Groovy Colorized Photos That Finally Capture It All
Young Brigitte Bardot stunning under the summer sun 😍
History is full of moments that you’ll miss if you don’t look closer. You may have seen these photos in their original black and white form, but when you see them in color the entire story changes and fond memories of the past become even more vivid.
The explosions of color in these formerly black and white images capture more than expected. This collection of photographs will show a brand new side of history, putting many of the stories of the ‘60s and’70s into a new perspective… they might even alter the way you think about some of the biggest stories of the era.
Each of these colorized photos from the middle of the 20th century is a visual treat that’s sure to make you read on in delight. Take a deep look into shots of the groovy past, reimagined in full color.
Take a closer look...these rarely seen photos are not suitable for all audiences.
There was no woman quite like Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, she was sexy and coquettish, two things that are impossible to ignore. Bardot used her looks like a well made tool whenever she appeared onscreen, she knew exactly what the viewers wanted.
Unfortunately Bardot didn’t have anonymity. When you’re as famous as Bardot you can’t exactly become a wallflower. In 2019 she told The Guardian that it’s still hard for her to go out and be among the people:
I don’t know what it means to sit quietly in a bistro, on a terrace, or in the theatre without being approached by someone.
Martin Luther King Jr. waiting at the pulpit ✊🏿
This magnificent colorized photo shows Martin Luther King Jr., one of the figureheads of the Civil Rights movement and a preacher who inspired Americans to chase peaceful means of protest throughout the 1950s and ‘60s until his assassination.
King became famous for his work in the South, but it was the March on Washington in 1964 that made him a superstar. Following that walk he explained his use of non-violence to novelist Robert Penn Warren:
I think [violence and hatred] will end up creating many more social problems than they solve, and I'm thinking of a very strong love. I'm not, I'm thinking, I'm thinking of love in action and not something where you say, "Love your enemies," and just leave it at that, but you love your enemies to the point that you're willing to sit-in at a lunch counter in order to help them find themselves. You're willing to go to jail.
The most divisive photo ever captured... or is it? Look closer 👀
Everyone knows this iconic image from the Sophia Loren’s side eye at Jayne Mansfield’s cleavage. While the myth behind the photo says that the Italian stunner was upset about Jayne Mansfield upstaging her with a low cut dress, the truth is much less catty.
In 1957 Paramount threw a coming out party for Loren smack dab in the middle of Beverly Hills and Mansfield showed up because… well… she was invited.
Loren says that Mansfield walked right over to her table and struck a pose for the photographers. Loren says that she knew exactly what was happening and that she respected Mansfield for doing what she had to do to get some press.
Elvis Presley, his mother Gladys, and his loving teddy bear, 1956 🎙️
Maybe some rock stars don’t have a good relationship with their parents but that wasn’t the case with Elvis. No matter where the King was, whether it was filming in Los Angeles or performing on the road he would touch base with his parents, who he moved into Graceland with him as soon as he bought the property.
By all accounts Elvis was raised in a loving environment, and according to Gladys they raised him to be a kind young man. To the Presley family, Elvis couldn’t have been a better person. Gladys told an interviewer:
He was raised well. He never lies. He doesn't swear. I never heard him call anyone anything except ‘Mister' and ‘Sir.' And we taught him if he can't help a man out of a ditch the least he can do is say a prayer for him, and the Lord will never let him fall.
Susan Sarandon... sexy and cool in Cannes 🖤
The epitome of the intersection between sexy and cool, Susan Sarandon has always been open about her work and the way she approaches what she does onscreen.
Rather than get into some kind of surreal psycho drama where she refuses to answer to “Susan” on set, she explained that she just pulls from her life and goes from there. She told her friend George Saunders how she jumps into all of her roles:
I can’t speak for other people, but for me, it never really worked to think something like, ‘What Beatle did she like in high school?’ or those kinds of elaborate backstories. It never really worked for me to have long arguments about motivation. I think looking at your own life, on- and offscreen, you can motivate anything, or you can delude yourself into anything.
A futuristic power lawn mower as predicted in 1957 🚜
In 1957 the future of lawn mowing was at our finger tips. Could it be… could someone really mow their lawn without being covered in sweat and grass clippings by the end of the morning?
With an air foam cushioned seat, running lights, a telephone, air conditioning, and a cooling system to provide icy drinks on a hot day, this mower was basically a tiny car that could also provide whatever lawn care was needed.
Riding mowers are already expensive, but there’s no way that the cost of this beautiful space-age machine was anything less than astronomical. Still, we’d love to take a whirl on this baby.
Sally Fields on the set of "Gidget" (1965) 😻
Surfing took hold of popular culture in the 1960s and the extreme sport proved to be so popular that it was the focal point of a ton of films and television shows that were dubbed the “beach blanket” genre.
When Gidget made the move from the big to the small screen in 1965 Sally Field won the role of the teenage surfer girl who was better at getting into trouble than she was catching waves. She says that she was hired because she’s real as they come:
After the first night of my workshop, a casting guy asked me if I had an agent. I didn't, but I still went in for an interview. The waiting room was filled with girls who looked like movie stars. They all had professional head shots; the only pictures I had were wallet photos of me with my friends. At my screen test, I walked in and said, ‘Which one is the camera?’ The crew members were like, ‘Oh, boy.’ But the casting director said, ‘You're it.’ God was looking out for me. He thought he'd throw me in the ocean and see if I could swim.
The as-yet unknown Robin Williams in Central Park, 1974 🤯
This is really a blast from the past. In 1974, long before Robin Williams was Mork from Ork, he was just a performer trying to make his way in the world. Photographer Daniel Sorine was one a walk through Central Park one day when he decided to take some photos of a few mimes that he noticed.
Sorine says that he was drawn to all the mimes, but that something about Williams stood out to him. He explained:
What attracted me to Robin Williams and his fellow mime, Todd Oppenheimer, was an unusual amount of intensity, personality and physical fluidity. When I approached them with my Pentax Spotmatic they allowed me to invite them into my camera instead of me having to chase after them.
Getting back to nature... with a crocheted bikini 👙
The 1970s were all about getting back to nature and nothing says becoming more natural like crocheting your own bikini. More people were growing their own food and eating healthy - natural fabrics and clothing were becoming the rule of the day.
It wasn’t just food that was becoming more natural, swim wear was taking a turn for the organic… and it was seriously sexy. A bathing suit like this leaves very little to the imagination which is likely the reason that they were so popular.
Do you remember crocheted bathing suits? Were they just something that you saw in magazines? Don’t you think they should make a comeback?
John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Butterfly Studios in New York City. August 1972
Following Lennon’s departure from The Beatles he entered a state of artistic creation that’s genuinely shocking. Aside from releasing a series of classic albums under his own name he also worked with Yoko Ono and her Plastic Ono Band.
This photo was taken at the rehearsals for a show at Madison Square Garden with the rock band Elephant's Memory, as part of Lennon’s two charities concerts "One to One.”
The rehearsals were recorded and produced by Phil Spector of all people and it was later released as “S.I.R. John Winston Ono Lennon.” The recordings are rudimentary but they provide the only “live in studio” session of Lennon that’s known to exist.
Sophia Loren, the greatest Italian beauty
There’s no beauty on the planet who can rival that of Sophia Loren, the most gorgeous babe who ever appeared on the silver screen. In the early ‘60s Loren was just a young woman from the small Italian town of Pozzuoli.
After winning a beauty contest she was inspired to take a screen test in Rome, her decisions to do so changed her life forever. When she started taking her early jobs Loren’s beauty wasn’t recognized the way it is today. She was even told to get a nose job. Loren explained:
I never thought that my nose was something I had to change. It was an interesting nose, which is why I still have never changed it. Sometimes when you are very young, you have to wait for nature to shape you on the face or on the body. Then little by little, people see the nose was much nicer than they thought.
"Adoration of a President-to-Be" - Newly engaged John F. Kennedy & Jacqueline Bouvier - Cape Cod, July 4th 1953
The most iconic couple of the groovy era, John F. Kennedy and Jacquelyn Bouvier had to start somewhere even if it feels like they were always together. After meeting at a dinner Party in Washington in 1952 the couple moved quickly.
They were engaged in 1953 and immediately went on vacation at the Kennedy family home in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. The couple was so beloved that an entire issue of Life Magazine was dedicated to their engagement photos. Published on July 20 with the headline “Senator Kennedy Goes a-Courting,” the photos show the happiness that comes with young love. When speaking about the death of JFK Jackie stated that she wished she could have been with the man instead of the myth:
I think that I should have known that he was magic all along. I did know it — but I should have guessed that it would be too much to ask to grow old with and see our children grow up together. So now, he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man.
Jungle Pam, the greatest drag racing babe that ever lived 🏎️
In the 1970s Jungle Pam was the main reason many people got into drag racing. She was the queen of the asphalt and an inspiration to young women who wanted to get closer to the action but were just waiting for a role model.
Pam got her start with the Funny Car scene when she met “Jungle” Jim, a drag racer known for his outlandish style, when she was only 18 years old. After a chance encounter in West Chester, Pennsylvania she opted out of college and followed him into the world of drag racing.
Pam didn’t have any experience with cars but she was a quick learner. After picking up some tips from Jim she quickly became the focal point of his pit crew, men couldn’t take their eyes off her when she stepped onto the track.
The Belgium born Audrey Hepburn was appointed UNICEF ambassador after she gave up her acting career
Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s Audrey Hepburn had a brief, although fascinating film career that encompassed everything from Hitchcock’s thrillers to an iconic New York story and the tale of a young woman learning how to go from the gutter to high society.
She appealed to viewers who were into her sexy, yet quiet demeanor as well as audiences who wanted to watch a girl with brains onscreen. When Hepburn received an honor from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1991 Hepburn displayed her classic self deprecating humor while speaking with The New York Times:
If they feel the body of my work is enough to be given an evening like this, well, it's absolutely marvelous, but it's also absolutely terrifying.
Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in New York, 1960s
The coolest cats and grooviest guys from the 1960s, the Rat Pack were trendsetters and party boys in an era where anything went as long as you were wearing a sharp suit.
Notorious for their skirt chasing, booze drinking, and hell raising, the Rat Pack - Sinatra, Sammy, Dino, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford - were essentially a supergroup who performed on each other’s shows in Las Vegas throughout the ‘60s.
If one member of the Pack had a show booked it was more than likely that at least one or two members of the group would show up. They had their own drink trays on stage, they told stories about one another, and they let America into their entertainment fraternity.
The young "Austrian Oak" Arnold Schwarzenegger posing at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London in 1968
We may know him as one of the biggest box office earners of the 20th century, but long before he was a fighting predators and chasing down Sarah Connor on screen Arnold Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder competing for Mr. Universe and winning multiple years in a row.
This photo was taken at the Mr. Universe contest that was held in London in 1968 when Schwarzenegger was only 25 years old. At the time Schwarzenegger didn’t have a deutsch mark to his name and had to rely on help from a gym owner to get a plan ticket to England.
He’s come such a long way since then… movie star, governor of California, he really proves that anything is possible.
An angelic Marilyn Monroe in a pink dress, 1952 😻
There are no shortage of gorgeous Marilyn Monroe photos, but this shot of her taken by Philippe Halsman definitely takes the cake. Snapped for Life Magazine, Halsman first met Monroe when she was just another model posing for the magazine in 1949.
Their paths crossed again in 1952 when the photographer was snapping her for the cover of the magazine - she was no longer just any model. Halsman says that he was impressed wth Monroe during their second session, not by ber body but by the things in her apartment. He explained:
I drove to the outskirts of Los Angeles where she lived in a cheap two-room apartment. What impressed me in its shabby living room was the obvious striving for self-improvement. I saw a photograph of Eleanora Duse and a multitude of books that I did not expect to find there, like the works of Dostoyevsky, of Freud, the History of Fabian Socialism etc.
Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, March 1964
When Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali met in 1962 Ali was still going by the name Cassius Clay and X had no idea who he was. Clay had been famous in the boxing world for a while, but X hadn’t followed sports since he was released from prison. Even so, he was attracted to his “contagious quality.”
At the time, their friendship could have ruined Ali’s career, but by 1964 the two men were comrades in arms with X accompanying Ali to his fights, especially Ali’s championship match against Sonny Liston. While speaking with Ali, X told him that there was no other option than for him to leave the ring with the title:
It’s the Cross and the Crescent — a Christian and a Muslim facing each other with television to beam it off Telstar for the whole world to see what happens! Do you think Allah has brought about all this intending for you to leave the ring as anything but the champion?
Groovy couple from Woodstock, 1969. We've got to get back...
In 1969 Woodstock promised three days of love, peace, and music, but when a torrential downpour turned the festival grounds in upstate New York into a mud pit the whole thing could have fallen apart.
That didn’t happen. The festival’s organizers, the National Guard, and the fans at the show everything went about as smoothly as possible. It was just... you know... everything was covered in mud.
The bands showed up (even if they had to be helicoptered into the festival) they played (even if the set times were al off) and people grooved out until they couldn’t stand anymore.
"The Kiss of Life" A utility worker giving mouth-to-mouth to a co-worker after he contacted a low voltage wire, 1967
In 1967 Rocco Morabito was driving on West 26th street on his way to a photo assignment when he passed two utility workers on the pole. He thought he say something strange and double back to take some photos.
The two telephone workers were performing routine maintenance on a telephone line when Randall G. Champion accidentally touched the low voltage line. The shock knocked him out and his partner J.D. Thompson had to act fast. He immediately gave him mouth to mouth in order to save his life. Morabito says of the unique situation:
I heard screaming. I looked up and I saw this man hanging down. Oh my God. I didn’t know what to do. I took a picture right quick. J.D. Thompson was running toward the pole. I went to my car and called an ambulance. I got back to the pole and J.D. was breathing into Champion. I backed off, way off until I hit a house and I couldn’t go any farther. I took another picture. Then I heard Thompson shouting down: He’s breathing!
The colorful days of 70s fashion... look closer
The anti-bra movement goes back to the the 1968 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. Women outside the pageant burned their bras, makeup, girdles, corsets, and even mops in order to protest "enforced femininity."
Throughout the end of the ‘60s bra burnings became the norm on college campuses, but by the 1970s the movement against enforced femininity became a fashion statement.
Women stopped wearing bras on the cat walk, at dance clubs, and on the big screen. Bras were no longer a must-wear item. Initially seen as an act of defiance, the look became the norm among celebrities and regular women alike.
The Bluebird-Proteus CN7 is a gas turbine-powered vehicle that was driven by Donald Campbell and achieved the world land speed record on Lake Eyre in Australia on 17 July 1964
This insane looking car is the Bluebird-Proteus CN7, a British designed gas turbine-powered vehicle that was used to set the world land speed record on July 17, 1964 in Lake Eyre, Australia.
In order to get enough speed to break the then-current record of 394 mph, the shape of the car was incredibly important. The Bluebird-Proteus was based on the Railton Mobil Special, a car that was hitting 400 mph without a tail fin.
With the addition of a tail fin and a successful gas-turbine engine design - the Proteus 705 - the Bluebird set a land speed record of 403.1 mph.
Raquel Welch... so hot we need shades ☀️
Is there more of a groovy era sex symbol than Raquel Welch? Not in our book (and this technically is our book). Since in the 1960s Welch has been appearing on screen and seducing audiences with her sultry performances.
Her role that sticks out the most is that of a cave woman in a fur bikini in One Million Years B.C. The cinema was never the same after that look hit the big screen.
Welch isn’t necessarily the most critically acclaimed actress, but she’s always hypnotizing whenever he appears. This screen temptress has dazzled viewers in everything from Bedazzled to the Kansas City Bomber, and even Bandolero!
November 1, 1960: The reverend Vernon Mitchell visits numerous strip clubs in Soho to determine what should be censored
The seedy and sultry Soho district of London is the hidden red light district of England. After prostitutes were pushed off the street in 1959 many of them moved into members-only clubs in Soho in order to cater to people looking for something a little dangerous outside of their home.
In 1969 Reverend Vernon Mitchell toured Soho’s thriving sex venues to determine which of them should be censored. At the time there were about 200 sex clubs in London and while locals weren’t thrilled about the idea of having a red light district they also didn’t want a strict, sexless reverend telling them what they could and couldn’t do.
During his tour of Soho Reverend Mitchell watched strip shows, looked at advertising, and met with sex workers in order to determine what should and shouldn’t be censored. It’s unclear if Mitchell actually accomplished anything.
Hitchhiking was a common way of getting around town during the '60s and '70... just stick out your thumb and wait for a ride💐💐💐
Thinking about getting in a car with a random stranger today is absolute madness, but in the ‘60s and ‘70s it was a regular practice for young people across the country who wanted to see America.
Hitchhiking wasn’t just for cross country jaunts, young people were also just using the practice as a way to get across town. One young woman explained:
I used to drive my Mercedes to campus all during freshman year. What a drag! The sameness, the same, dull routine began to bug me, so I decided to thumb. Now, I drive my car about a half mile down the road and park it on a side street, so my parents don’t know. Then I start thumbing. I just stand there with my books, and I sort of nod in the right direction, and motorists stop. Every day is a fresh adventure, not a drag.
Young Brigitte Bardot visits Pablo Picasso at his studio near Cannes, 1956
While at the Cannes film festival in 1956 Brigitte Bardot paid a visit to Pablo Picasso at his studio in Vallauris. Picasso was 74 years old at the time, Bardot was only 21. Jerome Brierre from Life Magazine was in attendance at Cannes and accompanied the young star to the cubist master’s studio.
Picaso was a notorious lady’s man with a thing for younger women so Bardot was basically walking into the lion’s den. Whether Picasso wasn’t interested in her or he was on his best behavior because a photographer was there is unclear, but whatever the case we got some amazing photos out of it.
Rosa Parks & Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama circa 1955
Rosa Parks is one of the most important figures of the Civil Rights movement. While she didn’t make any fiery speeches or stand up in front of millions of people she did stand up to a racist status quo that was long overdue to be thrown out the window.
Parks was working as a seamstress in downtown Montgomery, Alabama when she stepped onto a bus on December 1, 1955. When white passengers boarded she refused to the back of the bus and was arrested.
A 13 month boycott of the city busses broke out across the city, making it one of the largest acts of black activism in the country at the time. As Parks walked to work she was joined by supporters from the Civil Rights Movement like Martin Luther King Jr.
Fidel Castro poses for a publicity photo with children wearing beards in New York City, April 24, 1959
In 1959 Fidel Castro spent time in New York City four months after taking over Cuba with his guerilla army. He tromped around the city with a PR person in tow and took the Big Apple by storm.
This photo opportunity was set up by his personal relations expert and everyone thought the entire thing was super cute - of course no one realized he was communist yet.
For the rest of his time in New York he spent time taking time holding babies, eating hot dogs, and feeding peanuts to elephants at the zoo. The good will didn't last, he was quickly one of the biggest enemies of the United States during the groovy era.
Grace Kelly stuns with her emerald eyes 💎💎
In all likelihood Grace Kelly wouldn’t have been as famous as she was if it hadn’t been for her failed audition for the movie Taxi. By all accounts her audition was disastrous, complete with a terrible Irish accent, but when John Ford saw the tape he knew she was the perfect actress to play the sexually repressed wife on safari in Mogambo.
Kelly made the most of her time on the set of Mogambo in Africa. She went hunting with Gary Cooper during down time and she ended up winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination and the Golden Globe.
She was only 24 years old and the world was at her fingertips. MGM positioned her as the anti-Marilyn Monroe, even if Kelly never saw herself that way.
Martin Luther King, Jr. with: Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Sammy Davis Jr , Polly Bergen, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Ralph Abernathy - during his 1963 visit to LA, for a civil rights rally.
On May 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. Paid a visit to Lipstick City of The Los Angeles Freedom Rally. That day he addressed close to 40,000 people at Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles making it one of the largest civil rights rallies in the country.
The Los Angeles Freedom Rally took place a solid three months before the March on Washington and it brought out celebrities like Dorothy Dandridge, Rita Moreno, Paul Newman, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dick Gregory. While giving his speech at the rally King stated, "Birmingham or Los Angeles, the cry is always the same. We want to be free."
Cruising on Van Nuys Blvd. 1972.
The 1970s were the last decade in America that cruising culture was really a thing. You know, when young drivers hung all night on their local strip, whether they were in the San Fernando Valley or central Texas.
Gas was cheap, the cars were cool, and the tunes were grooving. In many instances there was nothing else to do in town other than drive around until curfew and hang out with your friends. Photographer Rick McCloskey said:
Every town in America had a strip where kids would take their cars and go hang out whether it was only a block long - big towns, little towns, cities. It was really a thing for everybody to be involved at some point.
A young Iranian woman hits the beach, 1960s
Iran in the 1960s, following the Ayatollah Khomeini’s exile to Najaf in 1964, was the perfect melange of western culture and the old ways of the country. Visitors from America and European countries flooded the area, giving the country an influx of style that hadn’t ever been seen, it was a fascinating place to be.
Under the rule of the Shah Iran was pushed to embrace Western-oriented secular modernization and economy and educational opportunities expanded. However, the Shah was also pushing his authoritarian style of rule which lead to an all out revolution which brought an end to the embracing of western ideals culture.
Marilyn Monroe wrapped in nothing but a green towel 👀 👀
Is there anyone more beautiful than Marilyn Monroe? This blonde bombshell only had a few years in the spotlight but she made the most of them. Misunderstood from the moment she appeared onscreen, most people believed that Monroe was a ditz and only famous for her looks.
This line of thinking hurt Monroe who says that she was ignored for most of her childhood until she hit puberty. She explained how it changed her world, but not necessarily for the better:
When I was 11, the whole world was closed to me. I just felt I was on the outside of the world. Suddenly, everything opened up. Even the girls paid a little attention to me because they thought, 'Hmmm, she's to be dealt with!' And I had this long walk to school, two and a half miles [there], two and a half miles back. It was just sheer pleasure. Every fellow honked his horn, you know, workers driving to work, waving, you know, and I'd wave back. The world became friendly.
Bob Dylan, ready to change the world... New York, February 10, 1965
Taken the same year that poet, activist and folk troubadour went electric, this shot shows Dylan on the precipice of changing rock music forever and leaving his folk roots in the dust.
When he showed up at the Newport Folk Festival with a black Fender Stratocaster and a backing band in tow the audience new that something big was about to happen… and they weren’t happy about it.
According to The New York Times when Dylan took the stage and launched into an electric version of “Maggie’s Farm” the crowd started booing and supposedly folky Pete Seeger attempted to cut the sound cables with an axe. With that set Dylan changed music forever.
Presidential Candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy, talking to his brother and campaign manager, Robert F. Kennedy, in a hotel room in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention in July 1960
At the Democratic National Convention in 1960 the party had to make a choice, follow the young Senator John F. Kennedy into the breach or stick with the old guard for the upcoming presidential election.
Kennedy was squaring off with a number of elder statesmen in the Democratic Party in July 1960, but with the help of his brother Robert (who was then his campaign manager) he managed to secure the Democratic nomination.
According to photographer John Loengard, this photo was snapped in the moment that JFK told his brother who he would choose for his running mate. He explained:
I was doing a story on Bobby Kennedy. The morning after Jack was nominated, we went up to his room. The brothers talked very quietly, and Jack told Bobby he wasn’t going to choose [labor union leader] Walter Reuther for Vice President. . . . I waited outside for Bobby to come out. When he did, he was furious. We were walking back down the stairs, and Bobby was hitting his hand like this, saying ‘Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.’ You know, he really hated [Lyndon] Johnson.
Lyndon B. Johnson meeting with civil rights leaders Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Whitney Young, and James Farmer in the Oval Office in 1964
Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson inherited the fight for Civil Rights. Rather than shy away from this immense problem in America, Johnson tackled it the best that he could.
On January 18, 1964, Johnson was only two months into his presidency and he made it known that he wanted to work with Doctor King in order to pass a Civil Rights bill that Kennedy was preparing for his death. In his State of the Union address Johnson said:
No memorial or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought.
Five months after the meeting the Civil rights act was approved by the Senate.
Yoko Ono recording the album "Fly" (1971)
Yoko Ono has always been a fascinating avant-garde artist, but with “Fly” she showed a visceral side of herself that was radically different than the coquettish weirdo that she’d been presented as.
Recorded at the same time as John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the album is the soundtrack to Ono’s short film of the same name. Before the album could be released Ono had to re-record her vocals on “Open Your Box” because a managing director at EMI thought her lyrics were distasteful.
Supposedly Ono didn’t really care about the lyrics to the song, she just wanted to get the album out.
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, "The Master of Suspense"
There’s never been a genre filmmaker quite like Alfred Hitchcock. He made big, crowd pleasing films that were also technically well made, tense, and more often than not funny. As a director he had the distinctive pleasure of being a household name, something that no other director was able to attain.
His films were crafted to squeeze out the maximum amount of terror. He could build a haunting mood with an extremely distinctive style that placed haunting visuals over meticulously crafted dialogue.
However, that’s not how Hitchcock described his filmmaking. He summed up his approach to moviemaking, "Some films are slices of life, mine are slices of cake."
Astrid Kirchherr, the Woman Who First Photographed the Beatles - Self Portrait, 1960
This fascinating early selfie was snapped by Astrid Kirchherr, a German photographer who made fast friends with The Beatles while they were playing the Cavern Club in Hamburg in 1960. For a brief period of time she was engaged to Stuart Sutcliffe, the fifth Beatle.
Kirchner was responsible for some of the earliest photos of the band, thanks to her convincing the group to hang out with her at a playground where she snapped a few very important shots. She later discussed what it was like to hang out with the lads from Liverpool:
They were all so young, and I was so different. I was a few years older, I had my own flat, my own car, my own career. They hadn’t met anyone like me before. In some ways I was more like a mother figure.
L.A. river drag racing in the 1950s under the old 6th St Bridge
Drag Racing took ahold of Los Angeles after World War II, as soldiers returned to the states with money to burn and a need to regain the youth they lost in the fires of war.
They built their own cars and raced on dry lake beds, but as the underground sport picked up drag strips started to be built in order to keep racers from having to get their cars filthy in the dusty lake beds.
Every drag strip had its own specific peculiarities - whether it was in Long Beach or under the old Sixth Street bridge. It’s a time that’s lost that we’ll never get back.
The March on Washington, August 28th, 1963
On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King Jt. led the March on Washington, a huge protest that saw 250,000 people peacefully gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The march came together when King decided to merge his March for Freedom with Phillip Randolph’s march for fair treatment and equal opportunity for black Americans.
At the time President Kennedy felt that the march was ill-timed, and he was worried that the March would end in violence, to which King responded:
Frankly, I have never engaged in any direct-action movement which did not seem ill-timed.
The March went as planned and was as peaceful as can be, most famously culminating with King's "I Have A Dream" speech.
Pontiac Club de Mer (1956) 🏎️ 🏎️ 🏎️
This cool little concept car was built by Pontiac to be shown at the General Motors Motorama in 1956. That year’s theme was “futuristic design” and this car certainly looks like something that came from the space-age future that we imagined in the 1950s.
Dreamt up by GM engineer-designer, Harley Earl, the "de Mer" was a two-door sport Roadster with innovative styling that we don’t really see anymore. This rocket shaped, low-profile body never made it to production and the entire concept was scrapped in 1958.
The only model that’s known to still exists was sold at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction for $75,000.
Joan Henrietta Collins (born 23 May 1933) is an English actress, author, and columnist. She made her stage debut at the age of nine, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, entered British films in 1951 and went to Hollywood under contract to 20th Century Fox in 1955
Joan Collins has been entrenched in Hollywood for nearly three quarters of a century. She’s an author, actor, and fashion plate, and she’s never seen without any of her over the top outfits.
Collins turned her style of “too much” into an iconic persona, something that she decided on when she was cast in Dynasty. She told close friend Tom Ford:
When Dynasty started, Nolan Miller said, ‘I think we’re going to put you in this little tweed suit with a pussycat bow.’ I said, ‘No way! Do you know what Pierre Cardin and Yves Saint Laurent are doing in Paris right now? They’re doing nipped-in waists and big shoulders. They’re doing big hair, big earrings.’ That’s what I wanted to do. So I talked to Aaron Spelling, and he said, ‘Well, that’s not how our leading ladies work in TV’ —because he did Charlie’s Angels when they were all in little silk shirts and pants.
George & Barbara Bush in 1966, celebrating George's election to the House of Representatives
Long before he was the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush was on the fast track to take the highest office in the land. He served as a pilot in the Navy during World War II and during that time he married Barbara Pierce on January 6, 1945.
Following his time in the Navy Bush attended Yale University and after nearly 20 years in the oil industry he set his sights on a life in politics. He ran for Senate in Texas in 1964 and lost by about 300,000 votes.
In 1966 he ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Houston's Seventh district and won with more than 50 percent of the vote. This was the beginning of his rise in the world of politics.
New Zealand born war correspondent, Kate Webb. She was captured by the Viet Cong in 1971 and managed to survive
We often think of war reporters as brusque men chomping on cigars and zipping up into their flack jackets, but during the Vietnam War Kate Webb served as a reporter for United Press International and was one of the few female war correspondents to imbed themselves with soldiers.
While working as a cub reporter for the Sydney Daily Mirror Webb traveled to to Saigon in 1967 where she said that se’d work for UPI as a freelance reporter. In 1971 she was captured by North Vietnamese forces and believed to have been killed.
After 23 days as a captive of the North Vietnamese she emerged from the jungle with a deeper understanding of the military. Webb wrote about her terrifying experience in 1972’s On the Other Side: 23 Days with the Viet Cong.
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy on location in full costume before or between scenes look at Mad Magazine issue #115 from December 1967. This issue contained the parody of TOS Star Trek entitled "Star Blecch."
Even though it only ran for three seasons, the original series of Star Trek was a cultural touchstone for regular television viewers and nerds alike. Star Trek was so beloved that it was the focus of Mad Magazine issue #115 from December 1967.
It’s likely that the photo was taken during the filming of “A Private Little War,” and the issue featured a parody of the show titled “Star Blecch.”
The Star Trek parody is a clever riff on the series that saw the cast traveling to a planet called Rama IV that’s about to explode. The story ends with the starship “Boobyprize” going back in time by going back in time by flying backwards around the sun.
President Lyndon B. Johnson and a turkey presented to him in the Fish Room of the White House - November 16, 1967
In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson was presented with a turkey byt Senator Everett Dirksen and representatives from the poultry industry and farm organizations. The turkey had a sign around its neck reading “Good Eating Mr. President.”
It’s not clear if President Johnson decided to lean into the suggestion that he pluck, cook, and carve the turkey presented to him from the poultry industry.
Initially known as the Roosevelt Room, it became known as “the fish room” because of the President’s penchant for keeping his aquariums in the space, which is honestly the last thing you would think a president would do.
Contortionist Diana Gaye in her sitting room, putting a record on 👀
Is there anything more mind boggling that a saucy contortionist like this? Obviously there’s no way that she spends all day moving around like a circus character, but moves like this make the mind wander…
The kind of practice and resolve that it takes to become a master contortionist, which she obviously is, takes up your entire life and can cause major injuries if you’re not careful.
Of course once someone gets so good at twisting and turning like this that they’ve just got to show off. There's nothing wrong with that, especially when showing off looks just like this...
James Dean, November 23, 1954. Photograph by Maurice Terrel
Even decades after his death and career that was far too short James Dean continues to inspire the worlds of fashion and performance with his groundbreaking style and the way he turned every role into an entire meal.
In just three films and a few minor television roles Dean became a Hollywood icon, something that feels unfathomable in this day and age. Today, Dean is synonymous with teenage rebellion and angst, but he was just a quiet young man from Fairmount, Indiana.
Thanks to his performances in East of Eden and Rebel Without A Cause Dean gave audiences everything he had… we’ll never forget him.
Paul McCartney cutting the cheese, he became a vegetarian in 1975
Paul McCartney is easily one of the most famous people ever, and along with the rest of the Beatles he basically created the modern pop song. He’s also helped shine a light on vegetarianism and veganism.
McCartney says that he was inspired to go vegetarian by his deceased wife Linda, who he says told him to think outside the box when he came to eating.
I think it’s always good to question norms. I remember saying, just a minute, just because I’ve always eaten meat and two veg, all my life, do I have to stay like that? I found it was really great to open myself up and say, I can change, there is no harm in that, or as Linda used to say, ‘It’s allowed.’ I loved that. That was one of her great sayings.
Marilyn Monroe rehearsing on set
Even today, Marilyn Monroe is considered to be one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. She did everything she could to seduce the audience while on the silver screen and even though we lost her decades ago she’s still affecting us today.
There were always rumors about Monroe’s dating life (she had an appetite for presidents, playwrights, and baseball players) but when asked about her her romantic schedule in Motion Picture Magazine in January 1954 she explained that she didn’t really have the time to date:
When I'm working in a picture I have no time to go out. Besides, I don't think in terms of dates per week, that's silly. If someone asks me to go out, and I find his company enjoyable, I go out with them. If not then I'd rather stay home.
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1966)
He may have been a country rebel and musical outlaw, but Johnny Cash never actually served time in prison. This may come as a shock to fans of Cash because, well, he was out of his mind on booze and pills for decades.
Still, the only time that Cash “served” was when he performed in Folsom Prison for his album At Folsom Prison.
On January 13th, 1968, Cash showed up dressed ion solid black and tore through a set crystalized Cash’s image as a honky tonk outlaw who shot a man in Reno just to watch him bleed. Cash said of the performance:
I was about as relaxed as a bug in a Roach Motel, being still new to the business of getting up on stage in front of people without a bloodstream full of drugs. But once we were into it, that was one good show.
The stunning Liz Taylor strikes a pose on the set of "Giant"
Elizabeth Taylor has always a stunning beauty and in Giant from 1956 she became one of the most sought after actresses on the planet.
In the film she’s caught in between Rock Hudson and James Dean, something that made audiences wonder whether or not the three were carrying on a love affair on set. She told Rolling Stone that it wasn’t so:
It’s funny. I was very connected to both Rock and Jimmy, but they had no personal connection at all. I was very connected to them — but it was like on the left side and the right side. One on each side, I was in the middle, and it just would be like a matter of shifting my weight. I’d bounce from one to the other with total ease. And I’m glad it shows in the film, I hadn’t even thought of it that way.
Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas following the assassination of JFK
On November 22, 1963, America watched on in horror as President Kennedy was assassinated in the middle of his trip to Dallas. Only two hours and eight minutes after one of the most shocking moments in American history Lyndon Johnson was sworn into the presidency aboard Air Force One at Love Field Airport.
Aside from transporting Johnson, Jacqueline Kennedy, and the President’s staff it also held the former President Kennedy’s remains. In a few short hours Johnson had ascended to the highest office in the land.
It's a horrible way to get the job you want, it must have weighed heavily on President Johnson.
The Dick Van Dyke Show was based on the life of writer of Carl Reiner
Even though The Dick Van Dyke Show only ran from 1961 to 1966, the CBS sitcom helped usher in a new era of television by straddling the line of the more vaudeville influenced shows of the 1950s and the more social issue inclined sitcoms of the 1970s.
The series took a deep look at the leisure-class of the era and was mostly pulled directly from the life of Carl Reiner. The series referenced iconic art films of the era and it took pieces of Reiner’s life - specifically his time writing for Sid Caesar and turned it into comedy gold.
Big Jay McNeely Driving the Crowd at the Olympic Auditorium into a Frenzy, Los Angeles, 1953
The “King of the Honkers,” Big Jay McNeely was a down and dirty tenor saxophone player whose onstage performances in the 1940s helped create the sensibility of early rock n’ roll.
McNeely was a post-bop saxophonist who bailed on jazz to dive into the world of rhythm and blues, his work helped turn the saxophone into the go to instrument of wild soloists in early rock n’ roll, it the guitar took the back seat.
He was known for whipping his audiences into a fervor with his performances while playing out insanely loud notes while he was kicking his legs and lying on his back.
Grace Kelly, actress-turned-princess. She married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956
After leaving her career as an actress to live as a the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly found herself in the midst of a life she never knew was possible. She was a real deal princess, complete with a castle and a royal family.
Her life went from movie sets and memorizing lines to royal galas and state dinners with families across Europe. It wasn’t her lost career that she was upset about after becoming a princess, it was the fact that her children weren’t able to live a normal life. She told Image:
They are different whether they like it or not and, of course, they used to hate being different. When they went to school here in Monaco they wanted to be like all the other children. But they couldn't be the same and we have had to bring them up to be aware of their duties. And perhaps you could say for this reason I have had to be a little sterner than the average mother.
Viet Cong recon troops in Quang Tri, 1970 by Đoàn Công Tính
At the onset of the Vietnam War there were 280,000 members of the Viet Cong fighting against the 385,500 American troops fighting in the war. The VC were consistently outgunned and outmanned, but their knowledge of local terrain and their penchant for taking the Americans by surprise helped them keep the Vietnam War firmly in their pockets.
The Viet Cong were ever able to match American firepower but their use of surprise kept US forces on their toes. They dug tunnels onducted hit-and-run attacks and fought so close to the GIs that American forces weren’t able to call in air support. Their actions helped turn the Vietnam War into a depressing stalemate.
Cyclists Jan Janssen, Dick Enthoven, Ab Geldermans and Huub Zilverberg standing at the start of an etappe of Tour de France 1963
The 1963 Tour de France was the 50th instance of this iconic bicycle race that took place between June 23 and July 14. The entire route covered a distance of 4,138 km.
That year were were 130 riders split into 13 teams, and many of them were some of the first athletes to work in sponsorships to their uniforms.
At the end of the race Jacques Anquetil took home his third Tour title in a row on July 14th 1963 when the race ended in Paris on Bastille Day. It’s unclear where any of the fellows in this photo ended up in the race.
Ringo Starr cutting a fine figure in a recording studio
Out of all the Beatles Ringo has always been a fan favorite. Maybe it’s because he didn’t get as much press as John and Paul, or maybe it’s just his hound dog eyes. Either way, there’s always been something special about Richard Starkey.
Even John Lennon knew that Ringo was special, before his death he recorded a demo of a song called “Grow Old With Me” that he meant for Ringo to record. Ringo told GQ how emotional he felt when he heard that Lennon penned a song for him:
At the beginning [of the demo, you can hear John say], ‘Oh, this would be good for Richard Starkey... this would be great for you, Ring!’ When I first heard that, I did get a little emotional to hear his voice mentioning my name, because I’m an emotional guy. Anyway, he recorded all the other tracks, but this track he hadn’t recorded. He’d done a demo, that’s all and I had never heard of the song, and had no awareness of it at all. But I thought that it was a beautiful song.