History in Pics


Jesse Owens wins gold in Nazi Germany, 1936.

Many Americans imagined that black athletes would be poorly treated in Berlin, but the 100,000 Berliners chanting “Jes-say O-vens” as he won the 100m proved the contrary. Owens and his black teammates enjoyed a freedom of movement and equality seldom experienced stateside. The Nazis wanted to use the Olympics to display a renewed Germany to the world. International Olympic boycott movements had threatened the opportunity. Consequently, the Olympic village was integrated and all racist propaganda was suspended for the duration of the games. Robert Vann, an African-American newsman, wrote, “These German people are mighty fine. They have a spirit of sportsmanship and fair play which overrides the color-barrier.” However, this rosy picture of Berlin in 1936 was not conducive to framing a struggle between opposed political ideologies. In truth, the tolerant Berlin on which Vann reported was created specifically for the duration of the Olympics at the behest of Goebbels and the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Anti-Semitic posters and publications were removed from the streets. Buildings were whitewashed and painted. Public persecution of Jewish Berliners was forbidden. Foreshadowing the terror to come, the Sinti and Roma were forcibly removed to a “gypsy camp” in Marzahn, a suburb of Berlin. Goebbels appealed, “The future of the Reich will depend upon the impression that is left upon our guests.” Der Angriff, the militant newspaper that eventually coined the slur “black auxiliaries” for the black American Olympians, advised its readers to be “more charming than the Parisians, more easygoing than the Viennese, more vivacious than the Romans, more cosmopolitan than London, and more practical than New York.” The effort expended by the Reich to sanitize the Capitol lessened the political influence of National Socialism on the Olympics Games. Instead, the XI Olympiad hid the true nature of the regime’s intentions. Historian Barbara Keys concluded, “The games did nothing to alter the character of the Third Reich. But the Third Reich did little to alter the character of the Olympics.”


SR-71 Blackbird pilots in pressurized uniforms, 1980’s.

One of the most amazing accomplishments of the SR-71 program was that it was possible to survive ejecting at Mach 3+. The pressure suit was a major part of how this was accomplished. In addition to the obvious, it would also inflate fully during an ejection in order to act like an airbag to cushion being shot into Mach 3 slipstream and had thermal protection built in to protect them from the intense heating involved. When they decided to equip the Space Shuttle crews with pressure suits after Challenger, this suit (with minor changes) was the one they used.


WWI reconnaissance pigeon, 1915. A pigeon with a small camera attached. The trained birds were used experimentally by German citizen Julius Neubronner, before and during the war years, capturing aerial images when a timer mechanism clicked the shutter.

Pigeons played a vital part in World War 1 as they proved to be an extremely reliable way of sending messages. Such was the importance of pigeons that over 100,000 were used in the war with an astonishing success rate of 95% getting through to their destination with their message.


Students saluting a USSR veteran, 1989.

Once a year, they get to wear the medals and get bussed to the parade where they walk for propaganda purposes and hear praise from crowds and leaders. For the rest of the year, many of them were neglected by the government that did not actually support cripples – with no wheelchairs, no ramps, no transportation, minimal pensions, relying entirely on family members to go anywhere. Many ended up begging on the street and living in poverty.



  1. I find it amusing how people talk about the Nazi’s like the christians haven’t done the same thing during the Inquisition and the crusades. Nazi’s are still reviled, yet christians are popular? Make a choice, hypocrites, or shut the he!! up.

    • You clearly know nothing about the Crusades or the Inquisition.

      The Spanish Inquisition, though draconian by our standards, was actually more lenient, and ended in more not guilty verdicts, than the civil courts run by the King and his government. Most of the Inquisition’s horrors were played up by English Protestants as propaganda, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I when a Spanish invasion seemed imminent.

      And the Crusades were a response to several centuries of Islamic incursions into Christian lands. The First Crusade began because Seljuq Turks conquered half the Byzantine Empire and began slaughtering Christian pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem. Infamous battles, like the Massacre of Jerusalem, were indeed brutal, but were, in fact, entirely common in the warfare of the Middle Ages. Everyone acted the same way. Not two hundred years later, Muslim armies would commit atrocities in Georgia and Turkey that were far greater than the deaths at the hands of Crusaders, and razed the city of Jerusalem to the ground so no one would want it.

      Also, look at you, edgelord. You can say Hell, your mom’s not going to find out.

    • Really, how far back you want to go? It is true that crimes of this nature have been committed since the dawn of time. However, this does not justify the crimes committed by the Nazis and their allies. Those criminals earned their fate. And, those who support their ideals will also get their appropriate Justice.
      BTW, the Spanish Inquisition executed 39 person at the pyre, 2 of them in effigy. Lord Calvin executed 6,000, including the Jesuit priest that discovered our circulatory system.

    • The ability for humans to inflilct suffering on others is born out of weakness and lack of insight in the individual, and fostered by the flaw in all of us as a group, in our inability to create a society which is a product of the finest of our knowledge, in justice, equity, compassion, creative will, and love for each other. Our tragedy is that we are lost in a sea of competing ideologies, political contests, hidden schemes to control wealth, religious traditions, and power struggles, while the simple truth blunders on waiting for catastrophe to shape us, while the gift of choice is ignored.

    • The thing is, Nazis were Christians and German Christian Democratic party with the help of a Vatican and the German Pope of the time helped elect Hitler to power.

  2. Having just looked up the total deaths during the inquisition, it seems to vary from 30,000 up to the millions. Though we cannot arrive at accuracy, we do know that 50,000,000 people died in the world wars recently, and no one was a victor! German fascism rose out of a frustrated Germany burdened with debt after the first world war. We are now burdened with debt once again, and the arms makers are itching for excuses to use them, so lets be careful eh? As to Arabs and terrorism, the school kids recently blowing off their immaturity are catching up to terrorist executions of innocents as we speak, but few are seeing the real ill behind all this. Since our churches are proving to be little more than international pedophilia rings, where are the moral arbiters of the modern age? You certainly cannot look to the governments, muslims, christians or fascists for that can you??

  3. Easier said than done folks.
    From a ‘Black-Op’s point of view…while attached to a 12 man Force Recon team, we were attracted by a slight buzzing noise that as we got closer, it, of course, got louder.
    Being attracted by the sound of over a billion flies surrounding the strung up corpses of over 300 people that were tied to cross-post in an ‘X’ fashion and skinned alive from the neck to their crotch with the skin hanging down past their calves…pretty much says it all.


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