In modern history, the Soviet Era of 1922 to 1991 is one of the most iconic, as different political powers came head to head, causing struggle and disaster along the way. As one of the two superpowers of the time, along with the United States, the Soviet Union was involved in numerous international conflicts and proxy wars and played a pivotal role in the spread of communism around the world. The following images offer a glimpse into the harsh reality of the era.
The Struggles and Triumphs of the Soviet EraPublished 1 month ago
Imagine walking through the city's main square only to be accosted by heavy artillery. Well, this was the reality during the May Day Parade in 1947. This particular May Day Parade was a significant event in the Soviet Union calendar, as it was the first time the Moscow Garrison troops marched through Red Square with heavy artillery on display. The powerful show of military strength and national pride intended to demonstrate the Soviet Union's commitment to defending itself against any potential threats.
The parade also featured numerous posters of Lenin and Stalin, highlighting these leaders' important roles in the country's history and government. The May Day Parade was an annual event in the Soviet Union and was used as a platform for the government to showcase its accomplishments and reaffirm its commitment to communist ideology.
Communism is associated with the color red, but this young girl’s bright outfit and ginger locks are not exactly the red we had in mind. The photograph was snapped during the Communist hard liners' coup attempt in August 1991, where Soviet tank barricades were placed at Red Square in Moscow as a show of force by the coup leaders.
The coup, led by a group of high-ranking officials who were opposed to the reforms being implemented by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, aimed to remove Gorbachev from power and restore the hard-line communist government. The tank barricades symbolized the coup leaders' intention to use military force to maintain control and were seen as a threat to the democratic reforms that were taking place in the Soviet Union at the time. The coup ultimately failed, but the events marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.
The May Day Parade at Moscow’s Red Square was not a one-off event, but each year manifested differently. Overall, May 1 was a major celebration of worker solidarity, Soviet might, and the advent of spring. In 1969, this celebration took a different turn, without any display of weaponry.
As this picture reveals, the 1969 May Day parade was a large, orchestrated event, with a parade of young sportsmen dressed in uniform marching to a single beat. The large poster in the background looks on ominously, reminding us of the overbearing power of propaganda.
This grim sight reveals a group of prisoners at the Vorkuta Gulag in the Komi Republic in Russia. The Gulag was a network of labor camps in the Soviet Union operated by the secret police, known as the NKVD, from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was used to hold prisoners considered a threat to the government or society, including political prisoners, criminals, and "enemies of the state."
As this photograph reveals, many of the prisoners held in the Gulag were forced to work in harsh and dangerous conditions, often for long hours and with little food or medical care. Many prisoners did not survive in the Gulag due to extreme conditions and the lack of proper care. Eventually, the Gulag system was dismantled in the 1950s, but the legacy of this period of Soviet history remains a source of controversy and debate.
Although they usually fought for different teams, this photograph shows Americans distributing food from a relief train during the devastating famine during the Russian Civil War, which lasted from 1917 to 1922. At the time, the country was engulfed in conflict and suffering from widespread hunger. In an effort to provide assistance to those in need, several relief trains were sent to Russia from other countries, including the United States.
One such train, known as the American Relief Administration (ARA) train, was sent to Russia in 1921 and distributed food to those suffering from famine. The ARA train was operated by a group of American volunteers who worked tirelessly to provide assistance to the Russian people during this difficult time. Their efforts played a crucial role in helping to alleviate the suffering.
Behold a snapshot from the notorious “Miracle on Ice” game. The legendary ice hockey game took place in Lake Placid, New York, during the 1980 Winter Olympics and pitted the U.S. Olympic team against the Soviet Union, considered one of the world's best hockey teams at the time.
As the underdogs, the U.S. team, made up of amateur players, was not expected to win against the Soviet team. However, against all odds, the team pulled off a stunning upset and won the game with a score of 4-3. Full of highlights, this photograph of Mike Ramsey from the U.S. team checking Valeri Kharlamov captures one of them!
Propaganda played a massive role in the political tension of the Soviet Era. Posters, in particular, spoke volumes, featuring images of brotherhood and unity. These posters were widely used to promote the communist ideology and ideals of the government. They often depicted scenes of workers, peasants, and soldiers working together and supporting one another, with slogans such as "Workers of the world, unite!" and "Proletarians of all countries, unite!"
Regardless of the exact wording, the message was clear, intended to promote a sense of unity and solidarity among the Soviet people and to encourage them to work together towards the common goal of building a socialist society. This 1935 poster, found in the Collection of the Russian State Library in Moscow, depicts the model of brotherhood among workers of world nationalities.
A lot of hard work goes into dividing a nation — both figuratively and literally. The Berlin Wall was a physical barrier that was constructed in 1961 by the East German authorities in an effort to strengthen the barriers between East and West Berlin. The wall was built by soldiers under the instruction of the East German government and was intended to prevent the flow of people and goods between the city's two halves.
Before the construction of the wall, a large number of people left East Berlin and crossed into West Berlin. The East German authorities saw the wall as necessary to prevent this from continuing. The wall was a symbol of the divide between the communist East and the democratic West and became a powerful symbol of the Cold War — along with photographs of its construction!
Another critical aspect of political control and propaganda involves censored education, and the Soviet Union focused on educating young minds about the benefits of communism. So, it wasn’t uncommon for groups of young pioneers from a youth organization in the Soviet Union to visit the museum in Leningrad (now known as St. Petersburg) dedicated to Vladimir Lenin and other historical figures of the city. The museum, located in a former palace, contained several sculptures, paintings, and other works of art dedicated to Lenin and other key figures in the Soviet Union.
The group in this 1939 photograph was likely part of a school group or other organized tour and would have been taken to the museum as part of their educational activities. Of course, it was a one-dimensional educational experience.
Communism had a firm grip on East Germany until the wall that divided Germany came tumbling down in 1990. After 28 years of separation, Germany was finally reunified, and the Soviet Union withdrew its interests. In this photograph, a Soviet soldier sits on top of a T-80 tank in Rostock, a port city in Germany, as it waits to be shipped back to the Soviet Union.
Ultimately, hundreds of T-80 tanks were shipped back to the Soviet Union from Rostock. Shipping the tanks back to the Soviet Union was likely a complex and logistically challenging task. Yet, the return of the tanks marked the end of a significant chapter in the country's history and was a reflection of the changing political landscape in Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In 1988, the political tension between Russia and America relaxed slightly when President Ronald Reagan took a trip to the Soviet Union. During a tour of the Red Square, Ronald Reagan was accompanied by Mikhail Gorbachev and a group of young people, including a boy who was captured shaking hands with the president. The photograph was widely circulated in the media at the time, became an iconic image of the visit, and was seen as a symbol of the improving relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Ronald Reagan's visit to the Soviet Union was the first by a U.S. president in over 60 years. The trip was seen as a significant step towards improving relations between the two countries and helped pave the way for further negotiations and cooperation in the following years.
On the first anniversary of the Soviet armed forces’ formation, Russian communist revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin gave a speech to Vsevobuch servicemen, who were members of the Soviet military. The speech, which was held at the Red Square in Moscow, was an opportunity for Lenin to address the servicemen and reaffirm the military's importance in the Soviet Union.
In his speech, Lenin would have likely emphasized the role of the military in defending the socialist state and in promoting the ideals of communism around the world. The speech would have been seen as an important moment in the history of the Soviet armed forces and would have been widely reported in the media and remembered by those who were in attendance. Judging from this photograph, he certainly has his audience’s attention!
While some people have grand dreams of becoming an astronaut, this dog actually lived the reality! Pictured here is Laika, a Russian cosmonaut dog who made history in 1957 when she became the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow who was selected to participate in the Soviet space program due to her small size and calm temperament.
In November 1957, Laika was placed on board the Sputnik 2 spacecraft and launched into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The pup’s flight was a major milestone in the history of space exploration, and her journey was followed closely by people around the world. Unfortunately, Laika did not survive the flight, as the spacecraft was not designed to allow her to return to Earth, but her legacy as a pioneering space hero has lived on.
Joseph Stalin was a complex and controversial figure who is still the subject of much debate and analysis today. While some people may view Stalin as a charismatic leader, others see him as a ruthless dictator responsible for millions of people's deaths. Every now and then, he used his influence to butter up his followers. In this photograph, he is seen autographing photographs for 11-year-old Mamlakat Nakhangova and Ene Geldiyeva, members of a farming collective from Tajikistan.
As the leader of the Soviet Union, Stalin was a highly influential figure, and his autograph would have been highly prized by those who received it.
Although communist leaders of the Soviet Union ruled with an iron fist, there were a few uprisings over the years. For example, the Soviet Coup attempt of 1991 was a failed attempt by a group of hard-line communist officials to seize control of the Soviet government and prevent the country from moving towards democracy and market reform. The coup, which took place in August of 1991, was sparked by opposition to the policies of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
The coup attempt was met with widespread resistance, and thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the coup leaders and to show their support for Gorbachev. In this photograph, a soldier stands guard next to demonstrators holding up a sign during a protest in Moscow. People from all walks of life joined forces to have their voices heard.
Who would’ve thought that rubble and graffiti could evoke such joy? The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of communism in East Berlin and the beginning of a new era of unity and cooperation between East and West Germany. The wall, which had been built in 1961 to prevent the flow of people and goods between the city's two halves, had become a symbol of the Cold War and the divide between the communist East and the democratic West.
The wall fell mere weeks after massive anti-government protests where East German border guards shot 77 people as they tried to escape to the west. Adding this context to the wall makes the joy of its collapse all the more tangible.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, East Germans could freely enter West Germany for the first time in over 28 years. Its collapse was greeted with joy and celebration by people on both sides, who saw it as a victory for freedom and a step towards the reunification of Germany. As the wall was dismantled, people poured into the streets to celebrate, and the scene was filled with music, dancing, and emotion as people rejoiced at the prospect of a new, more united future.
The reunification of Germany was a complex and challenging process, but the fall of the Berlin Wall was seen as a key step towards this goal and was greeted with joy and celebration by people around the world.
The communist philosophy was not reserved for the Soviet Union alone but extended to other parts of the world — such as Cuba! In 1963, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev met with Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba. The meeting, which took place in February of that year, was seen as an important moment in the history of the Soviet Union and Cuba, as it marked the beginning of a close relationship between the two countries.
During the meeting, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro had a long and wide-ranging discussion about various topics, including the Cold War, communism, and the role of the Soviet Union in the international community. The meeting between them was well-publicized and widely reported in the media. It was seen as a sign of the growing friendship and cooperation between the Soviet Union and Cuba.
Geopolitics is often filled with friendly faces in front of the camera and espionage tactics behind the scenes. Spies and politicians used various tools to stay updated with both friends and enemies. During the Cold War, spies in the United States were known to use miniature codebooks to decode messages from Moscow and other locations in the Soviet Union. The codebooks, which were small enough to be easily concealed, were used by spies to decipher encrypted messages that had been sent to them by their handlers in the Soviet Union.
Using codebooks was an important part of the spy trade, as it allowed spies to communicate with their handlers without being detected by authorities. One of these codebooks is pictured here, containing a series of numbers. According to Attorney-General Sir Elwyn Jones, these miniature pages were used by spies to decode messages.
The Russian State Library is one of the largest libraries in the world and has a vast collection of materials on a wide range of topics, including art, literature, history, and politics. Propaganda posters were an important part of the Soviet Union's efforts to promote communist ideology and to shape public opinion, and many of these posters were produced by talented artists such as Pikalov Georgi Nikitich — such as this one pictured here!
This particular poster sends a very clear message: "there is no place for parasites in socialism." Each person must work hard to contribute to the nation’s success (at any and all costs).
As the years passed, the Soviet Union started losing control over areas of foreign occupancy. In 1988, Soviet troops began withdrawing from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, after more than eight years of occupation. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 in an effort to prop up a pro-communist government that was facing a growing insurgency, but the conflict quickly turned into a muddle, and the Soviet Union was unable to secure a decisive victory.
The decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was seen as a major victory for the United States, which had supported the Afghan resistance forces and had worked to undermine the Soviet occupation. The U.S. played a key role in the Soviet withdrawal, providing military and financial assistance to the Afghan resistance and working to negotiate a settlement that would allow the Soviet Union to leave the country without losing face.
It wasn’t only famine and oppression that controlled areas in the Soviet Union, but also disasters such as the nuclear catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Naroditchi was one of the villages affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, after which the Soviet authorities declared the village to be contaminated and ordered the villagers to evacuate and not return. However, some of the villagers disobeyed the official ban and returned to their homes, despite the risks.
In this picture, photographer Wojtek Laski stands alongside a few of these villagers, who were determined to stay in their homes and maintain their way of life. They faced significant challenges as they struggled to cope with the contamination and the lack of support from the authorities. Their determination despite the risks is a poignant reminder of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
The history of the Soviet Era was punctuated by various battles and wars — some within the Soviet Union and others on foreign terrain. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most strategically decisive battles of World War II. Fought in the Soviet city of Stalingrad (now known as Volgograd) from July 1942 to February 1943, the battle marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.
The battle was characterized by brutal fighting, as the German and Soviet armies engaged in a series of intense, close-quarters battles to control the city. The outcome of the battle was heavily influenced by the harsh winter conditions, which made it difficult for the Germans to maintain their supply lines and support their troops. Ultimately, the Soviet Union emerged victorious, which was seen as a major turning point in the war.
The more land a country controls, the more influence and power they hold. During the Soviet Era, political powers did their best to control surrounding land and resources. In the 1930s, the Soviet Union constructed the White Sea-Baltic canal, also known as the Belomor-Baltic Canal. It was designed to connect the White Sea with the Baltic Sea, thereby connecting the Artic and Atlantic oceans.
The canal construction was a massive undertaking involving the building of locks, dams, and other infrastructure, as well as the excavation of over 100 million cubic meters of earth. The canal was completed in 1933 and opened up new trade routes. But the achievement wasn’t without blood, sweat, and tears — as this photograph shows — as well as the death of between 12,000 and 240,000 laborers.
Although at odds with foreign countries, the Soviet Union pulled out all the stops when receiving visitors. In 1987, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Moscow for a series of talks with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. During her visit, she was greeted by a group of soldiers who marched outside the Kremlin, the seat of the Soviet government. The soldiers, dressed in full military uniform, likely participated in a formal welcoming ceremony or another event to mark Margaret Thatcher’s visit.
Seeing soldiers at the Kremlin served as a reminder of the Soviet Union's military might and its role as a global superpower. Margaret’s visit to Moscow was seen as an important step in the process of improving relations between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and her talks with Mikhail Gorbachev helped to pave the way for further negotiations and cooperation between the two countries.
In 1990, Russia experienced an economic crisis characterized by hyperinflation, food shortages, and other economic problems. It was a challenging time for many people in the Soviet Union, and countless groups struggled to make ends meet. Some people were forced to leave their homes and live in temporary shelters, such as tent cities, as they struggled to find a way to survive.
Pictured here is an example of a tent city in sight of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin, acting as a visible sign of the economic difficulties that many people in the Soviet Union were facing. Seeing photographs like this one is a reminder of the challenges that the country was facing as it struggled to transition to a market-based economy.
Amid all the struggles in the Soviet Union, there were moments of magic and beauty. This photograph captures the evening light as it hits St. Basil’s Cathedral, and people pass through the Red Square in Moscow. As a historic landmark in the city, St. Basil’s Cathedral is known for its distinctive architectural style and vibrant colors. The cathedral is particularly striking in the evening light, as the setting sun casts a warm glow on its domes and spires.
The cathedral is situated near the Kremlin, the historic merchant quarter of Kitai-gorod, and the Red Square, all major landmarks in the city. Together, these landmarks form the nucleus of Moscow's cultural and historical center, and they are an important part of what makes the city such a unique and vibrant place.
The Soviet Union had power in numbers. During the Soviet era, communist party members often used cards to vote on various issues. The voting process was typically conducted in a formal setting, such as a party congress or a plenum, and the results of the vote were often announced publicly. In some cases, communism would win by a unanimous vote — such as in this photograph — meaning that all of the party members present at the vote agreed with the proposal.
This type of voting system was common in communist countries, as it was seen as a way to ensure that the party remained unified and that all members were in agreement on key issues. However, the use of cards to vote also had the potential to limit freedom of expression, as it was difficult for party members to express dissent or to vote against the party line.
The Soviet Era was directed by several key leaders, including Joseph Stalin. But his reign came to an end when he died in 1953. Joseph Stalin's coffin and funeral procession were key events in the history of the Soviet Union, honoring a controversial and influential figure. His death was a major event that was widely reported around the world
Joseph Stalin's funeral was held in Moscow on March 9, 1953, and it was a grand and elaborate affair attended by tens of thousands of people. His coffin, which was made of wood and covered in a red cloth, was carried through the streets of Moscow in a procession that a group of soldiers led. A military band accompanied the funeral procession, and it was watched by crowds of people who had gathered to pay their respects to the deceased leader.
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had a network of nuclear missile bases located throughout the country, including some that were located outside of Moscow. These bases were heavily guarded and protected and typically had control rooms where personnel could monitor the status of the missiles and launch them if necessary. The control rooms were usually underground and equipped with advanced communication and computer systems to keep the personnel in contact with military command centers and other government agencies.
The existence of these control rooms was kept secret from the general public, and access to them was strictly controlled to prevent unauthorized access or tampering. Nuclear missile bases outside Moscow in the 1990s would likely have had similar control rooms as those in place during the Cold War. Luckily, there are photographs like this one to offer us a privileged insight.
The 1980s was a decade marked by significant cultural and political changes. It was a time of economic prosperity, the rise of consumer culture, and the emergence of new technologies such as personal computers and the internet. It was also a decade of great musical diversity. Join us as we take a walk down memory lane to the decade with the biggest hair of all...
Men with long hair and Aviator glasses were iconic of the times, and the members of the rock group Poison knew how to flaunt the fashion. In this photograph, band members Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Rikki Rockett, and Bobby Dall are posing on the red carpet at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards. While the band is normally known for their signature stage outfits, complete with leather and spandex, long hair, and heavy makeup, they decided to clean up for the event.
Nonetheless, the hair remains a siganture! The photograph captures a moment of glamour and fame for the members of Poison as they smiled and posed for the cameras.
Behold a snapshot of The Miracle on Ice hockey game, a defining moment in the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, New York. The game pitted the United States team, made up of amateur and college players, against the Soviet Union team, considered the best in the world at the time. The Cold War tensions between the two countries added extra significance to the match.
The United States team, led by coach Herb Brooks, pulled off a stunning upset, defeating the Soviet Union team 4-3 in a nail-biting match that came down to the final minutes. The game, which was dubbed the "Miracle on Ice," was hailed as a major upset and a moment of national pride for the United States. It has become one of American sports history's most iconic moments.
Imagine the audacity and horror of trying to kill the American president and the intense disappointment and fear as you miss your mark. On March 30, 1981, there was an assassination attempt on the life of President Reagan, and the appalling event sent shockwaves through the country. The President was shot and wounded while leaving the hotel after giving a speech, and the perpetrator, John Hinckley Jr., was later arrested and charged with attempted murder.
The photograph features the chaos outside the Washington Hilton Hotel after the assassination attempt and reveals a moment of intense confusion and fear. Pictured here, Press Secretary James Brady and Agent Timothy McCarthy are injured - both would survive.
While Madonna is a timeless pop star who still captivates audiences today, there was a time when she reached her peak. Some may argue that this peak occurred in the 1980s, and here she is pictured holding a fan in a hotel room in Tokyo in 1985.
Madonna is known for her provocative style, catchy pop hits, and controversial music videos, making her a household name worldwide. During her visit to Tokyo, Madonna performed a series of concerts at the Budokan, a popular indoor arena in the city. She was also interviewed by Japanese media and appeared on television shows, further solidifying her status as a global superstar. Madonna's visit to Tokyo was highly anticipated by her fans in Japan, many of whom were drawn to her rebellious and edgy image.
Laughter is the best medicine, and Eddie Murphy certainly knows how to evoke a chuckle. That’s why he was rewarded with the People’s Choice Award in 1989! Captured in this photograph, he poses with his People's Choice Award alongside fellow comedian Arsenio Hall. The two men are seen smiling and laughing as they pose for a backstage telecast photo shoot in Beverly Hills, California, and their joy is contagious.
At the time, both were at the peaks of their careers. Eddie Murphy was known for his successful stand-up comedy routines and his work as an actor and comedian in films such as Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places.
Princess Diana led a tragic life, but there were moments of sweetness and joy along the way. Consider this photograph the perfect example, featuring Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in Cross Hall at the White House, showcasing a moment of glamour and elegance at an official dinner held on November 9, 1985, in Washington, DC
Princess Diana, known for her poise and beauty, is seen wearing a stunning evening gown as she gracefully dances with John Travolta, a popular actor and dancer known for his roles in films such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease. The official dinner was attended by several dignitaries and celebrities, allowing the pair to swing from one another’s arms on the dancefloor.
Nicolas Cage and Johnny Depp have appeared in several films together, and Depp in fact credits Cage with jumpstarting and encouraging his career. In this photograph, they attend the premiere of The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years: a documentary film that premiered in 1988 and focused on the heavy metal music scene in Los Angeles. The film, directed by Penelope Spheeris, featured interviews with musicians and industry insiders, as well as live performances from several popular metal bands.
Diving deep into the scene, the film explores the themes of excess and rebellion central to the metal scene, and it gained a cult following for its raw and unflinching portrayal of the subculture. The film remains a significant cultural artifact of the 1980s and an essential document of the metal music genre — and these two actors remain iconic characters of their time, too.
Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields were both celebrities in the 1980s and were rumored to have had a brief romantic relationship. Brooke Shields met the King of Pop when she was just 16 years old and he was in his mid-20s. The two were often seen together and were rumored to have dated, but Brooke denied it in her memoir, saying, "Of course we loved each other, but nothing happened romantically."
In fact, she would speak at his memorial in 2009 after his death, saying, "Whenever we went out together and there would be a picture taken, there would be a caption of some kind, the caption usually said something like ‘an odd couple’ or ‘an unlikely pair.’ But, to us, it was the most natural, and easiest of friendships."
The Olympics are a sporting calendar highlight, bringing countless visitors to different locations in anticipation of sporting entertainment. In 1984, the Summer Olympics was hosted at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with the closing ceremony capturing a moment of celebration and farewell.
The historic stadium in Los Angeles was filled with spectators as the closing ceremony occurs. The scoreboard in the photograph displays a message reading, "Good luck to the athletes of the world," highlighting the international nature of the Olympic Games and the spirit of sportsmanship at the heart of the event.
Formed in London in 1970, Queen was undeniably one of the world's most successful and influential bands — and Freddie Mercury was at the heart of it. This photograph features him during the band's 1982 tour, capturing a moment of rock and roll excess and glamour. As lead singer and frontman of the iconic band, the star was often seen posing in a flamboyant costume, complete with a sparkly jacket and leggings — or perhaps even topless.
Queen was known for their energetic live performances and elaborate stage shows, and Freddie Mercury was renowned for his powerful voice and commanding stage presence. The photograph captures the energy and excitement of a Queen concert, as well as the unique style and personality of Freddie Mercury, who has gone down in history as one of the greatest rock singers of all time.
How’s this image for a flashback? The photograph of the Voyager control center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, captures a moment of scientific achievement and exploration, revealing the control center, which was used to monitor and control the Voyager spacecraft as it traveled through the solar system and beyond.
The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft, which were identical twin probes, were launched in 1977 as part of a mission to study the outer solar system and, eventually, interstellar space. The spacecraft was equipped with a number of scientific instruments, including cameras, spectrometers, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators, which allowed them to gather data about the planets and other celestial objects they encountered. Yet none of these achievements were possible without hard work, as seen in this photograph.
Even in a graffiti-filled subway car, Michael Jackson looks trendy and dapper. As proof, this photograph exists, snapped during the filming of the long-form music video for his song Bad. Directed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, the image captures a moment of creative collaboration between two entertainment industry titans.
The photograph was taken in November 1986 in New York. The creative collaboration paid off, and the music video, released in 1987, was a significant success, further encouraging the song to become one of the singer’s most iconic hits.
Andre Agassi is one of the greats, earning his place as a legend in the world of tennis. Photographs like this one remind us of his style, wearing his jean-style shorts during a men's singles match at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, capturing a moment of athletic prowess and fashion innovation.
The photograph shows the tennis star, known for his aggressive style of play and his fashion-forward wardrobe, playing a match at the U.S. Open held at the USTA National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, one of the four major professional tennis tournaments. His use of jean shorts on the court was unusual at the time and sparked a trend in tennis fashion. The player's intensity and focus are prolific, as well as his willingness to break with tradition and embrace new styles.
Halston and Bianca Jagger were two well-known figures in the world of fashion and entertainment, so it should be no surprise that they were photographed together for L'uomo and Italian Vogue in 1981. Halston was an American fashion designer known for his elegant and sophisticated clothing, which was popular with celebrities and socialites — such as Bianca Jagger.
Bianca Jagger was a model and socialite known for her bold and daring fashion choices (as well as her marriage to Mick Jagger). This particular photograph of the pair was taken at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, where they were attending "The Party of the Year," which Diana Vreeland famously referred to as such.
How many meals and words have you shared around the dinner table? Celebrities also use feasting and drinking as an opportunity to connect — such as actress Elizabeth Taylor and musician Bob Dylan who share a table in this photograph.
The event was hosted in Los Angeles in March 1986 and served as a special tribute to Bob Dylan by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. The photograph captures a moment of friendship and mutual respect between two iconic figures in the entertainment industry, and the image is filled with small details that paint a full picture of the era, from fashion choices and cigarettes to drinks and decor!