6 Amazing Photographs of Unbelievable Moments in History - Dangerously Genocidal


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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

6 Amazing Photographs of Unbelievable Moments in History

They say a picture can say a thousand words, but sometimes there are those photographs that say just a little more. They reach right into us and makes us feel or remember something amazing. Sometimes they even mark key points in history, or show us an event or a side of something horrible we might never even have expected seeing. Here are:

6 Amazing Photographs of Unbelievable Moments in History

1. Kathrine Switzer Running the Boston Marathon; 1967

Although she’s not the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon – that honour belongs to Bobbi Gibb – Katherine was the first to actually sign up for the race and finish with her numbers. She signed up as K.V. Switzer and with the support of her trainer, Arnie Briggs, and her rag tag team of friends (boyfriend Tom Miller and John Leonard), she prepared to tackle the monster of a race. None of the organizers seem to notice that she was a woman right away, and for a while it seemed like the race would pass like it would for any other runner – tiring and painful but uneventful.

Until they passed the press truck. They did notice that number 261 was a woman – like several other men who were quite receptive to the feminine participant – and soon enough questions were being pelted out. By Katherine’s account, most of these questions were antagonistic, trying to write her run off as a short lived publicity stunt – but their questions only served to fuel the determined runner further.

The biggest moment came when race organizer Jock Semple took a personal affront to her participation and yelled out “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!”. He ran after Switzer, going so far as attacking her and trying to pull of her numbers. Briggs tried to fight him off, unsuccessfully, and Switzer’s boyfriend Tom stepped up to the plate, punching Semple’s lights out and the group left him counting stars on the side of the road, proceeding to “run like hell” at Arnie Brigg’s urging.

Switzer did finish the race and made big news – but for her the biggest accomplishment was proving that a woman could run the distance, and deserved the chance to do so.

2. Tutankhamun’s Sealed Tomb; 1922

There have been many books and movies about the supposed ‘Pharaoh’s curse’, but it was all started by the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb. When it was discovered the seal was perfectly intact, unbroken for an estimated 3.245 years, and guarded by a clay seal of Anubis – the jackal god entrusted with the protection of the dead. But things got a little strange when they reportedly found a clay tablet that read “Death will slay with his wings whoever disturbs the peace of the pharaoh.”

Although most of the expedition, led by Howard Carter, who opened the tomb lived out their lives, the last survivor dying 39 years later, eight people died in ‘mysterious’ or unorthodox ways. Perhaps it can be contributed to the superstition of the time as well as the interest of the press and several lords and celebrities – like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself – but these deaths quickly spawned tell of a curse that afflicted those who opened and thus ‘desecrated’ the tomb.

The first apparent sign of the curse’s activation was the appearance of a cobra, the symbol of the Egyptian monarchy, in Carter’s pet canary’s cage, holding the dead bird in his mouth. This was interpreted as the Royal Cobra breaking into Carter’s home. The first death, however, was of Lord Carnarvon, Carter’s financial backer. He was bitten by a mosquito, cut the bite by accident while shaving, and died from the resultant infection and blood poisoning.

This death was followed by George Gould I, who died from a fever he developed after a visit that same year. Prince Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey was shot by his wife after visiting the tomb, Colonel Aubrey Herbert died from blood poisoning, Sir Archibald Douglas-Reid died of a ‘mysterious illness’, and other deaths include assassination, poisoning, pneumonia, smothering and suicide. Carter himself died of Lymphoma nearly seventeen years later.

3. The Baby Cage; 1937

The Baby Cage was the brain child of American Emma Read, who patented it in 1922. It wasn’t too popular in the United States though, but in London – where cities were crowded and garden space was scarce – the cage took off in 1937. It became highly popular in the Chelsea Baby Club, and spread out from there. These cages were hung outside of apartment windows – sometimes ridiculously high up – and babies were put into these suspended wire cages to enjoy the smoggy London air out in the open.

Aside from the obvious risk of hanging your infant child outside in a wire mesh cage, the contraption was just that – open wires that did nothing to protect the child from the elements. The gaps in the cage did not protect the child from the sun, wind, bird excrement or anything else the neighbourhood kids wanted to throw at the cage for kicks. Despite these rather glaringly obvious problems, it still took several years for the cage to fall out of favour in the 1940’s – and, to the relief of toddlers everywhere, it never made a comeback.

4. The First 5MB Hard Drive; 1956

These days most computers come standard with at least 500 gigabytes of hard drive space, if not starting at a straight out terabyte. Anything less seems almost pointless, considering the average size of files and programs these days – and if you’re going to pay for storage, you either pay for several gigabytes of cloud storage, or terabytes worth of server storage. In fact, for about $5 you can rent 10 terabytes worth of cloud storage. It’s hard to imagine paying $3,200 (or $28,000 in today’s equivalent) to rent only 5MB of storage space… but in 1956, that’s exactly what companies did to lease the amazing, first ever 5MB hard drive from IBM.

One would hope that the price at least included the cost of transportation – unlike the easily portable drives we have today, the IBM 305 RAMAC was a monster and had to be transported by truck or flown out to clients who wanted to use it. Not exactly what one would describe a super computer, but that was exactly how the giant contraption was advertised. Thankfully someone thought that future generations might want to look back and gape at the giant that started it all.

5. Children for Sale; 1948

This picture was taken of Mrs. Lucille Chalifoux as she advertised her children for sale; Lana, 6, Rae, 5, Milton, 4, and Sue Ellen, 2, as well as her unborn son Bedford. At the time, Ray Chalifoux was an out of work coal truck driver, and the couple was facing eviction – so, whether in desperation for money (for bingo, later claimed) or to give her kids a better shot at life, Lucille decided to sell her children. Whatever her reasons were, it still sounds like a rather cruel if desperate act.

Only years later is it finally revealed what happened to the children. The least is known about Lana Charnote, the eldest, who died of cancer in 1998. Her son, Timothy Charnote, did reveal that she’d been legally adopted.

RaeAnn, now RaeAnn Mills and the second oldest of the children, began the search for the rest of her siblings. She reveals that she’d been sold for $2 to John and Ruth Zoeteman. When little Milton wouldn’t stop crying nearby, the farming couple took the boy as well. Neither were ever legally adopted, even though their new foster parents did rename them as Beverly and Kenneth Zoeteman. The pair’s story is not a happy one. They were chained up in the barn and used as field workers.

RaeAnn was frequently abused and, in her late teens, she was kidnapped, raped and got pregnant. Her foster parents sent her to a home for unwed mothers, and her new-born daughter was given up for adoption. When she returned she left home for good, but tried to reunite with her birth mother when she turned 21. According to her, Lucille showed no remorse, regret or love at all.

Milton didn’t have it much better – he was frequently beaten to purposely instil fear, and was called a slave by his foster father. Unfortunately, the abuse of his youth resulted in Milton becoming a violent child and he ended up in court where he had to choose a mental hospital or a reformatory. Afraid of the reformatory after hearing horror stories, he chose the hospital instead, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and fits of rage. He was eventually released and got married, although he was divorced later on. Of his birth mother, and the one time he met her, Milton says that “she never did love me. She didn’t apologize for selling me. She hated me so much that she didn’t care.”

Sue Ellen was legally adopted, and had a relatively normal upbringing. When she was reunited with her sister she was already well into the last stages of cancer and dying. But, even though she was no longer able to talk, Sue Ellen and RaeAnn quickly bonded. Of her mother, however, she says that “she needs to be burning in hell.”

Only David, who was the unborn Bedford at the time of the photo, holds no grudge against his birth mother. He was legally adopted by Harry and Leulla McDaniel and grew up in Wheatfield, not far from where RaeAnn and Milton were now living with the Zoetemans. He would often ride his bike over to them and free them from their bonds in the barn, before escaping again before he could be caught. He spent 20 years in the military, and although he doesn’t blame his birth mother for her “mistake”, he also had this to say: “She got rid of all us children, married someone else, had four more daughters. She kept them. She didn’t keep us.”

It's hard to imagine the pain that followed the unsuspecting little faces in that photograph.

6. WWI Christmas Ceasefire; 1914

There are several accounts of what exactly happened on the 25th of December 1914, but how it started doesn’t really matter. What matters is that on that day, the people’s want of peace overcame their leader’s want of war.

The most widespread version of the tale begin with the singing of carols on Christmas eve; “First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war,” said Graham Williams of the Fifth London Rifle Brigade.

The next morning German soldiers came out of the trenches and shouted out seasonal greetings to the soldiers in English. Soon enough Allied soldiers came out to greet them, and the day that followed is still remembered and commemorated today, over 102 years later. Over the course of the day the soldiers exchanged gifts of whatever they had available – cigarettes, food, buttons and hats – and finally had the opportunity to lay their dead, who had been lying in no man’s land for weeks, to rest.

Some of the stories of the day tell of a British soldier getting a haircut from a pre-war German barber. Another tells of a pig roast. Several even tell about impromptu soccer matches – and even though, in many places, the shooting and warring continued, it is the truce of those soldiers that remains remembered to this day. The war would continue and claim millions of lives, but some blame this on their leaders. One veteran goes as far as to claim that “I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves there would never have been another shot fired.” Hitler, who was a Corporal at the time, unsurprisingly had a different view of the event, claiming “Such a thing should not happen in wartime. Have you no German sense of honor?” (A testament or foreshadowing, perhaps, of who and what he would later become.)

Whatever the truth of its beginning, or whatever the untold stories of what happened that day, the photo doesn’t fail to convey one of the most remarkable events in human history. War might be universal, but when looking at this photograph, one cannot deny the fact that it shows the human desire for peace as British and German soldiers stand together like old friends.

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  1. I so enjoy receiving learning history via interesting facts of information. Thank you for sharing.

  2. The story that affected me most was the plight of the children whose mother sold them and the cruelty of the couple that bought RaeAnn and Milton. As a fost-adopt mom who later adopted an older sister and her little brother, it's hard to conceive of how anyone could do this to helpless children.


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