47 Rare Historical Photos That Amaze and Provoke

Our Incredible World History Through Timeless Historical Pictures

 

Just months before his infamous car crash death, James Dean posed in a coffin at the local undertaker in his hometown. January 1955.

James Dean posing in the coffin of a local undertaker in his home town in the year of his car crash and ensuing death, January 1955.

 

Customers at a London record shop in 1955.

Customers at a London record shop in 1955.

 

Morbidly called “The Most Beautiful Suicide, Evelyn McHale jumped to her death from the Empire State Building in 1947. Color.Morbidly called “The Most Beautiful Suicide, Evelyn McHale jumped to her death from the Empire State Building in 1947. Color.

 

O.J. Simpson carries the Olympic Torch in Los Angeles, 1984. Nichole Brown can be seen on the left.

O.J. Simpson carries the Olympic Torch in Los Angeles, 1984. Nichole Brown can be seen on the left.

 

A young Harold Whittles hears sound for the first time, 1974. Amazing.

 

After her arrest by undercover cops in Florida, an exotic dancer demonstrates to the judge that her underwear was too big to have exposed her hoo-ha.

After her arrest by undercover cops in Florida, an exotic dancer demonstrates to the judge that her underwear was too big to have exposed her hoo-ha

 

This daring elephant took a leap from a German monorail in 1950. He lived… for another 40 years.This daring elephant took a leap from a German monorail in 1950. He lived… for another 40 years.

 

Believe it or not, that’s a young Francis Bavier… You know… Aunt Bea from “The Andy Griffith Show!” Wow!

Believe it or not, that’s a young Francis Bavier… You know… Aunt Bea from “The Andy Griffith Show!” Wow!

 

Ever wonder what Mark Twain looked like without a shirt? Well, fantasize no longer. Taken in 1883.

Ever wonder what Mark Twain looked like without a shirt? Well, fantasize no longer. Taken in 1883.

 

The teenage Beatles in 1957. George Harrison 14, Joh Lennon 16, and Sir Paul McCartney 15.

The teenage Beatles in 1957. George Harrison 14, Joh Lennon 16, and Sir Paul McCartney 15.

 

Marilyn Monroe having fun with a funhouse mirror, 1950.

Marilyn Monroe having fun with a fun house mirror, 1950.

 

Ernest Hemingway getting hammered in at a Havana bar.

Ernest Hemingway getting hammered in at a Havana bar.

 

After being shot down, a U.S. airman is captured by the Vietnamese in Truc Bach Lake, Hanoi in 1967. The airman is John McCain.

 

Amelia Earhart receives what proved to be her last haircut in 1937. And a stylish one indeed.

Amelia Earhart receives what proved to be her last haircut in 1937. And a stylish one indeed.

 

An Iranian woman before the Islamic Revolution, 1960.

 

Execution by cannon, in Shiraz, Iran, mid-late 19th century. A lovely way to go.

Execution by cannon, in Shiraz, Iran, mid-late 19th century. A lovely way to go.

 

Lewis Payne, co-conspirator to the assassination of President Lincoln, just before to his execution in 1865.

Lewis Payne, co-conspirator to the assassination of President Lincoln, just before to his execution in 1865.

 

Hellen Keller meets Charli Chaplin on the set of Sunnyside in 1919. She read Charlie’s lips by touching her fingers on his mouth.

 

Actress Veronica Lake demonstrates what can happen to female factory workers who don’t tie their hair back. 1943.

 

Albert Einstein wearing fuzzy slippers, circa 1950.

 

Muhammad Ali talks a suicidal man down from the ninth-floor ledge of an L.A. high-rise in 1981.

Muhammad Ali talks a suicidal man down from the ninth-floor ledge of an L.A. high-rise in 1981.

 

A young Florence Henderson of “The Brady Bunch” fame during her Broadway years, the early 1950s.

A young Florence Henderson of “The Brady Bunch” fame during her Broadway years, the early 1950s.

 

Survivors of the Titanic boarding the rescue ship RMS Carpathia in 1912.

Survivors of the Titanic boarding the rescue ship RMS Carpathia in 1912.

 

Only first class passengers were allowed to bring dogs aboard the Titanic. Only three survived. The three pictured here all perished. The Fox Terrier on the left was owned by William Dulles. The French Bulldog (center), owned by William Daniels was last seen swimming. The Great Dane died with her owner Anne Elizabeth Isham.

Only first class passengers were allowed to bring dogs aboard the Titanic. Only three survived. The three pictured here all perished. The Fox Terrier on the left was owned by William Dulles. The French Bulldog (center), owned by William Daniels was last seen swimming. The Great Dane died with her owner Anne Elizabeth Isham.

 

Situwuka and Katkwachsnea, a handsome Native American couple in 1912.

Situwuka and Katkwachsnea, a handsome Native American couple in 1912.

 

An authority measuring the length of a woman’s swimsuit in 1922 along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Women were arrested if their suit was deemed immodest.

An authority measuring the length of a woman’s swimsuit in 1922 along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Women were arrested if their suit was deemed immodest.

 

The start of Google team, outside of their first headquarters. Not sure what year. I guess you could Google it.

The start of Google team, outside of their first headquarters. Not sure what year. I guess you could Google it.

 

The models used for the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930.

The models used for the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930.

 

A Congolese man stares at the severed hand and foot of his five-year-old daughter who was killed, and allegedly, cannibalized, by the members of the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company militia in 1904. The sickening act was carried out as punishment on the father who had failed to make the daily rubber quota.

A Congolese man stares at the severed hand and foot of his five-year-old daughter who was killed and, allegedly, cannibalized, by the members of the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company militia in 1904. The sickening act was carried out as punishment on the father who had failed to make the daily rubber quota.

 

The first passengers aboard the brand-new New York subway system in 1904.The first passengers aboard the brand-new New York subway system in 1904.

 

A surly future U.S. President George W. Bush playing dirty rugby for Yale in 1966.

A surly future U.S. President George W. Bush playing dirty rugby for Yale in 1966.

 

Separated by religion as much as a wall, here lie the graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, Holland, 1988.

 

Actress Betty White at home with her dog in 1952.

Actress Betty White at home with her dog in 1952.

 

The last public execution by guillotine. France, 1938.

The last public execution by guillotine. France, 1938.

 

U.S. President and jokester Ronald Reagan poses behind a headless Terra Cotta Warrior as wife Nancy looks on. Xian, China, 1984.

U.S. President and jokester Ronald Reagan poses behind a headless Terra Cotta Warrior as wife Nancy looks on. Xian, China, 1984.

 

The inventor of Basketball, James Naismith, in the 1890s. He came up the game while teaching physical education at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Originally, the game just 13 rules and used peach baskets as hoops.  Here he is practicing with his wife.

The inventor of Basketball, James Naismith, in the 1890s. He came up the game while teaching physical education at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Originally, the game just 13 rules and used peach baskets as hoops.  Here he is practicing with his wife.

 

A look at the natural Mount Rushmore just as carving began.

A look at the natural Mount Rushmore just as carving began.

 

Carving an eye on Mount Rushmore, 1930s.

Carving an eye on Mount Rushmore, 1930s.

 

In 1909, about 100 people participated in a lottery to divvy up a 12-acre plot of sand dunes. These dunes pictured here would later become the city of Tel Aviv.

 

Steven Spielberg on the set of Jaws in 1975. Here, the 27-year-old director takes a break in the jaws of the mechanical great white that film crew lovingly referred to as “Bruce.”

Steven Spielberg on the set of Jaws in 1975. Here, the 27-year-old director takes a break in the jaws of the great white that was lovingly referred by the film crew as “Bruce.”

 

Her name was Tereska and she grew up in a concentration camp. Seen here in 1948 living in a residence for disturbed children in Poland. She was asked to draw a picture of “home.”

Her name was Tereska and she grew up in a concentration camp. Seen here in 1948 living in a residence for disturbed children in Poland. She was asked to draw a picture of “home.”

 

If kids today think they invented selfies, tell’ em to think again. Here’s one from the 1920s

If kids today think they invented selfies, tell’ em to think again. Here’s one from the 1920s.

 

The last known photo of Vladimir Lenin’s. At the time of this photo in 1923, he had suffered three strokes and was completely mute.

The last known photo of Vladimir Lenin’s. At the time of this photo in 1923, he had suffered three strokes and was completely mute.

 

Bruce Jenner throwing the javelin on the final day of decathlon competition in the 1976 Olympics. He went on to win gold and break the world record, among other notable things.

Bruce Jenner throwing the javelin on the final day of decathlon competition in the 1976 Olympics. He went on to win gold and break the world record, among other notable things.

 

Residents of West Berlin in 1961 showing off their children to their grandparents who live on the eastern side.

Residents of West Berlin in 1961 showing off their children to their grandparents who live on the eastern side.

 

Civil War General Ambrose Burnside for whom the term “sideburns” was coined.

Civil War General Ambrose Burnside for whom the term “sideburns” was coined.

 

The last full-blooded Tasmanian aborigines taken in the 1860’s.

The last full-blooded Tasmanian aborigines taken in the 1860's.

 

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