50+ Must-See Moments In History

Last updated on November 10th, 2023 at 06:46 am

No one can predict the future, but we can better understand the present by looking back at history. 

Here are 100 must-see historical moments – significant events that have shaped our world. From wars and revolutions to scientific discoveries and technological innovations, these are some of the most important moments in human progress. 

Whether you’re a history buff or want to learn more about our fascinating past, check out this list!

A protestant husband and his catholic wife were not allowed to be buried together. Here are their headstones reaching across the two cemeteries in 1888.

Demonstrating how bulletproof vests work, 1923.

A family poses with their covered wagon in Kansas, 1908.

Building the hand and torch of the Statue of Liberty, Paris, 1876.

The tallest man to ever live, Robert Wadlow, poses with his family in 1935.

Workers building the Empire State building, c. 1930s

Two women, minutes after voting, London, 1929.

Mother and son pose for a photo, Ireland, 1890.

Henry Ford in the first car he ever built, 1896.

Two newsies, New York, 1896.

The absolutely massive chain for the Titanic’s anchor, c. 1909.

A woman plays a piano designed for people undergoing bedrest, 1935.

A photo by Berenice Abbot of a woman wiring an IBM computer, 1948.

A man repairs the antenna on the World Trade Center, NYC, 1979. Photo by Peter Kaplan.

Bottling ketchup at the Heinz factory, Pittsburgh, 1897

A meeting of the Mickey Mouse Club, California, c. 1930.

The Great Blizzard of 1888, New York City

A WWI-era German submarine washed ashore in Hasting, England, in 1919.

The intact seal on Tutankhamun’s Tomb, 1922. It went untouched for 3,424 years.

Lumberjacks take a photo with a Douglas fir tree, Washington, 1899.

A woman is ticketed for wearing a bikini, 1957.

The employee cafeteria at Disneyland, 1961.

An unknown soldier, Vietnam, 1965

An Austrian child gets new shoes during WWI

Painting the Eiffel tower, 1932.

A girl tries to get a reaction from a royal guard. Stockholm, Sweden, 1970s.

Audrey Hepburn with her pet deer, 1958.

A hippie sells flowers on the road, Oklahoma, 1973.

An East German soldier sneaks a little boy across the Berlin Wall, 1961.

Wojtek the bear, who fought in WW2.

“No dog biscuits today,” London, 1940s

Mom contains her baby with a trashcan while she crochets, 1969.

Mobsters hide from the camera during Al Capone’s trial, 1931.

Protesting against low pay for teachers, 1930

People stop to watch the “Seinfeld” finale in Times Square in 1998. Photo by Ken Murray.

Samurai pose in front of the Sphinx, 1864.

Monet with his wife Alice, 1908

Protesting in Miami Beach, Florida, 1980s.

Archaeologists dine in the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses XI, 1923

Selling lemonade with a portable dispenser, Berlin, 1931.

A young Elvis with his parents, 1937.

Louis Armstrong plays for his wife in front of the Great Sphinx, 1961.

Loggers pose with a massive redwood, 1892.

Blackfoot tribe in Glacier National Park, 1913

The Titanic docked at Southampton, 1912.

Collecting golf balls, 1920s

Teaching the physics of surfing, California, 1970s.

Young German soldier after being captured, 1945. Getty Images

Lenin giving a speech in Moscow, 1920

Samurai in full armor and sword, c. 1860.

Photo of an ironworker during construction of the Columbia Tower, Seattle, 1984.
After Randall Champion touched a high-voltage line, electrocuting himself and stopping his heart, J.D. Thompson gave him CPR until help arrived, allowing Champion to survive. “The Kiss of Life.” (1967) by Rocco Morabito.

Three-year-old Robert Quigley smoking a cigar, 1928. Photo by Henry Miller

A father searches for his two sons who went missing during the Kosovo war in 1999.

Windows on the World. Restaurant on the top of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, 1976. Photo by Ezra Stoller

Disco Granny, a regular fixture at Studio 54.

A 17-year-old Fidel Castro playing basketball, 1943.

A baby cage, initially named a “health cage”, was essentially a bed encased in wire, dangling from the windows of city apartments.

During World War II, Steinway & Sons air-dropped pianos with large parachutes and complete tuning instructions into the battle for the American troops.

Anne Frank photographed with her sister Margot at the beach in Zandvoort, Netherlands, in 1940.

This photo from 1902 shows French knife grinders. They would work on their stomachs in order to save their backs from being hunched all day.

Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi (1915 – 1997) is emotionally overcome on his return to Tokyo on February 2nd, 1972.

The photo, taken by Irving Penn in 1947, shows Peter Freuchen, a Danish adventurer, writer, and scientist.

Captain Lewis Nixon of Easy Company, suffering a hangover after celebrating V-E Day in 1945.

Te Statue of Liberty as seen from the torch.

Three soldiers who lost their left leg in the New Georgia Campaign exercise the stump of their legs in preparation for using artificial limbs. McCloskey General Hospital, Texas, January 1944.

A young man unphased by his arrest for growing marijuana, 1970s.

This is the first image captured of Chernobyl, taken 14 hours after the explosion on April 26, 1986.

The old Cincinnati library before it was demolished.

Two Maori Women. New Zealand, 1902.

Cats drinking milk straight from the source. 1954.

Joe Biden withdraws from the 1988 presidential election

Father and son take silly photos, 1910s.

Flattening hills to build Seattle

Robert McGee, who was scalped as a child. 1890.

Anita Bryant after receiving a pie to the face, 1977.

A man records a concert in Poland, 1980s.

Princeton students after a snowball fight, 1893.

Gerald Ford plays Soccer with Pele, 1975.

The Endurance trapped in ice, 1915.

Prototype spacesuit for the Apollo mission. 1962.

Soviet Cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev, who was stuck in space for 311 days, 1991

The Twin Towers from a wheat field in Manhattan.

Workers lay wooden pipes in Lewsiton, Idaho. 1891.

Working at the top of the New York skyline, 1925.

Niagara Falls frozen over, 1911.

Massive organ pipe cactus. Baja California, 1895.

A NYC trolley rolls in a snowstorm, 1910.

A Zebra drawn carriage, Buckingham Palace, 1900.

Wife of a coal miner and their three of their children, 1938.

Device to detect aircraft before radar.

Children saluting the flag at school, c. 1890.

Leo Tolstoy tells a story to his grandchildren, 1909.

Flappers pose with a car, 1920s.

Portrait of a young girl, 1863.

A young girl rides her tricycle, 1927.

Two sisters pose for a photo, 1950s.

Los Angeles drive-in, 1932.

Taking a joyride in the 1920s.

Posing for a photo with a car, c. 1920.

Jack’s Saloon in Arkansas, 1935

New Year’s Eve 1904

Beach day, 1930s

A boy’s first television experience, 1948.

A mom and her daughter, c. 1905.

An old school band

A young couple, 1920s

Two best friends c. 1925.

High school girls in auto mechanics class, 1927.

A family has a picnic on the side of the road, c. 1915.

Friends pose for a photo, 1920s

1920s New York

Iconic 1970s haircuts

A young boy and his cat.

Georgia Holt, Cher’s mother, c.1950s

Sorority sisters, University of Texas, 1944

Bob Marley’s wedding day, 1966.

Hippies hitchhiking.

1900s military bicycle with spring wheels.

A teenager attends an Elvis Presley concert 1957.

Wyatt Earp poses for a photo at his home in Los Angeles, 1927.

Two Boys in London, c. 1902.

Opening ceremonies of the Moscow Olympics 1980.

Train in Syracuse, NY, 1936.

Cats wait for the fisherman to return, Istanbul, 1970s

Drinking a glass of Belgian beer, 1971

An Inuit girl with her dog, 1949.

Riding a rocket scooter. 1931

Jean Bugatti poses with his Bugatti Royale, one of seven built, 1932.

A young couple in 1955.

Electric bathtub, 1910.

Nellie and Annie Lyons

Albert Einstein as a boy, 1884.

B-17 gunner.

Learning to swim, 1920s.

Miners in Brazil, 1980s

Taking a phone call.

1895 Crescent haircut.

Boeing 747 – Economy seats in 1970.

The future Beatles in 1957. George is 14, John is 16 and Paul is 15.

The shark from Jaws.

The last four couple of a Chicago dance marathon, 1930s.

One of the last known photos of the RMS Titanic, 1912.

A farmer’s son plays on one of the large soil drifts of the “Dust Bowl,” 1936.

A young woman operates a compressed-air grinder during WW2

A ghostly image of a boat from 1900.

A man poses on the first cables during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, 1935

The Los Angeles Public Library Bookmobile program for the sick, 1928.

A mailman delivers Christmas mail. Chicago, USA, 1929.

Women drink coffee at a cafe, Paris, 1925.

Women have tea, New Zealand, 1890.

The first known documented wheelie, 1936.

America’s first female traffic cop, 1918

Talking on a hand crank telephone, 1900s.

A miners’ boardinghouse, California, 1860s.

Former coal miner, now blind, and his son. Washington County, Missouri, 1939.

A family and their newly-built log cabin, Kentucky, 1914.

Drunk women fighting on a rooftop. London, 1902.

Combine driver threshing oats, 1940.

A Native American man sends smoke signals in Montana, June 1909.

A Barbershop, 1869.

A couple with their Buick, California, 1930.

James and Amelia, Texas, 1867.

Portrait of a man in a wheelchair taken in front of Western Hotel, California, July 4, 1889.

Two young women delivering ice, 1918.

Kids share a laugh in Nebraska, 1910.

A Coke delivery truck, Knoxville, 1909.

A Chippewa Indian named John Smith who lived in the woods near Cass Lake, Minnesota claimed to be 137 years old before he died in 1922. Photo taken in 1915

A man changes a Model T Coupe’s flat tire, 1927.

Two men from the early 1900s. Lincoln Nebraska

Two kids go fishing, texas, 1925.

A bike club, 1885.

Facade of department store with five floors covered in coats.

Check out the ingredients of a cough syrup manufactured in Baltimore back in 1888

A saloon that gave children their own child-size beers, Wisconsin, 1890.

Portrait of a young grumpy girl, 1850s

Easter, 1926

Cow shoes used by Moonshiners during Prohibition.

Willard Scott, the original Ronald McDonald, 1963.

Kids posing with largest log cabin in Portland, Oregon, USA, 1938. It was built in 1905 and later burned down In 1964.

The Great Blizzard of 1888, New York City

Photo of the train wreck at Montparnasse Station in Paris, France, 1895.

Brighton Beach life guard, New York, 1906.

A French man tries Coca-Cola for the first time in 1950.

Giant snowman, Aberdeen, Scotland, 1963.

A Lithuanian book smuggler, 1800s.

A napping kitty, 1930. Photo by Alton Blackington.

Anne Frank outside her father’s company, 1935.

Inuit mother and her child, Alaska, 1927.

Marilyn Monroe performs onstage during the Korean War, 1954.

Tourists have tea on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza, 1938.

A young Kim Jung-Un, 1990s.

Lacemakers in France, 1920.

Jimmy Carter with his sons on his peanut farm, 1960.

Kids play on piled-up mattresses, England, 1981.

Young Stalin in Prison, 1910.

Children forced to pray at a residential school, Canada.

A British blacksmith takes the leg irons off a slave, 1907.

A young Serbian soldier naps with his visiting father at the front line, 1914/1915.

The “Happiest Man in China,” 1901.

The wreck of U-118, a German U-boat , 1919.

A Japanese battleship serving as one of the target ships during atomic testing at Bikini Atoll in 1946.

Alfred Hitchcock and MGM’s Leo the Lion, 1958.

Franco and Kissinger, 1973.

Babies sleep outside in Moscow, 1958. This practice is thought to boost their immune system.

A woman cuts her birthday cake in Iran, 1973

Into the Jaws of Death, 6th of June, 1944

New Yorkers stop to watch Seinfeld’s finale, Times Square, 1998 

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