Go Back in Time to Witness History in the Making: The Coolest Historical Photos

There are historical figures and events that have become iconic, which means that there is basically one image that stuck in people’s minds when they think of that certain person or event. But we want to show you the rarely seen historical photos that can change the way you remember these people and events. These photos will broaden your repertoire of history’s most iconic images.

Take Marilyn Monroe for example, you may remember her with the white dress, but have you seen her kicking a ball at a soccer game or working in a factory? What about Robert De Niro? You may think of him in your favorite movies, saying “Are you talkin’ to me?” in the mirror. But have you seen his as a baby?

Okay enough with the teasers. Let’s start the show!

A First Class Suite on the Titanic

When you think of the Titanic what do you see? Leonardo DiCaprio saying “I’m the king of the world!”? Or do you think of the gigantic ship sinking in the ocean? Well here’s a real image of the Titanic that most people have never seen.

A First Class Suite on the Titanic

Source: Ninja Journalist

The famous ship was basically a floating 5-star hotel. And it had suites for its first-class passengers (just like Rose and her fiancée). These suites were luxurious and only the extremely rich could afford to indulge in the first class cabins.

Harry Houdini in Chains

The name Harry Houdini’s has become synonymous with magic. You think of magic back in the day and Houdini is the image we all think of. But this is a lesser known photo of the magician locked in chains as one of his stunts.

Harry Houdini in Chains

Source: Tops Images

Houdini came to the US from Hungary as a poor immigrant and ended up becoming one of the most famous and well-paid performers of his era. His escape acts, whether he was being locked in chains or put in a straitjacket, were highly respected and left audiences in awe.

The next photo is one of the most powerful, showing how important an education is!

The Powerful Desire to Be Educated

This is one of the most powerful photos ever taken and relays an important chapter in American history. Dorothy Counts was the first black student to be integrated into a previously all-white school in 1957.

The Powerful Desire to Be Educated

Source: Tops Images

You can only imagine the tension and remarks that the students must have taunted her with. But Dorothy remained cool, calm, and collected despite the circumstances. She later said that her strong faith in God is what kept her going.

Santa Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix, the wild guitar-smashing rock star known for his shows at Woodstock and other legendary acts, has photos that are not centered on the psychedelic extremes of the 1960s.

Santa Hendrix

Source: Ninja Journalist

He also dressed up as old Saint Nick. Jimi wore the Santa Claus costume for an advertisement in a magazine called Record Mirror. This is one of those images that wasn’t floating around as much as the others.

What do you think of when you hear the name, Einstein? You don’t think of the next photo!

Einstein at The Hopi House

Back in 1931, Albert Einstein went to America and traveled around. He went to the Hopi House near the Grand Canyon. The tribe welcomed him warmly, and let him wear one of their traditional Hopi headdresses.

Einstein at The Hopi House

Source: Taringa

In this photo, we see him and his wife with a number of tribe members, including both adults and children. It’s a rather refreshing photo of the profound scientist.

Diving In the London River of Thames

Some iconic photos are of places, or people doing remarkable acts in those places. This event, for example, is one that justified a photo being taken.

Diving In the London River of Thames

Source: Pinterest

Two unknown people jumped into London’s River Thames. You can see the Parliament buildings and the Westminster Bridge in the background. Onlookers were amazed and stopped in their tracks to see the event.

Next is something not everyone knows about the late great king of rock n’ roll!

The King Enlisted in the Army

It may not be news that Elvis Presley served in the army. But what may come as a surprise is when he enlisted in the army. It is natural to think that the hugely famous rock and roll star served in the American army before he became a rock star.

The King Enlisted in the Army

Source: Ninja Journalist

But oh, contrary. Presley was famous well before he chose to enter the army. He enlisted in 1958, but it only lasted a short period of time because he was released after his mother died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

Audrey Hepburn Had a Pet Deer

Today, people go shopping with their toy poodles or mini Chihuahuas and Pomeranians. But back in the day, in Audrey Hepburn’s day, the Hollywood starlet brought her pet deer with her.

Audrey Hepburn Had a Pet Deer

Source: Imgur

Yes, it’s a real deer and Hepburn named her “Pippin.” She was filming the movie Green Mansions, and producers encouraged her to spend time off-set with the deer so that their scenes together would look more natural.

Ernest Hemingway in the Tub

The literary mogul has led a legacy long after his death. His most famous novel is “The Old Man and the Sea.” And people may imagine Hemingway sitting at a desk and writing. But have you seen this photo?

Ernest Hemingway in the Tub

Source: Freewechat

Did you know that one of his favorite places to come up with ideas for stories was in his bathtub? Hey, to each his own. And also, whatever works!

A Day in the Life of Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra, having been the man of stature that he was, had to pamper to look as good as possible. This photo was taken by Life photographer John Dominis in 1965.

A Day in the Life of Frank Sinatra

Source: Ninja Journalist

Dominis dedicated a full month to shadowing Sinatra in order to get the most intimate portrait possible. What he did worked, as we get to see Sinatra at a personal moment such as this. And even Sinatra himself admitted how much he liked it.

The next photo is of yet another iconic man of stature!

A Young Dalai Lama

Before the 14th Dalai Lama acquired his international celebrity status for promoting peace and meeting with US Presidents and Hollywood actor Richard Gere, he was a child just like you and I were.

A Young Dalai Lama

Source: Ninja Journalist

Tenzin Gyatso was born in 1935 to a farming family in Tibet. His Holiness later took control of his country at the age of 15! That’s more than any of us can say for ourselves!

Bill & Hillary When They Were Young at Heart

Sure, former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, the former Senator from New York State, have had their ups and downs like most long-term marriages endure.

Bill & Hillary When They Were Young at Heart

Source: Odyssey

But this photo reminds us that the two were once young and in love. Here, they met at Yale University in 1970, at the height of their youthful romance.

Remember Andre the giant? You gotta see the next photo!

Andre the Giant at 19 Years of Age

Andre the Giant is a famous character from the wrestling world who also appeared in feature films, such as The Princess Bride. Andre the Giant actually competed in the first WrestleMania in the history of the WWE.

Andre the Giant at 19 Years of Age

Source: New York Post

He went up against Hulk Hogan. Since he was 7 feet, 4 inches, he was known as the “eighth wonder of the world.” And in this photo, he’s posing at a fashion exhibition in Paris.

Lucille’s Great Balls Of Fire

Lucille Ball, the classic star from the classic 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy. This photo is from a scripted scene from an episode of the series.

Lucille’s Great Balls Of Fire

Source: Pinterest

Lucy was wearing a fake nose in order to disguise herself after slamming a custard pie into William Holden’s face.

The next photo is of a current senator/ex-action star and another action star!

Two Action Stars Dancing Cheek to Cheek

It’s safe to assume that when you think of action movie stars, you don’t picture them dancing, let alone with each other! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are seen here dancing cheek to cheek.

Two Action Stars Dancing Cheek to Cheek

Source: Ninja Journalist

The muscular duo are not just similar in their appearance; they also dated the same woman – Danish actress and model Brigitte Nielsen. The two are actually still close friends.

The Iconic MGM Roaring Lion

The company MGM used the iconic image of a roaring lion for their opening credits. But have you ever wondered how they managed to pull it off in a pre-computer world? It was actually pretty simple yet also very dangerous.

The Iconic MGM Roaring Lion

Source: Cinecameras.be

In 1928, they took Leo the Lion and simply irritated him a bit, let the cameras roll, and basically hoped for the best! No fatalities were reported which means the method was a success.

The next image isn’t of a famous person but of something too dear to pass up!

A Little Boy’s Best Friend

A dog is a man’s best friend as well as a little child’s best buddy. The little boy in this photo is getting some help from his four-legged friend.

A Little Boy’s Best Friend

Source: Yell.ru

This dog must have understood that his little friend needed some assistance while retrieving the golf ball from the pond. The abilities dogs have and their love for humans is truly remarkable!

The Man Who Invented the Bikini

Louis Reard, a fashion designer from France, was one of the only people in the world who can say that he came up with a completely new idea for a new kind of garment. The bikini was his creation.

The Man Who Invented the Bikini

Source: Pinterest

In 1946, he debuted the bikini. It was at a time, though, where this new rendition of the swimsuit wasn’t readily accepted. However, he deserves a lot of credit for the impact he made on fashion.

Remember we teased you about Marilyn Monroe at a soccer game? It’s the next photo!

Marilyn at a Soccer Game

This photo was taken in 1957, when the movie star was invited to make an appearance at a soccer game between the Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv and the US National Soccer Team, at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.

Marilyn at a Soccer Game

Source: Ninja Journalist

Apparently, Marilyn was a real soccer fan and the players and referees let her kick the ball around a bit on the field before the game officially started.

Heavy Hitters: Muhammad Ali and the Beatles

The Beatles and Muhammad Ali were both icons of the 60s, but for very different reasons. The Beatles introduced the “British invasion” while Muhammad Ali was a champion boxer and the best in history.

Heavy Hitters: Muhammad Ali and the Beatles

Source: Ninja Journalist

Here was a rare occasion in which two greats were in the same room. It’s always fun to see two powerful yet unrelated figures together creating a new historical moment.

The next photo is of a courageous female athlete who broke a world record!

Kathrine Switzer Running In the Boston Marathon, 1967

Kathrine Switzer was a German runner who stood up against major resistance to do what she loved more than anything. After establishing a new life in America, Switzer decided to run the Boston Marathon.

Kathrine Switzer Running In the Boston Marathon, 1967

Source: Findery

As you can see, many runners tried to block her during the race. But she successfully completed the marathon and thus became the first woman ever to finish the run. Girl power!

Mahatma Gandhi, 1893

Here’s an image of Mahatma Gandhi that doesn’t represent the iconic historical figure who led a selfless life in search of peace. Before all that, he was a young man who pursued a career in law.

Mahatma Gandhi, 1893

Source: Omalaya

In 1893, young Mohandas was 23 as he traveled to South Africa to become a lawyer. For the next 20 years, Gandhi basically revolutionized the world. And as they say – the rest is history.

Speaking of the rest is history – see how a major statue was built next!

Building the Statue of Liberty, 1884

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty wasn’t built in America? It was originally constructed in Paris and then given to the United States as a gift.

Building the Statue of Liberty, 1884

Source: Reddit

French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, had a vision for the statue’s design but it was Gustave Eiffel himself who constructed the framework. This picture was taken in 1884 nearing the end of the statue’s construction.

Robert De Niro Sr. & Jr.

Not everyone knows that De Niro is a junior and his father has the same name. But even greats like De Niro were once little kids. This picture shows him with his father.

Robert De Niro Sr. & Jr.

Source: Ninja Journalist

De Niro Sr. was also famous. He was a world-renowned painter. He and his son were very close. Robert Junior even dedicated one of his awards to his father.

Have you ever seen Queen Elizabeth in something other than royal garb? See the next photo!

General Elizabeth

The royal matriarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, has been photographed doing things other than standing and waving her gloved hand.

General Elizabeth

Source: Twitter

During World War II, Elizabeth was still a princess and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. As seen in this photo, she rolled up her sleeves and even enlisted and trained as a mechanic!

Factory Worker Monroe

The glamorous Marilyn Monroe wasn’t always a Hollywood starlet. She knew what it was to come from poverty and get your hands dirty. She was orphaned at a young age and even married a neighbor when she was 16 to escape a life of poverty.

Factory Worker Monroe

Source: Blaze Press

At the time when her then-husband served in World War II, Marilyn worked in a Van Nuys factory. This photo is credited with making her famous.

Next – two late greats standing next to each other!

Charlie Chaplin & Albert Einstein Sharing a Moment

Charlie Chaplin and scientist Albert Einstein graced this earth in the same era in history. They have some things in common too. Both are European immigrants to the United States (Charlie was from England and Albert was from Germany).

Charlie Chaplin & Albert Einstein Sharing a Moment

Source: Vorply

They also got along well when they met while touring America. Charlie even invited Albert over for dinner. We can only imagine what they spoke about at the dinner table.

A Rivalry Between Stars

Stars Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren were rivals at the time. Jayne and Sophia, both glamorous and desired in Hollywood had to compete for the same roles.

A Rivalry Between Stars

Source: Ninja Journalist

And this was in an era when female roles in movies weren’t as popular. You can cut tension with a knife in this photo. Sophia’s gaze is a palpable look of disapproval. But Jayne doesn’t seem to notice or care.

Ever seen Walt Disney eating chicken? That’s right. See the next photo!

Walt Disney Eating Chicken

Walt Disney created the most famous entertainment franchise known to man. And it looks like Disney was also entertaining when doing everyday things, like eating his lunch.

Walt Disney Eating Chicken

Source: Ninja Journalist

Before the franchise exploded and became something massive, Disney was a humble creator of simple characters like Mickey Mouse.

The Early Bike Messengers

In 1908, the National Child Labor Committee hired Lewis Hine, a sociologist and photographer, to document the working conditions of child workers in different occupations, from mining to selling newspapers. And many of the child workers he captured were bicycle messengers.

The Early Bike Messengers

Source: Rare Historical Photos

This photo is of Marion Davis, Messenger #21 who worked for the Bellevue Messenger Service in Houston, Texas. He was fourteen years old. He was quoted: ‘Been messenger, off and on, for two years. Not supposed to go to the Reservation under sixteen years, but I do just the same. The boss don’t care and the cops don’t stop me.’ The photo is from October, 1913.

Traveling Libraries of the Past

Have you ever seen a bookmobile? It was a travelling library used to provide books to villages and city suburbs that had no libraries. They started out as horse-drawn carts in the 19th century to large customized vehicles that existed up until the 1960s.

Traveling Libraries of the Past

Source: Rare Historical Photos

When cars started becoming the main form of transport, a pioneering librarian in 1920 called Sarah Byrd Askew drove her customized Model T to bring library books to rural areas in New Jersey.

The Strong Women of the Past

“Strongwomen” started to appear in the 19th century, but were almost unheard of at the time. Once sporting events became popular and circuses became a thing to see, these women would have the chance to show off their talents.

The Strong Women of the Past

Source: Rare Historical Photos

This photo is of the ‘Great Sandwina’ lifting her husband over her head. until much later. These strongwomen paved the way for other record-breaking females such as wrestlers and bodybuilders.

Flying First Class in the 1960s

In the early 1960s, first class considered the Golden Age of Air Travel. Take a look at this photo from the Swissair airlines. Not just first class, but also economy passengers had plenty of leg room.

Flying First Class in the 1960s

Source: Rare Historical Photos

Oh, and all service was complimentary. The stewardess-to-passenger ratio was a lot higher back then than it is today.

Regan Before His Presidency

Ronald Regan was a movie star before he became the 40th president of the United States. He started his career in show business in Des Moines, Iowa as a radio announcer for baseball games. He eventually made his film debut in Love is on the Air in 1937.

Regan Before His Presidency

Source: Rare Historical Photos

This particular photo is of Reagan and Virginia Mayo on the set of She’s Working Her Way Through College from 1952.

Next – have you ever seen how old school newspapers were made?

Preparing the New York Times in 1942

Remember the good old newspaper? That large paper booklet of daily news that was either delivered to your door or bought at the corner store? Back then, the process of making the day’s newspaper was a laborious, hand-made procedure.

Preparing the New York Times in 1942

Source: Rare Historical Photos

“Hot type” is the term that was used for the hot metal typesetting method invented in the 19th century. Typesetters would make lines of text using brass letters, then injected molten lead into the mold. The plates were then used to print books and newspapers.

Grand Central Terminal in the 1900s

New York Grand Central Terminal is a landmark and world-famous station. It was built in the 1900s during the Golden Age of rail travel. And the building is a masterpiece of architecture and engineering.

Grand Central Terminal in the 1900s

Source: Rare Historical Photos

Its development came from the need to meet the rising demand of rail service which was at the time the fastest and most efficient service.

A Masterpiece in the Making

The new Grand Central Terminal officially opened on February 2, 1913 and there were more than 150,000 who came to celebrate the opening day. The beautiful building with its marble staircase, 75-foot windows, and star-studded ceiling was an elaborate project.

A Masterpiece in the Making

Source: Rare Historical Photos

This photo shows a laborer lying s atop the eleven-foot arm of Mercury which is one of the sculptures at the station.

Women of War

Did you know that more than seven million women who never earned a living before the war joined the already eleven million women in the American work force?

Women of War

Source: Rare Historical Photos

This photo is of American actress Veronica Lake, showing what can happen to women who don’t tie up their hair at their working stations. This is from November 9, 1943.

Photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White

Life magazine photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White got into full flying gear in front of an Allied Flying Fortress airplane during an assignment in February 1943.

Photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White

Source: Rare Historical Photos

Hundreds of thousands of women served in combat roles, especially in the anti-aircraft units. But the U.S. decided not to use women in combat because of public opinion negating the idea. 400,000 women served in uniform in non-combat roles.

Frida Kahlo Dressed As A Boy, 1924

Frida Kahlo was an eccentric woman and known for some of her wild behavior. In 1924, when she was 17, she posed with her siblings for her father Guillermo, the one who took the photo.

Frida Kahlo Dressed As A Boy, 1924

Source: Ninja Journalist

But she chose to dress as a boy and give the camera a dead stare. The future famous artist stood in the middle, wearing a three-piece suit, shirt, and tie.