Eighteen years ago, the lives of nearly 3,000 people came to a tragically premature end. Since then, the rubble has been cleared, the perpetrators have been caught and a new building has been erected, but for the many still mourning the loss of their loved ones, nothing built or brought to justice can replace that hollow, aching feeling that acts as their shadow each and every day.
When the towers collapsed on that fateful morning in September, so too did their worlds. This photography from 9/11–no matter how hard it may be to view–encapsulates that sinking feeling of irrevocable loss…
The first large-scale American conflict to occur after the invention of the photograph, the Civil War was left behind some very interesting and grim photographic records. Civil War photos show both the Union and Confederate sides of the battle, and both look very similar. America’s Civil War pitted state against state and brother against brother in a conflict that the bloodiest in America’s entire history. Much of that bloodshed is visible in the photos below, taken in the aftermath of major battles that shaped our country forever.
Where Civil War paintings focused more on the feelings of the events, photography allowed for more immediate moments. Photos show valiant soldiers manning their positions and doing their duties on both land and sea. They used powerful weapons like the maxim gun and mortars that previous generations would never have been able to dream of, and that took a terrible toll on our nation. If you want to see more, check out the photos below.
Wilbur and Orville Wright were brothers and best buddies who ushered in the age of modern aviation. On December 17, 1903, they flew the first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight, depicted here, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (technically, Orville was in the plane, and Wilbur was on the ground, but they always took duel credit for everything).
Nepali men carrying the 1938 Mercedes Benz that Adolf Hitler gifted to King Truibhuvan of Nepal (1940).
On April 10th, 1912, the legendary cruise ship known as the Titanic, thought to be unsinkable, sails to New York from Southampton, England. As everyone knows, this inaugural journey was also the ship’s very last. You probably have seen the famous 1997 James Cameron movie, but it’s less likely that you will have seen these chill-inducing photos.
First, read a few impressive numbers about the Titanic:
A middle-aged man works on the framework of the Empire State Building in 1930
Since photography was invented in the early 1800s, much of history — both the savory and the unsavory, the uplifting and haunting — has become immortalized in pictures.
We dug through several historical archives and the Library of Congress to compile the following list of 50 fascinating photos from this country’s past, focusing on shots taken before or during the 20th century.
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive dive into US history. Rather, the pictures ahead merely capture a glimpse of the many people, actions, and events that have shaped this nation over the past three centuries.
Below, take a closer look at some of the most powerful photos in American history.
large part of the naive yet persistent American notion that World War II was “the good war” is the idea that countless young American men volunteered to fight because they simply knew that it was the right thing to do.
However, consider the following: During World War II, two-thirds of U.S. forces were drafted, not enlisted. Yet during the Vietnam War — the ugly, evil twin to World War II’s “good war” — two-thirds of U.S. forces were enlisted, not drafted.
As North Dakota braces for a Winter Storm, blizzards in March are not new to the state, in fact, this month is when we annually receive the most snow. Bismarck averages 9.1 inches in March and if forecasters are right, we’ll get all of that, and possibly more in the next couple of days.
The worst snow event in North Dakota history occurred March 2nd, 3rd and 4th of 1966. During that epic blizzard, 20-30 inches of snow fell across the state. When combined with winds up to 70-miles-per-hour, gusting at time to 100-miles-per-hour, drifts were 30-40 feet high in some locations.
This iconic photograph was taken during that storm. It shows Department of Transportation employee, Bill Koch, standing next to the top of a set of power lines. Visibility in the open country and farm yards was reduced to zero for 11 straight hours during the storm. 74,500 head of cattle perished during the three day blizzard.
Contrary to what some might have you believe, American identity can look like many things. These Ellis Island immigration photos prove it.
As a clerk at Ellis Island from 1892-1925, Augustus Sherman was in a unique position to document countless immigrants as they attempted to gain entrance into the United States.
The untrained photographer had an undeniable natural talent: Even with bulky cameras and the time-consuming exposure process they required, Sherman was able to take more than 200 photos — of subjects typically detained for interrogation — that reveal as much about the subjects’ fears as they do the diverse reality of our national heritage (all photos taken by Augustus Sherman from 1905 to 1914):
An Albanian soldier.
Some hopeful immigrants could be held on Ellis Island for days, or even weeks, before being approved or deported.
While the Vietnam War raged — roughly two decades’ worth of bloody and world-changing years — compelling images made their way out of the combat zones. On television screens and magazine pages around the world, photographs told a story of a fight that only got more confusing, more devastating, as it went on. As Jon Meacham describes in this week’s issue of TIME, the pictures from that period can help illuminate the “demons” of Vietnam.
And, in the decades since, the most striking of those images have retained their power. Think of the War in Vietnam and the image in your mind is likely one that was first captured on film, and then in the public imagination. How those photographs made history is underscored throughout the new documentary series The Vietnam War, from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The series features a wide range of war images, both famous and forgotten.
Some people have selected an image from the period that they found particularly significant, and explained why that photograph moved them the most…
Here, lightly edited, are their responses!