Pope John Paul II meets with Mehmet Agca, the man who attempted to assassinate him, 1983

On Wednesday, May 13, 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca pulled a gun and shot Pope John Paul II during a procession in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Italy. Though critically wounded, the Pope survived four gunshot wounds to his abdomen. Following the shooting, Pope John Paul II asked people to “pray for my brother…whom I have sincerely forgiven”. In 1983, Pope John Paul II and Agca met… Read More »

A Chernobyl liquidator pushes a baby in a carriage who was found during the cleanup of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, 1986

A liquidator, clad in a gas mask and protective clothing, pushes a baby in a carriage who was found during the cleanup of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The infant had been left in an abandoned house in the village of Tatsenki. The worker found the child when he was measuring radiation levels. Initially, authorities tried to use robots to do the job of removing the… Read More »

Leonard Siffleet about to be beheaded with a sword by a Japanese soldier, 1943

Leonard Siffleet was an Australian Special Forces radio operator, sent on mission to Papua New Guinea to establish a coastwatching station. In September 1943, his patrol was sent to Japanese held New Guinea, to recon the Japanese forces stationed there. Siffleet and two other Australian soldiers were captured by local natives friendly to the Japanese and turned over to the Japanese. All three men were… Read More »

The hell of Serra Pelada mines, 1980s

Serra Pelada was a large gold mine in Brazil 430 kilometres (270 mi) south of the mouth of the Amazon River. In 1979 a local child swimming on the banks of a local river found a 6 grams (0.21 oz) nugget of gold. Soon word leaked out and by the end of the week a gold rush had started. During the early 1980s, tens of… Read More »

American airman Dewey Wayne Waddell, held prisoner in Vietnam, 1967

Downed US airman Dewey Waddell was taken captive by Vietnamese communist fighters in 1967, and he was released in 1973. The photo, taken by GDR war correspondent Thomas Billhardt, features a female guerrilla holding an American soldier captive and escorting him on a country road. The picture was created for propaganda purpose, hence the use of a really small woman as the guard to make… Read More »

Dr. Leonid Rogozov operating himself to remove his appendix in Antarctica, 1961

Leonid Rogozov was a Soviet general practitioner who took part in the sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1960–1961. He was the only doctor stationed at the Novolazarevskaya Station and, while there, developed appendicitis, which meant he had to perform an appendectomy on himself, a famous case of self-surgery. In 1961, Rogozov was stationed at a newly constructed Russian base in Antarctica. The 12 men inside… Read More »

Execution of the Lincoln conspirators, 1865

This is a series of photos from 1865 showing the hanging execution of the four Lincoln conspirators: David Herold, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt. Their deaths were a culmination of sorts of a nation ravaged by war, bitter conflict, and the death of the nation’s commander-in-chief, Abraham Lincoln. Scottish photographer Alexander Gardner captured the macabre scene, including pictures of the condemned seen moments before… Read More »

Category: USA

Australian Aborigines in chains at Wyndham prison, 1902

This picture is taken in the early 1900s at the Wyndham prison. Wyndam is the oldest and northernmost town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It was established in 1886 as a result of a gold rush at Halls Creek. However the circumstances and the story behind this picture remain unknown. The Aboriginals could have been arrested under the various local laws passed that… Read More »

King George V and his physically similar cousin Tsar Nicholas II in German military uniforms in Berlin, 1913

This picture was taken during the wedding of the Kaiser’s daughter Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia. The wedding, an extravagant affair, took place on 24 May 1913 in Berlin. In a diplomatic gesture, Emperor Wilhelm invited almost his entire extended family. The wedding became the largest gathering of reigning monarchs in Germany since German unification in 1871, and one of the last great social events… Read More »

An Afghan mujahideen aims a FIM-92 Stinger missile at passing Soviet aircraft, 1988

A guerrilla soldier aims a Stinger missile at passing aircraft near a remote rebel base in the Safed Koh Mountains February 10, 1988 in Afghanistan. The end of Soviet military occupation, which began in 1979, has left the Afghan Army more vulnerable to these guerrilla forces, who are fighting the Russian-installed Afghan government. The Soviet decision to pull out of Afghanistan was driven by political… Read More »

Porters transport a car on long poles across a stream in Nepal, 1948

Cars are supposed to carry people, but in Nepal people carried cars on the rocky, hilly trail from Kathmandu. Automobiles, stripped of wheels and bumpers, were shoulder-borne to and from the capital, the only Nepalese city with modern roads. This old German-made Mercedes was being transported to India as a trade-in on a shiny American model. Some 60 coolies, moving to the rhythm of a… Read More »

An American Marine exhibits the thousand-yard stare after two days of constant fighting in the Battle of Eniwetok, 1944

United States Marine Corps Private Theodore James Miller assigned to the 22nd Marine Independent Regiment returns to Coast Guard-manned attack transport USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25) at 1400 hours after two days of combat on Engebi. Engebi was the first of the Eniwetok Atoll to be invaded by American forces. Capture of Eniwetok would provide an airfield and harbour to support attacks on the Mariana Islands… Read More »

Winning family of the Fittest Family award stands outside of the Eugenics Building, 1925

The American Eugenics Society presented eugenics exhibits at state fairs throughout the USA, and provided information encouraging “high-grade” people to reproduce at a greater rate for the benefit of society. The Society even sponsored Fitter Family contests. First appearing in 1920 at the Kansas Free Fair, Fitter Family competitions, continued all the way until WWII. There were several different categories that families were judged in:… Read More »

Category: USA

A father comforts his son on his deathbed. The photo that changed the face of AIDS. 1989

This picture is widely considered the photo that changed the face of AIDS. It showed AIDS victims as humans and people with families. The biggest opponents of doing anything about AIDS, anything at all, were conservatives trumpeting family values. This picture showed that HIV has everything to do with family values and to have family values you have to value families. In November 1990 LIFE… Read More »

The atomic cloud over Nagasaki, 1945

This is believed to be the earliest photograph from the ground, 15 minutes after the plutonium bomb detonated over Nagasaki. The destruction was so incredible that there is no count on how many people died that day. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever live in the pages of history as two of the most significant turning points in modern history, initiating the… Read More »