These 60+ Rare Historical Photos Will Change How You See The Past

Historical photos are like our window to the past–they are one of the tangible links we have with the events that made us who we are.

They are also the reason why I fell in love with both Philippine and world history. After all, studying for your history exam would be a pain in the ass without pictures to break the monotony.

Photos from history can also be entertaining, especially the rare ones. Below are some of the most intriguing pictures we’ve found so far:

1. Historical photos can reveal how far we’ve come when it comes to sports

Marathon Runners at the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece

2. Technology

The ENIAC, the first computer ever built

3. And even the way we create fast food mascots that are 100% child-friendly

The original Ronald McDonald -- played by Willard Scott!

4. Vintage photos can also show us the lighter side of people who are considered trailblazers and icons of history. They include Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

5. Albert Einstein (again)

Albert Einstein topless

6. Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee dancing

7. Che Guevara

Che Guevara

8. Mark Twain

Mark Twain in 1883

9. Our very own President Elpidio Quirino

Elpidio Quirino, poolside.

10. Ninoy Aquino

Fast fact: According to photographer Honesto T. Vitug, Ninoy probably did this because he was “ashamed to come home without a scratch.”

Ninoy Aquino with bogus wound in mouth
From Ninoy: The Willing Martyr, by Alfonso P. Policarpio Jr.

11. The late President Diosdado Macapagal and his daughter, Gloria, who would later become the 14th president of the Philippines and now the Representative of the Second District of Pampanga

President Diosdado Macapagal, sharing a light moment with daughter Gloria—who’d then become the fourteenth President of the Philippines, and is now the Representative of the Second District of Pampanga.
via Presidential Museum and Library’s Official Tumblr Page

12. Barack Obama

Barack Obama on his high school basketball team

13. Bill and Hillary Clinton

Bill and Hillary Clinton playing volleyball

14. Prince Charles

Young Prince Charles is bored at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

15. And yes, even Adolf Hitler

Hilter as the best man in Joseph Goebbels wedding

16. And Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden after practicing judo

17. Thanks to whoever invented photography, we now know what Ernest Hemingway looked like when he was younger

Ernest Hemingway's passport photo

18. Or how ridiculously handsome Winston Churchill was

Winston Churchill young

19. Do you know what Mt. Rushmore looked like before it became the Mt. Rushmore of today?

Mount Rushmore as it appeared in its more natural state

20-21. How about the Statue of Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty surrounded by scaffolding as workers complete the final stages in Paris.
Unpacking the head of the Statue of Liberty

22. Or the Niagara Falls

The flow over Niagara Falls is stopped for maintenance work

23. And, of course, the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Construction of the Eiffel Tower

24. A picture really paints a thousand words. Sometimes, it can bring you an inexplicable sadness, just like Titanic’s final photograph

last picture of titanic

25. Amelia Earhart’s final haircut before she vanished in the Pacific Ocean

Amelia Earhart getting her last haircut

26-27. Or these two kids who would face senseless deaths

Anastasia with her father
Anne Frank

28-33. Pictures also constantly remind us about the darkest chapters in the history of human existence

Woman survivor in Nagasaki bombing
Soviet soldiers stand dumfounded at a large pile of human ashes found at the Majdanek concentration camp
liberated Jew holds Nazi at gunpoint
Execution of a German Communist in Munich
Adolf Hitler colorized photo
Burial at sea for men of the USS Intrepid who died when the carrier was hit by Japanese bombs in the Philippines.

34. And then there are those that never fail to fascinate us. Like The Beatles before they crossed the world-famous Abbey Road

The Beatles preparing to cross Abby Road
Cameramen recording the lion roar for the MGM logo

36. You won’t believe this was one of the first diving suits

Chester E. Macduffee next to his newly patented, 250 kilo diving suit

37-42. Here are some of the most famous people in history like you’ve never seen them before

Bill Gates' mug shot for driving without a license
Muhammad Ali talking someone out of jumping
Teenage Kennedys - John, Bobby, and Teddy
Ramon Magsaysay, then the Defense Secretary for President Elpidio Quirino, marking a Huk target with a smoke bomb from a spotter plane
via Presidential Museum and Library’s Official Tumblr Page
The Microsoft staff in 1978
This is Queen Elizabeth during her WWII service

43-47. Whoever took these gems needs some serious recognition

General Custer and his men during the American Civil War
Japanese archers
Lincoln, without his hat, a few minutes before he gave The Gettysburg Address
Samurai taken between 1860 and 1880
The only known photo of Albert Einstein's original E=MC2 formula on his chalkboard

48-51. These photos definitely belong to the “creepy” category

Gas masks for babies tested at an English hospital
Howard Carter, an English archaeologist, examining the opened sarcophagus of King Tut.
This is a manninquin from an atomic bomb test site in Nevada
To have an elongated head was an ideal of beauty among the Mangbetu people

52. Pre-war Filipinas wearing Japanese kimono? Manila floods (that still exist today)? Only in the Philippines

Filipina Having Fun in Kimono
via Flickr

53-64. Now, for the last part, here are some of the most important historical figures we never knew had crossed their paths before

Bong Bong Marcos, Mao Zedong, and Imelda Marcos
Brigadier General Roxas and Colonel Nobuhiko Jimbo
via Presidential Museum and Library’s Official Tumblr Page
Charlie Chaplin and Gandhi
Frank Sinatra asks Lou Gehrig for an autograph
George Orwell holds a puppy during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Ernest Hemmingway can be seen in the background

Helen Keller meets Charlie Chaplin in Hollywood
JFK meets Bill Clinton
Marilyn Monroe meets Queen Elizabeth II
Mark Twain pays a visit to the lab of Nikolai Tesla
Ninoy Aquino with Ferdinand Marcos
Pope Pio XII meets with Hitler
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates


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