What you’re about to see is a collection of photos that are unlike any other photos. At first glance, they’ll seem totally ordinary, but the backstory behind each of these pictures represents a fixed point in someone’s history that is remarkable and, in some cases, very sad.
Wait for Me, Daddy
The photo was taken in Vancouver in October 1945 by Claude Detloff. The soldiers of the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles prepared to fight in World War II. But one child ran to his dad. Thankfully, the soldier returned to him in one piece.
The Largest Non-Nuclear Explosion
This photo of the SS Grandcamp was taken on April 16, 1947. Sadly, a fire broke out. The folks on the dock were the Texas City Volunteer Fire Department and they were trying to extinguish the flames. But moments after this photo was snapped, the ship exploded and injured over 5,000 people. 468 lives were also lost.
Moments Before Detonation
This was the last photo of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi before a young woman reached out to hug him and then detonated. She not only took herself and Gandhi, but also the photographer who snapped this picture.
The Hair-Raising Snap
Michael and Sean McQuilken’s sister Mary took this photo of the brothers at Moro Rock in California’s Sequoia Park on August 20, 1975. Then lightning struck. “I found myself on the ground with the others,” Michael recalled. “Sean was collapsed and huddled on his knees.”
The Man Before 9/11
This 1971 photo was taken of a large family vacationing in Sweden. But see the guy in the brown shirt second from the left? That’s 14-year-old Osama Bin Laden, the man who lead Al-Qaeda and was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
The Youngest Mom in History
Lina Medina was only 5 but a condition called precocious puberty allowed her to conceive a child. And on May 14, 1939, she had a cesarean section and gave birth to a little boy. Both mother and child were in good health, but the identity of the father was never revealed.
Snapped in Despair
In 1954, John Gaunt, a photographer for the Los Angeles Times grabbed a camera and rushed to the shore to snap a photo of this couple, whose 19-month-old son was swept away by the strong waves. The photo won a Pulitzer Award.
Kids for Sales
Lucille Chalifoux was 24 and pregnant with her fifth child when this photo was taken in 1948. Her husband had lost his job, and they were facing eviction. So, the mother sold her four kids. Rumor has it they ended up becoming slaves.
It Got Pigeon-Holed
A trapped battalion of nearly 200 WW1 soldiers sent this pigeon to deliver a message. The brave bird suffered multiple gunshots and lost an eye and a leg, but it completed its mission and the soldiers nicknamed her “Cher Ami,” which means “Dear friend” in French.
He Bleached the Colors Out
The photo was snapped by Horace Cort on June 18, 1964, as black and white people staged a swim-in at the Monson Motor Lodge’s pool to protest the arrest of Martin Luther King Jr., who had trespassed on the property days earlier. The lodge’s manager, Jimmy Brock was seen throwing muriatic acid in the water to scare the swimmers away.
No Man Can Sue Me
On November 17, 1955, U.S. Marshall Stanley Pringle and Deputy Sheriff Dan Smith burst into the opera diva, Maria Callas’ dressing room at Chicago’s Civic Opera House right after she gave a spectacular performance. They were there to serve her a court summons for breach of contract. Maria yelled, “I will not be sued! I have the voice of an angel! No man can sue me.” The photograph captured a moment of pure rage that made Maria swear she’d never step foot in Chicago again.