Just think of all of the amazing things you have been a witness to throughout history. Now, think of all of the things other people you know have seen. It’s a lot of ground to cover, when it comes to memories. But then, if you want to realize just how small you are in the grand scheme of things, think of all of the awesome events throughout history you haven’t seen, didn’t know about and probably wouldn’t have known about… until now.
These historic photo opportunities happened in the blink of an eye, but someone was lucky enough to capture it on film. They’re touching, enlightening, and heartbreaking all at once.
1. NASA scientists in 1961.
2. German children playing with stacks of money during the hyperinflation period of the Weimar Republic, 1922.
3. A German soldier balancing on a trained horse in 1935.
4. Einstein on the beach.
5. The Punt Gun, which was able to shoot over a pound of ammunition in a single shot and deplete stocks of waterfowl. It was banned in 1860.
6. A grotto in an iceberg as seen during the British Antarctic Expedition, January 5, 1911.
7. Joseph Stalin’s record from the Tsarist Secret Police in 1911.
8. The unbroken seal on Tutankhamun’s tomb, 1922 (after being untouched for 3,245 years).
9. 1944 renderings by the U.S. government of possible disguises Hitler might attempt.
10. The last known photo of the Titanic.
11. General Ambrose Burnside, the Civil War commander whose unusual facial hairstyle gave sideburns their name.
12. Nikola Tesla sitting in the laboratory with his magnifying transmitter.
13. Painting the Eiffel Tower, 1932.
14. A man refusing to join the Nazi salute in 1936.
15. The poignant face of a soldier in Vietnam, 1965.
16. A utility worker giving mouth-to-mouth to a coworker after he contacted a high-voltage wire in 1967.
17. The testing of a bulletproof vest in 1923.
18. Ducklings being used in medical therapy, 1956.
19. The crowded and happy ship bringing back troops to New York Harbor after V-Day in 1945.
20. An Austrian boy getting a new pair of shoes during World War II.
21. Portrait of hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk before face masks became standard in 1966.
22. Nazi soldiers react as they are forced to watch footage from concentration camps.
23. Women were not allowed to run the Boston Marathon in 1967. Kathrine Switzer dodged that rule and became the first woman to finish despite organizers trying to stop her.
24. Sweden switched to driving on the right side of the road in 1967. This was the result on the first morning.
25. Needless to say, it took them a while to get used to it.
26. A Catholic woman and her protestant husband laid to rest in Holland, 1888.
27. The iceberg that sunk the Titanic in 1912.
28. Seventeen-year-old assassin using a traditional Japanese blade to kill socialist politician Asanuma in Tokyo, 1960.
29. Not a hatless head in this crowd of New Yorkers in 1939.
30. The first bananas arriving in Norway in 1905.
31. A 106-year-old Armenian woman guards her home in 1990.
32. The USS Galena in 1862 showing battle damage.
33. Young German communist being executed in 1919.
34. Adolf Hitler spotted in a crowd cheering on the start of World War I in 1914.
35. Children showing the blatant class divide of pre-war Britain in 1937.
36. Nazis singing to encourage people to follow their boycott of Jewish shops in 1933.
37. Nazi SS troops lounging outside of the Olympic Games in Berlin, 1936.
38. SS troops taking a loyalty oath in Munich, 1938.
39. Hitler’s personal bodyguards in Berlin, 1938.
40. Applause and salutes for Hitler after Germany successfully annexed Austria in 1938.
41. Another angle, and in color.
42. A frozen Soviet fighter propped up by Finnish soldiers to serve as psychological warfare against the invading Soviets.
43. A Jewish woman in Austria sitting on a bench marked “Only for Jews.”
44. An off-the-cuff picture of Stalin.
45. Joseph Stalin (right) and his body double Felix Dadaev (left).
46. Stalin’s son Yakov Dzhugashvili being captured by the Germans in 1941. He was later killed in a prison camp.
47. A German soldier sharing some of his food with a local Russian mother.
48. Mass of melted nuclear fuel in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
49. About to be executed by the Finns, this Russian spy laughed.
50. Color photo of Simone Segouin.
51. A Frenchman cries during the Nazi occupation in 1940.
52. Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces during the battle of Shanghai, 1937.
53. German Einsatzgruppen (death squads) execute Ukrainians Jews in 1942.
54. German soldiers marching on Stalingrad, 1942.
55. Nazi soldiers getting ready for an assault in Stalingrad in 1942.
56. Using a flamethrower to light a cigarette. The German army employed flamethrowers on the Eastern Front during the war.
57. German POW being escorted after the Soviet victory in Stalingrad.
58. 57,000 German prisoners marching to Moscow in 1944 after their defeat in Belarus.
59. German prisoners packed into a prison camp.
60. Simone Segouin, an 18-year-old French Résistance fighter during the war.
61. Joseph Goebbels and a young German recruit in 1945.
62. Allied soldiers mock Hitler from the balcony of the Reich Chancellery in 1945.
63. The ruins of Dresden after WWII.
64. The remains of Soviet astronaut Vladimir Komarov after his space capsule crashed on reentry.
65. Fidel Castro smoking a cigar and wearing two Rolex watches during a meeting at the Kremlin, 1963.
66. Female IRA fighter showing off her assault rifle in the 1970s.
67. Margret Thatcher with British troops after the surrender of Argentina in the Falklands War.
These shots have a way of humanizing history. They remind us that much of this happened a few short decades ago. Teach your kids about these moments and make sure that they’re not forgotten, or else history may repeat itself.