Rediscovered Photographs Expose a Fresh Perspective on History
By Sarah Norman | March 4, 2019
Nancy Sinatra with her new style in 1967
Prepare to embark on a breathtaking journey through time and space as we unveil a mesmerizing gallery of rare nostalgic photos that will undoubtedly reshape your perspective on history and the world around us. From the electrifying stage presence of Freddie Mercury, commanding an audience of thousands, to the intimate behind-the-scenes moments of the Apollo 7 launch, and even glimpses of awe-inspiring, far-flung locales inaccessible to most, these images will transport you to new realms of wonder.
Join us as we explore the extraordinary, the historic, and the otherworldly, all captured in a single, evocative click of the camera. You won't want to miss this opportunity to see the world from a fresh angle, so let's dive in and discover the incredible stories behind these rare and unforgettable snapshots.
Following in the footsteps of a legendary parent can be a daunting task for even the most talented of artists. Nancy Sinatra had the task of following her father, Frank, and she got off to a rocky start. Her original attempts at music were unsuccessful, and she was in danger of being dropped by her own father’s record label. If it weren’t for her hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” that very well may have happened. The hit showed her in a different light, a bit more rough around the edges, and it resonated with the music world.
Freddie Mercury owning the crowd at Wembley
Freddie Mercury could take over an arena like no other performing artist we’ve ever seen. His combination of vocal power and theatrical delivery made it impossible to take your eyes off of his performance. Here he is in front of what looks like a sold out Wembley Stadium. Assuming they are at capacity there could be over 80,000 people at this show. Predictable as it is, this show ended up being an iconic moment for Mercury and Queen. Who could forget that yellow jacket?
A Young Eva Gabor out for a walk on the beach
Hollywood marriages are always full of intrigue, and it’s not easy to keep under wraps. In fact, it seems like front page news anytime a celebrity so much as goes on a first date. Eva Gabor was an easy target for the paparazzi, you can only imagine the tabloids in her day. The Hungarian star married five times in her life, yet unfortunately wound up with no children. None of her spouses had the fame that she did, but that didn’t mean the relationships were any less volatile.
A simpler time, before airpods
What do you think the guy in this picture would think of a pair of Airpods? You see, we look back on this picture with nostalgia, but what would he think about our wireless options? The reality is, we always want what we can’t have, whether it’s a return to tradition or a new convenience. While it might remind us of simpler times, I’d bet this guy would kill to ditch the bulky headphones for a sleeker option.
BTO capitalizes on the need for blue collar music
Canadian rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive stepped into the limelight at an opportune time. The music world, particularly in Canada, was clamoring for some straightforward rock and roll. Rush was popular, but too complex for the masses of casual music fans to really latch on to. Even in America, in the late ‘70s and into the ‘80s there was a lot of glam rock that had started to stray from the classic sound. BTO made sure to keep it alive, churning out catchy hooks with relatable lyrics anyone could sing along to.
Miami Vice paved the way for all cop shows to come
Miami Vice was a pioneering series for crime dramas. Nowadays, you can’t change the channel without finding an episode of CSI this or NCIS that. There are more cop shows than you can shake a stick at, but where would all those be without Miami Vice? '80s Miami was so iconic, it just grabs the audience. The music, the clothes, the cars - just look at the suits sported by two of the stars in this photo. No other crime series since has had such an impact on the genre.
Keith Richards before the years took their toll
Different health trends promise more longevity, but Keith Richards turns his nose up at them all. He’s lived a hard life, but he’s still around and making music at 78 years young! This picture shows him before he was weathered by the hard life of a rambling rock and roller. Not only has he given us classic after classic, his persona alone should occupy a room in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many of his peers may have thought they’d outlive him - they were wrong.
McCartney and Jackson crossover blows up the Billboard charts
It’s hard to imagine a more powerful dynamic duo in music than Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Both of them were larger than life in their respective genres. Crossovers of this variety don’t always live up to the hype, but their hit “Say Say Say” did just that. It stayed in the Billboard Top 100 for over a month, and helped Jackson break a Beatles record of top ten hits in a single year. McCartney most likely wasn’t too saddened by the breaking of his record, considering how much money the two would eventually make from such a monster hit.
Michael Jackson and his sister Latoya sharing a dance
Celebrity families are rarely able to escape the drama that surrounds Hollywood. Not dissimilar to the royal families of Europe, jealousy and resentment could cause major issues between relatives, parents, or siblings. Michael Jackson did not hide behind the fact that he wasn’t particularly close with his family, despite the fun they seem to be having in this picture. Any speculation on this fact was crushed when Latoya publicly spoke out against some of the allegations against Michael involving children.
Billy Joel in his hometown makes you feel nostalgia for vintage America
If someone were to ask you to define vintage americana, you may struggle to find the words. What words could capture the colorful chaos of such a vast country? If a verbal description escaped you, you’d be better suited to just point to this picture. Billy Joel before his fame, in his New Jersey hometown. It doesn’t get any more American than that! Who knew that this teenager from Hicksville, NJ would grow up to be one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
Steve McQueen sought thrills on and off screen
Hollywood bad boy Steve McQueen was not just an actor who played the part on screen. He did his best to be that same character off screen as well. The former Marine had a rough upbringing, and suffered frequent abuse of his stepfather. It made him into who he was, and the fans loved him for it. Outside of his military service, he was also an accomplished martial artist and a fitness enthusiast. On screen or off of it, most men thought twice about messing with Steve McQueen.
Angie Dickonson breaks down barriers in "Police Woman"
The western world was experiencing massive cultural change in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Social movements were popping up left and right, and the youth of America were as active as ever in the political and social scene. One of the movements that caught fire was women’s empowerment. It’s no secret that the entertainment industry follows the trends of popular thought, which is evident in the TV series Police Woman. Angie Dickinson broke barriers as the first ever female lead in a police show.
Joplin and Turner's impromptu concert is lost to history
Virtually nothing of any significance ever fails to be recorded in 2022. In fact, even the most insignificant things are filmed or documented by someone on their cell phone. Part of the magic of decades past was that you had to be in the moment to really experience something. Even as late as 1969, historic events would get lost to history. This was the case with Tina Turner and Janis Joplin’s impromptu duet at a concert at Madison Square Garden. A performance made even more unique after Joplin’s death a year later. To this day no footage exists.
Using a phone booth, family-style in the 1970s
Who wouldn’t want to jam themselves into a phone booth with two of their family members? I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a phone booth or even pay phone, but not long ago they were commonplace. You have to really feel for the poor kids. Especially the one on the right who could probably use a trip to the chiropractor after this event. Thankfully, these days we can all avoid the back problems by using our handy smartphones instead.
Young girl witnesses history in 1969
Every once in a while, a seemingly ordinary event ages into an immortal part of human history. This was not the case with the moon landing. There was absolutely nothing ordinary about it, and even a girl as young as the one in this picture could grasp the significance of such a feat. Even if you don’t consider the fact that it had massive political implications, it was still awe inspiring. Consider the fact that the Wright Brothers discovered flight in 1903, and just 66 years later NASA discovered how to put a man on the moon.
Keanu Reeves before the John Wick days
Whatever you do, do NOT mess with this young man’s dog. This flashy jacket and tie combo doesn’t exactly scream “John Wick,” but make no mistake, this is Keanu Reeves. In 1984, he was in his first year as an actor. One look at this photo and you can tell he’s a long way from the likes of Speed, The Matrix, and John Wick. His shy personality and dislike of the spotlight has given him the reputation of being different from other actors, but you wouldn’t be able to tell it by looking at him in 1984.
What if these Kansas walls could talk
Certain images make you wonder if walls could talk, what they would say? This abandon house on the Kansas prairie surely has many stories to share. Tales of a simple life, of independence and subsistence. What lessons could those old boards teach us? How many night skies have illuminated the plains surrounding homes like these? Stop and look once in a while, and you’ll fnid more of these images all around you. History is everywhere, and its lessons aren’t always in plain sight.
An Idaho winter wonderland
So you say you want a winter wonderland? I doubt the poor souls stuck in these cars feel the same. Big Sky country has about as unforgiving of a climate as you’ll find in America, this photo should be proof enough. Images like these make you thankful for climate control, heated seats, and snow tires. None of which were accessible in 1950s Idaho. Just imagine running out of gas in this snow tunnel here. No thanks! Modern conveniences take some the adventure out of it - but it beats freezing your toes off on the way to work.
Apollo 7 crew prepares to launch themselves into the history book
Nothing tests the bravery of mankind like going somewhere no one has ever gone before. Except perhaps going somewhere that people have attempted to go to, but died in the process. The Apollo 7 astronauts displayed this kind of bravery when they signed up to resume the great space race. About a year and a half prior, three astronauts were killed during a launch rehearsal fire on Apollo 1. Despite this, history has taught us that when the glory outweighs the risk, the brave ones will always show up.
Bob Seger joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for an encore reprise of "Thunder Road" in Michigan, 1980.
Blue collar men and women rejoice! Two of the men who wrote the soundtrack of the working class join forces in Detroit, Michigan. There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t heard "Old Time Rock and Roll" or "Born to Run". Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen gave working America relatable tunes, and the fans paid them back in kind. Both are immortalized in music history, and it was their average joe personas that made them so likable.
Dancing in the '50s sometimes happened in the kitchen
Do you ever wonder if you can feel nostalgia about an era that you have never experienced? This picture would make you believe that you could. The high heels and the slacks in the kitchen are just something you’d never see today. Dancing? How many young couples do any kind of formal dancing these days? Perhaps it’s not a life that we would want to live all the time, yet it still makes us feel a connection to something that we may never experience ourselves.
Diamond miners get X-rayed for stolen merchandise in the De Beer mines
There aren’t many occupations in the world that seem to be less desirable than a diamond miner. Made popular in the western world by the movie, Blood Diamond, African diamond mines have long been a discussion of human rights activists. This picture is astounding to say the least, even with knowledge of the working conditions in these mines. Under suspicion of theft, miners were often x-rayed to catch anyone smuggling out diamonds. Especially in the more primitive days of x-ray technology, one can only imagine the radiation damage that a miner may experience.
The strange red-lipped batfish walking around the ocean floor
The ocean seems to be the last place where truly wondrous and unbelievable things can still be discovered. The animals found on land simply can’t compare to the ridiculous appearance of the ones found under the sea. The red-lipped batfish may be the best example of that you'll ever see. Not only does it look indescribably strange, it has strange habits too. Despite its ocean dwellings, it does not swim very well. To move around the water, it uses its fins to walk along the ocean floor.
Fraternity gets a little wild in '82
Depending on your views, you may view this as one epic party or an astounding display of degeneracy. Such has been the discussion of fraternities for as long as they’ve been in existence. Between the guy attempting to scale the building, and a few of the frat brothers holding guns, it’s hard to tell exactly what this is. However you may feel about frats, it is nice to see a picture of a party where no one has a cell phone in their hand. Say what you want, these gentlemen are living in the moment.
Galileo changed the way the world looked at the moon
It’s a common mistake to think that the societies of the past were primitive. It’s easy to look at some of their practices and beliefs and look down upon them. It’s true, much of the scientific discovery over the last century has disproved many theories of the past. Still, can't we marvel at the amazing discoveries that were made with little technology? This was Galileo and his discovery of the moon. His drawings pictured here were groundbreaking - the first time anyone ever looked at the moon as more than a strange, smooth sphere far away in the sky.
A long NYE ends on the Grand Central Station escalator
Many of us can boast of crazy New Years Eve stories, yet it’s doubtful our stories can compare to the people in this photo. Sometimes a good night gets away from you, and you end up in a place you shouldn’t. Thankfully the folks pictured here didn’t end up anywhere too dangerous. You’ve got to be pretty worn out to sleep on something as uncomfortable as an escalator. Perhaps it’s all worth it if for a great memory and an iconic photo opportunity.
Shark egg case in the sunlight
Commonly known as a mermaid’s purse, the egg case surrounds the eggs of sharks and other similar species. The look of this makes it look like some sort of dinosaur egg. The case forms a leathery shell outside to protect the embryo on the inside. It’s commonly deposited on the seafloor, where it waits to be fertilized. This picture is a reminder of the miraculous conditions of bringing life into the world in the wild.
The beginnings of the ASPCA were more than just the commercials
Everyone has had one of these commercials interrupt their happy program. What about the story behind the sad music? In 1866 Henry Bergh founded the animal rights organization that would pave the way for modern veterinarians. Things that we now take for granted, such as anesthesia and basic surgeries, all came out of the ASPCA. Doing away with cockfighting, fighting against the conditions of slaughterhouses, the ASPCA has done so much more than make commercials that tug at the heartstrings.
Jennifer Beals had an interesting road to her role in "Flashdance"
There is a bit of lore about how Jennifer Beale was chosen for her role in Flashdance. The film isn’t known for its storyline, but that didn’t stop Beals from shining. It’s said that in one instance, the Paramount president asked the female secretaries in the office who their favorite character was. The other story is more inappropriate. It purports that the same Paramount president gathered the most macho men he could find. Once he rounded them all up he asked their opinion on the woman they found most appealing - different words were used, but won’t be repeated here.
Julie Andrews was the only choice for "The Sound of Music"
The former Mary Poppins star was the only real choice ever considered for the role of Maria von Trapp. Andrews was hesitant at first, the theatrical version of the play was not what she was looking for. Coming off of Mary Poppins, she was looking for something with more of an edge. The director and the writer both agreed with her concerns, and after convincing Andrews they were on the same page, secured her for the role.
Tom Berenger and Jerry Hall in Central Park
Pictured is Tom Berenger posing in Central Park with Jerry Hall. Did you know that Berenger is not his actual last name? Authors use pen names, usually to hide their own identity, or to go by a name more likely to help their career. Whether it’s ditching a foreign last name that’s too hard to say, or switching to something simply because it “sounds cooler.” Berenger switched because there was already a famous Tom Moore in show business, and he didn’t want to have to share a name. It’s for this reason we’ve known him by Berenger for decades.
Calvin Hobbes author Bill Watterson didn't care for the spotlight
It’s always frustrating to fans when something or someone they love steps away. It becomes even more of an annoyance when they step away while they still have plenty of good years ahead of them. Bill Watterson did this with the famous Calvin and Hobbes comics, and attempts to contact him since have proven unsuccessful. Shouldn’t fans be more understanding? Watterson doesn’t live to serve us, he gave us amazing content over the course of his life. Once he achieved what he wanted to, he walked away to enjoy his life in private.
An enticing ad for first class seating in the '60s.
Like any new innovation, many folks are skeptical as to whether or not that thing is worth paying for. Even though flying is commonplace now, you can imagine how barreling through the sky in a metal tube could scare some people. To add to this, the experience was uncomfortable and expensive. This changed in 1955, when Trans World Airlines developed “First Class Seating.” This was a way to market a plane trip as a luxury experience, hoping to attract wealthy travelers. The idea worked, and it remains a sought after travel method today.
Wonder Woman put Lynda Carter on the fast track to stardom
Lynda Carter won the Miss World USA pageant in 1972, which launched the beginning of what would become a successful acting career. They say looks can get your foot in the door, and nowhere is this more true than in acting. Her career took off after Joanna Cassidy dropped out of Wonder Woman and the role came open. Carter jumped on it and never looked back. After her performance in Wonder Woman she would enjoy success in TV, film, music, and even video games throughout her career.
The giant guns of the HMS Queen Elizabeth have a visitor
The HMS Queen Elizabeth was one of the first dreadnought style battleships built by the Royal Navy. It first saw action in 1915 in the First World War. She was designed to have more firepower and speed than any opposing naval technology of the time. The large 15 inch guns pictured here are evidence of that. The Elizabeth was designed to be the lead ship of her class, and served in both World Wars before being scrapped in 1948.
Sophia Loren, Venice 1955
Hollywood beauties are rarely associated with hardship, yet Sophia Loren experienced her fair share. Born in Rome in 1934, Loren would grow up during the reign of Mussolini and the turmoil of the Second World War. The war never came to America, and civilians in the U.S. would never witness battle firsthand. When Loren was growing up in Italy, she was struck by shrapnel during a bombing of a harbor in Italy. Thankfully the injury wasn’t fatal, and she would live to become the star we know her as today.
The forbidden hike, Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii
Built in the 1940s by the United States Navy, the Stairway to Heaven has been a popular hike for thrill seekers. The opportunities to experience that thrill are quickly drying up, since the local government has voted to remove the stairs. Too many instances of illegal trespassing and injuries, combined with the inability to properly police the site, have led to the decision. Perhaps the lack of legality will make it an even more sought after hike - adventurers love a little extra danger.
Tom Hanks on the first scene of the classic "Forrest Gump"
Forrest Gump may be the classic of all American classics. No other movie has done as much to transcend generational boundaries and connect the youth to the past like this one did. On its face the plot doesn’t sound like something that would become an all-time great. Still, it encapsulated American life in the most relatable way. Hanks played it perfectly, there’s hardly a more endearing character in the history of American cinema.
The superstar trio "The Supremes" in 1969
Would you believe it if you were told that The Supremes at one point rivaled the popularity of The Beatles? Motown’s most successful group certainly did that. All homegrown Detroit products, they put out 12 number one hits during their day. Diana Ross was undoubtedly the one who garnered the most fame - the group was eventually named “Diana Ross & The Supremes.” The group inspired generations of musicians, and their style can surely be credited with influencing artists across nearly every genre.
This bookmobile for the sick was wheeled around Los Angeles hospitals in 1928, a service of the LA public library
Hospitals in general can be a dreary place. This was the truth to a larger extent back in the ‘20s. Before the days of modern technology and constant entertainment, there were no TVs in the hospital rooms. The “bookmobile” was a mobile library that would be wheeled around to patients while they were sick. We can never underestimate the power of a good story in lifting the spirits of those who are down on their luck.
Chicago 1969 before the "Days of Rage"
This photo is a beautiful shot of the Chicago skyline, with a vintage car right in the foreground. Despite this, the year when this was taken was not as beautiful for the Windy City. The summer of 1969 was witness to what were called the “Days of Rage.” A series of violent protests with the aim of “bringing the war home.” Unfortunately they weren’t all that successful in advancing the cause. The lack of participation and clashes with police only seemed to deter the public from supporting the protesters.
A young Courtney Cox before "Friends"
Everyone knows Courtney Cox as Monica from Friends. Some roles are so popular that actors are attached to them forever. What of her career before that? Funny enough, her first real job on camera was being cast in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video. After that she scored some roles in TV, before starring in Ace Ventura with Jim Carey. Cox probably would have made it big one way or another, but Monica Geller would be her ticket to the top.
Helen Mirren, the English superstar with Russian lineage
Helen Mirren is known as an English icon, but she has Russian roots that run deep. Mirren was born Mironoff to a Russian father and an English mother. Her father was from a noble family who was exiled during the Russian Revolution. There’s not a lot of information on why her father changed her name at the age of nine. Could it be something to do with the rise of the Soviet Union? Regardless of her lineage, there’s no doubt her talent would be recognized one way or another.
Jefferson Airplane right before the peak of their fame in 1968
The fusion of music genres can sometimes go horribly wrong - it’s rare that it turns out to be a hit. Jefferson Airplane was one of the bands that figured it out, blending folk and rock perfectly The ‘60s were a time of social change, popular music was experiencing the same thing. Pioneers of rock and roll were looking for unique sounds to capitalize on the genre’s success. The Airplane members used their folk roots to cultivate a new sound, a sound that would capture the ear of fans around the world.
An interesting name for an interesting band
Band names can get a little weird. Some have a cool sound but make no sense when you break them down. Three Dog Night is definitely one of those names. It allegedly came from a band member’s girlfriend who got the idea from aboriginal Australians. The story goes that on cold nights, the natives would sleep while hugging wild dogs. It would get so cold that some nights required two or even three dogs. Hence the name “Three Dog Night.”
The beardless ZZ Top in 1970
Who are these guys? Certainly not the long bearded rockers that we’re used to associating with ZZ top. Truth is it takes time to grow such majestic beards, and a lot of wisdom is acquired along the way. It’s hard to imagine the blues rock trio without the facial hair, and it makes you wonder if they would’ve been as popular if they stayed clean shaven. Of course true fans would still listen, but would the casual listener be drawn in without the long beards?
A futuristic car before its time
Move over Tesla, the Holden Hurricane was bringing the future onto the road all the way back in 1969. A fantastic example of innovation and ingenuity, the Hurricane boasted features that are still considered cutting edge over 50 years later. It had a feature similar to the “self-driving” cars we’re seeing today, with sensors that would guide the driver to follow the road. It also had a rear view backup camera. These kinds of gadgets would’ve been otherworldly in 1969, and unfortunately the masses wouldn’t get to experience them as the Hurricane never made it to production.
Rick Derringer and Steven Tyler share a drink
One of the things we all love about music is that it brings people together. This is true not only for the listener, but for the creators as well. Here you see Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler with The McCoys guitarist Rick Derringer. One can only imagine some of the epic jam sessions that would’ve occurred while these two were hanging out. Maybe there were even would-be hits that would never be heard by anyone. Perhaps it’s better that way, some things are better left to the imagination.
Steve McQueen with his new Mini Cooper S in 1967
Steve McQueen was quite the thrill seeker. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty on set or do his own stunts. He enjoyed riding motorcycles and collecting and customizing cars. Here he’s seen with his Mini Cooper S 1275, one of the original models. It was originally green, but McQueen had it painted brown. This model was one of the fastest and most agile cars, befitting McQueens personality and driving style.
Vikki Dougan's backless dress changes fashion
Vikki Dougan had a rather interesting rise to popularity in the 1950s. Hollywood stars often coin certain looks, like Farrah Fawcett’s trademark curly hair. For Vikki Dougan, it was her backless dresses that turned heads and changed women’s fashion. Her dresses were said to be “lower in the back than a teenager’s hot rod.” While Hollywood had abandoned any element of modesty long ago, Dougan’s dresses still shocked the masses with how revealing they were.
JFK with kids and their terrifying costumes
Why does clothing from the old days seem to be so much creepier than today’s garments? Maybe it’s because every horror movie features an old person in some kind of nightgown. This picture of JFK with his kids on Halloween showcases downright terrifying masks. Can you imagine opening your door to hand out candy and seeing these two costumes standing on your front steps? Hopefully these kids got enough candy before they scared everyone away.
Rock and roll legend Joe Walsh in 1970
Joe Walsh is lesser known to the average fan, but he is an undeniable favorite of anyone who considers themselves an avid rock and roll enthusiast. He was pivotal in the Eagles success after Bernie Leadon left the band, and his solo on “Hotel California” is one of the most appreciated of all time. His reckless attitude epitomized the stereotypical rock and roll image, and the fans loved him for it. He’s been a positive impact on every group he’s joined, and has experienced plenty of success as a solo artist as well.