But Strand’s work did more than offer an unflinching look at a moment when the nation was being reshaped by a surge of immigrants. And no single image was more formative than Moonlight. For six weeks she roamed the country, documenting a nation of grinding poverty, stunning natural beauty and wrenching inequality. The photo was published in newspapers around the U.S. in the days after the attacks, but backlash from readers forced it into temporary obscurity. The swish backdrop—props curated by VanDerZee—challenged popular perceptions about race, class and success and became an aspirational model for generations of African Americans yearning for a full piece of the American Dream. The day before Alberto Korda took his iconic photograph of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, a ship had exploded in Havana Harbor, killing the crew and dozens of dockworkers. Yet as Zapruder filmed, one bullet struck Kennedy in the back, and as the President’s car passed in front of Zapruder, a second one hit him in the head. When the picture was published in life, it quickly became apparent to the rest of the world what Moore had long known: ending segregation was not about eroding culture but about restoring humanity. But Therese Frare’s photograph of the 32-year-old man on his deathbed did more than just capture the heartbreaking moment. By then Poland, France and large parts of Europe had fallen to the Nazi forces, and it was only the tiny nation’s pilots, soldiers and sailors, along with those of the Commonwealth, who kept the darkness at bay. 40 important moments from history, captured by photographers of the day and preserved forever. The ambassador, eager for his son to take the stage as a national figure, thought a feature in the pages of LIFE would foster a fascination with John, his pretty girlfriend and one of America’s wealthiest families. Ut wondered, Why doesn’t she have clothes? The shooting at Kent State University in Ohio lasted 13 seconds. 18 17 2. The 10 most famous ghost pictures ever taken. In May 1960, the Brooklyn-born photographer headed to architect Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House, a glass-enclosed Hollywood Hills home with a breathtaking view of Los Angeles—one of 36 Case Study Houses that were part of an architectural experiment extolling the virtues of modernist theory and industrial materials. On June 8, 1972, Associated Press photographer Nick Ut was outside Trang Bang, about 25 miles northwest of Saigon, when the South Vietnamese air force mistakenly dropped a load of napalm on the village. None proved as powerful as British war photographer Don McCullin’s picture of a 9-year-old albino child. It’s easy to ignore the plight of refugees. It did not. John Filo, a student and part-time news photographer, distilled that feeling into a single image when he captured Mary Ann Vecchio crying out and kneeling over a fatally wounded Jeffrey Miller. Nowhere is this tension higher than in Trolley—New Orleans, a fleeting moment that conveys the brutal social order of postwar America. The campaign to place the picture outside the boundaries of acceptable art contributed to its fame, inspiring other artists to push limits even further. Anna, however, was never taken with the picture. Nicknamed the Eye of Bamako, Sidibé took thousands of photos that became a real-time chronicle of the euphoric zeitgeist gripping the capital, a document of a fleeting moment. But after Guevara was killed leading a guerrilla movement in Bolivia nearly seven years later, the Cuban regime embraced him as a martyr for the movement, and Korda’s image of the beret-clad revolutionary soon became its most enduring symbol. As the United States celebrates Arbor Day, learn about 10 trees that witnessed history and shaped world events. Take "Tank Man," the iconic image of a man standing in the middle of the road as an entire row of tanks heads toward him. “To be a starving Biafran orphan was to be in a most pitiable situation, but to be a starving albino Biafran was to be in a position beyond description,” McCullin wrote. Elizabeth’s reign is famous for a number of historical events, including a Spanish invasion of England that was foiled by bad weather. It was similarly futile to try to photograph a fleeting moment. As the curator Peter Galassi wrote in the catalog for a 2001 retrospective of Gursky’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, “High art versus commerce, conceptual rigor versus spontaneous observation, photography versus painting … for Gursky they are all givens—not opponents but companions.” That ability to render the man-made and mundane with fresh eyes has helped modern photography enter the art world’s elite. His aim was to see the world from the perspective of his subjects—and to compel viewers to do the same. No shortage of others followed in his wake. The terrified young boy with his hands raised at the center of this image was one of nearly half a million Jews packed into the Warsaw ghetto, a neighborhood transformed by the Nazis into a walled compound of grinding starvation and death. His Pulitzer Prize–winning photo of the seemingly serene monk sitting lotus style as he is enveloped in flames became the first iconic image to emerge from a quagmire that would soon pull in America. Yet the images are entirely Sherman’s creations, placing the viewer in the role of unwitting voyeur. “The wind just whipped the flag out over the heads of the group, and at their feet the disrupted terrain and the broken stalks of the shrubbery exemplified the turbulence of war.” Two days later Rosenthal’s photo was splashed on front pages across the U.S., where it was quickly embraced as a symbol of unity in the long-fought war. Taken just before that iconic image, this photo reveals the tanks as they approach "Tank Man," standing in the middle of the street … The seeds of international opposition that would eventually topple the racist system had been planted by a photograph. Suddenly the world could no longer ignore apartheid. “I took myself for a serious journalist and I didn’t want to cover a rock ’n’ roll story,” he scoffed. But no one would argue that what it shows is not utterly heartbreaking, the last moments of life of the youthful and charismatic John Fitzgerald Kennedy as he rode with his wife Jackie through Dealey Plaza. But he didn’t experience virulent racism until he arrived in Washington in 1942 for a fellowship at the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Before his assassination in 2000, Arkan was indicted for crimes against humanity. But it was what DeGeneres did next that turned a bit of Hollywood levity into a transformational image. Yet the men are posed in an otherwise unremarkable living room, a juxtaposition that adds a layer of normality to a relationship far outside the bounds of what most Americans then considered acceptable. Hundreds of photojournalists covered the conflict in Iraq, but the most memorable image from the war was taken not by a professional but by a U.S. Army staff sergeant named Ivan Frederick. They teamed up with curators, historians, photo editors, and famous photographers around the world for this task. His famous photograph of the soldier and dental nurse has become one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, signifying the joyous end to years of war. Senkwekwe the silverback mountain gorilla weighed at least 500 pounds when his carcass was strapped to a makeshift stretcher, and it took more than a dozen men to hoist it into the air. He started making frequent trips to the country, which had been largely off-limits to foreign journalists and virtually hidden from public view for nearly 60 years. As a man leaps across the water, evoking the dancers in a poster on the wall behind him, the ripples in the puddle around the ladder mimic the curved metal pieces nearby. Many images only become iconic shots years later, once we understand their importance and historical context. “I thought, ‘God, I’m on the right story.’ ” The Beatles were on the cusp of greatness, and Benson was in the middle of it. The result was the first known permanent photograph. “Oh, my God! Railroad companies soon lured tourists west with trips to glimpse the last of a dying people, and Indians came to be seen as a relic out of time, not an integral part of modern American society. Within a week, trainloads of Syrians were arriving in Germany to cheers, as a war lamented but not felt suddenly brimmed with emotions unlocked by a picture of one small, still form. Published in the Russian magazine Ogonek, the image became an instant propaganda icon. So Kahn, who had been tinkering with technologies that share images instantly, jerry-built a device that could send a photo of his newborn to friends and family—in real time. He transmitted his photographs immediately, and by the following day they were published around the world. Image Source. But sometimes the unique access allows them to capture watershed moments that become our collective memory. This collection proved his undoing, for besides giving a face to those who died, the pictures reveal the power of photography as a documentary tool. Published in life, Dominis’ image turned the somber protest into an iconic emblem of the turbulent 1960s. Her work helped bring violence against women out of the shadows and forced policymakers to confront the issue. Half a century later, that candor has made The Americans a monument of documentary and street photography. There is a certain formulaic approach to August Sander’s photography. Spectacle was like oxygen for the Nazis, and Heinrich Hoffmann was instrumental in staging Hitler’s growing pageant of power. The Wichita, Kans.–born photographer spent weeks immersing himself in his subjects’ lives, from a South Carolina nurse-midwife to the residents of a Spanish village. Few outside South Africa paid much attention to apartheid before June 16, 1976, when several thousand Soweto students set out to protest the introduction of mandatory Afrikaans-language instruction in their township schools. When LIFE published Lennart Nilsson’s photo essay “Drama of Life Before Birth” in 1965, the issue was so popular that it sold out within days. It was taken by Arnold Genthe on a borrowed camera. And no wonder. And so in July 1966, with an eye toward securing his grip on power, Mao took a dip in the Yangtze River to show the world that he was still in robust health. The men would pop aboveground to charge and fire old rifles at a machine gun manned by troops loyal to Francisco Franco. It’s both, and that was exactly his point. Explore the stories behind 100 images that changed the world, selected by TIME and an international team of curators. Modern history is filled with famous photos like these, images that speak to all of us in ways we can sometimes barely articulate. The child, whose identity has never been confirmed, has come to represent the face of the 6 million defenseless Jews killed by the Nazis. Wow, is that pretty!” Anders exclaimed. Ferrato captured incidents and victims while living inside women’s shelters and shadowing police.