This article was originally published on 24/7Mirror
When most of us think of history we imagine it to be a series of dates and facts that have been carved in stone and agreed upon by professors and researchers. The truth is, so much is not known about our past, either because evidence and information has been destroyed, hidden from us, or even just blatantly ignored. It's only from looking back at these pieces of information (in this case, photographs) that we can hope to come to a more honest understanding of our past. So sit back, and see these incredibly rare historical photos that show you what the world was really like many years ago.
1. Austrian Boy's Excitement At A New Pair Of Shoes During WWII
We take so many things for granted nowadays, even shoes. But years ago in war-torn Europe, new shoes were a luxury that most people simply couldn't afford.
This picture shows a boy from Austria, smiling towards heaven as he hugs his newly received shoes during the Second World War.
2. Elvis Presley's Military Service
This picture shows the King of Rock n’ Roll when he was in the army in 1958, after his training in Fort Hood and just post-deployment to West Germany. While Presley outwardly tried to show family and friends that he enjoyed the army, he privately admitted to family that he hated military life.
Despite the duties of being a soldier, Presley still managed to maintain his musical career, while donating all his earnings during the 2-year military service to charity.
3. Refusing To Salute The Fuhrer
Protesting against the Government is considered a basic human right in many parts of the world. But it wasn't always so, and expressing your personal political opinion could sometimes lead to severe consequences. The picture shows a man not giving the Sieg Heil salute among various Nazi supporters.
While it seems like a simple gesture, this one tiny act of defiance may have landed this man, and his entire family, in jail or worse.
4. Leo, The Famous MGM Studio’s Lion
Afraid of lions? Well, then you’re lucky enough not to be the one recording the infamous lion used for the MGM Studio’s opening.
This lion was named Leo by the MGM studios in 1957, but when they first got him he was actually named Jackie. Even though the roar was recorded several times after 1916, this was the only lion named Leo.
5. Disneyland's Opening Day
The year was 1955. This was the year when Disneyland was first opened in California and was able to draw thousands, entertaining both children and adults alike.
Today we are blessed with 6 Disneylands across the world, and the company has become one of the most successful and iconic in history.
6. Albert Einstein's Adorable Slippers
Dull and grim is not a combination you define Albert Einstein with. The genius has been spotted in many photos having some light-hearted fun.
Here, the famous discoverer is seen wearing trendy fuzzy slippers. Its fashion, after all and we think it looks great!
7. History's Most Horrifying Halloween Costumes
What does Halloween mean to you? It is an opportunity to score free candy? Well in the 1900s the tradition of wearing creepy masks was still what made the holiday extremely special and unique.
Freaky children, as shown in the picture, could be seen everywhere tricking and scaring people! Thank goodness, these masks are not used anymore.
8. Actual RMS Titanic Boarding Pass
The picture shows a real RMS Titanic Boarding pass. Doesn’t ring a bell? How about Jack and Rose; the lovers from the famous movie, Titanic?
The real story of Titanic was far more tragic and anything found up to this date is still worth a fortune considering how famous the ship is and how nearly everything related to it is at the bottom of the ocean.
9. Crowds Come Out To Watch Boxing - 1920’s
This picture of a ring set was snapped in 1923 in the middle of the Yankee Stadium and depicts two people beating each other to the brink of death!
Boxing is not a newly founded sport, it has been entertaining millions, even before boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Smokin’ Joe Frazier took over!
10. Bin Laden's Black Belt
Bin Laden, the notorious terrorist, was photographed in 1980 when he was studying judo.
The training lasted a week where he studied the art of throwing, punching, and kicking with the Saudi National Army.
11. Boston Marathon Runner Kathrine Switzer Gets Thrown Out
Enjoy running? Then be glad that you weren’t a woman born in 1967. Kathrine Switzer wanted to put herself through the physical hell of running a marathon before women were allowed to do so.
She was the first woman to compete as well as complete the run despite the several obstacles in her path, as depicted by the picture.
12. One Of The First Successful Hearing Aids
Technology is a complex thing. While it comes with its fair share of controversies, it has also paved new opportunities for people as well.
The picture snapped is of a young boy named Harold Whittles, who was born deaf and is hearing vibrant sounds for the first time, all thanks to his hearing aid.
13. The Golden Gate Bridge Rises Over San Francisco
This incredible photo shows us just what an arduous task building this bridge must have been.
Since this photo was taken, the Golden Gate Bridge has been among one of the most popular monuments all over the world.
14. That Statue of Liberty Prepares To Get Shipped To New York
How tall is the Statue of Liberty exactly? It’s a whopping 305.1 feet (6’3,588). It was a gift from France to America to celebrate the alliance and friendship between both countries.
Now, it just represents the prevailing freedom and democracy in the United States.
15. Two Legends In One Shot
The picture shows the two great martial arts legends in one frame. Even though the only loss Chuck Norris faced was at the hands of Bruce Lee in The Way of Dragon, the two still remained good friends.
After this however, Chuck went on an unbreakable winning streak, destroying everyone in his path.
16. First Computer Ever
How technology has evolved still continues to amaze many of us. The first standard computer was as big as a room! How all our favorite applications, digital assets, and technological aspects fit into a small device would likely be mind-blowing to the people in this photo.
This picture was captured in 1950 displaying England’s first-ever computer. One can get easily confused seeing only the amount of buttons on the machine!
17. Completing Mount Rushmore
This picture was taken while carving out Mount Rushmore. It took almost 15 years to complete but was never finished based on original plans.
Opposition from Native American groups and the quality of the rock were used as ‘excuses’ to eventually call it quits.
18. Job Hunting During The Great Depression
Thousands of Americans found themselves out of jobs when the Great Depression began.
Even trained people were not spared and were forced to look for jobs however way they could.
19. Kobe Bryant Holding Up His First NBA Jersey
The future 5-time NBA star and 2-time Finals MVP Kobe Bryant is seen holding his number 8 jersey after being picked 13th in the 1996 Draft.
Kobe left the league in 2016 and only played for LA Lakers. The jersey numbers 8 and 24 were discharged by the Lakers after Kobe left.
Funny what countries do to adapt better. The name is too hard to pronounce so let’s just call it H-day.
This was the day when the Swedish government decided to switch from driving on the left lane to the right in order to ease the commuting from Sweden to its neighboring countries. Needless to say, the traffic was basically at a standstill on H-day and weeks after that.
21. First 21 Employees of Google
This picture shows the original team of Google’s development and promotions. Google was established in 1998 and soon overthrew Yahoo as the most popular search engine.
Most of these people have left Google to pursue other successful projects.
22. A Souvenir Left On The Moon
Ever felt the urge to leave something on a famous or favorite monument? Well Charles Duke, part of a 3-man crew in Apollo 16 mission on the moon, took this to the next level.
He thoughtfully placed his family's portrait in a plastic bag and left it on the moon. However, he may have forgotten that the picture might be ruined after days due to the harsh environment of the lunar surface.
23. Buzz Aldrin’s Amazing Space Selfie
Very few have the talent of taking selfies that come out this good!
Buzz Aldrin in 1966 is one of them. The picture shows how the astronaut took a selfie in space angled just so the Earth can be in the background. Look closely, do you see yourself or your parents?
24. Second Inaugural Address by President Lincoln
When you are a politician, you are both loved and hated by your countrymen, same is the case with Abraham Lincoln; the 16th president of the US.
Here, Abraham Lincoln is seen giving his second inaugural address just days before the end of war.
25. 10mb Storage Computer Selling For Only $5995!
In 1980’s and 1990’s, technology was so rare that buying a desktop could cost you your entire savings plus your paycheck.
This ad shows how a 10mb computer was only $5995! With this amount of money nowadays, one could build a high-end computer themselves and still have cash left.
26. King Tut’s Burglar Alarm
Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, ruled Ancient Egypt during the New Empire Period. Scientists decided it would be a nice idea to take a picture of the unbroken seal before raiding his assets inside.
King Tut died at age 18 or 19, but made sure that nobody got their hands on his beloved gifts from foreign dignitaries.
27. Tiananmen Square As Seen From Another Angle
In 1989, a failure of Chinese government reforms led to students protesting and marching in the street. The students converged on Tiananmen Square, where the Chinese government deployed the military as a way to force them to disperse.
Here is another angle, showing 4 different reactions to oncoming tanks.
28. Lunchtime For Former Disneyland Employees
How dumb do companies actually think we are? This photograph of Disneyland’s employees getting lunch is obviously staged.
Its protocol for them to remove their costumes before eating, not only because it gets really hot and humid, but because a nasty smell also permeates from their costumes if they forget to do so.
29. Nazi Prisoners Being Shown German Atrocities
This is the reaction of German soldiers who had fought on Adolf Hitler’s side when they were shown the Nazi's gruesome acts moments after they had surrendered to the allies. Truly disgusting.
Never follow someone blindly enough to forget the difference between right and wrong.
30. Muhammad Ali Punching The Beatles
1970 was a time when the Beatles and Muhammad Ali were at the top of the world. This must have been an amazing cultural moment when these two forces of nature met for the first time.
In this picture, we can see Ali squashing four Beatles with a single punch. This picture was taken in the 1970s, a time when both the Beatles and Muhammad Ali were famous around the world.
31. MLK Jr. Pulls A Burnt KKK Cross Out Of His Lawn
Racism is still a problem today but back in the 1930s and 1940s it was far more extreme than most people today could possibly imagine.
This is a picture of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the best leaders of the civil rights movement, getting rid of the burned cross from his yard with his son at his side.
32. Playing Gold On The Empire State Building
In the 1930s and 1940s, there was no concept of laws regarding workplace safety. A man in golf attire seems to swing a golf club standing on the steel beams of the Empire State Building, all while a young caddy watches him.
This must have been quite a story for the golfer to tell his buddies over beers later.
33. Unarmed Japanese Man Surrendering to US soldiers
Here an unarmed, unclothed, Japanese civilian can be seen with guns pointed in his direction. We are not so sure what happened after the picture was taken of the man.
Japanese civilians can be seen with guns pointed in his direction. From his actions, we can judge that he is not putting up any fight and not defending himself in any way.
34. Flights Grounded After 9/11
This picture was taken when multiple flights were being on hold following the events of 9/11. No airplane was allowed to fly in the sky after the towers crumbled.
Many of us can remember the horrors of that day, and we hope that something so uspeakably awful never happens again.
35. One-Wheel Car
This one wheel vehicle was less attractive than unicycles. One can only imagine the hurt of one tripping over. Safety was surely not kept in mind while designing this one wheel ride.
Only a brave man, who can bear injuries, can ride this one-wheel vehicle. After taking a look at this, we can see pretty quickly why this design didn't catch on.
36. Aftermath Of An Intense Snowball Fight
Judging from the picture it may seem as they are war-hardened veterans but it is not the case. They are freshmen students from Princeton after a nasty snowball fight against Sophomores.
Three freshmen students from Princeton fought a snowball fight with Sophomores. From their faces, we can judge that rocks were being planted in the snowballs before they were being launched at the rivals with full velocity.
37. Obama In His Teen Years
Here we can see the future 44th president of the USA, Barrack Obama, when he was a young man with a growing afro. He was a pretty enthusiastic and charismatic leader.
One thing that many voters liked about Obama was that his childhood was fairly ordinary making him much more relatable to many people.
38. Jimi Hendrix's Final Concert In Germany
Jimi Hendrix, one of the best guitarists in history, can be seen in the picture performing his last concert. He was found unconscious 12 days after the concert and was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.
This snap was taken on September 6, 1970, in Fehmarn, Germany. His death was ruled as an accident of overdose on barbiturates.
39. How The Berlin Wall Split Families
The Berlin wall was used to divide Germany's capital, both physically and ideologically, until it was demolished in November 1989. Anybody who even tried to cross it would be shot down.
In this picture, we can see a young family that is showing their children to their grandparents residing on the other side of the Berlin Wall. This was likely the closest that the grandparents ever got to their grandchildren.
40. An Exotic Dancer Displays Her Underwear To A Judge
In this picture, we can see an exotic dancer that was taken into custody for Pinellas County’s anti-nudity laws. To prove to the judge that her underwear didn't show her private parts she bent over and gave a first-hand sight of the evidence.
Being in court is usually a serious and rather dull affair. This was certainly a much more memorable moment!
41. The Soviet Cosmonaut Who Fell From Space
We can see the charred remains of Vladimir Komarov, a Soviet test pilot who command the Soyuz 1. There were many technical issues that were faced in the flight.
The entire flight was confronted with multiple technical issues but the worst was when the manned spaceflight’s parachute failed to expand, causing the cosmonaut to come hurtling to Earth from space and burning up upon re-entry.
42. Possibly The Most Famous American Suicide
Suicide is heartbreaking and horrifying, and with proper help, it can be avoided. This picture shows bookkeeper Even McHale who instantly became famous after jumping from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
Her beauty and the way she looks so peaceful made this one of the most famous suicide photos in the world, often compared toThich Quang Duc, whose suicide brought about the communist revolution in Vietnam.
43. Brave Scottish Piper Plays On A Battlefield In World War I
Bagpipers are the only musical instrument that resembles a weapon. In the picture, a Scottish piper is playing on the battlefield during the war to instill fear into the hearts of their enemy.
While we're not sure how scary bagpipes could arguably be considered, it is very heroic of him to stand there in such a situation and play his people the song of the doom.
44. A Military Dog Injured In Guam
During the Second Battle of Guam, the military used dogs for both attacking and assisting in delivering messages. There used to be some heroic dogs that used to go beyond the line of duty and pass in between gunfire to get the job done themselves.
In the second battle of Guam, many canines were sadly hurt or killed while trying to help the soldiers stay alive. To respect their tribute, a statue of a Doberman Pinscher was erected to highlight the service of military dogs during the Second Battle.
45. Winston Churchill In His Youth
Young Winston Churchill is looking vigorous in his military attire. Churchill took an active part in the First World War and gave three decades of his life to the military.
We know Winston Churchill as the strong man who liked to smoke his cigar. Here, we can see him in totally different attire wearing the military uniform.
46. Building The Eiffel Tower
There was no concept of safety laws in the early 20th century. This picture is a clear depiction of that law not being used as four painters are giving a coat of paint to the Eiffel Tower in 1932 without any precautions.
We can see that one of the painters is smoking a cigarette while doing his job. This must have been a terrifying moment for these men who did what they had to in order to provide for themselves and their families.
47. Norway Gets Its First Taste Of Bananas
The people of Norway are just being introduced to the oddly shaped fruit 'banana' in 1905. The first batch to ever enter the Land of Midnight Sun weighed over 3,000 kg.
Considering that bananas came from the other side of the world this must have been quite exciting for the people of Norway.
48. Tel Aviv’s Future Site
This is a picture of 100 individuals, who were chosen to divide a plot of 12 acres in the desert.
All the people were given the right over the property by the UK government. Who would've guessed that this stip of the desert would one day become a densely packed metropolis?
49. Last Public Execution By Guillotine in France
Eugen Weidman was the last person to get beheaded by the government in public. It was a gruesome sight but the public still came out in throngs to bear witness.
In 1939 public beheadings were banned. Eugen Weidman was a serial kidnapper, so the French government felt that he deserved the punishment.