Photo Essay

  • This Week in History: Shortly after 5 a.m. on April 18, 1906, an earthquake struck San Francisco, California, destroying much of the city. The temblor, which was caused by movement along the San Andreas Fault, struck in two shocks that lasted over a minute and is estimated to have had a magnitude of around 8.0 on the Richter scale. The quake set off devastating fires and due to significant ruptures in the city’s water mains firefighters had a hard time containing the flames, which raged through the city. It is now believed that approximately 3,000 people died and it is reported that hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless.
Here, troops walk east along Market Street as the tall Call building burns in the distance after the devastating earthquake of 1906.
  • This Week in History: Jackie Robinson became a civil rights icon for generations when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him to play on April 10, 1947, breaking a decades-long barrier to people of color in professional baseball.
The Dodgers’ owner Branch Rickey selected Robinson for his clean cut good looks and ability to hold back his rage, as much as his considerable skill on the diamond. When first interviewing Robinson he hurled racial epithets at him as a short preview of what Robinson would eventually encounter in ballparks across the country. Robinson’s resolve impressed Rickey and his trailblazing new recruit quickly became a sensation in the Major Leagues, winning Rookie of the Year and MVP honors over the course of his career as well as a World Series title in 1955.
Here, Brooklyn Dodger’s Jackie Robinson steps up to bat during a game on Aug. 28, 1949.
  • This Week in History: On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye was killed by his father, Marvin Gay Sr. Gaye first began singing at the age of four in his church. His father, a minister, often accompanied him on the piano. On April 1st Gaye intervened, on behalf of his mother, in a heated argument between she and his father in their Los Angeles home. Gay Sr. then left the room only to return wielding the gun that Gaye had gifted to him the previous Christmas. The singer was sitting on a bed beside his mother when his father shot him first in the heart, and then again in the shoulder at point-blank range. His father later pleaded no contest to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a period of probation. Pictured above, Marvin Gaye performs at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, in September 1976.
  • This Week in History: On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the Prince William Sound. The disaster, second only to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, killed thousands of marine, land and air animals, and led to a massive disruption of the Prince William Sound’s fragile ecosystem. To this day oil remains in the coast’€™s soil. Seen here in 1989, workers hold up dead wildlife while aiding in the clean-up effort along the Alaskan shore.
  • This Week in History: Fifty years ago, on March 18, 1965, Soviet astronaut Alexey Leonov became the first person in history to leave his spacecraft and conduct a “spacewalk.” Leonov was part of a two-man mission, along with Pavel Belyayev, called the Voskhod 2 that was completed in just over a day. Leonov, whose spacewalk lasted 12 minutes, was wearing a specialized suit with a backpack that provided 45 minutes worth of oxygen. In the January 2, 1965 photo above, Belyayev and Leonov undergo physical training for the mission.
  • This Week in History: Rapper Notorious B.I.G, who was 24, was killed on March 9, 1997. Biggie was riding in a car when another vehicle pulled up beside his and opened fire. His murder has never been solved. Biggie’s death came only weeks before his new album, ironically titled Life After Death, was scheduled to be released. It rose to No. 1 on the U.S. charts and was certified Diamond in 2000, one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification. Born in Brooklyn as Christopher Wallace, Biggie was killed just months after his former friend and West Coast rap rival Tupac Shakur was gunned down in a similar crime. This lead to the rise of many theories that the shootings were tied to the rap war between East and West Coast artists and their record companies.
Notorious B.I.G. pictured, March 1, 1997
  • This Week in History: On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was beaten by Los Angeles police officers following a high speed chase in a grisly scene which was captured on amateur video and broadcast around the world. The incident, which highlighted racial tensions and aggressive policing across the country, resulted in four LAPD officers being charged with use of excessive force. The resulting acquittal of the four officers set off days of rioting in Los Angeles which left over 50 dead. Pictured here, King shows his injuries on March 6, 1991, in a picture supplied by his attorney, that was viewed during the officersÕ trial. Rodney King died in 2012 at the age of 49.
  • This Week in History: On Feb. 23, 1979, Frank E. Peterson, Jr., the Marine Corps first black aviator, was named the first African-American general in the United States Marine Corps. Peterson was nominated by President Carter to be promoted from colonel to brigadier general. 
  • This Week in History: On Feb. 11, 1990, South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was freed from prison following 27 years behind bars. After leaving Victor Verster Prison, Mandela returned to political activism, and worked to bring an end to South Africa’s racist apartheid system. Following apartheid’s end 4 years later, Mandela was elected President in South Africa’s first multiracial election, a role he served in for five years. Seen here in 1994, Mandela visits his former jail cell on Robben Island, where he was held for 18 years of his captivity.
  • This Week in History: On February 16, 1959, Fidel Castro is sworn in as prime minister of Cuba after leading the resistance against the rule of President Fulgeneio Batista. In nearly 50 years of power, Castro transformed Cuba into the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere, became the target of one of the longest-standing embargoes in history, and metamorphosed into the prevailing symbol of communist revolution across Latin America.
Here, Comandante Fidel Castro, the new leader of Cuba, talks to reporters about his successful Cuban revolution to ouster former President Batista at a press conference in his suite at the Hotel New Yorker on April 22, 1959 in New York, N.Y. (Photo by I.C. Rapoport/Getty)
  • This Week in History: On Feb. 5, 1968, the Vietnam War saw the beginning of the Battle of Khe Sanh, the location of a U.S. Marine garrison. By the end of January, members of the People’s Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) had carried out an operation of artillery bombardment on the Marine garrison, which was located in northwest South Vietnam. Once the battle began, it lasted for over two months and came to be considered one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. Pictured here on March 8, 1968, near the end of the battle, Dr. Joseph W. Wolfe tends to a wounded soldier at a make shift hospital near the garrison.
  • This Week in History: Holocaust survivors and world leaders gathered on Tuesday at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland to commemorate its liberation by the Red Army 70 years ago on Jan. 26 1945. Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed at Auschwitz, the site of one of the worlds worst atrocities, between 1940 and 1945.
Here, a prisoner identity photo taken by Wilhelm Brasse, a professional Polish photographer and a prisoner in Auschwitz. He was ordered to document the Nazi prisoners in the camp’s “Erkennungsdienst” photographic identification unit. Brasse was ordered to burn all of the pictures but in an act of heroism, he saved tens of thousands as evidence of the horrors of Auschwitz.
  • This Week in History: On Jan. 20, 1981, moments after President Ronald Reagan was sworn in, 52 American diplomats and civilians were freed from 444 days in captivity in the U.S. embassy in Tehran, ending the tense Iran Hostage Crisis. The events, which unfolded after the overthrow of the U.S. backed Shah, strengthened the power of revolutionaries loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini, while badly weakening President Jimmy Carter, who lost his reelection during the crisis. Pictured here, freed hostages arrive at a U.S. Air Force base in Germany on Jan. 21, 1981, one day after their release.
  • This Week in History: On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” took effect. The legislation’s ratification paved the way for the Volstead Act, or the National Prohibition Act, which was passed by Congress nine months later and allowed for the enforcement of the law despite President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act also saw the creation of a special unit in the Treasury Department to oversee enforcement. The Prohibition ended in 1933 with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Seen here, a barrel of illegal beer is poured into a sewer. 
  • This Week in History: On Jan. 5, 1920 the New York Yankees major league baseball team announced its purchase of outfield slugger George Herman “Babe” Ruth (pictured here in 1921) from the Boston Red Sox. Despite the fact that Ruth led the Red Sox to three World Series victories, set new league pitching records, and broke existing home run records Red Sox owner Harry Frazee made the decision to sell Ruth to the Yankees in a deal that later became known as the “Curse of the Bambino.” 
  • This Week in History: New Year’s eve in Manhattan’s Times Square (pictured here in 1938) is one of the most famous places to ring in the new year and watch the iconic ball drop at midnight.  While there had been many different celebrations in years prior, it wasn’t until New Year’s eve 1907 that an illuminated ball was used, commissioned by the owners of the New York Times, the square’s namesake.
  • This Week in History: On Dec. 24, 1968, the Apollo 8 mission completed the first-ever manned lunar orbit. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Frank Borman and William Anders broadcast their mission live on Christmas Eve, showcasing the famous “Earthrise” for the first time, while reading the first ten verses of Genesis. Williams Anders captured the phenomenon on color film, and the subsequent pictures have been recognized as among the most iconic images in history.
  • This Week in History: Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first first successfully powered, controlled and sustained flight in history. Pictured here, Orville Wright is at the controls of the Flyer as his brother Wilbur Wright looks on during the plane’s first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., Dec. 17, 1903. Orville lies prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur who was running alongside to balance the machine, has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. Made of wood, wire and cloth the plane remained aloft 12 seconds and traveled a distance of 120 feet.
  • This Week in History: A Love Supreme by John Coltrane was recorded with his quartet 50 years ago in one session on Dec. 9, 1964. The album was released the following year in February 1965 by Impulse! Records. A Love Supreme’s four phases: “Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance” and “Psalms” are tied to Coltrane’s spirituality and faith in God. Many regarded the album as one of the most recognizable, most successful jazz albums in history and among Coltrane’s greatest works. Here, jazz saxophonist John Coltrane performs onstage in 1961 in New York City, N.Y.
  • This Week in History: Victims of the Bhopal tragedy wait to be treated on Dec. 4, 1984 at Bhopal’s hospital. The Bhopal disaster occurred when a storage tank at a pesticide plant run by Union Carbide exploded and poured cyanide gas into the air. Thirty years later there is still uncertainty surrounding the death toll. Amnesty International estimates that 22,000 people died following the leak and more than 570,000 were exposed to damaging levels of toxic gas, nevertheless the incident is regarded as the world’s worst industrial disaster.
  • The White House Turkey Presentation is an annual tradition that some claim dates back to the presidency of Harry Truman (pictured here in 1952) while some others attributing its beginning to Abraham Lincoln.  But routinely, since 1947, the president has been presented with a turkey, typically from the Poultry and Egg National Board or the National Turkey Federation.  Since 1989, and occasionally before then, the President has granted a “pardon” to a single turkey, saving them from being eaten on Thanksgiving.  
  • This Week in History:  On Nov. 19, 1969, soccer great Pelé, scored his 1,000th goal at Maracanã stadium in Rio Di Janeiro, a rare milestone in soccer.  Considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, Pelé scored “the Milésimo” from a penalty kick against soccer club Vasco De Gama, while he was playing for Santos.  In his career, which spanned two decades, Pelé scored more than 1,200 times, earning him the Guinness World Record for Most Career Goals.
  • This Week in History: The United States Marine Corps was formed on Nov. 10, 1775, when a resolution calling for the creation of two battalions was passed by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution thereby establishing the Continental Marines. Pictured here, U.S. Marines kneel behind a smoke screen at an helicopter landing zone in Marja, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, in March 2010.
  • This Week in History: Never mind the bollocks … here’s the Sex Pistols. The pioneering punk band, pictured here in 1977, had its first show on Nov. 6, 1975 at the Saint Martin’s School of Art in London. In a short career that only produced a single studio album, the Sex Pistols pushed the limits of obscenity and were strident with their political message. Their single “God Save the Queen” which channeled deep anti-monarchist frustrations in the UK, was banned by the BBC, and known as the “most heavily censored record in British history.”  The Sex Pistols broke up in 1978, and bassist Sid Vicious died in New York in 1979. In recent years the surviving members have reunited several times.  
  • This Week In History: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the withdrawal of missiles from Cuba, ending the Cuban Missile Crisis on Oct. 28, 1962. Pictured here, a group of customers in a store in California gather in the electronics department to watch President Kennedy as he delivers a televised address to the nation on the subject of the Cuban Missile Crisis on Oct. 22, 1962.
  • This Week In History: Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain on October 25, 1881. Here, Picasso is photographed watching a bullfight in Nîmes, Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France in 1957 by legendary Magnum photographer René Burri who passed away on October 20, 2014.
  • This Week In History: On October 16, 1934 China’s Red Army began its “Long March.” The march was itself a retreat, occurring after Communist forces were pushed out of their stronghold in the southeast Jianxi region by Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang army. After a year-long journey, spanning more than 3,000 miles, the Red Army joined other Communists in the northwest region of Shaanxi. The march allowed Mao Zedong, pictured here in 1934, to consolidate his leadership in the Communist Party of China, which eventually rose to power in Mainland China in 1949 and continues to this day.
  • This Week in History: The German Democratic Republic, more commonly known as East Germany, formally became a state on Oct. 7, 1949. Comprised of territory occupied by Soviet forces following Germany’s defeat in World War II (excluding parts of Berlin) the GDR was ostensibly a Soviet satellite state. Its economy lagged compared to West Germany (which received aid from the US, UK and France) and the mass emigration of citizens resulted in the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, which stood until 1989. Germany was reunified shortly after the Wall’s demolition. Pictured here, East German soldiers in 1959.
  • This Week in History: On Oct. 2, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born. Gandhi led the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, and used nonviolent civil disobedience to lead India to independence, while inspiring movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific “Mahatma” (Sanskrit for “high-souled” and “venerable”) was applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa, and is now used worldwide. Pictured here, Gandhi at his spinning wheel aboard a ship enroute to London, in 1935. 
  • This Week In History:  On Sept. 24, 1906, Devil’s Tower, pictured here in 1956, was designated by President Theodore Roosevelt as the nation’s first National Monument.  Jutting more than 1,200 feet from the Black Hills region in Wyoming, the rock formation has held deep importance to Native American tribes in the region for centuries and may also be remembered as a backdrop for the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”
  • This Week in History: On Sept. 20, 2011, the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy was repealed. From 1993 until 2011, the policy prohibited military personnel from from disclosing his or her sexual orientation, while barring openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons from military service. Prior to 1993, the United States Military excluded all gay and lesbian persons from military service. Pictured here, photographs of Melvin Dwork, taken in 1943 when he was in the navy, are seen at his home in New York. In 2011, Nearly 70 years after Dwork was expelled from the Navy for being gay, the military changed his discharge from “undesirable” to “honorable,” marking what was believed to be the first time the Pentagon had taken such a step on behalf of a World War II veteran since the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
  • The Week In History: On Sept. 11, 2001, members of the terrorist group al-Qaida carried out the most devastating attack on American soil. Hijacked airliners crashed into locations in New York City, Arlington, Va. and Shanksville, Pa. resulting in nearly 3,000 deaths. Pictured here, firefighters rest during rescue efforts at “Ground Zero”, or the wreckage of the Twin Towers in New York City. More than 300 New York City firefighters and other first responders lost their lives responding to the attacks.
  • This Week in History: “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.” 113 years ago these words were spoken by Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, at the time serving as Vice President, during a famous speech on foreign policy at the Minnesota State Fair on Sept. 2, 1901. Four days later, President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz. This event would push Roosevelt into the presidency, a seat he would hold until 1909. Pictured here, Teddy Roosevelt looks out from a balcony, circa 1911.
  • This Week in History: Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005.  The Category 3 storm, the worst natural disaster in US history, caused massive destruction across the Gulf Coast, in particular New Orleans, which largely sits below sea level and relies on levees to keep water levels at bay.  Hurricane Katrina claimed more than 1,800 lives, most of them from within New Orleans.  Pictured here, two men inspect a flooded home following the storm in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward.
  • This Week in History: On August 18, 1963, James H. Meredith became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Mississippi. Pictured here, Meredith, center, is escorted by federal marshals as he arrives for registration at the all-white University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Miss., on September 30, 1962.
  • This Week in History:  The legendary Woodstock Music and Arts Fair kicked off 45 years ago on August 15, 1969 in Bethel, New York.  A quintessential moment of the 1960s counterculture, the “3 Days of Peace & Music”, featured acts like Jimi Hendrix, The Band, and Joan Baez performing for roughly 400,000 fans on a dairy farm in upstate New York.  In this photo, concert-goers climb scaffolding for a view of the performances.
 
  • This Week in History: On August 9th, 1974, Former President Richard Nixon resigned from office following a series of revelations about his administration’s involvement in the Watergate scandal. Pictured here, a contact sheet showing the resignation declaration made by President Nixon as televised from the White House forty years ago. 
  • This Week in History: On August 1, 1944, Anne Frank wrote her last diary entry. On August 4th, 1944, following a tip from an anonymous informer, the German uniformed police stormed the annex where Anne Frank and her family had been hiding for two years. The family was arrested and sent to concentration camps, where Anne, her sister Margot, and their mother died. Their father, Otto, was the only family member to survive the war, and later published her diary. Pictured here, family photo of Anne and Margot Frank at the beach, c. 1935, the family went into hiding in 1942. 
  • This Week in History: On July 25th, 1953, New York City Transit Authority first issued the subway token. The fare for a ride on the subway from it’s inauguration in 1904 until 1948 was a nickel, in 1948 the fare increased to a dime, and has since been steadily rising. When the NYC Transit Authority was created in 1953, the fare was raised to 15 cents; from then until April 2004, riders paid the fair with tokens purchased from a station attendant. The last tokens were phased out in 2003 when the fare rose to $2. A single ride on the subway today costs $2.50. Pictured here, women ride the subway in New York in 1980.
  • This Week in History:  On July 16, 1969 the Apollo 11 crew blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, beginning their historic journey to the Moon.  Crowds gathered near the Florida coast to catch the momentous event in person, many camping overnight to watch liftoff, shortly after 9:30 the morning of the 16th.  4 days later, Americans and people around the world would gather around their television sets to watch astronaut Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin, set foot on the lunar surface. 
  • This Week in History: On July 13, 1977, a series of lightning strikes at a local New York City power plant caused a massive city-wide blackout that lasted for two days. The blackout occurred  during a nationwide economic downturn, and the city was facing a severe financial crisis. Looting and vandalism were widespread; in all, 1,616 stores were damaged in looting and rioting. A total of 1,037 fires were responded to, and 3,776 people were arrested in the largest mass arrest in New York City history. LaGuardia and Kennedy airports were closed down, automobile tunnels were closed because of lack of ventilation, and 4,000 people had to be evacuated from the subway system. A congressional study estimated that the cost of damages amounted to a little over $300 million. Pictured here, pedestrians walk across 34th St. in New York City during the outage. 
  • This Week in History: The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964. The landmark law, which banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender or national origin, was the result of years of organizing and action from countless leaders, politicians and volunteers.  Pictured here are civil rights activists in March of 1964, staging a hunger strike in the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, to implore the state’s legislators to act on the bill.
  • This Week in History: One year ago today, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. Pictured here, the plaintiff Edith Windsor and her spouse, Thea Spyer, sit together in a café in Holland during the 1970s. Edith and Thea were together for forty years, and married in Ontario in 2007. Spyer died in 2009 after a long battle with MS. After the IRS denied Windsor’s claim as Spyer’s legal spouse, and compelled her to pay over $350,000 in estate taxes, she began pursuing legal action. After a long battle, on June 26, 2013, DOMA was struck down in a landmark decision that continues to be celebrated as a major victory for gay couples. 
  • This Week In History: This week marks the 50th anniversary of the voter registration drive known as the Mississippi Summer Project, or Freedom Summer, in 1964. Hundreds of college students and volunteers, a majority of them white, worked side-by-side with local black activists to register disenfranchised voters, establish community organizing centers and teach political participation for the many who had been left isolated in the Jim Crow South. The campaign, a touchstone of the Civil Rights Movement, was not without opposition; in addition to the several who were tragically murdered, activists were targets of violence, intimidation and arrest. Later this month, leaders and activists will recognize the passing of this anniversary at a conference in Jackson, Mississippi. In this photo, demonstrators rally for voter registration in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1964.
  • Today in History: On June 12, 1931 Chicago gangster Al Capone was indicted for income tax evasion and various violations of the Volstead Act (prohibition). Here, he leaves a courtroom in Chicago in the custody of U.S. marshals where he was facing charges on Oct. 24, 1931.
  • This Week in History: A landing craft approaches Omaha Beach on D-Day, the beginning of the Allied invasion of German occupied Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. The invasion, captured here in a hand-colored photo by U.S. Coast Guard photographer Robert F. Sargent, was one of the largest military operations in history and a defining point in World War II.
  • This Week in History: On May 29th, 1953, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (R) and mountaineer and beekeeper Edmund P. Hillary of New Zealand (L) became the first pair of climbers to reach the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest. Here, they show the kit they wore when conquering the world’s highest peak. Norgay remains one of the most famous mountain climbers in history, and went on to receive the George Medal from Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts on the expedition. 
  • This Week in History: Well-wishers surround American aviator Amelia Earhart in Derry, Northern Ireland on May 21, 1932 after she completed the flight that made her the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic.
  • This Week in History: May 17 marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights lawsuit ‘Brown v. Board of Education,’ that led to the beginning of integration in the US education system. Here, Nathaniel Steward, 17, recites his lesson at the Saint-Dominique school in Washington, where for the first time the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which outlaws segregation in state schools, is applied, May 21, 1954.
  • This Week in History: On May 5, 1961, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space after piloting the Freedom 7 spacecraft for a 15 minute sub-orbital flight which concluded with a splash landing in the Atlantic Ocean. Shepard would return to space ten years later, at age 47, to pilot the Apollo 14 lunar mission, earning his distinction as the oldest person to walk on the Moon’s surface.
  • This Week in History: On April 26, 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire in the No. 4 reactor released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, spreading into much of the western USSR and Europe. The effort to contain the contamination and avoid greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers. During the accident itself at least 31 people were killed immediately, and long-term effects such as cancers and birth defects are still being accounted for.
Pictured here, two young men lie down on a grassy field in Prypiat, Ukraine in the early 1980's. This photo was among a collection of negatives found in an empty apartment within the abandoned city of Prypiat, during the winter of 2006, twenty years after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. Despite their fragility, they have withstood the elements, which now includes radioactive dust clouds.
  • This Week in History: Cars of the Swiss Sky Ride move high over the New York World's Fair on Thursday, April 24, 1964.  The 1964 World's Fair opened 50 years ago this week and lasted until October 1965.  The fair offered an optimistic look at American life and technology, including visions of space exploration and automobiles of the future.  Over 51 million people visited the fairgrounds in Flushing Meadows, Queens to see the various exhibitions and the fair's centerpiece: the large stainless steel "Unisphere"
  • This Week in History: Fidel Castro on the beach at Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs), the site of the unsuccessful invasion by US-backed forces on April 17, 1961. Approximately 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. The invading force was defeated within three days by the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces. The failure strengthened the position of Castro's administration, who then openly proclaimed their plans to adopt socialism and strengthen ties with the Soviet Union, events which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
  • This Week in History: The Titanic departs Southampton, England on its maiden Atlantic voyage to New York City on April 10, 1912. The doomed ocean liner sank on April 15, 1912, just five days into maiden voyage, with more than a thousand people losing their lives.
  • This Week in History: U.S. President Ronald Reagan is shoved into the President's limousine by secret service agents after being shot and seriously injured by John Hinckley Jr. outside a Washington hotel on Monday, March 30, 1981. Hinckley shot Reagan in an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed. A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. Also wounded were White House news secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer. James Brady, permanently disabled from his injuries, has since become an ardent supporter of gun control.
  • This Week in History: Martin Luther King Jr. led a march of 25,000 people to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest the denial of voting rights to racial minorities, March 25, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law later that year by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • This Week in History: Smoke rises from the Trade Ministry in Baghdad on March 20, 2003 after it was hit by a missile during the US-led forces attack, marking the start of the invasion of Iraq. In the beginning, it all looked simple: topple Saddam Hussein, destroy his purported weapons of mass destruction and lay the foundation for a pro-Western government in the heart of the Arab world. In the end though nearly 4,500 Americans and an estimated 121,000 Iraqi civilian were killed during the US-led war on Iraq.
/

MSNBC's Throwback Thursday

Updated
By msnbc staff

Take a look back at moments in history with MSNBC’s “Throwback Thursdays.” From politics to pop culture, and everything in between, we’ll share images that tell the story of our times. Every Thursday we’ll add something new, so join us each week as we reflect on some of the key events that have shaped our world. It’s the ultimate photo journey #TBT, MSNBC style.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

Speak Out

More For You