Iconic photos, past and present

Florence Owens Thompson with her children during the Great Depression. Photo by Dorothea Lange

A lone protester stops tanks in Tiananmen Square, China. Photo by Jeff Widener, AP
U.S. Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II. Photo by Joe Rosenthal
Vietnamese children run after being napalmed in 1972. Photo by Nick Ut/AP
Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969. Photo by Buzz Aldrin, NASA
General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes Nguyễn Văn Lém in Vietnam
in 1968. Photo by Eddie Adams
A sailor kisses a nurse on VJ day in 1945 in Times Square. Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Who knows what the next iconic image will be?

Presented here are a number of iconic photos, images that we instantly recognize that have defined a date, an era or event. Many times, these images illustrate the negative side of human history, such as war, death or destruction. Sometimes, they celebrate positive aspects of life.

I’ve been wondering what the iconic image of our time will be. Will it show a police officer with his knee on a dying George Floyd? Will we see a medical professional decked out in full Personal Protective Equipment, ready to take on COVID-19? Or will a once-bustling city street, now deserted be the image we remember?

One image I hope it won’t be is that of a young child, dead or dying, after being forced to return to a school that opened way too early, before the pandemic was brought under control.

Published by Mike Sturman

I am a retired journalist with nearly 30 years in the field, during which time I was a reporter and held numerous editor positions at local newspapers and a number of magazines. After I retired, I was a sub in my local school district, then did PR for that district. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, and as for my politics, that's simple: I'm a liberal Democrat. I'm married, and my wife recently retired after 25 years as a teacher. We have one daughter, who has earned her PhD and works at a UC. Through this blog, I hope to pass on some interesting thoughts and ideas, entertain with some lighthearted posts and generally quell my pandemic-induced boredom.

One thought on “Iconic photos, past and present

  1. 2020 also had the massive fires in Australia, murder hornets, the bad situation in Hong Kong and so much more. I don’t think there will be a single iconic image of 2020. This is certainly one of the most eventful years in my lifetime.


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