The Most Rare Historical Photos


Even if you consider yourself a history buff, when you see these rare photos from history you may realize you know less than you think. These unique historic photos show a completely different side to stories you may already know.
And the story behind them! Take a look at the most iconic photos of history.

A boxing match on board the USS Oregon in 1897.


albert einstein.

Albert Einstein looking fabulous.


albert einstein's diploma

Here's his report card.


real samurai

Samurai taken between 1860 and 1880.


A shell shocked reindeer looks on as World War II planes drop bombs on Russia in 1941.


disney brothers, wives and mom when they opened the studio

Roy O. and Walt Disney on the day they opened Disney Studios.


che guevara.

Che Guevara.


microsoft staff photo 1978

The Microsoft staff in 1978.


The last known Tasmanian Tiger photographed in 1933.  The species is now extinct.


tank man tiananmen square

A different angle taken of "Tank Man," the man who stood against a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square.

He is standing in the street between the tree trunk and the fleeing man. You can see the tanks approaching from the right.

winston churchill.

Winston Churchill out for a swim.


The London sky following a bombing and dogfight between British and German planes in 1940.


martin luther king and his son
Martin Luther King, Jr removes a burned cross from his yard in 1960. The boy is his son.

google start

Google begins.


Nagasaki, 20 minutes after the atomic bombing in 1945.


native railroad overlook

A Native American overlooking the newly completed transcontinental railroad in 1868.


great fire and earthquake in san francisco – april 18th, 1906

The Great San Francisco Fire and Earthquake of 1906.


A Japanese plane is shot down during the Battle of Saipan in 1944.


mcdonald's ronald 1963
The original Ronald McDonald - played by Willard Scott!

Hitler in Paris.


halifax airport plane

Grounded aircraft on September 11, 2001 await orders.


British SAS back from a three month long patrol of North Africa, January 18, 1943.


disney cafeteria

Disneyland employee cafeteria in 1961.


first mcdonalds

The first McDonalds.


Fidel Castro lays a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.


lumberjacks in california
lumberjacks in california

California lumberjacks work on Redwoods.


beatles at the age of 15
franz ferdinand with his wife

Archduke Franz Ferdinand with his wife on the day they were assassinated in 1914, an event that helped spark World War I.


The 1912 World Series.


hilary and bill clinton

Bill and Hillary Clinton playing volleyball in 1975.


elves presley in the army

Elvis in the Army.


machu picchu discovery

The first photo following the discovery of Machu Pichu in 1912.


Child laborers in 1880.


time square approx. 1911

New York's Times Square in 1911.



Construction of Christ the Redeemer in Rio da Janeiro, Brazil.


mississippi steamboats

Steamboats on the Mississippi River in 1907.


Leo Tolstoy tells a story to his grandchildren in 1909.


the beatles and muhammad ali

The Beatles meet Muhammad Ali.


disneyland construction

The construction of Disneyland.


arnold schawrzenegger on the day of citizenship

Arnold Schwarzenegger on the day he received his American citizenship.


Fourteen year-old Osama bin Laden.  He's second from the right.


construction of the statue of liberty 1884

Construction of the Statue of Liberty in 1884.


albert einstein's desk on the day of his death

Albert Einstein's office, photographed on the day of his death.


fly through the arc de triomphe

Charles Godefroy flies his biplane through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on August 7th, 1919.


A liberated Jew holds a Nazi at gunpoint.


manhattan bridge construction 1908

Construction of the Manhattan Bridge in 1908.


eiffel tower being built

Construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1888.


construction of the berlin wallConstruction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

Titanic leaves port in 1912.


a ticket for the titanicAn actual Titanic boarding pass.

last photo ever taken of the titanic

This is believed to be the last picture taken of Titanic before her sinking.


hitlers pants after assasination attempt

Adolf Hitler's pants after the failed assassination attempt at Wolf's Lair in 1944.


first computer ever made

The ENIAC, the first computer ever built.


jfk and caroline kennedy have a tea party

John F. Kennedy has a tea party with his daughter, Caroline.


Brighton Swimming Club in 1863.  I'm assuming the top hats are not part of their everyday swimwear.


ferdinand porsche showcasing beetle

Ferdinand Porsche (yes, THAT Porsche) showcasing the Volkswagen Beetle to Adolf Hitler in 1935.


king tut's unbroken tomb seal

The unbroken seal on King Tut's tomb.


mussolinini headquarters in rome

The headquarters of Benito Musolini and the Italian Fascist party taken in Rome in 1930.


Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke’s family photo left behind on the moon in 1972.


apollo 1 rehearsing water landing

The crew of Apollo 1 rehearsing their water landing in 1966.
Sadly, all three astronauts were killed on the launch pad in a fire.


first wal-mart

The first Wal-Mart.


buzz aldrin 1969

Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin after walking on the moon's surface.


Mount Rushmore as it appeared in its more natural state.


joseph stalin goofing around

Stalin goofing around.


henry ford and thomas edison chilling

Henry Ford (the founder of Ford Motor Co.), Thomas Edison (inventor of the phonograph, motion picture camera and the practical light bulb), Warren G. Harding (29th president of USA) and Harvey Samuel Firestone (founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.) lounging together.


hitler at age 11

Eleven year-old Adolf Hitler.


A view of Boston in 1860 taken from a hot air balloon.


papa pio xii and hitler

Pope Pio XII meets with Hitler.


hitlers bunker

Hitler's bunker.



The cast and creator of Star Trek stand in front of the first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, in 1979.


Bread and soup during the Great Depression.


now extinct quagga

The only photograph of a living Quagga from 1870.  This species is now extinct.


German air raid on Moscow in 1941.


f4u corsair crashes

A crash on board an aircraft carrier sometime during World War II.


Dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989.


first photo of space

The first photo taken in space from 1946.


An airman being captured by Vietnamese civilians in Truc Bach Lake, Hanoi in 1967 The airman is John McCain.


general george s pattons dog on the day of his death

George S. Patton's dog mourning his lost master on this day of his death.


lt. custer and his troops in 1862

General Custer and his men during the American Civil War.


manfred von richthofen and his dog

Manfred von Richthofen, aka “The Red Baron”, petting his dog on an airfield.