30+ Unforgettable Moments That Shaped History In Past Decades

This intriguing compilation takes you on a thrilling ride through the most impactful events, decisions, and revolutions that have defined our world in recent history.

“A mom uses a trash can to contain her baby while she crochets in the park, 1969.”

“Babe Ruth posing with African American fans (1925) Babe Ruth, according to baseball historian Bill Jenkinson, was not racist. He chose to play games against “so-called Negro League teams” in 1926, 1927, 1928, and 1929, at a time when others refused to do so. Besides playing, Jenkinson said, Ruth would sit with black players in the dugouts, talk and socialize with them before and after games and mingle in the segregated stands. He scheduled games in locations where interracial competition was not only against local norms but also against the law. Babe Ruth’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, said that she believes her father’s appreciation for black players hurt his chances of becoming a manager for an MLB team in the years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.”

“Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. in college, fall of 1937”

“Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Larissa Oleynik take a polaroid selfie on the set of 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999.”

“When she applied to run in the Boston Marathon in 1966 they rejected her saying: “Women are not physiologically able to run a marathon, and we can’t take the liability.” Then exactly 50 years ago today, on the day of the marathon, Bobbi Gibb hid in the bushes and waited for the race to begin. When about half of the runners had gone past she jumped in. She wore her brother’s Bermuda shorts, a pair of boy’s sneakers, a bathing suit, and a sweatshirt. As she took off into the swarm of runners, Gibb started to feel overheated, but she didn’t remove her hoodie. “I knew if they saw me, they were going to try to stop me,” she said. “I even thought I might be arrested.” It didn’t take long for male runners in Gibb’s vicinity to realize that she was not another man. Gibb expected them to shoulder her off the road, or call out to the police. Instead, the other runners told her that if anyone tried to interfere with her race, they would put a stop to it. Finally feeling secure and assured, Gibb took off her sweatshirt. As soon as it became clear that there was a woman running in the marathon, the crowd erupted—not with anger or righteousness, but with pure joy, she recalled. Men cheered. Women cried. By the time she reached Wellesley College, the news of her run had spread, and the female students were waiting for her, jumping and screaming. The governor of Massachusetts met her at the finish line and shook her hand. The first woman to ever run the marathon had finished in the top third.”

“Simone Segouin, mostly known by her codename, Nicole Minet, was only 18-years-old when the Germans invaded. Her first act of rebellion was to steal a bicycle from a German military administration, and to slice the tires of all of the other bikes and motorcycles so they couldn’t pursue her. She found a pocket of the Resistance and joined the fight, using the stolen bike to deliver messages between Resistance groups. She was an extremely fast learner and quickly became an expert at tactics and explosives. She led teams of Resistance fighters to capture German troops, set traps, and sabotage German equipment. As the war dragged on, her deeds escalated to derailing German trains, blocking roads, blowing up bridges and helping to create a German-free path to help the Allied forces retake France from the inside. She was never caught. Segouin was present at the liberation of Chartres on August 23, 1944, and then the liberation of Paris two days later. She was promoted to lieutenant and awarded several medals, including the Croix de Guerre. After the war, she studied medicine and became a pediatric nurse. She is still going strong, and this October (2021) she will turn 96.”

“This is such a powerful photo. It was taken in April, 1945, by Major Clarence Benjamin and shows a train of Jewish prisoners that had been intercepted by Allied Forces. This is the moment they learned that the train would not be heading to a Concentration Camp and they had been liberated.”

“Famed photographer Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado and his wife Lélia started a project to plant two million trees and now, 20 years later, the seeds have grown into a lush forest in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil.”

“The couple on the Woodstock album cover is still together 50 years later.”

“Mississippi’s first interracial marriage, August 1970.”

“For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. When you’re 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts and five million perish. At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict. Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass.”

“In 1988, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole called the recording studio at 3am and said he had to record a song right away. 15 minutes later, Israel arrived at the studio. The studio owner, Milan Bertosa said, “And in walks the largest human being I had seen in my life.” A security guard gave the 500 pounds man a large steel chair to sit on. Milan said, “Then I put up some microphones, do a quick sound check, roll tape, and the first thing he does is ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ He played and sang, one take, and it was over.””

“A portrait of the Twin Towers in NYC made with the faces of the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the towers.”

“When Jim Carrey met Stephen Hawking.”

“Queen meets the Queen, 1974”

“A member of the 369th Infantry Regiment (aka “Harlem Hellfighters”) holds a puppy that he saved during World War I (1918)”

“Anne Frank (1929-1945)”

“In 1964 a group of high school kids skipped class to go see the Beatles. They didn’t get into the concert but while they were driving Ringo pulled up beside them and snapped their picture. When they told their friends no one believed them. Fast forward 50 years and Ringo publishes a book of his photographs. They were in it. They retook the shot as a look today.”

“In 1912, Jim Thorpe, an American Indian, had his running shoes stolen on the morning of his Olympic track and field events. He found this mismatched pair of shoes in the garbage and ran in them to win two Olympic gold medals that day.”

“Terry Fox, after losing one of his legs to cancer; embarked on an east to west coast marathon in Canada to raise money for cancer research. He made it 143 days into his run before he lost his battle with cancer at the age of 22 – 1980”

“Members of the Blackfoot Tribe in Glacier National Park, 1913.”

“A young boy playing the banjo with his best friend, circa early 1900s.”

“1967: Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing a woman was running, organizer Jock Semple went after her to stop her. However, Switzers boyfriend and other runners provided a protective shield to protect her for the entire marathon.”

“Juliane Koepcke, age 17, was sucked out of an airplane after it was struck by a bolt of lightning. She fell 2 miles to the ground strapped to her seat and survived. However, she had to endure a 10-day walk through the Amazon Jungle before being rescued by a logging team. Out of 93 passengers and crew, Juliane was the only survivor of the LANSA flight 508 crash that took place December 24th, 1971”

“The creator of the popular cartoon Shrek, William Steig, drew his character from the professional wrestler Maurice Tillet. The real prototype knew 14 languages, played chess brilliantly, and despite his frightening face and great strength at first glance, he was a very modest and friendly man. He was born in 1903 in Russia, in the Urals, into a French family, which in 1917 returned to France in connection with the revolution.”

“David Bowie chatting with Freddie Mercury backstage at Live Aid, 1985.”

“One of the earliest photos showing a Native American with a wolf – unlike the myths created about wolves by settlers, Indians maintained a close and respectful relationship with wolves.”

“Robin Williams, 1974”

“A young man demonstrating against low pay for teachers, ca. 1930. “I left school to earn $21 a week. My teacher’s pay is $17.78 a week.” Photo: Paul Thompson.”

“Rysstad, Norway, 1888 – 2013”

“This is a colorized photo of 16 year old German soldier, Hans-Georg Henke, crying as he is captured by the US 9th Army in Germany on April 3rd, 1945. He was a member of the Luftwaffe anti-air squad and burst into tears as his world crumbled around him. His father died in 1938, but when his mother died in 1944 leaving the family destitute, Hans-Georg had to find work in order to support the family. At 15 years of age he joined the Luftwaffe”

“‘We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.’ – Anthony Hopkins.”

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