Most Powerful Historical Photos Ever Discovered

Circus Elephant Being Transported in the Early 1930's

Established way back in 1871, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was an American traveling circus company billed as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’; largely due to weakening attendance and high operating costs, the circus closed on May 21, 2017, after 146 years in existence. Still, the circus remains a fixture in the US and beyond, and elephants have long been an integral part of the experience – this picture depicts the transportation of a circus elephant in the early 1930’s.

The Most Beautiful Suicide 

Bookkeeper Evelyn Mchale Leaps to Her Death from the 86th Floor Observation Deck of the Empire State Building, 1947. Technically rich, visually compelling and downright beautiful, this photo is widely regarded among the most iconic suicide photographs. In accordance with Mchale’s last wishes, she was cremated with no memorial, service or grave.

What Makes A Moment "Historic"

In some cases, only the passage of time and the consequence of that 'moment' makes us realize just how special it was; in other cases, regardless of time, context or place, we just KNOW that what we're looking at will ultimately have a huge say in shaping human history - with this in mind, we decided to gather together some of the most powerful and shocking historical photos ever taken. some of these photos have shaped human history.

Executing a Young German Communist In 1919

Some sources say that the circumstances were real, others claim that the photograph had been staged for PR purposes. Two of the guys in the back rank appear to be unfamiliar with their Mauser riffles? The supposed to be executed man looking way too calm? Authentic or fake, we may never know.

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

An aerial view of the damaged Chernobyl nuclear-power plant, photographed a few weeks after the disaster, in May 1986. On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions and failures destroyed Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4. Several hundred staff and firefighters were faced by a fire that burned for 10 days sending radioactive radiation around the world. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed in the immediate aftermath.