Old Photos: 10 Shocking Historical Photos Explained – Vol 2

Old Photos: 10 Shocking Historical Photos Explained – Vol 2

Shocking Historical Photos Explained – Vol 2

The saying is that a picture is worth a 1,000 words; while that is certainly true, combining rare historical photos with their sometimes shocking descriptions can create an even more powerful narrative. The following 10 historical photos all depict different shocking moments in history spanning the last century or two. Each image comes with a short description behind the photo to better tell its story: some are sad, some amazing, and some are even scary. However, they all are important, each carrying a piece of the human condition for the reader to take in. (Want more shocking historical photos? You can view Vol 1 here.)

1: Protest in Saigon – 1963

Shocking Historical Photos - A Monk Sets Himself on Fire in Protest - Saigon, 1963 Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, set himself on fire to protest against South Vietnam governmental killings of Buddhists – June 11, 1963. (Photo: Public Domain)

2: Starving Mongolian Woman – 1913

Shocking Historical Photos - Starving Mongolian Woman - 1913 First published in National Geographic in 1913 by photographer Stefan Passe, this shocking historical photo shows a woman being punished for a crime. Many persons found guilty of various misdoings, male and female, were locked in such wooden cells in public, often not fed or given water by authorities. This woman appears fortunate, however, as you can see food and/or water bowls. Often times, the prisoner was taunted and insulted by passers-by or simply left to die of starvation or dehydration. (Photo: Public Domain)

3: Playful Moment Amid Racial Tension – 1992

Shocking Historical Photos - Playful Moment During Racist Event - 1992 Young child of a KKK member touches his reflection in the riot shield of an African American police officer. The date was September 5, 1992 and the event was a Ku Klux Klan rally in northeast Georgia. (Photo: Todd Robertson, courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center / poynter.org)

4: The Face of War – 1943

Shocking Historical Photos - First Press Pictures of Dead U.S. Soldiers WW II - 1943 During the early phases of World War II, the press at home in the United States was heavily censored to keep the public from seeing the actual death and devastation that was taking place along the front lines. One of the first uncensored press photos presented to the public in the U.S., this ground-breaking photograph of dead American soldiers brought the war home and presented, for the first time, the real face of WW II. (Photo: Public Domain)

5: Electrocution in the Name of Science – 1862

Shocking Historical Photos - Neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne electrocuting a man’s face - 1862 This photo shows Neurologiest Duchenne de Boulogne using electricity on a man’s face to study facial muscles – 1862. (Photo: Public Domain)

6: Spanish Flu Outbreak – 1918

Shocking Historical Photos - 1918 Spanish Flu Outbreak - People wore masks, to no avail, in efforts to stop spread of the deadly virus The influenza pandemic of 1918, known as the Spanish Flu Outbreak, killed as many as 100 million people globally. For reference, that is roughly the number of people living in all of the United States at that same time. There are many shocking photos around the web showing affects of the Spanish Flu like mass graves dug in the city of Philadelphia and outdoor hospitals set-up specifically for flu victims because all indoor facilities were full. However, this photo showing baseball players and spectators wearing surgical masks helps illustrate the story of fear that spread around the world. People from all countries stayed inside or wore these surgical masks to go about their daily lives, not knowing at the time that the cotton masks offered little to no real protection against the flu bug. (Photo: nationalgeographic.com)

7: The Falling Man – 2001

Shocking Historical Photos - The Falling Man - September 11, 2001 “The Falling Man” – taken by AP photographer Richard Drew – shows a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41am during the September 11 attacks in New York City – 2001. The unfortunate individual in the photo, identity uncertain, was one of many people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper. It is unclear if the man fell searching for a way to safety or if he jumped to escape the fire. (Photo: wikipedia.org)

8: The Ultimate Confrontation – 1967

Shocking Historical Photos - 17 year old Jan Rose Kasmir offers a flower to soldiers - Pentagon anti-war protest - 1967 This famous photograph by French photographer Marc Riboud is called “The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet” and features 17-year-old Jan Rose Kasmir offering a flower to soldiers during the 1967 Pentagon anti-war protest. The protest occurred on October 21, 1967 with more than 100,000 anti-war activists in the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam’s March on the Pentagon to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (wikipedia.org)

9: Candy Cigarette – 1989

Shocking Historical Photos - Sally Mann's 'Candy Cigarette' - 1989 Shot in 1989 and released in 1992 as part of a collection called Immediate Family, “Candy Cigarette” sparked both acclaim and rage for photographer Sally Mann. One of the most famous photos of the 20th century, the image depicts a young preteen girl (Sally’s own daughter, Jessie) holding a cigarette in her hand, posed and dressed like an adult. The photograph is said to portray the story of a young woman who has deviated from the right path. (Photo: Sally Mann)

10: Rescue from Slavery – 1868

Shocking Historical Photos - Rescued Slaves Aboard the British vessel, the HMS Daphne - 1868 This 1868 photo shows child slaves aboard a British ship, the HMS Daphne. The children had just been rescued from the Atlantic slave trade industry.

Want More Shocking Historical Photos?

Be sure to check out our previous Shocking Historical Photos Explained post here.


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May 28, 2018 / by / in

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