Category Archives: Iconic Pictures

“Murderous Mary” – The Elephant they Hanged

Mary the Elephant




Mary (c. 1894–September 13, 1916) was a five-ton Asian elephant, also known as “Murderous Mary”, who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus.

After killing a trainer in Kingsport, Tennessee, she was hanged in nearby Erwin, Tennessee, in 1916. Her death is sometimes interpreted as a cautionary tale of circus animal abuse during the early 20th century.


Mary hanging from a 100-ton derrick in Erwin, Tennessee
SpeciesAsian elephant
DiedSeptember 13, 1916 (aged 21–22)
Nation fromUnited States
OccupationCircus performer
EmployerCharlie Sparks
Years active1898–1916
TrainingPlaying musical instruments
Pitching baseballs
Weight5 short tons (4,500 kg)
Height11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)

Death of Red Eldridge

On September 11, 1916, a homeless man named Red Eldridge, who landed a job as a transient hotel clerk was hired as an assistant elephant trainer by the Sparks World Famous Shows circus.

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He was killed by Mary in Sullivan County, Tennessee, on the evening of September 12.

Eldridge led the elephant parade, although he was not qualified, riding on the top of Mary’s back; Mary was the star of the show, riding at the front.

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There have been several accounts of his death. One, recounted by W.H. Coleman, who claimed to be a witness, is that he prodded her behind the ear with a hook after she reached down to nibble on a watermelon rind. She went into a rage, snatched Eldridge with her trunk, threw him against a drink stand and stepped on his head, crushing it.

Related image

A contemporary newspaper account, from the Johnson City Staff, said that Mary

“collided its trunk vice-like about [Eldridge’s ] body, lifted him 10 feet in the air, then dashed him with fury to the ground… and with the full force of her beastly fury is said to have sunk her giant tusks entirely through his body.

The animal then trampled the dying form of Eldridge as if seeking a murderous triumph, then with a sudden… swing of her massive foot hurled his body into the crowd.”

Eldridge’s Death Certificate

red eldgeridge

It is clear from the photo of her hanging that Mary was either tuskless or had short ‘tushes’ common amongst female Asian elephants.


The details of the aftermath are confused in a maze of sensationalist newspaper stories and folklore. Most accounts indicate that she calmed down afterward and didn’t charge the onlookers, who began chanting,

“Kill the elephant! Let’s kill it.”

Within minutes, local blacksmith Hench Cox tried to kill Mary, firing five rounds with little effect. Meanwhile, the leaders of several nearby towns threatened not to allow the circus to visit if Mary was included. The circus owner, Charlie Sparks, reluctantly decided that the only way to quickly resolve the potentially ruinous situation was to kill the wounded elephant in public.

town that hang her

On the following day, a foggy and rainy September 13, 1916, Mary was transported by rail to Erwin , Unicoi County, Tennessee, where a crowd of over 2,500 people (including most of the town’s children) assemb led in the Clinchfield Railroad yard.

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The elephant was hanged by the neck from a railcar-mounted industrial crane between four o’clock and five o’clock that evening.

The first attempt resulted in a snapped chain, causing Mary to fall and break her hip as dozens of children fled in terror. The severely wounded elephant died during a second attempt and was buried beside the tracks.

mart dead with dog

A veterinarian examined Mary after the hanging and determined that she had a severely infected tooth in the precise spot where Red Eldridge had prodded her.

Although the authenticity of a widely distributed (and heavily retouched) photo of her death was disputed years later by Argosy magazine, other photographs taken during the incident confirm its provenance.

What do I think?

I think Mary was treated appallingly and those that killed her should have been punished for such a heinous act . However in 1916  the world was a very different place and many folks had strange primitive attitude towards animals and animal welfare.

Thankfully we now live in a more enlighten time and we are way to busy killing each other to execute our fella animals.


See below for other Iconic Pictures & pictures that changed the world.

The Long Walk – Iconic Pictures & Story behind them

See below for other Iconic Pictures & pictures that changed the world.

V-J Day Kiss in Times Square 1945

V-J Day in Times Square

V-J Day in Times Square (also V-Day and The Kiss)  is a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt that portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger—a woman in a white dress—on Victory over Japan Day (“V-J Day”) in New York City‘s Times Square on August 14, 1945.

The photograph was published a week later in Life magazine, among many photographs of celebrations around the United States that were presented in a twelve-page section titled “Victory Celebrations”.

A two-page spread faces three other kissing poses among celebrators in Washington, D.C.; Kansas City; and Miami opposite Eisenstaedt’s, which was given a full-page display. Kissing was a favorite pose encouraged by media photographers of service personnel during the war, but Eisenstaedt was photographing a spontaneous event that occurred in Times Square soon before the announcement of the end of the war on Japan was made by U.S. President Harry S. Truman at seven o’clock. Similar jubilation spread quickly with the news.



Because he was photographing rapidly changing events during the celebrations, Eisenstaedt did not have an opportunity to get the names and details.  The photograph does not clearly show the face of either person involved, and numerous people have claimed to be the subjects. The photograph was shot just south of 45th Street looking north from a location where Broadway and Seventh Avenue converge. Soon afterward, throngs of people crowded into the square and it became a sea of people.

The photograph was taken at 5:51 p.m. ET, according to Donald W. Olson and his team. It was taken with a Leica IIIa.

V-J Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, “In New York’s Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers”

Alfred Eisenstaedt signing his famous “V-J Day” photograph on the afternoon of August 23, 1995, while sitting in his Menemsha Inn cabin located on Martha’s Vineyard. He died about 8 hours later.

Accounts by Alfred Eisenstaedt

In two different books he wrote, Alfred Eisenstaedt gave two slightly different accounts of taking the photograph and of its nature.

From Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt:

In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress I would never have taken the picture. If the sailor had worn a white uniform, the same. I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.

Only one is right, on account of the balance. In the others the emphasis is wrong — the sailor on the left side is either too small or too tall. People tell me that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture.

From The Eye of Eisenstaedt:

I was walking through the crowds on V-J Day, looking for pictures. I noticed a sailor coming my way. He was grabbing every female he could find and kissing them all — young girls and old ladies alike. Then I noticed the nurse, standing in that enormous crowd. I focused on her, and just as I’d hoped, the sailor came along, grabbed the nurse, and bent down to kiss her. Now if this girl hadn’t been a nurse, if she’d been dressed dark clothes, I wouldn’t have had a picture. The contrast between her white dress and the sailor’s dark uniform gives the photograph its extra impact.

It became a cultural icon overnight and by establishing his copyright, Eisenstaedt carefully controlled the rights to it, only allowing a limited number of reproductions which determined how it could be used

Another photograph of the same scene

U.S. Navy photo journalistVictor Jorgensen captured another view of the same scene, which was published in the New York Times the following day. Jorgensen titled his photograph Kissing the War Goodbye. It shows less of Times Square in the background, lacking the characteristic view of the complex intersection so that the location needs to be identified, it is dark and shows few details of the main subjects, and it does not show the lower legs and feet of the subjects.

Unlike the Eisenstaedt photograph, which is protected by copyright, this Navy photograph is in the public domain as it was produced by a federal government employee on official duty. While the angle of the photograph may be less interesting than that of Eisenstaedt’s photo, it clearly shows the actual location of the iconic kiss occurring in the front of the Chemical Bank and Trust building, with the Walgreens pharmacy signage on the building façade visible in the background.

The surprised woman on the left in Jorgensen’s photograph has been positively identified as Kay Hughes Dorius of Utah.

Identity of the kissers

Edith Shain’s claim as the nurse

Edith Shain at the 2008 Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C.

Edith Shain wrote to Eisenstaedt in the late 1970s claiming to be the woman in the picture. In August 1945, Shain was working at Doctor’s Hospital in Manhattan, New York City as a nurse when she and a friend heard on the radio that World War II had ended. They went to Times Square where all the celebrating was and as soon as she arrived on the street from the subway, the sailor grabbed her in an embrace and kissed her. She related that at the time she thought she might as well let him kiss her since he fought for her in the war.

Shain did not claim that she was the woman in the white dress until many years later when she wrote to Eisenstaedt. He notified the magazine that he had received her letter claiming to be the subject.

Since the identity of the woman had been claimed, in its August 1980 issue, the editors of Life asked that the kissing sailor come forward. In the October 1980 issue, the editors reported that eleven men and three women had come forward claiming to be the subjects of the photograph. Listed in the October 1980 issue as claiming to be the woman were Greta Friedman and Barbara Sokol as well as Edith Shain.

On June 20, 2010, Shain died at age 91 of liver cancer.In April 2012 the issue of who the woman was, remained, as a new book on the topic was about to be released. The authors, George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria, stated that Shain could not have been the woman because her height of just four feet ten inches was insufficient in comparison with the height of any of the men claiming to be the sailor.

Greta Friedman

Galdorisi and Verria used interviews of claimants, expert photo analysis, identifying people in the background and consultations with forensic anthropologists and facial recognition specialists. They concluded that the woman was Greta Zimmer Friedman and that she was wearing her dental hygienist uniform in the photograph.

“It wasn’t my choice to be kissed,” Friedman stated in a 2005 interview with the Library of Congress.

“The guy just came over and grabbed!” she said, adding, “That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”  “I did not see him approaching, and before I know it I was in this tight grip,” Friedman told CBS News in 2012.

Friedman died at age 92 on September 8, 2016, in Richmond, Virginia, due to health complications of old age.

Claiming to be the U.S. Navy sailor

Numerous men have claimed to be the sailor, including Donald Bonsack, John Edmonson, Wallace C. Fowler, Clarence “Bud” Harding, Walker Irving, James Kearney, Marvin Kingsburg, Arthur Leask, George Mendonça, Jack Russell, and Bill Swicegood. The issue regarding the identity of the kissers is no longer contended in a court of law.

George Mendonsa


George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman, guests of honor at the Bristol, Rhode Island, July 4 parade in 2009.
Image result for American sailor George Mendonsa

George Mendonsa of Newport, Rhode Island, on leave from the USS The Sullivans (DD-537), was watching a movie with his future wife, Rita, at Radio City Music Hall when the doors opened and people started screaming the war was over. George and Rita joined the partying on the street, but when they could not get into the packed bars decided to walk down the street. It was then that George saw a woman in a white dress walk by and took her into his arms and kissed her,

“I had quite a few drinks that day and I considered her one of the troops—she was a nurse.”

In one of the four pictures that Eisenstaedt took, Mendonsa claims that Rita is visible in the background behind the kissing couple.

In 1987, George Mendonsa filed a lawsuit against Time Inc. in Rhode Island state court, alleging that he was the sailor in the photograph and that both Time and Life had violated his right of publicity by using the photograph without his permission. After Time Inc. removed the case to federal court, Mendonsa survived a motion to dismiss.

Mendonsa was identified by a team of volunteers from the Naval War College in August 2005 as “the kisser”. His claim was based on matching his scars and tattoos to scars and tattoos in the photograph. They made their determination after much study including photographic analysis by the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who were able to match scars and tattoo spotted by photograph experts, and the testimony of Richard M. Benson, a photograph analysis expert, professor of photographic studies, plus the former Dean of the School of Arts at Yale University. Benson stated that

“it is therefore my opinion, based upon a reasonable degree of certainty, that George Mendonsa is the sailor in Mr. Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph.”

The identity of the sailor as George Mendonsa has been challenged by physicists Donald W. Olson and Russell Doescher of Texas State University and Steve Kawaler of Iowa State University based on astronomical conditions recorded by the photographs of the incident. According to Mendonsa’s account of the events of the day, the kiss would have occurred at approximately 2 p.m.

However, Olson and Doescher argue that the positions of shadows in the photographs suggest that it was taken after 5 p.m. They further point to a clock seen in the picture, whose hour hand appears closer to the 6 o’clock position than to the 2 o’clock position; and to Victor Jorgensen’s account of the circumstances of his own picture; concluding that Mendonsa’s version of events is untenable.

Carl Muscarello

Carl Muscarello is a retired police officer with the New York City Police Department, now living in Plantation, Florida. In 1995, he claimed to be the kissing sailor. He claimed that he was in Times Square on August 14, 1945, and that he kissed numerous women. A distinctive birthmark on his hand enabled his mother to identify him as the subject. Edith Shain initially said she believed Muscarello’s claim to be the sailor and they even dated after their brief reunion. But in 2005, Shain was much less certain, telling the New York Times,

“I can’t say he isn’t. I just can’t say he is. There is no way to tell.”

Muscarello has described his condition on August 14, 1945 as being quite drunk and having no clear memory of his actions in the square, stating that his mother claimed he was the man after seeing the photograph and he came to believe it.

Glenn McDuffie

Glenn McDuffie laid claim in 2007 and was supported by Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson. Gibson’s forensic analysis compared the Eisenstaedt photographs with current-day photographs of McDuffie, analyzing key facial features identical on both sets. She measured his ears, facial bones, hairline, wrist, knuckles, and hand, and compared those to enlargements of Eisenstaedt’s picture.

I could tell just in general that yes, it’s him. But I wanted to be able to tell other people so I replicated the pose.

In the August 14, 2007, issue of AM New York McDuffie said he passed five polygraph tests confirming his claim to be the man. McDuffie, a native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, who had lied about his age so he could enlist at the age of 15, went on after the war to play semi-pro baseball and work for the United States Postal Service.

He says that on that day he was on the subway to Brooklyn to visit his girlfriend, Ardith Bloomfield. He came out of the subway at Times Square, where people were celebrating in the streets. Excited that his brother, who was being held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war, would be released, McDuffie began hollering and jumping up and down. A nurse saw him, and opened her arms to him. In apparent conflict with Eisenstaedt’s recollections of the event, McDuffie said he ran over to her and kissed her for a long time so that Eisenstaedt could take the photograph:

I went over there and kissed her and saw a man running at us…I thought it was a jealous husband or boyfriend coming to poke me in the eyes. I looked up and saw he was taking the picture and I kissed her as long as took for him to take it.

Gibson had also analyzed photographs of other men who have claimed to be the sailor, including Muscarello and Mendonça, reporting that neither man’s facial bones or other features match those of the sailor in the photograph. On August 3, 2008, Glenn McDuffie was recognized for his 81st birthday as the “Kissing Sailor” during the seventh-inning stretch of the Houston Astros and New York Mets game at Minute Maid Park.[citation needed] McDuffie died on March 14, 2014.

Other people

Lifes October 1980 issue did not include Muscarello or Glenn McDuffie. These claims have been made much more recently.

Mendonça and Friedman (both individually and together), as well as Shain, Muscarello, and McDuffie, were widely interviewed in the succeeding years by Life, PBS, NBC, CBS, and others. The life stories of Mendonça and Friedman, and how they came to be in Times Square that day, as well as the reasons they are considered most likely to be the ones photographed, are the subject of a detailed book on the photo.

Mendonça recognizes Friedman, to the exclusion of any other woman, as the “nurse” he kissed in the photographs (or, to be precise, the woman in the white uniform, as Friedman was a dental assistant—a nurse’s uniform was customary in a dentist’s office to be worn by female assistants and hygienists in that era).

As part of a World War II memorial at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts, a new painting titled Victory Kiss by Jim Laurier of New Hampshire was first unveiled on August 24, 2013, to honor the event captured in the photo. George Mendonça was in attendance for the unveiling.

In popular culture


In 2005, John Seward Johnson II displayed a bronze life-size sculpture, Unconditional Surrender, at an August 14, 2005, sixtieth-anniversary reenactment at Times Square of the kiss. His statue was featured in a ceremony that included Carl Muscarello and Edith Shain, holding a copy of the famous photograph, as participants.

Johnson also sculpted a 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) version in plastic and aluminum, which has been displayed in several cities, including San Diego and Sarasota.The 25-foot (7.6 m) version was moved to New York City again on August 12, 2015, for a temporary display.

In the 2009 film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, two characters jump into a life-size enlargement of the photograph, finding themselves in a monochrome Times Square. One of them cuts in on the sailor for a kiss with the nurse.

In the 2009 film Watchmen, during the opening credits, the Times Square V-J celebration is shown with a costumed heroine, Silhouette, kissing a female nurse as a photographer captures the moment.

In 2009 a furor over the placement of a derivative of the photograph on public land arose in Sarasota, Florida. Television and radio programs concentrated on it, and letters to the editor were printed for months. Letters and articles in the local press continue to debate the central issue of the objections in 2015. The statue was given ten years to stay on the public land by a slim majority of city council members.

In the 2010 film Letters to Juliet, the photograph is featured in a scene where a magazine editor questions a writer about her fact-checking regarding the image.

In the The Simpsons episode “Bart the General“, victory celebrations following a “war” between two groups of children include a boy in a sailor outfit kissing Lisa as a photograph is taken. She then slaps the boy, exclaiming, “Knock it off!”

In 2012, while performing a show for the Marines during the New York City Fleet Week, singer Katy Perry kissed a man on stage, replicating the pose.

In the 2012 film Men in Black III, a time traveling character views The Kiss.

In the 2014 video game Wolfenstein: The New Order, an alternative history version of the V-J Day kiss (V-A Day in the timeline) appears as a Nazi soldier forcing himself on the nurse.




See below for other Iconic Pictures & pictures that changed the world.

Vladimir Komarov – The Man who fell to Earth

Vladimir Komarov

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The Man who fell to Earth


Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov (Russian: Влади́мир Миха́йлович Комаро́в; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr mʲɪˈxaɪləvʲɪtɕ kəmɐˈrof]; 16 March 1927 – 24 April 1967) was a Soviet test pilot, aerospace engineer and cosmonaut in the first group of cosmonauts selected in 1960. He was one of the most highly experienced and well-qualified candidates accepted into the Group Air Force № 1(the first squad of cosmonauts of the USSR) .

Komarov was declared medically unfit for training or spaceflight twice while he was in the program, but his perseverance and superior skills and his knowledge as an engineer allowed him to continue playing an active role. During his time at the Cosmonaut Training Center, he contributed to space vehicle design, cosmonaut training and evaluation and public relations.

He was eventually selected to command the first Soviet multiman Voskhod 1 spaceflight that presented a number of technical innovations in the Space Race. Komarov was later chosen for the rigorous task of commanding Soyuz 1 as part of the Soviet Union‘s bid to reach the Moon first.

His spaceflight on Soyuz 1 made him the first Soviet cosmonaut to fly into outer space more than once, and he became the first human to die on a space mission—he was killed when the Soyuz 1 space capsule crashed after re-entry on 24 April 1967 due to a parachute failure.

However, because he died when the capsule crashed into the ground, he is not considered to be the first human fatality in outer space.

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov
Soviet Union-1964-stamp-Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov.jpg

1965 USSR postage stamp honoring Vladimir Komarov
Nationality Soviet
Born (1927-03-16)16 March 1927
Moscow, Soviet Union
Died 24 April 1967(1967-04-24) (aged 40)
Orenburg Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Other occupation
Rank Polkovnik (equiv. Colonel), Soviet Air Force
Time in space
2d 03h 04m
Selection Air Force Group 1
Missions Voskhod 1, Soyuz 1
Mission insignia
Voskhod1 patch.jpg Soyuz-1-patch.png
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin Order of Lenin

Early life

Komarov was born in Moscow on 16 March 1927, where he grew up along with his sister Matilde. His father was a labourer who worked at various low-paid jobs to support the family. In 1935, Komarov began his formal education in the local elementary school. Here he showed a natural aptitude for mathematics.

In 1941, Komarov left school because of World War II, and the German invasion of the U.S.S.R., and he became a laborer on a collective farm. He showed an interest in aeronautics from an early age, and he collected magazines and pictures about aviation, in addition to making model aircraft and his own propeller.

At the age of fifteen in 1942, Komarov entered the “1st Moscow Special Air Force School” to pursue his dream of becoming an aviator. Shortly thereafter, his family learned that Komarov’s father had been killed in an “unknown war action.”

Of necessity because of the German invasion, the flight school was soon moved to the Tyumen Region in Siberia for the duration of the war. Students there learned a wide variety of subjects besides aviation – including zoology and foreign languages. In 1945, Komarov graduated from flight school with honors. Hostilities ended in World War II before Komarov was called on to enter combat.

In 1946, Komarov completed his first year of training at the Chkalov Higher Air Force School in Borisoglebsk in Voronezh Oblast. He then completed his training at the A.K. Serov Military Aviation College in Bataisk. Komarov’s mother died in 1948, seven months before his graduation (in 1949) at which he received his pilots wings and commission as a lieutenant in the Soviet Air Force.

Career in the Soviet Air Force


Komarov with his wife Valentina Yakovlevna and daughter Irina Vladimirovna

In December 1949, Komarov served as the pilot of a fighter plane with the 383rd Regiment of the 42nd North Caucasian Fighter Air Division that was based in Grozny.

Komarov married Valentina Yakovlevna Kiselyova in October 1950. He was promoted to senior lieutenant in 1952, and he was later assigned as the chief pilot of the 486th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the 279th Fighter Air Division in the Prikarpate Region.

Komarov continued to fly in that position until 1954, and then he enrolled in an engineering course at the N.E. Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy. In 1959, Komarov was promoted to the rank of senior engineer-lieutenant. Later that year he achieved his goal of becoming a test pilot at the Central Scientific Research Institute at Chkalovsky.

Cosmonaut selection

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Air Force Group One

In September 1959, Komarov was promoted to engineer-captain and invited to participate in the selection process for cosmonaut candidate along with approximately 3,000 other pilots.[4] He was one of only twenty candidates selected for “Air Force Group One”, he and the others reported to the newly formed TsPK just outside Moscow for assignment on 13 March 1960.

Although eminently qualified, Komarov was not chosen in the top six candidates, because he did not meet the age, height and weight restrictions specified by the “Chief Designer” of Russia’s space program: Sergei Korolev.

“If the criteria had been different,” the cosmonaut trainer Mark Gallai noted in an interview, “certainly Komarov, who was very intelligent, would have been in the group. He had Air Force Academy flight experience. He had a great influence on the design of the Vostok and [the] Voskhod.”

At age 32, Komarov was the second oldest of the pilots chosen – Sergei Korolev had specified a maximum age of just 27. Of the first intake, only two members, Pavel Belyayev (of Voskhod 2) and Komarov, were also graduates of the Soviet Air Force Academy. In addition, of the intake, only Komarov had experience as a flight test engineer on new aircraft.


Shortly after beginning his training Komarov was hospitalised for a minor operation in May 1960, which left him medically unfit for physical training for approximately 6 months. At the time, the selection criteria placed a heavy emphasis on the physical condition of cosmonauts and any imperfection led to instant disqualification. Since Komarov already held engineering qualifications, he was allowed to remain a part of the program after assuring the administration he would be able to catch up. He continued with the required academic studies while recovering.

He returned to training in October, because his recovery was more rapid than medical staff had expected. During that time he assisted his younger peers with their academic studies; earning him the casual nickname of “The Professor” which he shared with Belyayev who was two years his senior. In 1961 the first space flights began. By 1962, Komarov was the third highest paid cosmonaut, due to his qualifications, rank and experience. He earned 528 rubles a month, with only cosmonauts 1 and 2 Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov being more highly paid.

When Georgi Shonin demonstrated an unacceptable level of g-force susceptibility in the centrifuge he was replaced by Komarov in May 1962 for planned dual Vostok missions. Komarov was selected as back up for Pavel Popovich (Vostok 4), but subsequent routine ECG testing of Komarov revealed a heart irregularity and he was pulled from the program and replaced by Boris Volynov.

The same heart irregularity grounded American astronaut Deke Slayton. After Komarov persistently lobbied medical and military personnel to be readmitted into the program he was allowed to return to training.

In 1963, cosmonaut training was conducted in 6 Groups, with Komarov being selected in Group 2 with Valery Bykovsky and Volynov.  This group was to train for missions of up to five days in duration scheduled for the latter part of 1963. In May 1963 Alekseyev proposed to Kamanin that Komarov be named backup for Vostok 5 rather than Khrunov because his suit was ready.

Komarov was later named in a further group for planned missions in 1964 with Belyaev, Shonin, Khrunov, Zaikin, Gorbatko, Volynov, and Leonov. The training groups were formed for later Vostok missions, (Vostok 7–13) but no actual crews were assigned and the missions did not occur under the auspices of the original Vostok program.

In December 1963, Komarov was shortlisted for flight by Kamanin with Volynov and Leonov, having completed two years of training.

In April 1964 Komarov was declared space-flight ready with Bykovsky, Popovich, Titov, Volynov, Leonov, Khrunov, Belyayev, and Lev Demin. From this group the commander of the planned Voskhod mission scheduled for late 1964 would be chosen. In May the group was reduced to Volynov, Komarov, Leonov, Khrunov.

During training, Komarov lived at the TsPK (which would later be nicknamed Star City by the Soviet press) with his wife Valentina and their two children Yevgeny and Irina. There he enjoyed hunting, cross country skiing, ice hockey and other social activities with his fellow trainees in their leisure time. Komarov was well liked by his peers and was referred to by them as Volodya (a diminutive of his first name). Pavel Popovich noted that Komarov was respected for his humility and experience: “…he was already an engineer when he joined us, but he never looked down on the others. He was warm-hearted, purposeful and industrious. Volodya’s prestige was so high that people came to him to discuss all questions: personal as well as questions of our work.”

Fellow cosmonaut Alexei Leonov described him as “…very serious. He was a first-class test pilot.”


Voskhod 1

Main article: Voskhod 1

By July 1964, only seven cosmonauts remained eligible for the Voskhod crew after some of them had been disqualified on medical grounds. On 6 July, Komarov was named as the commander of the back-up crew for Voskhod 1. After much heated debate over several months about the selection of the crew between Nikolai Kamanin and Sergei Korolev, Komarov was named as prime crew commander on 4 October 1964, by the State Commission;  just eight days before its scheduled launch. Kamanin played tennis with the Voskhod crew that evening and noted that Komarov played poorly in comparison to his crew: Boris Yegorov and Konstantin Feoktistov.

On 9 October, Komarov and the crew inspected the Voskhod with Korolev and other members of the administration. Later that day they were interviewed by the state press and played tennis for the benefit of photographers.

On the morning of 11 October, Komarov was given various communist relics to take with him into space the following day. In the afternoon the crew again inspected the capsule and were given their final instructions by Korolev. Komarov was the only member of the crew to have undertaken extensive training and was the only member with any flight experience; the two other crewmen being civilians. His call sign was “Ruby” (Russian: Рубин).

During the mission Komarov performed various tasks with the other crew members, including medical and navigational tests and observing the Aurora Borealis. He also made a number of radio transmissions, including a greeting to the Tokyo Olympics which had opened on 10 October. Some of the transmissions Komarov made were recorded by amateur radio operators like Sven Grahn. The mission lasted just over twenty-four hours. After the crew landed safely they were flown back to the launch site at Tyuratam (also known as Baikonur to disguise its true location). Kamanin noted in his diary that while his crew were in good spirits, Komarov was fatigued.

On 19 October, Komarov and his crew made reports in Red Square and attended an audience at the Kremlin. After the success of this short but scientifically important mission he was promoted to colonel. The success of the mission earned Komarov the awards of the Order of Lenin and Hero of the Soviet Union.

In December 1964, the RSVN (Strategic Rocket Forces) requested that Komarov be transferred from the VVS (Soviet Air Force) to the RSVN, in a move possibly motivated by the poor record of the RSVN in producing successful rockets compared to the VVS. The request was opposed by Kamanin.

In 1965, Komarov worked with Yuri Gagarin in supervising preparations for the flight of Voskhod 2, which carried out the first attempt of an extravehicular activity in outer space. These preparations included fitting of space suits on the cosmonauts and briefings for the spaceflight. In April of that year, Komarov toured St. Petersburg, Russia, with Kamanin, Gagarin, Gherman Titov, Belyayev, and Leonov, and Komarov visited Petropavlovsk Fortress with Valentin Glushko where he had conducted the first rocket experiments in the early 1930s.

In September that year, Komarov toured West Germany.

Soyuz 1

Main article: Soyuz 1

Komarov was assigned to the Soviet Soyuz program along with Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov. In July 1966, Komarov was reprimanded by Kamanin for his unauthorised disclosure, while in Japan, that “the Soviet Union will, at the scheduled time, fly an automated spacecraft around the Moon and return it to (the) Earth, to be followed by a dog flight, then a manned circumlunar flight.”

The following month Komarov clashed with other engineers over ongoing design problems in which zero-G tests showed that the Soyuz module hatch was too small to allow the exit of a fully suited cosmonaut safely. Meanwhile, Komarov and his fellow cosmonauts had their groups and assignments constantly revised and they became increasingly anxious about the lack of response to their concerns about the design and manufacture of space craft which had been raised in a letter to Leonid Brezhnev by Yuri Gagarin on their behalf.

Komarov was selected to command the Soyuz 1, in 1967, with Yuri Gagarin as his backup cosmonaut. During the preparations for the spaceflight, both cosmonauts were working twelve- to fourteen-hour days. On orbital insertion, the solar panels of the Soyuz module failed to fully deploy thereby preventing the craft from being fully powered and obscuring some of the navigation equipment. Komarov reported:

“Conditions are poor. The cabin parameters are normal, but the left solar panel didn’t deploy. The electrical bus is at only 13 to 14 amperes. The HF (high frequency) communications are not working. I cannot orient the spacecraft to the sun. I tried orienting the spacecraft manually using the DO-1 orientation engines, but the pressure remaining on the DO-1 has gone down to 180.”


Komarov tried unsuccessfully to orient the Soyuz module for five hours. The craft was transmitting unreliable status information and communications were lost on orbits 13 through 15 due to the failure of the high frequency transmitter which would have maintained radio contact while the craft was out of range of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) receivers on the ground.

As a result of the problems with the craft, the second Soyuz module which was to have carried cosmonauts to perform an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) to the Soyuz 1 was not launched and the mission was cut short.

Komarov was ordered to re-orient the craft using the ion system on orbits 15 to 17. The ion engine system failed. Komarov did not have enough time to attempt a manual re-entry until orbit 19. Manual orientation relied on using the equipped Vzor device, but in order to do this, Komarov needed to be able to see the Sun. To reach the designated landing site at Orsk the retro-fire would need to take place on the night side of the Earth. Komarov oriented the spacecraft manually on the dayside then used the gyro-platform as a reference so that he could orient the craft for a night side retro-fire.

He successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on his 19th orbit, but the module’s drogue and main braking parachute failed to deploy correctly and the module crashed into the ground, killing Komarov. According to the 1998 book Starman, by Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony, as Komarov sped towards his death, U.S. listening posts in Turkey picked up transmissions of him crying in rage,

“cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”

Response to Komarov’s death

On 25 April, a response to Komarov’s death by his fellow cosmonauts was published in Pravda: “For the forerunners it is always more difficult. They tread the unknown paths and these paths are not straight, they have sharp turns, surprises and dangers. But anyone who takes the pathway into orbit never wants to leave it. And no matter what difficulties or obstacles there are, they are never strong enough to deflect such a man from his chosen path. While his heart beats in his chest, a cosmonaut will always continue to challenge the universe. Vladimir Komarov was one of the first on this treacherous path.”

When interviewed on 17 May by the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Yuri Gagarin alluded to the failure of the administration to listen to the concerns about the Soyuz module that were identified by the cosmonaut corps and that Komarov’s death should teach the establishment to be more rigorous in its testing and evaluation of “all the mechanisms of the spaceship, even more attentive to all stages of checking and testing, even more vigilant in our encounter with the unknown.

He has shown us how dangerous the pathway to space is. His flight and his death will teach us courage.” In May 1967, Gagarin and Leonov criticised program head Vasily Mishin‘s “poor knowledge of the Soyuz spacecraft and the details of its operation, his lack of cooperation in working with the cosmonauts in flight and training activities” and asked Kamanin for him to be cited in the official report into the crash.

After Komarov’s death, the communications systems on board all Soviet spacecraft were modified because Komarov’s voice transmissions from Soyuz 1 had blocked its telemetry signals.

In Leo De Boer‘s 2000 documentary The Red Stuff, Alexei Leonov noted the profound effect that Komarov’s death had on the morale of the cosmonaut corps:

“He was our friend. Before his death the press and public had paid little attention to the extreme risks we took.”

Honours and awards

Posthumous honours

On 26 April 1967, Komarov was given a state funeral in Moscow, and his ashes were interred in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis at Red Square. The American astronauts requested the Soviet government to allow a representative to attend, but were turned down.

Komarov was posthumously awarded his second Order of Lenin and also the Order of Hero of the Soviet Union.

On 25 April 1968, a memorial service was held for Komarov at the crash site near Orsk

Kamanin noted in his diary that over 10,000 people were present at this service, “some driving hundreds of kilometres for the event.”

Komarov has been featured on commemorative First Day Covers and stamps for his contribution to the space program – from several different countries.

Komarov is commemorated with other prominent figures from the early Russian space program with a bust on Cosmonauts Alley in Moscow, and he is also honored with a monument at the crash site near Orsk.


Commemorative plaque and the Fallen Astronaut sculpture left on the Moon

Before leaving the Moon on Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong‘s final task was to place a small package of memorial items to honor Komarov, Yuri Gagarin, and the Apollo 1 astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. Komarov’s name also appears on a commemorative plaque left at Hadley Rille on the Moon by the commander of Apollo 15, David Scott in memory of 14 deceased NASA astronauts and USSR cosmonauts, along with a small sculpture entitled Fallen Astronaut, on 1 August 1971. This plaque and the sculpture represent those astronauts and cosmonauts who died in the quest to reach outer space and the Moon.

The asteroid 1836 Komarov, discovered in 1971, was named in the honor of Komarov, as was a crater on the Moon.[35] This asteroid and the cosmonaut inspired the composer Brett Dean to write a piece of symphonic music commissioned by conductor Simon Rattle in 2006. The composition is named Komarov’s Fall, and it can be found on the EMI Classics Album of Simon Rattle’s The Planets.

Among other honors, the Vladimir M. Komarov Astronautical Rocketry Club (ARK) in Ljubljana has also borne Komarov’s name since 1969.

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale‘s V.M. Komarov Diploma is named in Komarov’s honor.

There was formerly a Soviet satellite-tracking ship named for Komarov, the Kosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.

The Estonian band Sõpruse Puiestee (Friendship Boulevard) wrote a song “Planeetidegi vahel kehtib raskus” (“Difficulty stands even between planets”) in honor of Komarov. This recording was completed 43 years after Komarov’s death, on 24 April 2010.

The French electro band named Kowalsky wrote a song “Lost” (2008) in honor of Komarov, in which the listener can hear his last words.

The American progressive metal band Cormorant wrote a song “Unearthly Dreamings” (2011) about Komarov’s failed space mission.

Mehmet Baydur, a Turkish playwright who died on 24 November 2001, wrote a play titled Vladmir Komarov about what happened on his last day, 24 April 1967.

The Finnish band This Empty Flow wrote a song called “Towards Distant (the death of Komarov during re-entry).” It includes a broadcast message made by Komarov during the Soyuz 1 flight


 Valentina Komarov, the widow of Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, kisses a photograph of her dead husband during his official funeral, held in Moscow’s Red Square on April 26, 1967.




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War is Hell – Iconic Pictures & Story behind them

War Is Hell

An American soldier wears a hand lettered “War Is Hell” slogan on his helmet, Vietnam, 1965


During the Vietnam War on June 18, 1965 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion member Larry Wayne Chaffin smiles for the camera.

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AP photojournalist Horst Faas took this iconic photo on June 18, 1965, during the Vietnam War with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion on defense duty at Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam. The headband message “War is Hell” typified an acerbic attitude of many young American soldiers who were likely drafted and sent to the remote southeastern Asia jungles to engage in deadly and terrifying combat.



A lot of the soldiers wrote graffiti on their helmets with inscriptions of their attitudes about where they were and why they were there.

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The contrast is what makes this photo iconic. You have this, bright, young handsome soldier with a smile on his face and then you have the text on his helmet. Take the helmet out, and this could easily be a high school yearbook photo. His face betrays a sense of innocence, but when you look at his helmet, you can tell that he is anything but. You know that he has witnessed the horrors of war firsthand and is trying to cover it all up on the outside.

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The identity of the soldier was unknown for many decades until recently when he was identified as Larry Wayne Chaffin from St. Louis. He served with that brigade in Vietnam for exactly one year beginning in May 1965 and when the photo was taken he was 19. Chaffin had many problems adjusting to civilian life when he returned from Vietnam.


With Wife Fran Chaffin Morrison 

He died at the age of 39 from complications that arose from diabetes, an ailment he might have contracted from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.

He died in 1985.


Colour Version 1

Colour Version 2

The “War is Hell” quote originates from William Tecumseh Sherman’ address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy (19 June 1879); but slightly varying accounts of this speech have been published. Sherman was a Union Army general during the American Civil War. He succeeded General U.S. Grant as commander of the Western Theatre of that war in the spring of 1864.

The full quote:

“I’ve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It’s entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here. Suppress it! You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, War is Hell!“.

(Photo credit: Associated Press Photos).


Horst Faas

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Horst Faas (28 April 1933 – 10 May 2012) was a Germanphoto-journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He is best known for his images of the Vietnam War.


Born in Berlin, Germany, Faas began his photographic career in 1951 with the Keystone Agency, and by the age of 21 he was already covering major events concerning Indochina, including the peace negotiations in Geneva in 1954. In 1956 he joined the Associated Press (AP), where he acquired a reputation for being an unflinching hard-news war photographer, covering the wars in Vietnam and Laos, as well as in the Congo and Algeria. In 1962, he became AP’s chief photographer for Southeast Asia, and was based in Saigon until 1974.

His images of the Vietnam War won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1965. In 1967 he was severely wounded in the legs by a rocket-propelled grenade. In 1972, he collected a second Pulitzer, for his coverage of the conflict in Bangladesh. Inside Bangladesh, photographer Rashid Talukder considered it too dangerous to publish his photographs and he released them more than twenty years after Horst’s photographs had appeared.

Faas is also famed for his work as a picture editor, and was instrumental in ensuring the publication of two of the most famous images of the Vietnam War. The notorious “Saigon Execution” photograph, showing the summary execution of a Viet Cong prisoner by Saigon police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan, taken by Eddie Adams in Saigon on February 1, 1968 was sent under his direction. Nick Ut‘s famous “Napalm Girl” photograph caused a huge controversy over at the AP bureau; an editor had objected to the photo, saying that the girl depicted was naked and that nobody would accept it. Faas ordered that Ut’s photo be sent over the wire.

In September 1990, freelance photographer Greg Marinovich submitted a series of graphic photos of a crowd executing a man to the AP bureau in Johannesburg. Once again, AP editors were uncertain if the photos should be sent over the wire. One editor sent the images to Faas, who telegrammed back, “send all photos.”

In 1976, Faas moved to London as AP’s senior photo editor for Europe; he retired in 2004. In retirement he organised reunions of the wartime Saigon press corps and ran international photojournalism symposiums.

He produced four books on his career and other news photographers, including Requiem, a book about photographers killed on both sides of the Vietnam War, co-edited with fellow Vietnam War photojournalist Tim Page.

In 2012 the subject of his iconic photo (a soldier at Phouc Vinh airstrip) is claimed to be Larry Wayne Chaffin, a soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion, who was on defence duty (18 June 1965) during the Vietnam War.


  • 1965: Pulitzer Prize (Photography): “For his combat photography of the war in South Viet Nam during 1964.”
  • 1964: Robert Capa Gold Medal for his “Coverage of Vietnam”
  • 1972: Pulitzer-Prize (Spot News Photography) together with Michel Laurent: “For their picture series, ‘Death in Dacca.'”
  • 1997: Robert Capa Gold Medal together with Tim Page: “Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina”
  • 2005: Dr. Erich Salomon Prize of the German Society of Photography for his lifetime achievement
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The Naked Gunner 1944 – Iconic Pictures

The Naked Gunner

Rescue at Rabaul, 1944


PBY Blister Gunner, Rescue at Rabaul, 1944
PBY Blister Gunner  By  Horace  Bristol

This young crewman of a US Navy “Dumbo” PBY rescue mission has just jumped into the water of Rabaul Harbor to rescue a badly burned Marine pilot who was shot down while bombing the Japanese-held fortress of Rabaul.

Since Japanese coastal defense guns were firing at the plane while it was in the water during take-off, this brave young man, after rescuing the pilot, manned his position as machine gunner without taking time to put on his clothes.

A hero photographed right after he’d completed his heroic act. Naked.

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Horace Bristol

Photo taken by Horace Bristol (1908-1997). In 1941, Bristol was recruited to the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, as one of six photographers under the command of Captain Edward J. Steichen, documenting World War II in places such as South Africa, and Japan. He ended up being on the plane the gunner was serving on, which was used to rescue people from Rabaul Bay (New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea), when this occurred. In an article from a December 2002 issue of B&W magazine he remembers:

“…we got a call to pick up an airman who was down in the Bay. The Japanese were shooting at him from the island, and when they saw us they started shooting at us. The man who was shot down was temporarily blinded, so one of our crew stripped off his clothes and jumped in to bring him aboard. He couldn’t have swum very well wearing his boots and clothes. As soon as we could, we took off. We weren’t waiting around for anybody to put on formal clothes. We were being shot at and wanted to get the hell out of there. The naked man got back into his position at his gun in the blister of the plane.”

The identity of the gunner has never been established .

Original title: PBY Blister Gunner, Rescue at Rabaul, 1944


Horace Bristol

Navy service, 1944

Horace Bristol (November 16, 1908 – August 4, 1997) was a twentieth-century American photographer, best known for his work in Life. His photos appeared in Time, Fortune, Sunset, and National Geographic magazines.

Early life

Bristol was born and raised in Whittier, California, and attended the Art Center of Los Angeles, originally majoring in architecture. In 1933, he moved to San Francisco to work in commercial photography, and met Ansel Adams, who lived near his studio. Through his friendship with Adams, he met Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and other artists. He was copy reader at night for the Los Angeles Times after graduating from Belmont High School.

Photography career

In 1936, Bristol became a part of Lifes founding photographers, and in 1938, began to document migrant farmers in California’s central valley with John Steinbeck, recording the Great Depression, photographs that would later be called the Grapes of Wrath collection.

In 1941, Bristol was recruited to the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, as one of six photographers under the command of Captain Edward J. Steichen,  documenting World War II in places such as South Africa, and Japan.

Bristol helped to document the invasions of North Africa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

Later life

Following his documentation of World War II, Bristol settled in Tokyo, Japan, selling his photographs to magazines in Europe and the United States, and becoming the Asian correspondent to Fortune. He published several books, and established the East-West Photo Agency.

Following the death of his wife in 1956, Bristol burned all his negatives, packed his photographs into storage, and retired from photography. He went on to remarry, and have two children. He returned to the United States, and after 30 years, recovered the photographs from storage, to share with his family.

Subsequently he approached his alma mater, Art Center College of Design, where the World War II and migrant worker photographs became the subject of a 1989 solo exhibition. The migrant worker photos would go on to be part of the J. Paul Getty Museum‘s Grapes of Wrath series.

Bristol lived in Ojai, California, until his death in 1997 at the age of 89.

Bristol’s work is displayed around the world, including the Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2006, a documentary was made, The Compassionate Eye: Horace Bristol, Photojournalist, written and directed by David Rabinovitch.

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Pictures that changed the World – Jan Palach – self-Immolation

Jan Palach – self-Immolation


Jan Palach (11 August 1948 – 19 January 1969; Czech pronunciation: [jan ˈpalax]) was a Czech student of history and political economy at Charles University. He committed self-immolation as a political protest against the end of the Prague Spring resulting from the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies.



Jan Palach Funeral (1969)


In August 1968, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the liberalising reforms of Alexander Dubček‘s government during what was known as the Prague Spring. Prague-born Palach decided to sacrifice himself in protest of the invasion and set himself on fire, in Wenceslas Square, on 16 January 1969. According to a letter he sent to several public figures, an entire clandestine resistance organization had been established with the purpose of practicing self-immolation until their demands were met; however, it seems that such a group never existed.[1] The demands declared in the letter were the abolition of censorship and a halt to the distribution of Zprávy, the official newspaper of the Soviet occupying forces. In addition, the letter called for the Czech and the Slovak peoples to go on a general strike in support of these demands.[2] An earlier draft of the letter that Palach wrote also called for the resignation of a number of pro-Soviet politicians,[3] but that demand did not make it into the final version, which included the remark that “our demands are not extreme, on the contrary”. Palach died from his burns several days after his act, at the hospital. On his deathbed, he was visited by a female acquaintance from his college and by a student leader, to whom he had addressed one of the copies of his letter. It was reported that he had pleaded for others not to do what he had done but instead to continue the struggle by other means, although it has been doubted whether he really said that.[4]

According to Jaroslava Moserová, a burns specialist who was the first to provide care to Palach at the Charles University Faculty Hospital, Palach did not set himself on fire to protest against the Soviet occupation, but did so to protest against the “demoralization” of Czechoslovak citizens caused by the occupation.

It was not so much in opposition to the Soviet occupation, but the demoralization which was setting in, that people were not only giving up, but giving in. And he wanted to stop that demoralization. I think the people in the street, the multitude of people in the street, silent, with sad eyes, serious faces, which when you looked at those people you understood that everyone understands, that all the decent people were on the verge of making compromises.[5]

The memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc in front of the National Museum

The memorial in front of the National Museum

The funeral of Palach turned into a major protest against the occupation, and a month later (on 25 February 1969) another student, Jan Zajíc, burned himself to death in the same place, followed in April of the same year by Evžen Plocek in Jihlava.

Posthumous recognition

Memorial plaque with Jan Palach’s death mask taken by Olbram Zoubek

Palach was initially interred in Olšany Cemetery. As his gravesite was growing into a national shrine, the Czechoslovak secret police (StB) set out to destroy any memory of Palach’s deed and exhumed his remains on the night of 25 October 1973. His body was then cremated and sent to his mother in Palach’s native town of Všetaty while an anonymous old woman from a rest home was laid in the grave.[6] Palach’s mother was not allowed to deposit the urn in the local cemetery until 1974. On 25 October 1990 the urn was officially returned to its initial site in Prague.

On the 20th anniversary of Palach’s death, protests ostensibly in memory of Palach (but intended as criticism of the regime) escalated into what would be called “Palach Week”. The series of anticommunist demonstrations in Prague between 15 and 21 January 1989 were suppressed by the police, who beat demonstrators and used water cannons, often catching passers-by in the fray. Palach Week is considered one of the catalyst demonstrations which preceded the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia 10 months later.[citation needed]

After the Velvet Revolution, Palach (along with Zajíc) was commemorated in Prague by a bronze cross embedded at the spot where he fell outside the National Museum, as well as a square named in his honour. The Czech astronomer Luboš Kohoutek, who left Czechoslovakia the following year, named an asteroid which had been discovered on 22 August 1969, after Jan Palach (1834 Palach). There are several other memorials to Palach in cities throughout Europe, including a small memorial inside the glacier tunnels beneath the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland.

Several later incidents of self-immolation may have been influenced by the example of Palach and his media popularity. In the spring of 2003, a total of six young Czechs burned themselves to death,[7] notably Zdeněk Adamec, a 19-year-old student from Humpolec who burned himself on 6 March 2003 on almost the same spot in front of the National Museum where Palach burnt himself, leaving a suicide note explicitly referring to Palach and the others who had committed suicide in the 1969 Prague Spring.[8])

Just walking distance from the site of Palach’s self-immolation, a statuary in Prague’s Old Town Square honours iconic Bohemian religious thinker Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake for his beliefs in 1415. Himself celebrated as a national hero for many centuries, some commentary has linked Palach’s self-immolation to the execution of Hus.[9][10][11]

Cultural references

The memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc in front of the National Museum during 25th anniversary of Velvet Revolution

The music video for the song “Club Foot” by the band Kasabian is dedicated to Palach. The composition “The Funeral of Jan Palach” performed by The Zippo Band and composed by Phil Kline is a tribute. He is mentioned in The Stranglers‘ bassist, Jean-Jacques Burnel‘s 1979 solo album, Euroman Cometh.

After seeking political asylum in the United States, Polish artist Wiktor Szostalo commemorated Jan Palach in his “Performance for Freedom” proclaiming “I am Jan Palach. I’m a Czech, I’m a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Vietnamese, an Afghani, a betrayed You. After I’ve burnt myself a thousand times, perhaps we’ll win”.[12]

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the death of Jan Palach, a statue sculpted by András Beck as a tribute to the student was transported from France to the Czech Republic. The statue was installed in Mělník, the city where Jan Palach did his studies.[13]

Italian songwriter Francesco Guccini wrote a song “La Primavera di Praga” in dedication to Jan Palach, compared to religious scholar Jan Hus: “Once again Jan Hus is burning alive”. Polish singer Jacek Kaczmarski wrote a song about Palach’s suicide, called “Pochodnie” (“Torches”). The Italian far-right Folk group, ”La Compagnia dell’Anello” released a song dedicated to him, titled Jan Palach. The Kasabian, British band, released the “Club Foot” on their 2004 debut album Kasabian on 17 May 2004 in the UK. The video of this song is dedicated to Jan Palach.

The Luxembourg-based Welsh composer Dafydd Bullock was commissioned to write “Requiem for Jan Palach” (op 182) to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Palach’s suicide. It includes a setting of words which appeared briefly on a statue in Wenceslas Square after the event, before being erased by the authorities: “Do not be indifferent to the day when the light of the future was carried forward by a burning body”.[14]

In their 1983 song “Nuuj Helde” the Janse Bagge Bend (from the Netherlands) asks whether people know why Jan Palach burned. This song was meant to make the general public aware of heroes.

Palach featured in a monologue radio play entitled “Torch No 1” on BBC Radio 4, directed by Martin Jenkins, and written by David Pownall. Palach was played by Karl Davies.[15]

French documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon directed a 1969 film about Jan Palach.

Norwegian songwriter Hans Rotmo mentioned Palach’s name among other notable political activists such as Victor Jara and Steve Biko in his 1989 song “Lennon Street”.

Norwegian songwriter and singer Åge Aleksandersen mentioned Palach’s name in his 1984 song “Va det du Jesus”.

A sequence of poems exploring the implications of Palach’s death called One Match by the poet Sheila Hamilton were published in issue 51 of the Dorset-based poetry serial, Tears in the Fence (ed. David Caddy) in 2010.

A three-part 2013 Czech-Polish television show “Burning Bush“, directed by Agnieszka Holland, is situated around the events that happened after Jan Palach’s self-immolation.

American Metal band Lamb of God wrote a song on their studio album VII: Sturm und Drang, entitled “Torches”, that was inspired by Palach’s actions.[citation needed]

Place names

In the Czech republic, many towns have streets or squares named after Palach, of which perhaps most notable is the Jan Palach Square in central Prague. He also had streets named after him in Luxembourg city (Luxembourg), Angers and Parthenay (France), Kraków (Poland), Assen and Haarlem (Netherlands), Varna (Bulgaria) and Nantwich (United Kingdom). In Rome (Italy) (as well as in many other Italian towns), there is a central square named after Palach with a commemorative statue.

The oldest rock club in Croatia is named Palach. It is situated in Rijeka since 1969 to this day. There is a bus station in the town of Curepipe, Mauritius named after Jan Palach. A student hall in Venice, Italy on the Giudecca island has also been given the name of Jan Palach.

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Tank Man – Tiananmen Square – Pictures that changed the World

Tiananmen Square

Featured image

Tank Man

A man who stood in front of a column of tanks on June 5, 1989, the morning after the Chinese military had suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 by force, became known as the Tank Man or Unknown Protester. As the lead tank maneuvered to pass by the man, he repeatedly shifted his position in order to obstruct the tank’s attempted path around him. The incident was filmed and seen worldwide.

Currently, there is no reliable information about the identity or fate of the tank man.


1989 Raw Video: Man vs. Chinese tank Tiananmen Square



The incident took place near Tiananmen on Chang’an Avenue, which runs east-west along the north end of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on June 5, 1989, one day after the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on the Tiananmen protests.[4] The man stood in the middle of the wide avenue, directly in the path of a column of approaching Type 59 tanks. He wore a white shirt and black trousers, and he held two shopping bags, one in each hand.[5] As the tanks came to a stop, the man gestured towards the tanks with his bags. In response, the lead tank attempted to drive around the man, but the man repeatedly stepped into the path of the tank in a show of nonviolent action.[6] After repeatedly attempting to go around rather than crush the man, the lead tank stopped its engines, and the armored vehicles behind it seemed to follow suit. There was a short pause with the man and the tanks having reached a quiet, still impasse.

Having successfully brought the column to a halt, the man climbed onto the hull of the buttoned-up lead tank and, after briefly stopping at the driver’s hatch, appeared in video footage of the incident to call into various ports in the tank’s turret. He then climbed atop the turret and seemed to have a short conversation with a crew member at the gunner’s hatch. After ending the conversation, the man descended from the tank. The tank commander briefly emerged from his hatch, and the tanks restarted their engines, ready to continue on. At that point, the man, who was still standing within a meter or two from the side of the lead tank, leapt in front of the vehicle once again and quickly re-established the man–tank standoff.

Video footage shows two figures in blue pulling the man away and disappearing with him into a nearby crowd; the tanks continued on their way.[6] Eyewitnesses are unsure who pulled him aside. Charlie Cole, who was there for Newsweek, said it was the Chinese government PSB (Public Security Bureau),[7] while Jan Wong, who was there for The Globe and Mail, thought that the men who pulled him away were concerned bystanders. In April 1998, Time included the “Unknown Rebel” in a feature titled Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.[8]

Identity and fate

Little is publicly known of the man’s identity or that of the commander of the lead tank. Shortly after the incident, the British tabloid the Sunday Express named him as Wang Weilin (王维林), a 19-year-old student[9] who was later charged with “political hooliganism” and “attempting to subvert members of the People’s Liberation Army.”[10] However, this claim has been rejected by internal Communist Party of China documents, which reported that they could not find the man, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights.[11] One party member was quoted as saying, “We can’t find him. We got his name from journalists. We have checked through computers but can’t find him among the dead or among those in prison.”[11] Numerous theories have sprung up as to the man’s identity and current whereabouts.[12]

There are several conflicting stories about what happened to him after the demonstration. In a speech to the President’s Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn, former deputy special assistant to President Richard Nixon, reported that he was executed 14 days later; other sources say he was executed by firing squad a few months after the Tiananmen Square protests.[6] In Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, Jan Wong writes that she believes from her interactions with the government press that they have “no idea who he was either” and that he’s still alive somewhere on the mainland.

The government of the People’s Republic of China has made few statements about the incident or the people involved. In a 1990 interview with Barbara Walters, then-CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin was asked what became of the man. Jiang first stated (through an interpreter), “I can’t confirm whether this young man you mentioned was arrested or not,” and then replied in English, “I think…never killed” [sic].[13] At the time, the party’s propaganda apparatus referred to the incident as showing the “humanity” of the country’s military.[14]

In a 2000 interview with Mike Wallace, Jiang Zemin said, “He was never arrested.” He then stated, “I don’t know where he is now.” He also emphasized that the tank stopped and did not run the young man down.[15]

International notability and censorship

A wide street blocked off by white guardrails with a large tree at the left in front of it and part of a brick building on the right in the rear. At the extreme left is an intersection with traffic lights

The intersection in 2014, viewed from a different angle

Internationally, the image of the lone man in front of the tank has come to symbolize the events at Tiananmen Square in 1989[11][16] and is widely considered one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.[1][2][3]

However, a PBS interview of six experts noted that the memory of the Tiananmen Square protests appears to have faded in China, especially among younger Chinese people, due to government censorship.[17] Images of the protest on the Internet have been censored in China.[11] When undergraduate students at Beijing University, which was at the center of the incident, were shown copies of the iconic photograph 16 years afterwards, they “were genuinely mystified.”[18] One of the students said that the image was “artwork.” It is noted in the documentary Frontline: The Tank Man, that he whispered to the student next to him “89”–which led the interviewer to surmise that the student may have concealed his knowledge of the event.

It has been suggested that the “Unknown Rebel,” if still alive, never made himself known as he is unaware of his international recognition due to Chinese media suppression of events relating to government protest.[11]

At and after the events in the square, the PSB treated members of the international press roughly, confiscating and destroying all the film they could find, and forced the signing of confessions to offences such as photography during martial law, punishable by long imprisonment.[19]

Photographic versions

Five photographers (one of whom did not share his material for 20 years) managed to capture the event on film that was not later confiscated by the PSB.[20] On June 4, 2009, the fifth photographer released an image of the scene taken from ground level.[16]

The widest coverage of the event, and one of the best-known photographs of the event, appearing in both Time and Life magazines, was documented by Stuart Franklin. He was on the same balcony as Charlie Cole, and his roll of film was smuggled out of the country by a French student, concealed in a box of tea.[20]

The most-used photograph of the event was taken by Jeff Widener of the Associated Press, from a sixth-floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel, about half a mile (800 meters) away from the scene. Widener was injured and suffering from flu. The image was taken using a Nikon FE2 camera through a Nikkor 400mm 5.6 ED IF lens and TC-301 teleconverter.[21] With Widener running out of film, a friend hastily obtained a roll of Fuji 100 ASA color negative film, allowing him to make the shot.[22] Though he was concerned that his shots were no good, his image was syndicated to many newspapers around the world[20] and was said to have appeared on the front page of all European papers.[22]

Wider shot by Stuart Franklin showing column of tanks.

Charlie Cole, working for Newsweek and on the same balcony as Stuart Franklin, hid his roll of film containing Tank Man in a Beijing Hotel toilet, sacrificing an unused roll of film and undeveloped images of wounded protesters after the PSB raided his room, destroyed the two aforementioned rolls of film and forced him to sign a confession to photography during martial law, an imprisonable offence. Cole was able to retrieve the roll and have it sent to Newsweek.[20]

Franklin won a World Press Award for a similar photo.[23] It was featured in Life‍‍ ’​‍s “100 Photographs That Changed the World” in 2003.

On June 4, 2009, in connection with the 20th anniversary of the protests, Associated Press reporter Terril Jones revealed a photo he had taken showing the Tank Man from ground level, a different angle from all of the other known photos of the Tank Man. Jones wrote that he was not aware of what he had captured until a month later when printing his photos.[24]

Arthur Tsang Hin Wah of Reuters took several shots from room 1111 of the Beijing Hotel,[25] but only the shot of Tank Man climbing the tank was chosen.[20] It was not until several hours later that the photo of the man standing in front of the tank was finally chosen. When the staff noticed Widener’s work, they re-checked Wah’s negative to see if it was of the same moment as Widener’s. On March 20, 2013, in an interview by the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (HKPPA), Wah told the story and added further detail. He told HKPPA that on the night of June 3, 1989, he was beaten by students while taking photos and was bleeding. A “foreign” photographer accompanying him suddenly said, “I am not gonna die for your country,” and left. Wah returned to the hotel. When he decided to go out again, the public security stopped him, so he stayed in his room, stood next to the window and eventually witnessed the Tank Man and took several shots of the event.[25]

In addition to the photography, video footage of the scene was recorded and transmitted across the world. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) cameraman Willie Phua and CNN cameraman Jonathon Schaer appear to be the only two television cameramen who captured the scene.[26][27] ABC correspondents Max Uechtritz and Peter Cave were the journalists reporting from the balcony.[28]

After seeing Chinese tanks crush vehicles and people on June 3, many journalists and photographers believed the protests had already reached their peak, causing many to leave the area before the “tank man” incident occurred.[19][29]


Stuart Franklin

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Stuart Franklin (born London, 16 June 1956[1]) is a photographer, a member of Magnum Photos, and a former President of Magnum Photos (2006–2009).[2] He was born at Guys Hospital, London.


Franklin studied drawing under Leonard McComb in Oxford and Whitechapel, London, and from 1976–1979 photography at West Surrey College of Art and Design, where he graduated with a BA. Moreover, between 1995 and 1997, he studied geography at the University of Oxford, first receiving a BA and the Gibbs Prize for geography. He received a doctorate in Geography from the University of Oxford in 2000.[1]


From 1980 until 1985, Franklin worked with Agence Presse Sygma in Paris. During that time he photographed the civil war in Lebanon, unemployed people in Britain, famine in Sudan and the Heysel Stadium disaster.

Joining Magnum Photos in 1985,[2] he became a full member in 1989. In the same year, Franklin photographed the uprising in Tiananmen Square and shot one of the Tank Man photographs, first published in Time Magazine, as well as widely documenting the uprising in Beijing [3][4] earning him a World Press Photo Award.

In 1989 Franklin traveled with Greenpeace to Antarctica. He worked on about twenty stories for National Geographic between 1991 and 2009, subjects including Inca conqueror Francisco Pizarro and the hydro-struggle in Quebec and places such as Buenos Aires and Malaysia.[1] In addition, he worked on book and cultural projects. In October 2008, his book Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux was published by Thames & Hudson. An ominous photographic document of Europe’s changing landscape, it highlights Franklin’s deep ecological concern.

During 2009 Franklin curated an exhibition on Gaza – “Point of No Return” for the Noorderlicht Photo Festival. Since 2009 Franklin has focused on a long term landscape project in Norway published as “Narcissus” in 2013. Recently Franklin has worked on documentary projects on doctors working in Syria, and immigration in Calais. He leads a programme in documentary photography at Høgskulen i Volda, Norway.


  • Christian Aid Award for Humanitarian Photography, 1985
  • Tom Hopkinson Award, 1987
  • World Press Photo Award, 1989
  • World Press Photo award for spot news stories, third prize, 1991
  • Gibbs Prize for geography, University of Oxford, 1997
  • Franklin was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society in 2003. These are awarded to distinguished persons having, from their position or attainments, an intimate connection with the science or fine art of photography or the application thereof.

See below for other Iconic Pictures & pictures that changed the world.

Earthrise from moon – Pictures that changed the World

The beauty of our little planet , in our little insignificant corner of the Milky Way is all the more beautiful  because its our HOME.

Earthrise :


Earthrise is a photograph of the Earth taken by astronaut William Anders in 1968, during the Apollo 8 mission. Nature photographer Galen Rowell declared it “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”[1] This had been preceded by the crude 1966 black-and-white raster earthrise image taken by the Lunar

Planet Earth seen from space (Full HD 1080p) ORIGINAL


The conversation between Frank Borman and William Anders, during the taking of the Earthrise photograph

NASA | Earthrise: The 45th Anniversary

Earthrise is the name given to NASA image AS8-14-2383, taken by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission, the first manned voyage to orbit the Moon.[1][2]

Initially, before Anders found a suitable 70 mm color film, mission commander Frank Borman took a black-and-white photograph[3] of the scene, with the Earth’s terminator touching the horizon. The land mass position and cloud patterns in this image are the same as those of the color photograph entitled Earthrise.[4]

The photograph was taken from lunar orbit on December 24, 1968, with a highly modified Hasselblad 500 EL with an electric drive. The camera had a simple sighting ring rather than the standard reflex viewfinder and was loaded with a 70 mm film magazine containing custom Ektachrome film developed by Kodak. An audio recording of the event is available[5] with transcription[6] which allows the event to be followed closely – excerpt:[7]

Anders: Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.
Borman: Hey, don’t take that, it’s not scheduled. (joking)
Anders: (laughs) You got a color film, Jim?
Hand me that roll of color quick, would you…
Lovell: Oh man, that’s great!

Earthrise video captured by Apollo 10 crew on 1969

There were many images taken at that point. The mission audio tape establishes several photographs were taken, on Borman’s orders, with the enthusiastic concurrence of Lovell and Anders. Anders took the first color shot, then Lovell who notes the setting (1/250th of a second at f/11), followed by Anders with another two at varying exposures.

A nearly full-page black and white reproduction of Borman’s image may be viewed on page 164 of his 1988 autobiography, captioned, “One of the most famous pictures in photographic history — taken after I grabbed the camera away from Bill Anders”. Borman was the mission commander and notes[8] (pg. 212) that this is the image “the Postal Service used on a stamp, and few photographs have been more frequently reproduced” [but see above]. The photograph reproduced in the Frank Borman autobiography is not the same image as the Anders photograph; aside from the orientation, the cloud patterns differ.

The stamp issue reproduces the cloud, color, and crater patterns of the Anders picture. Anders is described (pg. 193) by Borman as holding “a masters degree in nuclear engineering”; Anders was thus tasked as “the scientific crew member … also performing the photography duties that would be so important to the Apollo crew who actually landed on the Moon”.


The as-published photograph shows Earth:

  • Polar orientation: south to left, north to right (Antarctica at 10 o’clock)
  • Equator: center, running westward toward top right-hand corner
  • Nightfall terminator crossing the African continent (lightish region to left is Namib Desert, Namibia; to right is Western Sahara/West Africa)
  • Rotated clockwise approximately 135° from our typical North/South-Pole-oriented perspective


In Life ‘s 100 Photographs that Changed the World, wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called Earthrise “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”[9] Another author called its appearance the beginning of the environmental movement.[10]


In 1969, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp (Scott # 1371) commemorating the Apollo 8 flight around the Moon. The stamp featured a detail (in color) of the Earthrise photograph, and the words, “In the beginning God…”, recalling the Apollo 8 Genesis reading.

2008 video

On April 6, 2008 (Japan Standard Time), the first 1080p high-definition Earthrise video was captured, both a full Earthrise and Earthset video, by the JAXA lunar orbiter mission, SELENE (better known in Japan by its nickname Kaguya). After successfully orbiting the Moon for 1 year and 8 months, it was crashed intentionally onto the lunar surface at 18:25 UTC on June 10, 2009.[11]

Earthrise Revisited 2013, a recreation showing the rising Earth as it must have looked to Anders, Borman, and Lovell in 1968.

2013 simulation video

A simulation of what the Apollo 8 crew saw as the Earth rose above the lunar horizon during their fourth orbit around the Moon that pauses to overlay two photographs taken by the crew and includes a clock overlay

In 2013, in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, NASA issued a video about the taking of the photograph.[12] This computer-generated visualization used data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, which had provided detailed images of the lunar surface that could be matched with those taken every 20 seconds by an automatic camera on Apollo 8. The resulting video, re-creating what the astronauts would have seen, was synchronized with the recording of the crew’s conversation as they became the first humans to witness an Earthrise. The video included explanatory narration written and read by Andrew Chaikin.[13]

Potential earthrises as seen from the Moon’s surface

An earthrise that might be witnessed from the surface of the Moon would be quite unlike moonrises on Earth. Because the Moon is tidally locked with the Earth, one side of the Moon always faces toward Earth. Interpretation of this fact would lead one to believe that the Earth’s position is fixed on the lunar sky and no earthrises can occur, however, the Moon librates slightly, which causes the Earth to draw a Lissajous figure on the sky. This figure fits inside a rectangle 15°48′ wide and 13°20′ high (in angular dimensions), while the angular diameter of the Earth as seen from Moon is only about 2°. This means that earthrises are visible near the edge of the Earth-observable surface of the Moon (about 20% of the surface). Since a full libration cycle takes about 27 days, earthrises are very slow, and it takes about 48 hours for Earth to clear its diameter.[14] During the course of the month-long lunar orbit, an observer would additionally witness a succession of “Earth phases”, much like the lunar phases seen from Earth. That is what accounts for the half-illuminated globe seen in the photograph.

And now for a bit of me pondering the age old question , Are we alone? Just for fun mind you!

I’m no expert,  but I sincerely believe that we are not alone in the universe .

  • Come on  – between  100 billion  – 400 billion stars in our galaxy ( Milky Way )
  • and over one 100 billion galaxies out there!
  • And I’ve not even touched on the multiverse
  • The numbers alone our mind boggling

I just find it inconceivable that out of these vast numbers our solar system is the only place that life took hold and evolved into the beautiful earth we know today.

I’m no Expert . But I assume that every thing that was needed to create the conditions for life on earth were no doubt abundant throughout space during the birth and evolution  of space and the birth of Galaxies .

If  the elements for life found their way to out tiny corner of the Milky Way , why not elsewhere?

I’m not saying that life is  abundant throughout our galaxy and the billions of  other galaxies out there , but surely the same elements that kick started life on earth must have travelled through space and found a home on other worlds out there.

Unfortunately  due to the vast distances to these other worlds and galaxies we will never be able to travel to them or indeed send space ships and probes to unlock their secrets.

 Our own Milky Way  is so huge that even at the speed of light it would take 100,000 years to travel across it!

 And even if we could travel these vast distances and survive the journey we would find that life on these other hostile worlds was beyond our comprehension , life – but not as we know it!

I expect that most life forms out there are single cell and far below the complex life forms that are found on earth.

But what if there are other more  advance civilizations out there? No matter how advance they may be they will still be faced with the vast distances of space and time and would face the same frustrations as us , being stuck in their tiny corner of their galaxies and asking themselves the age of question”


The mind boggle….

The Drake Equation

The Drake Equation is used to estimate the number of communicating civilizations in the cosmos, or more simply put, the odds of finding intelligent life in the universe. N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable

Light Year

1 light year = 9.4605284 × 1015 metres
noun: light year; plural noun: light years; noun: lightyear; plural noun: lightyears
  1. a unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year, which is 9.4607 × 1012 km (nearly 6 million million miles).
    • informal
      a long distance or great amount.
      “the new range puts them light years ahead of the competition”

See below for other Iconic Pictures & pictures that changed the world.

Pictures that changed the World. Dorothy Counts – High School Segregation

Dorothy Counts

High School Segregation


Photographer: Douglas Martin

Year: 1957 World Press Winner

Dorothy Counts (born 1942) was one of the first black students admitted to the Harry Harding High School, in Charlotte, North Carolina. After four days of harassment that threatened her safety, her parents forced her to withdraw from the school.



A Walk of Faith




In 1956, forty black students applied for transfers at a white school.  This was after the passing of the Pearsall Plan in North Carolina. At 15 years of age, on 4 September 1957, Dorothy Counts was one of the four black students enrolled at various all-white schools in the district; She was at Harry Harding High School, Charlotte, North Carolina.



Three students were enrolled at other schools, including Central High School. The harassment started when the wife of John Z. Warlick, the leader of the White Citizens Council, urged the boys to “keep her out” and at the same time, implored the girls to spit on her, saying, “spit on her, girls, spit on her.”

Dorothy walked by without reacting, but told the press that many people threw rocks at her—most of which landed in front of her feet—and that many spat on her back. Photographer Douglas Martin won the 1957 World Press Photo of the Year with an image of Counts being mocked by a crowd on her first day of school.

More abuse followed that day. She had trash thrown at her while eating her dinner and the teachers ignored her. The following day, she befriended two white girls, but they soon drew back because of harassment from other classmates.

Her family received threatening phone calls and after four days of extensive harassment—which included a smashed car and having her locker ransacked, her father decided to take his daughter out of the school.[1] At a press conference, he said:

It is with compassion for our native land and love for our daughter Dorothy that we withdraw her as a student at Harding High School. As long as we felt she could be protected from bodily injury and insults within the school’s walls and upon the school premises, we were willing to grant her desire to study at Harding.



The family moved to Pennsylvania, where Counts attended an integrated school in Philadelphia, and later earned a degree from Johnson C. Smith University.

She has spent her professional career in child care resources.

In 2008, Harding High School awarded Counts an honorary diploma.

In 2010, Counts received a public apology from a member of the crowd which harassed her in 1957.[7] In 2010, Harding High School renamed its library in honor of Counts-Scoggins, an honour rarely bestowed upon living persons.

Dorothy Today
See below for other Iconic Pictures & pictures that changed the world.
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