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20 Photos That Changed The World by Tanya ,  Jan 17, 2013
Burning Monk by Malcolm Browne,1963
As a protest to the Diem slow and unreliable reforms in Vietnam, the Buddhist monks have resorted to immolation, such as this Mahayana Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Ðuc. Ðuc burned himself alive across the outskirts of Saigon, mainly because of the harshness done by the South Vietnam government to his fellow Buddhist monks.Ðuc was re-cremated after he burned himself; his heart meanwhile remained in one piece, and because of this he was regarded as a Bodhisattva by the other Buddhist monks and followers. His act of self-immolation increased the pressure on the Diem administration to implement their reform laws in South Vietnam.More monks followed Ðuc’s footsteps as well, and later on in November 1963, Di?m was killed by an army coup. More 19 photos after the jump.
The Photograph That Isn't as Romantic as You Might Think"V-J Day, Times Square, 1945", a.k.a. "The Kiss"Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1945

On August 14, 1945, the news of Japan's surrender was announced in the United States, signaling the end of World War II. Riotous celebrations erupted in the streets, but perhaps none were more relieved than those in uniform. Although many of them had recently returned from victory in Europe, they faced the prospect of having to ship out yet again, this time to the bloody Pacific.

Among the overjoyed masses gathered in Times Square that day was one of the most talented photojournalists of the 20th century, a German immigrant named Alfred Eisenstaedt. While snapping pictures of the celebration, he spotted a sailor "running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight." He later explained that, "whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn't make any difference."

Of course, a photo of the sailor planting a wet one on a senior citizen wouldn't have made the cover of Life, but when he locked lips with an attractive nurse, the image was circulated in newspapers across the country. Needless to say, "V-J Day" didn't capture a highly anticipated embrace by long-lost lovers, but it also wasn't staged, as many critics have claimed. In any case, the image remains an enduring symbol of America's exuberance at the end of a long struggle.

The Abu Ghraib scandal; 2004 The Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was the site of multiple counts of prisoner torture and abuse, which became news when this and other photos showing American soldiers mistreating prisoners surfaced. They changed the course of public opinion for many people.
The Photograph that Allowed Geniuses to Have a Sense of Humor "Einstein with his Tongue Out"Arthur Sasse, 1951

You may appreciate this memorable portrait as much as the next fellow, but it's still fair to wonder: "Did it really change history?" Rest assured, we think it did. While Einstein certainly changed history with his contributions to nuclear physics and quantum mechanics, this photo changed the way history looked at Einstein. By humanizing a man known chiefly for his brilliance, this image is the reason Einstein's name has become synonymous not only with "genius," but also with "wacky genius."

So why the history-making tongue? It seems Professor Einstein, hoping to enjoy his 72nd birthday in peace, was stuck on the Princeton campus enduring incessant hounding by the press. Upon being prodded to smile for the camera for what seemed like the millionth time, he gave photographer Arthur Sasse a good look at his uvula instead. This being no ordinary tongue, the resulting photo became an instant classic, thus ensuring that the distinguished Novel Prize-winner would be remembered as much for his personality as for his brain.

Napalm Girl by Nick/Ut Associated Press
Kim Phúc was a resident in the village of Trang Bang, South Vietnam. On June 8, 1972, South Vietnamese planes, in coordination with the American military, dropped a napalm bomb on Trang Bang, which was under attack from and occupied by North Vietnamese forces. She joined a group of civilians and South Vietnamese soldiers fleeing from the Cao Dai Temple, located in the village along the road, to safe South Vietnamese positions. A South Vietnamese pilot mistook the group as a threat and diverted to attack it. Along with other villagers, two of Kim Phúc’s cousins were killed. Associated Press photographer Nick Út earned a Pulitzer Prize for the photograph. It was also the World Press Photo of the Year 1972. The image of her running naked amidst the chaotic background became one of the most remembered images of the Vietnam War. In an interview many years later, she remembers yelling “Nong qua, nong qua” (”too hot, too hot”) in the picture.
Wounded Soldier at Home; Eugene Richards, 2008 Eugene Richards’ “War Is Personal” documents the human cost of the Iraq War, as seen in this photo of a soldier who survived a brutal attack that took part of his head.
The Photograph That Foreshadowed the Future"Le Violon d'Ingres"Man Ray, 1924

Before there was photoshop, there was Man Ray. One of the world's most original photographers, Ray was tireless experimenter. In fact, his work was so inventive that he eventually left the camera behind altogether, creating his surreal "Rayographs" entirely in the darkroom.

"Le Violon d'Ingres" is perhaps his best-known photograph, and one of his earliest. Like many pieces from the Dada movement (which Ray is credited with bringing to the United States), it's a visual pun. By drawing f-holes on his model's back, he points out the similarities between the body of a woman and the body of a violin. But it's a literal pun, as well. Both the model's dress and pose echo a famous painting by French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominiqe Ingres, whose hobbies were depicting female nudes and playing the violin.

More than just highbrow it, however, Ray's work was far ahead of its time. By ridiculing a now-obsolete concept - the photographic image as literal interpretation of reality - his pictures foreshadowed our own digital revolution.

Starving Cild Vulture by Kevin Carte, 1994
One photograph that has helped awaken the world about the effects of poverty in Africa is the one above showing a Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture nearby. It is quite obvious that the child was starving to death, while the vulture was patiently waiting for the toddler to die so he can have a good meal.Nobody knows what happened to the child, who crawled his way to a United Nations food camp. Photographer Kevin Carter won a Pulitzer Prize for this shocking picture, but he eventually committed suicide three months after he took the shot.
Man Walks on the Moon; Neil Armstrong, 1969 Neil Armstrong snapped this image of fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin during the first human trip to land on the Moon. It became a testament to American innovation and dedication.
The Photograph That Destroyed an Industry"Hindenburg"Murray Becker, 1937

Forget the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the comparatively unphotogenic accident at Chernobyl. Thanks to the power of images, the explosion of the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937, claims the dubious honor of being the quintessential disaster of the 20th century.

In the grand scheme of things, however, the Hindenburg wasn't all that disastrous. Of the 97 people aboard, a surprising 62 survived. (in fact, it wasn't even the worst Zeppelin crash of the 20th century. Just four years earlier, the U.S.S. Akron had crashed into the Atlantic killing more than twice as many people.) But when calculating the epic status of a catastrophe, terrifying photographs and quotable quotes ("Oh, the humanity!") far outweigh body counts.

Assembled as part of a massive PR campaign by the Hindenburg's parent company in Germany, no fewer than 22 photographers, reporters, and newsreel cameramen were on the scene in Lakehurst, N.J. when the airship went down. Worldwide publicity of the well-documented disaster shattered the public's faith in Zeppelins, which were, at the time, considered the safest mode of air travel available.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Zeppelins had operated regular flights, totting civilians back and forth between Germany and the Americas. But all of that stopped in 1937. The incident effectively killed the use of dirigibles as a commercially viable mode of passenger transport, ending the golden age of the airship not with a whimper, but with a horrific bang that was photographed and then syndicated around the globe.

The Baby Hand by  Michael Clancy, 1999
Some of us may be familiar with a picture called “The Baby Hand,” taken on Aug. 19, 1999, by photojournalist Michael Clancy for USA Today, which first published the picture. Clancy was assigned to document a spina bifida operation performed in utero on a 21-week unborn baby named Samuel Armas by Dr. Joseph Bruner, a surgeon at Nashville’s Vanderbuilt University Medical Center.The picture and its story have been circulated on the internet so often that some question whether they are authentic. They are.Samuel was born on Dec. 2, 1999, weighing 5 pounds 11 ounces–four weeks premature. By all indications, he appeared healthy. Today, he’s a “chattering, brown-eyed 3½-year-old.”
Lynching; Lawrence Beitler, 1930 Thousands of whites descended on an Indiana park to hang a pair of black men accused of raping a white woman. The image is a shocking reminder of how recently something like this could happen in the U.S.
The Photograph That Ended a War But Ruined a Life"Murder of a Vietcong by Saigon Police Chief"Eddie Adams, 1968

"Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world," AP photojournalist Eddie Adams once wrote. A fitting quote for Adams, because his 1968 photograph of an officer shooting a handcuffed prisoner in the head at point-blank range not only earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1969, but also went a long way toward souring Americans' attitudes about the Vietnam War.

For all the image's political impact, though, the situation wasn't as black-and-white as it's rendered. What Adams' photograph doesn't reveal is that the man being shot was the captain of a Vietcong "revenge squad" that had executed dozens of unarmed civilians earlier the same day. Regardless, it instantly became an icon of the war's savagery and made the official pulling the trigger - General Nguyen Ngoc Loan - its iconic villain.

Sadly, the photograph's legacy would haunt Loan for the rest of his life. Following the war, he was reviled where ever he went. After an Australian VA hospital refused to treat him, he was transferred to the United States, where he was met with a massive (though unsuccessful) campaign to deport him. He eventually settled in Virginia and opened a restaurant but was forced to close it down as soon as his past caught up with him. Vandals scrawled "we know who you are" on his walls, and business dried up.

Adams felt so bad for Loan that he apologized for having taken the photo at all, admitting, "The general killed the Vietcong; I killed the general with my camera."

The Photograph That Raised the Photojournalistic Stakes: "Omaha Beach, Normandy, France"Robert Capa, 1944

"If your pictures aren't good enough," war photographer Robert Capa used to say, "you aren't close enough." Words to die by, yes, but the man knew of what he spoke. After all, his most memorable shots were taken on the morning of D-Day, June 6, 1944, when he landed alongside the first waves of infantry at Omaha Beach.

Caught under heavy fire, Capa dove for what little cover he could find, then shot all the film in his camera, and got out - just barely. He escaped with his life, but not much else. Of the four rolls of film Capa took of the horrific D-Day battle, all but 11 exposures were ruined by an overeager lab assistant, who melted the film in his rush to develop it. (He was trying to meet the deadline for the next issue of Life magazine.)

In an ironic twist, however, that same mistake gave the few surviving exposures their famously surreal look ("slightly out of focus," Life incorrectly explained upon printing them). More than 50 years later, director Steven Spielberg would go to great lengths to reproduce the look of that "error" for his harrowing D-Day landing sequence in "Saving Private Ryan," even stripping the coating from his camera lenses to echo Capa's notorious shots.

5 Year Old Mother, 1939  
One of the photographs meanwhile that changed medical history is that of Lina Medina, the youngest mother who gave birth at the age of five. Born in Peru in 1933, Lina was brought to the local hospital by her parents because of an increasingly enlarged belly, which they first thought of a tumor. After a series of tests however, the doctors confirmed that she was seven months pregnant. A month later Lina gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Gerardo, after her doctor.Lina Medina is the first known case of precocious pregnancy, and based on studies it was shown that she had an advanced menarche development resulting to menstruation at the age of 8 months, prominent breasts upon turning four, and bone maturation at age 5.Her son Gerardo was first raised knowing that Lina was his sister, but eventually he found out that she was his mother at the age of 10. In 1972, Lina married and gave birth to her second son, 33 years after Gerardo was born. Gerardo soon died seven years later at the age of 40, due to a bone marrow disease. Lina, who is now aged 74, continues to live with her husband in Chicago, Chico, in Lima, Peru.
The 9/11 attacks; New York Times, 2001 There are many haunting images of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but this one of a person standing in a gaping hole of wreckage, with no exit or hope of rescue, is one of the most wrenching.
Tsuname Floating Bodies, 2004
The Boxing Day Tsunami that struck Thailand in 2004 caused approximately 350,000 deaths and many more injuries.
Earthrise; William Anders, 1968 Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders snapped this shot of the Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon as he and Frank Borman orbited the Moon. The shot changed the way we think of our planet and its place in the cosmos.
Nagasaki Mushroom Cloud, 1945
This is the picture of the “mushroom cloud” showing the enormous quantity of energy. The first atomic bomb was released on August 6 in Hiroshima (Japan) and killed about 80,000 people. On August 9 another bomb was released above Nagasaki. The effects of the second bomb were even more devastating - 150,000 people were killed or injured. But the powerful wind, the extremely high temperature and radiation caused enormous long term damage.
First Black Student by Douglas Martin, 1958
World Press Photo of the Year: 1957 Douglas Martin, USA, The Associated Press. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, 4 September 1957. Dorothy Counts, one of the first black students to enter the newly desegregated Harry Harding High School. About the image Reporters and photographers bore witness and recorded the violence that erupted when Dorothy Counts showed up for her first day at an all-white school. People threw rocks and screamed “Go back where you came from”. They got their way - after a string of abuses, Dorothy’s family withdrew her from the school after only four days.
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