25 powerful photos that capture the dark side of US history

Over America’s long history, some tales inevitably become more prominent, while others fade into the background, overlooked or deliberately ignored, despite their significance.

This selective memory can often leave darker chapters of history hidden from view. These moments, though uncomfortable, are crucial for understanding our past.

Dorothy Counts, the first African American student at Harry Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, is mocked on her way to school on September 4, 1957.

The Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago displays the dog tags of 58,307 US soldiers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.

In 1948, George McLaurin became the first African-American student to be accepted at the University of Oklahoma, where he was segregated from white students and required to sit separately.

In April 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. and his son were seen removing a charred cross from the front yard of their Atlanta residence.

On May 10, 1945, a Japanese family made their way back to their home in Seattle, Washington, after being released from an internment camp in Hunt, Idaho.

Harold Edgerton’s rapatronic camera, with a shutter speed of one-hundred-millionth of a second, captured an instant (30 milliseconds) of a nuclear test detonation during the 1950s.

In 1922, women and girls employed to apply radium paint received neither protective measures nor warnings about its dangers.

Drinking fountain designated for African-Americans in the mid-20th century.

In 1953, swimmers at a Las Vegas motel observed the explosion of an atomic bomb.

In 1935, a dust storm nears Stratford, TX, located in the Dust Bowl.

Bell UH-1D Iroquois (“Huey”) helicopters of the American military in operation over My Lai, South Vietnam, during the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968. Captured by Ronald S. Haeberle.

Emmett Till’s mournful mother is held back by friends as her son’s casket is lowered.

Protesters grieve the loss of lives in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, 1911.

A young worker at the Globe Cotton Mill in Augusta, Georgia, captured in January 1909.

Japanese Americans wait in line to be relocated to an internment camp.

Doctor drawing blood from a patient as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

Chinese railroad laborers who worked under brutal conditions.

Child workers at a textile mill in Newberry, South Carolina, photographed in December 1908.

Tenement lodging in the 19th century.

Protesting against segregation.

Pin-boys working at the Arcade Bowling Alley in Trenton, New Jersey, often working past midnight.

A young driver in the Brown Mine in Brown, West Virginia, in September of 1908.

Citizens of Seattle watch from a bridge as Japanese Americans are evacuated to internment camps. 1942. 

During the 1950s in segregated Tennessee, the Memphis Zoo designated Thursdays as the only day African Americans were permitted entry.

A mugshot taken of Martin Luther King Jr. after his 1963 arrest in Birmingham for participating in anti-segregation protests.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top