When we want some important moments to stay with us forever we can just make a photo at that exact moment. But some decades ago it wasn’t that simple as people didn’t have smartphones and having a camera was a rare thing to find. But getting the photos showing historical events and famous people makes you realize different things that probably haven’t been known. Sometimes it’s absolutely game-changing as you find another perspective on the past. So now is the time to reveal the truth and show you the unique images.
Just look at these photos made in 1890! The couple is smiling and laughing between frames… How often do you see the photos of giggling people that have been captured more than a century ago? Now we use phones to make hundreds of photos and then choose just one but in that century one photo was a gem.
In those times, making at least one photo could take 15 minutes so holding a smile for such a long period of time was too difficult. That is why we mostly see old photos where people are pretty serious. So these photos are not only rare because there are 4 of them but also because the couple is smiling in them.
First Meeting Of Holocaust Survivors
Auschwitz-Birkenau is known as the largest and scariest Nazi concentration camp where more than a million people suffered and died. In 1944, Werner and Walter were brought to the camp. Every person in Auschwitz was tattooed with the number, and these guys were A1828 and A1838 which made them just 10 numbers apart. However, they never met…
Until the moment in the photo. 70 years after the scariest moment in their lives they came to the Last Eye Witness Project where Holocaust survivors share their terrible experiences. The third man in the photo is a survivor as well.
History Of Iranian Protests For Female Rights
Iran is well-known for making laws that discriminate against females. The photo below was captured at the protest in Iran’s capital in 1979. More than 40 years after, it’s still the same and people are still fighting for their rights, so this battle has started a long time ago.
But Iran wasn’t so strict all the time: there were times when it was modern and females could study and work wherever they want as well as choose if they want to put a hijab on or not. Today, many years after that, Iranians hope and pray that their country will come back to its senses.
True Private Love
This beautiful photo shows one of the best musicians David Bowie and the love of his love Iman. Being a celebrity is not so easy, so the couple was trying to keep their love private as much as they could. This image is so precious because of its non-staged casualty.
They met each other on a blind date organized by Bowie’s hairstylist in 1990 and married 2 years after that. Iman told she fell in love not with David Bowie but with David Jones referring to his personality, not his fame. But unfortunately, after 26 years of real love, David has died leaving only the best memories.
Person Who Made Apollo Mission Successful
When it comes to the Apollo space mission, we immediately start thinking about Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin. But the truth is that without the woman in the photo, the mission wouldn’t be possible. Her name is Margaret Hamilton, and she was doing things that we call «software engineering» now for the Apollo mission.
Margaret led the famous astronauts with her NASA software team using the files she’s standing next to in this photo. But unfortunately, her name didn’t become famous. According to the curator of the collection of Project Apollo (Smithsonian museum), she was one of the first people to develop this sphere.
The Italian Beauty
Sophia Loren is a well-known actress from Italy but not only because of her talent: her curves made her a celebrity as well. Hollywood was impressed when she said one of the most popular quotes stating that she would choose eating pasta and drinking wine over being a size 0.
Sophie’s silhouette became extremely famous, but her career was long and successful proving that she was not only beautiful and smart but also talented and dedicated to her path and the whole industry. She achieved 4 Golden Globes, 2 Oscars, and many other awards with countless nominations.
Freddie Mercury was a huge fan of cats. There was a moment in his life when he had more than 10 cats! One of the houses where Freddie was living with his 8 cats had 8 rooms for every cat, can you imagine that? He was always trying to do everything for them as if they were his family.
Freddie adopted cats from shelters, although there was one purebred cat gifted to Mercury by Mary Austin. Freddie’s partner Jim Hutton said that when Freddie was on tour he always called asking to put his cats on the phone, that he was even dedicating some songs to them proving he loved them no less than parents love their children.
Bernie Sanders And Peaceful Protests
Bernie Sanders is a well-known US senator who even ran for the office to become the US president. Bernie has always been supporting justice and equality so in this photo that had been captured in 1963 in Birmingham he is taken by the police after taking part in a peaceful protest.
In the 1960s, Birmingham was racially divided, so Martin Luther King was supporting peaceful protests organized to make people equal. Bernie Sanders together with other people participated in many protests and marches until they got actual results and Birmingham started to respect all races.
Secret Men Love
You can see an extremely rare photo below that was published in 2020. It was gotten from the book dedicated to the photos of men in love captured in the 1850s – 1950s. Some photos were captured secretly as that period of time was very dangerous to gay people as such love was illegal.
The photos are so unique as they show real love in the private worlds of people who weren’t allowed to be themselves. It is mentioned in the book that it’s been 70 – 170 years since these photos were captured, and the world is starting to come to its senses allowing people to be who they are only now.
Happy Marriage Of Dolly Parton
Do you know anything about Dolly Parton’s husband? The answer is probably «no» as almost no one has heard anything about him and some people even thought he didn’t exist. But the photo below shows a happy Dolly with her husband whose name is Carl Dean.
Maybe making a relationship private is the secret of their happy marriage that’s lasted for more than 56 years. 6 years ago the couple decided to renew the vows to make the marriage stronger, and Dolly said that she would drag Carl into 50 more years of living together.
Punks Can Be Sweet Too
Punks’ surface makes people think punks are hard as rocks: never smiling and crying. But of course, it’s not true, and this photo proves it. It was shot in 2009 during the Pride event. Just look how happy the punk man is getting on his knee to let the excited boy touch the jacket’s spikes.
This photo proves that no matter how a person looks you never know who he is inside. Even a guy in a leather jacket with many spikes, a totally black outfit, and a mohawk can be absolutely nice and kind which is why judging someone by his look is never a good idea.
A Monument To Hungarian Jews
Here is the bloodcurdling monument dedicated to the Jews in Hungary who were killed during World War II. In 1944, a local Hungarian party called Arrow Cross supported the Nazis’ antisemitic path and started sending Jews to concentration camps. 600 people were murdered and many of them were caught and shot right near the Danube river.
About 100000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust, meaning half of the community was eliminated. These shoes near the Danube river will always remind us about those people who were destroyed because of who they were. It’s terrifying how many people lost their lives because of religion.
Death Time During The Rebellion
The photo below was captured by Hector Rondon in 1962 in Venezuela and touched the hearts of thousands of people. You can see that a chaplain Luis Maria Padilla was holding a dying soldier during the well-known rebellion in Venezuela. That time almost 700 people were injured and 400 died…
That rebellion finally led to the desired result: the government was changed, but too many people paid for that with their lives. Rondon’s photo won World Press Photo of the Year in 1962 and even won the Pulitzer Prize in 1963 which proves how scary and painful this photo is for many people.
Heroic Nurses In WWI
When you are searching for photos from World War I there are no doubts you can find anything but photos of German nurses helping soldiers is a rarity. The photo below was captured in 1915, and the nurses helping that wounded soldier were probably volunteers.
It is so because almost all females helping wounded soldiers were just volunteering so seeing such photos can simply make all of us realize what emotions people felt and how hard it was for them to go through those terrible times.
Anne And Margot Frank When They Could Smile
It is really hard to imagine, but there were times when Anne and Margot Frank were truly happy: just like in this photo captured in 1940 in the Netherlands. In 2 years everything changed as the new laws regarding Jewish people were made. Jews were fired all over the country, kids were thrown away from the schools.
Frank’s family was hiding in an annex close to the dad’s office but in 2 years they were found and sent to Auschwitz. The girls’ mom was starving there and then died, while the girls probably passed away in Bergen-Belsen one year before the war ended.
You are probably shocked now to see so many people in one ship…We are shocked too. But that’s how it looked when US soldiers were coming home after World War II. The ship Queen Elizabeth left Scotland on August 6th and came to New York in 5 days.
No one knows why the ship was so overcrowded, but maybe it was easier to put all soldiers on that ship than to organize several ships with a few people. By the way, the original photo was black and white, but Royston Leonard made it more realistic by painting it.
The Bravest Surgeon
This photo may even scare you, but the story must be told. The man’s name is Leonid Rogozov and he was a surgeon. During the expedition to Antarctica, Leonid started to feel bad and realized he had appendicitis. He couldn’t rely on surgery in Antarctica so he chose to do the surgery by himself, without any anesthetic.
The equipment was cleaned, and Leonid’s assistants were staying close to him while he was doing the bravest thing. It lasted for 2 hours but the legendary doctor made it! Once he got back to his country he was supported and called the strongest person because of his unbelievable fortitude.
The Scariest Illness
The kids in the photo below are sick, but only the right one is vaccinated. Unfortunately, it took time to create a vaccine for the smallpox virus. Before this, 9 in 10 kids were passing away after getting sick. That illness caused many blisters all over the bodies and then usually led people to death so everyone was scared.
Some people survived, but they could stay blind and scared forever. But thankfully, Mary Montagu found a way to save the planet. She was studying Turkish ways of variation and after surviving smallpox disease she proposed the idea of inoculation. After some trials the British accepted it but unfortunately, they never gave Mary Montagu any credit.
Last Happy Lunch
These two smiling kids were having a good time and had no idea that in a few moments, all Japanese Americans would be evacuated. It happened right after the Japanese attacked Perl Harbor in 1941 a result of which Roosevelt decided to send all Americans with Japanese roots to the internment camps because he was afraid of invasion.
The image of these boys was made by Dorothea Lange in a California school. Not only Japanese from that school but also 112000 others were sent away from their homes even if they had US citizenship. They spent 3 years in internment camps living in awful conditions.
A Life-Saving Kiss
In 1967, utility workers Randall Champion and J.D. Thompson were working with some electricity lines. Randall touched a low-voltage line by accident and lost consciousness. Luckily, he didn’t fall and Thompson got up to give mouth-to-mouth to Champion.
The photographer whose name was Rocco Marabito and who was not far from that place not only made a photo but also called the doctors to save Champion. Randall was saved and later, Morabito got the Pulitzer Award for the photography of a kiss that saved a life.
Unfortunately, stories about Native Americans have been almost erased from history so seeing an image of a Navajo mom with her children means a lot. Look carefully and you will see their dwelling and outfit to understand what it was like to live there at that time.
Such photos let us see what we never knew: what kind of foundation was used for the dwellings, what prints blankets had… The history doesn’t tell much about it, but the photos can’t lie, so the quality level of living is seen pretty well.
Happy But Traumatized
People in this photograph look very happy, which is understandable as the photo was taken at the end of WWII when Allied forces were setting people free from the concentration camps. Relief made people smile sincerely but unfortunately, they all needed to face their pain and trauma for many years…
Once these people became free they went home and many of them needed to see the painful truth: their loved ones could be killed, lots of houses were destroyed or occupied by other people, and everything they had could be ruined… When Allied soldiers were liberating people they were shocked and then shared how scary those camps were.
Running For Women’s Rights
Kathrine Switzer made a huge impact on females in sports. Switzer was a good runner, and she was working out with males in the college. Once they signed up to take part in the 26-mile marathon in Boston in 1967, she decided to do it too, even though females were not allowed there.
And Kathrine did it, even though the angry organizer tried to drop the woman out. As a result, in 5 years females were allowed to run in the same marathon, thankfully to Switzer. She said later that she knew she couldn’t stop, she needed to get to the finish line, otherwise, no one could see women were capable of running so many miles.
This 95-year-old woman in the photo below was the oldest Covid-19 survivor at the time when the pandemic had started. But then, an Italian old man who was 101 years old got rid of the terrible virus as well. And that’s not it: the world’s 2nd oldest person from France who was 117 also beat the virus.
There are old people who were able to beat the virus, but generally speaking, Covid-19 made people lose their friends and family members… Italian citizens went through hell: more than 165000 people in Italy died in 2020 so seeing someone beating the virus is very precious.
Dairy products got to another level once robotic milking machines were invented. They made the work in farms easier as earlier cows were milked by hand as you can see in the photo. More time and workers (usually milkmaids) were needed to get the desired amount of milk for drinking and making cheese and other dairy products.
Before the 1930s cows could be milked not more than twice per day by mechanical pumps, and different animals like these cats came to drink some milk. But milking machines made the process more strict but effective, so it became possible to milk cows up to 6 times per day.
Arresting For The Bathing Suit
Now the modern world knows that people can wear whatever they want, but there were times when females could be incarcerated for their outfits. The woman in the photo is Annette Kellerman who was a swimmer from Australia. She is famous for her bravery as she wasn’t afraid of wearing what was forbidden.
In 1907 when the photo was made such a tight swimsuit was considered inappropriate a result of which Annette was arrested. No one cared how successful she was and how many medals she earned. Instead, people in the 1900s were focusing on apparel deciding what was normal and what was not.
The Bravest USSR Female Pilots
The females in this photo are known as the «night witches» for being the worst nightmare for Nazis during WWII. These brave young USSR women decided to volunteer: they learned how to fly planes and started to bomb Nazis at night. Their bravery is hard to imagine.
These girls who were around 20 years old were real heroes. But what is even more impressive is that at that time females couldn’t attend military forces and learn how to fly or shoot as a result of which Night Witches did on their own.
Japan was very cruel during WWII, and this photo is definitely proving it. The Japanese took approximately 22000 Australians across Asia who was sent to work camps in Singapore mostly, however, some were sent to Korea, Thailand, and other countries. Prisoners in those camps needed to build roads and railways for Japan.
The conditions in those work camps were far from humane: people were starving there but needed to work daily. The Japanese were beating and abusing their prisoners as a result of which more than 8000 soldiers passed away. This photo of the skeletal Australians who just got out of those camps is just proving how terrible it was.
The Most Famous Back
Who do you think about when you are asked about the most popular celebrities of the 1950s? It’s probably Marilyn Monroe or someone else who was that famous; but no doubt it’s not Vikki Dougan. However, Vikki got some fame after Ralph Crane captured her from the back and posted it on the cover of Life magazine.
Her back in that backless dress became iconic, and many people were interested in Dougan calling her simply «the Back». The model told later that she wasn’t even thinking that anything in that look was extraordinary, she was just playing her part. But people liked Vicky, however, her career didn’t take off.
Here is the photo that was captured by Mike Wells and won the World Press Photo award because it truly touched people’s hearts. But Mike shared later that he was ashamed of taking that photograph and sent it for the award only. The boy in the photo was around 4 years old and he was starving.
In the 1980s, the Karamoja region of Uganda was fighting with the neighboring countries. Because of that, the whole area was having trouble with the amount of food which led to a complete lack of supplies. People were dying because of starvation and about 60% of kids passed away. That was the most awful and painful time for the country.
Love Is Love
Here are the lovely photos of two girls kissing each other in front of the camera in 1900. No one knows which country the couple was living in, but there are no doubts it wasn’t easy to be a lesbian during that time: even though lesbian love wasn’t illegal in Britain (unlike gay love) society frowned at such couples.
In the USA in 1973, it was confirmed by the American Psychiatric Association that homosexuality was not considered a mental health disorder anymore. At the same time, lesbians weren’t even recognized in Britain which proves the misogyny that women and lesbians in particular needed to face for many years.
The Only Place To Kiss Each Other
These Canadian guys look happy in that photo booth but once they got out of it they probably couldn’t be themselves anymore. The reason is the fact that gay men could be punished for such sexual activity with each other in Canada until 1969. However, all laws framing gays were fully eliminated in Canada in 2016 only.
Even after 1969, gays preferred not to be open because of hatred and remaining laws (like the fact that the age for legal sexual relationships was different for gay and straight people). In 2017, the Prime Minister of Canada apologized for the past to the whole LGBTQ+ community, and later in 2020 the Police made a similar speech.
A Surfing Teacher
What makes a usual teacher a great teacher? It is a passion these teachers have to make their students better. No one knows who was this surfing teacher from the photo but the fact that he was in love with his subject is undoubted.
And look how excited the students are! The truth is that teachers make a huge impact on students’ features and achievements so when a teacher is so passionate and a student is fascinated that is a good sign. Such teachers are not just memorable but also incredibly important for their students’ lives and results.
Ku Klux Klan Kids
The photo below is pretty hard to describe… It was captured during the protest in Georgia organized by Ku Klux Klan. In the photo, you can see the white kid who was dressed like a person from KKK. And in front of him, there was a black policeman. This photo makes to think a lot.
Ku Klux Klan was created in 1915 to develop white supremacy and spread hatred towards black people. 5 years after that, the organization also created something like a branch called «Ku Klux Kiddies», which kids took part in. KKK kids were taught to hate black people and had outfits just like the one in the photo.
Unexpected School Friends
Everyone knows Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dogg but not many people know that these two celebrities went to the same school in Long Beach. This fact itself could be not so unusual if Cameron Diaz didn’t confirm she interacted with Snoop Dog as she was buying weed from him.
Snoop Dog was just one year older than Cameron Diaz. Even though the whole school consisted of 3500 children Cameron noticed Snoop Dog among the other students. She said he was really tall and slim and his head was covered with ponytails that time.
Freddie Mercury’s ‘Love Of My Life’
Freddie Mercury who was a popular and successful singer in the music band called the «Queen» was gay, and his fans knew it. Now Freddie is even called a gay icon not only because of his fame but also because of his extraordinary personality. But only a few people remember that before coming out Mercury was in love with a woman (Mary Austin) and they even were engaged.
Even though the relationship of this couple has ended in 1976 they were always there for each other. The close friendship between Freddie and Mary lasted for many years until Mercury died in 1994. He was trying to keep his love life private and wasn’t confirming that he got AIDS until the day right before he passed away.
The Last Concert
Here is the photo of Amy Winehouse performing at the last concert of her life. That performance was happening in Belgrade in 2011 and Amy made her fans really mad as she forgot the lyrics, stopped singing several songs, and acted in a weird way. And this photo proves how lost and sad Amy was.
Even though she looked terrible, no one could imagine it would be her last concert. Now that we know that Amy looks really broken… Winehouse was a very popular and successful singer but her addiction to drugs and alcohol made her life really terrible which led to her death in 2011, just one month after this photo.
The Happiest US Couple
If you read Michelle Obama’s book you know how she met her husband. But if you didn’t: Barack attended the law company in Chicago as a summer associate and Michelle was his advisor. Their love led them to a happy marriage where they danced to Stevie Wonder’s song, however, the couple’s photos from the wedding are rare to find.
This photo is showing the joy on their faces when Barack was doing the traditional bridal garter removal. Or was it a foot massage? It doesn’t matter though because what is really important is that this couple is loving and supporting each other for more than 30 years.
The Crocodile Hunter
Steve Irwin was one of a kind… He loved animals and was working in an Australian zoo: he was caring for animals, helping them to go through rehabilitation, but Steve became famous because of his shows and documentaries about wildlife. His wife and kids always encouraged him which is obvious if you look at the photo below.
You can see Steve with his daughter Bindi when they got a small crocodile. What a cute photo! Unfortunately, during the new documentary filming a stingray attacked Steve, and he couldn’t make it… That was the heaviest loss not only for Irwin’s family and his fans but for the whole wildlife as well, however, Steve’s children decided to continue their father’s work.
Barack Obama’s Childhood
Look at this boy! Do you recognize him? Well, it is a rare photo of Barack Obama with his grandfather in 1966. It’s obvious that both Barack and his granddad were having a really great time. Barack told pretty often that his grandparents were raising him since he was 10 as his mom moved to Indonesia to study.
But there is an interesting coincidence: Barack’s granddad whose name was Stanley Dunham had almost the same situation. His mom committed suicide and after that, his father sent him with his brother to the grandparents, so they raised Stanley. Probably that is why Stanley became such a good grandfather to Barack.
Civil Rights Movement
This photo was made in Pittsburgh in 1959 when it’s already 10 years after the beginning of the civil rights movement and 4 years after the army desegregation. But even if some parts of the USA made a step toward becoming equal for everyone, other parts were still extremely racist, for example, in 1955 Emmett Till was murdered after he whistled at a white female.
These guys in the photo probably felt safe as Pennsylvania was pretty developing but if they were sitting like this in another state it could be really dangerous for them. By the way, the photography was captured by Charles Harris who was a black photographer taking pictures all over Pittsburgh as it was the hometown he was proud of.
Two Shining Diamonds In The Film Industry
Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly found their way to Hollywood and graced the film industry at the same time. They even were born in the same year – 1929. And even though the careers of these two celebrities were absolutely different, their fans always wondered if they knew each other. And here is the answer!
Audrey and Grace really met each other, it happened at the Oscars in 1956 where they came as they were nominated. Both of them have already won Oscars before, and both of them were called «the best actress» but their careers have never crossed, and they have never been filmed in the same movie.
Mom And Daughter
No, we are not crying, you are crying! But the truth is we all are crying. This heartbreaking photo of a military doctor Major Terri Gurrola and her kid Gaby was taken in the airport of Atlanta in 2007. Gurrola came to the USA for 2 weeks after spending 7 months in Iraq.
After many years Gurrola is still crying when she looks at this photo. She said that those emotions made her realize how hard the life of a parent serving in the army was. During the work in Iraq, many US military parents needed to go through this.
Physics, Love, And Disease
Everyone knows Stephen Hawking as he was the genius who wrote many papers and books about astrophysics and the Universe while being seriously ill. But not so many people know that Stephen’s wife Jane is what made him work and fight the illness. They got married in 1965 and had 3 kids.
Stephen and Jane were married for 30 years, and it wasn’t easy because of his ALS disease. Jane said that physics and ALS were also their partners in marriage. But her love and care helped Stephen to continue discovering things while she was getting a Ph.D. The couple divorced in 1995.
Davy Jones vs David Bowie
We all know the legendary David Bowie who was born Davy Jones. But have you ever thought about the reason why he changed his name? It is a common situation for celebrities, but David has his own reasons. He did it because he really enjoyed theatrics and created alter egos like Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane, and others.
But there was another reason: a celebrity named Davy Jones already existed, he was the musician in the Monkees. David didn’t want to sound the same, so he started experimenting. He was planning to change his name to Tom but then made the final decision and switched to Bowie.