62 Rare Historical Photos

Written by Lyra Radford

Often our knowledge and perceptions of the past are challenged, especially as rare photos finally reach the surface. We discover new things about political figures, icons of popular culture, and even gain insights into old practices and important historical events… 

Pictured here is Walt Disney when he unveiled his plans for Disneyland on national television, October 27, 1954. He showed this early rendering of the park during the premiere of "Disneyland" the television show. Opening day was less than a year later, July 17, 1955. 

Colorized picture of Walt Disney proudly showing a map of his first theme park called "Disneyland" [1955].

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Disneyland was the first of two theme parks that were built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California and it’s the only theme park that was both designed and built under Walt Disney’s direct supervision. 

After visiting a string of amusement parks with his daughters back in the 1930s and 1940s, Walt decided he wanted to create his own. His initial vision was to build his attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank. But he figured, go big or go home, and went with purchasing 160-acres and began construction in 1954. 

Charles Bronson and wife Jill Ireland (1971)

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Pictured here is actor Charles Bronson and his wife, actress Jill Ireland. The photo was taken back in 1971 in Santa Monica, California. In addition to starring in their own successful pictures, the glamorous couple co-starred in fifteen films together. She once joked, "I'm in so many Charles Bronson films because no other actress will work with him."

Ireland was Bronson’s second wife, his first was Harriet Tendler, they had two children together before divorcing in 1965. He married Ireland in October of 1968 and they stayed together until her death in 1990. Ireland died of breast cancer at her home in Malibu, California. Bronson had her cremated and put her ashes in one of his canes– which he was later buried with.

Xenon (nightclub)

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Back in 1979, freelance photographer Bill Bernstein went to Xenon (nightclub) and captured this smokey scene out on the dance floor. 

Xenon was the only nightclub popular enough to compete with Studio 54 but was regarded as having more of a "Fashion Crowd" than Studio 54. Which is funny considering it was also said the people dancing at Xenon usually wore far less clothing than the regulars of its competing club.  

Xenon is credited with getting people into go-go dancing, it was the first nightclub to provide go-go boxes for amateurs to practice dancing on.

The original Colonel Sanders hanging out with Alice Cooper in 1969.

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Pictured here is a somewhat perplexed looking Colonel Sanders posing with a thoroughly amused Alice Cooper. This photo was taken sometime in the 1970s. In 2014, when asked about this strange encounter, Cooper recalled; “Here comes this nice old man in a white suit, suddenly I realize that this is the Hannibal Lecter of chickens. I have the death of exactly one chicken on my hands, and this guy has a score of 10 billion. Yet everyone loves this guy, and hates me for being a chicken killer! The irony of the two of us being in the same room at the same time was not lost on either me or the Colonel.”

Cooper went on to elaborate on his "chicken incident," stating; "There was an INCREDIBLE thing that happened in the early 70’s! Somebody threw a chicken onstage, I threw the chicken in the audience, the audience tore it to pieces, and then in the newspaper the next day the headline read “Alice Cooper tears chicken to pieces.” It’s the most notorious story about Alice Cooper that’s been going on forever. And I thought “it just one chicken and I didn’t even kill it, the audience killed it, so I thought why not take a picture with the mass murderer of chickens Colonel Sanders?” so to me it had a sense of humor to it. I mean, one chicken for me, seven BILLION chickens for Colonel Sanders. And yet I’m the villain. I would say if you interviewed the chickens they would be more terrified of him than me."

The USA drinking team

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Okay... so the "USA Drinking Team" is not actually a real thing, but, these two ladies have the right idea. As you can see, in this entertaining photograph, these two classy broads are fully stocked and ready to party it up like it’s 1960. And possibly going jogging afterward?

USS Enterprise Model

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Pictured here are the guys responsible for crafting the Star Trek Enterprise studio model in 1964. It was originally built in 1964 by Richard C. Datin, Jr., Mel Keys, Vernon Sion (above), and Volmer Jensen (not pictured) and has been restored 4 times.

Star Trek: The Original Series had such low Nielsen ratings that it was cancelled after three seasons. It was several years later, while in syndication that the series became a hit, achieving cult classic status.  and a developing influence on popular culture. Star Trek eventually spawned a massive franchise that shows no signs of slowing. 

There are six additional television series and thirteen feature films, not to mention the numerous books, games, and toys that have been pumped out over the years. A show that was once considered a flop, has since become one of the most popular and widely influential television series of all time.

Before Beyonce there was Tina Turner (1971)

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The similarities between the two fierce, leggy divas are not lost on modern audiences. Both women share an affinity for shimmery ensembles and the ability to sell out arenas but there is only one Tina Turner. Turner was one of the early trailblazers for black female entertainers. Not to mention is credited with empowering women of all ethnicities. 

She may not have been the first, but she was among the early black female entertainers to venture into the semi-unchartered territories of the music industry. Turner is also credited as being one of the early pop/rock female singers and who greatly contributed to changing music as a whole.

United States soldiers preparing ‘Easter eggs’

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The only thing worse than being stuck in the middle of a bloody war is being stuck there during holidays. Pictured here are two members of the US Army's 522nd Field Artillery Battalion (FAB).  The ground crew is making the best of their Easter by painting personal greetings to Adolf Hitler... on 105MM Howitzer shells. This photo was taken either in Southern Germany or South Eastern France, 1945.

While soldiers were kept away from their families during Easter time, they didn’t have to be kept from their faith. Several Easter services were held on the Apennine mountainside by the Tenth Mountain Division.

In April of 1945, Chaplain William H. Bell created a makeshift box made from a military jeep marked with “Chaplain” in between two crosses. Then a portable pump organ was set up in a grassy field for soldiers to gather for the service. 

One of the coolest photos ever: John Lennon and the cast of “Happy Days”

John Lennon on a tour through Paramount Studios with son Julian,, 1974. Photo taken by John's girlfriend at the time, May Pand. Source: Pinterest

Who ever said that Fonzie was always the coolest guy in the room!?

Happy Days was meant to be a television show of nostalgia. Filmed in the 1970s during a difficult time, the show was set in the 1950s and followed the lives of the Cunningham family during simpler times. Through Richie Cunningham, Potsie, and legendary greaser Fonzie, audiences are given a glimpse into a teenage past full of milkshakes, sock hops, and jukeboxes.

Two fan favorites were Henry Winkler (Fonzie) and Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) both of whom went on to have very successful, high-profile careers. Both men continued acting and eventually began directing and producing projects as well. 

Winkler produced the TV series Dead Man's Gun, as well as both runs of MacGyver (1985–1992, and 2016–present). Ron Howard directed films like Backdraft, Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons. He won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for A Beautiful Mind.

Marilyn Monroe with a sprained ankle

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Only Marilyn Monroe could make a leg injury and a miserable facial expression look good. The actress injured herself while working on the set of the River Of No Return in 1953. She ended up having to take time off from shooting after the injury.

Marilyn Monroe remians one of the biggest pop-icons in history. Actress, model, sex-icon and mistress to the president of the United States John F. Kennedy. Often casted as a “dumb blonde” she was the embodiment of the 1950s entire attitude towards sexuality. She was beautiful, stylish, and died far too young and under suspicious circumstances. Even her death achieved legendary status, as conspiracy theories still surround it decades later. 

16-Year-old Walt Disney as a Red Cross ambulance driver during WWI

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When the United States entered the war in 1917, Walt Disney wanted to enlist just as his brothers had but at only 16, he was too young. Disney found out the Red Cross Ambulance Corps was accepting volunteers as young as 17. So Disney utilized his artistic skills to change his birth date on his passport application from “1901” to “1900.” This photo is Disney in uniform by his vehicle before leaving Paris to return home. As can be seen in the photo, he decorated vehicles with cartoons while overseas. Later stating, “I found out that the inside and outside of an ambulance is as good a place to draw as any.”

In addition to the ambulance flaps, Walt created sketches for the canteen menus and for friends to send home to their families and girlfriends (for a small fee of course). He also sent funny sketches and letters back to his high school newspaper, “The McKinley Voice.” One of which revealed how homesick he actually was, the cartoon featured the caption, “Oh! I want to go home to my Mama!”. By August 1918, his brothers Ray and Roy had returned to Kansas City and Walt put in for a discharge.

Meryl Streep back in high school

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Pictured here is award-winning actress Meryl Streep back in high school in the 1960s. As you can see she was a performer even back then, rocking her cheerleading uniform and a giant smile on her face.

Meryl Streep is one of those blessed actresses who never seem to have a bad performance. She made her film and stage debut back in the 1970s and she’s been stunning audiences ever since. In recent years she’s had numerous hits on her hands. The Devil Wears Prada, Into the Woods, and she currently has three films in the works: The Papers, Mary Poppins Returns, and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!


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Beatlemania was the best word to describe the intense fan frenzy that was directed towards legendary rock band the Beatles back in the 1960s. These fans weren’t simply star struck, people (especially teen girls) were obsessed, they went completely mad over the band. One arena claimed to have "cleared away 40 pairs of abandoned knickers" from young women fans. The phenomenon began in 1963 and continued well beyond the group’s past the group's break-up in the 1970s. 

When it comes to "The Beatles" and their fanbase, it wasn't just about their sound, it was their demeanor and their message which was directly related to their era of origin. Perhaps it could be said about all artists that they are a product of their time, but this is especially true for “The Beatles” and it makes replicating them impossible. 

Alfred Hitchcock strikes a pose

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Pictured here is master of the macabre, Sir Alfred Hitchcock and model posing in front of the house in Psycho. The photograph was taken by Photographer Jeanloup Sieff for the January 1962 issue of Harper's Bazaar. 

Hitchcock pioneered the suspense and thriller genres, even before moving to Hollywood in 1939, he had a successful career in British cinema, both silent films and talkies. Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films over his six decade long career.  He's one of the most influential directors in cinematic history and was even Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the art form. No one can compare to the "Master of Suspense".

Joan Jett sitting in a motel room watching TV, 1978.

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Pictured here is rocker Joan Jett not giving a damn about her ‘bad reputation’ in the Tropicana Motel back in 1978. Jett was a co-founder of The Runaways, in 1979 she pursued a solo career and teamed with the Sex Pistols on a few songs. Then she formed Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, recorded new material in addition to re-releasing her older fan favorites like "I Love Rock n' Roll" and "Bad Reputation".  

In recent years, Jett has had her songs featured in several films and television shows including, The Runaways, Baby Mama and Shrek. While Jett still plays live, touring extensively she is actively involved in signing new musicians to her record label, Blackheart Records.

Andre The Giant And Minnie Mouse At Disney Land - 1975. Where's Mickey?

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On this rare occasion, Andre the Giant took a day trip to Disneyland in 1975. Many classic photos of Andre posing with Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and even the rarely seen Main Street Cinema ‘phantom’ came out of that trip.  

André the Giant, was a professional wrestler who famously feuded with Hulk Hogan at Wrestle Mania III. He was a one-time "WWF World Heavyweight Champion", a "WWF Tag Team Champion", and was inducted into the "WWE Hall of Fame" in 1993. Andre also gave acting a whirl, his best-remembered role was the giant Fezzik, in The Princess BrideHis size was a result of gigantism and led to him being commonly referred to as "The Eighth Wonder of the World".

A young Robin Williams

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Pictured here is the legendary comedic genius Robin Williams in 1979. Williams mastered comedy in all its forms; dark comedy, slapstick, stand-up, improv, film work, television, sketch comedy…. He even mastered humor for children’s entertainment. Williams did it all.   

Mork & Mindy was Williams’ first big break, he won the hearts of audiences as Mork from Ork, a bumbling alien who moves in with an earthling named Mindy. No one has or ever will be able to top the charms and comedic genius of Robin Williams. 

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson!

Johnny Carson with Robyn Hilton on the Tonight Show in 1974

For a solid 30 years, we got to see Johnny Carson host the Tonight Show and we didn't know how good we had it until he retired.

The Tonight Show began broadcasting back in 1954 and over the course of its run, there have been six hosts. First Steve Allen from 1954 to 1957, followed by Jack Paar who continued until 1962. Then Johnny Carson carried the torch from 1962 until 1992 when he handed it over to Jay Leno. Leno's first run was from 1992–2009. Then Conan O'Brien stepped in until 2010 when Leno returned. In 2014 the reins were handed over to the current host, Jimmy Fallon. 

Debbie Harry performing 

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Pictured here is Debbie Harry, better known as “Blondie,” on stage back in 1979. The iconic new wave singer is also considered the first female rapper to chart at number one in the United States because of her work on "Rapture". She’s also had over 60 film roles and numerous television appearances.

The group, "Blondie" was founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein but also comprised of members Clem Burke, Gary Valentine, and Jimmy Destri. They were pioneers of the punk scene but were noted for their eclectic mix of musical styles. They incorporated elements of disco, pop, and reggae. For this, they are credited with introducing mainstream American listeners to alternative elements of Rock and Roll in the late 1970’s. Blondie has sold 40 million records worldwide, is still active, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

President Lyndon Johnson during the Civil Rights Act signing

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 On November 27, 1963, Johnson told legislators, "No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long."

Pictured here is President Lyndon Johnson speaking to a television camera during the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The Act outlaws all types of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Among the guests of this historical landmark in time, was Martin Luther King Jr.


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At one time, NASA actually held its own beauty pageant. Pictured here is Miss NASA 1971. While there isn’t much available information, it appears the pageant ran from at least 1968 through 1973. 

Although there doesn't seem to be any photographs or information available on who Miss NASA 1972 was.  

It seems as though the pageants were also tied to specific NASA research centers such as, The Glen Research Center and Lewis Research Center. These ‘Queens of Outer Space’ had both brains and beauty going for them. 

Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast

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Pictured here is Tim Curry as Frank N’ Furter, Patricia Quinn as Magenta, and Nell Campbell as Columbia in 1975’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky Horror is best described as a musical horror comedy. Initially, it didn’t do so well, but as a midnight picture, it grew its own cult following and soon became a cultural phenomenon in both the U.S. and U.K.

In 2016 a tribute to the cult classic film was released. The film titled,  The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, premiered on the Fox network October 20, 2016 and received heaps of negative reviews from critics and audiences alike. That's what happens when you try to re-imagine cult classics folks! 

Unfinished Washington Monument 

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To commemorate former commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States, George Washington, construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, the project was halted from 1854 to 1877.  

The stone structure itself was finally completed in 1884, additional finishing touches were not completed until 1888. You can see approximately 150 feet up where the shading of the marble changes. This marks the break in construction and where it was later resumed with marble from a different source. 

Pictured here is the Washington Monument during the civil war. As can be seen, it was still unfinished at the time, standing at approximately 150 feet here– compared to the 555 feet and 5.5 inches at which it stands today. This photograph was taken by Mathew Brady back in 1860.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher

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Pictured here are former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former President Ronald Reagan, running across the lawn of the White House. In addition to enjoying each other’s company, they were both fiercely dedicated to freedom and ending communism. In the words of a close aide, the two peas in a pod were "political soulmates.” 

According to Thatcher, "As soon as I met [then] Governor Reagan, I knew that we were of like mind, and manifestly so did he. We shared a rather unusual philosophy and we shared something else rather unusual as well: We were in politics because we wanted to put our philosophy into practice."

Dancing on the quays of Paris

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This lively young group – a few of whom, look like they may be playing hooky– are lounging about and dancing to Rock n' Roll on the quays of Paris in the middle of the day. 

This photograph was taken by Paul Almasy, who was a pioneer of photojournalism. He left his native Hungary and spent six decades traveling around the globe amassing approximately 120,000 photos such as this one. His work is an exceptionally detailed archive of 20th century history.

The installation of the first phone lines 

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When the first phone lines started to go up, not everyone was so happy about it. Some people, especially farmers and those who were very religious, believed they were evil. More specifically that evil could travel through them and get into their homes. They were dubbed the ‘devil's wires’ by many and in some areas local farmers would go out at night after work crews left and pull them back down.

People in rural Sweden feared phones would draw evil spirits to their homes and that the wires could cause them to be struck by lightning. The Amish also agreed the telephone was up to no good. As a religious community, separation from the sins of the outside world is part of their moral code and they felt the telephone (and its wires) was a gateway that would allow Satan to sneak into their homes.

Roller Derby

Roller skating spawned quite a few subcultures besides the roller discos of the 1970s. The more athletic application of roller skating was Roller Derby. Roller Derby gained in popularity after Raquel Welch starred in a docudrama about it called “The Kansas City Bomber.” 

Skate-fashion of the '70s and '80s was loud to say the least, especially on most Roller Derby teams. Colorful mix-matched socks, bright tights, giant earrings, and crop-tops filled the skate rinks. Although nothing topped the lovely ladies on the floor sporting leotards and leg warmers like they were getting ready to aerobicise with Jane Fonda. 

RMS Titanic Cabin

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Pictured here is the interior of a cabin of the RMS Titanic. In addition to sleeping in a gorgeous room, those traveling in first class had luxuries such as; a gym, squash court, and a seven-foot-deep salt water swimming pool. They had a steam room, massage parlor, and of course an amazing, five-star restaurant and Parisian style cafe, and a bistro with an ocean view. 

She was a beauty, brimming with all the luxuries a person could want. When the RMS Titanic set out on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, no one could have foreseen the tragic turn of events that would ultimately lead to the deaths of 1,503 people aboard.

Prince’s first photo shoot 

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 In 1977, Prince was just a 19-year-old kid in the midst of recording his first album when photographer Robert Whitman was brought in to take his first professional set of photos. Only 15 copies of the original press kit were ever produced. 

Since then, Prince went on to become a musical innovator, integrating various styles like funk, R&B, rock, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. His undeniable musical talents paired with his wide vocal range and his flamboyant stage presence made him a pop-culture phenomenon. 

Prince is one of the best-selling artist of all time with over 100 million records worldwide. Over the course of his career he won seven Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for his film Purple Rain. In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

World Trade Center

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Pictured here are the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center soon after completion back in October of 1975. New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy around this time and the World Trade Center sat largely vacant, as you can see two homeless men are squatting on the lot. 

The Twin Towers became the centerpieces of the World Trade Center complex. Standing at a majestic 110 stories each, they provided 10-million-square feet of office space. But the twin towers were more than just office buildings. Because they were built at a time when the city's future was uncertain, these towers renewed hope, housed businesses, they gave the people confidence and stopped lower Manhattan's rapid decline. 

A pair of Presidents

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Pictured here is former President Harry Truman settled in the back of the Presidential Limousine with his successor, President Elect, Dwight Eisenhower. They were leaving the White House heading for the Capitol for Eisenhower's inauguration ceremony on January 20, 1953.

 Prior to this seemingly cheery moment, a tea ceremony was supposed to take place, but didn't. President Harry S. Truman and his wife Bess sat in the Red Room waiting for the customary meeting with Dwight David Eisenhower and his wife Mamie to join them. 

It was no secret that Eisenhower and Truman clashed over foreign policy and how the Korean War should be handled, but to when Eisenhower's limo pulled up, he simply refused enter the White House and join them. 

In turn, Truman didn't want to join Eisenhower on the historic limo ride but eventually gave in, but he never forgave Eisenhower for snubbing the tea, he took it as a personal slight to Mrs. Truman. 

Having a Coca-Cola for the first time

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Coca Cola first began officially marketing in France back in 1950. Pictured here are some men trying the fizzy beverage for the first time. Many Parisians just weren’t as into it as Americans.

Coca-Cola had already been available in France since 1919 but in an unofficial capacity. It wasn't until after the war and the increase in refrigerators found in French homes that Coke decided to really market. Vans toured the streets handing out samples in what Coke now calls "La révolution du froid" (The cold revolution).

The Three Stooges out of character 

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Pictured here is the legendary slapstick team known as The Three Stooges, out of character, Moe Howard’s real name was Moses Horwitz. Larry Fine was born Louis Fienberg, Curly Howard’s real name was Jerome Lester Horwitz.

The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy team between 1928 and 1970. They rose to fame during the Great Depression and are still considered one of the most popular comedy acts of the 20th century. The Great Depression was the darkest time in American history and the Stooges was able to help people crack a smile even though the world was falling deeper into despair. 

Elton John

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Aside from his obvious musical genius, singer Elton John has always been famous for his insanely, over the top wardrobe choices for his performances. Here he is, sometime around 1984 in one of his more gloriously ridiculous ensembles complete with a wildly embellished headpiece.  

In his five-decade career Sir Elton John has sold more than a staggering 300 million records. He has over fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, He is one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He's composed film scores and his music has graced the Broadway stage as well as Royal events, including Princes Diana's funeral. 

After having been named an Order of the British Empire in 1996, John was later made a Knight Bachelor by Elizabeth II in 1998 for his services to music and to charitable causes. 

Eclipse Robots

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Believe it or not, this is how little GenX ers watched the solar eclipse of February 26, 1979. They made themselves little robot helmets from boxes or brown paper bags and took a stroll outside to view the eclipse and greet the Martians in style. 

Canadian artist Janet Bright posted this along with several others on her blog. She wrote fondly of this memory and of her father: “He never got cold. Not even during the eclipse.” 

She went on to describe the eclipse of 1979, “I’m fairly certain it wasn’t really as dark (pitch black) as my faulty memory tells, but there it is – the film running in my head, of a warm(ish) cold, mid-winter day when the moon got in the way.”  

Publicity shot for 'The Munsters'

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The Munsters was a family sitcom depicting the daily life of a family of monsters. The series was a satire of the wholesome family depictions popular of the time as well as traditional monster movies. Although it ran concurrently with The Addams Family, which was similar in theme, it still achieved higher figures in the Nielsen ratings.

Believe it or not, The Munsters is coming back! A reboot is currently in the works over at NBC. They have stated they're drawing inspiration from the 1960s classic, but the new series will be embracing the modern age. The Munster family will no longer be living at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, the show will follow the gothic family's struggle to fit-in, in hipster Brooklyn. 

S&H Green Stamps

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Pictured here are the once popular S&H Green Stamps. They were trading stamps and a part of a rewards system popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. Customers would receive them at the checkout counter of grocery stores, gas stations, and department stores, and redeem them for products in the catalog.

Green Stamps were one of the first retail loyalty programs and the height of its popularity was during the mid-1960s. After a series of recessions during the 1970s, sales decreased and the value of the rewards declined as well.  Soon it didn't seem worthwhile as it required far more stamps to get anything really worthwhile.

Doctor Who

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Doctor Who is an iconic series in British pop culture that (thankfully) made its way to the U.S. and has become a massive cult hit here as well. The sci-fi series debuted in the early sixties and follows the misadventures of the time traveling renegade Doctor throughout the galaxy.

Pictured here are characters, Ian, Susan, The Doctor, and Barbara in front of the TARDIS at the opening of one of Doctor Who’s “lost episodes” from the original series, titled Marco Polo. 

The first run lasted 25-years, then it was revived in 2005. This resurgence brought the attention of the new generation back to the old series from the 1960s. Now both are legendary. How could a show with one main star last this long? Well, the power of regeneration of course. The show has a built-in premise of a rotating the leading man. 


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Pictured here is the zeppelin Hindenburg as it floats past the Empire State Building over Manhattan on August 8, 1936. At the time, the German airship was heading to Lakehurst, New Jersey, from Germany. It was on May 6, 1937, when the Hindenburg exploded, creating a spectacular fireball in the sky above Lakehurst.

It was 7:25 p.m. local time when the Hindenburg caught fire, the flames spread first consuming cells 1 to 9, then the rear. It was completely engulfed then imploded. There were 97 people on board and 35 fatalities, 13 were passengers, 22 crewmen, and there was also a worker on the ground who was killed, raising the final death toll to 36 people.

Depression-era Dance Marathon

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Dance marathons were wildly popular during the Great Depression era, they were like the reality TV of the time. They weren’t just about dancing, they were also a way to make money as a spectator’s sport. People would fill these dance halls, paying roughly twenty-five cents a pop to watch these cheery couples dance and then slowly fall apart. People would dance until they literally dropped. 

One tragic dance -a-thon case was that of Homer Morehouse, who danced for 87-hours before collapsing from sheer exhaustion and then died right there on the dance floor.

Another awful case took place during a dance marathon in Seattle. A women dedicated 19-days of her life to dancing, only to receive fifth place. She attempted suicide because of it. After that incident, Seattle passed an ordinance banning dance marathons from being held within city limits. 

The Beach Boys

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Pictured here are The Beach Boys in 1965, the same year Salt Lake City was released. The Beach Boys became wildly popular because their California surf-inspired sound was so unique. Surf-rock had yet to emerge and the Beach boys quickly became the most influential American band of the sixties. With over eighty songs topping charts worldwide, they remain one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and widely influential bands of all time.

What many people don't know, is prior to the notorious "Manson murders", Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson became pals with Charles Manson back in 1968. Wilson introduced Manson around and even helped him secure recording sessions for his own album "Lie: The Love Terror Cult". 

The Beach Boys also ended up doing a cover of Manson’s song “Cease to Exist” but on their album, it was called “Never Learn Not to Love.” It was released in 1969, a year before Manson’s album and they didn’t give him writing credit for the track on their LP. 

Don Johnson, Cher, and Melanie Griffith

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Pictured here with Don Johnson are stars Cher and Melanie Griffith. This photo was taken back in the 1970s. Johnson became heartthrob all through the 1980s as he fought crime on screen as James "Sonny" Crockett in the hit show, Miami Vice. The role even earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

 At the time this was taken, Cher was already rising in fame, well on her way to becoming the pop goddess she is now known as today. She is one of the most consistent celebrities out there and not just in terms of her music and acting career. She has always managed to stay on top of every fashion trend out there. At 71-years old she is still releasing music, touring, and looks fantastic.

Children praying in public school

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This photograph was taken in a public school back in 1962 during the case for Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421. The issue was whether prayer in public schools was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. As we all know now, prayer is no longer apart of daily activities in public schools.

Reactions were (and still are) unsurprisingly negative, many school districts and entire states have tried to reestablish some form of school-sponsored prayer. Since the 1990s its tended to revolve around prayer at school-sponsored extracurricular activities. Which you'd think would be okay since they are after school and on a volunteer basis but they were denied. Other attempts have included prayer at graduation ceremonies and prior to high school sports games, all of which were ruled unconstitutional.

U.S. Fighter crashed on Juno Beach

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Pictured here is the aftermath of a US Fighter Aircraft that had crashed down along the waterfront of Juno Beach sometime after Canadian forces had landed on a Juno Beach D-Day landing zone in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, France. It was taken on 6 June 1944.

The Normandy landings (termed D-Day) were the operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy in during World War II and was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation marked the beginning of the complete liberation of a German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control. 

Tom Jones & Arnold Schwarzenegger 

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Pictured here is Arnold Schwarzenegger with singer Tom Jones back in 1977. Schwarzenegger didn’t arrive in the states until 1968. He was barely able to speak English but made a name for himself first, as a professional bodybuilder throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Then he became a highly sought after action star in the 1990s. Finally, Schwarzenegger took up politics and became the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

Sir Thomas John Woodward, better known as Tom Jones, has a career spanning over six decades now. His emergence as a vocalist was in the mid-1960s and followed by a string of top hits, regular touring, and live appearances in Las Vegas. In recent years he became a coach on the BBC show The Voice UK. He's still releasing albums and making various television appearences. 

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford

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Pictured here are Bette Davis and Joan Crawford looking deceivingly happy next to each other on the set of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? These two had an extremely bitter (and sometimes violent) rivalry going between them since before they even met in person. Vying for the spotlight or the same man, pulling publicity stunts to embarrass each other, and even injuring each other while filming together. 

 Joan Crawford went so far as to sabatoge Bette Davis' third Oscar win. After the nominations were announced, Crawford went around telling people “I always knew Bette would be chosen, and I hope and pray that she wins.” 

But Davis called her bluff stating, "She immediately got herself booked on the Oscar show to present the best director award. Then she flew to New York and deliberately campaigned against me. She told people not to vote for me. She also called up the other nominees and told them she would accept their statue if they couldn’t show up at the ceremonies.”

When it came time to announce the winner it was Anne Bancroft, who wasn't present and just so happen to ask Joan Crawford to accept the award on her behalf. So there Crawford was, on stage accepting an Oscar. Albeit someone elses Oscar, but as long as it wasn't Davis up there, she was happy.   

Neil Armstrong and NASA's X-15 rocket-powered airplane

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Pictured here is Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, at the NACA High-Speed Flight Station back in 1960. As a NASA research pilot, he was tasked with the first test flight of the X-15 rocket-powered plane (seen above). 

Armstrong had flown over 200 different aircrafts including jets, rockets, helicopters, and gliders before gaining astronaut status in 1962. After that, he was command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission and was the first to successfully dock two vehicles in space. He was spacecraft commander for Apollo 11 and went from being the first man to land a craft on the moon to being the first man to step on its surface.

He then went on to become the Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, at NASA Headquarters. Which made him responsible for all NASA research and technology work related to aeronautics.

Ronald Reagan campaigning for Harry Truman

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Pictured here are Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Ronald Reagan campaigning for Harry Truman in 1948. Thirty-two years before he himself would become President of the United States, Ronald Reagan campaigned for Harry Truman and used his position as President of the Screen Actor's Guild, to assist him in rallying famous faces to help his efforts.   

Over the years Reagan became increasingly disenchanted with the Democratic Party and officially switched to the Republican Party in 1962. He won his first political election as Governor of California in 1966, and then went on to win two terms as President in 1980 and 1984.

Early pest control efforts at the old Dexter Elm

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This striking photo was taken around 1894 on the Dexter estate in Malden. It features a large team of men scouring the branches of the Dexter Elm in search of gypsy moth eggs. They planned to destroy them in masses. 

An early attempt to clear this tree of pests had been made by four men in 1891, however, an additional six hundred egg-clusters were discovered after they finished. Groups kept at it, later in the season fewer egg-clusters were found, all the holes in the tree's limbs were gradually covered. Efforts continued well into 1892, but a few caterpillars and eggs were still found. By 1893 the caterpillars and moths were gone. The inspections of the tree continued years after to ensure the pests were completely eradicated from the Elm. 

Ant Farm Media Van

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 Ant Farm was founded in San Francisco back in 1968. They were an avant-garde architecture, graphic arts, and environmental design practice. The traveled America with "architectural performances" in the customized Chevy van pictured here. 

In 2009, Ant Farm decided to revive the Media Van for an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  It was titled "The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now".

They allowed the public to upload songs, videos, and photos onto the van's hard drive before they sealed it up. Now, in proper time-capsule fashion, the van will remain sealed until its scheduled reopening in 2030.

Sixties hair salon

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Women rocked some pretty big hair back in the 1960s, and that called for quite a bit of time in the beauty parlor. Although, during this era, salons also served as a social outlet for women. They could get away from their chores, kids, and husbands and just relax or chat with other women. 

The hairstyles of the 1960s became symbolic of social change. The bouffants and pompadours that had previously reigned were replaced by edgier looks like the beehive, the bombshell, and mop tops. Even men were craving a change and began opting for longer hairstyles and afros.

Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira (1975) "Mistress of the Dark"

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Pictured here is actress Cassandra Peterson. Elvira is Cassandra’s most famous character. Prior to that she was a showgirl, (who dated Elvis briefly) and had dancing and modeling gigs.

As the host of the weekly horror movie presentation, “Elvira's Movie Macabre,” Cassandra quickly achieved genre icon status. Between her revealing, gothic appearance, quirky personality, and Valley girl-type speech, her rise in popularity came as no surprise.

The late 1980s and 1990s brought a string of Elvira-themed comics and computer games such as: “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark”, “Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus”, and “Elvira: The Arcade Game.” There are also two Elvira-themed pinball machines and she was also featured in the PlayStation3 game “Pain” in 2007.

Farrah Fawcett, 1977

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Pictured here is the iconic Farrah Fawcett back in 1977. Fawcett was one of the most successful actresses of her time. Strutting through the 1970s as one of Charlie’s Angels not only cemented her sex-icon status in Hollywood history, but it also earned her four Emmys and six Golden Globe Awards nominations. She became a cultural icon; just about every woman wanted “Farrah Hair” and every man had her iconic swimsuit poster– It became the best-selling pin-up poster in history!

The bombshell died on June 25, 2009, which coincidentally, was the same time the famed ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson died. Another strange coincidence was the fact that Fawcett died from cancer at the age of 62, which mirrored her sister’s death. Her sister Diane had also died of cancer at age 62, just eight years earlier.

We will Rock you! Pro Wrestler Rocky Johnson with his son, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. (1981)

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Pictured here is a young Dwayne Johnson, better known by his as The Rock. Next to him is his father, pro wrestler Rocky Johnson. Dwayne followed in his father’s footsteps gaining mainstream fame in the World Wrestling Federation from 1996 to 2004. He tried his hand in acting in 2000, with a role in The Mummy Returns and he’s been acting ever since. 

According to Dwayne, his father has had a hard life and he admires him. Over the years Dwayne has surprised his dad with nice cars, trucks, and even moved him into a bigger house. "My dad, Rocky Johnson is a minimalist. Always has been. Never asks me for much and over the years his needs are always the barest." He went on to state, "Hell, I'll get him anything he wants, but the SOB just won't ask." 

Nip it in the bud....Doris Day chatting with Johnny Carson on his show back in 1974.

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Pictured here is the 1974 Doris Day interview on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The legendary Doris Day was a talented singer, actress, and an animal rights activist. She was once the biggest female star in the country and earned the reputation as ‘the quintessential all-American girl.’

Her film debut was Romance on the High Seas in 1948. Then from 1952 to 1953, she hosted The Doris Day Show on radio and her hit "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" made it into the classic Hitchcock thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1956. In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. This is the highest civilian honor in the United States. 

Young Yvonne Craig...cute gap in the teeth!

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Yvonne Joyce Craig was a ballet dancer and actress best known as a pioneer of female superheroes for her role as Batgirl in the 1960s Batman television series. She was also Marta, the green-skinned Orion slave girl in Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy" (1969).

Craig sporadically appeared in various movies and television shows over the years. She had roles in Kentucky Jones, The Big Valley, It Takes a Thief, The Mod Squad, and Kojak. She made a guest appearance in The Six Million Dollar Man and a celebrity edition of Family Feud. In more recent years she voiced "Grandma" on the animated children's show Olivia from 2009 to 2011. She also published an autobiography called From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond.

Rare photo of Brigitte Bardot on the beach fully clothed!

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The French model, actress, singer, and original blonde bombshell; Brigitte Bardot’s charms and immense talent won the world over. Despite her distance, her style, grace, and eventually her passion for animal rights heavily influenced style and culture as a whole. Fashion designs were named after her, her hair and makeup style has been emulated across the world, and she even has a signature pose models try to reproduce to this very day.

Bardot announced her retirement in 1973. She was approaching 39-years old and had already been in over forty motion pictures, recorded several music albums, and had been acting and modeling since childhood. She'd had enough of that lifestyle and began to devote her time to a cause she believed in, promoting animal rights.

Ms. Jane Fonda doing a normal thing....grocery shopping!

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The fashion model and fitness guru Jane Fonda was admired by the American public, but she was also spied on by the government. Fonda was one of 1,600 Americans who was being monitored by the NSA. All Fonda’s communications were monitored by the government between 1967 and 1973. The reason for this, during the 1960s, Fonda engaged heavily in political activism. She was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and in strong opposition to the Vietnam War.

The 1970s brought a stream of award-winning performances from Fonda, with her first in 1972 an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as prostitute Bree Daniels, in Klute. She also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Klute, then another in 1978 for Coming Home. She then went on to dominate the fitness industry.

Nowadays she remains classy, fit, and is quite the philanthropist. 

Jamie Lee Curtis, 1970's

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Pictured here is the legendary scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis dominated the horror scene of the ‘70s. With films like Prom Night, Terror Train, The Fog, and John Carpenter's Halloween. It wasn’t until Trading Spaces in 1983 that she started getting notoriety outside the horror genre. The role also earned her a BAFTA award as best supporting actress. She went on to work on A Fish Called Wanda and was nominated for a BAFTA as best leading actress.

In 1994 she won a Golden Globe for True Lies and hasn't stopped working since. She also reprised her role as Lori strode in Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Halloween: Resurrection, she also had a voice role in Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It has recently been confirmed that Curtis will be Lori Strode once again, in Halloween 2018. 

Grace Kelly in Jamaica

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Pictured here is Grace Kelly on a beach in Jamaica back in 1954. She spent six years as a highly popular film actress in the 1950s, starring in classic movies such as High Noon, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief.  

The actress transitioned from Hollywood royalty to actual royalty when she married Prince Rainier III and became the Princess of Monaco. A stylish, stunning, brilliant actress, who turned into a real-life Princess, her life sounded more like the plot of a movie than actual life. Although, she was widely adored long before her marriage to Prince Rainier III, her royal love story certainly reinforced her iconic status. 

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Lyra Radford


Lyra spends her days exploring all shades of history. In her writing, she covers topics ranging from the 'groovy' to the downright strange. She enjoys books, movies, and strong coffee. She also fancies herself the world's greatest air hockey player. She learned the ins and outs of writing and producing film/television at Palm Beach State and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She is currently enrolled at Arizona State University studying psychology and writing. Her work has been featured by some of the most prolific sites on the web and she is the author of the travel guide "Two-Days Exploring Haunted Key West".