History in Pictures
If a picture is worth a thousand words, here are ten thousand words.
Red Baron and Moritz, 1918
Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, was the top fighter pilot during World War I credited with 80 victories and probably the most famous flying ace of all time. Here he is playing with his beloved dog Moritz in 1918, shortly before his death. Who actually took the shot that killed the Red Baron is still a matter of debate, but Canadian pilot Arthur Roy Brown gets the official credit.
Fram Expedition, 1896
In 1893, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen led an expedition to reach the geographical North Pole (Nansen is the one seated with the light-colored hat, looking grumpy to the side). Although the expedition failed, it did set the new Farthest North record. Also pictured holding the dog, a young Roald Amundsen. In 1911, Amundsen would become the first person to reach the South Pole.
King Tut’s Sarcophagus, 1922
Here we see Howard Carter working on the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun. The discovery of the young pharaoh’s untouched tomb rekindled interest in ancient Egypt. It also turned Tutankhamun into one of the most famous rulers of all time, even though his reign mostly involved undoing the religious changes imposed by his father, Akhenaten.
Nazi Parade in New York, 1939
The first pro-Nazi organization in the United States was the Friends of New Germany, founded 1933. It was dissolved in 1936 and replaced with the German American Bund led by Fritz Kuhn, with most divisions headquartered in New York.
Little David, 1945
At 36 inches (914 mm), this American mortar is one of the largest caliber cannons in history. It is the largest of modern cannons which use explosive shells, tied with the British Mallet’s mortar (and larger than the German railway guns). It was originally built during World War II to test-fire aerial bombs and then repurposed to demolish Japanese fortifications. However, Japan surrendered and Little David never saw combat.
Willie the Dog, 1946
General George Patton became one of the most popular, yet controversial military leaders in U.S. history thanks to his successes as commander and his outspoken personality. He died on December 21, 1945 from injuries sustained during a car crash. This iconic image shows his trusty sidekick, Willie, mourning the death of his best friend.
A picture of future U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was two and a half years old. According to the style of the time, baby clothes were gender neutral.
Nine Kings, 1910
This image depicts nine kings in one room, representing most of Europe’s royal families. It was taken at Windsor Castle in 1910 for the funeral of King Edward VII. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.
Solvay Conference, 1927
This was the fifth conference organized at the Solvay Institutes in Belgium. The theme of the meeting was “Electrons and Photons” and the world’s top physicists gathered to discuss the newly-formulated quantum theory. The attendees at the event included Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Wolfgang Pauli, Erwin Schrodinger and Werner Heisenberg among many other scientists and Nobel laureates.
From 1920 to 1933, all alcoholic beverages were banned in the United States. Here are sheriffs from Orange County dumping a batch of illegal booze.