Historical photos are a way of bringing a single vision to the larger world. Sometimes it only takes one photo to open people’s eyes about the world around them, evoking curiosity about the incredible place we all live in.
Known as the King of Rock, here we see a less common photo of Elvis Presley while he served in the U.S. Army. He decided to serve as a regular soldier, earning him the respect of many back home who previously viewed him in a negative light.
A photo of Nikola Tesla casually sitting in his laboratory with his “Magnifying Transmitter,” which he built himself in 1899 and used that year for his study of the use of high-voltage, high-frequency electricity in wireless power transmission. He became well known as the inventor and engineer who discovered and patented the rotating magnetic field, the basis of most alternating-current machinery. Throughout the 1890s, Nikola Tesla pursued his ideas for wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments.
Carving the Eye
Back in 1923, South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson was looking to attract tourists and stimulate the economy of his state, so he proposed creating a monument in the mountains, and what he envisioned was a memorial to great heroes of the West. The proposal was granted federal funding, and on October 4, 1927, the carving began. Over the course of 14 long years, more than 400 workers had carved away 450,000 tons of rock without a single fatality.
Job Hunting in the 1930’s
During the Great Depression, banks closed, businesses failed, families lost their homes, and unemployment levels rose to nearly 25%. Men had to travel great distances in search of any work that they could find and suddenly found themselves queueing in long unemployment lines, competing for menial, basic jobs with pay that was barely enough to put food on their tables. Husbands and fathers had defined themselves by taking care of their families, being the breadwinner, struggled with the emotional depression that came with the economic depression.
This photo depicts the Titanic survivors boarding the Carpathia in 1912. The Carpathia arrived at the distress location at 4:00 am, approximately an hour and a half after the Titanic went down, claiming more than 1,500 lives. For the next four and a half hours, the crew members helped find and rescue 705 fortunate survivors of the disaster from Titanic’s 20 lifeboats. And by 8.30 am, Charles Lightoller, the final person to be rescued, stepped aboard Carpathia.
The President’s Prank
Lyndon Johnson was the 36th president of America, and close friends remembered him for a prank he liked to play on unsuspecting guests at his ranch. The prank involved Johnson’s Amphicar, the only civilian amphibious car ever-mass produced. The car looked like any ordinary automobile and the president would offer to drive visitors around his ranch, so that he could enjoy his prank, upon reaching a hill the vehicle would barrel down towards the lake and he would exclaim that the brakes had malfunctioned, while they had no clue the car was made to float in water!
This photo showcases the unpacking of the face of the Statue of Liberty, not long after its arrival in America from France, when it was delivered on June 17, 1885. The statue was gifted to the people of the United States from France. The copper statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess, and after its dedication, the icon became the embodiment of freedom and the United States; it has been a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving by sea.
The Two 30-Year-Olds
The incredible photo before you shows two 30-year-old women shaking hands graciously. One is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, and the other was the undeniable queen of Hollywood. The two queens met in October 1956, and we’re not sure which of them was more star-struck. It might seem like an unusual juxtaposition of personalities, but these two cultural icons would also be reaching a milestone this year, as the one who rules over Great Britain recently celebrated her 90th birthday on April 21, and Marilyn Monroe would have turned 90 on June 1.
This famous photo shows James Dean in one of the last known photographs taken of him shortly before his death. His career was famously cut short on September 30 of 1955, when James Dean passed away in a collision crash as he sped along a darkening highway in his silver Porsche Spyder sports car to enter a road race. His tragic and unexpected death at the young age of 24 made James Dean even more of a celebrity than he had been.
George “Babe” Ruth went down in history, as one of the best baseball players of all time. Here he is captured hitting his 700th home run, on Friday the 13th in 1934. It happened in the fifth inning of the third game of the World Series on October 1, 1932, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. During the at-bat, Ruth made a pointing gesture, which existing film confirms, but the exact meaning of his gesture remains ambiguous.
The Beatles Cover
The Beatles were photographed as they prepare to cross Abbey Road for the cover image of their new album in 1969. The cover would become one of the most famous and imitated in popular music. The Beatles’ Abbey Road cover was photographed by freelance photographer Iain Macmillan, a friend of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Iain Macmillan stood on a small ladder in the middle of the street and snapped six shots of the band as they walked across the street outside the studio.
Young Boy Reading
The Germans conducted mass air raids against British towns and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940. This photograph was taken of a London bookstore that was left in ruins and damaged from an air raid. We see a boy sitting among the remains and skimming through a book, but what makes this photo so touching is the stark contrast between his calm conduct while sitting among scattered books, one of the unfortunate targets from an air raid.
At 15 years old, Dorothy Counts was one of only four black students enrolled at all-white schools in the district; Dorothy was enrolled at Harry Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. In the photo we see her being teased and taunted by her white male peers. Dorothy Counts-Scoggins is now an American civil rights figure and in 2010, she received a public apology from members of the crowd that harassed her in 1957.
Hearing For the First Time
This moving picture shows a startled young boy who isn’t sure what’s happening, or how it’s happening. From his world of silence, he has suddenly been transported to another world of rich, vibrant sound. It is new, strange, and probably a little scary. His little eyes widen with wonder, and he is on the edge of his seat, waiting to hear what this new world has to offer. The little boy is Harold Whittles, and he has just been fitted with a hearing aid.
The First Woman to Finish the Boston Marathon
Kathrine Switzer the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon in 1967. Race organizers attempted to stop Kathrine Switzer from completing the race, and one race official Jock Semple grabbed her bib; however, he was pushed to the ground by her boyfriend, Tom Miller, who was running alongside her, and she went on to complete the race. It was not until 1972 that women were permitted to run the Boston Marathon officially. According to Katherine, she understood the gravity of her participation and accomplishment.
The photograph moves you to happy tears the moment you see it. Gerald Waller captured the photo in Austria after the war in 1946. The little boy is a six-year-old orphan, and his name is Werfel, he is seen sitting outside on the steps of an orphanage in Austria. His elated expression says it all as he hugs a new pair of shoes given to him by the American Red Cross. The photo was first printed in LIFE magazine on December 30, 1946.
Sandra Cason “Casey” Hayden was an American student activist and civil rights defender in the 1960s. She is remembered for her advocacy and direct action in the struggle against racial segregation. In 1960, she was a young recruit to Students for a Democratic Society. With the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi, Hayden was a strategist and organizer for the 1964 Freedom Summer. Her mug shot from her Jackson arrest is on display in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
This photo would have gone viral on Instagram. A New York Times photo that was taken back in 1961 of the legendary jazz trumpeter, Louis Armstrong, played a number for his wife Lucille while visiting the pyramids, and in the background, we see a view of the Great Sphinx of Giza. If that’s not pure romance, we’re not sure what is! He was among the most influential figures in jazz, and his career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s.
It’s never easy to identify the moment that there’s a sharp turn in history. When it comes to humanity’s first real grasp of the beauty, fragility, and loneliness of our world, however, we know the precise instant. It was on December 24, 1968, after the Apollo 8 spacecraft lifted off was en route to becoming the first human-crewed mission to orbit the moon. The image—the first full-color sighting of our planet from afar and helped human beings realize our place in a cold and vast cosmos.
Liberated in 1945
The train that led Jewish prisoners to freedom instead of death. In the center of the photo is a woman holding the hand of a little girl, possibly her daughter. The woman is wearing a scarf. Her expression is a mix of emotions, ranging from sadness to joy. In the background, at the foot of a hill, two train cars can be seen. No words can really describe the events of that day, as this picture does.
We’ve all heard of D-Day, but have we all heard of Dagen H (Swedish for H Day)? H stands for Högertrafikomläggningen or the Right-Handed Traffic Diversion. On September 3, 1967, Sweden decided to change from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right. As you can imagine, this switch was anything but easy. The decision to move to the other side of the road was not taken lightly. The idea had repeatedly been voted down during the preceding decades.
Mona Lisa Returned
The Allies liberated Paris on August 25, 1944, and on May 8, 1945, Germany unconditionally surrendered, and the war in Europe was over. Finally, all the Louvre’s works that were taken began to come back home, and the museum was extensively renovated between 1945 and 1946. Two years after Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, it was recovered inside Italian waiter Vincenzo Peruggia’s hotel room in Florence. The Mona Lisa returned on June 16, 1945.
The Beach Police
Back in the early 1900s, women’s swimming costumes were cumbersome, with high necks, long sleeves, skirts, and pants, and often they were made of wool. In 1919, 20 special deputies were tasked to monitor the swimwear of the bathers at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York, and these deputies were called “Sheriffettes.” This was the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between women and beach authorities. Here we see the Sheriffettes measuring bathing suits, and if they were too short, women would be fined.
This office, and the brain behind it, definitely lend some credibility to the idea that you could be a genius if you have a messy desk. Can you guess the famous name by their office? It was, in fact, Albert Einstein’s study at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and the photo was taken soon after Einstein’s sudden death on May 18, 1955. Einstein is often quoted as saying, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
The Young Street Performers
Back in 1974, a young Robin Williams was just practicing his act as a mime in Central Park with a friend. A photographer named Daniel Sorine happened to walk past and he took this photo of the duo, never knowing Williams will soon become a huge Hollywood star. “What attracted me to Robin Williams and his fellow mime, was their unusual amount of intensity, personality, and physical fluidity,” Sorine said in an interview. It was only years later when he found this photo, that he realized who he had captured.
Martin Luther King
This is probably the most powerful photo of Martin Luther King Jr. we’ve ever seen. In this picture, King removes a burnt cross someone had hammered into his lawn. Something is haunting about the way he’s swiftly pulling it out of the ground while his young son stands beside him. How would you react if the KKK left a burning cross outside your home? MLK was assassinated on April 4, 1968, but his words and deeds will live on for many years to come.
In the photo, we see two clasped hands that connect the graves across a wall, the tombs belong to a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, who were not allowed to be buried together. This caused quite a commotion in the city of Roermond. After being married for 38 years, the colonel died in 1880 and was buried on the protestant part of the cemetery along the wall. His wife died in 1888 and had decided not to be buried with her family, but on the other side of the wall, the closest she could get to her husband.
The Berlin Wall
Here we catch a glimpse of what life was like when divided by the Berlin Wall, as families show children to their grandparents who reside on the eastern side in 1961. The wall represented a dismal and ultimately futile circumstance in the post-war world. Life was transformed 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; even children who had been visiting their grandparents were suddenly cut off from their parents.
This eerie photo tells a chilling tale. A line formed by prisoners as they were leaving America’s most infamous prison. The reputation of Alcatraz went far and wide, as it used to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble. Over the years, it housed some 1,576 federal inmates, including some of America’s most ruthless inmates. We would expect the prisoners to look relieved to be leaving the prison, considered by many the world’s most fearsome prison of the day, but no, their heads hang low.
John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier were married on the morning of September 12, 1953, in a Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Their wedding would include a Catholic mass which was no surprise to the more than 800 guests, which included many notable individuals. Jackie decided to wear an ivory dress made of chiffon silk with a fitted bodice, short sleeves, a portrait neckline, as well as a bouffant skirt embellished with bands of more than 50 yards of ruffles.
On Top a Ship
A rare photo exhibits what life was like in the US Navy in 1899. Two naval seamen enjoy a friendly boxing match as the crowd watches on. The photo was presumably captured on the first anniversary of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, a naval battle that took place on July 3, 1898, in which the US Navy defeated Spanish forces, which sealed American victory in the Spanish–American War and achieved another step towards independence for Cuba from Spanish rule.
The Eiffel Tower
Whether you’re fortunate enough to have spent time in Paris or have only ever aspired to go there, chances are you know of the French capital’s most beloved landmark: the Eiffel Tower. Here we see a crew of workers painting The Eiffel Tower in 1932. Painstakingly by hand – every seven years, painters apply 60 tons of paint to the tower to keep France’s most famous monument looking young. Millions of tourists from all over the world holiday in Paris only to see the Eiffel Tower.
Artist Frida Kahlo was considered one of Mexico’s most celebrated artists. From an early age, Frida developed her obsession with self-portraiture and wasn’t afraid of defying conventions. In this rarely seen photo, Frida appears androgynous, flouting convention by wearing a man’s suit and slicking back her hair. She was quite the rebel. At 19, she is already an interesting character and thus began Frida Kahlo’s long and celebrated career of using personal dress as theatre.
This photo was shot just months before Gloria Steinem published “A Bunny’s Tale,” documenting her experience as a Playboy bunny waitress in one of Hugh Heffner’s New York night clubs back in 1963. Even though she looks happy, Steinem worked as a cocktail waitress with a hidden agenda, at a time when Playboy was popular and already had millions of subscribers. Steinem went on to make a name for herself as a journalist by exposing the not so great reality of being a bunny in a gentleman’s club.
What could be so shocking to cause these terrible reactions? On January 28, 1986, the inconceivable happened. Seventy-three seconds after the 10th flight of Space Shuttle Challenger took off, it started breaking apart and exploded like a nuclear bomb in the sky. An investigation by NASA later disclosed that the crew might have made efforts to recover control after the initial explosion. Part of that crew was astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who would have been America’s first teacher in space after winning the elementary school educator contest.
In 1950, the Coca-Cola company decided that the people of France were ready for the great taste of Coke. But of course, the French have never been easy to please, and as the photo shows, getting Parisians to welcome the unknown black liquid was going to be one difficult feat. It’s strange to think that coca-cola was once unwanted, nowadays people in more than 200 countries drink 1.9 billion servings every day, and it’s probably the most famous soft drink of them all.
This heartbreaking image of the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank, standing in the attic in which his family was hidden. No one else survived. After his daughter’s death was confirmed in the summer of 1945, her diary was given to Otto Frank by Miep Gies. Otto Frank left it unread for some time but eventually began transcribing them for his relatives in Switzerland. He was persuaded that Anne’s writing would shed light on the experiences of those who suffered persecution during the war and was urged to publish it.
It was no surprise that the Summer Olympics in 1936 were going to be complicated. The spotlight was on was Jesse Owens, and it was on August 3, in 1936, that Ohio’s track athlete won the gold in the 100-meter dash, after setting a new record for that race the day before. At the 1936 Olympics, which Adolf Hitler hoped would be a showcase of Aryan supremacy, Owens won four more gold medals in track and field events. Jesse Owens had proved Hitler’s theories wrong.
This is how the famous boxer Muhammad Ali convinced a suicidal young man to come down off the ledge. On January 19, 1981, photographer Boris Yaro heard reports of a suicidal jumper on the radio. Yaro drove over, where he found a young black man, perched on an office-building fire escape nine floors above. Ali’s friend, Howard Bingham, was at the scene. He called Ali, who lived nearby. Bingham later told reporters, “Ali comes driving up.” Yaro watched Ali and took photographs of what happened next.
First Mobile Phones
The history of the first mobile phone goes back to 1908 when a patent was issued in Kentucky for a wireless telephone. The very first mobile phones were not portable at all. But all that changed on April 3rd of 1973, when a Motorola executive, made the first handheld cell phone call. The phone weighed in at just below 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg). Its battery lasted a half-hour.
By the 1970s, teen pregnancies were acknowledged as a problem worldwide. The continuing alarm about adolescent pregnancy was based on the significant impact that teenage pregnancy could have on the lives of the younger women and their children. Studies in countries such as the United States reported that adolescent pregnancy results in lower educational achievement and increased ratios of poverty for children of teen mothers compared to children of adult women. The picture shows a teen mom in a school in the southern California town of Azusa in 1971.
During the First World War, many male workers joined the army, and women began entering the workplace and were employed in their place in a variety of roles, including blacksmiths, welders, and electricians. And so began unprecedented opportunities for women to enter into jobs that had never before been. This photo shows the employees of an office at the railway works in Horwich, Lancashire, England, in 1917.
This is where Buzz Aldrin stood on the evening of July 20, 1969, on the moon’s surface. Aldrin never cared much for being the second man on the moon but it may not be the astronaut’s most memorable feat. —Aldrin earned a different kind of immortality. Since it was Neil Armstrong who was carrying the crew’s 70-millimeter Hasselblad, he took all of the pictures—meaning the only moon man we would see clearly would be the one who took the second steps.
Times Square, 1945
At its best, photography captures brief snippets that crystallize the hope, anguish, wonder, and joy of life. When World War II ended on August 14, 1945, a photographer took to the streets of New York, and he soon found himself in the joyous tumult of Times Square. This captivating picture has become one of the most famous and frequently replicated photos of the 20th century, and it has done a lot to form the basis of our collective memory of that transformative moment in world history.
Gandhi and the Spinning Wheel
When Mohandas Gandhi was held prisoner by the British in Pune, India, from 1932 to 1933, the nationalist leader made his own thread with a charkha, a portable spinning wheel. The practice went from a source of personal comfort during captivity into a touchstone of the campaign for independence, with Gandhi encouraging his countrymen to make their own homespun cloth instead of buying British goods. It soon became an indelible image, the civil-disobedience advocate with his most potent symbol helped solidify the perception of Gandhi as a saintly man of peace.
The photo that did more to humanize the cost of the Great Depression than any other. Dorothea Lange drove past the “Pea-Pickers Camp” sign in Nipomo, north of Los Angeles, and something nagged at the photographer, she decided to turn around. Lange spotted Frances Owens Thompson and knew she was in the right place, the children and the mother, whose eyes were worn from worry and resignation, as she looks past the camera and her photo titled ‘Migrant Mother’ has become one of the most iconic pictures of the Depression.
First Bananas in Europe
This is one of the first shipments of bananas that was sent to Norway. It’s difficult for most of us to imagine what life must have been like before global trading became what it is today. The batch had a weight of 3,000 kilos and came in crates/boxes. Christian Matthiessen, one of the people in this picture, is the founder of Norway’s biggest fruit importer, Bama. Norway was the second country to ever import bananas to Europe, before that people didn’t really encounter many products that weren’t made locally.
Changes In America
This is one of those photos that says so much in just one shot. It was taken in the Nevada desert in 1868. At the bottom of the image stands a Native American man, who is observing the Transcontinental Railroad, which was recently completed at the time.
Lights, Camera, Danger!
This incredible photo was taken in 1928 and clearly shows how the MGM opening credits were filmed. Originally, Leo the Lion was a still logo for the film company, before eventually being transformed into a motion image. Early on, the lion was silent, but then the sound of Leo’s roar was added to movies in this iconic re-shoot. But who came up with the idea of bringing a fully grown lion into their studios just for one shot?
Beating The Beatles
It’s truly amazing when photos have not one, but two iconic figures standing side by side. This is a perfect example of two colossal entities of pop culture coming together to create a stunning image. Both The Beatles and Muhammad Ali were at the peak of their powers in the late 60s. Then, the band from Liverpool, England had the opportunity to meet the greatest boxers of all time. Playfully, Ali threw a light punch at George Harrison, creating a domino effect.
Old Times Square
Some photos have the eery ability to show just how much things have changed in a specific location. Take Times Square, for example. This iconic New York area is nowadays the commercial hub of the city that never sleeps and is often filled to the brim with tourists. However, there was a time when Times Square wasn’t so busy and merely a couple of carriages could be seen parked at night. This photo was taken in 1911.
Many fail to realize that world leaders and important figures in these photos have humble beginnings. They have many years of growth before they do the things we recognize them for. But it shouldn’t be too puzzling to work out who the young man in the center is. That’s right folks, before becoming the President of United States of America, Barack Obama was a simple boy at high school who wanted to play basketball with his friends and have a good time.
Start Of Something Special
These are the first people behind what would turn into one of the most successful companies of the modern era, Google. Back when the team consisted of about 40 people, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were confident that they were onto something big with their internet-based brand. This was one of the first photos taken of the company in 1999, just a year after it started. Nowadays, it is the most popular website in the world and has nearly 60,000 employees.
This is one of those photos that draws the fine line between heartwarming and bizarre. What you’re looking at is a photo taken in 1961 in the staff cafeteria at the first Disneyland. This iconic theme park opened its doors on July 17, 1955, and was originally only open to invite guests and paparazzi. Nowadays, there are Disney theme parks in many parts of the world. But this was the very first, and it looks like the staff were pretty happy with their lunch!
Giant Water Skis
This photo brings the British term “swimming trunks” to a whole new level! One lucky elephant got the chance to try out these giant water skis. In a risky move that seemed to pay off, a crazy stunt organizer decided to grip the large animal onto the skis specifically designed for it and watched him glide across the waters, with two women skiing alongside him. We think he was either having the time of his life or was hanging on for dear life!
Arnie In America
At one point, Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the most famous actors on the planet, didn’t actually live in America. The man behind classics such as The Terminator and Predator originally hails from Austria. But after making a name for himself in Hollywood, he decided to trade in the hilly landscapes of his native country for the glitz and glamour of California. As you can see, “The Governor” was incredibly excited to become an American, proudly wearing the red, white and blue.
Daddy’s Little Girl
There are some photos that clearly show the true nature of people, and this is a perfect example. Here you can see former President John F. Kennedy having a tea party with his little girl Caroline. This beautiful image shows two things. One: John was always a caring individual and wanted to help others in his life. Two: He was a true family man, always looking after his next of kin. Even world leaders are able to make time for their loved ones.
This truly terrifying image encapsulates the moment that the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This particular photo was taken just 20 minutes after the explosion, as the cloud looms over Nagasaki. The damage claimed the lives of over 129,000 people, a horrific number. To this day, the attacks remain the only use of nuclear weaponry in the history of war. And we sincerely hope, for the sake of humanity, that it will stay that way.
The Genius Rests
There is no denying that one of the greatest thinkers of the modern era was a physicist by the name of Albert Einstein. Not only famous for his crazy hair and eccentric behavior, this was the man behind the theory of relativity. He can be seen in this rare photo kicking back and having a moment of reflection with David Rothman. The department store owner gave Einstein the sandals that he’s wearing in this photo. It looks like he’s pretty happy with Rothman’s gift.
All Eyes On Charlie
Some photos show important historical moments through the lens of the most iconic individuals. As thousands stand in awe, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. can be seen holding none other than silent film legend Charlie Chaplin up on his shoulder. The duo were standing in front of the large crowd on Wall Street, attempting to promote liberty bonds. It was during this time that the people were becoming more aware of the concept of financial securities in the aftermath of World War I.
Medvedev The Maniac
This stunning photo shows Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev as a young man. It seems that before he got into Russian politics, he was quite the rebel and was firmly into the punk/new wave scene. This is evident from this photo of him, where he can be seen in a leather jacket with shades on, hair jelled back and cheekily sticking his tongue out. Nowadays, he spends his time working alongside President Vladimir Putin, but it is refreshing to see this side of him.
When Worlds Collide
In a truly stunning moment, catcher Hall-of-Famer Gabby Hartnett went to collect the ball at a game, only to bump into one of the most notorious gangsters of all time, Al Capone. A Chicago crime-lord during prohibition times, he went to Comiskey Park with his son to watch the game and was delighted when Hartnett came over a greeted the two. Nowadays, this type of situation could never happen, which makes the image even more amazing to look at.
Despite being one of the forefathers of grunge, Nirvana’s controversial frontman Kurt Cobain will probably be best for joining the 27 club in the early 90’s. But in a heartfelt moment, while he was still alive, the new father shared a cute kitten with his beloved daughter, Frances Bean. At the young age of 27, Cobain took his own life and his little girl was only 20 months old at the time. It’s reassuring to know that he had moments like this during his life.
Two of the people in this photo were two of the most influential leaders of their time and took Latin America by storm with their radical communist ideas. Soon after his communist government took over Cuba, Fidel Castro was in close contact with Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara, who eventually fled the country and became a popular figure in Castro’s country. In this image, the pair can be seen enjoying a little siesta on a sunny day, fishing in the Caribbean.
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble
In theory, boxing has been in practice since the times of Ancient Greece, but the sport that we know as boxing today officially started at some point in the early 20th Century. But even before that, communities put on fights with makeshift rings and basic boxing gloves. Take this photo for example, which was taken in 1897. These soldiers on the USS Oregon spent their free time boxing each other. Nowadays, the rings are a little safer.
In the early 1980s, the notorious kingpin Pablo Escobar went on holiday with his family to the U.S. The Colombian took some time off from business matters in Medellin to seek some cultural enrichment in Washington D.C. Here, you can see Pablo with his son standing in front of one of the most iconic buildings in the world – The White House. Despite going down as one of the biggest criminals of all time, Escobar was always interested in politics.
The Pharaoh’s Tomb
On face value, this door handle bound by a rope may not seem like one of the most striking photos on this list. But upon closer inspection, one will notice the hieroglyphics on the doors and realize that it is from Ancient Egypt. We can confirm that this was the entrance to the tomb of King Tut, one of the most famous Pharaohs in history. This rope sealed his tomb for over 3,200 years. The desert climate preserved the rope after all this time.
A Defining Moment
Some photos are particularly haunting due to the time in which they were taken. This picture shows the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, greeting someone while he’s in his carriage. On first glance, this may seem like a pretty insignificant thing. But what’s truly amazing about this image is that it was taken only minutes before he was shot dead. He was assassinated on June 28, 1914, and many believe that this was the moment that kickstarted World War I.
In The Beginning
Wimbledon, the most famous tennis tournament on the planet, first started in 1877. But it was six years later when the competition had its very first international match. It was a doubles match and each team consisted of a pair of brothers. Representing England were the siblings William and Ernest Renshaw. They took on C.M. and J.S. Clark, who represented the United States. In the singles final, the Renshaw brothers played each other, with William coming out on top.
Billy the True Kid
We have all heard the stories of Billy The Kid, the gun-toting outlaw of the Wild West. This character has been portrayed in a string of movies and TV shows. But many people are unaware that he was actually a real person. Born, Henry McCarty (though some dispute that his birth name was William H. Bonney), Billy The Kid only has one “surviving authenticated portrait” – this one. At an auction in June 2011, it fetched an incredible $2.3 million.
This may appear to be some odd form of child abuse. But make no mistake about it, this was common practice in 1930’s London, and considered to be beneficial to babies’ wellbeing. Apparently, back in the day, doctors would recommend mothers to give their infants a “healthy airing out.” This would ensure that the child developed properly. And due to the lack of space in London’s busy landscape, these cages attached to family’s windows prove to be extremely useful.
First Ever Computer
All the wires and buttons will suggest that this photo depicts a large technical device of some sort. This is, in fact, the ENIAC, also known as an Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. Constructed in 1946, this machine was referred to colloquially as the “Giant Brain” and was operated in Maryland for nearly a decade. Although it was a faulty system, for the most part, the advances of this technology paved the way for the evolution of computers as we know it.
This animal was a horse that had stripes like a zebra around its head and neck, which gradually blended into its more uniform coat. The quagga hailed from South Africa but unfortunately no longer exists. This particular photo was taken at London Zoo in 1870, showing just how long it has been since the quagga shared the world with us. Interestingly, the creature was named after the noise it made, which sounds like “kwa-ha-ha.” Some indigenous people also refer to zebras as quaggas.
Battle Of The Genders
In 1931, history was made when Jackie Mitchell became the only female ever to strike out both baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. She was one of the first female pitchers in the history of professional baseball and she achieved the amazing feat while pitching for the Chattanooga Lookouts. The achievement did come in an exhibition match against the New York Yankees. However, Jackie didn’t mind as every result counted in one’s professional career. Ruth and Gehrig were absolutely astounded.
The Birth Of Liberty
Photos like this one show just how much hard work and how many people it takes to put together some of the biggest structures in the world. It’s amazing how many people still don’t realize that before the Statue Of Liberty made its way to New York City, it was actually constructed in Paris. This photo was taken in 1884 and you can clearly see the arm of the statue holding the tabula ansata (the tablet of law).
The Last Samurai
For over 700 years, Japan was virtually ruled by gifted fighters known as Samurai. But in 1868, the age of these noble warriors came to an end, ushering in the modern Japanese society we know today. Ultimately, the high cost to train these armies seemed to be the reason that the Samurai got phased out. This is one of the very last photos of the Samurai, taken in the 19th Century. Here, a group stands proudly, displaying their sharp katanas.
Dolly Parton is one of country music’s most loved stars. She made her debut in 1967 and has had an incredible career, composing over 3,000 songs and starring in many movies. She’s collected Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards and Golden Globe nominations along the way. Dolly is one of America’s most photographed stars, but there are many photos from her archives that are lesser-known! Take a trip down memory lane with these iconic Dolly moments.
Working 9 To 5
This classic black and white image comes from the comedy 9 to 5, which Dolly starred in in 1980 alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The film grossed over $103.9 million and cemented Dolly’s reputation as a household name.
Dolly released the song 9 to 5 to promote the film. It quickly became one of her most famous hits, winning an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, two of which she won: ‘Best Country Song’ and ‘Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.’
Early ’80s Dolly
This princess pink satin look is totally ’80s and looks almost exactly the same as the dress Dolly wore to perform her classic, and by then world-famous, song “Jolene” on The Griffin Show in November of 1980.
This era marked Dolly’s transition from country gal to queen of pop music, although her singles appeared consistently in the country Top 10. Between 1981 and 1985, she had 12 Top-10 hits; half of them hit number one!
When Dolly Met Sylvester
For a brief period, Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton were Hollywood’s hit couple. The small but mighty singer-actress and Rocky star are glad most people don’t remember the time when they joined forces in the disastrous country spoof Rhinestone.
The 1984 movie was panned by critics upon its release, however, Stallone didn’t care, later quoting, “The most fun I ever had on a movie was with Dolly Parton on Rhinestone.” Nonetheless, the soundtrack album gave Dolly Parton two top ten country singles, “Tennessee Homesick Blues” and “God Won’t Get You.”
The River Unbroken
This iconic image was taken for the cover of Dolly’s 1987 single “The River Unbroken,” which featured on her album Rainbow. One of her lower-ranking songs, it was Dolly’s last pop record before she returned to her country roots.
In the same period, Parton began her charitable work through her Dollywood Foundation. Even today, her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten.
Sandy Gallin And Sandollar Productions
Dolly Parton met her manager Sandy Gallin in 1976 after making a guest appearance on The Mac Davis Show. She was impressed with him, saying, “He’s got taste and I got talent.”
Their 25-year business relationship included the formation of their shared film and television production company Sandollar Productions in 1985. Sandollar achieved many awards, including five Ace Awards for a variety of productions and an Academy Award for the documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt.
This rare photo of Dolly looking bright and chirpy is actually a promo shot from the 1992 romantic comedy Straight Talk. She played a dance instructor who moved to Chicago in search of fame, alongside co-star Barnet Kellman.
Although the movie did well at the box office, grossing $21,202,099, it didn’t receive great reviews. The critics couldn’t get enough of Dolly’s charming performance, but the prevailing opinion was that the storyline was just too confusing and poorly written.
New York Premiere Dolly
This rare photo of Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda was taken during the New York City premiere of their box office smash 9 to 5. The three forged a strong friendship on the set of the film.
These three gal pals prove that age is just a number. Fonda and Tomlin, both now in their 80s, have a hit Netflix show, Grace and Frankie, and Dolly is on tour, has a Netflix series, and is busy running her theme park empire.
A woman after our hearts, Dolly seemingly decided to spend the entirety of 1989 dressed head to toe in sparkles! The cover of album White Limozeen featured a similarly scintillating dress, cementing Dolly’s place as the nation’s dazzling diamond in the rough.
Always a follower of fashion and a fan of bold styles, Dolly once famously said, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” On the contrary, this late 80s outfit makes her look a million bucks!
1970s TIME Magazine Interview
This gorgeous portrait was taken outside of Dolly Parton’s tour bus on September 1st, 1977, while on tour in Detroit. It was Dolly’s first tour since dropping her partner and mentor, Porter Wagoner, and she was sharing a rocky new sound.
TIME correspondent Jean Vallely interviewed Dolly that year. The accompanying article described her audiences’ protectiveness over the singer, stating, “Country fans are music’s most loyal, especially to a singer who comes from a three-room shack in Tennessee.”
Dolly The Moviestar
This rare 1980s photo was taken at an event to promote The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the 1982 adaptation of the 1978 Broadway musical of the same name, which starred Burt Reynolds alongside a buxom Dolly.
Although she famously said it was a nightmare to work with Reynolds, Dolly also pushed for a romantic storyline, saying, “Wouldn’t you feel like you wasted five dollars if you paid to see Whorehouse and you didn’t see me and Burt kiss?”
Happy Hippie Dolly
A happy looking Dolly hones a bit of a hippie vibe in this 1977 image. This look is far more relaxed than her 80s styles, with stunning soft curls, double denim, and a floral headband that feels very Woodstock.
1977 is considered by many to be Dolly’s breakthrough year, with her album Here You Come Again becoming her first million-seller, topping the country album chart and reaching number 20 on the pop chart. Yes, Dolly’s star was rising!
The Original Queen Beehive
This stunning black and white photo of Dolly is dated 1966, and the hairstyle absolutely confirms this! It must have taken several bottles of hairspray to style this sky-high look. Either that or it’s a great wig!
In 1966, Dolly was just 20 years old but she was already a prolific songwriter. Her single “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” went to number six on the country chart, but it was recorded by Bill Phillips, with Dolly uncredited on harmony.
The Biggest Hair In Showbiz
If one beehive wasn’t enough, here’s another rare photo of Dolly from the same era that proves she really has been wearing wigs her entire career! Some say she was dedicated to having the biggest hair in the business.
Around this time, country music entertainer Porter Wagoner offered Dolly a spot on his weekly TV show, replacing Norma Jean. Wagoner’s audience was reluctant to accept Parton, but they soon warmed to her after hearing her sing.
Dolly In Technicolor
This extremely rare late 60s color photo shows Dolly and Porter Wagoner on the set of The Porter Wagoner Show. The on-screen chemistry between the pair was evident and fans embraced the duo, becoming the No. 1 syndicated show in America.
Each 30-minute episode featured performances by Porter, Dolly, and a special guest. The show was originally filmed in black and white but switched to technicolor around the same time that Dolly joined the gang.
The Peter Wagoner Era
This vintage photo shows Dolly alongside Porter Wagoner, whose show she worked on for seven years. They recorded and promoted several popular albums together, including Just the Two of Us and Together Always, to great critical acclaim.
Dolly left to pursue her own career, penning the song “I Will Always Love You” about her professional break from Wagoner. She played the song, covered by Whitney Houston many years later, for him as her way of saying goodbye.
Homegirl at Heart
The rarest of rare photos – Dolly without a wig! This rare photo is difficult to find anything out about, though it looks to be 1960s, based on her bright blush, lipstick, and eyelash to eyebrow eyeshadow.
She may be a country superstar, but Dolly is a homegirl at heart. Her worldwide smash “My Tennessee Mountain Home” is dedicated to her love of the simple life with her family, far away from the glitz and glamour.
Love At The Laundromat
A young and radiant Dolly is pictured here with her husband Carl Dean. Dean is an asphalt contractor, and although it may seem an unlikely pairing, the couple is still happily married, thanks to their mutual love and respect.
The pair first crossed paths in a laundromat in Nashville in 1964. For Dean, it was love at first sight. He revealed, “My first thought was ‘I’m gonna marry that girl’. My second thought was, ‘Lord she’s good lookin.'”
Real Life Dolly
This rare photo of Dolly Parton from a 1979 photoshoot shows the singer looking particularly buxom! Dolly has never shied away from comments about her surgeries saying, “I’m not like a real person. I love being artificial!”
She went on to say, “I think there’s a little magic in the fact that I’m so totally real, but look so artificial at the same time. If I see something saggin’, baggin’ or draggin’, I’m gonna have it nipped, tucked or sucked.”
Dolly’s Words Of Wisdom
Dolly has always been the perfect combination of beauty, brains, and quick wit. A source of inspiration for women worldwide, she said, “I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.”
Dolly’s words of wisdom encourage others to look on the bright side, believe in themselves, and stick it out through the storm. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
Enough To Drive You Crazy
This photo of Dolly and a typewriter is taken from the 1980s film 9 to 5. There were a lot of women in the workplace by the 1980s, but the glass ceiling was very much intact as far as roles were concerned.
Women were usually relegated to administrative roles, which is reflected in the lyrics to the song “9 to 5,” “They just use your mind and they never give you credit. It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it!”
The photo shows Dolly Parton in another scene from the 1980 comedy 9 to 5. The film’s theme song took on a life of its own, becoming an anthem for all types of workers and unions.
Labor leader Karen Nussbaum described it as starting with pride – ‘Pour myself a cup of ambition,’ going onto grievances – ‘Barely getting by,’ and touching on class conflict – ‘You’re just a step on the bossman’s ladder,’ before ending with collective power.
This candid photo of Dolly, by photographer Gene Spatz, was first uncovered decades after it was taken when the photographer’s sister unearthed a box of photos Gene had taken of celebrities back in the 1970s and 1980s
Dolly, complete with a denim jacket and killer eyelashes, would have been in her early 30s. At this time, she was trying to break out of the country scene in Nashville and introduce her music to the rest of the world.
I Wanna Fall In Love
This glamorous photo was taken in February 1978 in Los Angeles as the album art for Dolly’s 20th studio album, Heartbreaker. The album was marketed to pop fans, and some of the tracks verged on disco which was hugely popular then.
The remix of “I Wanna Fall in Love” became a huge hit in nightclubs and the album stayed at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for nine weeks. It was even certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association!
Dolly Across The Pond
Dolly looks flawless in this fitted and flared jumpsuit! This rare image was used for the back cover of the UK pressing of her greatest hits album Best of Dolly Parton Volume 2, which was released in 1975.
The double vinyl opened with “Jolene” before continuing with 11 of her other strongest hits such as “I Will Always Love You” and “Traveling Man,” proving that by 1975, Dolly was already a hit with the Brits!
The Bigger The Hair
Dolly looked radiant in this photo from the 1977 Grammy awards, one of the first years the ceremony was televised. Dolly was there to sing, but she first stole the hearts of the audience with her gravity-defying big hair.
It wasn’t until the following year that the country singer got her first Grammy nomination, but she surely turned a few heads with this look! As Dolly once quipped, “The bigger the hair, the closer to God.”
Sylvester Stallone must have said something funny to make Dolly laugh like that! This rare shot is another from the 1984 Rhinestone era. The plot of the movie centered around Dolly teaching Stallone to sing like a true country star.
Stallone is not known for having a sweet singing voice. He’s more famous for kicking down doors and fighting bad guys in action movies like Rocky and Rambo, which is another reason why this casting was a strange choice.
Parton With That Poetry
This modern but lesser-known photo of Dolly shows her making her rapping debut on The Queen Latifah Show at age 67! The country legend opted for gold chains and a platinum afro and performed a rap she wrote for Queen Latifah.
“I wanna talk to you about the queen,” she rapped. “Now, Queen Latifah, she the queen of hip-hop, rap, TV, and screen. Now she the queen of her own hood, but I’m the queen of Dollywood!”
Friends For Life
This 9 to 5 era shot shows Dolly sitting at the piano with none other than co-star Lily Tomlin. Then relatively unknown, the hilarious Tomlin is now a renowned comedian best know for her improvisation and observational stand-up.
You can still catch Tomlin on TV in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. Tomlin plays Frankie Bergstein, a woman recently separated from her husband of forty years. She received her first Emmy nomination in 2015 as a lead actress for the role.
Dolly’s Jazziest Look
Dolly recently shared this photo of herself in 2016 when out on tour and revealed one of her many hidden talents. Not only is Dolly dressed head to toe in rhinestones, but she’s tooting on a tiny bedazzled saxophone!
Dolly is quite the musician. Although she is known for her singing voice, she also plays several stringed instruments. In her concerts, she’s known to play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 5-string banjo, fiddle, dulcimer, piano, and autoharp.
Dolly Giving Thanks
This holiday photo was taken as a promotional shot for Dollywood in 1987. Dollywood, co-owned by Dolly herself, opened as a small tourist attraction in 1961 and grew to become the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee.
The theme park features amusement park thrill rides, traditional crafts, music from the Smoky Mountain area, and hosts a range of concerts and musical events each year. It is also the site of the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame.
Here’s To Dolly
So here’s to Dolly, our golden country songstress who inspires us with her uniqueness and talent! Dolly says, “The key to my success has always been that my desire to succeed has always been greater than my fear.”
“I’ve been scared to death about a lot of things, but then I think, ‘Okay, you gotta buckle up, girl. You’ve got yourself here, so get out there and just do it.’ And I just ask God to help me, and I follow that light.” Amen, sister!