These are the photos… The snapshots in time that have shaped the course of a our nation ever since the invention of the camera. Like a window into the past or through a time machine, these are images forever frozen in time.
Here are the eye-opening images that stunned, inspired, and moved the United States.
July 1863—Battlefield at Gettysburg
Dead soldiers lie on the battlefield of the barren Pennsylvanian plains.
April 1906—Destruction after the San Francisco earthquake
A strong earthquake turned the city of San Francisco into a desolated wasteland.
November 19, 1863—Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address
This picture was taken before Pres. Abraham Lincoln delivered his well-commemorated Gettysburg Address.
1870—Bison skulls used as fertilizer
The huge mound consists of 100,000 bison skulls that were hunted to near extinction.
Dec. 17, 1903—Flight at Kitty Hawk
This marvelous moment was taken just moments after the Wright Flyer was airborne, manned by Orville Wright and guided by Wilbur Wright.
March 1936—Migrant Mother
Taken by photographer Dorothea Lange, the image portrays the very definition of America’s Great Depression era.
May 6, 1937—Hindenburg disaster
The phenomenal explosion of the blimp Hindenburg marked the end of the era of passenger-carrying airships.
June 6, 1944—Allies invade Normandy
This remarkable scene was taken on the morning of June 6, 1944, as troops disembarked to liberate France from the Nazis.
Feb. 23, 1945—Raising the American flag in Iwo Jima
These brave U.S. soldiers erected an American flag on top of Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan, during the closing months of World War II.
August 1945—The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
These photos of atomic mushroom clouds rising above two Japanese cities, Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right), was caused by the atomic bombs that were dropped and ending WWII.
1945—V-J Day in Times Square
This photo of the iconic kiss between a sailor and a nurse was taken during the victory celebration at Times Square.
1955—Rosa Parks mugshot
Rosa Parks was arrested when she refused to give her seat on a public bus to a white passenger, which sparked the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-twentieth century.
1957—Little Rock Nine
In this photo, Elizabeth Eckford can be seen being chased by an angry mob of whites for being the first African-American student to ever attend classes.
Aug. 28, 1963—Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech
Minutes after his iconic speech, Martin Luther King waved to his supporters with satisfaction.
November 22, 1963—Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Secret Service agent Clint Hill was snapped climbing the back of the presidential limousine, after Pres. John F. Kennedy was fatally shot, to secure the then first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.
November 22, 1963—Lyndon B. Johnson as he takes his oath as the president of the United States
Shortly after the unfortunate assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office as president of the United States.
November 25, 1963—Burial of John F. Kennedy
Three days after the assassination, the burial of the late President JFK was held and young John F. Kennedy Jr. can be seen saluting his father’s casket.
May 25, 1965—Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston
On the first minute of the first round, Sonny Liston dropped on the floor after receiving Muhammad Ali‘s hard right.
June 1965—War Is Hell
During the Vietnam War, an unidentified U.S. Army soldier wrote the phrase “War Is Hell” on his helmet that became a popular slogan at that time.
June 6, 1966—James Meredith, March Against Fear
James Meredith, who defied segregation to enroll at the University of Mississippi, got shot in Hernando, Mississippi, but survived the attack.
October 26, 1967—Flower Power
Antiwar demonstrators placed a flower in the barrel of a rifle as they marched to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
April 4, 1968—Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The people on the balcony were pointing at the direction of gunshots that killed Martin Luther King Jr.
Oct. 16, 1968—“Black Power” salute
US athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved hands in racial protest after Smith won the gold while Carlos got bronze on the 200-meter run at the Summer Olympic Games.
June 6, 1968—Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy lied in the hands of busboy Juan Romero after he was shot by a gunman.
December 24, 1968—Earthrise
The Earth can be seen rising above the lunar horizon in this photo taken by Bill Anders, Apollo 8 crew member.
July 20, 1969—Astronaut Neil Armstrong
This photo was taken moments after Neil Armstrong first walked the lunar surface, ready to break into tears after the extremely rare experience.
March 17, 1973—Burst of Joy
Lt. Col. Robert L. Strim was greeted upon his release by his ecstatic family after being a prisoner during the Vietnam War.
July 22, 1975—Fire on Marlborough Street
One teen and a toddler fell from the fire escape as they tried to flee from their burning apartment in Boston. The child luckily survived.
Dec. 8, 1980—John Lennon’s murder in New York City
Crowds gathered in Central Park to mourn the death of the musical legend John Lennon.
February 22, 1980—Miracle on Ice
The United States national hockey team, consisted of amateurs and collegiate players, broke the winning streak of the Soviet Union national team that won six gold medals in the previous Olympic games.
March 30, 1981—Assassination attempt on President Reagan
The assassination attempt on President Reagan wounded Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, Washington police officer Thomas K. Delahanty, and presidential press secretary James Brady.
Jan. 28, 1986—Space shuttle Challenger disaster
All seven crew members were lost in the space shuttle Challenger tragedy.
Fall 1992—Bill Clinton runs for president
This photo of the then Democratic candidates Bill Clinton and Al Gore with their wives was taken on their bus during their brief break.
June 1995—O.J. Simpson trials
Taken during his double-murder trial in Los Angeles, former professional football player and actor O.J. Simpson was ordered by the prosecutors to put on the gloves in evidence.
April 2000—The Elián González affair
Elián González can be seen here being seized by armed federal agents as the Supreme Court declined to hear his case, and he was asked instead to return to Cuba in 2000.
September 11, 2001—President Bush is notified of the terror attacks
President Bush was visiting an elementary school in Florida when Chief of Staff Andy Card approached him discreetly and whispered into his ears to inform him of the plane that crashed into the World Trade Center.
September 11, 2001—Attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City
At 9:03 a.m., a plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
September 11, 2001—Workers carry FDNY chaplain Mychal Judge
New York City Fire Department chaplain Mychal Judge was carried by rescue workers out of the rubble of the south tower of the World Trade Center as he was praying “Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!”
September 11, 2001—Raising the flag at Ground Zero
Despite the tragic disaster, firefighters raised the US flag to boost morale.
September 11, 2001—Dust Lady
This is Marcy Borders, covered in yellow dust as she sought refuge in a building after one of the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.
April 9, 2003—Fall of Saddam Hussein
US troops pulled down the huge statue of Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, as a sign of the end of his 24-year reign.
September 4, 2005—Hurricane Katrina
A man desperately clung onto the roof of his vehicle while waiting to be rescued from the raging flood brought by Hurricane Katrina.
September 11, 2007—Returning home from war
After being deployed to Iraqfor seven months, this reunion between Maj. Terri Gurrola and her daughter is worth a million words.
May 19, 2005—Sunset on Mars
This marvelous shot was taken by Mars rover Spirit as the sun slowly plummeted to the horizon of the Martian surface.
May 1, 2011—Situation Room
US Pres. Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along other members of the national security team, huddled together in White House Situation Room to discuss the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, Operation Neptune’s Spear.
December 14, 2012—Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
Taken from the school shooting in Connecticut, a police officer led the terrified students to safety.
April 15, 2013— Boston Marathon bombing
Seventy-eight-year-old Boston Marathon runner Bill Iffrig was captured being knocked down by first explosion. The police officers in the photo reacted to the second explosion not far from their location.
June 26, 2015—Legalization of same-sex marriage
This day was considered the most remarkable day for same-sex marriage supporters due to the legalization of the controversial right to marry in all 50 states.
April 2015—Baltimore protests
A protester made a heart shape with his two hands during a rally, which was conducted after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a man who died a mysterious death after being arrested by police officers for allegedly carrying a switchblade.