History in Pics

Shigeki Tanaka

Survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon in 1951.

Tanaka was 13 and living 20 miles from Hiroshima at the time of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bombing. After his victory, he recalled, “We saw a bright light and heard a little noise. But no one thought anything about it at the time… three days later, we heard the terrible news.”

Tanaka’s win inspired in Japan an enduring enthusiasm for distance running and an affection for the Boston Marathon. In 1998, Tanaka’s house was ransacked and his Boston Marathon winner’s medal was stolen.

Canine Soldier


A dog is dressed up by a German soldier, 1940.

Soviet Students


Female Soviet college students studying for their exams in a park in the late 1960s.

Selling Mummies


Street vendor selling mummies in Egypt, 1865.

So brisk was the trade in mummies to Europe that even after ransacking tombs and catacombs there just were not enough ancient Egyptian bodies to meet the demand. So fake mummies were fabricated from the corpses of the executed criminals, the aged, the poor and those who had died from hideous diseases, by burying them in the sand or stuffing them with bitumen and exposing them to the sun.

Many mummies were also used for commercial purposes, such as fuel for steam engines, ground up to make pharmaceuticals, and likely also attempted to be used to make paper. Mark Twain, during a trip to Egypt, once wrote:

“I shall not speak of the railway, for it is like any other railway—I shall only say that the fuel they use for the locomotive is composed of mummies three thousand years old, purchased by the ton or by the graveyard for that purpose and that sometimes one hears the profane engineer call out pettishly, “D–n these plebeians, they don’t burn worth a cent—pass out a King …”

Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders carried away by police during a protest, 1963.

In the mid-1960s, protests over segregation in the area raged over mobile classrooms dubbed “Willis Wagons,” named for then-Chicago Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis. The phrase “Willis Wagons” was believed to have been coined in 1963 by Rosie Simpson, a leader in education reform in Chicago. She was describing the trailers that Willis set up for black children instead of sending them to white schools.

Sanders was arrested Aug. 12, 1963, and charged with resisting arrest. He was found guilty and fined $25.


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