Rare historical photos show just what people are capable of
Human history is full of fascinating and shocking events. Unfortunately, most of us have to rely on written accounts to understand what really happened and this can leave a lot to the imagination. But since the invention of photography, more and more of these special moments have been captured on film and we can see exactly what they looked like, even if only in black and white. Here are 16 perfect examples of moments in history that show just what humans are capable of — both good and bad. Some of these will chill you to the bone...
1. The first bulletproof vests were tested in 1923. You have to really trust your product to volunteer for these tests!
2. President John F. Kennedy's coffin lies in state following his tragic assassination in 1963.
3. The Philippine politician Reynaldo Dagsa only wanted to take a snapshot of his family on New Year's Day in 2011. He ended up photographing his murderer. Dagsa snapped the photo right as the other man pulled the trigger. A short time later the politician was pronounced dead.
4. Deadly danger from the air: this photographer caught a V1 rocket on its way to hitting its target during WWII.
5. This is what the inside of a submarine looked like during WWI. The photo was taken in 1918 and shows the extensive array of valves involved. Looks pretty straightforward, right?
6. An impressive farewell photo and the last one taken of the legendary Titanic before it sank in 1912.
7. This is a photo of the "elephant's foot" in the destroyed nuclear power station in Chernobyl. It is the most dangerously radicactive area in the reactor. It only takes a short stay in this area before the signs of radiation poisoning start to appear, a fact which gives the ghostlike images in the photo a whole new dimension.
8. The child prodigy Samuel Reshevsky proves his talent by playing against several leading chess players simultaneously. This event took place in 1920 in Paris when Reshevsky was only eight years old.
9. And who is this dapper young man? A hopeful Winston Churchill who would later go on to become Prime Minister of Britain. His legendary statesmanship and numerous turns of phrase guaranteed him a place in the history books.
10. A loyal friend: this photo was taken on December 21, 1945, and shows General George S. Patton's mourning dog. The general played a decisive role in the allied victory during WWII.
11. Archeologists were astounded when they found this grave in Iran. The remains of a couple were found together in their final resting place. The hugging skeletons are estimated to be around 2,800 years old.
12. This photo is the last picture of 14-year-old Regina Kay Walters while she was still alive. It was taken by Robert Ben Rhoades, a truck driver and serial killer, right before he murdered her.
13. It looks like something from a science fiction movie but it was actually the world's first atomic bomb.
14. Another photo that looks like a scene from a horror movie. It was a actually a test to practise the procedure for protecting children in the case of a chemical weapons attack during WWII. In 1940 English nurses tested the gas masks and resuscitation devices that would be used on children.
15. This happy scene hides a dark secret. The men in the photo were none other than the infamous guards at the concentration camp in Auschwitz.
16. This photo documenting a mass shooting of Ukrainian Jews during WWII is unforgettable. The man at the edge of the grave faces death with as much honor as he can muster. It's actually unbelievable that someone was still able to take a picture when confronted with such horrendous inhumanity.
Some of these photos are very disturbing and some are extremely fascinating — and some are both simultaneously. But no matter what we feel when we look at them, we can always learn something about how things were. And in some cases, we learn a good lesson in why they should never be that way again.