Iconic Photographs Not Suitable For All Viewers
By | January 7, 2023
The following photos are some of the most fascinating shots that have ever been taken. Even if you think you’ve seen them before… look closer. Some of these pictures tell mature stories about our nation’s history, others show a different side of people like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra.
These snapshots provide insight into some of the most tumultuous moments from history. Each era had its own struggles and successes, and they’ve all been captured here.
History books paint the past in one specific light, without compromise, and that’s why these photos are so important. They take our preconceived notions of history and turn them upside down.
Remember to look closely at the following images… everything is not what it seems.
Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett were two of the most famous people on the planet in the 1970s. Not only was he the $6 Million Man, but she fought crime as a member of Charlie’s Angels, and more importantly she was the focus of the world’s most popular poster.
Majors claims that he’s the guy who chose the famous photo for Fawcett, the one with Fawcett in a tight red swimsuit. Being a couple was more than just figuring out which swimsuits to wear, the two fame-os also kept each other company while facing down photographers. He told People:
It was hard to get around. It was not quite as hard as it is today with everyone has a cellphone and the social media is so quick. Back then we only had to deal with the paparazzi at large. A lot of time you could evade them, but not all the time.
Always a performer, Lynda Carter didn’t always want to be on the screen. Early on she had her eyes on being a singer, but she didn’t know how to get on stage with a band behind her.
Her performance life got a jump start when she was 21 years old and entered into a beauty pageant in Arizona. After becoming Miss World America in 1972 she could write her own check.
Carter toured with a band for a while, but producers who caught her during the pageant had ideas outside of helping her career in rock. They started casting her in small roles on television and she never looked back.
During the Great Depression the most well educated and hard working people were unable to find even the most menial of jobs. It’s not that these people weren’t looking for work, it’s that there was no money to go around. This destroyed companies and workers alike from the top down.
It just just how bad things were that this person who was a proud veteran with more skills than most people was unable to get a job. Many people had to travel west to find work as itinerant fruit and vegetable pickers, although just as many people tried to stick it out wherever they were hoping that things would pick up.
This is one of those photos that’s impossible to look away from. It has everything that a guy could want, two gorgeous ladies and a pair of major assets. It’s also got a story that’s more than meets the eye.
According to Hollywood legend, this shot was snapped while Sophia Loren, the Italian stunner, was trying to keep herself in check while Jayne Mansfield upstaged her with a low cut dress. However, the truth is much less dramatic.
In 1957 Paramount threw a party to welcome Sophia Loren to Hollywood. Jayne Mansfield was on the guest list so she showed up in order to get a little press.
Loren says that Mansfield strutted towards her table and struck a pose for the photographers. Loren says that she didn’t care that Mansfield was doing whatever she had to for press, that’s just the way thins were done back in the day.
As much as this looks like a prank, this article about the ubiquitous nature of the telephone is one hundred percent real. It’s fascinating. This article from the Tacoma News Tribune, from April 11, 1953, features and oddly prescient prediction about the future of cell phone technology.
The writer, Mark R. Sullivan, notes that people will be surrounded by telephones wherever they go, unable to get away from them even if they don’t want to be around them. He writes:
Just what form the future telephone will take is, of course, pure speculation. Here is my prophecy:
In its final development, the telephone will be carried about by the individual, perhaps as we carry a watch today. It probably will require no dial or equivalent, and I think the users will be able to see each other, if they want, as they talk. Who knows but what it may actually translate from one language to another?
If you can’t remember anything else from Fast Times at Ridgemont High you can remember that one special scene where Phoebe Cates rises from the pool in a bikini. Every teenager who saw it was changed forever.
While many actresses are reticent to perform scenes with no clothes, Cates says that she wasn’t really worried about how her work was received. She explained:
I was only 17 when I did [those] scenes in Paradise. They were serious and more difficult because they were not easily justified. But the topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High was funny, which made it easy.
The Blackfoot were an extremely nomadic tribe of Native Americans who formed near the Great Lakes before stretching out across a vast plot of land from Edmonton, Alberta to South Dakota, and into the area of Montana that we now know as Glacier National Park.
As a peaceful tribe, the Blackfoot lived in harmony with the land until the 19th century when European and American explorers came to the area and worked out a way to cede it from the Native people.
The sale of the land occurred in 1895 after Chief White Calf reached an agreement with the American government, netting them about 800,000 acres for $1.5 million on top of the promise that the Blackfeet would be able to maintain hunting rights on the land.
After Pearl Harbor, when America was called to take their armed forces to the eastern hemisphere and join forces with the Allies, the men of just about every family in North America joined the military to defend the freedom. Many men didn’t return from their posts, whether they were sent to Germany, Japan, or somewhere in between.
This makes it all the more inspiring that 10 brothers managed to enlist and survive the ordeal that claimed the lives of so many other people. Were they just a lucky family? Or did the Lusenkos just manage to be in the right place at the right time?
However their time in the military worked out, the Lusenko family must have been so happy to have their 10 patriarchs back.
Supermodel Christie Brinkley, 1978.
Believe it or not but Christie Brinkley was discovered in line at the post office. That’s right, you never know what’s going to happen when you’re waiting your turn for the folks that take care of us come rain, sleet, or snow.
In 1972, she was sending off some mail when a photographer approached her and asked to take her photo. That amateur spread ended up netting her work beyond her wildest dreams.
She went on to be the cover model for three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers, and she had two calendars dedicated specifically to her bod. She may be retired, but she’ll always be our favorite super model.
Conrad Veidt, the original inspiration for the Joker, from the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs
No, this isn’t a still from a new Batman movie, this is actually a press photo from the silent film The Man Who Laughs. Directed by Paul Leni, the film is a German Expressionist film that’s so disturbing that it’s often categorized as a horror movie rather than the drama that it really is.
The star of the film, Conrad Veidt, was so skilled at changing the way he looked to fit his roles that he lost himself totally in his work. Veidt stars in the film as Gwynplaine, the star of a freak show in a traveling carnival thanks to the permanent grin that was etched across his face as a child.
Veidt’s look in the film is famous not only for being incredibly creepy, but for inspiring the entire look of the Joker. Even today, visuals of Joker are clearly indebted to Veidt, down to his hairstyle and terrifying grin.
Bill Paxton, Liam Neeson and Patrick Swayze in the film, "Next of Kin" (1989)
Three iconic actors, two of which who are unfortunately no longer with us. A photo like this is like time traveling if only through our memories. Taken on the set of Next of Kin, it’s clear that these three men from three different backgrounds bonded like brothers while working together.
The film follows a Chicago police officer who returns home to Appalachia to track down the man who killed his brother, it’s heavy material but the cast handles it well and makes the subject matter feel alive.
As intense as the shoot was, it’s clear that these guys bonded on set and became brothers for life.
There was magic in the earliest casts of Saturday Night Live. The first year of the series featured Chevy Chase in the straight man role, but when he lit out for greener pastures (Hollywood), his role was filled by iconic irony man Bill Murray.
The Not Ready For Prime Time Players gave audiences some of the most engrossing and chaotic comedy performances of the decade, and birthed a generation of alt comics who worshipped at the alter of their helter skelter comedy style that felt like it could fall apart at any moment.
Do you have a favorite cast? Of course you do, you've got a heart don't you?
Taken on Friday July 13, 1962, by George Barris, this is one of the final photos ever taken of Marilyn Monroe. At the time she was freshly divorced from her third husband, Arthur Miller, and had the world at her fingertips. Unfortunately she was never able to grasp what she saw in front of her.
The early ‘60s should have been a bountiful time for Monroe, she was one of the biggest stars on the planet and widely considered to be the most beautiful woman anyone had ever seen, but her fight against the Hollywood system had drained her.
Monroe’s final year was full of ups and downs. She was putting her life in order, but she still fell prey to her addictions. Bright stars like Monroe burn out so quickly.
Faris Tuohy, who fought in WWII, is holding a photo from 1944. That’s him on the left, holding a cup of coffee, after one of many hellacious battles.
It’s amazing to see someone basically standing next to their younger self, especially a photo of themselves following an intense battle. Faris Tuohy is one of the many men who agreed to put their lives in the hands of the U.S. military at the onset of World War 2.
The photo he’s holding was taken in the mess aboard USS Arthur Middleton following a two-day fight for Engebi in Eniwetok Atoll. During the battle, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 22nd Marines killed 736 Japanese soldiers and Korean laborers. Only nineteen surrendered.
Tuohy later said that he was a victim of friendly fire when USAAF aircraft attacked the Marines, he’s unsure about what happened to the rest of the men in the photo.
Kelly LeBrock set a whole generation of nerds on the quest for finding the perfect woman (or building her) thanks to her performance in Weird Science.
When the producers were casting the movie, LeBrock was modeling in Europe. She was actually vacationing in the South of France with former policeman Sting and didn’t feel like flying out to work on a set. Who can blame her. She explained:
When I was first offered that role I turned it down because I was having way too much fun in the South of France with Sting, and I didn’t want to go back to the U.S., so they had hired someone else. After about three weeks of shooting the girl had to be fired, so they called me up and said we will give you whatever you want, so the next day I was on a plane to Chicago. My first scene was the shower scene...
A couple pose for a photo in 1963 and again in 2014, at the same location
In such uncertain times it’s heartwarming to see that love can last through hardships, ups and downs, and whatever life throws at us. Seeing a couple that’s been together for longer than most people have been alive doesn’t just make us swoon, it makes us feel like there’s still a little light left in the world.
Think about the dedication that it takes to return to the same spot where you once sat with your loved one and adopt that same pose. It’s a way to say that even though you may have changed, your love is still the same.
Hopefully we’ll all be so lucky as to find someone so special, and maybe even a rock where we can pose.
For a lot of film persists, Cher was an interloper in their world. She was just a singer, you know? Well that’s not how Mask co-star Sam Elliot saw her. Not only was he a fan of her music, but he loved working with her. He told Entertainment Weekly:
I was a Cher fan when I was still living up in Portland. My mom and I were there, and I was going to school, and my dad had died, but my mom and I used to watch The Sonny and Cher Show religiously. I’ve always had a thing for female singers, for whatever reason… I loved Cher. I mean... Cher’s Cher, you know? I mean, what’s there not to love about her. She’s one of the most outrageous people I’ve ever spent time with, and she’s wonderful to work with. It just was a glorious... period of time.
Taken by AP photojournalist Horst Faas on June 18, 1965, while ensconced with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion at Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam, this photo sums up not only the Vietnam War, but the conflicts that came before and that have happened since.
At the time, Larry Wayne Chaffin was just a 19-year-old doing his part for his country. Chaffin only served one year with the Marine Corps and like many soldiers he had trouble readjusting to the States when he returned home.
Unfortunately, he passed away in 1985 from complications connected to diabetes, something that it’s believed he contracted after he was exposed to Agent Orange. It’s important that we don’t forget brave men like Chaffin and the sacrifices they make in the name of our country.
The Runaways back in the 1970s.
The Runaways were one of those special bands who could only exist at one moment. These five young women came together and churned out some of the most killer tunes over the course of five years, but then the band drifted apart.
The band was brimming with talent - Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Micki Steele, it’s no wonder that they became one of the most influential bands of all time. But according to Jett the group just fell apart, not because they hated each other, they just wanted to do other things. She told Lars Ulrich from Metallica:
I think as we each grew up and were figuring out more who we were as musicians, and really the kind of music we wanted to play, it started to diverge a little bit… We all got along fine, so there wasn’t anything like that. It was not a personality thing. We just grew in different directions. I just thought, ‘I don’t wanna get fired from a band I started. Let’s just part ways.'
There’s no band that does rock n roll like Led Zeppelin. The thunderous sound of John Bonham, the hypnotic guitar of Jimmy Page, and of course, the haunting yowl of Robert Plant can transport audiences to another universe.
Robert Plant says that when he first started playing with a band he didn’t care what he was doing, he just wanted to feel the power of moving an audience. He explained his love of getting up in front of a crowd to Interview Magazine in 1977:
When I started all I wanted to do was get out in form. I just wanted to sing. A simple thing. I loved the feeling of letting fly, of pushing as far as I could go with my voice. The only way you can really graduate how you do it is by doing it regularly to people who don’t have to be super impressed. You can do it in the studio all day long but you don’t get the flashback that you get onstage.
Anne Frank and her sister Margot on a beach in Zandvoort, 1940
Before she went into hiding, Anne Frank was just a regular girl growing up in a upper-middle-class Jewish family in Germany. However, when Hitler was announced as chancellor of Germany on January 20, 1933, the Frank family packed up and moved to the Netherlands that fall. Frank wrote of the family’s move in her dairy:
Because we're Jewish, my father immigrated to Holland in 1933, where he became the managing director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam.
Things were alright for the Frank family for a while, but when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 their life became much more complicated. Frank explained:
After May 1940, the good times were few and far between; first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews.
Being a woman in a band, not to mention one of the most popular bands that ever existed, isn’t easy. Not only are there expectations placed on you, but everyone just assumes that you’re only along for the ride.
Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie proved the naysayers wrong in their incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. Not only were these two the leading creative force in the group, but they weren’t out all night hooking up with guys either. Nicks explains:
Christine [McVie] and I didn't go out. We didn't pick up guys. We'd hang out, play cards, and watch movies. It wasn't that much fun.
There’s nothing like those summer days, unless of course we’re talking about those summer nights. Everyone who saw Grease was sent back to those magical days of the 1950s, when sock hops and car races were the most important things on everyone’s mind.
Even though Olivia Newton John was center of the film (along with an electric John Travolta), she wasn’t sure if she would be able to pull of the role of Sandy. She told the Telegraph that it was co-star who convinced her to take on the role:
I was very nervous about making the film, because I was an Australian, but they said, ‘That’s OK, you can do an Australian accent.’ I worried that at 29 I was too old to play a high-school girl. But John was charming and really wanted me to do it, and that was one of the deciding factors. He’s a lovely man – we became great friends and he was very helpful to me on set, as I was not an experienced actress.
A pair of girls deliver ice in lower Manhattan, New York City, 1918
Before home refrigeration was a thing, people purchased massive blocks of ice in order to keep their food cold and their meat safe. A New York Times writer described the job in 1960:
With a slicker-like black cape adorning his back, and a pair of heavy gloves to protect his hands from the load, the iceman would lift the block of ice with a pair of tongs, place it on his back over his shoulder, and perhaps walk up two, three, or even four tenement flights.
These gals took over the guys who jumped into World War 1 feet first. Rather than sit around and let everyone’s food go to waste, these young women took the job the gusto.
Throughout the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Jamie Lee Curtis was the quintessential scream queen. But she was also believed to be a curmudgeon of sorts, that just comes with Virginia final girl status.
Curtis reinvented herself in the ‘80s, becoming a beauty and a legitimate comedy foil. Even though she’s gone through multiple permutations, Curtis says that she doesn’t feel like people don’t respect her. Quite the opposite actually. She told the New Yorker:
I get so much effing attention, which is just obscene, really. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and I’ve been successful at it since I was nineteen. There’s not a day I don’t walk down the street and somebody goes, ‘Hey, I love you. You’re fantastic.’ And I appreciate it. I get it. It’s been my gig. I don’t need any more attention.
A gallant gentleman helping a lady leap over a puddle in 1960
This is the kind of chivalry that you don’t see anymore. A man helping a woman over a puddle to keep her outfit from getting messed up. The early ‘60s really were the last time that gallantry like this was a normal, every day thing. By the late ‘60s this kind of thing fell out of fashion.
Not only was this kind of gallantry phased out by the late ‘60s, but this kind of clothing was rarely seen after blue jeans and tie-dye shirts were introduced.
But can’t we still be chivalrous? Even if no one is in danger of getting mud on their skirt politeness will never go out of style.
The Shining is easily one of the scariest movies that’s ever been made, and the crazy thing is that one of the scariest parts of one of the scariest movies is an image of chopped up twin sisters.
While speaking with The Daily Mail, the sisters explained that the hardest part about filming The Shining was being still while they were covered in blood:
Us lying in the blood was one of the last scenes shot for the movie and I remember being worried, not because of the blood, but because it was going to be cold. Stanley was such a perfectionist and had planned exactly how he was going to pour the blood over us, so our main concern was just staying really, really still. We only had one set of blue dresses, so we had to get it right the first time otherwise the blood would ruin the dresses. I remember that was very challenging for Stanley because he liked to do many takes.
There are a ton of fun performances in Back to the Future, but one of the most beloved cameos comes from Huey Lewis of Huey Lewis and the News. On top of appearing in the movie, his band also has a song in it.
According to Lewis, he almost didn’t take the gig because of the film’s title even after meeting with Stephen Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis. However, he finally relented. He told USA Today:
I told Bob [Zemeckis] that the next thing I wrote, I'd send to him. So we wrote Power of Love. I had not read the script or seen the film. And they used it perfectly. I didn’t even think it was going to work, so to their credit, it did.
Tight jeans, mechanical bulls, and country music; everyone remembers where they were when Urban Cowboy was released and changed the landscape of pop culture for good. Whether you saw it in a theater and went out to buy a cowboy hat or just had a closeted obsession with country music, this movie affected us all.
The film pretty much brought the western wear scene front and center, it turned plaid shirts into a way of life, and showed that John Travolta wasn’ just some flash in the pan.
However, the same can’t be said for co-star Madolyn Smith Osborne. She’s great in the film but by the end of the ’80s she dropped off the screen to live a normal life.
There’s never been anything as pop culturally ground breaking as Elvis Presley’s early years. His career was like that of a comet - it passed by Earth for a brief flicker and astounded everyone who saw.
Teenage girls were especially fans of Presley’s. His performances elicited shrieks and yowls from the audience, making it impossible to hear anything from the stage. Can you blame them? No one had ever catered to young women before and all of a sudden here comes this hunka-hunka burning love.
Presley’s performances didn’t endear him to parents, but they generated controversy within the press and media, thus making him popular with teens. It was the first time this kind of media blitz happened, but it wouldn’t be the last.
The Temptations are one of the most legendary acts of all time. Not only are they one of the most important groups from Motown’s golden era, but they’re easily the most influential R&B group that’s ever existed.
Even so, The Temptations weren’t immediately popular. It took them eight different singles to gain traction, something that just wouldn’t happen today. So how did the band finally score a hit? Versatility. Writer/producer Narada Michael Walden explains:
You want something pretty, they could sing the prettiest thing in the world. You want something rough, rugged, they’ve got the most hardcore, rough, rugged sound you ever want to hear. They had all the gears, from Melvin Franklin doing the bass part, David Ruffin being the tiger, and then you also had the high-voice falsetto which inspired Prince, Eddie Kendricks.
Late comedy greats Robin Williams and Rodney Dangerfield in the late 1970s.
Are there two more iconic comedians than Robin Williams and Rodney Dangerfield? While these two couldn’t be more different in their stand up styles - Williams was an over the top improvisation master and Dangerfield was a man of practiced zingers - they clearly respected each other.
This likely came from the fact that both of these guys were constant performers. ‘90s kids may only know Williams from his films, but he was always getting stage time, just like Dangerfield.
Both men were performing up until their deaths, although Williams was mostly sticking to the screen, which shows that they were more alike than people think.
A young boy stands on a washtub while drinking by the kitchen sink in Kentucky in 1964
It’s shocking to think that this photo was taken in the 1960s. This boy drinking from the sink looks like he could be from the 1930s or ‘20s, living in a coal mining family, and maybe even preparing himself for a day at work, but to know that’s from the middle of the 20th century is strange.
This photo shows just how ravaging poverty can be. Families with no money and barely any utilities can be living in the same era as people who have everything they could want and more. Hopefully this young man was able to get out of his town as he moved into the next decade.
A couple posing for the camera in the 1860s.
No matter how much you love someone, sitting and posing with them for too long can drive you up a wall. In the early 19th century it took a whopping eight hours to expose a photo, but by the late 1800s that time had been cut down to a minuscule 15 minutes.
The 15 minute sitting time explains why so many people from the 19th century look miserable in their photos. Keeping a smile on your face for a quarter of an hour can’t easy, especially when you’re sitting in front of a camera with your significant other.
So why sit down for one of these? It’s likely that most people were only going to take one photo for their entire life, so 15 minutes was well worth it.
A young David Daniel Kaminsky a.k.a. Danny Kaye with a friend in 1915
One of America’s greatest entertainers, Danny Kaye, could sing, dance, and bring his audiences to guffaws with his spoken word improv work. Born in 1913 as David Daniel Kaminsky, he grew up in New York as the son of a Russian tailor.
Rather than finish school, he dropped out of his classes and started working at a radio station before becoming a comedian in the Catskills.
Kaye became a sought after performer after working as a dancer with Dave Harvey and Kathleen Young when he fell off the stage in the middle of a routine on opening night. He literally fell into fame.
Actress Joan Bradshaw walks her dog on Hollywood & Vine, 1957. (Photographed by Earl Leaf)
There’s really no actress who’s more glamorous than Joan Bradshaw, the original triple threat. She worked as a model, actress, and producer, earning the nickname “The Bust of MGM” while working as a cheesecake model.
After appearing in a series of low budget beach and dance themed movies, Bradshaw married film producer Frank Ross in 1961 when she was 25 years old. She immediately retired from acting, but she didn’t leave Hollywood.
Following her drop off from the screen she moved behind the camera where she worked as a production manager before becoming a producer on Mrs. Doubtfire and Castaway.
This spooky house befitting a member of the Addams Family or the Munsters is a part of the long standing tradition of the Gothic Revival architecture, a movement that started way back in 1740. People have always been obsessed with Gothic architecture so it’s no surprise that the design aesthetic continued into the 19th century.
Inspired by medieval design, the Gothic Revival style was most often used for country homes, or small town houses. These houses are incredibly sturdy, which is why so many of them are still standing today.
The height on many of these houses is such that ivy and vines creep up their walls, making them look more haunted than they actually are. Still, it would be pretty cool to live in a house like this.
In the 1960s no one was cooler than the guys in the Rat Pack. Not only were they epitome of what has happening, but they managed to make bad behavior look good in their well tailored suits.
More of a gang than a group of performers, these hard living and hell raising guys were the number one reason many people traveled to Las Vegas. After all, where else could you catch a Sinatra show and a Sammy Davis Jr. drop in? Nowhere, baby.
The Rat Pack created such an air of cool about themselves that people still look to them for style choices and even for sounds. It’s going to be a long time before these guys go out of fashion.
After meeting at a high school party in 1966, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were inseparable. By ’68 they were singing together in their own band, and were opening for rock legends like Jimi Hendrix. When Mick Fleetwood came calling, it was the answer to their rock n roll prayers.
Even though Fleetwood Mac doesn’t seem to be as hard partying as their peers, Fleetwood Mac was known to be a swirling tornado of sex, drugs, and rock n roll.
The band fought, they hooked up, they fought some more, and through all of that pain they created 1977’s Rumours, easily one of the greatest rock records of the ‘70s if not all time.
Coal miners coming up after a long day of work in Belgium. (1920s) ⚒
Be they in West Virginia or Belgium, coal miners have always had to face terrifying conditions. The men who you see packed like sardines in a tin are Italian and Belgian workers who traveled to Western Europe in search of work at the turn of the century.
At the time, coal miners were treated with complete disdain. They were treated like second class citizens, without a worry or care for their health or well being.
Even today, coal mining is a dangerous profession, but in 1900 there were hardly any laws protecting the workers who put themselves into deadly situations every day to make sure the flow of energy didn’t stop.
It’s wild to think that it’s only been about 40 years since Mary Wallace became the first female bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority. Shouldn’t the CTA have hired a woman before that? It’s so crazy to think about misogynist hiring practices occurring in the late 20th century.
Wallace says that in order to get the job she had to constantly bombard the CTA with job applications, but they continued to make excuses. She explained:
I used to work for the Planning & Placement Center when I was going to college, and we had job orders for CTA bus drivers. So I decided I wanted to check this out for myself, and I did. I went for three years, and they kept saying no, we can’t hire women, we don’t have facilities for women, so you have to do something else. I said I don’t want to do something else. I want to drive a bus. After three years of harassing them, they finally sent me a letter saying they would consider (not saying hire) me. They wanted me to come down and take some test, and I did not hear from them for about three or four months, and then I got a another letter saying I would be hired as a driver. After that, the rest is history.
Born in 1903, Graham W. Jackson was a writer and performer who was well versed with the organ, the piano, accordion, and as a choral conductor. He rose to prominence after he was featured at the Royal Theatre and at Bailey's "81.”
Through his performances he went on to join the faculty at Washington High School in Atlanta where he served as its music director until 1940.
He became close personal friends with Eleanor and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Jackson and Roosevelt were even collaborating at the Little White House on a version of Dvorak's "Goin' Home" the day before FDR’s death. This photo shows Jackson playing the same song as Roosevelt's funeral train left Warm Springs. Later, when speaking about the photo Jackson said:
The photographer stumbled over my foot and looked up. He saw my face and saw those tears coming down my cheek, and he just reached around on his shoulder and got one of his cameras and - blip - and thought no more of it.
Muhammad Ali with a young fan in a Florida diner in 1970. (Photo by Danny Lyon)
It’s strange to think that anyone ever believed that Muhammad Ali was truly down for the count. After becoming a vocal defender of civil rights in the 1960s and changing his name to reflect his new Islamic beliefs, America turned on Ali.
When he refused to take part in military service during the Vietnam War he was stripped of his boxing titles and he was banned from taking part in the sport he loved… all for speaking his mind.
Ali re-entered the sport he so loved on October 26, 1970, to face boxer Jerry Quarry. Ali took the man down in three rounds and officially announced that the king was back. This photo shows that many of Ali's youngest fans never abandoned him, and that no matter what race they were they saw him as a true American hero.
Francois Clemmons is one of the first African-Americans to get a recurring role on television playing “Officer Clemmons” on the PBS television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1968 to 1993.
Clemmons’ first appearance was in 1969, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, when he shared a foot bath with Mr. Rogers. As forward thinking as this was, Clemmons did have to keep his homosexuality under wraps, something that must have been painful to Clemmons. However, he said that he went along with Rogers’ request to keep the show from being mired in scandal:
I didn’t want to be a scandal to the show. I didn’t want to hurt the man who was giving me so much, and I also knew the value as a black performer of having this show, this platform. Black actors and actresses—SAG and Equity—90 percent of them are not working. If you know that and here you are, on a national platform you’re gonna sabotage yourself?
These two people met at Woodstock in 1969, and have been together for exactly 50 years
It’s amazing to think that this couple has been together for 50 years, but it’s even crazier to know that they first met on the road to Woodstock. While speaking to People Magazine, Judy explained that she never would have met her husband, Jerry, if it weren’t for her car breaking down on the way to the festival. She explained:
Jerry and his friends pulled up. I stuck my head in and I saw that there was a woman in the car. I’d never hitchhiked before, but I figured, ‘Well, since there was a woman, it was fairly safe, and I probably should just get in the car.’
The Woodstock music festival was a watched moment for America, and it’s heartwarming to think that this couple has stayed together to keep the spirit of the ‘60s alive.
Is the Philcol Predicta a little cumbersome? Does it look like it would be hard to watch with the whole family? Sure. But it also looks really cool. The Predicta was manufactured at a time when people were looking to the future as a destination full of hope, and it was important for our appliances to match.
Television sets by Philco all feature fascinating and iconic designs. Known for their iconic “space age” looks, these sets were manufactured between 1958 and 1960 with 17” and 21” models. If you had one of these bad boys in your living room or den you were living in style.
Thousands of Predictas are still out there today, taking up space in pawn shops and in second hand markets. Why not go out and find one to make your life a little bit more groovy?
This isn’t something that you’re likely to see any time soon, even if you’re able to visit a national park. However, visitors to Yellowstone between 1910 and 1960 were allowed to feed black bears along park roads.
It’s in this early era of the national park system that black bears became the symbol of Yellowstone, they’re still what many people think of when the park comes into conversation.
There had to be a wonderful feeling to accompany a sight like this, with a few curious bears popping around to see what you were up to. That’s just something we don’t get anymore.
Four generations in this family photo from New Guinea, 1970
The people of Papa New Guinea have been under the eye of westerners since at least the 19th century when Italian naturalist and explorer Luigi Maria d'Albertis set down on the island. Even though people have been studying them for more than a hundred years they’re still very mysterious.
For the people of Papa New Guinea, photography is usually a no go, they believe that it darkens their spirits forever, which makes this photo all the more fascinating.
This photo doesn’t just show four generations of tribespeople, but the way that the more things change the more they stay the same.
It’s hard to remember what it was like to walk down the street to the theater and just pop into a movie, what a concept. In 1972 going to see The Godfather was a must-do experience for cinephiles. Not only was it a tour de force of some of the greatest actors of the era, but this epic was seriously engrossing.
Weirdly enough, even though Al Pacino was Coppola’s first choice for the role of Michael Corleone, Paramount made the director audition just about everyone else in Hollywood before they allowed the young actor to work on the film. None other than Bobby DeNiro explained:
Francis wanted Al. But every actor knew about it, and I think the studio was forcing him to look [elsewhere], from what I understood of it. And I never confirmed this with Francis, but they were putting pressure on him to use somebody other than Al.
Salvador Dalí loved to make a spectacle. Whether he was doing it with melting clocks, his famous mustache, or with off the wall clothing… or even by having a wild animal as a pet.
Dalí’s love of anteaters wasn’t just for shock value, back in 1930 he made a bookplate for André Breton, the father of surrealism, that featured Breton as an anteater. That puts this whole photo into a different perspective.
Was Dalí trying to send a message with his anteater? Perhaps a signal to Breton? Or was he just enjoying the spotlight with his strange pet? Honestly, we’re never going to find out.
Sioux girl with her doll, 1890.
It’s rare that we get to see such a straightforward look at the Native American children. Like many people who lived in the 19th century, if they weren’t in the area of a photographer (and most people weren’t) then they didn’t have their photograph taken.
This young member of the Sioux Nation must have been on a trip to the city with her parents when this photo was taken, and it’s amazing to see that like children today she’s reticent to give up her doll no matter the occasion.
It’s most likely that the doll was her one personal possession, which makes it all the more clear why she wouldn’t want to put it down, even to take part in the miracle of photography.
When Jim Henson passed away on May 16, 1990, the reverberations were felt not only in the animation community, but throughout the entire world. Henson’s work with The Muppets effected everyone who watched it, and made their lives a little brighter.
Henson knew that his life was fleeting and he didn’t want any mourners at his funeral. He requested that no one wear black to his funeral, and following a series of songs performed by the cast of The Muppets, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band brought the raucous funeral to an end. I don't know about you but I've definitely got a tear in my eye thinking about this emotional performance. 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.
The last time the Beatles played together, like really played together in front of a live audience was on the roof of their office at 3 Savile Row, right in the center of London’s office and fashion district.
After plans to film their comeback to the stage fell apart, the group decided to film their rooftop show… that is if they went through with it. The band, along with keyboardist Billy Preston and a camera crew trudged up to the roof but they were unsure about getting on stage again.
Thankfully they went through with it and gave fans one of the most memorable performances of all time.
There’s no phrase that can bring a rude diner to their knees quite like “you get no hot dog.” Today we’re used to diners and restaurants bowing to customers to make sure they keep their yelp scores as his as possible, but life hasn’t always been like that.
In the early 20th century people working at diners were often either owners or long time employees of their places of business, and they didn’t want to put up with a bunch of jerks ruining their day. This sign is just one of many that dotted the United States to let customers know that if they acted up or got out of control they’d be looking for a meal elsewhere.
Did signs like this actually keep people in order? Or did they just serve to make diners more irascible?
Is there a vehicle that’s as iconic as a ‘70s era chopper? When you see one of these bad boys, complete with an American Flag gas tank, you’re transported to a time and a place that’s totally different from today.
This bike is from a time when you could just set off across the country without worrying about anything other than gasoline and what you were going to eat for dinner. It’s from the time of the bicentennial and long before people were checking their email all hours of the day.
These groovy chicks don’t know it, but they’re living the dream. Hopefully they’ve still got this bike in a garage somewhere.
Young lady posing with her cat in 1910.
It always comes back to our pets, doesn’t it? No matter the era, no matter the place, people have always loved having the photos taken and their portraits painted with their animals.
There are pieces of art dating back to the earliest parts of civilization showing men and women with their pets, and it’s nice to see that we really haven’t changed all that much.
The biggest question here is how this young woman was able to convince her cat to sit still for long enough to have its photo taken. Maybe he was incredibly well behaved, or maybe she promised him a nice fat mouse.
Cesar Romero was the last person that viewers thought would go to work in Gotham city, taking on the Batman and turning into the clown prince of crime. After all, the 6 foot 3 “Latin from Manhattan” was more accustomed to playing lotharios and gangsters, but he said that he found the Joker intriguing.
Why did he take a role that had him paint his face white and cover up his beautiful mustache? The 59 year old actor explained simply that it gave him a chance to do everything that he was told not to do as an actor. He noted, “You can be as hammy as you want.”
Can’t you smell the salt air through this picture? Even if you’re not a beach bum, this shot of a Southern California beach is sure to make you yearn for the days of surfing safaris.
During these groovy days the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean were spilling out of car radios and even the people who weren’t on a board were enjoying their days on the hot sand.
In the ‘60s, Malibu Beach was the place to be. It was teeming with surfers, and bikini babes just wanted to catch some waves and forget about their troubles in the city. Who can blame them?
The Munsters is one of the most beloved All-American families to ever grace our televisions. Sure, they were monsters but they were impossible not to love.
Filmed in black and white, the series basically helped a ton of young goths grow to their full potential, but would that have happened if the show aired in color? Butch Patrick, who played the young Eddie Munster, says the show was heading that way:
We were in full-colored makeup even though it was a black and white show, because there was always people taking shots of us, publicity shots and behind-the-scenes pictures. I think they thought we would go to color in the third year, that would have been a natural progression.
There’s really no couple like Sonny and Cher. They sang together, they were married, and they even had their own show. Cher says that when they first got together Sonny wasn’t all that interested in her, but they grew on one another. Cher described the relationship as paternal in 1975:
It wasn’t a fiery, sexy thing with us, but rather paternal, like we were bound together, two people who needed each other, almost for protection.
Even though the couple divorced in the late ‘70s they were always there for each other. Aside from co-hosting a show together they remained good friends, it would have been a drag if they never talked to one another again.
Four years. That’s how long it took to build the Twin Towers in New York City. Ground was broken Aug. 5, 1966, but workers couldn’t even start putting up the steel until ’68.
On December 23, 1970, workers place the highest piece of steel on the North Tower, bringing it to a walloping 1,368 feet. At the time New Yorkers thought the buildings were an eyesore, but they came to love the massive buildings that offered an unobstructed view of 45 miles in all directions.
Even though the buildings were brought down in 2001, they live on in the hearts and minds of New Yorkers and Americans everywhere.