History is full of images which have etched themselves in the mind of people around the world. Some of these images have become famous posters available at a poster store. We will now look at 10 of the most famous and iconic images in history.
1. Tank Man
This photo was taken on June 5, 1989 by photographer Jeff Widener. It was taken the day after the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre during which the Chinese military attacked pro-democracy demonstrators on the square. This depicts a man carrying two shopping bags standing in front of a column of tanks rolling out from Tiananmen Square. It is one of the most powerful images of the 20th century. The tanks tried to drive around the man, but he would not let them through and briefly even climbed atop one of them. The tanks never fired on the man, but he was later taken away by Chinese troops. To this day, the identity of this man who has become as symbol of democracy and resistance around the world, remains unknown along with his fate.
2. The Terror of War
Not many images manage to capture the terrors of war in the same way as this photograph. It was taken by Nick Ut in 1972 during the Vietnam War. It depicts 9-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc running naked down the street after being hit by napalm. Kim Phuc ended up with third-degree burns covering 30 percent of her body, but after being transferred to an American facility the doctors managed to save her life. Phan Thi Kim Phuc is alive to this day and is living in the Vietnamese town of Trảng Bàng.
3. A Man on the Moon
This photo from the first moon landing was taken by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969. It depicts fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing in the Sea of Tranquility. So even though Armstrong was the first man on the moon, Aldrin was the first man being photographed on it. This photo is an excellent symbol om mankind’s technological advance.
4. Guerillero Heroico
This famous photo of Che Guevara was taken by Alberto Korda in 1960. At the time of this photo, Korda had no idea how famous it would later become. When Guevara died seven years later in 1967, this photo became a symbol of revolution for millions of people around the world.
5. Winston Churchill
This photo of Winston Churchill was taken in 1941 in Ottawa by Yousuf Karsh. Churchill had arrived in Ottawa to thank Britain’s allies for their assistance in the war. Churchill is said to have refused to remove his cigar since he was unaware of the fact that Karsh had been commissioned to take a photograph of him. The photo was supposedly taken right after Karsh walked up to Churchill and removed the cigar from his mouth. To this day it is one of the most well-known political portraits ever made.
6. Gandhi and the Spinning Wheel
This famous photo of Mahatma Gandhi was taken in 1946 by Margaret Bourke-White, the first ever female photographer working for LIFE magazine. Getting the opportunity to take this photo is said to have been easier said than done for Bourke-White. She had to overcome many obstacles before finally getting the opportunity to meet Gandhi face to face.
7. Lunch atop a Skyscraper
This famous photograph depicts 11 construction workers having their lunch break on a tiny beam 840 feet up in the air. The photograph was taken in 1932 during the construction of Rockefeller Center in New York. The fact though is that it was a staged event used to promote the RCA Building, nowadays called the GE Building. To this day it is unknown who the photographer was. Names like Charles C. Ebbets, Thomas Kelley and William Leftwich have been mentioned, but no one knows for sure who is really behind this world-famous photograph.
8. Black Power Salute
This photo was taken by John Dominis in 1968 during the Olympic Games in Mexico City. It depicts American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos doing the black power salute while the American national anthem was being played. This was a message to the world that black Americans were still being viewed as second class citizens in their own country. Carlos, when speaking about the event, later said that “We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat,” something that we fully agree with!
9. Flag Raising on Iwo Jima
The tiny Japanese island of Iwo Jima became the scene of a gruesome battle towards the end of World War II as the American troops pushed closer and closer to mainland Japan. It began when US troops landed on the island on February 19, 1945. That would be the start of a one-month long battle that ended with 6,800 American casualties and 21,000 Japanese. This iconic photograph was taken on the fifth day of the battle when the Americans managed to capture Mount Suribachi. They first raised an American flag on top of the mountain but was soon ordered by their commander to use a bigger one. It is the raising of the bigger flag which Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal managed to capture on photo. It has since become one of the most famous images of World War II. There are many more memorable events depicted in ww2 posters.
10. The Situation Room
On May 1, 2011, US forces managed to find and kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, in Pakistan. In the Situation Room of the White House, the raid was being followed via live cam by President Barack Obama and some of his closest aides. The photograph was taken by Pete Souza and manages to capture the tension in the room in an extraordinary way. Since footage from the raid itself or bin Ladens dead body has never been released to the public, this photograph is the closest those of us who were not there came to experience this important event.