Historic photos

Photos of the Day

Saddam Hussein charming a lady in his own romantic way. Saddam Hussein with his wife Sajida Talfah, 1960s.

“Beware of death” sign above an unexploded shell stuck in a tree WW1. I wonder what the guy was thinking when he put up the sign?

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Male chastity belt. Museum of tortures in Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg.

Cat and Dogs Meat Man, London, 1930s.

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Two men in a pillory at the state prison of Bibb County, Georgia. 1937.

The Second Sino-Japanese War began in July 1937 and eventually became part of the Pacific theater of World War II. Not long after the war, with Japan advancing into China, retreating Chinese troops left a blockade across Shanghai’s Whampoo River. Japan announced they were going to bomb it on August 28, 1937, and news teams gathered to capture the event.The planes arrived at 4:00 PM. Most of the reporters had left after hearing that the raid was postponed, so only one cameraman was waiting. The bombers didn’t hit the Chinese defenses. They hit the city’s train station—which housed 1,800 civilians waiting for evacuation, mostly women and children. The Japanese aircrews had mistaken them for troops. In total, 1,500 died. The photographer, H.S. Wong, saw a man rescuing children from the tracks. The man placed the first young child on the platform edge before returning to help another—and that is the picture Wong took. The injured, helpless child sitting among such devastation went on to be seen by over 130 million people around the world within a month and a half. It was key in turning international opinion against the Japanese, and Wong had to be evacuated to Hong Kong under British protection when the Japanese put a price on his head.

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The morning after the first battle of Passchendaele, 100 years ago on Oct. 13th 1917. The First Battle of Passchendaele took place on 12 October 1917 in the Ypres Salient area of the Western Front, west of Passchendaele village, during the Third Battle of Ypres in World War I. The Allied plan to capture Passchendaele village was based on inaccurate information about the result of the previous attack of 9 October, as the period of rainy weather continued. The attack took ground in the north but early gains around Passchendaele were mostly lost to German counter-attacks. The battle was a German defensive success, although costly to both sides. British attacks were postponed until the weather improved and communications behind the front had been restored. Two German divisions intended for Italy were diverted to Flanders, to replace “extraordinarily high” losses. Ludendorff divided the Third Battle of Ypres into five periods. In the “Fourth Battle of Flanders”, from 2–21 October he described German “wastage” as “extraordinarily high”.Hindenburg claimed later that he waited with great anxiety for the wet season. The 4th Australian Division lost c. 1,000 casualties and the 3rd Australian Division c. 3,199 casualties. From 9–12 October the German 195th Division lost 3,395 casualties. There were 2,735 New Zealand casualties, 845 being killed or mortally wounded and stranded in no-man’s-land. Calculations of German losses by J. E. Edmonds, the British Official Historian have been severely criticised ever since for adding 30% to German casualty figures, to account for different methods of calculation. The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot commemorates New Zealanders killed during the Battle of Broodseinde and the First Battle of Passchendaele, who have no known grave. The death toll made this the blackest day in New Zealand history.

Tuffi (*1946 in India, † 1989 in Paris, France) was a female circus elephant that became famous in Germany in 1950 when she jumped from the suspended monorail in Wuppertal into the river below. On 21 July 1950 the circus director Franz Althoff had Tuffi, then 4 years old, take the Schwebebahn in Wuppertal, as a marketing gag. The elephant trumpeted wildly and ran through the wagon, broke through a window and fell some 12 metres (39 ft) down into theWupper river, suffering only minor injuries. A panic had broken out in the wagon and some passengers were injured. Althoff helped the elephant out of the water. Both the circus director and the official who had allowed the ride were fined. Tuffi was sold to Cirque Alexis Gruss in 1968; she died there in 1989. This manipulated picture of the fall still exists and a building near the location of the incident, between the stations Alter Markt and Adlerbrücke, shows a painting of Tuffi. A local milk-factory has chosen the name as a brand.The Wuppertal tourist information keeps an assortment of Tuffi-related souvenirs, local websites show original pictures. In 1970 Marguerita Eckel and Ernst-Andreas Ziegler published a Children’s picture book about the incident, named Tuffi und die Schwebebahn.

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Too cool for school. (Poster from the 1980’s).

On January 30th of 1990 the first McDonalds eatery opened in Moscow. It was also the first one in the whole country – in the Soviet Union. They say they were holding talks with Soviet officials about opening this venture for over 20 years – since 1976. Also, they offered 51% ownership of the venture to the Soviet state. Then, on the first day, they were expecting 1,000 people to come to the new place. How many people actually came to taste American food? 30,000 people arrived on the first day, making it the largest restaurant launch worldwide, ever.

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In March 1991, when a series of earthquakes hit the western side of the island of Luzon along the Zambales Mountains, locals awoke to the reality that in the middle of the Zambales range, there might be a dormant volcano. Pinatubo — quiet since before the lands under it were named the Philippines — erupted a few months later, in June.
The explosion was to be the second largest of the 20th century (second only to that of Novarupta in Alaska in 1912). Unlike the Alaskan volcano, half a million people lived next to Pinatubo and several important river systems stem from its peak. A logistical and environmental nightmare loomed. Adding to the woes, a typhoon was ripped through the island, mixing Pinatubo’s ash with rains, which created concrete-like mud that collapsed roofs and buildings miles away. PHOTO BY ALBERTO GARCIA

An exhausted trader at the end of the worst day in stock market history, “Black Monday”, October 19, 1987. After “Black Monday”, stock exchanges instituted circuit breakers, or trading pauses, when there are large declines.

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“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”…Robert Shaw and “Bruce The Shark” on the set of Jaws, 1974.

Innocence looking at the dreadful reality. Little girl on roller skates talks to army soldier on patrol in Northern Ireland…. (circa 1971).

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The standoff between US and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961. In October 1961, border disputes led to a standoff and for 16 hours the world was at the brink of war while Soviet and American tanks faced each other just 300 feet (100 meters) apart. On August 1961 Washington and its British and French allies had failed to prevent the Soviets building the Berlin Wall. On October 27, after several days of escalating U.S. rebuffs to East German attempts to get American officials to show identification documents before entering East Berlin (thus indirectly acknowledging East German sovereignty, rather than Soviet occupation authority) ten U.S. M-48 tanks took up position at Checkpoint Charlie. There they stood, some 50 meters from the border, noisily racing their engines and sending plumes of black smoke into the night air. Alarmed by the apparent threat, Moscow, with the approval of the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, sent an equal number of Russian T55 tanks rumbling to face down the Americans. They too ground to a halt some 50 meters from the East/West Berlin. This was the culmination of several days escalation of actions on both sides and the face-off of the Soviet and American tanks, with guns uncovered, the first (and only) such direct confrontation of U.S. and Soviet troops.

“Ass you can see, So therefore your honour, I rest my case.” A stripper, charged with exposing her privates to a police officer, bent over to show the judge that her bikini briefs were too large to show any of her goods. 1983. The case was dismissed.

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“I’d like the top left side coat, closest to the street please.” A coat sale in Copenhagen, Denmark! 1936. This was the location of Christian Troelstrup’s coat shop.Overstocked with a large supply of men’s spring and winter coats, a clothier in Copenhagen, Denmark, adopted a unique sales scheme. He erected a scaffolding around his store building and completely covered it from roof to sidewalk with overcoats. The novel display attracted prospective customers in such droves that police were summoned. Although the police ordered the proprietor to remove the display, he succeeded in selling all the overcoats. The owner erected scaffolding around his store building and completely covered it from roof to sidewalk with overcoats. The Municipality of Copenhagen condemned the building in Møntergade. As his final goodbye to the property in Møntergade, Christian Troelstrup organised an event one spring day in April. He covered the façade of the property in coats – all five storeys from pavement to roof. The picture, which was taken by a passing American photographer, was published in newspapers all over Europe and in America. In 1940, the picture was published in National Geographic

A security guard aims his gun at a man who holds a knife at the throat of a 22 year old woman in a kidnapping attempt in a Hollywood parking lot, November 23, 1973. Guard shoots and kills man. Woman fine.

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Exhausted German POW captured at Passchendaele, 1917.

Julia Child doing her cooking show ‘The French Chef’, 1963.

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