14 Famous Historical Moments From Perspectives You've Never Seen


Unless we were at the site of a major historical event, we're used to imagining the defining moments of our age through the images that are presented to us through media outlets. Pictures help define our collective memory, creating cultural iconography that is at once relatable and evocative. 

For later generations, those images, in a sense, become history. They become an inseparable part of how history is imagined, contextualized, and narrated. Photographs form the major part of historical iconography. The images, once viewed and embedded with meaning, become a common visual language of history.

But every photo is only a moment suspended in depiction. These moments, though past, were seen through other eyes, other lenses, other frames of experience, and other perspectives. This collection of photographs, culled from this thread on Reddit, offers a look at history through some of those perspectives. Think of them as disappearing dialects in the language that we call history. Enjoy.

1. The Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam before it was flooded
The Hoover Dam was opened in 1936.

2. Wilbur Wright flying around the Statue of Liberty.

Wilbur Wright flies around the Statue of Liberty
"There is no sport equal to that which aviators enjoy while being carried through the air on great white wings." - Wilbur Wright 

3. The unknown man who faced down a tank in Tianamen Square.

The Tank Man in Tiananmen Square
On June 4, 1989, Chinese troops stormed into Tianamen Square. Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters were massacred as Communism revealed its true face to the world once again.

4. The MGM Lion being filmed for his iconic roar.

FIlming the MGM lion

5. The iceberg thought to have sunk RMS Titanic.

The iceberg believed to have sunk the Titanic
On April 14 at 11:40 pm, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg, tearing a hole in her hull and taking water. 1,522 passengers and crew were lost.

6. Martin Luther King's historic 1968 speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech
"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream." – Martin Luther King Jr

7. Jackie Kennedy watching JFK from backstage.

Jackie Kennedy watching her husband debate Richard Nixon

8. New York City after V-J Day celebrations, 1945.

Aftermath of the Victory over Japan Day celebrations in New York City
View post on imgur.com
September 2, 1945: Japan formally surrenders to the Allies, bringing an end to WWII.

9. The original Hollywood sign.

The Hollywood sign right after it was built

10. Abraham Lincoln having a chat with General George McClellan.

Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan.

11. The models of Grant Wood's "American Gothi" painting.

The models of the "American Gothic" painting.

12. The crowds at Woodstock, 1969.

Crowds at the original Woodstock Music Festival
And a whole lot of mud.

13. John F. Kennedy giving a speech in front of the Berlin Wall, 1963.

JFK giving his famous "Ich bin ein berliner" speech in Berlin, Germany
"There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the communist world. Let them come to Berlin … There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin … And there are even a few who say that it's true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lasst sie nach Berlin kommen— let them come to Berlin!" - John F. Kennedy, June 23 1963.Kennedy was correct. Although a "berliner" is a type of jelly doughnut, it was understood by the audience that what he meant was that he was one with the people of Berlin.

14. 1989: Traffic snarls after the borders separating East and West Germany open.

Traffic jam in Berlin as the border between East and West Germany opens.
Kennedy's wish coming true. Another nail in the coffin of European communism.

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