“Tank Man”, Jeff Widener, 1989
This photo was taken the day after the Tiananmen Square Massacre in June of 1989, which occurred when the Chinese government suppressed student-led protests in the city of Beijing in an event that killed thousands. The man in the white shirt is in an area of Tiananmen Square standing in front of the government-backed military tanks, blocking them from moving. Apparently, when the tanks tried to go around him, he changed positions to block their path and stood in place for minutes before he was taken away. This single act of resistance to injustice is so symbolic, and shows that one person can have a big impact. This man continues to remain unidentified, but his act of defiance will forever serve as an inspiration for those contemplating standing up to persecution.
2. Oscar’s Selfie, Ellen DeGeneres, 2015
Who doesn’t love celebrities? Even better when they are all together! In this photo, taken at the 2015 Oscars, host Ellen DeGeneres posed with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Brad Pitt, among others, and immediately posted it on Twitter. It received more retweets than other post to date. I don’t know about you, but this photo just warms my heart!
..PLEASE NOT THIS NEXT PHOTO IS QUITE DISTURBING..
3. Falling Man, Richard Drew, 2001
This photo shows one man escaping from the 9/11 flames, jumping to his death from near the top of the encroached, unsteady building on the brink of collapse. While incredibly difficult to process and quite disturbing, this photo shows an act of individuality, a decision to end your life flying through the air as opposed going up in flames.
4. 9/11/ 2001, Patrick Witty, 2001
Here is another photo from 9/11. You can see the shock in people’s eyes as the watched the buildings fall to the ground just hours after they were struck. No one was expecting this, and New Yorkers were in complete disbelief. I love how this photo is in black and white because it allows you to focus on the facial expressions and gestures all of the subjects are making.
5. 9/11 Raising the Flag, Thomas E. Franklin, 2001
One more photo relating to 9/11 shows three fireman raising an American flag over the rubble of Ground Zero, where just a few days before the two World Trade Towers had stood tall over New York City. Even after such tragedy, the raising of this flag emphasizes that Americans cannot be taken down.
6. Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan, Will Counts Collection, 1957
This photo shows Elizabeth Eckford, part of the notorious Little Rock 9 walking into Little Rock High School in Arkansas on the first day of school, following the integration that came as a result of the landmark Supreme Court Case Brown vs. Board of Education. What I love about this photo is how Elizabeth Eckford appears calm and collect despite that fact that a crazy and clearly racist Hazel Bryan is screaming racially charged epithets at her. You go girl!
7. JFK Jr. Salutes JFK at Funeral, AP,1963
This black and white photo is from President John F. Kennedy’s Funeral. You can see JFK Jr. who just a toddler at the time saluting his father as he is laid to rest, next to his mother who is covered in a black veil. He probably had no idea what was going on, but was able to attend a funeral at such a young age and show such respect for his father and those conducting his funeral.
8. Einstein Sticking Tongue Out, Arthur Sasse 1951
Albert Einstein is everyone’s favorite genius, but who knew he had a fun side! This photo proves just that, and shows that even the most busy and successful should always take some time for fun!
9.Judge Examines Disputed 2000 Election Ballot, Alan Diaz, 2000
If you are at all interested in politics, the 2000 election is an interesting case in our political history, as it was extremely close, so much so that it dragged on until December of 2000, more than a month after election day. This photo shows a Florida (the state that was too close to call) judge examing a disputed ballot, and the fact that he is looking at one single ballot so closely shows just how close this election was, to the point that every vote mattered. Ultimately, George Bush was declared President of the US and the recount came to a hault.
10. Osama Bin Laden is Dead, 2012
Best for last! This photo shows a group of FDNY firefighters celebrating on top of a truck as it is announced in Times Square that Osama Bin Laden is dead. This moment was particularly meaningful to them, as many lost friends and were at the site of the Twin Towers when the attacks pioneered and organized by Osama Bin Laden took place.