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These days, we have our cameras on our affordable smartphones. Digital cameras and even quality ones have only gotten cheaper and better, but what about the things we capture? Do the photos we have today have cultural and historical significance? Back in the day, photography wasn't such a common activity open for everyone. Here are 12 of the most important historical photos that show humanity at its worst and at its best.
This is an innocent, lonely boy clinging to his stuffed toy as others witness the destruction brought about by the Germans in London back in 1940.
In 1962, such a brutal yet amazing event was witnessed: a dying, wounded soldier seeks the help of a sacred man, a priest. Such is the horror of war, and sometimes we all need divine solace.
This sad, heartbreaking image shows a little girl dearly holding a doll as she sees her destroyed home in London in 1940.
This photograph is astonishing because this is the only existing photograph ever that includes everyone except for Michael Collins. Every person, alive or dead at the time, is in that picture taken in 1969, except for Michael.
This infamous picture shows a police officer from Saigon shooting a Viet Cong, which means that the man was from the National Liberation Front that was active during the Vietnam War.
This fabulous man is a lifeguard simply doing his job back in the 1920's. Check out that lean body and attractive mustache, Mr. Lifesaver!
This photo will make some people think of Studio Ghibli's Grave of the Fireflies, because the photo is of a brave, sad Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on the way for a cremation.
This striking pile of human ashes was being observed by soldiers of the Soviet Union in 1944. The ashes were composed of people who were burned as they were at the Majdanek concentration camp.
Malaria is still a problem of the world today, but thanks to advancements in technology, that may soon be a thing of the past. This old advertisement for an anti-malaria drug was found in World War II in Papua New Guinea.
This infamous man was found during a daring rescue at Rabaul back in 1944. This naked gunman was found at the town in Papua New Guinea jumping down to rescue a marine pilot who was gunned down while attacking a fortress held by the Japanese.
Meet the brave Annie Edison Taylor who, way back in 1901, survived a fall from the great Niagara Falls by being inside a barrel.
While other countries still have public executions, the United States officially had its last public killing in 1936. Specifically, it was Rainey Bethea, a murderer and rapist, who was publicly executed and was watched by over 70,000 people.