Extremely Rare Photos That You Never Saw In Your School History Books

By lheidi - April 15, 2019

Sometimes your school history books leave out a lot of information. You pretty much learn what’s going to be on the test, and then you forget it as soon as the summer starts. Because do you really need to know the exact date World War I started? That happened ages ago. Seriously, we can barely remember last week…then again, we’re kind of dumb over here.

But history is a lot more interesting than you thought it was, especially the history they don’t teach you in school. If they had showed us these rare photos in our high school history class, maybe we would have payed attention to it more. They’re absolutely fascinating. So click through and take a look at some of the coolest historical photos they left out of your history books. And no, these photos won’t be on the test, although, we’d totally recommend you still take notes on them.

The Berlin Wall


The Berlin Wall separated East Berlin and West Berlin, but it didn’t separate humans from helping each other.

Here, an East German soldier is helping a child cross the Berlin Wall on the day it was completed, even though he could have faced death for doing so.

It just goes to show, human compassion is greater than political pressures. And no matter what side you’re on, you can stop to help give a child a better life.

The First Gay Pride Parade


Today, Gay Pride Parades are thrown across the country, and even major corporations, such as Target, like to get in on the action.

But in 1972, the first Gay Pride Parade in Philadelphia certainly did not have the support of Vodka brands and Pay Pal.

In 1972, attending a gay pride parade was a riskier act, and we’re pretty sure that the crowd isn’t half filled with straight allies and major companies appropriating gay culture for the day.

Filming the MGM Opening Credits


We’re all familiar with that roaring lion we see playing before any classic MGM film.

But we don’t stop to think of how that moving image of the lion was captures. Yes, it was filmed, just like everything else you see in a movie.

Can you imagine being this close to a live lion, just to capture it’s roar? Today, the lion would have probably been CGIed so that they wouldn’t have to get so close to it!

A Black WWI Sergeant


This is a photo of Josef Mambo. Mambo was brought to Germany when he was a child.

Most Germans of African decent weren’t allowed to serve in combat roles, but Mambo served in WWI as a sergeant in the German Imperial Army.

It’s amazing to think that if we didn’t have this photo, we might never know that men like Mambo existed. Photography has made sure that so much of history will be remembered forever and ever.

Afghanistan Pre-Taliban


Believe it or not, there was a time in Afghanistan when women were free to wear Western clothes and travel around the country without supervision.

Women also had the same access to education as men, and could even attend universities.

This photo could easily be a photo taken in an American library, but it’s not. It’s just what Afghanistan used to look like before the Taliban. It’s really crazy how the world changes over time, isn’t it?

The Quagga Before It Went Instinct


It’s half zebra, half horse, all quagga. This animal used to be native to South Africa.

This animal no longer exists because it was hunted to extinction. Which means that the only way we’ll see an animal like this is by painting half of a horse.

This photo was taken in the London Zoo in 1870. Thank goodness someone bothered to snap a pic, otherwise we would never know what this amazing animal used to look like!

Chinese-Americans Post-Pearl Harbor


After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans were persecuted and sent to internment camps.

In order to prevent themselves from getting lumped in with the persecution of Japanese-Americans, Chinese-Americans had to set themselves apart from Japanese-Americans.

Here, Helen Chan pins a button that says “Chinese” on Sun Lum so that people will be able to tell that he is Chinese, and not Japanese. Although, we’re pretty sure a button didn’t stop him from experiencing a bunch of racism.

A Hard Drive Being Transported


Today, a phone that fits in the palm of your hand can hold literally a bajillion photos.

But back in 1956, a 5 MB hard drive was so big it needed to be transported by plane!

It seems like it must have been a lot of work to get this hard drive on to this Pan Am plane. Thank goodness technology has progressed since then. We can’t imagine how heavy our phones would be if it hadn’t!

A Woman Striking Out Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth


Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were both struck out by a woman, and no, it’s not when they were hitting on her.

Jackie Mitchell was the first and only woman to strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back.

Afterwards, Ruth allegedly said, women “will never make good in baseball” because “they are too delicate. It would kill them to play ball every day.” Looks like someone’s never seen A League of Their Own! Get him to watch it, stat!

Lincoln Assassination Co-Conspirator Lewis Payne


John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, but he didn’t act alone, even though he got all the glory.

Lewis Payne also co-conspired to assassinate Lincoln, and he attacked Secretary of State William H. Seward with a knife.

This photo of Payne was taken when he was in federal custody. He’s probably thinking that his name will be remembered by history. No, Lewis Payne. It won’t be. We won’t even remember the name of the Secretary of State at the time.

An Auschwich Prisoner


This is a photo of Czeslawa Kwoka, a 14-year-old Polish girl who was a prisoner in Auschwitz, the German Concentration Camp.

She has a nasty looking cut on her lip because she was beaten by a German guard.

The guard was upset with her for speaking Polish, instead of German, even though she didn’t know how to speak German. It’s a harrowing time in our history, but it’s an important time to remember so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Detroit In The 1940s


Today, Detroit isn’t doing so well. It’s been over a decade since Detroit was destroyed by the Great Recession.

But back in the day, Detroit was a glistening city, made strong by the healthy auto industry.

Motor City was as shiny and bright as any other major metropolis. This could easily be a photo of New York or Chicago. It’s unfortunate that the city has become blighted and hasn’t seemed to have gotten out of the slump it’s in.

The Wright Brothers' First Flight


Today, airplanes are just glorified sky busses that take a cabin full of crying babies across the country in just hours.

But back in 1902, the first flight consisted of one passenger, Orville Wright, while his brother, Wilbur Wright, ran beside it.

The flight lasted 12 seconds and only went 120 feet. But it was a major achievement in aviation. And honestly, it looks like Orville Wright has a lot more legroom than we get on planes nowadays.

Women's Fashion In The 40s and 50s


Fashion is ever-changing. In fact, fashion changes so much, it probably changes more than the wind.

Here, we see two examples of women’s bras from back in the day. And we know that they’re wearing bras, because nobody’s boobs look like that naturally.

In the middle of the last century, the curvy look was in. Although, we’re hesitant to call it curvy. It’s more pointy, like she’s trying to poke somebody’s eyes out with those damn things!

Charlie Chaplin Meeting Helen Keller


This photo shows two silent stars meeting each other in 1919 – Helen Keller and Charlie Chaplin.

Sometimes, we forget that historical people existed during the same time as other historical people. It almost blows our mind to see Helen Keller and Charlie Chaplin together at the same time.

But why wouldn’t one famous person get introduced to another famous person? We just don’t think of them as going together because they’re never included in the same parts of our history books!