60 Photographs With Rarely Told Stories From Our Past
By | May 20, 2019
A rare photo of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde, 1933
The most fascinating stories from our past are those that involve just one or two people. They’re those moments that we’re able to put ourselves inside so we can ask if we’d handle a situation in the same way. When faced with the epic struggles as the people collected here, would we too change history for the better? Get excited to dive into photos and stories of the unsung heroes of the past like Boston Marathon runner Kathrine Switzer or the photographers who sought to beautify Poland after World War II.
There are also surreal looks at Salvador Dalí, and stories of presidents reaching across the aisle to pass the torch. These photos are sure to inspire and amaze, now read on!
Bonnie Parker joined up with lifelong criminal Clyde Barrow when she was only 19 years old. Their crime spree started when she smuggled a gun into the prison where Barrow was being held to help him escape. He was caught and sent back to jail, but was paroled in 1932. That’s when the real trouble began. The two stole a car, which resulted in a trip to the slammer for Parker.
Following her release in 1932, Bonnie and Clyde robbed a series of banks across the American south with a group of Barrow’s childhood friends. Even though they were definitely dangerous criminals, Bonnie and Clyde took on a mythological role in Americana who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.
Winnebago (now Ho-Chunk) family pose for a portrait, 1880.
The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska are now federally recognized as the Ho-Chunk Native American tribe. The people of this first nations tribe lived in what’s now known as Wisconsin, and they were first encountered by Jean Nicolet, a French explorer who is most well known for exploring Lake Michigan.
The Ho-Chunk weren’t nomadic like many of the other tribes in the Americas. They stayed in dome shaped homes while growing squash, beans, and tobacco. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the Ho-Chunk began western expansion, moving to northwestern Illinois. As of 2019 there are only 10,000 members of the Ho-Chunk tribe alive.
$29.50, the cost of having a baby in 1943
If you’ve brought a child into the world recently, then you know that $29.50 is a steal for a trip to the hospital and a birth. Luckily the person who had a baby at the McKeesport Hospital didn’t travel to the emergency room via ambulance or the price could have skyrocketed to upwards of $35. All joking aside, due to inflation, $29.50 isn’t as cheap as it sounds.
As of 2019, $29.50 is about $435, which is still far below the average cost of having a baby - which Business Insider estimates is around $10,000. This photo shows a deal, but would you rather have a baby in 1943 or 2019?
The skin-tight dress Marilyn Monroe wore for Kennedy's birthday, 1962
One of the most talked about moments of the 20th century has to be Marilyn Monroe’s sensual version of “Happy Birthday” that she performed for President John F. Kennedy in May 1962 at New York City's Madison Square Garden. At the time it was rumored that Monroe and Kennedy were a secret item, with historians pinpointing a party thrown by Bing Crosby in Palm Springs as the night they met.
On the night of the event Monroe had to be sewn into her dress, which was designed by Jean Louis and affixed with more than 2,500 rhinestones. According to a Time Magazine article from the era:
The figure was famous, and for one breathless moment, the 15,000 people in Madison Square Garden thought they were going to see all of it.
Race organizers attempt to stop Kathrine Switzer from competing in the Boston Marathon. She became the first woman to finish the race, 1967
Kathrine Switzer grew up as the daughter of a major in the United States Army, so failure was never really an option for her. While studying at Syracuse University one of her coaches told her that a “fragile woman” couldn’t run the Boston Marathon so she trained in secret and entered the race at number 261.
Rather than simply allow Switzer to run, multiple people who worked for the marathon totally freaked out and tried to physically pull her out of the race. When race official Jock Semple tried to remove her from the race, her boyfriend, a 235 pound nationally ranked hammer thrower who was also running the race pushed Semple to the ground. Switzer finished with a time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes
Just another day at work for Nikola Tesla as he takes notes in his laboratory.
Imagine being so ho hum about sitting beneath a giant explosion of electricity that you created. Nikola Tesla was a Croatian born scientist who immigrated to New York in 1884 and quickly began working as an engineer at Thomas Edison’s Manhattan headquarters. After Edison balked at paying $50,000 to Tesla for improving his DC dynamos Tesla struck out on his own.
In 1887 and 1888 he was granted more than 30 patents for his inventions, so what were his notes like? Many of his journals included drawings of his creations as well as detailed equations that are only understandable to Tesla himself - or other super geniuses.
A family in Texas in 1953 had a pet lion named Blondie. They never had any incidents with her and she died of old age
How jealous are you right now? What kid doesn’t want to have a pet lion that they can call their own? Blondie the lion belonged to Charles Hipp, an oil man from Graham, Texas. Rather than just buying a lion because he had aspirations to be a Bond villain, Hipp grew up in the circus, but started working in the oil industry during a boom in the 1930s.
After moving to the Dallas area, Hipp bought Blondie from the Dallas zoo when she was only one month old, and from then on she was a part of the family. She traveled with the family, went on vacations with them, and she even went to the movies. Blondie lived with the family until she passed away from old age in 1968.
When The Kingsmen's 'Louie Louie' Topped FBI's Most Dangerous Song Chart
“These morons have gone too far” has to be one of the greatest reviews that any rock n roll band can get. The song was first released by Richard Berry in 1957, but when The Kingsmen released their raucous version in 1963 it took the world by storm. In 1964 the FBI launched an investigation into the lyrics after a parent wrote to Robert Kennedy, terrified of what the Kingsmen might be saying.
The Bureau investigated The Kingsmen without ever looking into the original version of the song, or consulting the lyrics that they had on hand in the US Copyright Office. In the end, the FBI determined that the lyrics were “unintelligible at any speed.”
People on the Coney Island Rotor Ride before it was shut down for safety issues in the 1950s.
There’s more to a carnival than fairway games and funnel cake – for many young people in the 1950s the fun of a fair was the allure of a new ride. The rotor ride is one of those fascinating and stomach churning whirls that it’s impossible to imagine getting a pass from any kind of safety commission.
Invented in the late 1940s by German engineer Ernst Hoffmeister, The Rotor was also known as the “Devil’s Hole," and it spun its patrons around at two rotations per second, slamming its riders against the walls with the power of gravity. Even though it seems like this kind of thing would be outlawed, you can find a modern version of the Rotor, usually called “The Gravitron,” at carnivals across the country.
Benjamin Franklin's daily routine that he wrote when he was 20 years-old. (1726)
Ben Franklin was one of the most ridiculously accomplished people who ever lived, and while he was known for putting many traditions in place that Americans still honor, one of his most interesting habits was recording his daily rituals. His daily routine is ostensibly a calendar of sorts, albeit one that shows how a genius works.
From this routine it looks as if Franklin never slept more than four hours a night, and that his main goal in life had little to do with work and more to do with examining his life and making sure that he did something good every day.
A butcher's shop in High Wycombe, England. (1938)
If you’re trying to figure out what to have for dinner tonight, get yourself to High Wycombe, England for your choice of cuts, from pork, to beef, and entire chickens. The 1930s were still a time before everyone had access to a refrigerator and freezer, and long before there was a super market in every town, which means that a daily trip to the butcher was a necessity to most families.
This may seem like a gratuitous amount of meat to be hanging outside of a shop, but it’s likely that most of the cuts would be gone by the end of the day.
Carlos Ray (Chuck) Norris enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1958.
Before he was a karate master or a Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris was a member of the United States Air Force where he worked as an Air Policeman at the Osan Air Base, South Korea. While he was in South Korea Norris became interested Tang Soo Do and started his martial arts training. Upon his return to the states he began working on what would come to be called Chun Kuk Do, or “Universal Way.”
As Norris was attaining a black belt in Tang Soo Do and working on his own form of martial arts he was still serving in the military. Upon his return to the US he continued working as an Air Policeman at March Air Force Base in California until he was honorably discharged in 1962.
How'd you like to do this tedious job? An operator in Chicago announces the time every 15 seconds in 1928.
Beginning in the 1920s there was a service that anyone could call, day or night, rain or shine, to find out what time it was. There motto should have been: “If you don’t have a watch but have a dime, give us a call and you’ll know the time.”
When the service was in its infancy a person was hired to sit in front of two clocks and read the time live every 15 seconds. Thankfully recordings saved the time person from the most tedious job ever, and in 2007 one of the final telephone time-announcement services shut down for good.
Kids making copies on a mimeograph machine (or stencil duplicator) at school, 1960.
By the 1960s there were a few different options for copying a document or a print, but when you wanted to make an exact copy of something but didn’t have a lot of time or money then you used a Mimeograph. These students are going through the motions of the rudimentary printing machine that was first invented in 1886.
The Mimeograph uses a stencil made from a waxed mulberry paper or from an immersion coated fibre paper. Basically, the stencil was wrapped around the paper and ink was squeegeed onto the “file,” making a mostly exact copy. It’s almost exactly like using a stencil to spray paint your name except far more detailed.
Moments before a Nazi General is executed
Following the end of World War II the Nazis were put on trial in Nuremberg, the same city that played host to many of their pre-war rallies. The trials were helmed by the victorious four Allied powers (France, Britain, the US, the USSR) who operated under a strict set of rules for prosecuting the war criminals.
Even though differences between the US and Soviet prosecutors were numerous, the Allies managed to convict twenty of the twenty-three defendants, with eleven of the defendants condemned to death. On October 16 1946 all of the defendants except for Hermann Goring were hanged. Goring escaped his penalty by eating cyanide capsule the previous evening.
The Beatles and their sons.
Even though it makes perfect sense that a child looks like their parents, it’s still weird when sons and fathers look so similar. Like their fathers, the young Beatle boys have picked up instruments, and you’ve definitely seen some of them play even you don’t know it. Ringo’s lad, Zak Starkey has followed in his father’s footsteps. He’s sat behind the drums for some of England’s biggest bands, including Oasis.
James McCartney is a rock musician in England who’s tossed around the idea of the other Beatle children getting together at the Cavern Club to twist and shout as a group of young Beatles. Sean Lennon is the most visible of the Beatle children, and he’s rocked with everyone from Cibo Matto to Les Claypool, and even his mother, Yoko Ono. Dhani Harrison has played on a ton of records with a wide variety of artists ranging from the Wu-Tang Clan to ELO.
The Medieval Eltz Castle located in Wierschem, Germany, has been owned and occupied by the same branch of family for over 850 years, or 33 generations to be exact
Down this cobblestone path stands one of the most breathtaking sights in the world - Eltz Castle. Located in Münstermaifeld, Germany, Eltz Castle is surrounded by the Elzbach River making it a destination for tourists who want to get the same gorgeous view that’s Germans have been seeing for generations.
While a house was originally on the land in 9th century, construction of the castle began in 1470 and was finished around 1520, but that wasn’t the end of construction on the Eltz property. Each member of the family who’s taken on ownership has added something to the castle, be it a hall or a 10 story house. In the late 19th century the castle was fully restored by Count Karl zu Eltz, and in 2009 even more restoration went underway in order to preserve this gorgeous piece of architecture.
Walt Disney shows a cat his Mickey Mouse drawing, 1931.
Mickey Mouse, the cheerful cartoon mouse, has gone through many changes since his inception as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - an early Disney studio creation. Initially, Mickey was a simple drawing of a mouse with large black dots for eyes - something that would stick for years to come. By 1931 Mickey was moving up the cartoon animal food chain.
Fritz the Cat disappeared from the public consciousness, Mickey was joined by his dog Pluto in The Moose Hunt. A year later, Mickey received his first Academy Award nomination for Mickey's Orphans, and Walt Disney received an honorary Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse.
The actors underneath the Ewok masks for Return of the Jedi, circa 1982
The guys who played the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi were the real heroes of the Star Wars franchise. Not only did they bring these cute creatures to life, but they spent a 12 hour shooting day in these stuffy costumes that could not have been comfortable. There were two casts of 66 little people in total who gave life to the furry creatures, half of them in England and another half that performed the exteriors in Crescent City, CA.
According to People, the helmets that the actors had to wear weren’t fully articulated, which gave the creatures a strange, “wooden” look. Still the Ewoks are some of the cutest creatures from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Jerry Garcia in front of the Grateful Dead’s “Wall of Sound”, 1974.
The Grateful Dead’s “Wall of Sound” wasn’t metaphorical or even sarcastic, it was a legitimate wall of speakers that the group took along with them from show to show in order to rock their audiences as hard as possible. The ever-growing PA system would come to weigh more than 70 tons, and contain hundreds of amps and speakers that stood over three stories tall and 100 feet wide.
In the late ‘60s, live sound ran the risk of becoming muddy if it was too loud, which is why a massive sound system like this was created. With a growing number of musicians in the band, all angling to be heard. The wall wasn’t perfect, but by creating a wall of speakers that worked on different frequencies the band and their merry group of audiophiles started an audio revolution that changed the way we hear live music.
A walking library lady going around London in the 1930s.
It couldn’t have been easy to carry around an entire personal library on your back all day long, even if it was only about 20 books. The books and the wooden carrying case has to be an intense burden on ones back, which is likely why someone so young decided to carry it out. A walking library tended to charge two pents per week per book, which was a pretty good deal if you couldn’t afford anything new.
There were many different kinds of mobile libraries through the ages, but it’s unclear if anyone other than this enterprising young woman was hopping through foggy London with a stack of books on her back.
The construction of Madison Square Garden in New York, 1966.
Madison Square Garden has been built many times over, but the third time was the charm. In 1960 the rights to build the new stadium was purchased from the Pennsylvania Railroad and the original Penn Station was demolished in order to get construction under way. At the time the most amazing part of the new building was its 26 ton oval construction ring. The New York Times reported:
There will be no obstructed views… because the seating arrangement is oval, spectators in the end balcony are closer to the playing surface than those in the top-most seats along the sidelines.
Bobbi Gibb was sent a disqualifying letter saying women weren't physiologically able to run a marathon. Disguised in a hoodie and her brother's bermuda shorts she finished ahead of 2/3rds of male runners
In 1966 Bobbi Gibb made a decision that changed the face of pro-am racing forever. That year, women weren’t yet allowed to run the Boston Marathon - a 26.2 mile race - so Gibb donned her brother’s jogging clothes and a blue hoodie in order to mask her identity. After taking a three day and four night bus ride from San Diego to Boston, Gibb was ready to run.
She’d been training for two years up until the starting pistol went off. As soon as the race started she took off, and as the men around her realized she was a woman they encouraged her to keep pushing. Gibb finished in three hours, twenty-one minutes and forty seconds, before two-thirds of the runners.
The Tin Man at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1939.
When the annual Thanksgiving parade was first introduced, it was a simple affair that took place in Newark, New Jersey. Started by Louis Bamberger, the parade was made up of employees who marched through the streets in colorful costumes. After the tradition was moved to Macy’s in New York City it became a much bigger deal - both in size and in the way it was carried out.
Balloons and floats were introduced, by the ‘30s the parade started to look a little more like the Macy’s Day Parade everyone knows and loves. This Tin Man balloon was followed by the Wicked Witch of the West on a small float.
The Three Stooges in the film, "Three Little Beers" (1935)
The Three Beers was one of the few Three Stooges films that took the comedy trio out of their comfortable sound stages and into the open air. The film sees the Stooges working for the Panther Pilsner Beer company as delivery men. They end up at the Rancho Golf Club where they end up goofing off as only they can.
They filmed on the actual Rancho Golf Course on Pico Boulevard, and in one off of Echo Park Avenue in Los Angeles. If you live in the area you can still visit a few of the locations, although they look nothing like they did when the Stooges were running amuck.
"Girls in Windows" by photographer Ormond Gigli in 1960, there's 43 women in the photograph.
Taken in 1960 by Ormond Gigli, “Girls in Windows” was snapped completely off the cuff. The photo was snapped on New York’s East 58th Street and even though Gigli was a photographer for Time and LIFE, he took this picture for posterity when he noticed a brownstone in his neighborhood being torn down. He told Time:
I had a brownstone [studio] that was right across from it on East 58th Street, and I look out the window one day and I see that they are tearing down the brownstones opposite me – they were old and no one was in them… I had a great staff there [at my studio], so I’m discussing it with my studio manager – if we could get the frames out of the windows, we could shoot a girl in each window. So I had my studio manager go to talk the head demolition guy, and he said ‘yes, but you have to put my wife in the shot!’
The next day during the demolition crew’s lunch hour a group of models and friends showed up in their own clothing and Gigli snapped this amazing photo.
“I don't care that they stole my idea. I care that they don't have any of their own.” - Nikola Tesla
Even though Tesla is now known as one of the most important inventors of the 19th and 20th centuries, at the time when he was working he was nearly in poverty, with many of his inventions and ideas stolen - or at the very least used without Tesla’s permission - by Thomas Edison. It’s believed that Edison nabbed many of Tesla’s inventions when the former inventor worked at Edison’s invention factory, a place were Edison oversaw production of items and then took credit for them.
That being said, the myth that Tesla died penniless because of Edison isn’t true. Tesla was able to bring AC power to America after teaming up with George Westinghouse, and he made a lot of money off of his patent, although he inevitably fell out of favor with his wealthy benefactors for being quite difficult.
“I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.” -Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)
Salvador Dalí is one of the most interesting kooks that was ever gifted to the planet. As an artist, Dalí experimented in a variety of forms. He dabbled in cubism, realism, and even sculpture, although he’s most well known for his surrealist paintings that bend the mind and draw the eye. While living in Spain and France in the 1920s, Dalí’s work took on the look that his work would become famous for throughout the rest of his life.
Dalí wouldn’t truly become the super weird art world figure that everyone knows and loves until the 1930s when he teamed up with Luis Buñuel, an avant garde filmmaker who played a part in the painter going down his surreal rabbit hole.
12 year-old Muhammad Ali on the amateur boxing TV program, “Tomorrow’s Champions,” in 1954.
It’s likely that Muhammad Ali - then Cassius Clay - would never have become a boxer if it weren’t for someone stealing his beloved Schwinn bicycle. When he was only 12 years old a dastardly thief took off with it, and when the young boy reported the bike stolen he told the Louisville police officer that he would beat the thief to a pulp if he was ever found.
That officer was Joe Martin, a boxing trainer who saw something special in the young Clay. Martin took it upon himself to train the young Clay and in only six weeks the boy was duking it out in the ring. He won his first fight in a split decision.
A train carved from the tip of a pencil by artist Cindy Chinn
It takes skill, love, and a whole lot of patience to carve something so detailed from a piece of pencil lead, and Cindy Chinn is the foremost pencil lead artist of the 21st century. On her site, Chinn writes that she can finish about four carvings in about a month, but it depends on the amount of detail that each train requires.
If you love these carvings, Chinn makes trains specifically for people, although she tries to make each one different from the last. She writes:
It’s hard to imagine but each engine is about 3/16″ tall (less than 5mm) and each engine is a different design. Some trains will have a trestle in the middle and in some cases I’ll add a caboose the end of the pencil. I like to make each one unique and try to find interesting pencils to work with.
Agatha Christie spent World War l in Torquay where she served as a nurse at the Red Cross Hospital in the Town Hall, which is when she began to write her first novel.
Before she’d set pen to paper or dreamt up a mystery, Agatha Christie served as a nurse and dispenser in World War 1. She was stationed in Torquay, England - the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the time. During her time in the war, Christie washed and took care of patients, and even cleaned up after amputations.
Of her time in the service Christie wrote, “I would wash [away] all the blood, and stick [the limb] in the furnace myself.” It’s clear to see why she leaned so heavily into the more macabre world of mystery than anything other literary genre.
Cat walking on a huge Victoria water lily pad in the Philippines, 1935. (Photograph by Alfred T. Palmer)
This ain’t your daddy’s lily pad, the Victoria water-lily is a giant plant that can grow up to 8 feet in diameter and have numerous sharp spines on the underside - although the record for these babies is 10 whopping feet in diameter. These plants aren’t just large, they can hold up to 65 pounds, which is why this cat is having no trouble traveling across the water.
Aside from being truly massive, these lilies also grow flowers that only last for 48 hours, just long enough to attract a beetle that can carry its pollen to another area.
Chiefs QB Len Dawson smoking a cigarette at halftime during Super Bowl I (1967)
Ah, the ‘60s, when a quarterback could smoke a cigarette and drink a Fresca on the sidelines and no one would give him guff. This one time Super Bowl champion and 1973 NFL Man of the Year winner is a shining star of football in the mid-century. From 1962 to 1969 he threw more touchdown passes than any other professional football quarterback with a whopping 182, that’s an average of 22.75 a year.
In 1967, the year he was smoking up on the sidelines, Dawson threw for 206 completions. The guy was a beast. He retired from the NFL in 1976, but he’s never strayed from the game. He’s been a commentator for various networks and as of 2019 he works as a sports anchor in Kansas City.
Clark Gable with his 1935 Duesenberg Roadster.
By 1935 Clark Gable was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. After getting his start at MGM, he was making $2,000 a week (roughly $30,000 today) and living the high life. In ’34 he starred in It Happened One Night, a picture that netted Gable the Best Actor award at the Academy Awards. It’s no wonder that after that kind of success he tooled around in a big daddy car like the Duesenberg Roadster.
The Roadster was so expensive that it the manufacturer only made two of them due to its production happening in the middle of the Great Depression. Clark Gable owned one, and his pal Gary Cooper owned the other.
Fred Astaire up in the air! (1940s)
Fred Astaire was easily one of our most affable actors, and definitely the greatest dancer to ever grace the screen. He made every dance, no matter how complicated, look as if it was easy as one, two, three. Even though he was magnificent with a partner, arguably his best work came when he was allowed to cut loose and dance however he saw fit. It was once said that Astaire filmed a dance sequence as many times as it took to get it right, which could mean 30 to 40 times. Of his dancing, Astaire wrote in his autobiography:
I have no desire to prove anything by [my work]. I have never used it as an outlet or as a means of expressing myself. I just dance.
George H. Bush's letter to Bill Clinton on Inauguration Day in 1993.
Frankly, this is such a nice thing to read. So few people are lucky enough to rise to the job of President, and it’s cool to see that George H.W. Bush wanted to make sure that President Clinton felt like he was welcomed into that fraternity. Following the death of President Bush Clinton discussed their friendship in a statement. He wrote:
I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed. From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood.
Harry "The Sundance Kid" Longabaugh and Etta Place shortly before leaving for South America in 1901.
The Sundance Kid is one of the most celebrated outlaws of the Wild West. His exploits with Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch are the basis for a series of Westerns, each one more fun than the other. In 1901, Sundance was on the run from the Pinkerton Detective Agency so he and his gal Etta took off for South America.
Sundance either passed away in the gunfight with Bolivian soldiers after a bank robbery, or he snuck back into America under the name of William Henry Long and lived out the rest of his days in Utah, although this has been disputed. What do you think happened to Sundance?
Here's a Bilateral Gynandromorph Northern Cardinal, which has bilateral asymmetry- meaning one side female and one side male.
As wild as it sounds, it’s not out of the ordinary for a bird to appear to be both male and female. This is a condition known as Bilateral gynandromorphy, in most cases the bird’s left side is female and the right side is male. Most often the Evening Grosbeak has bilateral gynandromorphy, but in 2008 a Northern Cardinal with this genetic disorder was discovered in Rock Island, Il.
The professor and his colleague who watched the bird over the course of two years said that while it was never clear if the cardinal mated, that it was never subject to aggressive attacks from any other birds in the area.
A 16 year-old Wayne Gretzky playing for the Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds in the OHA. (1977-78)
The greatest hockey player of the 20th century had to get his start somewhere. As a young Canuck he was playing hockey from a young age, and by 1977 he was already rocking the ice like a pro twice his age. Supposedly Gretzky was such a skilled player as a young man that he was the ire of several parents who regularly booed him.
At the age of 16 Gretzky scored 72 points in 32 game while playing for the same team, topping his record of 60 points the previous year. In order to play for the Greyhounds Gretzky had to arrange to stay with family friends in order to live a somewhat normal life while playing as a 16 year old on a minor league team.
Hazel Ying Lee was an American pilot who flew for the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. She was the first Chinese-American woman to earn a pilot's license in 1932 at the age of 20.
As a Chinese American pilot in World War II Hazel Ying Lee became a straight up hero. She was born in Portland, Oregon in 1912 and in 1932 she found a love of flying when she went on her first airplane ride at an air show in 1932. Lee started taking flying lessons shortly afterwards in spite of her mother’s objections.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lee joined the WASPs and became the first Chinese-American woman to fly for the United States military. Lee’s missions involved delivering aircraft to Romulus, Michigan where it was shipped to the European front. On November 10, 1944 Lee's plane and another plane collided during a landing, she passed away two days later.
Hitching a ride on the back of a car on the way to the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, NY in 1973.
Everyone knows about Woodstock, the ultimate music festival focused on peace and love, but 1973’s Summer Jam drew even more fans that that fabled festival of peace and love. On July 28, 1973, the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, New York drew nearly 600,000 people to the concert headlined by The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead.
A ticket to the show only cost $10 and tickets sold out fast. The only problem with the show was that Watkins Glen held about 2,700 people which meant that they had no way to handle such a huge influx of young folks. Mail delivery was canceled, stores ran out of beer, and if you wanted to eat you should have brought something. The show went on without a hitch, and there were no instances of violence reported at all. It sounds like 1973 was the real summer of love.
Massachusetts in the fall
If you love foliage then you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t head to Massachusetts in the fall. That’s when there’s a slight chill in the air, and the leaves change from a bright green to colors as broad as rustic gold to a crimson flame. The whole state is a wonder during the fall, but the best spots to visit are off the map.
It’s definitely worth it to take a hike through the hills of Massachusetts to get in all of the changing scenery. Pretty much everywhere you go offers up gorgeous scenery that you won’t forget. And you know you’ll want to have a couple sips of piping hot cider. Can’t you feel fall in the air already?
Muhammad Ali with his winnings, 1974
Where did Muhammad Ali get all that cash? Well, from being the best boxer in the world. While this definitely isn’t Muhammad Ali with all of his money, that would be a wild decision even for this famously motor-mouthed boxer, he definitely earned more than a million bucks over the course of his career. When Clay took this photo he told Sports Illustrated:
If I were like a lot of guys—a lot of heavyweight boxers, I mean—I’ll bet you a dozen doughnuts you wouldn’t be reading this story right now. If you wonder what the difference between them and me is, I’ll break the news: you never heard of them. I’m not saying they are not good boxers. Most of them—people like Doug Jones and Ernie Terrell—can fight almost as good as I can. I’m just saying you never heard of them. And the reason for that is because they cannot throw the jive. Cassius Clay is a boxer who can throw the jive better than anybody you will probably ever meet anywhere.
One of the tallest trees in the world photographed after a snowstorm in Redwood National Park.
The Redwood National Forest in California is the home to some of the largest trees in the world. When you’re among them it’s not out of the ordinary to feel as if you’re standing among giants. Some of these trees grow from 300 to 350 feet tall and 16 to 18 feet across - these trees don’t just tower people, they tower buildings.
While there are trees that people can drive through, the best trees are those that you can stand next to and take in their wonder. During winter they collect so much snow that’s you should watch out when you’re around them unless you want to be on the receiving end of your own personal blizzard.
Siblings Maja and Albert Einstein, 1886.
While growing up with Albert Einstein in Munich, Maja was the only friend of the young genius. While Albert studied at the Luitpold Gymnasium, Maja went to school at the German International School in Milan. The two were separated for quite some time until Benito Mussolini introduced anti-Semitic laws in Italy in the 1930s.
After Mussolini’s laws were put in place, Albert Einstein invited Maja to live with him in the states. She took him up on the offer and the two were together again. In 1947 she suffered a stroke and had to stay bedridden until she passed away in 1951.
The sinister 1960 Cadillac Eldorado
This is truly one devastatingly cool car. In 1960 Cadillac made a few design changes, which ended up with the Eldorado having markedly outlandish fins - even though they were supposedly toned down. The two door Eldorados were both more expensive, and incredibly cool. They had 345-horsepower and a V-8 engine that made sure that this bad boy could tear up the black top.
The devilish rear end design may look like it’s a custom job, but it was actually standard on all Eldorado produced in 1959 and 1960. And yes, this bad boy also had cruise control which was an amazing technological advancement at the time.
Warner Brothers portrait of Loretta Young at Lake Mead in 1931.
Back in 1931 Loretta Young posed at Lake Mead View Point outside of Boulder City, Nevada. This photo was taken as promotional material for Warner Bros, and in other photos in the collection show her with aviator Roscoe Turner. Young got her start as a child actress and by 1931 she was working regularly for studios like MGM and RKO.
In 1931 alone she starred in 10 films, all of which exist in the Library of Congress. Young retired in the 1960s and threw herself into charity work for the rest of her life, dealing with both the homeless and the mentally ill.
A photographer uses a backdrop to hide the aftermath of World War ll while shooting a portrait in Warsaw, Poland in 1946. (Photo by Michael Nash)
Following the end of World War II Warsaw was in ruins after it was bombed to kingdom come by the German Luftwaffe. Warsaw had been home to over a million people before the war, but by 1945 it was estimated that there was an 84 percent loss of Warsaw’s urban architecture, with 72 percent of residential buildings turned to rubble over the course of the war.
During the rebuilding process following the end of the war, the Polish people did what they could to get their lives back on track. This photo shows that people were ready to move on after the war, but that they weren’t yet ready to face the horror of World War II.
Salvador Dali in his goat-drawn carriage, 1953.
Let no one say that Salvador Dalí wasn’t a weird guy. Of course the guy who painted melting clocks and faces within faces would ride around town in a goat drawn cart. Following the end of World War II, Dalí and his wife Gala moved back to Spain and spent his time living leisurely throughout Europe while taking trips to New York.
In the early ‘60s Dalí started leaning into publicity stunts, which is likely when this goat photo was taken. At one point he even signed copies of random books while lying in bed in a Manhattan bookstore as he was hooked up to a machine that measured brain waves.
White ravens are some of the rarest birds in existence; but they aren't albino instead they have leucism or a partial loss of pigmentation and their eyes are typically blue.
As mythological as these animals look, white ravens are a completely normal, albeit rare, form of this scavenger bird. White ravens have leucism, a genetic issue that removes some of the pigment from their bodies and leaves them with blue eyes, which is incredibly cool. It’s rumored that white ravens are shunned by their standard brethren, but research shows that’s not the case.
Photographer Mike Yip has stated that white ravens found on Vancouver Island are known to hang out with black crows while even mating with them. These animals tend to work together to take down larger animals, and they even steal food from their predators.
A very futuristic and sleek Phantom Corsair from 1938.
The 1938 Phantom Corsair is one of the coolest, least sensible cars that’s every been constructed. It was designed by Rust Heinz, an heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune. With a car design as sleek as a bottle of Heinz ketchup, prototypes of the car were built, and they actually sound pretty cool. To get into the car you had to use electric pushbuttons, and there were beverage cabinets in the back seat.
Even as cool as this black behemoth looked, there were no orders for the car when it was announced, which doomed the car. The one prototype that’s known to exist can be found in the William F. Harrah Foundation, National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.
Hocking Hills road in Hocking County, Ohio. (1908)
This rock formation is one of many fascinating arrangements in what’s now known as Clear Creek Metro Park. The area is full of natural wonder and it’s spread over 4.729 acres in the Ohio area. The stone formations are made out of Black Hand sandstone, a coarse conglomeratic quartz rock that’s huge in nature.
In the early 20th century travelers must have had their minds blown by these massive rocks that simply jut out of the ground. You can still drive beneath the rock in this photo if you travel to Ohio, however the road is paved now so you can’t live out your horse and buggy dreams.
In 1919, the first 'Metropolitan Police Women Patrols' took to the streets of London.
The formation of all female police patrols in London became a regular way of life in 1919. The National Union of Women Workers, or the NUWW, were given a year long contract in order to see if they could do the same job as male police officers - although they weren’t given the power of arrest. While this might seem about much ado about nothing, it was a major step towards getting women on the police force.
In December 1922, another major step forward was taken when 50 female officers were sworn into the force with the same powers of arrest as their male counterparts.
Silent film actress Valeska Suratt, 1920.
While most silent film stars were throwing themselves into their flapper girl looks, Valeska Suratt was the first famous goth bae to ever be thrust into the mainstream. Suratt was the first of the “vamps,” early silent film stars who performed with tousled hair and smudged makeup. Hailing from Terre Haute, Indiana, Suratt moved to Chicago and got into vaudeville - supposedly after the Grand Duke Boris of Russia wrote her a check for $10,000.
While appearing in films Suratt wrote beauty advice columns and performing ad spots. Unfortunately all of her films have been lost to time and her photos are the only things that still exist.
The beauty of Paris, 1890s.
The Belle Époque, or the period in time between 1871 to 1914 in Paris was one of the most important times in the city. It saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Métro, and the completion of the Paris Opera. Parisians weren’t aware that they were living in such an amazing time until after World War I. That’s when the nostalgic phrase “Belle Époque” came into vogue.
Even though Paris was in a financial decline during the first part of the Belle Époque, the 1890s were a prime time for department stores in France. At the same time, horse drawn omni busses were traveling across the city in one of many ways for Parisians to get around. It was truly one of the most vivacious times in Europe.
Union Soldiers taking a break,1863. (colorized)
It’s an understatement to say that life for a soldier, Union or otherwise, during the Civil War wasn’t easy. Not only was there the day to day fact that the specter of death was hanging overhead, but there was the loneliness that came with being away from their families for months, and maybe years at a time.
Soldiers either had time dodging bullets on the front lines or life at the camp to keep them busy, much of their downtime away from battle was spent performing drills or playing cards and reminiscing about better times. At least they had each other to talk to.
Where there's a will, there's a way...
It seems impossible that anything could crack through a hefty stone like the one pictured here, but it’s clear that with a little bit effort and a lot of time that anything is possible. Trees that grow through rocks may look wild, but they’re actually some of the strongest pieces of flora in the world. Because of their roots that are growing where no other plant is popping up, they’re exposed to a greater amount of nutrients.
When you see a tree growing through a rock, you’re witnessing a plant that’s succeeding in a hostile environment. In fact, the oldest trees in the world are those growing in a rocky environment.
The pink fairy armadillo, (Chlamyphorus truncatus) which is also known as the pichiciego, is the smallest species of armadillo. They can be found in the deserts and scrub lands of central Argentina.
It’s rare that a new animal pops up that’s can claim the role as the cutest animal on the planet, but the pink fairy armadillo is here to make you swoon and win your heart. The pink fairy armadillo lives in the desert sands of central Argentina where it spends its time digging and looking for tasty invertebrates and plant matter.
The pink fairy armadillo is elusive and biologist Mariella Superina of Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council told Wired that if someone sees one of these cuties above ground it’s because they found something they couldn’t dig through:
The majority of reported sightings we’ve received are from animals that were trying to cross a road or track, or appeared in the middle of a village. The most probable explanation is that the [pink fairy armadillos] encountered a hard substrate through which they couldn’t dig, emerged to cross the obstacle, and were seen by someone.
Paris in the 1950s. (by Robert Doisneau)
Following the end of World War II, Paris attempted to get back to normal, or at least a kind of normal. In the 1950s the French people were dealing with the existential crisis of allowing themselves to be taken over by Germany only a few years earlier. Aside from their personal crises, the country was flooded with young Americans thanks to their parents who worked in the military. At the time, a reporter for LIFE visited Paris to write about the American teens taking to the streets:
Neither boys nor girls think much of frogs' legs, but they know every place in Paris that makes hamburgers and hot dogs and, while having a snack at a sidewalk café, are inclined to dream of the corner drugstore.
When Jim Henson died, Disney Imagineers sent a drawing of Mickey Mouse consoling Kermit to his mourning company
The death of Jim Henson on May 16, 1990 was a major shock to the millions of people who grew up with his work, be it with Sesame Street, The Muppets, or even his darker ‘80s output. Henson created something for everyone, and never made his younger fans feel talked down to. Aside from the Disney Imagineers releasing a photo of Mickey consoling Kermit, Henson’s funeral was a genuine blast.
As per Henson’s request, no one wore black to his funeral, and after a medley of songs performed by Big Bird and the rest of the cast of The Muppets, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band closed out the procession. Frank Oz told LIFE:
It's easy to eulogize somebody. Jim was not perfect. But I'll tell you something - he was a close to how you're supposed to behave toward other people as anyone I've ever known… Without Jim, I'm a pretty serious person at times. He was the leader always, but he allowed us to play. We had so much fun. I can't begin to tell you the fun.