Reddit | Dagius

15+ Historical Pics That Show The Past Wasn't All Bad

When we study history, we tend to hear about its major disasters and tragedies because those tend to stand out as the most historically significant parts.

Although it's true that 2020 has been pretty light on fun moments, we can bet that none of the few that did occur will be studied by future generations in 30 years. The biggest stuff in a time period will have the clearest impact on the world around us and that stuff tends to be bad.

But of course, that doesn't mean that there isn't anything worth celebrating in our history. And as we're about to see, that also doesn't mean that nobody bothered to take a picture of those moments.

Here we can see a gondola carrying someone through the canals of Venice back when the city was far less crowded.

Reddit | ewigeflamme

Interestingly, this photo was taken when Venice wasn't actually a part of Italy but rather a part of the Austrian Empire. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, this was the result of a treaty that came after Napoleon's forces invaded the city in 1797.

If you wonder how so many Australians can get comfortable around snakes that most of us won't go anywhere near, it turns out they've had a lot of practice.

Reddit | C0untZero, State Library of Victoria

And when we see this snake from the late 19th century curled up on a blanket next to somebody's refreshments, it becomes a little easier to see why.

It's almost cute.

This woman is proudly standing next to her homemade chicken dinner in the late 1940s.

Reddit | MoPoYoLo

Although this may seem like a mundane scene, it was very important to the uploader's grandma as it took place only a few years after she was released from an internment camp along with other Japanese-Americans.

It's hard to tell whether the great Louis Armstrong is signing this man's head or just contributing to the doodles.

Reddit | FrankLancia

Still, the important thing is that he knew a superfan when he saw one.

And while this guy may resemble the punks you'd see appear later, neither punk rock nor its signature style existed by 1961.

When cars started appearing, those offering rides in donkey carriages had to step their games up.

Reddit | FrankLancia

And so if you hired this wagon in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you weren't just riding in a cart pulled by donkeys. Instead, it was one pulled by record-breaking donkeys.

If you've got a rough-and-tumble older relative who nonetheless fell for a small animal, it turns out that theirs is a tale as old as time.

Reddit | maelmare

For instance, here we can see what the uploader described as, "My very stoic grandfather snuggled up an napping with a kitten around 1959."

Even the hardest hearts can melt sometimes.

And that was apparently true of one of the burliest men in literature, Ernest Hemingway.

Reddit | uncomfortablejoe

According to Mentalfloss, he had a veritable menagerie of cats in both his home in Cuba and his house in Key West, Florida.

The latter has since been turned into the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and it's still home to between 40 and 50 cats.

There obviously wasn't much reason to feel joyous during World War II but this moment stands out as one major exception.

Reddit | DiosMioMan2

That's because we're looking at the RMS Queen Elizabeth heading towards the New York Harbor in 1945. As we can see, it's packed with victorious American soldiers who finally get to return home.

It's unclear what was so funny on the set of *E.T.* but it had to be pretty good since Harrison Ford's a famously tough crowd.

Reddit | ausbabe2

And in case you're wondering why you don't remember seeing him in E.T., the NME revealed that the scene he was in ended up getting cut from the movie.

It's hard to imagine a time when the camera existed and people weren't using it to prove the size of the fish they caught.

Reddit | weena_mercator_THW

Indeed, that's precisely what this couple did in the early '60s long before they became the uploader's grandparents.

This comes from the early '80s but it feels very in line with our senses of humor today.

Reddit | bryvolbm7q

Apparently, 2020 wasn't the only time in which people wanted to just skip the whole thing. Sadly, that didn't seem to work back then either.

This 1986 photo makes it pretty obvious that this family were big fans of the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls.

Reddit | Rocks4lyfe22

This seems to scan with what we know about their popularity at the time but I can't help but wonder how long it took them to go from cute to vaguely creepy.

After all, I seem to recall that it took more than a few years before the same thing happened to Furbies.

Although the caption for this photo is light on details, we do know that this man was dancing in front of a record store in Harlem in 1967.

Reddit | GabeDef

And the only other thing that the caption makes clear is that he's doing it to some now-classic soul music.

Although they were a dangerous gang of bootleggers, there's a reason why the Charlie Birger gang pictured here is on this list.

Reddit | frosty1965

As NPR Illinois reported, his gang actually managed to drive the Ku Klux Klan out of Southern Illinois.

Although Birger was reputed for his generosity and left money and gifts to families in need, this war with the Klan had more to do with business than the goodness of his heart. It turns out that — at least in that region — the Klan were actually big fans of Prohibition and hated bootleggers.

Here we can see a kid in Japan showing his love for baseball in the early 1950s.

Reddit | vaish7848

Although CNBC reported that baseball was introduced to Japan as early as 1872, it didn't really catch on until the nation was occupied by American forces.

Nonetheless, Americans in Japan promoted the sport with such enthusiasm that they were eventually able to arrange for an all-star team that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio to play against locals.

It may not be immediately clear that this photo was taken during World War II but it shouldn't be surprising to hear that it comes from Australia.

Reddit | Dagius

After all, it's the only place that you're likely to find these lizards known as "thorny devils."

Although their scientific name is literally Moloch horridus, that apparently didn't stop these soldiers from showing them some affection.

Back in the 1980s, Bob Probert and Joey Kocur of the Detroit Red Wings were known as the "Bruise Brothers."

Reddit | erpagris

And those missing teeth should give you a pretty handy clue as to why.

But while these two were known to team up and take on the goons of rival teams, the Bleacher Report confirmed that some occasions also saw them fight each other on the ice.

Although the Apollo 11 astronauts were in quarantine when this photo was taken in 1969, they seemed a lot happier about it than you might expect.

Reddit | Dagius

And that's likely not just because of an apparently hilarious moment they shared with then-President Richard Nixon.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, there was a distinct possibility that the astronauts would face a fatal explosion or sink into the then-uncharted surface of the moon and disappear forever.

In all likelihood, these men were relieved to have made it back to earth without either of those things happening.

Apparently, those who purchased a Volkswagen in 1959 had the option of installing a coffee maker into it.

Reddit | moskayjoh

While that certainly seems like it would be convenient, it's probably for the best that it didn't become standard to put us so close to an unprotected cup of scalding hot liquid while we're driving.

As we can see here, Babe Ruth was not the type to ignore his Black fans in 1925 as other players at the time may have been.

Reddit | Harvickfan4Life

As The Baltimore Sun reported, he was known to break from the pack and play barnstormer games against all-Black teams as early as 1918 and set up such games even in areas where doing so was illegal.

He was also known to sit and talk with Black players in their dugouts before and after games and he also mingled in what were otherwise segregated stands.

As author Bill Jenkinson said, "He had a great natural empathy for his fellow man."

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