Hats in New York, 1930

A picture of a crowd in New York and there is not one unhatted head. Photo taken in the Garment District, by Margaret Bourke-White. But what happened to the hats? Until the 1960s, hats were very popular with both men and women, so much so that, for a man, going out in public without a hat was seen as a bit like going out without… Read More »

Category: USA

German soldiers react to footage of concentration camps, 1945

The image shows the faces of German POWs, captured by Americans, watching a film about a concentration camp. This forced confrontation brought Germans face-to-face with the worst works of the Third Reich. It must be really hard to go through what they did and look back knowing that everything that happened to them, all of their friends who were killed or maimed was in the… Read More »

Category: WW2

The Kiss of Life – A utility worker giving mouth-to-mouth to co-worker after he contacted a high voltage wire, 1967

Taken in 1967 by Rocco Morabito, this photo called “The Kiss of Life” shows a utility worker named J.D. Thompson giving mouth-to-mouth to co-worker Randall G. Champion after he went unconscious following contact with a Low Voltage line. They had been performing routine maintenance when Champion brushed one of the low voltage lines at the very top of the utility pole. His safety harness prevented a fall,… Read More »

Slave shackle being removed by British sailor, 1907

The photograph shows a sailor removing the manacle from a newly-freed slave. This photo is part of a small collection donated by Samuel Chidwick to the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. His father Able Seaman Joseph Chidwick, born in 1881, was serving aboard HMS Sphinx. The Africans featured in the photos escaped in a canoe from a slave-trading village on the coast on hearing that… Read More »

Stalin’s son Yakov Dzhugashvili captured by the Germans, 1941

Yakov Dzhugashvili, Stalin’s elder son, served in the Red Army during the Second World War, and was captured, or surrendered, in the initial stages of the German invasion of the USSR. There are still many contradictory legends in circulation about the death of Yakov Dzhugashvili, as there are about all the important events in his life. Yakov, born in 1907, was the son of Stalin’s… Read More »

Category: WW2

Hitler in disguise: US intelligence images of how Hitler could have disguised himself, 1944

Towards the end of World War II, U.S. intelligence officials were afraid that the German dictator would flee Germany by assuming a disguise. By 1944 the world identified the man largely by his trademark toothbrush mustache and oily side-slicked hair, so they ordered his portrait to be cloned. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an early version of the CIA set up during World War… Read More »

Trench rats killed by a terrier, 1916

The trench soldier of World War I had to cope with millions of rats. The omnipresent rats were attracted by the human waste of war – not simply sewage waste but also the bodies of men long forgotten who had been buried in the trenches and often reappeared after heavy rain or shelling. Some rat grew to the size of cats. It was not uncommon… Read More »

Category: WW1

The last public execution by guillotine, France, 1939

In the early morning of 17 June 1939, Eugène Weidmann became the last person to be publicly executed by guillotine. He had been convicted of multiple kidnappings and murders, including that of a young American socialite. Beginning with the botched kidnapping of an American tourist, the inspiring dancer Jean de Koven, Eugen Weidmann murdered two women and four men in the Paris area in 1937.… Read More »

Cow shoes used by Moonshiners in the Prohibition days to disguise their footprints, 1922

During alcohol prohibition (1919-1933), the transportation and brewing/cultivation of alcohol was prohibited. Some people who brewed Moonshine (a type of whiskey) did it in the middle of a forest or meadow. Moonshiners were often sought after by law enforcement. A lot of times, authorities had to track the alleged criminals by foot. So to avoid capture, some moonshiners changed their shoes because a set of… Read More »

Category: USA

The Socialist Fraternal Kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, 1979

The socialist fraternal kiss became famous via Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev, who were photographed exercising the ritual. During the festivities of the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic of East Germany in 1979, photographer Regis Bossu was able to take a photograph of the decisive moment wherein Leonid Brezhnev and President Erich Honecker were practicing a socialist fraternal kiss. After the photograph was… Read More »

Easter eggs for Hitler, 1945

Two black American soldiers with special artillery ammo for Hitler, Easter Sunday, 1945. Technical Sergeant William E. Thomas and Private First Class Joseph Jackson prepared a gift of special “Easter Eggs” for Adolph Hitler and the German Army. Scrawling such messages on artillery shells in World War II was one way in which artillery soldiers could humorously express their dislike of the enemy. The sad… Read More »

Category: WW2

The iceberg that sunk the Titanic, 1912

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the ocean liner Titanic struck an iceberg. Less than three hours later, she lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, having taken with her more than 1,500 of the roughly 2,200 people on board. The exact size of the iceberg will probably never be known but, according to early newspaper reports the height and length of the… Read More »

Vasili Blokhin, history’s most prolific executioner

He is recorded as having executed tens of thousands of prisoners by his own hand, including his killing of about 7,000 Polish prisoners of war during the Katyn massacre in spring 1940, making him the most prolific official executioner in recorded world history. Vasili Mikhailovich Blokhin, the NKVD major in charge of executing the Polish officers from the Ostashkov camp, was a man who believed… Read More »

Berlin at the end of the War, 1945

Berlin as the capital and cultural center of the German Reich was bombed very heavily. With over 45,000 tons of bombs in two weeks the city was almost completely destroyed. The irreplaceable architectural gems of the Schlüter, Knobelsdorf, Schadow and Schinkel were annihilated. Palaces, museums, churches, monuments and cultural sites fell victim to the bombs. Overall, Berlin was bombed 363 times by British, American and… Read More »

The lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, 1930

On a hot August night in 1930 a crowd gathered in front of an Indiana jail — men, women, and children shouting and jeering, demanding that the sheriff release his three prisoners. Three African American teenagers: Tom Shipp, Abe Smith, and James Cameron — huddled inside their cells, charged with the murder of a white man and the rape of white woman. Some among the… Read More »

Category: USA