They say “A picture can speak a thousand words” over time. It is true that all the pictures are worth a thousand words. But there are a few iconic pictures in history that changed the world and that are worth more than a thousand words. They tell an inspiring story, a powerful tale, and a story which is enough to stimulate all of us again and again. Here are some of the most iconic photos in the world – each with the living epitome of popular saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
20. The “All in One” Photo
Whether living or dead, every single person was covered in one frame, except Michael Collins. It is because he took this picture of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in a lunar module which is heading to the moon. He covered them with Earth in the background.
19. Greg Cook with his pet Coco
He loves his pet Coco the way too much after he crawled off the rubble in his home. It was damaged by a tornado in 2012 in North Alabama.
18. Home Sweet Home
A young girl born at a Nazi’s concentration camp was asked to draw a picture of home”. She drew her inability to know this basic concept and her traumatized look. It is among the most haunting pictures the world ever seen.
17. Neil Armstrong after First Walk at the Moon
After coming back into Apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong has recorded his candid moments. He just became the first human being who walked on the moon. His face is just worth seen. He doesn’t know if he should cry or laugh. This picture has just been the forerunner of one of the greatest achievements of humanity.
16. Major Terry Gurrola meets Her Daughter
When Major Terry Gurrola reunited with Gabi, her daughter, she couldn’t stop herself breaking down. She was coming back from deployment in Iraq for a year and she was scared that her young daughter might forget her.
15. Mandela Released from Prison
On February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela walked free from prison after spending his 27 years behind the bars. Most of the people were scared that the end of apartheid and his release would bring a civil war in the country. Instead, he became the icon of peace in South Africa. He has now become the father of peaceful and modern South Africa.
14. The Man Falling from WTC
It is one of the most tragic and horrifying images in 9/11. Who was he has never been confirmed till date.
13. The Birthday Cake
In this image, a group of protestors and a police chief were sharing a cake with each other. It is the picture of a Brazilian general who is pleading repeatedly with the protestors for not using violence on his birthday. So, protestors brought a cake for him instead. He brought into tears. This is the reason this image has become the symbol of peace in the world.
12. Migrant Mom in Great Depression
Florence Owens Thompson was a migrant mother from Dorothea Lange on the Great Depression. This photo perfectly shows the extreme situation for many families during that time.
11. Standing Up to Heinrich Himmler
This image shows a man who is standing up to one of the Holocaust’s architects, Heinrich Himmler. It has become the revolutionary picture of defiance over evil. The captured soldiers have been named by the historians as Horace Greasley, a British POW, while other claimed that he is a Soviet soldier.
10. Food Shortage in Sudan by Kevin Carter
It is, by far, the most heartbreaking picture in the world taken by Kevin Carter. It depicts a starving girl in 1993. It sparked a lot of controversy in Sudan. Whether the girl featured in this image survived or not is still not confirmed. But Carter committed suicide when he was 33, a year after taking this picture.
9. Father holding a Wounded Rifleman
In this image, Father Luis Manuel Padilla is holding an injured government rifleman who was shot in the streets at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, on a bloody rebellion in June 1962 against President Betancourt. Over 200 people were killed before beating the rebels. The photo was clicked by Hector Rondon which won the Pulitzer Prize.
8. Raising Flag on Iwo Jima
It is probably the most popular image in the history of American military. It shows the marines raising the stripes and stars over Iwo Jima after a very aggressive battle against the Japanese. Immediately, the senior commanders recognized the power of photo and used it to raise money and support for the war. Some men also raised the flag but they were killed in the gruesome battle just after taking the photo. It led to confusion on who were in the image.
7. Execution in Vietnam
It is another shocking image which shows Nguyen Ngoc Loan, a South Vietnamese police chief who is executing Nguyen Van Lem, a Vietcong member, in the street. The picture has become the symbol of war and terror. But Eddie Adams, the photographer, added that he felt sorry for Nguyen. He felt that his image ruined the life of his family and him.
6. Wait for me, Daddy
It is another heart-warming photograph. It shows a young child, Warren Bernard, running after his dad who has just been going to the Warfield in World War II. It might seem a horrible shot of how war can tear any family apart. His picture was used as a tool to sell the bonds of war.
5. Abu Ghraid’s Torture
It is another shocking image which shows how US military is abusing and torturing Iraqi hostages in the prison of Abu Ghraid. Specialists Lynndie England and Charles Graner were the two soldiers busted for their heinous acts against the hostages. Most of them were discharged dishonorably.
4. Cheeky Albert Einstein
The discoverer of the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein was one of the highly regarded names and he became synonymous with brilliance. He showed even smartest people have a candid side in this image. For the photographer, he signed one of the original prints. It was auctioned for $74,324 in 2009.
3. Tank Man
When tanks entered Tiananmen Square, Beijing against the protests, a man stood just in front of the tank bravely to stop the whole Chinese army. The tank man instantly became the most popular pictures in the world on June 5, 1989. Who was the protestor is still unknown.
2. Black Power Salute
John Carlos and Tommie Smith were the athletes who created controversy across the world by raising the fists on the podium at 1968 Olympics in a black power salute. Now, this image can be seen as the symbol of equality and defiance among the adversity.
1. Jesse Owens defying Hitler
Jesse Owens, a Black USA athlete, was known for crushing the myth of Aryan supremacy of Hitler, single-handedly. She won a lot of gold medals in Berlin Olympics 1936. Despite standing up on the podium higher than his competitor and friend, Owens was shunned still when he came back to the 1930’s segregated society of America.