Throughout history there are many events that are picture worthy. People from all walks of life capture these moments in time. Everything from happy moments in time to devastating to just plain odd. One thing is for sure, these photos weren’t meant to be seen by the public. We’ve complied these 91 photos as a way to remember the past and see what life was really like. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Female Swimsuit Lengths
Inspectors ensuring that women didn’t show too much leg while at the beach with their families.
From the Paparazzi
Pictured above is the star of the 1929 film “The Broadway Melody,” which came out before there was even sound in film. Based on her performance there, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
In this controversial picture, Sophia Loren is seen giving Jayne Mansfield a less than friendly look in 1957. This picture went on to make headlines as Mansfield and Loren were both seen as competing stars at the time, both trying to get the attention of the media.
Women Fighting Battles for Rights
An extremely powerful photograph from 1957 shows how two 15-year olds can be at such extreme ends of the civil rights battle. Elizabeth Eckford holds her head high and proudly walks as she was not allowed entrance to Central High School in Little Rock. In the same picture, Hazel Bryan Massery is seen yelling, and looking on with hatred, at the fact that Elizabeth Eckford is even there.
Katherine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon in 1967 even though she wasn’t registered or allowed to. She is seen being shoved out of the race by people wanting her off of the track.
At Diavik Diamond Mine in northwestern Canada, between 6 and 7 million carats of large white diamonds are brought up a year. It is obviously a well guarded place and pictures are rarely taken around, in, or above it.
This is the famous, yet relatively unknown, Area 51, which is a detachment off of Edwards Air Force Base in Nevada. Even though this is a photograph from above it, this is a completely classified area and not much is actually known about what happens there.
Different designs were tested during the Cold War when thinking about how to drop nuclear weapons if it were needed. This is one of the U.S. Air Force’s ideas, the ‘Flying Saucer’, which is a Lenticular Reentry Vehicle.
At RAAF Amberley hangar, a Canberra Bomber is seen flying, apparently over a man on the ground in 1955. It is still known as to why there is man below the aircraft.
Children in Gas Masks
With London being bombed by Axis forces in 1941, the UK gave gas masks to its citizens. Children routinely practiced drills in case of an attack and wore the uncomfortable masks for their own protection.
Baby Cages in Windows
So that babies could get sunlight and fresh air, parents put these cages are on their apartment windows so their babies cold plan.
Ad for Anti-Malaria Medication
Atabrine is the company, and drug, used to prevent malaria. This is their ad in Papa New Guinea.
Sun Tan Machines
A simple tan booth to create your own spray tan.
Battle of Gallipoli
After the Battle of Gallipoli, which lasted from 1915 to 1916, these two bullets were found connected. The speed, force, and precise timing makes it a complete rare coincidence that this mid air collision would be possible.
MLK Jr. Removing Burning Items
The hatred against his tolerance was a threat to his daily live. Martin Luther King, Jr. is seen here removing crosses that had been burnt from his front yard.
Trouble In The Sky
On July 25, 2000, this flight headed from Paris, France to New York City ran over some debris on the runaway that led to a fuel tank on fire on board.
Missiles on Key West Beach
This picture, taken on October 27, 1962 in Key West, shows one of the Hawk Missiles that was set up as a defense against possible incoming aircraft during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Air Florida Flight 90
Air Florida Flight 90 was pulled from the icy Potomac River after crashing in to it in Washington, D.C. The flight was scheduled to go to Fort Lauderdale but instead hit 14th Street Bridge and crashed through the ice of the river. Four people from vehicles parked on the bridge died from the crash along with 74 of the 79 people on board the plane.
Maurice Tillet was a Frenchman that gained his fame though wresting in the 1930s and 1940s. This Russian-born man was diagnosed with acromegaly when he was 17. Acromegaly causes the bones in a person’s hands, face, and feet to grow larger than normal. Even though Shrek’s likeness to Tillet is unmistakable, DreamWorks has never officially admitted a connection.
8 -year old Chess Master
Samuel Reshevsky was an 8-year old that mastered chess in 1920. You can see the shock and confusion on the faces of the men all around him. He continued his chess playing as an adult and died in the 1990s.
In 1972, two people that grew up together are on different sides of a protest demonstration.
Caught a Large Fish
Edward Llewellen still holds the record for the largest, 425 pound, sea bass ever caught.
Hitler’s Last Picture
This is supposedly the last picture that was ever taken of Hitler on April 30, 1945. Hitler killed himself as the war was ending before he could be captured by the Allies.
This picture of the Titanic was taken near the coast of Ireland and may be the last one ever taken before it crashed.
Hydrogen Bomb Test
Bikini Atoll was the site of nuclear device tests between 1946-1958. The actual island is one of 23 islands that were devastated by the testing of the 23 devices.
First Nuclear Bomb
This is the first atomic bomb that was nicknamed The Gadget. This one was test at Trinity Site, New Mexico. It is the same type of bomb and model that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan at the end of WWII.
Goebbels is learning that his photographer is Jewish in this photograph taken in 1933 in a courtyard in Geneva.
Kobe, Japan Bombing
Kobe, Japan was a site of more than one of the many bombings that the Allied forces did across Japan during World War II. The most massive being on March 16th and 17th in 1945 that aimed for military and civilian targets in the area. The Allied forces only waited a few days before hitting the area again, causing even more damages and deaths in the area.
Nagasaki was the site of the dropping of the plutonium bomb on August 9, 1945 by the United States. Between 39,000 and 80,000 people were killed from this attack and many others were wounded that day. The devastation caused by the bomb was catastrophic and forever changed the landscape of that area.
In the days before Nagasaki, the bombing of Hiroshima caused the death of over 80,000 people. Only six people survived.
During Prohibition, illegal alcohol was all around. If police found it being made or stored, their job was to get rid of it immediately. These bootleggers must have had a serious business going on, because this picture shows pure alcohol being poured from the windows.
The Ending of Prohibition
Prohibition might have been well intentioned, but the practicality of it was too hard to enforce. In the 1930s, it became increasingly obvious that the people did not want it to continue so it ended on December 5, 1933. People celebrated all around.
Hit by a Meteorite
In Sylacauga, Alabama, this woman was actually it by a meteorite in her home. The meteorite fell from this sky, crashed through her roof, bounced around the room, and hit her in her side. This bruise shows the impact of what 8 ½ pounds falling from space can do to a person.
Playing with Gravity in the Sky
To study the reaction of zero gravity, Captain Druey P. Parks takes this cat in his jet to run an experiment. He took the cat 25,000 feet into the air are released him while the cat reacted better than could have been imagined.
Niokla Tesla’s lab visited by Mark Twain
Century Magazine showed this photograph of Mark Twain looking at a glowing invention in Nikola Tesla’s lab in 1894.
Reichserntedankfest Rally in Germany
This rally took place in Buckeberg, Germany and included over 700,000 people. The Reichserntedankfest rally, or Thanksgiving Celebration of the Reich, brought the people of Germany together and improved pride in their country.
Leg Irons Being Removed From a Slave
A British sailor is seen taking the leg irons off of a slave on board a ship. Britain abolished slavery during the 19th century and eventually ended its presence in the slave trade that it had participated in for 245 years.
To get horses used to the sounds of gun shots, Germany soldiers would take their horses out to the range and practice shooting on top of them. The intention was that the horses would get so used to hearing the shots being fired early on, that the sounds in battle wouldn’t affect them as much. This is the Karshorter Racecourse in Berlin in 1935.
Stacked Barrels for a Bonfire
These stacked leather barrels are poised to create one extremely large bonfire. Chances are that this one was built for a 4th of July bonfire somewhere in Massachusetts. This was a popular and fun way to create bonfires for gatherings during 1930s to the 1950s.
In 1953, this mother sits with her son as they watch a nuclear test happening near by. At this time, the full extent of this danger, and the danger of being near nuclear bombs, was known fully researched or known with the general public.
Rainey Bethea was the last public hanging or execution in the United States. The hanging was a widely public event that led to people traveling from all around to witness it. However, many things went wrong during the event and it became a national news story of mistreatment.
In 1911, Hiram Bingam, a Yale University professor, set off in Peri to look for the lost Incan city Vilcabamba. Instead, he happened across this site of Machu Picchu instead. He may not have technically been the first to discover it, but he is created with it’s first picture and finding it again for historians.
This letter was sent to Hitler from Ghandi in 1939.
When the camps liberated after the war, the inmates were finally able to speak and tell of the horrors that they had faced. This Russian inmate is pointing at this Nazi soldier who was known for his exceptional cruelty before the U.S. got there.
A Morale Builder
There has always been a sort of competition between branches of the U.S. Military. During wartime, they work together closely, but may still use their rivalry as a way to build bonds.
This is an actual gun that was used to kill ducks and other birds until it was outlawed. It is called a “punt gun” and was generally carried on a boat specifically called a “punt”. Because of the sheer number of birds it could kill at once, and the effect on the bird population, they can no longer be used.
Difference In Class in Britain
In 1937, this picture was published by The News Chronicle showing a perfect example of the difference in class at the time. The two boys dressed up appear to not even notice the lower class boys appearing to stare in amazement.
He will forever be known as the greatest boxer of his time, and most likely in history. Here, Muhammed Ali, is seen posing underwater at the Sir John Hotel in Miami while training.
Life Magazine shot this photo of families moving in to a suburban neighborhood in Lakewood, California. They provided these trucks for free to the movers to get these photos, but didn’t advertise the specific brands of trucks being used. This staged photo shows the feelings of the time.
Mike Tyson and Robert Downey, Jr.
As rising starts and before they were wildly famous, Mike Tyson is seen posing with Robert Downey, Jr. in the street.
Dog In Space
The first animal to ever head in to space was this previous stray in Moscow, Laika. It was never intended that she survive the trip, but a lot was learned from her going. In Moscow, they now have a monument dedicated to Laika that shows a dog alone standing on a rocket.
The Chimp Did Survive
The first chimp that went in to space was Ham. Ham was launched from Cape Canaveral on January 31, 1961. When he returned to Earth, he was healthy and happy. His only injury was a small bruise on his nose.
In 1970, a Queen Elizabeth was passing in her birthday procession, a soldier faints from the heat and is laying on the ground.
A Telephone Tower in Stockholm
Telephone wires weren’t always connected underground, but this tower may have been one of the reasons that started. Here in Stockholm, this tower connected over 5,000 telephone wires above ground. In 1953, it burned down for good.
Prisoners of War
This German POWs sit and watch a video from a concentration camp in Germany.
This Schwerer Gustav wasn’t used much during the war, but was still an amazing site to see. It was built to break through enemy French lines by the Germans and is scene here being viewed by Hiter.
This is how ice was delivered by women in 1918.
In 1940, London saw significant bombing. Surrounded by that destruction, this little girl sits holding her baby doll, probably one of the few items she still has left.
August Delagrange was believed to be a vampire that killed over 40 people. After his execution, authorities stabbed a stake through his heart just to be sure he was going to stay dead.
Ilse Koch committed terrible acts around Buchenwald while her husband was a working officer. While at the camp, she was known to take the skin from people executed if they had tattoos that she wanted to keep. She was imprisoned until she committed suicide in 1960.
On August 19, 1944, Simone Segouin is seen fighting with the French Resistance during World War II.
Rations Shared with the Poor
A Russian mother approaches a German soldier that shares some of the few rations that he has for himself. The 291st Division of the Wehrmacht George Gundlach had a photographer traveling with the unit and was able to catch this shot.
Lucy the Orphan
Russian units would often adopt orphans whose parents had been killed in the bombing and war. This Baltic Fleet group of sailors adopted Lucy and took care of her all that they could.
Arnold Schwarzenegger shows off his muscles to these women on a park bench in the 1970s.
What’s A Kilt?
When Rome was being liberated from the Axis powers towards the end of World War II, this Italian woman seems mesmerized by this Scottish soldier wearing a kilt.
Bernard Herzog was a prisoner of war in the Philippines for years during the war. Soldiers here are listening as he is finally being rescued and released.
Checkpoint at the Berlin Wall
The U.S. tanks are staring at the Soviet Union tanks on either side of the Belin Wall as it existed. This point, known as Checkpoint Charlie, was the way to go back and forth between the two sides.
The War Ending
On September 2, 1945, the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was officially signed by relevant parties on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. This was the official end of all fighting in World War II.
Windsor Castle Photo of Kings
King Edward VII’s funeral brought kings and royalty from all over. Photographed here are nine kings of the time, putting everything aside, and posing for one photo in Windsor Castle.
A powder monkey was one of the young boys that would work on the ship to carry gunpowder for the cannons where it needed to go. They were termed monkeys because of the playing and jumping that they would do when they weren’t working, or sometimes while they were.
During the Korean War, the United States lost over 390,000 between 1950 and 1953. This photo shows some of the soldiers handling their grief after losing comrades.
Outer Space Photo
On October 24, 1946, the first photo from space of Earth was ever taken.
Revolution in Hungary
In 1956, the Hungarian Revolution didn’t last long, but it was an extremely powerful movement while it lasted.
67. Italian Headquarters
This is Mussolini’s office and headquarters in 1934.
Goebbels Wedding Day
Joseph Goebbels’ wedding day to Magda Goebbels seemed normal at the time. However, once the war was over Magda killed all six of their children with poison and the couple committed suicide before they were found.
Discussion During the Cuban Missile Crisis
John F. Kennedy, advisors, staff, and vice-president Lyndon B. Johnson discuss potential factors while trying to avoid nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In 1961, Louis Armstrong was sent to Egypt as an ambassador to show foreign countries how great rule was outside of Communism. He is seen here playing for his wife.
Pyramid of Helmets
Two pyramids were made of 12,000 German helmets after the war. In New York there were places to show off and admire items collected and taken from the Germans in a show of victory.
King Tut’s Tomb Opened
Howard Carter discovered KingTutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. He’s seen here examining the body and surroundings.
Integration of Schools In the South
Ruby Bridges was the first black girl to enter and all while school in New Orleans after Jim Crow was finally repealed. Even though she was a young girl, the crowd of protestors had to be guarded as they yelled and screamed at her as she entered the school. She made it inside though after walking through the group constantly praying.
Soldier Feeding a Polar Bear
In 1950, a Soviet officer working his duty gave a can of condensed milk to a polar bear, while her cubs were playing around him and on his legs.
Statue of Liberty
The World’s Fair in France is where people got the first picture of the Statue of Liberty before she travelled to America. She was constructed in 8 pieces and finally completely assembled in New York City.
This is the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army preparing for battle in World War II.
Guarding Shops Owned by Jews
The Nazis immediately called for people that loved their country to stay away from Jewish owned stores or anything that led to profit for Jewish people. Soldiers stood in front of the shops to encourage this policy and remind people not to enter.
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had his picture taken by his bodyguard Vlasik where Staling looks to be laughing and having a good time.
Soldiers Sharing Cigarettes
A flamethrower is being used here by German soldiers to light cigarettes since matches weren’t always readily available.
Albert Einstein’s Desk
LIFE magazine showed this picture of Albert Einstein’s desk at Princeton shortly after his death.
Chaplin wasn’t always a famous household name. Before his stardom, he was just a regular man, pictured here at 26. He had a rough life growing up but overcame all his struggles and lived a wonderful life until he died at 88.
Swimsuit Too Revealing for 1907
This swimsuit was considering too provocative and revealing for the time in 1907.
Winston Churchill as a Child
In 1895, Churchill is seen as young soldier and much different that the heavyset adult normally pictured during his time as a leader in World War II.
Dying While Kissing
In Hasanly in 1972, these two were discovered kissing in the grave they were found in. They only thing that can really be known about them is that they were both male. Their cause of death and positioning remains a mystery.
Hawking Wedding in 1965
Even before his ALS was at its later stages, Stephen Hawking always needed a cane. Here is at his wedding day looking thrilled to be marrying his young bride.
In 1912, there was only one way to test new football helmets. This man is making sure that this one works.
Bulletproof vests have to be tested too. Here, a man is seen shooting a 7mm revolver at the vest in front of him in 1923. Hope it works!
Shot in the Head
Jacob Miller fought in the Battle of Chickamagua, and was shot in the head during this service.
In Lucerne, Switzerland, Bertel Thorvaldsen designed The Lion Monument to recognize the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution when the Tuileries Palace was raided. It was carved in to the stone in 1820-1821 by Lukas Ahorn.