Entertaining Historical Images From The Groovy Era

Written by Lyra Radford

Many times when looking at history we can get bored by the constant memorization of facts and repetition of important dates. In this aspect, rarely do we ever find historical pictures to be entertaining, or even interesting enough to capture our attention, but in this gallery, you will find a delightful and spirited collection. Some of these images are powerful and may even leave you speechless. Prepare to be wowed by some of the most radical and far-out historical images you've ever seen. Whoever said you couldn't learn and have fun at the same time must have never heard of Groovy History. 

The cast of Saturday Night Live, 1976

One of the most iconic comedic shows to date, Saturday Night Live became a huge hit with audiences through the combination of introducing young and budding talent as well as having well-written material that not only captures the audience’s attention but it sure to keep it while stirring up controversy at every turn.

Throughout the decades SNL has remained a tremendous talent farm. With a run spanning over three decades, it’s only natural that SNL is where so many brilliant comedy stars got their start. And with writers like Tina Fey, Adam Sandler, and Eddie Murphy (among many, many other seasoned comedians writing for the show, it’s no wonder SNL is still going strong. 

Natalie Wood posing [1970]

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Born to Russian parents, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, began her career as a child actor and eventually graduated to older, more complex roles. Natalie Wood was most famous for her roles in hit films such as Miracle on 34th Street, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and The Searchers. She also starred in many television-movie productions, including a remake of  From Here to Eternity back in 1979, for which she won a Golden Globe Award.  

Sadly, the Hollywood icon died under mysterious circumstances in November of 1981 at the age of 43. She was in the middle of shooting the film Brainstorm (1983) when she when out boating overnight with her husband Robert Wagner, co-star Christopher Walken, and the boat's captain, Dennis Davernwhich when she 'went missing' after an argument with her husband. Her body was recovered the following day a mile from the boat. While drowning was the cause of death, how she ended up in the water has and remains a topic of speculation. 

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in Saint Tropez (1971)

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Pictured here are Keith Richards and Mick Jagger at Jagger's wedding with Bianca Moreno in Saint Tropez back in 1971. Bianca was Jagger's first wife, the two married whilst she was pregnant with their daughter Jade. The wedding itself was a confusing embarrassment, between four different people claiming to be the "best man" and the last minute obstacles the couple faced, it's a wonder the wedding happened when it did at all. 

They found out, that under French Law, they needed to have a civil ceremony in the town hall before they could have their church ceremony. The town hall of course, was opened to the public which reporters took full advantage of. The paparazzi invasion was so intense the priest locked the church and Mick had to bang on the doors to be let into his own wedding in front of reporters. 

They also found out last minute they had to legally declare "what property they had in common" which wasn't as much as Bianca thought and she threatened to call the wedding off. It was later described as, “the shabbiest free-for-all in the history of both rock and marriage and skin-crawlingly embarrassing for all the key participants.”

Unsurprisingly, the Jagger and Moreno ended up divorcing in 1978, after spending 7-years raising their daughter together.

Actress Jane Fonda shopping at the supermarket in the late 1960's

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Kicking off her career at the beginning of the decade, Fonda starred in an array of films which earned her both a Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. By the end of the decade, Fonda became a household name with acclaimed hits such as “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Cat Ballou” in her repertoire. 

Jane Fonda was widely admired by the American public but interestingly enough, she was also being spied on by the U.S government. Fonda was one of 1,600 Americans who was being monitored by the NSA. All Fonda’s and her husband's (Tom Hayden) communications were monitored by the government between 1967 and 1973. 

During the 1960s, Fonda had heavily engaged in political activism. She was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and in strong opposition to the Vietnam War. She was a public figure that openly spoke out against the government so she was considered a possible threat. The fashion model, actress, and former activist went on to become a fitness guru and has managed to keep herself off government watchlists since then.

Jimi Hendrix - February 17, 1967

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With a name synonymous with blues and the guitar, Hendrix experienced all the facets of achieving mega stardom, despite only being active in the music business for less than a decade. Hendrix reached great heights, making rock n’ roll history at Woodstock in 1969. Then tragically, on September 18, 1970, He swallowed a handful of sleeping pills and never woke up. 

The overdose was accidental, Jimi had been drinking and habitually popped pills with little regard to instructions. He didn’t realize half a Vesparax was enough to get eight hours sleep and he took about 18 times the recommended dosage. He then choked to death on his own vomit. It was a reckless mistake that killed him at 27 years and 295 days old, he almost escaped the curse. 

Sharon Tate looking fine as hell while eating a pear, 1967

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Pictured here is American actress and model, Sharn Tate. Her film debut was in 1966 with the occult-themed film Eye of the Devil. Her most memorable performance was Jennifer North in the 1967 cult classic, Valley of the Dolls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Tate was one of Hollywood's most promising up and comers and on January 20, 1968, she married director/producer Roman Polanski. 

Then on August 9, 1969, Tate and four others who were hanging out in the home that she shared with Polanski, were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family. Even worse, at the time of her death, she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with the couple's son. She was a beautiful young woman showing great promise in Hollywood and on her way to becoming a mother. Her death and the death of her unborn child was such a tragic loss. 

Robin Williams clowning around outside The Comedy Store, 1978

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Pictured here is the legendary comedic genius Robin Williams in 1978. 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 his first big break. This legendary role launched his career and propelled him towards his future greatness. In it, he played the role of "Mork from Ork", a bumbling alien who moves in with an earthling named Mindy. The roomies attempt to maintain a normal household which goes about as well as expected. 

Right from the start, Williams was primarily known for his comedic bits and his demeanor was said to be usually quite in sync with his on stage persona. But it seems Williams had long suffered from depression and eventually dementia which resulted in his death by suicide in 2014.

The Beatles, 1961, John, George, Paul, and Pete

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Having just formed the year before in 1960, this relatively small rock band had made significant headway by playing in the “underground club scene” and embarking on several mini tours in and around Britain. They would go on to become one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

"Beatlemania" was the best word to describe the intense fan frenzy that was directed towards this legendary band. Their fans weren’t simply star struck, people (especially teen girls) were obsessed, they went completely mad over the band. The phenomenon began in 1963 and continued well beyond the group’s past the group's break-up in the 1970s.

For The Beatles, it’s not just about their sound. It’s their message and their entire demeanor which is 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 directs Kim Novak (1958)

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Pictured here are actress Kim Novak and director Alfred Hitchcock working on the film “Vertigo.” The film was adapted from the 1954 novel “From Among the Dead” by Boileau- Narcejac. Novak was the second option for the leading role as the original actress Vera Miles became pregnant at the time of production and had to withdraw from the film. Lucky for her!

This Hitchcock masterpiece is the tale of romantic obsession, manipulation, and of course fear. Detective Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) discovers he has vertigo and a fear of heights while. When a police officer dies trying to save him from falling off a building he decides to retire.

He is quickly drawn into yet another P.I. case by an old friend who wants him to watch his wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak). Apparently, she’s been acting strange and has been possessed by a spirit. As Scottie follows the beautiful Madeleine he begins to fall in love with her, and she seems to feel the same. At every turn preconceptions are shifted, tragedy strikes and it seems to spiral into a cycle of madness and lies.

Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, 1978

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Where soul met pop, Gaye, known for his soulful lyrics about love and tenderness, speaks to Jackson who had already made a name for himself in a more upbeat genre which provoked a more energetic audience than that of Gaye’s. Jackson had already left "The Jackson's" boy band at this point and began his sharp ascent to super stardom.

Michael Jackson went from being a part of the Jackson Five with his family to later moonwalking his way into a wildly successful solo career in 1971, which propelled him into pop icon status. He quickly became one of the biggest entertainers in the world and was eventually dubbed the "King of Pop."  

Raquel Welch, USO Tour 1967

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Pictured here is Raquel Welch performing for United States troops deployed to South Vietnam back in 1967. It was the USO Christmas Tour and Welch performed along side Bob Hope in her iconic knitted mini dress.

While Welch was most widely known for “Fantastic Voyage,” it was her 1966 strong, sexy, bikini-wearing character in the film One Million Years B.C. that branded her as one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1960s and 1970s. She is also known for breaking the mold of what it meant to be a sex symbol. She helped change America’s view on sexuality by portraying strong female characters at a time where women in submissive roles were desirable. 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Rue D'Antibes, Cannes (1971)

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Pictured here are John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Rue D Antibes, Cannes back in 1971. Lennon was known for being a member of the legendary British rock band The Beatles. Yoko Ono was known for her work as an independent artist. Ono worked in performance art, film and multimedia, in addition to venturing into singing and songwriting. and peace activist.

The two met back in 1966, worked on several collaborations together.  The pair quickly became inseparable resulting in Lennon’s divorce from his first wife, Cynthia Lennon, in order to be with Ono. Once they were married in 1969, they had a child together. In 1970, just a year after Lennon and Ono got married, The Beatles broke up. Since then, many people have speculated over the years as to whether Ono may have played a role in the group’s separation. 

Charles Bronson (1963)

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Pictured here is actor Charles Bronson, starring alongside Hollywood heavyweight Steven McQueen, in The Great Escape back in 1963. Bronson had already starred in a number of successful films and big screen roles since 1951. His film and television career boast a production almost every year from 1951 to 1999. He starred in films such as The Dirty Dozen, House of Wax, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, Rider on the Rain, The Mechanic, and the Death Wish series.


Bronson, often referred to as a "rugged Clark Gable", made a big name for himself in the U.S. and Europe, earning award nominations overseas in addition to his wins here in America.  Sadly, Bronson was forced to retire from acting after undergoing a hip replacement surgery in 1998, and his health continued to deteriorate. He died at age 81 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, on August 30, 2003.

Nico & Lou Reed (1966)

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Pictured here is the frontman for the Velvet Underground Lou Reed and the German musician, model, and actress Nico, who became famous as a Warhol superstar in the 1960s.

This duo wrote, composed and mastered many songs for Nico’s solo career which began in 1967. Members of the Velvet Underground also assisted Nico’s solo efforts. The band was briefly managed by pop artist Andy Warhol, and it was under him, that they released their debut LP, “The Velvet Underground & Nico.”

The Velvet Underground is now widely recognized as one of the most influential rock bands. Their musical experimentation, provocative subject matter, and often nihilistic attitudes proved to be extremely influential in the development of punk rock, new wave, and alternative rock music. 

Young Arnold flexing for these older ladies, 1970

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Pictured here is Arnold Schwarzenegger showing off his sizable arms to a couple of elderly women back in the 1970s. He went on to win the title of “Mr. Universe” and was “Mr. Olympia” seven times before taking on politics.

Schwarzenegger had dreamed of leaving Austria and moving to the United States ever since he was ten years old. His dream finally came true at the age of twenty-one. He showed up to New York, poor and barely able to speak English but he was happy to be here and quickly made a name for himself as a professional bodybuilder throughout the 1970s and 1980s. 

Schwarzenegger then became a highly sought after action star all throughout the 1990s. Before finally taking up politics and becoming the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

Françoise Hardy, 1960s

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French singer-songwriter Françoise Hardy made her musical debut back in the early 1960s on Disques Vogue. Her song "Tous les garçons et les filles" was an immediate success. She recorded in multiple languages and began appearing in movies in between touring throughout Europe. She found herself at the very forefront of the French music scene and even gained the admiration of successful musicians such as Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger.

She began modeling and her unique style paired with the talents of photographer Jean-Marie Périer, Hardy soon became a popular fashion and cultural icon as well.

Her lyrics are still being referenced and used in soundtracks in many popular shows like Gilmore Girls, proving that her music has remained relevant and admired throughout the decades since their initial release. 

Jack Nicholson and Roman Polanski on vacation. (1975)

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Pictured here are Jack Nicholson and Roman Polanski on vacation together in Gstaad back in 1975. The actor and director drew up a friendship way before Nicholson’s 1974 role in the Polanski’s thriller Chinatown. The two also remained friends though the murder of Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate which took place on August 9, 1969, when Tate was 8-months pregnant. Nicholson stood by his long-time friend and even regularly attended the murder trial to show his support.

It was at Nicholson's house just three years after this photo was taken, that Roman Polanski was accused of having drugged and sexually assaulted a thirteen-year-old girl. He admitted to having intercourse with her but denied drugging her or forcing himself on her. He fled the United States before sentencing back in 1978 and hasn't stepped foot on American soil since. He is still wanted by the US authorities. 

Kids on their way to Woodstock, August 1969

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Woodstock was jam packed with free loving folk who just wanted to party for days on end. Apparently, it would have been even bigger than it was, but traffic was so bad people gave up and turned around. An estimated one million people went home. Not only was traffic too thick for partygoers, it was also impossible for medical responders to get through. This man was needed medical attention but was unable to get it.

This legendary event was held in 1969 and was one of the most iconic moments in concert history. The concert ran four days and comprised of the era’s most famous, influential and eccentric performers such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Santana, and Country Joe Mc Donald. Held on a farm in New York, the turnout surpassed what was estimated by the organizers, and is still down in history as one of the most groovy times.

Martin Luther King meets Malcolm X (1964)

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Pictured here is an encounter between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X on March 26, 1964. Both men were heavily involved in social and activism, these two minds would definitely have an interesting meeting, covering topics which predominantly affected African Americans at the time. 

They both preached of accomplishing wide-spread peace, unity, and equal opportunities for all people but initially, they had different thoughts on how to achieve the same outcome. 

In the last years of their lives, they were almost moving towards each other in mentality. Malcolm X, once viewed as an angry black separatist was moderating from his earlier position and becoming more like King. Whereas King was reportedly becoming more militant; preaching black pride, the need for a restructuring of America, and he even came out against the Vietnam War.

King was a political revolutionary where Malcolm X, on the other hand, was more of a cultural revolutionary. Perhaps they would have met somewhere in the middle. 

The first ever Mickey mouse club meeting 1955

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This incredibly eerie sight is actually the very first Mickey Mouse Club meeting, which was held back in 1955. The Mickey Mouse Club ended up becoming a variety television show featuring a regular but also an ever-changing cast of mostly teen actors. It was actually Walt Disney's second production venture in creating a television series and it featured a newsreel, a cartoon, music and comedy segments. 

The Mouseketeer Roll Call was another popular aspect of the show, it consisted of the day's line-up of performers introducing themselves to the audience. It also featured serials, in which teens would face common challenges they'd overcome by employing common sense or through the help of elders. The show's content and the fact that it employed young, relatable talent to star in their shows sparked the national phenomena of club meetings nationwide.

1972 Ali MacGraw looks a lot like Kendall Jenner.

A famous model in her own right, Ali MacGraw also made a name for herself by starring in highly successful films opposite other Hollywood heavyweights such as Kris Kristofferson and Steve McQueen.

In 1969 she gained quite a bit of attention after winning a Golden Globe for "Most Promising Newcomer" after her performance in Goodbye, Columbus.  In the 1970s she achieved international fame after her role in Love Story. The role earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress win and an Academy Award nomination.

By 1972 she had only been in three films but was already the top female box office star in the world and had already been honored at Grauman's Chinese Theatre with a hands and footprints ceremony.  

Elizabeth Taylor at the Gare de Lyon, Paris. (1971)

Born into a wealthy socialite family, Taylor’s beauty propelled her throughout the film industry and revealed her tremendous acting skills. She landed iconic roles such as “Cat on the Roof” 1958 and “Cleopatra”1963. Taylor’s personal life was also a source of a media frenzy as she would go on to marry and divorce a total of seven times in her lifetime.

But Elizabeth Taylor was more than just a pretty face or tabloid fodder–she was a force of nature. She went from being an actress to becoming a successful businesswoman with her own line of products and a philanthropist. Taylor was also one of the first celebrities to devote themselves to HIV/AIDS activism. She organized the very first AIDS fundraiser and went on to found the National AIDS Research Foundation.

David Bowie and Cher 1975

Two stars in their own right, Cher and Bowie came together to perform a medley of their own hits as well as that of other well-known magic. The performance was part of Cher’s television show “Cher” which was a spin-off of her previous show “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” with husband Sonny after they had divorced. 

It was one of the most memorable TV appearances of Bowie’s career and one of the greatest moments in variety show history. The talented pair teamed to do what is generally referred to as “the ‘Young Americans’ medley, ” a six-and-a-half-minute combination of a dozen or so pop hits:

‘Young Americans’- David Bowie.

'Song Sung Blue' - Neil Diamond.

'One' - Three Dog Night.

'Da Doo Ron Ron' - Phil Spector / Greenwich / Barry.

'Wedding Bell Blues' - Byro.

'Maybe' - The Chantels.

'Maybe Baby' - Buddy Holly / Petty.

'Day Tripper' - John Lennon / Paul McCartney.

'Blue Moon' - Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart.

'Only You (And You Alone)' - Buck Ram / Ande Rand.

'Temptation' - Freed / Broan.

'Ain't No Sunshine' - Bill Withers.

'Young Blood' - Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller / Doc Pomus.

Young Americans (reprise).

Pink Floyd, Venezia 1989

Playing to a massive crowd at one of their last concerts, Pink Floyd made sure to leave a lasting memory and raise the standard so that other bands would try to emulate them. 

When the band arrived in Venice back in 1989, they were met by over 200,000 Italian fans. They ended up performing on a floating platform in the middle of the Venetian lagoon. As can be seen in the photograph above, the crowds worked around St. Mark’s Square, filling in every space they could including in the adjoining Piazzetta, waterfront Riva Degli Schiavoni, with front row seats from boats.

Dovima and Jean Patchett at Madison Square, 1958

These two models were a pair of the most famous of their time. Dovima being discovered in 1949 and Patchett the year before, both graced the coveted covers of Vogue very early in their modeling careers. They both would retire in 1964 and 1963 respectively and go on to live generally quiet lives.

Patchett married Yale-educated banker, Louis Auer in 1951. She enjoyed cooking for her husband (and herself) so much that she refused to work before 10 am or after 4:30 pm. So for her, retirement meant there was more time for basking in domestic bliss.

Dovima gave birth to a daughter named Allison on July 14, 1958, and she found herself moving to Florida to be near her parents in the 1970s. 

Al Pacino and Marlon Brando, 1972

Starring as father and son in the crime mob thriller, “The Godfather.” Pacino and Brando cemented themselves in the film and entertainment history by representing a culture that was factual, ever-present and infamous. The film itself was the first installment of the Godfather Trilogy which grossed over $570 million in the box office.

Back when Al Pacino was just getting his feet wet in the world of Hollywood, he was cast in the role of a heroin addict in the 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park. It was this role that caught the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola then passed up actors Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and Warren Beatty in favor of casing newcomer Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. And just like that, a star was born.

Virna Lisi, 1960s

The Italian actress who was known for her striking good looks was born in 1936 and died in 2014. Initially a European actress, she began doing Hollywood films as her career progressed.

It seemed Hollywood producers were in search of the next Marilyn Monroe and Lisi fit the mold.  

Her big Hollywood film debut was as a blue-eyed blonde temptress playing opposite of Jack Lemmon in How to Murder Your Wife back in 1965.

She also appeared with Tony Curtis in Not with My Wife, You Don't! in 1966. Before long she was starring alongside Frank Sinatra in the film Assault on a Queen (1966) and the roles just kept coming in. She also garnered quite a bit of attention for a photo of her 'shaving' her face that was on the March 1965 cover of Esquire magazine.

(1976) David Bowie on the set of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Singer, songwriter and actor, Bowie’s first feature film was “The Man Who Fell to Earth” in which he played an alien who came to Earth in search of water, in order to save his home planet. Bowie’s performance and the production quality of this far-out film were praised.

The film was released in 1976 and was followed by even more commercial success with the release of the first of Bowie's three collaborative works with Brian Eno. The electronic-inflected album "Low"(1977), along with "Heroes" (1977) and "Lodger" (1979) would come to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". Each album reached the top five in the UK.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1980

Only five short years after forming their iconic partnership, Gates and Allen had already made tremendous headway in the production of computer software. Both being university dropouts, the pair would go on to be amongst the most influential and richest men in the world.

Gates and Allen met while they were students at Lakeside School Gates. The fellow Basic programmers had a business before launching Microsoft. It was called Traf-O-Data and they had a third partner, Paul Gilbert on the team as well. 

According to Allen, he and Gates handled the software side of Traf-O-Data, but the machine itself was built by Gilbert. Paul turned the first 8-bit microprocessor in Seattle into an actual computer. Traf-O-Data was essentially a failure as a company but without the experience, Microsoft may not have happened. 

Surfers at Ka'ena Point, O'ahu (1962)

Popular during the winter due to its relatively large and strong waves, Ka’ena Point has been a favorite spot for surfers for decades. This area is known for its flora and fauna which have thrived significantly since local authorities undertook conservation measures.

Aside from the breathtaking view, what's perhaps the most interesting thing about the ledge at Ka’ena Point is that according to local lore, it is a “jumping off” place between two worlds. 

They believe it's a portal where spirits can jump off this plane and into the afterlife. In fact, if a spirit fails to make their way to Ka’ena Point, it will be forced to stay here as a ghost and haunt the island until it does.

Boys Mimicking Police in London, 1975

Officers of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) wear standardized uniforms to point out the difference between military and regular service officers. The officers pictured seem to be clad in outfits which consisted of the “bobby” helmets, open-necked tunics, black overcoats, and trousers as well as black boots or shoes.

In addition to the responsibility of enforcing the law in Greater London, Metropolitan Police also has national responsibilities of significance. They take the lead on national counter-terrorism matters. They coordinate and manage the protection of senior members of the British Royal Family, members of The Cabinet, and various other members of the government.

Weird Al Yankovic, circa 1970

This singer-songwriter is known for his humorous take on popular lyrics and for his eccentric method of dress. His style and parodies must have started when he was young, just look at his mischievous face.

Ever since his very first comedy song aired back in 1976, Weird Al has sold more than 12 million albums. He has recorded over 150 songs, both parody and original, and he has done over a thousand live performances. As far as awards go, Weird Al's work has earned him four Grammy Awards in addition to another 11 nominations. He has achieved worldwide success but in the United States, he has four gold records and six platinum records. 

The Monkees monkeying around at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1960s

The American rock and pop band was formed and became active from 1965 until 1971 and consisted of members Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith. 

 The band was formed in Los Angeles by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider specifically for the American television series "The Monkees." The show aired from 1966 to 1968, during the early stages of which, "the Monkees" were given very limited time in the recording studio. 

The amount of time required to film the television series was to blame for that, but they eventually fought (and won) more creative control. When the show was canceled the band decided to continue recording music through 1971.

David Bowie Smoking a Cigar With Iggy Pop and Coco Schwab, June 1976

Corinne “Coco” Schwab became Bowie’s personal assistant in 1973 and the two quickly became inseparable. As seen in the photograph, the two were very often pictured together, hanging out with Bowie’s eccentric and famous friends like Iggy Pop. Upon his death in 2016 Schwab received $2 million dollars and shares of Bowie’s company as per his will.

Iggy Pop's solo recording career actually began with two albums that were produced by David Bowie. As Iggy Pop put it: “He resurrected me.” Pop went on to say: “He was more of a benefactor than a friend in a way most people think of friendship. He went a bit out of his way to bestow some good karma on me.”

The man who modeled as Uncle Sam poses in front of the iconic poster, 1970

Walter Botts as Uncle Sam, 1970. Source: Reddit

One of the most famous personas ever to come from the United States of America is Uncle Sam. The character in all elements represented the government and was frequently used to inspire the general population. The Uncle Sam persona was also used synonymously with the country as a name in times of war or for other uses of national representation.

Initially, artist James Montgomery Flagg referred to his own image to create the 1916 portrait of Uncle Sam. When asked to update the image for use in World War 2, Flagg hired the man pictured here, Walter Botts. According to Flagg, Botts was chosen over all the other aspiring Uncle Sams, “because he had the longest arms, the longest nose, and the bushiest eyebrows.”

Thomas Byrdsong, Aerospace Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center - 1963

NASA employed many key scientists back in the early days of the space program, but at the Langley Research Center, Thomas Byrdsong served as a pivotal team member to get the USA to the moon.

Byrdsong originally joined NASA's predecessor agency back in 1953, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). His early experience at NASA included working on the Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and the Landing Loads Track (LLT). 

It was from LLT that he transitioned to the Drones for Aerodynamic and Structural Testing program. This was where all the high-risk flight experiments were being conducted (using a ground-controlled, pilotless aircraft). After 39 years of service, Thomas retired from NASA in 1992. 

The last photo that was ever taken of Charlie Chaplin. (1977)

Known for his unmistakable mustache, Chaplin was a revolutionary actor and filmmaker who specialized in silent films. With a career that spanned over 70 years, his movies covered most of the genres available at the time.

In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the (still successful) film distribution company United Artists. This gave him complete control over his films. From there Chaplin was able to write, direct, produce, and star in his films. He even edited and composed the music for most of his films. 

Chaplin was known for being a perfectionist and once he had financial independence, he was able to indulge himself and spend years on a project if need be. He had a hand in everything, from the early stages of development into the actual production, post-production, and distribution of a picture. 

Abbie Hoffman salutes you, 1968

A Jewish social and political activist, speaker and writer, Hoffman was a co-founder of the Youth International Party (1967) which protested for freedom of speech, equality and anti-war ideals between the late 1960s to late 1980s. His controversial stances resulted in his frequent arrests and run-ins with the law. Although, his arrests and problems with authority figures began much earlier than his activism did. 

His first arrest was June 3, 1954, he was 17-years-old at the time and was arrested for driving without a license. In his school years, he was often in trouble for fighting and vandalism, and was disrespectful to teachers. He was expelled in his sophomore year for physically assaulting a teacher. Hoffman was an atheist and he wrote a paper declaring that "God could not possibly exist, for if he did, there wouldn't be any suffering in the world." The teacher called him "a Communist punk" and tore the paper up. Hoffman decided to pounce and pound into him until others were able to restrain and remove him from school. 

A young Bryan Cranston and his dog (1970)

 Known for his portrayal of Walter White in the widely acclaimed drama series “Breaking Bad”, Cranston is also recognized a voice actor with roles in Power Rangers, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar 3. Cranston has also received wide recognition by winning Prime Time Emmys, Tony Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Cranston produced an instructional DVD called KidSmartz, which teaches families how to stay safe from child abductors and Internet predators. Half the proceeds are donated to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. 

Cranston's performance in HBO's adaptation of the play "All the Way" garnered him critical praise and eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Television Critics Choice Award nomination. Cranston's memoir, "A Life in Parts" was published in October of 2016, and quickly found itself on the New York Times bestseller list.

Albert Schweitzer and his kitten Pierrette. [1951]

Born in 1865 Albert Schweitzer was a French-German philosopher and physician. He founded his own hospital at Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa in 1913 after having obtained his M.D. degree. He and his wife ended up being sent to a French internment camp as prisoners of war from 1917 to 1918. He spent the next six years preaching in his old church, giving lectures, writing, and taking medical courses. Schweitzer returned to Lambaréné in 1924 and spent the remainder of his life there (aside from a few short trips here and there).

All his royalties and personal appearance fees (along with donations) allowed him to expand the hospital to seventy buildings. By the early 1960's his hospital could take in over 500 patients at a time. He received numerous honors including the Goethe Prize of Frankfurt and honorary doctorates. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his work in the area of antidevelopment of nuclear weapons. He was made a member of the Order of Merit by HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 1955. What a groovy dude! 

Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, 1962

This pair met on the set of the film “Christine” in 1958 and got engaged in March 1959; however, they separated in 1963. The reason for their split was Delon's affair with German actress, singer and model Nico coming to light. Apparently the two had been seeing each other long enough for Delon to father her son, Christian Aaron who was born on August 11, 1962. 

Schneider left Delon and went on to marry Harry Meyen in 1966-1975 and then Daniel Biasini in 1975-1981. I guess third time is the charm for love. They had a daughter together, Sarah Magdalena, who grew up to become an actress. 

Beasties and a Boom Box (1986)

Formed in 1980, this hip-hop musical trio hailed from New York and comprised of Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. Their signature prop of the Boombox was introduced and made appearances on the cover of their extremely successful albums.

The Beastie Boys have sold over 26 million records throughout the United States and another 50 million records worldwide. This makes them the largest-selling rap group since the Billboard began recording sales data in the first place (which was in 1991 for those who are interested). In addition to being the best-selling, the Beastie Boys are credited with being one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide.

Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville in St. Moritz (1975)

This iconic duo were pioneers in the silent film era of film and television. The pair often worked on screenplays and movie scripts which they would produce and turn into highly successful productions and adaptations. The pair got married in 1928 and stayed that way until Hitchcock’s death in 1980.

Over the course of his six-decade long career, Hitchcock had directed more than fifty feature films. He remains one of the most influential directors in cinematic history and was even Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the art form. There is no one who can compare to the "Master of Suspense".

Bill Nye in the '70s

Born William Sanford Nye in 1955, better known as Bill Nye the Science Guy is a mechanical engineer, presenter, and educator. His popular kids’ television show known also as Bill Nye the Science Guy ran from 1993- 1998 and sought to provide children with scientific knowledge of everyday facts. The show was very well-received and nominated for 23 Emmy Awards, of which, it won nineteen.

Following his success with his show, Nye went on to become the CEO of The Planetary Society and he's written two best-selling books on science: "Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation" and "Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World". 

Nye has made many television appearances over the years, on "Dancing with the Stars", "The Big Bang Theory" and "Inside Amy Schumer". He also starred in a documentary titled "Bill Nye: Science Guy", which was based on his life. Most recently, in 2017, he has a new Netflix series out, entitled "Bill Nye Saves the World".

David Byrne of Talking Heads in 1978

As the front man, guitarist and songwriter of the group, Byrne is known for his peculiar vocals. The band was formed in June of 1975 and went on to release 8 studio albums. In 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where they reunited for the first time since their disbandment in 1991.

Byrne had taken on side projects while he was still with Talking Heads, including a collaboration with Brian Eno during 1979 and 1981 on the album "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts", which received considerable critical acclaim. His first solo album was "Rei Momo" was released in 1989 after he left Talking Heads.

Dee Dee Ramone, Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1978

Born Douglas Glenn Colvin, Ramone was the lead singer for the punk rock band the Ramones, which had a career of 22 years and a record number of concert performances. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2011.

On the night of June 5, 2002, Dee Dee Ramone was found dead by his wife Barbara, in his Hollywood apartment. The autopsy later revealed his cause of death to be a heroin overdose. He had been previously booked the Majestic Ventura Theater for a performance, but they ended up hosting a memorial show in his honor.

Commando Cody defending the universe, 1953

Previously portrayed by George Wallace then Judd Holdren, Commando Cody was a superhero series in which the titular character had to try to uncover the cause of climate change before it was too late. The character appeared in “Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe” 1955 and “Radar Men From the Moon” 1952.

There was going to be another 12-chapter serial titled, "Zombies of the Stratosphere". It was written as a direct sequel to "Radar Men from the Moon", but once they got started, the main character's name was changed from Commando Cody to "Larry Martin".

Jim Morrison by a Diego Rivera mural. Mexico, 1969.

Known as the frontman of the legendary rock group the Doors, Morrison is regarded as one of the most peculiar and questionable performers of his era. His personal life was shrouded with mystery and confusion due to his involvement with multiple partners. Morrison’s death was also as confusing as his cause of death was not initially identified.

Interestingly enough, Morrison allegedly told his band mates back in 1966, before even signing a record contract with Elektra, that he would fake his death in order to increase their notoriety. And as predicted, record sales skyrocketed after his death. Not only was his cause of death inconclusive, but he also became a member of the infamous 27 club. It was later reported that Morrison once said he'd become a member of the club one day, telling friends at a bar “you’re drinking with number three”.

Julius Erving in the 1976 ABA All Star game dunk contest

Erving, known for popularizing slam dunking in basketball, began his professional career in 1968 and set many records in the game. He played for the Virginia Squires, New York Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. Known as Dr. J., Erving was the sixth-highest scorer in ABA and NBA history with combined 30,026 points. 

He was given four MVP awards and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.  Other honors include being named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team and named one of the 40 most important athletes of all time by Sports Illustrated in 1994. Then, in 2004, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame.

Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison, 1968

Cash began performing a series of prison concerts starting with Folsom Prison. The concert was recorded and later turned into a live album. This experience seated itself as his 27th album. It received the number one slot on country music charts and was certified a platinum. Good on you Johnny!

As his career was taking off so did his partying, Before long Cash was drinking heavily and addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. And while many said he was spiraling, he still managed to stay on top of his work, delivering massive hits like "Ring of Fire" due to his frenetic creativity. 

Jackie Kennedy leaving a store of Yves Saint-Laurent in Paris, 1974

The former first lady was married to the 35th President of the United States of America until his assassination in 1963. Jackie-O, as she was later known, eventually married a Greek mogul by the name of Aristotle Onassis in 1968. She is remembered as a champion of the arts and education, whose philanthropic efforts and keen sense of style never went unnoticed. 

Long before meeting Kennedy, she was a photographer and a reporter for the Washington Times-Herald. She was fluent in four languages, allowing her to translate and assist Kennedy with speeches during his campaign. She is the one responsible for filling the white house with antiques of historical significance and she also won an Emmy award after showcasing her complete renovation of the White House on CBS. She is also the one responsible for creating the "Camelot" image of the entire Kennedy administration. 

Joe Strummer in the 70s

A 2003 inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Strummer was known as one of the most influential British artists, having been a member of the group the Clash; known for their hand in the development of punk and alternative rock. The Clash's rebellious attitude, politicized lyrics, and experimental sound, had a far-reaching influence on various genres, as they incorporated a great deal of varying sounds into their work: ska, rap, reggae, dub, funk, and rockabilly. 

Their second album, Give 'Em Enough Rope was released in 1978 and quickly climbed all the way up to number 2 on the UK charts. Soon their success spread over to the United States with London Calling in 1979. The reached their peak in 1982 with Combat Rock, which was number 7 on the US charts and certified 2× platinum.

Paul Newman at the Cannes Film Festival (1973)

A highly decorated actor, Newman would often be compared to the likes of Steven McQueen for his stellar performances in box office hits such as “The Verdict” 1982, “The Hustler” 1961 and “Exodus” 1960. After officially retiring in 2007, he came back to the big screen, only to lend his voice to projects like the BBC’s documentary entitled “The Meerkats”. 

Not that his retirement was quiet before returning to the screen, he was a co-founder of the food company Newman's Own, the profits of which, he donated to charity. He also kept busy racing cars, winning several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing. His race teams also won multiple championships in open-wheel IndyCar racing.

Notorious B.I.G just graduated from kindergarten 1970's

Born Christopher George Latore Wallace, Biggie Smalls, as he would come to be known as, was a heavily influential and successful rapper. Although having a relatively short career due to his assassination in 1997 at the age of 27, Wallace was already a force to be reckoned with in the music industry in the genres of hip-hop and gangsta rap.

Sixteen days after his death, the album he'd been working on was released, eerily enough, it was titled "Life After Death". The album shot up to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 charts, gained positive reviews, and was certified Diamond in 2000. 

Kirk Douglas in Saint-Tropez (1975)

The Hollywood centenarian is a director, actor, producer and author. Born in 1916, Douglas has had an active role in film and television since the early 1940s. With his established production company, he has produced many films and has received many awards and nominations for them.

Douglas married twice, he and his first wife Diana Dill, had two sons together: actor Michael Douglas and producer Joel Douglas. He and his second wife, producer Anne Buydens, also had two sons together. Strangely enough another actor, Eric Douglas and another producer, Peter Douglas. Sadly, Eric died from an accidental overdose on prescription drugs and alcohol July 6, 2004.

Philippine Jeepneys roaming the streets of NYC (1960s)

Introduced to the public at the turn of the decade by the hippie movement of the 60s, the jeepneys were the primary mode of transportation in the Philippines. The vehicles were usually brightly painted with various designs and symbols. 

These odd little cruisers were originally crafted out of the leftover parts from U.S. military jeeps after World War II. The name came from the obvious combination of jeep with 'knee' because of the knee bumping close proximity its passengers are forced to sit in. 

Pink Floyd, 1973

Consisting of members Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, Syd Barrett and David Glamour, Pink Floyd is one of the most recognizable rock bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. After 15 stellar albums, the band has managed to sell over 250 million records and have cemented themselves as one of the best bands of all time. 

Combining psychedelic, experimental music with philosophical lyrics was clearly the recipe to achieving international acclaim. They also distinguished themselves with extended compositions and putting on elaborate live shows. They one of the most commercially successful and widely influential groups in music history.

Marlon Brando in Paris (1966)

Known for his iconic role in the Godfather, Brando thrived in the era of crime mob films. He is seen as one of the most influential actors of all time. Brando was lesser known for his civil rights activism which had him socialize with the likes of President John F Kennedy and support the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr.

 Brando participated in the March on Washington in 1963, he participated in the freedom rides, and after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Brando committed himself to furthering King's work. Brando even bowed out of a lead role he was set to play, in favor of freeing up time to devote himself to the civil rights movement.

Pele and Bobby Moore after Brazil defeated England, 1970

Arguably, two of the world’s most famous sportsmen showing world class sportsmanship, after Pele’s team beat England for the 1970 World Cup.

This famous moment in sports history was captured just after a thrilling 1-0 defeat to Brazil at the 1970 World Cup. The two football legends Moore and Pelé were showing their mutual respect for each other (and the game) by exchanging shirts.

Pelé later said in an interview: "That photo has gone around the world. I think it was very important for football. We demonstrate that it's a sport. Win or lose, the example, the friendship, you must pass these on to other players to the next generation."

Ronald Reagan hosting GE Theater (1950s)

A decorated actor, Reagan sat as the head of many important film committees such as the Screen Actors Guild and as a host of the General Electric Theatre. As an active politician, he was elected as the 40th President of the United States between 1981 to 1989, serving two terms. 

Upon leaving office in 1989, Reagan's legacy has been a topic of substantial debate. Foreign policy triumphs certainly include a peaceful end to the Cold War, not to mention the boost in pride and morale in America. Supporters have also pointed out the efficiency of his economic policies led to more prosperity for the nation. 

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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".