacks took the photo for The Baltimore Sun
6. Dutch Resistance celebrates the death of Adolf Hitler in April 1945
Photos are here to give us a different look at events from the past. “The rhetoric of photography is that of a mediated immediacy and its effects are also related to the context of ideas expressed or directed also by the linguistic context (captions, text, etc).”
7. Jewish prisoners leave the Death Train in 1945. Free.
8. In WW2, locals encased Michelangelo’s Statue of David to protect it from bombs
9. Margaret Hamilton poses with the Handwritten Navigation Software she and her MIT team wrote for The Apollo Project in 1969
10. A Serbian soldier takes a moment to rest with his father who came to see him on the front line in Belgrade, 1914/15
11. Louis Armstrong plays for his wife in Egypt, 1961
12. US soldier takes care of a wounded Japanese boy in the cockpit of a plane during the Battle of Saipan. They are waiting for transport to Field Hospital, July 1944
In 1889, the world got the first roll film by George Eastman. In 1913, German inventor Oskar Barnack brought the first 35mm camera. The world got to use the first digital camera in 1957.
13. Smiling man comes out of a police van in New York, 1939. Officers arrested him for cross-dressing
14. A Man rides in a white-passengers-only bus in Durban as a form of resistance to South Africa’s Apartheid Policies, 1986
15. Anne Frank’s dad Otto visits the attic they used to hide from the Nazis, 1960. He was the only survivor
16. Queen Elizabeth posing as a mechanic in WW2, 1939
17. Ruby Bridges is the first African-American to attend white-kids-only elementary school in the Deep South, 1960
18. 17-year-old Lepa Radic was hanged near Gradiska in 1943 after she wouldn’t give the names of her accomplices. “You’ll know them when they come to avenge me,” she told the Nazis when asked about her accomplices. Lepa lost her father, brother, and uncle in the Battle of Kozara
19. Albert Einstein posing with secretary Helen (left) and daughter Margaret (right). They became US citizens to avoid returning to Germany in 1940
20. German soldier returns to an empty home in Frankfurt, 1946
21. Freddie Mercury and mom, 1947
22. Soldiers on their way home from WW2, 1945
23. 19-year-old David Isom breaks the color line in a Florida pool on June 8, 1958. Officials closed the facility
24. A “Drunk Basket” from the 1960s. Bars in Istanbul hired people to carry drunks back home
25. Jakob Nacken is the tallest Nazi soldier, standing at 7’3’’. In this photo, he talks with 5’3’’ Canadian Corporal Bob Roberts after surrendering to him in France, September 1944
26. The only photo of the Nine Kings of Europe
27. Taken in the period between 1900 and 1910, the photo features a hired reader reading to cigar makers in a Cuban Cigar Factory. Factory employees were illiterate, and companies hired lectors to read them novels, poetry, and even newspapers
28. Canadian Soldier comforts injured Belgian Baby in WWI, November 1918. The baby’s mother was killed.
29. A Russian inmate identifies brutal Nazi guard at Buchenwald Camp
30. A French lady welcomes US soldier a couple of days after liberation in Strasbourg, 22 November 1944
31. Keshia Thomas, 18, protects a person linked to the KKK from an angry mob of Anti-Clan Protestors.
32. Rosa Parks’ booking photo taken right after her arrest in February 1956
33. An Ukrainian immigrant celebrates the death of Stalin in 1953
34. The Jaws of Death, 6 June 1944
35. US citizens in Times Square celebrating the fall of Germany 7 May, 1945
36. Ruth Lee, a hostess at a Chinese restaurant, identifies with a Chinese flag so people don’t mistake her for Japanese in Miami, 15 December 1941
37. Nurse taking care of a child during the smallpox epidemic in Wrocław, Poland, 1963
38. Last photo of Nikola Tesla, 1 January 1943
39. Family portrait of Arctic Explorer Peter Freuchen and wife, fashion illustrator Dagmar Cohn, 1947
40. B-25s fly past Mount Vesuvius in Italy. The eruption took the lives of 57 people and destroyed San Sebastiano and San Giorg in March 1944. Allied forces fought for supremacy in the area
41. The Wall of Sorrow stands for the hundreds of thousands of victims of Stalinism. In 1988, the Soviet Government allowed the release of the information about Stalin’s Great Purge
42. US teenagers on a date, 1950s
43. Mobsters at Al Capone’s trial in 1931
44. Airplanes in 1930
45. Allied soldiers mock fallen German dictator on his balcony at the Reich Chancellery, 1945
46. George Willig as the “Human Fly” outside the South Tower of the World Trade Center in 1977. He completed the climb in 3.5 hours and officers arrested him at the top. The city fined him $1.10 which is a penny for each floor
47. The first headquarters of Nintendo, Kyoto, 1889
48. Nuclear explosion one millisecond after grand detonation, 1952
49. Swedish people switch from the left to the right side of roads for the first time on September 3, 1967
50. A KKK member seeks protection from the police after angry mob surrounds the rally of his clan in Austin, Texas, 1983