This article was originally published on HistoricTalk
The odds are, you've probably never seen some of these historical photos, but fortunately, they're compiled here and help capture a story that would be hard to imagine otherwise. Have any idea what a 137-year-old man looks like? Or where the first selfie in history was taken? Well, get ready to be transported to some of the most interesting moments in world history and uncover these one-of-a-kind images they didn't show you in history class.
Bobbi Gibb Ran the Boston Marathon Despite Women Being Banned and Booed
In 1966, things were difficult for women in America. Gender equality was severely lacking, and this one woman wanted to prove that a person's gender doesn't matter. Bobbi Gibb loved running and wanted to join the Boston Marathon, but women were not allowed to enter the race. So she decided to listen to her heart and showed up regardless of what anyone said. Bobbi ran the entire marathon without a number.
She continued despite the other marathon runners, who were all men, trying to stop her. She became an inspiration to women around the country, becoming the first woman to run a marathon in US history.
One Of The Earliest Photos of A Native American and Their Pet
Look closely; can you tell which animal is in this picture? Here is a very old photograph of a Native American standing next to what appears to be their pet dog. But that's no ordinary pet most people would find in their homes today. It's actually a wolf, yes, that's right! Most people think wolves are dangerous and humans should stay far away from them. So how did Native Americans deal with them?
The Native Americans' relationship with wolves was almost sacred. They respected and cherished them, forging a surprising bond with the animals.
What a Big Accomplishment for This Harlem Resident
Picture this; you're walking around Harlem, New York, in 1937, and see this guy, standing proudly in front of his store. For some historical context, most African Americans were out of work during this time. America was still in the midst of the Great Depression, and discrimination, racism, and segregation were strong as ever. Unfortunately, the odds were stacked against this man, but he persevered and rose above it all. That's why this accomplishment meant the world to him.
This man was able to open and own his own grocery and delicatessen store. Despite all the struggles, he had a well-deserved moment of pride.
New York Kids Sleeping on the Fire Escape
In the early 1900s, air conditioning was very uncommon. So one hot summer night, this family living in New York had to improvise. Usually, it would get so hot inside it would become unbearable. Therefore, it was common for kids or even the entire family to sleep on their buildings' fire escapes or roofs. Even though it was cooler outside than in their apartments, getting comfortable was still extremely difficult.
Summers and winters in New York were no joke. People today must be grateful for how accessible fans and air conditioning units are.
This Woman Should See What's Worn to the Beach Nowadays
This is a concerning yet amusing sight to see. Well into the 1980s, women wore bikinis to go swimming and tan on the beach; it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. But one lady, in particular, had an issue with that. So on a sunny day in Miami Beach, Florida, this woman decided she had to go down to the beach and make everyone, especially the young ladies there, aware of their fate. What was their fate exactly?
Well, you may have guessed it or not. This lady held a sign while yelling about how they were all doomed and heading straight to hell. Luckily, the beachgoers seemed unphased.
These Kids in Jamaica Ooze Coolness
Is this not the most adorable picture you've ever seen? In this photo of three young boys in Jamaica, their calm and collected attitude could be felt miles away. They're incredibly well-dressed and ready to take on the world. They look like the next big boy band, ready to perform at a sold-out concert. This style sticks with you your whole life, so they likely grew up to be the same cool guys!
Who knows where these three kids are today? Probably performing at a low-key jazz club or something. No doubt this should be their next album cover.
1940's Pilot Shirley Slade at Only 22 Years Old
Shirley Slade was chosen for a group of about one thousand female pilots called the Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs during WWII. This image was taken in 1943 when she was only twenty-two years young. It captures her fierce face, flying helmet, goggles, and gloves all on, ready for takeoff. It was a difficult feat to embark on, but Shirley was always confident and prepared to train and fly her plane.
Shirley looks effortlessly cool in this photograph. It allows you to look into her eyes and feel an emotional reaction that you would otherwise not be able to imagine without the picture.
This Man Lived to Be 137 Years Old
This man was known to be John Smith, a Chippewa Indian who lived for an incredibly long time. Allegedly he resided in the woods of Minnesota for over a century. He was reportedly a whopping one hundred and thirty-seven years old the year that he passed away. He must have had so many stories; the pain and wisdom can be seen in his eyes. Whatever his lifestyle was to enable him to live that long needs to be shared.
The odds of living that long are very rare, so seeing an image like this is amazing. By the time of his passing, he was well-known in his community and became somewhat of a celebrity.
What a Selfie in the 1920s Looks Like
Nowadays, people post mirror selfies on their social media all the time, but have you ever imagined what it would've looked like before cell phones? Well, now you don't have to, because this Japanese couple took one! Way back in the 1920s, they snapped this on an actual camera; they were clearly ahead of their time. It's a heartfelt and special image that captures a cute moment shared between two lovers.
It was rare to see an expression of affection in portraits in those days, especially in Japan, where PDA is still somewhat frowned upon. Hence the guy holding the woman's hand makes this image even more special.
A Native American Man and His Daughter in Traditonal Dress
Now, this is a gem of a photo! It dates all the way back to 1905, over one hundred years ago! It's an intense image of a Native American father and daughter standing with a stern yet confident look. Usually, posing for these photos could take a lot of time which could give some insight into why they aren't smiling. Either way, they look stunning in their fine ceremonial dress.
The headdress that the father wears, in particular, is truly special. Imagine walking around with that on your head!
Juliane Koepcke Was Sucked Out of an Airplane
In this unbelievably tragic turn of events, Juliane Koepcke had no idea what was in store for her. It was 1971, and Juliane was only seventeen years old. She was on a flight when it was suddenly struck by lightning. She was then sucked out of the airplane, which ultimately crashed, killing most passengers. Juliane fell to the ground below her but, by some miracle, managed to survive. But what happened next was even more incredible.
She survived in the jungle for over a week before a rescue team found her. Life following this traumatic crash was inevitably difficult for Koepcke, and this photo would remind her of this horrible incident.
The Coolest Mother and Daughter Duo
This effortlessly cool mother and daughter were casually taking a walk through chilly New York City when this picture was snapped. They looked so sophisticated and stylish in their coats, rocking the classic afro that was especially popular then. This hairstyle was just as fashionable as it was a powerful symbol of African American pride. Specifically, during a decade when a significant change occurred, and African Americans made great strides in society.
Everything from their coats to their hair to the background is stunning. This is an image that captures a real fashionable family.
David Isom Entering a Whites Only Pool
In June of 1958, David Isom was nineteen years old when he decided he wanted to go for a swim and headed to a nearby pool. It was a white-only pool in Florida, but that didn't stop him. He walked right in and began using the facility, which sparked outrage. Although it should've been his right, due to segregation, it was against the law. The way it was handled next was a disgrace.
The manager of the facility immediately closed down the place and made everyone leave. Then they drained and cleaned the pool in hopes it would be sanitized and ready for only white people to use again.
The Timing Was Unfortunately Perfect
This photo is something out of a blockbuster movie. Unfortunately, their terrific timing caught something horrible on camera that was real. It was September 11, 2001, and this little boy was posing for an innocent photo taken by his mom. At that exact moment, they caught the World Trade Center being hit in the background. People hadn't yet realized the extent of what was happening and how it would change the course of their lives.
The buildings hadn't fallen yet, so people probably weren't in a state of panic yet. But soon, the scene would be complete destruction and chaos.
Being in an Interracial Couple Used to Be Illegal
This is seemingly a wholesome photo of couples in love. But this image has a much more eerie side than meets the eye. These couples were sitting in a bar in Pittsburgh in 1959, and while at first glance, that doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary, don't forget the decade it was. Interracial couples were illegal in most places in America, a sad and disturbing reality many people faced.
It wouldn't be until almost ten years after this photo was taken that interracial marriage would be legal throughout the United States.
Showgirls Hanging Out Backstage in the 1950s
These showgirls from the 1950s are absolutely stunning. It's a rarity to witness them in the midst of their backstage shenanigans. Before they go on stage to perform, they patiently wait, playing chess and talking. Usually, you see images of older men playing chess, but instead, this challenges any preconceived stereotypes! They needed something to pass the time and chose a relatively complex game to master. It looks like something right out of a movie.
Though they dominated the Las Vegas entertainment industry of that time, these shows are less popular today.
A Hero's Welcome
This American soldier was caught on camera kissing the actress Marlene Dietrich in 1945. He had just returned from World War II on a ship, and she was waiting at the dock when they happened to pull in. In a moment of excitement, the other soldiers lifted her to the ship's porthole, and they shared a brief smooch. What a warm welcome back to your home country after fighting a long and traumatic war.
Although this looks like a couple that had finally waited for months to embrace, they didn't even know each other! Either way, this moment was destined to happen.
A Family of Hippies
In a world that seems so far away, this photograph brings a story or history to life. It allows you to transport to the time and understand the culture in a much more accessible way. Here is a magical old still of a dad walking with his daughter. It was 1968 in Amsterdam, and the hippie lifestyle was as strong as ever. Their clothing choices and hair is evident of the time and fascinating to see.
The little girl decked out in her hand-crocheted outfit, and the dad rocking boots, a vest, and long hair is classic 70s style. Can someone bring this back?
The Bandmates of Kiss Posing With Their Family
The band Kiss formed in the early 1970s, and they immediately became popular due to their incredible and absurd performances. Their appearances were always unique, bearing a full face of paint, big hair, and always wearing crazy outfits. At their concerts, a jarring element would always surprise fans, like someone fire-breathing, smoke coming out of guitars, and blood. This is why it's hilarious to see the band members posing for a normal photo with their parents.
Well, normal is subjective, right? Though their family is dressed casually, the bandmates showed up fully decked out in their iconic outfits and looks. And their parents only look slightly concerned.
Like Father, Like Son
This father and son both took the day off from school and work and wore the best t-shirts, perfectly fitting for the occasion. They clearly had a great bonding experience on this day and a hilarious photo to prove it. If this kid at the time had gone back to school and explained the situation, people would probably not believe him. At least they caught this on camera to prove it!
Though this was in the 1980s, it would be fascinating to learn where they are today. Maybe now the dad in this picture is a grandpa, and they bought another shirt for the next generation?
Just a Boy, His Banjo, and His Best Friend
Take a blast into the past, or in this case, the 1920s. What a beautiful moment that was captured so it could become timeless. The most adorable young boy ever just sits with his dog, enjoying each other's company. Their faces say it all; they're so ecstatic to be there. And it's incredibly cool to see the little boy playing the banjo, an instrument that was once so commonly used.
The image gives you a first-hand look into their world, but one thing would make this better. Imagine if you could hear it too!
This Is What Industrial Paris Looks Like
Paris is one of the most visited and well-loved cities in the world! People from all walks of life dream about vacationing there. It's known as the city of love; here is a stunning visual of what Paris looked like in the early 1950s. The most aesthetically pleasing city, with the cobblestone roads and iconic buildings. Something right out of a storybook or painting. Today, Paris still resembles this in a slightly more modern way.
This was taken only a short five years after World War II, which is a stark contrast to what it looked like during that time.
Styling in the 1970s
It's 1973 and a father and son are spending a fun day outside in Central Park, New York City. This special moment that will be ingrained in their memory forever just happened to be caught on film. A wholesome learning experience for this young boy who is being taught how to ride a bicycle by his dad. Not to mention how stylish the dad looks, wearing a cool outfit perfectly representative of that era.
The look on the kid's face is priceless. If only someone were there to tell him, don't worry, buddy, it looks like your dad's got you!
Sigourney Weaver's High School Yearbook Quote Was Legendary
Sigourney Weaver is popularly known today as a famous American actress who has won various awards. She's mostly recognized for her work in films like Alien, Ghostbusters, and Avatar. Though long before she entered the world of acting, she wished for a life that wasn't ordinary. When she was graduating high school, she took a stunning yearbook picture. But the real kicker was her quote, "Please, God, please, don't let me be normal!"
Clearly, being normal is boring. So luckily for Sigourney, she began acting and entered the spotlight. And there's no way being famous is normal, so her wish was granted!
Your Average 1950s Nuclear Family
This photograph almost looks staged, but it's simply a genuinely happy family, grinning from ear to ear over their home-cooked meal. In the stereotypical nuclear family of the 1950s, a mother stayed at home and always had a fresh hot dinner ready when their working husband arrived home. Of course, there were always a few children around too. You'd probably be smiling like that, too, if you had a delicious-looking pot roast in front of you.
The rich color of this photograph makes it feel like you could step right into the frame! That is precisely why having photos like this are so cool, taking you to another time.
Thank Susan Kare for the Iconic Apple Logo
Most people don't know about this iconic woman and how much she contributed to computing while it was still relatively new. Susan Kare is best known as the famous artist of the 1980s who designed many fonts, logos, icons, and images for Apple, Next, Microsoft, And IBM. Especially in such a male-dominated industry, she was incredibly impressive and achieved many important things. But did she ever receive credit for the work that she did?
Though most people are unfamiliar with her name she once shared in an interview that she always cared more about having work that people are using out in the world than the attribution.
This Little Boy Is Crusing Through 1930
This little boy was built for speed, ready to take off in his little car that matched his size. Whether it really drove or not, this is back when kids actually played outside. In the 1930s, there were no iPads to distract children, just the outdoors and fun toys like this! This cute little guy appears ready to cruise around, maybe go on a cross-country road trip in his cool ride.
If "just chilling" was a person, it would be this kid. Not a worry in the world; he's going to ride around in style.
Mister Rogers and Officer Clemmons, a Powerful Friendship
Mister Rogers has always been a pioneer in social issues and was never afraid to stand up for his beliefs. A great example is when he had Officer Clemmons on his show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. In 1969, segregation was still extreme in the United States of America, and African Americans were banned from swimming in the same facilities as Whites. They were often harmed if they tried, but Mister Rogers decided to make a bold statement.
He invited Officer Clemmons to join him on his show and put their feet in a pool to relax and cool down. Although it seemed harmless, the implications were powerful.
Riding the Subway in the 80's
The New York City subway system is a world of its own. Today, it is widely known for hosting some of the craziest people and funniest encounters. But was it any different a few decades ago? Well, from the looks of this photo, at least a few things were quite different. From the girls' haircuts and school outfits to the subway seats, it's pretty evident that this photo was taken in the eighties.
Subways were especially known to be dangerous back then! The graffiti and big metal seats definitely don't make it look very comforting. However, it does look way roomier than subways today.
Back When Kids Still Played Outside
Oh, it was such a different time, back in the 1960s, when children actually played outside. They weren't cooped up in their homes, addicted to playing video games or scrolling their parent's phones. It's a simple photo, but it captures a feeling that many know. When you're first learning to ride a bike, your parent is about to let go because you just gained enough speed and balance; the freedom is imminent.
You can feel the determination in the daughter and dad's facial expressions in this photograph. A fantastic photo that captures this youth's rite of passage.
Gotta Start Them Young
It was pretty common throughout the 1970s to take these types of funny photos of your kids. It was almost a rite of passage; once you were a toddler, mom and dad would pose you for a photo, cigarette in one hand and beer in the other. This might not pass today, but it was supposed to be harmless and was widely seen as a hilarious way to build a photo album for your kids.
The attitude and facial expressions are infectious, clearly, these kids are having the time of their lives! This picture can't get mom mad as long as it's all fun and games.
Imagine Being a Third Wheel Here
This rare photograph from 1947 shows a group of teenagers hanging out in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It appears to be in someone's house at a party after their high school dance. The style is so different from today, from how they styled their hair to their clothing. The pin-stripe suits and flowers in the girl's hair seemed to be so much more sophisticated than what young kids wear today. This style should be brought back.
Not to mention how awkward it would be to third-wheel here! Everyone seems to be coupled up and infatuated with each other. Well, if you didn't have a date there, at least there are cookies!
Have You Ever Seen Someone This Happy to Go to Jail
This is a fascinating photo for one peculiar reason. It happens to be a law enforcement officer in the 1970s, holding a certain illegal leafy green, and the handcuffed guy next to him was clearly caught growing this green substance. However, the strangest part is that they're posing for the photo like their best buds. The dude is way too happy to be arrested, but maybe there's something he knows that the cop doesn't.
Maybe he's just glad the officer is only holding one plant and not the other twenty-five plants in the back! It must be a proud moment.
1970s Were a Crazy Time
The 1970s really were a crazy decade, known to be the time when hippies emerged! An era famous for cultural change, women's empowerment, and experimentation with various hallucinogenic substances. This lady, in particular, seems to be highly content with her life! She's not wearing any clothes and is out in nature, surrounded by greenery. She's hugging a shrub of green leaves, though it doesn't look very comfortable. But she's not complaining!
Photographing the counter-culture at this time was pretty taboo and iconic. This is definitely not something you would see in history books when learning about the 1960-1970s.
Jim Rice Carries a Boy Hit in the Face by a Foul Ball
An exciting day quickly turned scary during one of the most memorable moments in Fenway Park’s history. It was 1982, and the Boston Red Sox were playing the Chicago White Sox. A dad took his four-year-old son to the game, excited for a day of baseball and bonding. They got amazing seats, right next to the dugout and were ready to watch all the action up close. But when a foul ball was hit, things unexpectedly turned dark.
The four-year-old boy was struck in the face with a foul ball. Red Sox slugger Jim Rice immediately climbed out of the dugout and ran into the stands to help, bringing the boy to the Red Sox medical team.
Some Sort of Line up
We're not sure what's going on here, but it looks like a female drill sergeant inspecting her department in nazi Germany. Or perhaps this was an instructor at a girl's athletic club? Either way, she seems to be carefully examining the girls' physiques, with one of them trying extra hard to withstand her scrutiny. We wonder what they were up to- some look amused by the situation, and some look terrified.
All we know is, for something out of the 1930s, their exercise clothes look surprisingly modern.
The Kiss Of Life
This relatively unknown photograph was a major sensation at the time and actually earned the photographer a Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography. The photo was snapped when the photographer was on his way to a completely unrelated assignment and saw a man hanging from a telephone pole. Apparently he had received a serious electric shock which knocked him unconscious. Another lineman quickly rushed up to give him life-saving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Thankfully the man lived through the ordeal.
This moment was forever immortalized completely by chance. Lucky for us, this keen newspaper photographer recognized a good story and an even better shot when he saw the scene unfolding. The man who was saved lived a full life, and the life saver is still with us today.