Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lynching of Young Blacks (USA)

This is a famous picture, taken in Marion (Indiana) on 7 August 1930 by Lawrence Beitler, showing two young black men accused of raping a white girl, hanged by a mob of 10,000 white men. The mob took them, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, by force from the county jailhouse. Another black man, James Cameron, was saved from lynching by the girl’s uncle who said he was innocent. Even if lynching photos were designed to boost white supremacy, the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting many.
The incident is notable as the last confirmed black lynching in the Northern United States.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Johnson Is Sworn (USA)

Lyndon Baines Johnson takes the presidential oath of office on 22 November 1963 as Air Force One carries his wife, Lady Bird, Jacqueline Kennedy -her stocking still stained with her husband's blood - and several White House aides back to Washington from Dallas.
Earlier, President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and the speed with which this ceremony was arranged—and the photo released—was purposeful. Johnson and his advisers wanted to assure a shocked nation that the government was stable, the situation under control. Images from the Zapruder film of the shooting, which would raise so many questions, would not be made public for days.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last Jew of Vinnitsa (Ukraine)

Picture from an Einsatzgruppen D soldier’s personal album, labelled on the back as “Last Jew of Vinnitsa, it shows a member of Einsatzgruppe D is just about to shoot a Jewish man kneeling before a filled mass grave in Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in September of 1941, the Jewish New Year. All 28,000 Jews from Vinnitsa and its surrounding areas were massacred at the time.
The Jewish population dated back to the 16th century and had made up 40 percent of the town's inhabitants.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lunch atop a Skyscraper (USA)

Lunch atop a Skyscraper is a famous photograph taken by Charles C. Ebbets during construction of the GE Building at Rockefeller Center in 1932.

The photograph depicts 11 men eating lunch, seated on a girder with their feet dangling hundreds of feet above the New York City streets. Ebbets took the photo on 29 September 1932, and it appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in its Sunday photo supplement on 2 October. Taken on the 69th floor of the GE Building during the last several months of construction, the photo Resting on a Girder shows the same workers napping on the beam.

The copyright owner of the photograph, the Bettman Archive, did not recognize Charles C. Ebbets as the photographer until October 2003 (reportedly after months of investigation by a private investigation firm). Many posters and prints of the photograph continue to list the artist as ‘unknown.’

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Fall of the Berlin Wall (Germany)

In one of the most powerful photos taken from that day, a young man bridges the wall between East and West Berlin on November 11th 1989.
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