25 of the Most Influential News Images of All Time

News Photography is all about capturing the decisive moment in an aesthetic way. It is about telling the world a story, through one or more images. Many times, news images come to be remembered as symbolically associated with a certain event, remembered for decades thanks to that special news image. Let us look at 25 such images. Remember, news images need NOT always be technically sound. Some may be grainy; some may even have a marginal amount of camera shake…as long as they tell the story right, its all right!

The Great Depression

The Great Depression
This image of Florence Thompson from the 1930s came to be associated with the great depression, for years to come. Thompson was a poor migrant mother at the time, like so many others. The expressions of worry and anguish on her face, literally speak of the mood of thousands of others during the same time. The image has been reprinted in various magazines, newspapers and journals over the years. It has become a symbol of sorts, of the great depression.

Abe Smith and Tom Shipp

Abe Smith and Tom Shipp
Abe Smith and Tom Shipp were convicted of robbery and rape in 1930. A crowd broke into the jailhouse, and lynched and hanged them on the 7th of August 1930. Smith tried to free him self from the noose, following which he was lowered and his hands were broken. This image stands in remembrance of the injustice of racism, where these two African American youths were taken out of their jails, to be given a more severe than agreed upon punishment.

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens was the most successful athlete in the 1936 Olympics. At a time when the Nazi authorities in Berlin were propagating Aryan supremacy, Jesse Owens’ superb performance was looked upon as a fitting answer to Adolf Hitler. This image, put into context, speaks volumes of Owens’ timely victories.

Moment of Death

Moment of Death
This image of militiaman Federico Borrell Garcia, captures the precise moment of his death. This was during the Spanish civil war, on the 5th of September, 1936. Sometimes photojournalists need to be prepared to photograph a decisive moment, and expect it to occur just before it actually does! Almost uncanny, but true some photographers do seem to have this gift of being in the right place at the right time.

Hindenburg

Hindenburg
Airship Hindenburg ignites as it tries to dock into its mooring mast. This 1937 disaster resulted in the loss of 35 lives, and a subsequent loss of confidence in the airship. The incident marked the end of the air ship era. Needless to say, this image is associated to not just the air disaster, but also with the end of air ship travel as people knew it at the time.

Fall Of Nazi Collaborators

Fall Of Nazi Collaborators
France was liberated in 1944, and women accused of having been collaborated with Nazi personnel, are humiliated in public. This may seem like a war crime to todays’ audience, but during a time when people were overjoyed at seeing the Nazis leave, this image would have evoked feelings of victory.

Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima
One of the most popular news images of all time – US Marines from the 28th Regiment 5th Div, raise the flag of the United States on Mount Iwo Jima, 1945. This was following the famous Battle of Iwo Jima which has been written and spoken about more than most other battles of WW2. Following this, the United States occupied the island of Iwo Jima until 1968!

Atom Bomb

Atom Bomb
The infamous mushroom cloud, an after effect of an atomic explosion over land… This was the first time the atom bomb was used in warfare. The bomb over Hiroshima more or less put an end to the Second World War. Here, the mushroom cloud as seen over Hiroshima Aug 6, 1945. The image is remembered even today, as a terrifying beauty that the world never wants to see again.

Skymaster

Skymaster
A United States Air Force C-54 “Skymaster” airplane comes in to land at Templehoff Air Base during the Soviet blockade of Berlin, in 1948.

Newspaper Blunder

Newspaper Blunder
This is probably the world’s most famous newspaper error! President Elect Harry Truman was expected to lose the presidential elections in 1948. Here, he is seen holding a copy of the ‘Tribune’, with its bold headlines – ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’. This image is a grim reminder to journalists, of the importance of verifying information on breaking news stories. The ‘Tribune’ is believed to have adopted an anti-Truman attitude during the elections.

Racism,1957

Racism,1957
Dorothy Counts was the first black student to be enrolled into Harding High School, Carolina. This 1957 image gives us an idea of the taunts and unnecessary humiliation she had to face during the time. What was once accepted as a part of social behavior is today rightly condemned as racism. This image reminds us of what society was like, not too long ago.

Saigon Unrest

Saigon Unrest
June 11, 1963. A Buddhist monk by the name of Thic Quang Duc ignites himself on a street of Saigon. This was following a series of events that seemed to target the monks and persecute them for little or no reason. The image has been reprinted many times over the decades, speaking of the possible terrible outcomes of unwarranted persecutions on innocent people.

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr. giving his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. This 17-minute speech called for an end to racism, and a beginning to equality. The speech was given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug 28, 1963. It is remembered to this day as one of the most effective speeches ever.

JFK Funeral

JFK Funeral
John F Kennedy is arguably the most popular American president ever. This image shows his family in mourning at his funeral on Nov 25, 1963. The photograph captured the mood of the American people as a whole, and has appeared in print many times over the years.

Saigon War Crime

Saigon War Crime
This is another image that the world remembers from the Saigon area. The police chief of South Vietnam is seen firing a pistol at the head of a man suspected of being an officer from the Viet Cong. Feb 1, 1968. The image is a fitting example of a war crime, another reminder of the unnecessary atrocities that possibly innocent civilians could suffer at the hands of police and military officials.

Man On The Moon

Man On The Moon
Few images we have seen, or will ever see, can have this much impact! Photographed on the lunar surface, this image depicts astronaut Buzz Aldrin, standing next to the flag of the United States, in July 1969.

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski
One of the most respected film directors of our times, Roman Polanski is seen here sitting at the bloodied porch of his home on Aug 1, 1969. This was following the brutal murder of his wife, by Charles Manson followers.

Anti-War Demonstration, 1970

Anti-War Demonstration, 1970
Student Mary Ann Vecchio is seen here kneeling near the body of another student by the name of Jeffrey Miller. The anti-war demonstrations by students of the Kent State University went terribly out of hand on May 4, 1970. This image stands to remind us what a seemingly harmless demonstration, even for the right cause, can turn into when uncontrolled.

President Nixon

President Nixon
President Nixon standing on the steps of Marine One, waves to his fans soon after he resigned as President on August 9, 1974. No prizes for guessing the headlines across newspapers on the 10th Of August.

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square
Tanks rolling into China’s Tiananmen Square (Beijing). This came as a result of student pro-democracy protests in 1989.

Death In Africa

Death In Africa
March 1993, Sudan. A vulture watches a starving, dying child, probably awaiting its death. The image was subject to much criticism, some condemning photographer Kevin Carter for taking a photograph rather than helping the child. Carter always maintained that he shooed the vulture away after he took the photograph. He won a Pulitzer Prize for this image. Interestingly, Carter committed suicide soon after…

9 11

9, 11
September 11, 2001. This day marked the worst terror attack on the United States. Here we see a person falling from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center, after an aircraft collided into it.

War Crime

War Crime
As a result of the terror attacks on American soil, the United States declared a state of war. The war against terror led to US forces establishing presence first in Iraq and then in Afghanistan. This famous image shows an unidentified (probably Iraqi) detainee standing on a box with electrodes attached to his palms, and a bag over his head. The image resulted in adding fire to an already growing feeling of ‘ the US taking things too far’ in the Iraq region.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters the United States has ever witnessed. Here we see the garden district at New Orleans being victimized by vandalism after the hurricane. Sept 4, 2005.

Author:

Siddhartha is a professional photographer, writer and photo editor. His portfolio can be found at http://www.sidphoto.webs.com

Howdie stranger!
If you want to participate in our photoshop and photography contests, just:

LOGIN HERE or REGISTER FOR FREE


93 Responses:

  1. Jason Scott says:

    Heavy photos. I would have liked to see more from the inspirational side though and less from the horror side of the world.

    ( 2 years and 486 days ago )
  2. nawazkhan says:

    very old images , and some of them are very painful :(

    ( 2 years and 486 days ago )
  3. erin kelly says:

    the Federico Borrell Garcia photo didn’t even legitimately happen? staged. I’ll give anybody proof who wants it why would you guys include it in this list? how silly

    ( 2 years and 486 days ago )
  4. maxgraph says:

    these photo’s still have a big impact on people even nowadays. A small mistake at 9 11 “September 11, 2011. This day marked the…” it’s 2001 not 2011.

    ( 2 years and 485 days ago )
  5. glenn says:

    Timeless pictures. I love photography and photojournalism is really the most compelling among the fields of photography. I just don’t have the courage for photojournalism.

    ( 2 years and 485 days ago )
  6. Asian invasipn says:

    Very heavy photos. But will be never forgotten byppl around the wprld

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  7. John Franklin says:

    Two things:
    1) The date cited for the Twin Towers disaster is off by ten years.
    2) The caption for the Kent State photo makes it sound like the protesters caused the death of Jeffery Miller. JM and three of his fellow students, during a peaceful protest, were shot dead by the National Guard. This is not an example of a protest gone wrong, but rather of murderous over-reaction by authorities.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  8. Mike says:

    The Moment of Death and the Iwo Jima photos both were more than likely staged.

    That doesn’t negate their impact, or exclude them from this list.

    I just thought it should be mentioned.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  9. Alex says:

    Typo on the photograph from September 11th. The year was 2001 and not 2011.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  10. 2001 not 2011 says:

    the date for 911 is incorrect as maxgraph said 4 days ago. should probably change it before offending people and out of respect of the victims of 911

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  11. Brad says:

    Very important pictures! Thanks for sharing.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  12. himmler says:

    Most of he photos depict war, violence, and death….just shows you how shitty and dumb the human race actually is.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  13. Meguy says:

    Afghanistan was invaded first, then Iraq. Just a clarification.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  14. chekira says:

    deeply saddening images of the harm man can do.

    ( 2 years and 481 days ago )
  15. Conor says:

    Maybe influential but also painful and jarring to see. Honestly this article disgusted me

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  16. Rodney says:

    The your description of the “Saigon War Crime” pic is off. Yeah it is a brutal picture, but the man being shot was responsible for the ruthless killings of several innocent people including women and young children. The police chief in the picture is a hero, but people never realize this because the pic makes us sympathize with the murderer.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  17. Anonymous says:

    only american photos…

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  18. May says:

    September 11 2001, not 2011.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  19. Anonymous says:

    che guevara’s photograph is missing!

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  20. Mark says:

    Just a very minor and unimportant point about the first photo. People are “hanged” not hung.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  21. Patrick says:

    the photo of the “Garden District” of New Orleans burning and being vandalized is not accurate. The Garden District was not affected by the rising waters. It may have had incidents of vandalism but I worked in that area after the storm and there was no notable looting or vandalism. I believe the photo was taken elsewhere.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  22. Fentex says:

    I have some comments on the received ‘facts’ of these pictures as they seem to illustrate an ignorance of what is portrayed in some cases…

    The police chief in Saigon was executing an enemy soldier found out of uniform committing murders. You may think it brutal but it wasn’t a crime.

    The Kent State protests were not ‘out of control’ when students were murdered by National Gaurdsmen and characterising their deaths as their responsibility for protesting is unreasonable and untruthful.

    What evidence is there that the Garden District of New Orleans is on fire from vandals rather than a consequence of the storm and flooding?

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  23. Carla says:

    Of course they’re all American photos… didn’t you know? Only greatness revolves around America. Pft, psh. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great photos and outstanding examples of photojournalism, but it would have been nice to see some more internationally friendly photos.

    Also, if Federico Borrell Garcia truly was being killed, wouldn’t we see an entry wound?

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  24. Anonymous says:

    There was a clear omission. Afghan Girl should be in this list

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  25. Cherry says:

    “Just a very minor and unimportant point about the first photo. People are “hanged” not hung.” – Mark

    Honey, some people are definitely hung. ;)

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  26. Davros says:

    Several flagrant distortions of the truth in the descriptions.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  27. ANONYNYNY says:

    Don’t forget to point out in the Tiananmen Square photo the most important part…the man standing in front of the tanks…that’s why this picture is so famous

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  28. vejo says:

    Kevin Carters suicide is wrongfully brought up as context of his famous photograph. Carter suffered from depression and according to his suicide note his choice of killing himself had nothing to do with the photograph.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  29. Alice says:

    A very powerful and tastefully presented article (though I would encourage you to correct the mistakes people have mentioned out of respect and for fear of offending). Conor, although I understand you have your own opinion, I don’t think it’s fair to say the article ‘disgusted’ you. Photojournalism isn’t always (very rarely, in fact) happy and pretty and mild, as it’s purpose is not to create art or beauty, but instead to give an honest and informative account of global events. Sometimes, a piece of information has to be shocking and unpleasant in order to completely hammer home what is taking/has taken place.

    ( 2 years and 480 days ago )
  30. Andrew says:

    the photo of the “suspected vietcong” officer being shot was actually due to the fact that the suspect was captured near the site of a ditch holding as many as thirty-four bound and shot bodies of police and their relatives. Some of whom were the families of General Nguyễn’s deputy and close friend, and six of whom were Nguyễn’s godchildren. The photographer Adams confirmed the South Vietnamese account, although he was only present for the execution.

    ( 2 years and 479 days ago )
  31. Charles849 says:

    Racism what it was like not long ago

    ( 2 years and 479 days ago )
  32. Lilia says:

    While the crime committed by the “suspected vietcong” was atrocious and horrifying, nothing justifies the killing of another. So to say that the man who is photographed shooting him in the head when he is clearly not able to defend himself is a hero, as someone above did, doesn’t seem right to me. Yes, it’s a matter of ideology, but his death did not bring justice to those left in the aftermath of his crime, nor did it bring back those whose lives he ended. Of course I have never been in the shoes of the man holding the gun in the picture, and I cannot say I wouldn’t be pushed to such a reaction, but he cannot be called a hero for letting his emotions overtake his humanity and reason.

    ( 2 years and 479 days ago )
  33. Steve H says:

    Isn’t it true that the Iwo Jima image was a recreation because the original moment was never photographed?

    ( 2 years and 479 days ago )
  34. Azrael says:

    A correction that no one has pointed out yet is that only three of the men in the Iwo Jima picture are Marines, the fourth is a Navy Medic

    ( 2 years and 479 days ago )
  35. dw says:

    “War Crime” – Afghanistan was invaded first, then Iraq. Remember? The Iraq War (part 2) broke out in 2003 – Afghanistan was invaded shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

    ( 2 years and 479 days ago )
  36. Bob says:

    @ Mark: actually, I am hung.

    ( 2 years and 478 days ago )
  37. Andy says:

    @Azrael: There are 6 men in the picture, but you are otherwise correct. One was a Navy medic.

    @ Mike: The Iwo Jima picture was not staged. It was, however, the second picture taken because it was the second flag to be raised. The first flag was deemed to be too small, so after a (staged) group picture of several Marines standing before it, it was taken down and replaced. Joe Rosenthal, the photographer, managed to snap a picture of the second flag raising, and sent it back to the States with the group picture. When asked if the Iwo Jima photo was staged, he said yes, because he thought the group picture was meant.

    ( 2 years and 477 days ago )
  38. Paul says:

    The caption for the photo depicting the Kent State killings is deceptive. Mary Ann Vecchio was a junior high school runaway from Florida. The caption seems to indicate that she was a Kent State student. That is not the case.

    ( 2 years and 477 days ago )
  39. Anonymous says:

    I like this…it is a grim but VERY good reminder of too much government!!

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  40. Kedoink says:

    Impressive selection.
    A little Americanocentric I’d say.

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  41. patrice says:

    Such a eerie beauty

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  42. Anonymous says:

    too bad new orleans was not affected by hurrican Katrina.

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  43. ADAM says:

    I stopped when I saw the starving child….I wonder if hes still alive, It makes me sad

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  44. Anonymous says:

    Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger were murdered August 9, 1969…I don’t think the picture of Roman Polanski on the bloody porch could have been dated August 1, 1969

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  45. bill says:

    the thing that makes my insides cringe is the picture with the lynching. its like a fucking social gathering for those pricks

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  46. Zubair says:

    some interesting additions, some more note-worthy than others. Easy to see how you’re a little too “American” still… something to think about. Also, the photograph by K. Pieterson, which you so aptly term “death in africa”, falsely portrays the context in which it was taken. Do me a favour, read the Bang Bang Club.

    ( 2 years and 476 days ago )
  47. Thundersmurf says:

    All real nice pictures, but I’m afraid the 9/11 shot of the “falling man” has been proved to be a forgery.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  48. Kylie says:

    Your commentary on the Kent massacre (dead student) really bothers me. Please read more about the subject. These students were murdered by the US government.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  49. kitsch says:

    Since no one’s pointed out yet, the migrant mother was actually not a migrant mother. The photo was just very well shot and represented all the migrants at the time, and she was close to the encampment of the migrants. In fact, it was a wealthy family visiting relatives and their car broke down. The family also later expressed publicly the embarrassment of being shown as such.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  50. Anonymous says:

    the island is iwo jima, the mountain is Mt. Suribachi, and the US did not declare war, we haven’t since WWII <— this is also the appropriate abbreviation, not WW2

    all the same, powerful images, good compilation

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  51. Monty says:

    The commenters need to understand it doesn’t matter if these photos are fake or staged or misinterpreted, these are some of the most influential images of all time, like the title states. It doesn’t matter (for the purpose of the page showing these photos) the authenticy of the photos.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  52. Ace says:

    Very U.S. centric, absolutely not the 25 most influential news images of all time. Maybe for a little 3rd world country like the U.S. (not AAA rated…)

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  53. koin says:

    the US did not officially declare a state of war after 9/11. war has not been declared by congress since ww2. people are so fucking naive.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  54. AJ says:

    Great pics. Some of the descriptions are awfully slanted, though, probably unintentionally. I actually laughed at the one from Kent State — kind of places the blame on the anti-war demonstrators, as opposed to, you know, the soldiers who fired guns at them. Maybe it should have said something about an out-of-control government or out-of-control military instead of an out-of-control demonstration — how many soldiers were killed by these “out-of-control” activists that day?

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  55. Hank Stowers says:

    To whoever made this, no offense, but this is definitely a rough draft. There are about a dozen mistakes in dates, locations, and other facts about each image (see individual errors pointed out above). These are all American photos directed towards the American public. Why not include images of the revolution in India? or the genocide in the DRC, or Rwanda. There are more than 300 billion people North America But there are almost 6 billion in the rest of the world. And only 11.6 percent of the use of the internet is from Americans. You need to reselect some of your photos, fix some of your dates, and cater to the other 88.4 percent of the people on the internet. All this said, some of these are unbelievable, and most of them can bring tears to viewers eyes. An easy fix would be to revise the errors, and retitle the image “25 Most Tragic American Photos of All Time”

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  56. Matt says:

    These photos are something. I think the photo that got to me the most, was the one with the african child. This photo has a lot of emotion. It seems like this child can not fight one more day longer. As is this child is waiting for his body to shot down. The worst part about this photo is how there is a vulture waiting for the cycle of life to be complete.
    I wonder if the person who took this picture really scared the vulture away after taking this picture. I think he might not have, and that was the reason he decided to take his life shortly after tooking this amazing photo.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  57. Jim says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings

    according to wiki:
    The days of protest leading up to the shootings we somewhat violent. In addition to throwing various objects, students damaged school property and public businesses. The national guard arrived the second day at 10 pm and dispersed that day’s crowd. The fourth day of protests had been planned three days earlier. University officials attempted to ban the gathering. This action was later upheld legally. While the students were still disorderly, there is no clear sign of the action that motivated the national guard shooting.

    Maybe the officers were pissed old men who wanted to kill some college kids… or maybe they were fired upon… or maybe they were scared for their lives, as they claimed. I think that the caption is mostly accurate. Even if the guardsmen were mainly at fault, as in the first case, I find it highly unlikely that anything would have happened if the protests hadn’t gotten out of control.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  58. HN says:

    A number of disturbing mistakes and insensitive captions, as others have noted. The account you are giving of Kent State is very incorrect.

    The account of the Tank Man is also incorrect (and too short). Those tanks are **leaving** Tiananmen Square, not entering it, after the massacre.

    The lynching caption is also disturbing. “More severe than agreed upon” is an understatement. Let’s not pretend that they got a fair trial to begin with.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  59. mehr says:
  60. kenny says:

    I’m sorry, but there are two sides to the kent state shooting. This “seemingly harmless demonstration” was not so harmless. People were burning down school buildings and destroying stores and homes in the town nearby. Calling the National Guard was completely warranted. And new evidence shows distant shots triggered the Guards’ reaction. This wasn’t some random murderous action by the US. And I go to Kent State, so I know what I’m talking about.

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  61. Barmolino says:

    amazing this is just amazing photos and collection

    ( 2 years and 475 days ago )
  62. Rei says:

    PICS ARE SRS BSNSS. AMERICA IS SRS BSNSS. DON’T OFFEND PEOPLE!!!!11

    But seriously, everyone, stop being so uptight about some errors. If people really wanted to know the history of these pictures, they’d just wiki it.
    Relax

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  63. not-american says:

    No points for guessing an american made this…?
    comparing a president resigning to some major wars around the world. get over yourselves, america.

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  64. Ed says:

    To label these images as the most influential images of all time is a slight sweeping statement. Although I understand that this is probably a US site and I acknowledge that you have made the effort to include photographs from other origins, I feel that you are only representing the US in this collection of images. By all means, label this group of images as influential news images to a person of the United States, but do not claim them to be representative of the world we live in- it shows ignorance and is, in a way, offensive to other countries who have so much of their own history documented by images which you have not included.

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  65. David Hardwick Photography says:

    wow, some shocking images.

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  66. Anonymous says:

    The Iwo Jima photo wasn’t really staged. When the marines first raised the flag all they had was a small flag and a pole “tree” that they found. Later on they brought up a bigger flag with a better pole. there are pictures of both raisings.

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  67. Akshay Goel says:

    I am the author of this post and I am Indian, not American. I believe the intent and purpose of this article has been misunderstood by several readers. This is a collection of very influential news images, not influential newsworthy events. As such, while the revolution in India and the genocide in Rwanda should have been up there in a list of most influential events, there isn’t a single defining news image that captures everything that occurred during that time.

    You will remember having seen most of these images previously, and for very good reason. They incited queries. They sparked a change. They led people to take note of events around the world, to sit up and listen. If you feel these are too ‘American’, that is probably correct. The world news is America-biased, and so American events influenced people a lot more than non-American events. Unfortunate, yes.

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  68. Peace and simplicity says:

    Hopefully since these photos are in the past we as man kind can learn from them to prevent what has already happened.

    ( 2 years and 474 days ago )
  69. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing to me how critical everyone seems to be… Pointing out tiny errors that obviously prove they missed the point of the photo to begin with. How could anyone possibly care about “hanged” vs. “hung” when they’re staring at a photo of people being lynched?

    I do however agree with many of the criticisms regarding the captions. Many are misleading or outright false. And while obviuously everyone would like it if every picture were 100% authentic I think that’s nearly impossible given certain situations. The pictures all represent real things that happened and continue to happen around the world. The Spanish Civil saw thousands die just like in the photograph. There WERE thousands of poor, migrant mothers, even if the woman pictured wasn’t one of them. People DID throw themselves from the Twin Towers just like in the photograph.

    The photos are definitely US-centered but I don’t think that takes away from their impact on the world. Honestly, if this website were made by someone of another nationality then I’m sure the photographs would be more centered on their country also. Being American is nothing to be pround of and neither is being non-American. We’re born where we’re born and have no control over it so why not try being proud of something we actually worked for?

    ( 2 years and 473 days ago )
  70. erin says:

    i think the photo of the couple kissing in the middle of the vancouver riot should be added to this. It seems quite inspirational to me.

    ( 2 years and 470 days ago )
  71. drlaxslax says:

    Feh…talk about milking liberal philosophy in each one of these pages…makes your stomach turn more than the pictures themselves

    ( 2 years and 468 days ago )
  72. lg says:

    Do you have a post like this that isn’t entirely about the United States? Aside from two photos, the rest of the collection is so bias

    ( 2 years and 459 days ago )
  73. Wes says:

    The South Vietnamese general was chief of national police. The caption on this website incorrectly states,”The image is a fitting example of a war crime, another reminder of the unnecessary atrocities that possibly innocent civilians could suffer at the hands of police and military officials.”

    In reality, the person being executed was a member of a death squad and had helped take part in killing civilians before his capture. So, the jerk off who wrote these captions needs to do a little research before incorrectly stating history.

    ( 2 years and 455 days ago )
  74. Anonymous says:

    the last pic is of many American war crimes , there is a difference between a war crime and taking it too far

    ( 2 years and 454 days ago )
  75. Jona says:

    There is a message in every single photo.. The message of hate, hurt, & suffering that people feel every single day. Its not made as public as it once was, but it would take a fool to think worse things aren’t happening as we speak. I wish I could look at these without a remorse feeling, they truly are beautiful. Seeing what people are capable of doing to one another, regardless of race, sex, religion, or ethnicity, it unnerves me. ” You can not justify something that was truly not acted out in justice”

    ( 2 years and 453 days ago )
  76. Ryan says:

    “Student Mary Ann Vecchio is seen here kneeling near the body of another student by the name of Jeffrey Miller. The anti-war demonstrations by students of the Kent State University went terribly out of hand on May 4, 1970. This image stands to remind us what a seemingly harmless demonstration, even for the right cause, can turn into when uncontrolled.”

    What?? Soldiers shooting and killing anti-war demonstrators is a lesson about a demonstration being “uncontrolled?” That is horrifically offensive and you should be ashamed of yourself. That picture is a stark reminder of the measures the US government will take to quell dissent. It’s a reminder of the repression against activists. Not a warning to “control” one’s peaceful demonstration.

    ( 2 years and 451 days ago )
  77. Spencer says:

    Really cool photos all with great historical and cultural significance. I’m usually not a nitpicker but it’s Mt. Suribachi, not Mt. Iwo Jima. My grandfather fought in the pacific, just honoring his memory and those who died to take that mountaintop.

    ( 2 years and 450 days ago )
  78. Nick says:

    The photographer of the ‘Saigon war crime’ apologized to the General in the photo for the way the image was misinterpreted and ruined his life. The ‘misinterpretation’ is the way you have perpetuated in your description. Please do your research.

    ( 2 years and 449 days ago )
  79. Mushion says:

    All very good pictures, even it’s very centred on America and the caption are a little off.

    I was amazed though that the picture of Kim Phuc wasn’t included, nor the Afghan girl, nor the picture taken of Earth from the moon.

    All very influential photo’s in their own way.

    ( 2 years and 446 days ago )
  80. A6M4 says:

    Terrible title and caption for “Saigon War Crime,” not even close. Forget the fact that the guy being shot (Bay Lop) had been leading an assassination team on the guy shooting (Gen. Nguyen Loan) and other S Vietnam leaders. Also forget the fact that the guy had been connected to beheadings, and was caught in the act of gunning down policemen. The reaction to this photo was so incongruous with what happened that Eddie Adams, the photographer, stated he wished he had never taken the photo.

    This makes me uncertain about some of the other images, as a simple Google search would have have revealed to you that your caption is 100% wrong.

    @Monty Who says the misinterpretation doesn’t matter, that this image was still powerful, is this then not a perfect example of the kind of damage such a misinterpretation (and in this article, misrepresentation) can cause?

    Also, Hiroshima did not end WWII, it might have if the Japanese leaders had known the totality of the destruction. Still, Nagasaki was hit 3 days later and still it took almost a week for Japan to surrender.

    ( 2 years and 446 days ago )
  81. Jimbob says:

    Must admit, I was rather shocked the Russians placing the Hammer and Sickle on the Riechstag and the naked girl after Hiroshima didn’t make this list. It is a very American list though…

    ( 2 years and 442 days ago )
  82. liz says:

    The demonstrators didn’t get out of hand at Kent State. The cops did.

    ( 2 years and 438 days ago )
  83. Anonymous says:

    the naked girl was after a napalm attack not Hiroshima…and these were all jsut published in a well known magazine.

    ( 2 years and 429 days ago )
  84. Steve says:

    ” and the naked girl after Hiroshima didn’t make this list.”

    The naked girl was in Vietnam after a napalm strike on her village. She was naked because the napalm literally burned the clothes from her back.

    I’ve seen many lists of “most influential pictures” on the internet and I’m afraid this has to rank as one of the poorest efforts. The captions are misleading and the photo choices are quite strange. There are at least a dozen more influential photos that spring to mind.

    ( 2 years and 427 days ago )
  85. Anonymous says:

    This reads like it was written by a 5 year old with a good vocab.

    ( 2 years and 425 days ago )
  86. Kika says:

    These photos are all incrediable and do all represent a moment in history that shouldnt be forgotten however before publishing the facts should’ve been checked more closely. Thompson’s migrant mother was not a picture of a migrant. Please update your article to include the corrections as the last thing we need is more misinformation

    ( 2 years and 413 days ago )
  87. adam daly says:

    Wow. Powerful and sad.

    ( 2 years and 368 days ago )
  88. Lauren says:

    An excellent set of photographs, but a terrifically poorly written set of photograph descriptions.

    ( 2 years and 356 days ago )
  89. paulettec says:

    these pictures were most amazing and very important for everyone to see.

    ( 2 years and 352 days ago )
  90. Anonymous says:

    arguably most influential image of one’s spirit – “the che guevara picture”, is missing. i guess it’s obvious that the author didn’t put that picture for political reasons, his or his superior’s visions of “the most influential pictures” simply eliminated that picture.
    just to tell you this, barrack obama’s PR tried to resemble the style of that picture in the “campaign for change”.

    ( 2 years and 310 days ago )
  91. Anonymous says:

    How can you say that the Kent State incident was the fault of the demonstrators being uncontrolled? The National Guard was the uncontrolled element at Kent State. The demonstration was peaceful.

    ( 2 years and 303 days ago )
  92. Anonymous says:

    actually…i know the son of a man who was literally standing right out of the frame for the Viet Cong picture and the caption is not right.

    ( 2 years and 286 days ago )
  93. Jeff says:

    I agree with your list but the fact that you don’t have “Earth Rise” on here is shameful! That photo was WAY more significant than the one of the American flag on the moon. Earth rise literally started the environmental movement, and gave the world a new consciousness about the fragility and uniqueness of the planet earth. Other than that, great list.

    ( 1 year and 350 days ago )

Leave a Comment