10. Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co. (1910)
Photograph by Lewis W. Hine
What Charles Dickens did with words for the underage toilers of London, Lewis Hine did with photographs for the youthful laborersin the united States. In 1908 the National Child Labor Committee was already campaigning to put the nation's two million young workers back in school when the group hired Hine. The Wisconsin native traveled to half the states, capturing images of children working in mines, mills and on the streets. Here he has photographed "breaker boys," whose job was to seperate coal from slate, in South Pittston, Pa. Onc again, pictures swayed the public in a way cold statistics had not, and the country enacted laws banning child labor.
9. Lynching (1930)
Photograph from Bettman/Corbis
A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl;the girl's uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man's innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind., most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beating and mutilations were called the sentence of "judge Lynch,") Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revoltoing as many as they scared. Today the images rremind us that we have not come as far from barbarity as we'd like to think.
8. Little Rock Arkansas (1957)
Photograph from Bettman/Corbis
It was the fourth school year since segregation had been outlawed by the Supreme Court. Things were not going well, and some southerners accused the national press of distorting matters. This picture, however, gave irrefutable testimony, as Elizabeth Eckford strides through a gantlet of white students, including Hazel Bryant (mouth open the widest), on her way to Little Rock's Central High.
7. Biafra (1969)
Photography by Don McCullin
When the Igbos of eastern Nigeria declared themselves independant in 1967, Nigeria blockaded their fielding country-Biafra. In three years of war, more than one million people died, mainly of hunger. In famine, children who lack protein often get the diesease kwashiorkor, which causes their muscles to waste away and their bellies to protrude. War photographer Don McCullin drew attention to the tragedy. "I was devasted by the sight of 900 children living in one camp in utter squalor at the point of death,"he said." i lost all interest in photographing soldiers in action."The world community intervened to help Biafra, and leamed key lessons about dealing with massive hunger exacerbated by war a problem that still defies simple solutions.
6. Munich olympic village (1972)
Photograph by Kurt Strumpf
Terrorism is always disturbing, but when it plays out in an arena whose purpose is to augment global peace, it seems yet more ghastly. The athletes from 121 nations had assembled in Munich for the 1972 Olympics when, on September 5 at 4:30 a.m., five men dressed in tracksuits toting weapons in their gym bags scaled the fence of the Olympic Village and joined up with three others already inside. They rapped on the door of the Israeli wrestling coach, shot him and a weightlifter dead, then took nine Israelis hostage. The abductors, who claimed to be from a Palestinian guerrilla group called Black September, demanded that Israel release zoo Arab prisoners. By three o'clock the next morning, after hours of tenterhook negotiations, a botched rescue attempt left the nine Israelis dead, along with five terrorists and a policeman. Three terrorists were captured. This portrait of a goon haunts anyone who remembers the scene, and, for those who were born later, displays all too well the dark hand of terrorism.
5. Exxon Waldez Oil Spill (1989)
Photograph by John S. Lough
On March 24. the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound, and io.8 million gallons of crude flowed into the bay, causing the worst maritime environmental disaster in U.S. history. A quarter million seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals. 25o bald eagles and more than zo killer whales died, and 1.30o miles of shoreline was fouled. The public outcry led to a U.S. law demanding double-hull construction in future tankers, and a jury ordered Exxon to pay billions, a verdict the company is still fighting. Meanwhile, in Alaska, more oil washes up every year.
4. Missing Milk Carton (1984)
Photograph by Robert Frieder
Johnny Gosch was a 12.year old from West Des Moines who vanished while delivering papers in 1982. Juanita Estevez, 15, of Yuba City, Calif., disappeared on her way to school in 1984. these were the first two kids to be pictured on a milk carton. Child abduction was becoming a growing nightmare, and families and authorities were eager to try any method. Since then, postcards with photos of missing children have been widely distributed by mail, and have proved fruitful: One in six of the kids in these and other photo efforts are recovered. As for Juanita and Johnny: She escaped from her abductors in 1986; he is still missing.
3. The Falling Soldier (1936)
Photograph by Robert Capa
It is perhaps the most famous war photograph of all time and it is certainty one of the most controversial. Loyofisr Militiaman at the Moment of Death. Cerro Mariano, September 5, 1976 is either a shockingly intimate depiction of a Spanish Republican soldier breathing his last during his country's civil war, as LIFE believed in '37 and most observers still maintain, or it is staged. as a British historian first argued in 1975. Either way, the image has long had a massive impact. In his zooz biography of the storied Capa, Alex Kershaw wrote that the 'truth- of the photo resides in its presentation of death: The Falling Soldier, authentic or fake. is ultimately a record of Capa's political bias and idealism ... Indeed, he would soon come to experience the brutalizing insanity and death of Illusions that all witnesses who get close enough to the 'romance' of war Inevitably confront."
2. Chicago Fire (1871)
Photograph from Corbis
The summer had been bone.thy. and on the evening of October 8, wind whipped wildly through the Windy City. Whether Mrs. O'leary's cow kicked the lantern, or a visitor dropped his pipe, or a cinder from a neighbor's chimney landed on the roof, the barn belonging to Pal and Catherine O'Leary of 13/ De Koven Street was soon engulfed. and when gusts blew the flames northward, so was much of Chicago. A third of the city was lost. including the downtown area; more than 2cio were killed. Urban scientists began to rethink their largely wooden infrastructures, and the notion of charity drives for the victims of disaster took hold.
1. Migrant Mother (1936)
Photograph by Dorothea Lange
This California farmworker. age p. had just sold her tent and the tires off her car to buy food for her seven kids. The family was living on scavenged vegetables and wild birds. Working for the federal government. Dorothea Lange took pictures like this one to document how the Depression colluded with the Dust Bowl to ravage lives. Along with the writing of her economist husband. Paul Taylor. tange's work helped convince the public and the government of the need to help field hands. Lange later said that this woman. whose name she did not ask. "seemec to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me.'