61 Photos From Extraordinary Moments In History
By | February 27, 2023
Get ready for some great historical nuggets of interest and intrigue. We have 36 - count 'em - 36 photos that chart extraordinary, fascinating, and plain bizarre moments in history.
To wet your whistle, not only do we have a young Marilyn Monroe working in a munitions factory, but we also have awestruck photos of the first tattoo lady, the Statue of Liberty's face arriving by boat, Bea Arthur's military ID, a hunky 21 -year old Winston Churchill, and baseball great Lou Gherig's audition photo to play the role of Tarzan.
Let's journey forth into the wild world of imagery intrigue - with photos that will leave you with some great factoids. Onward!
Yay! Woodstock! Smelly hippies and don't take the brown acid. Wooddstock was a 4-day music festival held on a dairy farm in upstate New York which attracted over 400,000 people. In case you didn't know, the movie, Woodstock, is about the Woodstock festival.
Carlos Santana, who performed at Woodstock, was trippin so much on stage that he said his guitar felt like a snake - which caused him to play with a style that would prevent the snake from getting out of his hands. In some weird booking decision, the 1950's retro band, Sha Na Na, went on right before Jimmi Hendrix. The Who's Pete Townsend ended up punching activist Abbie Hoffman, who tried to interrupt their set when he came on stage and attempted a political rant. Hoffman might've been on same drugs as Carlos Santana.
Batgirl Gets Fitted
It's the 1960s, and Yvonne Craig is being dressed for her role as Batgirl for the campy ABC TV show, Batman. Though you can't tell from this photo, Batgirl wore a purple and yellow outfit. It gets better, she also rode around on a purple motorcycle - just like Prince did. How cool is that?
Craig has been called a pioneer of female superheroes for television. She also appeared on Star Trek as the green-skinned Orion slave girl Marta in the episode "Whom Gods Destroy." I haven't seen the episode, but I assume she gets busy with Capt Kirk.
Ann-Margaret takes a ride
Ann-Margaret - hell ya! What's there not to like about this photo. You got young, hot Ann-Margaret, you got a very cool motorcycle, and you got the open road. Viva la America!
One thing I never knew, Ann-Margaret's last name is Olsson. She is a Swedish-American singer/actress who is known for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Cincinnati Kid, Carnal Knowledge, Tommy, and Grumpy Old Men.
Oh yeah, she also starred opposite Elvis Presley in Viva Las Vegas; in fact she was once billed as the female version of Elvis Presley. Trying to capitalize on the 'female Elvis' she recorded a rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel."
This young lady working in a Van Nuys, CA factory in 1944 would soon become a movie star by the name of 'Marilyn Monroe'.
Before Marilyn Monroe was the World's most famous movie star, she worked at a military factory in Van Nuys, CA. Yes, at the height of WW II, young Norma Jean helped the war effects at Radioplane Munitions Factory by assembling parts for airplanes.
The photos of soon-to-be Marilyn assembling drone parts which were taken by David Conover who was on assignment for Yank magazine. helped to launch her career into stardom.
At the time, Conover worked for the U.S. Army Air Force's First Motion Picture Unit. His commanding officer was none other than Ronald Reagan. That's some crazy Back to the Future synchronicity.
The first photo taken of Macchu Picchu in 1911.
Imagine being Macchu Picchu - and not having your photo taken until 1911. Well, there's darn good reason for this. Machu Picchu wasn't discovered until 1911. Well, I mean, Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru, wasn't discovered by an American with a camera before then. That's when American archeologist Hiram Bingham gots his first look and snapped a photo.
Bingham arrived in Peru with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas. Little did he realize he'd be discovering one of the future top tourist destinations in the world.
Way to go, Hiram Bingham!
Telephone ad from 1959.
Which is your favorite phone in this ad? Is it the old-timey phone of the past or the phone of the future? First, I'm wondering why hipsters haven't picked up on the old-timey for their artisan coffee shops. Meanwhile, the phone of the future is...blowing my mind! In 1959, why did they think this would be so futuristic? Was a fatter phone the thing of Ray Bradbury sci-fi novels? And how far ahead were they thinking in the future - was it like 4 months?
Ironically, 1959 was the same year the first car phone was invented. The General Post Office radio telephone service for cars launched in South Lancashire, England.
The first selfie in space by Buzz Aldrin, in the Gemini 12. (1966)
Yes, this is the very first space selfie. In 1966, astronaut Buzz Aldrin took an orbital mission on Gemini 12 and performed the world’s first successful spacewalk. The mission of the Gemini program was to show that astronauts can effectively work outside of spacecraft - which paved the way to the first moon landing in 1969. The flight lasted a total of 5 hours and 30 minutes. The spacecraft is now on display at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
And, as stated, the mission gave Buzz Aldrin some selfie-taking time. As they say, the mission was one small step for selfies, one giant leap for selfie-kind.
They actually measured how the size of the donut hole changed through the years of 1927, 1937 to 1948.
How could this be? I'm I seeing things correctly - or did the size of donut holes go down between the years of 1927 to 1948. I blame the illuminati. It seems like a good thing; that just means there's more donut to eat with a smaller hole. No complaints here. Though, if I owned a donut production factory, a smaller hole could dip into profits. Where's the compromise? If this trend continued, then the donut would've eventually evolved into a small cake.
One theory for the smaller donut holes; with the invention of the first donut machine it become easier to make donuts with smaller holes. On a more serious note: Smaller donut holes could also prevent donut breakage.
The Statue of Liberty's face, 1886.
This is kind of creepy. But cool. But creepy. And no, this isn't a scene from the Nicholas Cage/John Travolta movie, Face Off. The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from France and was dedicated in the New York Harbor in 1886. It was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame.
But what's this no-assembly policy, France? If you look at this photo, apparently The Statue of Liberty was like an Ikea couch and needed to be unpacked and put together. The face of the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York in 1885.
This group of children shucked oysters for 4 hours before going to school for half a day, then returned to schuck oysters for another 3 hours at the Maggioni Canning Company in Port Royal, South Carolina.
Crazy enough, the Maggioni Canning Company in Port Royal, South Carolina is still in operation to this day. But holy shades of child labor laws! These old-timey kids had to split their time going to school and working at the canning company shucking oysters. But these kids look pretty happy, don't they? Maybe oyster shucking was a good thing for children?
L. P. Maggioni and Company first began operation in 1870 and was started by an Italian immigrant. It's now South Carolina’s largest provider of wild harvested bushels and single oysters. So a big thanks go out to all the children who had to put in their school days to make this happen.
Vivien Leigh napping on the set of "Gone With the Wind" in 1939.
Frankly Scarlett I don't give a damn if you nap!
Yes, even stars of iconic, classic movies need a little rest. Thus the case in 1939 when Vivien Leigh took a nap on the set of Gone with the Wind. This was the first film in color to win an Academy Award. Though things were sometimes rocky on set.
Leigh hated kissing Clark Gable because she said he had bad breath. It didn't help matters that Gable would sometimes eat garlic before his kissing scenes with her.
Barbara O'Neil, who played Leigh's mother was 28 at the time, while Leigh was only 25.
Maud Stevens Wagner was the first known female tattoo artist in the US, 1907
I think I've seen this woman wandering around my Brooklyn neighborhood. Except, Maud Stevens Wagner was born in 1877.
She was a performer in a traveling circus and worked in sideshows. She got her tattoo start after she met her husband who was a sailor who traveled the world and said he learned to tattoo from the tribesmen in Janva and Borneo.
Maud loved his tattoos and received tattoo lessons in exchange for a date. The two fell in love and were later married - which meant more tattoos and more tattoo lessons. Maud and her husband specialized in hand-poked tattoos, despite the widespread of tattoo machines.
And the rest is tattoo history!
Burt and Loni are happy...for the moment
Burt Reynolds married Loni Anderson in April 1988. The had a quiet 20-minute ceremony on Burt's Florida ranch - that was also attended by five paparazzi helicopters circling over the ceremony -while throngs of reporters positioned themselves outside the gates.
Their marriage ended five years later but it took another 22 years to completely sever financial ties. That sounds a little bitter and like an ugly split.
Reynolds later said the marriage “was a really dumb move on my part." Adding: “I should have known that you don’t marry an actress. It wasn’t lollipops and roses.”
Masks worn by doctors during the Plague
Any historical tidbit about The Plague always gets me giddy. During his era, doctors would wear bird beak masks to protect them from being infected by, well, the plague. They believed the disease was airborne and was spread by miasma, which is a noxious form of "bad air."
To battle this perceived threat, the long beak was packed with such sweet smells as dried flowers, herbs and spices. Also the bird-beak mask provided the doctors with creepy award-winning costumes for any fancy dress party they might be attending.
The doctors' attempt at safety backfired in the sense that the bird masks became a symbol of the Black Death. Not to mention who creepy it most have made patients feel.
Marilyn has got to be my favorite of The Munsters. My second favorite is either Grandpa or Eddie Munster. Named for Marilyn Monroe, and played by several different actresses, the deal with Marilyn Munster was she was considered homely and unattractive by the rest of her monster family members.
Marilyn was originally played by Beverley Owen, who took the role because she thought the show would never succeed. But it did and she had to move from New York to Los Angeles. On numerous occasions, she was seen depressed and crying in the studios. She was fired but went on to marry future Sesame Street writer and director Jon Stone.
Who needs a pony when you can ride a boar, this boy saddled up his boar for a ride in the 1930s.
If there was ever a kid to ride a board - this small child has the perfect face for it. I'm pretty positive that he and the boar have the exact same expression. Then again, we aren't actually seeing the kid on top of the boar and riding away. It darn pretty much looks like he's "standing" near a boar - that could be rode.
Both boars and pigs are smart creatures. A boar is simply an intact male pig. So this board should be smart enough to know he doesn't want some kid in short pants on top of him.
Working hard to dig this locomotive out of snow after the Great Plains Blizzard in 1949.
You know that a blizzard is bad when it buries an entire train. In 1949, a blizzard whipped through the northern plains and was considered one of the worst in history - with heavy snow, sleet, cold temperatures, and winds of 50 - 70 miles per hour. Enormous snow drifts paralyzed much of the Midwest region. Airplanes were used to bring in food and medical supplies to isolated towns because snow blocked roads and railways.
Trains, submerged in snow drifts, had to be dug out by hand. Dynamite was also used to loosen ice-encrusted snow - to set the trains free. Conversely, hot chocolate sales went up during this period.
Marcia Marcia Marcia!
Maureen McCormick played Marcia Brady on the Brady Bunch - which ran from 1969 to early 1974, Friday nights on ABC. Her hot looks and perky personality made people scream, "Marcia Marcia Marcia!" Ma
But there was a dark side to this adulation. This came in the form of Jan Brady (played by Eve Plumb) who was not a fan of all the attention that was given to her older sister. Marsha was the popular girl to second fiddle Jan.
Did we mention that all the Brady kids had to share one bathroom and their dad was an architect who designed their house? What was up with that?
Bea Arthur ("Maude") in her U.S. Marine Corps ID photo, 1943. She was one of the first members of the Women's Reserve and, aside from driving military trucks, Arthur was also a typist.
Before Bea Arthur played "Maude" on TV's Maude and Dorothy Zbornak on TV's Golden Girls, she was in the U.S. Marine Corps. Why is that not too surprising from the tall actress with the deep voice?
During World War II, Arthur worked as a truck driver and typist in the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve. She earned the rank of Staff Sergeant before receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1944.
Arthur also worked as a licensed medical technician before moving to New York City in 1947 - where she enrolled in the School of Drama at The New School.
And the rest is Bea Arthur history...
Beautiful abandoned place.
This is creepy and cool - all at the same time. This abandoned abode looks like it was once inhabited by The Munsters.
Hmmm, I wonder what the asking price is for this property? Sure it would need a little fixing up - but it would make for a nice weekend getaway place. Then again, we did learn some lessons about fixing up properties from the 1986 Tom Hanks vehicle, The Money Pit - where they bought a house for a suspiciously low price. Most likely, doors will fall off their hinges, staircases will come tumbling down, and a bathtub will fall through the floor.
Grace Slick was hot back in the day - and that say was during the 1960s. Slick was a former model who jumped to fame with the San Francisco psychedelic music scene. She's best known for performing with the Jefferson Airplane - whose best known song is White Rabbit.
The Jefferson Airplane rebranded in the 70s - and changed their name to The Jefferson Starship. They went on to do the theme song, Nothing's Going To Stop Us Now, to the Andrew McCarthy movie, Mannequin - which was about a mannequin that comes to life. And then there's some sort of love story.
Portable Christmas music to get one into the Holiday spirit while doing the dinner preparation during the 1950s.
Check this out -here's how they did portable music back in old-timey days. This housewife looks absolutely delighted to be partaking in some Christmas music with the Pandora of the day. Imagine a time when you actually had to put your stereo system on a cart in order to listen to music while in the kitchen while holding a roast dinner.
Around this time, portable battery-operated reel-to-reel tape recorders were introduced to the public - but were a bit pricey. Cassette decks were introduced in the 60s for home use - and became the portable music of choice for those making Christmas dinner.
A dashing 21 year-old Winston Churchill in 1895.
Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945. That term went so well, that Churchill decided on a sequel to this term and became Prime Minister again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill's big claim to fame was leading Britain to victory in World War II.
Known for looking like a bulldog, and having a big appetite for Scotch, here's a photo of young Churchill from back in 1895. He was a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars regiment of the British Army and he earned a wage of £150 a year. Later that same year, he traveled to Cuba where he observe the county's war of independences.
Portrait of a Victorian bride.
According to an article in the April 19, 1901 edition of the Islington Gazette, "a spinster bride of forty is becoming more and more frequent, especially in high society.” Yes, as the Victorian era was coming to a close, some women were seeing the advantage of marrying a little later in life, once the women has gained maturity and life experience. This was part of the changing norms of society - where high society Victorian brides were usually between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five.
In the case of this photo, this women looks like she could star in the Tim Burton movie, Corpse Bride.
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and their grandchildren on a Christmas card from 1987.
First of all, great use of kilts in this Royal Family photo. The second thing that sells me is the shoes. In 1987, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip pose with their four grandchildren: Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, and Zara Phillips.
The holiday cards usually reflect what's going on in the world and with the Royal Family. What's going on in 1987 is The Year of the Kilt.
Sweet teenage couple listening to records back in 1948. *Note the milk and cookies.
This is what it was like to be a teenager back in 1948. You would put on records, pour a glass of milk, and eat some cookies. What more would you want? Note that no one in this photo is checking their iPhone or checking a Facebook feed. These were much simpler times.
Here's some trivia, the word "teenager" was not even a word until the late 1940s. The word "teenager" was like the word "millennial" of today. Life Magazine of the day wrote, "the modern notion of the teen years as a recognized, quantifiable life stage, complete with its own fashions, behavior, vernacular and arcane rituals."
The first drive-in theatre in California. (Los Angeles, 1935)
I love drive-ins. You get to sit in your car and watch a movie. The first drive-in movie theater opened its gates in 1933 and was located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey.The concept was the baby of Richard Hollingshead, who not only loved movies but was a sales manager at his father’s company, Whiz Auto Products, in Camden.
Before opening for business, Hollingshead experimented in the driveway of his house with different projection and sound techniques. He mounted a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car, pinned a screen to a trees, and placed a radio behind the screen for sound. He opened Park-In Theaters, Inc. less than a month later. And the rest is drive-in history.
A Kenyan woman holding her dik-dik in Mombassa. (1909)
This photo looks like something taken during New York Fashion Week. But it's actually from 1909 and a Kenyan woman holding a dik-dik. What's a dik-dik, you say? Good question.
A dik-dik is a small antelope that lives in the bushlands of eastern and southern Africa. These tiny critters stand about 12 inches and weigh roughly 7 lbs. Dik-diks are named for the alarm calls of the females. ("Dik-dik!") Both the male and female dik-dik make a shrill, whistling sound to alert other animals that predators are in the vicinity.
A policeman in New York City stops traffic so a cat can carry its kittens safely across the street, 1925.
1925 was a whole different New York City. And 1925 had a whole different New York City police force. Here's an old-timey officer stopping traffic so a cat can pass while carrying its kitten.
During this era in New York City history, immigrant families started moving into specific neighborhoods in and around Manhattan. Thus why we have Little Italy and Hell's Kitchen. Though, the Immigration Act of 1924 severely limited the number of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. Also, the 1920 census showed Brooklyn was the most populous borough over Manhattan.
Still, it was a carefree time; especially for kittens crossing busy city streets.
Doris Eaton Travis in 1920. She was a dancer, stage and film actress, dance instructor, writer and rancher, who was the last of the acclaimed Ziegfeld girls.
Talk about an old time hottie. Doris Eaton was the last of the renown Ziegfeld girls - who began performing on Broadway when she was 13-years old. In 1981, Eaton joined the Ziegfeld Follies and was the youngest cast member of the show. She performed in stage shows and silent movies throughout the 20s and 30s.
Later in life, Eaton took on a career as an Arthur Murray dance instructor and local television personality in Detroit. Being a Ziegfeld girl must be good for you health, Eaton lived to be 106 and died in 2010 - one month after her last performance.
Old photo of one of the famous gargoyles at Notre Dame.
Who doesn't love gargoyles? They always remind me of the movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Gargoyle comes from the Latin word, meaning gullet or drain. This particular gargoyle is perched on top of Notre Dame Cathedral and oversees Paris. The gargoyle has a passageway inside that carries rainwater from the roof and out of the gargoyle's mouth - making it look like its spitting on Parisians. In reality, the gargoyles prevent deterioration of the cathedral's masonry.
Gargoyles have been used throughout history. In Ancient Egypt, they took the form of a lion's head. They could also be found on Greek temples. These type of statue spouts were even found in the ruins of Pompeii.
Some very brave New York painters in the 1930s.
Before there were extreme sports and the X Games - there were guys like this in the 1930s who painted skyscrapers. Look at them just hanging there - like it were the most ordinary thing in the world.
Skyscrapers continued to grow in height throughout the 1920s. After World War I, a real estate boom occurred in the U.S. which cased a surge in the construction of new skyscrapers. A large part was improvements in technology. Building steel frame became efficient while improvements in elevator design made tall buildings easier to ascend without pesky stairs.
And thus, rise of tall building caused the need to paint tall buildings - that's where these guys came in.
Young girl posing with a Komodo Dragon at the London Zoo in the 1930’s.
Apparently in the 1930s, the London Zoo had no problem with little girls grabbing a Komodo Dragon by the tail. The London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It opened it's doors for animal loves in April 1828 and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. Maybe this little girl is conducting a scientific experiment to see if a Komodo Dragon would scream if pulled by the tail?
The zoo eventually opened to the public in 1847. It now houses 698 species of animals, with 20,166 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.
Stewardesses working for Southwest Airlines of Texas wearing hot pants and leather boots in 1972.
When was the last time you saw a flight attendant wear hot pants and leather go-go boots? Is there some place we could write to get this work uniform reinstated?
Southwest Airlines began operation on March 15, 1967. The company was originally called Air Southwest Co. and was intended to fly only within the state of Texas. In 1971, it changed its name to Southwest Airlines and moved its headquarters in Dallas. The airline flew only two routes: between Dallas Love Field and Houston Intercontinental Airport and between Dallas Love Field and San Antonio.
Soon after, hot pants and go-go boots were made the mandatory uniform.
Stella Grassman being tattooed in the early 1900s
So you might already know that Maud Stevens Wagner was the first known female tattoo artist in the United States. Well, what about Stella Grassman? Back in the early 1900s, a woman covered in tattoos was considered a sideshow oddities. Stella Grassman was one of the most famous. Her moniker was the aptly named: “Tattooed Lady.” She came into fame in the late 1920s when she worked for the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Stella and her husband who is in the photo (he went by the name Deafy) owned a tattoo shop on the Bowery in New York.
No longer a circus oddity, I'm sure I saw about a dozen Stella Grassman contemporaries in Williamsburg this past Saturday night.
Death-defying mountain goats are seen climbing the steep dam wall in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park. Wow!
To me, it looks like these mountain goats are kissing the dam wall in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park. But they are actually climbing up the face of the wall. I mean, they don't call them mountain goats for nothing. But these extreme goats are actually grazing - they are licking the stones of the dam for their salts and minerals. Sure, there might be an easier way - but no one told these goats about it. Apparently, they have no fear of falling to a grizzly death.
These goats are skilled climbers because they live in very steep and rocky terrain at altitudes of up to to 4,600m and have no fear of falling. So if you're traveling in the region - look out falling goats could be possible.
Buddy Holly recording at Bradley's Barn in Nashville, 1956.
After graduating from Lubbock High School in 1955 Holly decided to become a full time musician. After seeing Elvis Presley perform in Texas he managed to get himself booked by that show’s promoter as an opening act for Bill Haley & His Comets. Holly, then going by his original name “Holley,” shined onstage and wound up with a contract from Decca Records.
The label brought him out to Nashville where he recorded a session on January 26, 1956. Unfortunately the label picked the musicians and arrangements, something that Holly became frustrated with. After the failure of his initial single he left Nashville and Decca Records to form The Crickets, and in doing so changed the face of rock n roll.
Christopher Reeve as "Superman"
As Superman, Christopher Reeve made us believe that a man could fly. Looking back at his run in the blue tights throughout the ‘70s and ’80s it’s obvious that there was never anyone more suited to playing that character, however during pre-production of Richard Donner’s film there was quite the search for the actor to play the Man of Steel.
Initially the studio wanted an A-list actor to portray Superman. They went after Robert Redford, Sylvester Stallone, and Paul Newman, but nothing materialized with these actors. Their initial thought about Christopher Reeve was that he was too skinny, but after he bulked up considerably he finally wowed casting agents and producers who turned him into the last son of Krypton.
Cool photo of Phil Collins from 1980.
Well who’s this English ruffian right here? Why it’s none other than Phil Collins, the drummer/singer-songwriter who made us all air drum to the world’s greatest fill. This was taken right around the recording of “In The Air Tonight,” while he was working out of a townhouse in London on what many people consider to be his greatest album.
In 1980 he was in the middle working on the songs that would populate “Face Value,” his first solo album. Initially he recorded most of the songs to an 8-track before moving them over to a 24-track for overdubs.
Great photo of a very handsome Paul Newman in Venice, Italy. (1963
By 1963 Paul Newman already had a career that many actors would dream of. He’d received an Academy Award nomination for his roles in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Hustler, and he was married to the love of his life. But in many ways 1963 was the turning point in Newman’s career. He starred in three movies that year, with his role in Hud earning him a slew of best actor nominations.
In the next few years he would go on to star in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the criminally underrated Hombre. The ‘60s were a huge year for Newman, but he’d only grow more successful as the 20th century went on. In this photo he seems to be basking in the glory of his life so far.
Helen Mirren (1970)
Helen Mirren is one of those actresses who you sneaks up on you. It’s easy to discount her, but when you start looking at her filmography it’s clear that she’s been in an avalanche of films in the last half of the 20th century. There’s some hyperbole there but her filmography speaks for itself. By 1970 Mirren had only been in a few movies, but she was already the subject of the documentary Doing Her Own Thing.
Her onstage credentials were nearly as impressive as her film work, and shortly after appearing in the documentary she went onto star as Lady M in the Scottish Play. As the decades went it was impossible to miss her on screens both big and small.
Hitchhiker in California, 1968.
If you’ve ever been to LA then you know how hard it can be to get around without your own personal Batmobile at your disposal. It’s likely that this Batman hitchhiking still was a promotional photo for the Batman series that premiered in 1966 and ended in 1968. The show had a campy vibe that was ahead of its time.
However, if that’s not the case then this is either the real Batman or some joker has a truly fantastic costume. Hopefully he was able to get a ride back to Gotham, although we’re not sure if that’s off the 101.
Los Angeles blues rock band "Canned Heat" in 1968.
They may be underrepresented in the canon of rock and blues in the 21st century, but in the late ‘60s Canned Heat was a band that every music fan absolutely had to see to believe. While the group loved to jam on a tasty groove, they’re most popular for the song “Going Up the Country,” which has been heard in commercials and remains a staple on ‘60s playlists.
The song became the unofficial theme song of the original Woodstock festival, and catapulted to number 11 on the US Billboard charts. The band - although not in its original form - is still playing to this day.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" 1969.
Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of those decade defining films that couldn’t have been made in any other era. The film is poignant, funny, and it feels like it’s commenting directly on the attitudes of 1969 without being in your face about it. Is it any wonder that it was written by William Golding?
These two cool western cats are truly some of the most interesting cowboy heroes of the genre - mostly because they spend the entire film running away from a fight rather going in head first. It’s that kind of off the wall thinking that makes this movie so interesting.
Robert Plant with The Runaways in 1975.
Okay, now this is a seriously cool photo. Get out your Cool-O-Meters and hold it up to your monitor. See that? It’s off the charts. In 1975 plant was in his final years with Led Zeppelin, but that didn’t make him any more of a legendary rock figure. Even though The Runaways were punks before punk was a thing, there’s no way they were going to turn down a chance to hang with Plant.
What was a rock god doing hanging out with these young upstarts? He was supposedly looking for new bandmates. Lita Ford said:
[He] asked me if I could play bass. ‘For who?’ I asked. ‘Led Zep.’ He might have been drinking or pulling my leg, but he seemed to be dead serious in the moment.
Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) and Jim (Gene Wilder) in a scene from the hilarious Mel Brooks film, "Blazing Saddles" -1974.
Regardless of decade, Blazing Saddles is still one of the funniest movies that’s ever been made. Mel Brooks, along with Richard Pryor and a few other writers, tapped into the sensibilities of the 1970s and created one of the most offensive, and jaw droppingly funny pieces of entertainment ever. Brooks and company skewered every race, gender, and preference in under two hours - and audiences loved it.
It’s safe to say that if you throw a 10 gallon hat you’ll hit a fan of Blazing Saddles. The movie continues to bring joy while making audiences think about their prejudices (but not too hard).
Singer/actress Chris Noel hosted her own radio show for the GIs in Vietnam. She did (4) tours of Vietnam and her helicopter was shot down twice. (Photo from 1966)
While she did some acting, Chris Noel is most well known for her Armed Forces radio show, “A Date With Chris Noel.” This series ran throughout the Vietnam war while she traveled from base to base meeting troupes. She played records for the GIs and met as many of them as possible, even when she was under threat of death. She said:
I felt really protected. And once I started getting into those helicopters, I just loved it. What’s weird is that now, when I get into helicopters, I freak. Back then, one time the hydraulic system went out in a helicopter and we went down… that was scary.
The Bangles, 1986.
Are you walking like an Egyptian yet? Formed in 1981 by Susanna Hoffs, and sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson, The Bangles are one of those bands that would probably have hit it big in any era. Not only do they look cool, but their songs all have a timeless pop sensibility about them that makes you tap your toes regardless of whether you’ve heard the song before or not.
The band has rubbed elbows with major rock royalty in their time on stage. One of their biggest hits “Manic Monday” was written by Prince, and in 1988 Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers called them to the studio to sing back up on the Tom Petty solo gem “Waiting For Tonight.”
The Beatles performing at Shea Stadium in 1965.
On August 15th, 1965 The Beatles made one of the greatest rock n roll triumphs when they played New York City’s Shea Stadium for 56,000 screaming fans. The lads from Liverpool played in the center of the stadium while standing on top of a barely functional platform. Regardless of the lack of on stage monitors, or the ability to hear anything but their fans, the band rocked anyway.
It wouldn’t be long for The Beatles to return from live performance forever, so if you were at this show then you really got to see something special. If you were, throw on your Chelsea boots and shout “Help!”
The Queen of Halloween herself, "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" in a promo photo for Movie Macabre in 1982.
In the early ‘80s there was a glut of B-horror movies floating around, and the best way to watch them was by tuning into Elvira’s Movie Macabre. The series featured Cassandra Peters dressed in her now classic goth-punk barely there outfit with a beehive hairdo and and pancake makeup. There was nothing better than watching Elvira make fun of bad movies in her classic valley girl tone.
Elvira was so instantaneously popular that Knott’s Berry Farm asked her to take over hosting duties for its annual Halloween Haunt during October. Since then she’s been in movies, TV shows, and she can still be seen at horror conventions to this day. As if!
In 1978 John Carpenter changed cinema forever with the release of Halloween. It wasn’t the first slasher movie, but it’s still one of the best. Aside from introducing Michael Myers, he also showed the world exactly what a young Jamie Lee Curtis could do. In the film she’s smart, funny, and brave, all the while on the run from a knife wielding maniac.
Even though the film is set in Haddonfield, Illinois on October 31, it was actually filmed in Pasadena, California in April - a decidedly not so spooky time of the year. Halloween is still as terrifying today as it was in the grooviest of eras.
Barbara Eden in this "I Dream of Jeannie" Halloween photo is simply magical!
I Dream Of Jeannie never had a Halloween episode per se, but really when your show revolves around a genie who’s in love with an astronaut isn’t every episode technically a Halloween episode? Aren’t “genie” and “astronaut” two of the most popular Halloween costumes? Whatever the case, Barbara Eden has been down to goof off, a fact that’s never been more apparent than in promo photos for her show.
This Halloween based photo is likely in reference to the fact that I Dream Of Jeannie was a reaction to Betwitched, another series about a magical creature falling in love with a regular guy.
Bob Ross, 1980s.
Was there ever anyone as soothing as Bob Ross? Even if you weren’t painting along with this zen master it was nice to put him on the tube and watch this afro wearing Picasso paint an island in the wilderness or a set of placed trees planted on a hill side. When Ross was asked about being so laid back he responded:
I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, ‘Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.’ That's for sure. That's why I paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it. Shoot, if you want bad stuff, watch the news.
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) getting some much needed shade in the desert while filming "Star Wars/ Episode IV- A New Hope" (1977)
A New Hope was filmed mostly on location in Tunisia, and while the sweltering African desert makes for a spectacular viewing experience, it was a nightmare for filming. Anthony Daniels, the actor behind C-3PO, injured himself almost immediately after getting in the suit. He took two steps and the left leg piece shattered and injured his foot.
So why does Daniels keep coming back to the role that continually injures him? He told PEOPLE, “It is only I who wears the suit. Nobody else is crazy enough.” Well for our sake and the rest of the fans, stay crazy.
Dennis Hopper in a scene from the movie, "Easy Rider" (1969)
If anyone was ever truly born to be wild it’s Dennis Hopper, the maestro behind Easy Rider, one of the most important artifacts of the groovy era. Even though Hopper is thought of as an actor who fried most of his brain cells in the early ‘60s, his contribution to cinema can’t be understated. It was his idea to follow to bikers on a trip through America, and to blend of the moment rock n roll with the film’s narrative.
While making the film Hopper got on everyone’s last nerve. He forced co-star Peter Fonda to relive painful memories, he ran up expensive bills, and he drank almost non-stop, fueling his paranoia. Somehow he managed to create one of the most endearing encapsulations of the ‘60s into just over 90 minutes of film.
Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and his son Jason, early 1970s.
Ask any fan of rock n roll and they’ll tell you that John Bonham is one of the greatest drummers of all time. In his short time on Earth he was able to bring down the thunder oh Valhalla to back up English wizards Led Zeppelin. When Jason was old enough to beat the skins along with his pop, he learned from the best and quickly became one of the most sought after summers of the ‘80s onward.
He’s filled in for his dad with Zep, and he’s backed up some of your favorite bands. Whether you like ripping shredders like UFO or pop rockers like Foreigner, Jason Bonham can handle it all.
The charming "Bewitched" witches in their Halloween photo.
For a specific brand of spooky kid growing up in the groovy era, the late ‘60s were a wonderful time for television. When Bewitched premiered in 1964 it was truly a groundbreaking show in terms of blending magical realism, horror, and off the wall comedy, and at the center of it all was Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens.
Montgomery was so popular in the role of Samantha that she received multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, while also appearing in a series of Japanese television commercials for Mother chocolate where she twitched her nose as a nod to one of the greatest shows of all time!
Victoria Principal in the 1970s.
Before she was taking our breath away as Pamela Ewing on Dallas, Victoria Principal was a young woman studying acting in New York City and in London. However, she almost didn’t make it that far. While studying medicine at Miami–Dade Community College she was struck by a drunk driver while heading home one evening.
Following the accident Principal spent months in recovery. She even thought she’d have to take all of her first year college courses again. However, this account inspired her to finally take up acting for real. Two years after this photo was taken she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.
Natalie Wood Hanging Out In The 1970s
After receiving a wild amount of success in the ‘50s and ‘60s Natalie Wood took somewhat of a break beginning in 1970. During her time away from the screen she had her first child, Natasha Gregson, and she got back together with actor Robert Wagner. Of this period, her sister Lana later said:
Her marriage was considered to be one of the best in Hollywood, and there is no question that she was a devoted, loving — even adoring — mother and stepmother. She and R. J. had begun with love and built from there. They had overcome each other's problems and had reached an accommodation with time and the changes time brings. As with anybody else who has settled into making a long marriage work, they were far more determined than most people to make it work...
Jacqueline Bisset Stands In A Frame Within A Frame, 1970s
Jacqueline Bisset was kicking around Hollywood for a while before she was finally crowned the mega-watt star that we all remember. She appeared in Two For The Road, and gave a memorable performance in the 007 spoof Casino Royale, but she really came into her own when she starred in Airport, the high grossing disaster flick from 1970.
From there the sky was the limit for this actress. She continued to star in big budget films while appearing in European classics like François Truffaut's Day for Night. While her career cooled in the '80s, she never really went away, and later she became the godmother to Angelina Jolie.
Beautiful British actress Julie Christie, 1965.
You know this award winning actress from films like McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shampoo, and Nashville, but before she was taking on major roles in these films, Christie was appearing as a character actress and stealing scenes from huge actors all throughout the ‘60s. In 1965 alone she appeared in two breakthrough films - Darling and Doctor Zhivago.
Each of those films received a fair share of critical praise, however her role in Darling garnered her the most praise. As Diana Scott she received an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe. This was just the beginning of her major awards run.