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15+ Historical Pics That Were Remarkably Well Timed

Modern smartphone cameras all have a 'burst' mode that allows you to take a bunch of photos in a flurry, saving the best and discarding the rest. It's a nice feature to have.

Back in the day, when photos were captured on physical film, this wasn't possible. But it still didn't stop intrepid photographers from snapping their camera shutters at the perfect moment.

Out of this world.

Reddit | SerjUSA

Selfies were a pretty rare thing to see back in 1966. Selfies in space, as demonstrated here by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, were truly on another level altogether.

After the crash.

Reddit | frecklefactor

This photo shows the aftermath of the Wall Street crash in 1929. After the chaos and the drama, this janitor was left with a sea of discarded paper to sweep up.

There he is!

Reddit | NewRetroPepsi

This 1977 photo shows "Human Fly" George Willig climbing the World Trade Center. After his 3.5-hour climb, he was fined one cent for every floor he passed, for a total of $1.10.

The King and his dad.

Reddit | fjworkshop

Elvis Presley's mother Gladys passed away in 1958, leaving his father Vernon devastated by her loss. This photo shows the younger Presley consoling his dad after they heard the news.

Targeted advertising.

Reddit | SpadoKln

City councillors would never allow a massive ad to be put up in Venice's Saint Mark's Square, but there's nothing illegal about spreading a bunch of birdseed around.

That's how this Coke ad, made entirely of pigeons, came to be.

A beggar and a king.

Reddit | pubwithnobeer

This 1920 photo shows the two extreme stratas of society. A beggar is seen hustling up alongside the carriage of King George V in London to ask him for some change.

A lot going on.

Reddit | Roguecop

There's almost too much going on in this photo to make sense of it. B-25 bombers are buzzing around an erupting Mount Vesuvius as they battle Axis forces during World War II.

Take it back.

Reddit | aldahuda

By the 1970s, there was widespread disgust with the war in Vietnam. This Vietnam veteran returned home in 1971, then traveled to the Capitol to throw his medal in protest of the war.

Better angels.

Reddit | OIFVet303

Racial tensions ran high at this 1996 protest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Although African-American teen Keshia Thomas came to the rally to protest racial injustice, she still bravely protected a Klan member after he fell to the ground.

A family reunited.

Reddit | domenicocavasso

The family of Lt. Col. Robert Stirm thought they'd never see him again after he became a prisoner of war in Vietnam. But after five long years in a POW camp, he returned home to meet his joyous family.

Destroyer of worlds.

Reddit | synternia

It took an advanced camera to capture this frame, which shows a nuclear detonation a split second after it happened. It shows the terrifying raw power of nuclear weapons.

A final salute.

Reddit | NewRetroPepsi

This image was taken from the speeding funeral train of Robert F. Kennedy. Somewhere between New York and Washington, a few locals came out to pay their respects to the train.

Salvation at last.

Reddit | cicknokkinos

This is Poon Lim, a Chinese sailor, after being rescued in 1943 off the coast of Brazil. Lim had been adrift for an incredible 133 days — about five months — before this picture was taken.

Seconds after impact.

Reddit | Reporter_at_large

This photo shows the immediate aftermath, including a rising column of smoke, after a B-25 bomber struck the Empire State Building on a foggy day back in 1945.

A rare sight.

Reddit | lindagibsonn1213

This 1848 photo shows something that hasn't been seen in over a century: Niagara Falls, so clogged with ice that it's stopped flowing.

Nowadays, it might freeze, but never so thoroughly that it would be safe to wander out onto the ice.

A memorable goodbye.

Reddit | Grafixart-Photo

As soldiers hop on a train and prepare to be shipped out for service in the Korean War, one recruit took the opportunity to give his girlfriend a goodbye kiss — with a little support from his fellow soldiers.

Oh happy day.

Reddit | deusXYX

The Great Depression was raging when this photo was taken in 1933, but this Depression-era photo shows a happy occasion: the end of Prohibition, which ended 13 long years of no legal alcohol.

Perfect timing.

Reddit | Life2021

In 1935, a collection of military planes were spotted flying in formation over the Statue of Liberty. The resulting photo turned out crystal clear, framing Lady Liberty's crown against the passing planes.


Reddit | earthmoonsun

Not long before the Berlin Wall finally came down, this 1989 photo shows an East German security officer shooting at two defectors attempting to escape to West Berlin.

Unfortunate framing.

Twitter | @BeschlossDC

This 1955 photo of Vice President Richard Nixon at Disneyland would be pleasant and unremarkable if not for the label on the car he was seated in. This must have slipped past a few of his handlers on that day.

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