The history of the world is indeed intriguing. There have been events and personalities that have changed its course over time. The rare historical photos on this list provide insight into the lives of people from all over the world. Once taken merely to document their present, they now help us witness the past. Many images only become iconic shots years later, once we understand their importance and historical context. From historical landmarks and famous people to the basic daily routines of the past, these old photos portray the history in a way that we can empathize with and understand more intimately.

1Hong Kong in the 1950s

2Who remembers these wooden playgrounds?⁣

These parks were built by architect Bob Leathers. His philosophy for building these parks had two unique features: no one got paid and the design was driven by the imagination of kids. His playgrounds have largely relied on fundraising either by the local community or town or county government.⁣

3Filthy Thirteen members, led by a Choctaw descent, apply war paint in order to honor Native American heritage and energize the men on a mission to parachute behind Nazi enemy lines

4Julius Duc, arrested for dressing as a woman in 1906

5Easter eggs for Hitler, 1945

6Guide to identifying different types of weed from the 1960s

7Parisian woman with her cat in her cannabis garden, 1910

8The real Annabelle doll in a glass box at the Warren's Occult Museum in Monroe, CT

9What Penn Station used to look like before it was demolished in order to make way for Madison Square Garden

The outrage over the destruction of Penn Station led to the passing of the New York Landmarks Law in 1965, which helped save Grand Central Station and some 30,000 other buildings from similar fates. American art historian and professor of architecture at Yale University, Vincent Scully, was fiercely opposed to the destruction of Penn Station, even writing, "One entered the city like a god. One scuttles in now like a rat."

10The scientist has discovered a 42,000-year-old frozen foal in Siberia, which still contained liquid blood in its heart vessels. It is the oldest blood in the world

11How to treat a headache in 1895

12Iranian chess player Dorsa Derakhshani playing for the US team after being banned from her own team for refusing to wear a hijab

13During World War 1, sandbags were placed to protect the portals of Notre Dame de Paris, 1918

1480s Peter Dinklage

15Danish Arctic explorer Peter Freuchen and his wife, Vogue fashion illustrator, Dagmar Cohn, 1947

16City Hall Station was the very first subway station opened in NYC in 1904

During its first day of service, nearly 15,000 New Yorkers paid a nickel fare to ride the subway. In 1945, the station was closed when the number of passengers using the station drastically declined (600 a day) as it was not on an express track. The station also had no turnstiles and was more difficult to enter compared to the Brooklyn Bridge Station which was just a few blocks away. The curvature of the station, which was once one of its selling points, became an inconvenience when subways got longer and cars with center doors were not able to closely pull up alongside the platform

17Anti-smoking sign from the late 80s, early 90s

18Two cool cats from Fairfax High School, LA, 1975

19Young Steve-O meeting Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe in 1987

20A group of men pose for a photo while being detained at a police station for being homosexuals in Mexico, 1940

21Young oyster shuckers, Josie, six-year-old, Bertha, six years old, Sophie, 10 years old, Port Royal, South Carolina, 1912. Work began at 4 AM

22Louis Armstrong serenading his wife, Lucille Wilson at the Pyramids of Giza, 1961

23Young Jackie Chan

24Two Cambridge undergraduates strolling around campus, 1926

25Actor Brad Greenquist in the makeup chair for his role as rotting corpse guardian angel Victor Pascow in the original 'Pet Sematary


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