20 Fascinating Historical Images That Might Shift Your Understanding Of The World

Published 9 months ago

History has a way of shaping our understanding of the world, but sometimes it takes a captivating image from the past to truly make us pause and reflect.

Thanks to the remarkable Instagram page ‘Photos From History’  which is dedicated to unearthing hidden treasures, we have access to a collection of rarely-seen historical images that have the power to challenge our perceptions and reshape our worldview. Check out some of their amazing posts in the gallery below. And if you wish to see more rare gems like these, make sure to check out our previous articles here and here.

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#1 Anatoly Karpov Playing An Exhibition Chess Game, 1978

Image source: photos.from.history

#2 Actress And Model Debra Jo Fondren Pictured At An L.a. Roller Disco Party In 1979

Image source: photos.from.history

#3 Stevie Wonder Visiting A Children’s School For The Blind In London, 1970. Photo By Terry O’neill

Image source: photos.from.history

#4 A Man And A Woman Hiding Under A Bridge Following The Tiananmen Square Massacre, 1989

Image source: photos.from.history

#5 A Russian Soldier Playing An Abandoned Piano In Chechnya, 1994

Image source: photos.from.history

#6 (Fdr Funeral) Tears Stream Down The Cheeks Of Accordion-Playing Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson As President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Flag-Draped Funeral Train Left Warm Springs, Georgia, On April 13, 1945. Roosevelt’s Fellow Polio Victims Sit Crying At Jackson’s Side

Image source: photos.from.history

#7 Gay Men Supporting Lesbians At The Dyke March, 1993

Image source: photos.from.history

Gay men supporting lesbians at the Dyke March, 1993. This first Dyke March in Washington D.C. was quite monumental for the period, as gay men and lesbians didn’t really get along for a long period of queer history – often due to misogyny, and clashes of feminism and gay liberation. This all changed during the HIV/AIDS epidemic when lesbians banded together to nurse, treat and be activists for gay men who were often refused by doctors and were on the end of increasing homophobia due to the epidemic.

“Suddenly, the hospitals were full of lesbians who were volunteering” Jon, a gay man living in San

Francisco during the HIV outbreak in the 1980s said. “I remember being so moved by them because gay men hadn’t been too kind to lesbians. We’d call them fish and make fun of the butch dykes in the bars and yet, there they were.”As a thank you, they changed the official signs at Pride to having Lesbian’ first (Hence L first in lgbt). This shows some of the slightly later proclaimed support by gay men of lesbians.

#8 Jimi Hendrix Playing For Wilson Pickett In 1966

Image source: photos.from.history

#9 Emperor Minilik The 2nd Of Ethiopia, 1896

Image source: photos.from.history

The Battle of Adwa (Amharic: አድዋ; Tigrinya: ዓድዋ;) was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War. The Ethiopian forces defeated the Italian invading force on Sunday 1 March 1896, near the town of Adwa. This victory signaled the decline of European colonialism in Black Africa.

In 1889, the Italians signed the Treaty of Wuchale. The “Treaty of Wichale agreed to in principle that Menelik II would provide to Italy land in the Tigray province in exchange for support in the form of weapons the Italians had been supplying him for some time, but the Italians wanted more.

There were two versions of the treaty to be signed, one in Italian, and one written in Amharic. Unbeknownst to the conquering King was the fact that the version in Italian had been altered by the translators to give Rome more power over Menelik II and his kingdom of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Kingdom/Empire had been in existence since the 13th century

#10 Legendary Irish Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean. Crean Was A Member Of Three Major Expeditions To Antarctica During The Heroic Age Of Antarctic Exploration, Including Robert Falcon Scott’s 1911–1913 Terra Nova Expedition

Image source: photos.from.history

This saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Roald Amundsen and ended in the deaths of Scott and his party. During the expedition, Crean’s 35 miles (56 km) solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal, and is considered one of the greatest single feats of endurance of the era.

After his experience on the Terra Nova, Crean’s third and final Antarctic venture was as second officer to fellow Irishman Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. After the ship Endurance became beset in the pack ice and sank, Crean and the ship’s company spent 492 days drifting on the ice before undertaking a journey in the ship’s lifeboats to Elephant Island. He was a member of the crew which made a small-boat journey of 800 nautical miles (1,500 km), plotting only by the stars, from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island to seek aid for the stranded party. This extreme effort saved the lives of all 65 members of the expedition.

#11 The 1895 Train Crash At Montparnasse Station Is One Of The Most Famous And Reprinted Images Of A Train Accident. Location: Paris

Image source: photos.from.history

#12 20,000 Year Old Human Footprints Uncovered By Researchers In White Sands National Park. According To A New Study, These Tracks Date To Between 21,000 To 23,000 Years Ago—a Time When Massive Ice Sheets Are Believed To Have Blocked Human Migration Into The Americas. Photo By Dan Odess

Image source: photos.from.history

#13 The Story Of Richard Lasher’s Incredible Photo Of The 1980 Eruption Of Mt St Helens

Image source: photos.from.history

The story of Richard Lasher’s incredible photo of the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens. Everybody knew the mountain was gonna blow, but Lasher camped in the area. He planned to get up early the next morning and drive to Spirit Lake, but woke up late, and was driving towards the lake at 8:32am when Mt St Helens blew. The immediate sight, sound, and force of the blast must have been an almost unimaginable experience for Lasher. Desperately he turned his car in a hurry bending the forks of his Yamaha dirt bike. This is when he took this now world renowned photo.

Had Lasher made it to Spirit Lake, he’d almost certainly have died. According to journalist John P. Walsh, Spirit Lake “met the full impact of the volcano’s lateral blast. The sheer force of the blast lifted the lake out of its bed and propelled it about 85 stories into the air to splash onto adjacent mountain slopes.” Had Lasher made it even over the next ridge, he’d almost certainly have died. According to Cooper’s telling of the story, “Luckily for him, and he did not realize until later just how lucky, he was on the opposite side of that ridge in front, because the entire forest was flattened from the ridge down, and he was in the lee side and protected from most of the blast and the 640 degrees melting temperature.”

As it was, he was soon driving blind through the ash, staying on the left shoulder as he could just see the trees a few feet away. His vehicle clapped out from the ash so he mounted his damaged Yamaha. This decision saved his life. Four campers near close to his position

that morning were not so lucky, and 57 people near the mountain died that day.

The following day he rode his motorcycle back up into the now so called hot zone with his camera to get what pics he could. He was well into the No-Go-Zone when a helicopter saw him and came right down and landed in his path. He was surprised to be arrested on the spot and flown out in the chopper and to jail. They left his motorcycle lay on the mountain. They also kept him in jail for a few days. When he was eventually relessed, he again went back up the mojntain, and was able to get his motorcycle.

#14 (1967) The Patrouille Suisse, The Acrobatic Team Of The Swiss Air Force, During A Loop In Front Of The Alps

Image source: photos.from.history

#15 (1878) A Forest Of Totem Poles Crafted By The Haida People At Skidegate, British Columbia In 1878

Image source: photos.from.history

#16 Noluyanda Mqutwana Dances Outside Her Two-Room Family Shack In Khayelitsha, One Of The Poorest Black Townships Outside Cape Town (South Africa 2000)

Image source: photos.from.history

#17 Lyndon B. Johnson Singing With His Dog Yuki In 1968

Image source: photos.from.history

#18 An Infant Colo, The First Ever Baby Gorilla Born In Captivity. When Colo Passed Away She Was The Oldest Known Gorilla At The Time. Colo Lived From 1956-2017

Image source: photos.from.history

#19 Window Cleaners In New York City, 1958

Image source: photos.from.history

#20 Mrs. Hale, The Wife Of A British Soldier, Plays The Accordion Outside Her House For A Group Of American Soldiers In England, 1944

Image source: photos.from.history

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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