American Soldier Drinking From A Canteen

Behind the camera: W. Eugene Smith
Where: Taken during the Battle of Saipan
Photo Summary: An unshaven Angelo S. Klonis drinking from a canteen OR PFC Thomas E. Underwood of B/1/24th Marines
Picture Taken: June 27, 1944

In June of 1944 photojournalist, W. Eugene Smith was following the American troops as they fought their way across the Japanese island of Saipan. While following an elite unit of American troops he snapped a few shots of a Greek-American soldier, Angelo S. Klonis. This photo would decades later be chosen by Peter C. Bunnell, McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art at Princeton University as Smith’s best work. It was included in a Masters of American Photography Collectible Stamp Sheet, it went on to sell sixty million stamps.

Angelo S. Klonis

Smith took another picture of Klonis that has been used on a number of book covers including: Mammoth Book of Battles by Jon E. Lewis and The War of the World by Niall Ferguson

Smith took another picture of Klonis that has been used on a number of book covers including: Mammoth Book of Battles by Jon E. Lewis and The War of the World by Niall Ferguson

In 1936 Fifteen-year-old Angelo S. Klonis left his home in Kephallonia, Greece and stowed away on an American bound ship in hopes of a better life. Landing in L.A. California he worked his way across the country before finally settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1938. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 he felt the call of duty to serve his adopted homeland.  At first, he tried to join the Marines but was turned down because he wasn’t an American citizen, he then tried the army who accepted him into their ranks on August 10, 1942. His family says that Klonis served in multiple theaters during the war including Europe, Africa, even Norway.

Like many men of his generation, Angelo didn’t talk much about the war and after he died it fell on his son to investigate Angelo’s service. Much like James Bradly who spearheaded research into his Dad’s iconic picture at Iwo Jima Angelo S. Klonis’ son, Nick Klonis, research unearthed many secrets that Angelo had taken to the grave. Through perseverance and lots of luck Nick was able to uncover that Angelo was actually a member of an elite army unit that fought in both Europe and Pacific theaters of WWII. Incredibly Angelo S. Klonis took part in the DDay invasion on June 6, 1944 before just weeks later crossing the world to fight during the brutal Battle of Saipan (June 15 – July 9, 1944).

After the war, Angelo S. Klonis visited his family in Greece and met his future wife Angeliki (“Kiki”). They had three boys Evangelo, in 1952, Nicalaos (“Nick”) in 1954 and Demosthenes (“Demo”) in 1955 before moving back to live in Greece for 10 years before the Klonis family returned to America in 1969. In 1971 he bought a bar and named it “Evangelo’s” giving it a Polynesian style with bamboo and tiki torches, probably influenced by the time he spent in the Pacific.

Angelo S. Klonis died in 1989. While he remembers being photographed by Smith he never saw the photograph himself and only knew that it had been published while he was overseas.

Thomas E. Underwood

For decades it was accepted that the man in this photo was Angelo S. Klonis but recent research into his identity reveals that the man might be PFC Thomas E. Underwood of B/1/24th Marines. Geoffrey a researcher that documents the men of First Battalion, 24th Marines does a exhaustive two-part investigation into the man in the picture:

Underwood v. Klonis I
Underwood v. Klonis II

W. Eugene Smith

William Eugene Smith grew up in Wichita, Kansas, America. He learned the ropes of photojournalism while working for the local Wichita papers, The Wichita Eagle and The Beacon. Looking to work in the big leagues Smith moved to New York and started with Newsweek before refusing to compromise his standards he quit and joined Life Magazine in 1939. During World War II he covered many theaters of operation including the fighting in Saipan where he would take the famous picture that would eventually end up in the Masters of American Photography Collectible Stamp Sheet. In May of 1945, he was hit by Japanese fire and sent to Guam to be patched up.

After the war, he covered the plight of the working man in beautifully put together photo essays, a concept that he pioneered. His work in the UK is now seen as invaluable insights into working-class Britain. In 1955 he left LIFE magazine and joined the Magnum photo agency.

In 70s Japan, while trying to tell a story of exploitation of the locals around polluting factories he was attacked by Japanese thugs trying to prevent him from exposing Minamata disease to the world. His injuries from the attack kept him bedridden for weeks but he was still able to capture one of his most famous pictures Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath.

His war injuries plus the injuries suffered from his beating at the hands of Japanese industrialists caused him to collapse into a bitter world of pain med-addiction and self-destruction. After ending his second marriage he struggled in poverty for a few years before, on October 15, 1978, he suffered a massive stroke in a Tucson, Arizona, while he was shopping to buy cat food. He was 59 years old.

Smith’s Published Books

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Copyright to this photo is managed by Magnum American Soldier Drinking From A Canteen by W. Eugene Smith

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Soweto uprising

Behind the camera: Sam Nzima
Where: On the corner of Moema and Vilakazi Streets in Orlando West, Soweto, City of Johannesburg, South Africa; near Phefeni High School
Photo Summary: A wounded Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo while his sister, Antoinette, runs beside them
Picture Taken: June 16, 1976

Black students in parts of South Africa were required by law to be taught in a mix of Afrikaans, English and native languages. On June 16, 1976, thousands of Students fed up with having to learn, what they viewed as the language of their Apartheid oppressor, Afrikaans, spilled out onto the streets in protest. Police tried to block the protest and events spun out of control leading to the police opening fire on the unarmed students. One of the first to be shot was Hector Pieterson. As his sister screamed in horror another student Mbuyisa Makhubo picked him up and carried him to a nearby car. A moment which was captured when photographer Sam Nzima took this iconic shot. Pieterson was pronounced dead on arrival when he got to the hospital.

Soweto Uprising

According to the South African constitution, the two official languages of South Africa were English and Afrikaans, a form of Dutch used by white South Africans. In 1974 it was ordered that Black schools in Soweto would have to teach part of their subjects in Afrikaans because as described by the South African education minister

“A Black man may be trained to work on a farm or in a factory. He may work for an employer who is either English-speaking or Afrikaans-speaking and the man who has to give him instructions may be either English-speaking or Afrikaans-speaking. Why should we now start quarrelling about the medium of instruction among the Black people as well? … No, I have not consulted them and I am not going to consult them. I have consulted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa …” — Punt Janson, the Deputy Minister of Bantu Education

This caused incredible friction in the school system as the students would have preferred to learn English and their native tongues rather than the language of their Apartheid oppressors. Protests started to spring up Soweto area, and students formed committees who secretly planned to stage a mass walk out on June 16, 1976. Secretly planned the walkout surprised teachers and police alike. While marching the mass of young students came upon a police barricade. While organizers tried to move the protest in a different direction, stones were thrown. In response the police let their dogs attack the students. The students responded by stoning the dogs and then the police opened fire with live ammunition. The full number killed in the resulting riots is thought to be in the hundreds while over a thousand more were wounded, one of which was Hector Pieterson. Pieterson is often quoted as being the first killed but almost at the same time another child was shot and killed, Hastings Ndlovu.

Pieterson family

The Pieterson family was originally the named the Pitso family but their father changed their name to Pieterson in hopes of passing as colored, which in Apartheid South Africa allowed for more job opportunities. Born Zolile Hector Pitso, Hector Pieterson, wasn’t even supposed to be in the protest that day. At 13 years old and an elementary student the student planners didn’t want the young students to be involved. Yet he snuck out of school and followed his older sister, 16-year-old Antoinette Pieterson, in the march. After the police started shooting it was chaos. Antoinette remembers what happened next:

“I came out of hiding and saw Hector, and I called him to me. He was looking around as I called his name, trying to see who was calling him. I waved at him, he saw me and came over. I asked him what he was doing there … There was a shot, and I ran back to my hiding place. When I looked out I couldn’t see Hector; I waited, I was afraid; where was he?

“Then I saw a group of boys struggling. This gentleman came from nowhere, lifted a body, and I saw the front part of the shoe, which I recognized as Hector’s. This man started to run with the body, I ran alongside.” — Antoinette Sithole

After the picture spread worldwide the Pieterson family were harassed by the apartheid authorities. They wouldn’t even let the Pieterson’s body out of the government possession.

Hector died on the 16th of June 1976 but he was buried on the 3rd of July because the police didn’t allow us to bury him. They would give funny and stupid reasons … Anyway my grandmother knew Afrikaans very well, so it was easy for her to talk to them … “So you’ve killed my grandson, now you’re giving us rules, it’s better to kill us all.” That is how the day came for us to bury Hector. — Antoinette Sithole

Antoinette was married off a year later, by her family, to offer her more protection but the marriage didn’t last. She remarried to Meshak Sithole and after Apartheid fell found a job at the Hector Pieterson museum giving tours around where her brother was famously killed.

Mbuyisa Makhubo

The boy who picked up Hector was 18-year old Mbuyisa Makhubo. Nzima captured on film Makhubo carrying the boy to Nazima’s car where Nazima and another journalist raced Hector to a clinic where he was pronounced dead. After the photo became famous Makhubo was harassed by Apartheid officials and he was forced to go into exile. First to Botswana, then spending time in Nigeria from which he wrote his mother a few letters. In one letter from Nigeria, he said he would go to Tanzania because he was very sick and the situation in Nigeria was deteriorating. The last letter his mother got was in 1978 after which he simply disappeared off the face of the earth.

Sam Nzima


Sam Nzima

Sam Nzima posing with his famous image

Journalist Sam Nzima started his photojournalism career travelling and taking pictures while he bused around South Africa. He sent his photo essay to the black newspaper, The World, who was impressed by his work and offered him a freelance position at their paper. In 1968 he was offered a full-time position and was working for The World in ’76. He arrived in Soweto early that morning in June 1976 to find students peacefully making signs that denounced the apartheid system. When the protests started to turn ugly and police opened fire Nzima took six pictures of Makhubo carrying Hector. Knowing he had important shots he hid the roll of film in his sock. He remembers that,

“So I quickly gave the film to our driver and told him to go straight to our office. By the afternoon the image had been transmitted worldwide.”

Later he was stopped by police and forced to open his camera and expose other photos he had taken of the protests. Later after multiple police threats and fearing for his life he fled to his hometown Lillydale, close to the Mozambican border. There he opened the Nzima Bottle Store even though he was offered multiple journalist jobs he turned them all down out of fear the Apartheid police would kill him. In 1998 after years of legal battles The Star newspaper, who had ended up with the copyright, gave him the rights to his image.

In 2011 he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, an award for those that excel in the arts, by the South African government.
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Subcomandante Marcos

Behind the camera: Frida Hartz
Where: Guadalupe Tepeyac, at the Selva (Rainforest) Lacandona, State of Chiapas, México
Photo Summary: Subcomandante Marcos on horse back with his iconic pipe
Picture Taken: May 1994

When the Zapatista uprising occurred in the ’90s its spokesman, media savvy, Subcomandante Marcos shot to prominence. In Mexico, he is viewed with as a celebrity, famous for his pipe and black face mask. This Marcos image became famous because of the Zapatista uprising but also by Western youth who latched onto the revolutionary spirit much the same way Che’s image became the symbol of the Cuban revolution. Frida Hartz took this image while covering a gathering of Left-wing leaders of the Ejército Zapatísta de Liberación Nacional (EZLN). She took this picture as the EZLN brass and soldiers were marching into camp.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos


Flag of the EZLN

Flag of the EZLN


Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos is the spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). He is famous for his pipe and for always covering his face with a black mask. Even the Indian peasants who make up the support base of the Zapatista movement say they haven’t seen him unmasked. Marcos is known for his use of media and technology and many have called him the new wave of revolutionaries.

While Marcos denies it, the Mexican government believes Marcos to be Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente who was born June 19, 1957, in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Rafael graduated from Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) in Mexico City and then received a masters’ degree in philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), he then disappeared. His family says they have no idea what happened to him but the Mexican government says that he joined or founded the Zapatista movement. From 1992 through 2006 Marcos has been very busy putting his beliefs down on paper and has wrote more than 200 essays and stories while also publishing 21 books, including Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings.

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Founded on November 17, 1983, The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) is an armed revolutionary group based in one of the poorest states of Mexico, Chiapas. While they have some support in urban areas and around the world most of their base are the indigenous people of Mexico. The name Zapatista comes from the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata who’s revolution inspired the EZLN.

The Zapatistas became a worldwide news story when on January 1, 1994, the day that the NAFTA agreement went into effect they seized control of five municipalities in Chiapas, Mexico. The Mexican army had a few clashes with the group but by January 12 of the same year the EZLN entered talks with the government and a unilateral ceasefire was declared that is still in place as of 2006. As a revolutionary group, they are very media savvy and utilize satellite telephones and the internet to garner support around the world. The movement wants the constitution to be changed to recognize the rights of the country’s indigenous Mexicans. In the wider scope of beliefs, commentators consider the Zapatistas as part of the wider alter-globalization, neo-socialist movements.

Copyright

For reproduction rights of this image please leave a comment below requesting contact info and Famous Pictures will email you the email of Frida Hartz.

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Bill and Monica

Behind the camera: Dirck Halstead
Where: Fundraiser at the Washington D.C. Sheraton Hotel
Photo Summary: Bill Clinton embracing Monica Lewinsky
Picture Taken: Taken on Oct 23, 1996 published by TIME in their August 10 1998 issue

When the Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky story broke the news media used the same video clip, the one with Monica in a beret, endlessly repeating behind the talking heads. Hungry for more images of the two together media researchers scrambled through their archives to find another Monica and Bill needle in a photo haystack. That’s when, Time magazine photographer, Dirck Halstead entered the picture. He knew that he had seen Monica’s face and hired a researcher to pore over thousands of images until she found the image he remembered taking. Halstead had taken this picture at a 1996 fundraiser in Washington. When he showed it to TIME they sat on it for months waiting for Lewinsky story to become front page news. When Monica decided to go to the prosecutors and offer her testimony, the story was page one material and TIME made this image iconic by making it their cover shot.

Bill Monica Hug with Beret

The infamous beret shot that was overused by the 24 hour news cycle


The Scandal

In 1995, Monica Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark College, was hired to work as an intern at the White House during Clinton’s first term. While at the White House her and Bill Clinton, while not engaging in sexual intercourse, participated in various sex acts, including getting his salad tossed! Bill Clinton perhaps realizing the danger of such a relationship puts the relationship on ice and had Monica transferred to the Pentagon to a $32,700 job as the confidential assistant, with a top-secret clearance.

Around this time Monica was asked if she had an affair with the President by lawyers of the Paula Jones case, a sexual harassment case against the President. When Monica’s friend Linda Tripp found out Lewinsky lied to the Paula Jones people she gave secret recording that Tripp had made of Monica admitting the affair to Kenneth Star. Starr used Monica Lewinsky lying under oath as a way to impeach President Bill Clinton. During the infamous trial, he was eventually forced to admit the sexual affair but was acquitted on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice during the 21-day Senate trial.

Monica on the rope lines

As Bill and Monica’s relationship began to wane Bill would see less and less of Monica. Almost to the point of stalking Monica tried to keep the flame alive by showing up at various events to get face time with the President. Later talking about her behavior she would recall that “I’m an insecure person … and I was insecure about the relationship at times and thought that he would come to forget me easily … So I made an effort. I would go early and stand in the front (at rope lines) so I could see him.” This is how sharp-eyed researchers found the “Beret” clip of Bill hugging Monica on November 6, 1996, the day after Clinton was re-elected. That clip was used endlessly by the news media to the point that the President of CNN would later apologize. Rick Kaplan, who served as President of CNN (1997-2000) was a good friend of President Clinton and has been quoted as saying it was a “big mistake” for CNN to show its exclusive footage of, “The Hug”, “Clinton probably gave 79 other hugs on that line,” said Mr. Kaplan, noting that Al Gore “also gave God knows how many hugs–not that anyone would care.”

Taking the picture

Again at a Saxophone Club fundraiser at the Washington Sheraton Monica waited at the rope line in hopes of getting some physical contact with Bill. Dirck Halstead recounts what happened next:

The circumstances behind that photograph was that in the last days of the campaign in 1996, the President was making an appearance before what they called the Saxophone Club which were young democrats. And I–at the end of the speech he went down into the crowd to work the line. When that happens, and it happens every presidential event, the photographers who had been on the floor in front of the president are brought up on the stage that he’s just left. And so our position then is on the stage, looking down on the president as he walks through the crowd. And I–somewhere in the process that night … something triggered something and I– took a picture and didn’t think anything more about it.

The reporters raced to the White House archives to discover what Clinton said on that day; he said these dubious words, “I was tired when I walked in, but I’m not tired anymore. You’ve given me a lot of energy.”

Monica



httpv://youtu.be/fpCv-UT2yCU

After the scandal, it was hard for Monica to get any kind of work. She was able to publish a successful book and was paid around $1,000,000 from the rights for her famous Barbara Walters interview, at 70 million viewers the second highest watched news program in history (The first is Oprah’s prime-time interview with Michael Jackson) but most of that went to legal fees and high cost of living now that she was a celebrity. There was a failed Jenny Craig spokesman gig and for a while, she ran an Internet handbag store and had some success as a reality TV show star. Eventually, she couldn’t take the constant media pressure and moved to the UK, graduating with a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics in 2006. Anonymous Monica friends have been quoted as saying that, “no one will hire her and she can’t get a job because of Clinton.”

In late 2012 the press broke a story about an upcoming tell-all book where supposedly Monica was getting paid $12 million but as of June 2013, there hasn’t been any more news. When Barbara Walters talked about retiring in 2014 she said that she wanted to do one more interview with Monica “I wouldn’t mind if my last one was Monica Lewinsky… she hasn’t been seen and I think she is a good person. I wouldn’t mind doing an interview with her again.”

Dirck Halstead

It’s ironic to me that after covering presidents and wars and films that probably, in the short term at least, my legacy is going to be having taken the picture of Monica Lewinski hugging President Bill Clinton.

Dirck Halstead first got his start covering the Guatemalan revolution of 1954. While working for TIME (1972-2001) his pictures graced its cover 54 times. Halstead is a big pusher of picture ownership and cites this photo as the reason that all photographers should keep ownership of their photos. As he says:

TIME have first-time rights on the photos. Once they have gone through the take, and pulled a few selects for the TIME-LIFE picture collection, the take goes to my agent, GAMMA-LIAISON. They then comb the take a second time, and pull their selects. Eventually, the take comes back to me, and resides in my light-room until I sort through it again, then send everything to the University of Texas, which is where my archives reside. Because I am busy, I only get around to sending the pictures to Texas about every 18 months … That is why ownership of your photographs is SO important. The simple fact is that no organization has the “memory of the image” that the photographer who took it has. The people who want “work for hire” from photographers, also disassociate their greatest asset from the thing that they have to sell.

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1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Goal

Behind the camera: Frank Lennon
Where: Moscow, Russia at the Luzhniki Arena
Photo Summary: Paul Henderson being embraced by team member No 12, Yvan Cournoyer. Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak can be seen on the ice with No. 25 of the Soviet Team, Yuri Lyapkin, looking crushed to the right
Picture Taken: September 28, 1972, with 34 seconds left in the third period

The Canadians battled with the ferocity and intensity of a cornered animal
-Soviet coach Anatoli Tarasov

In the 60s and 70s the European teams, especially the Soviets, came to dominate amateur hockey, a sport that previously had been a strictly Canadian domain. In the Olympics, the Soviets could stack its team with elite players while in Canada elite players were excluded as at that time only amateur athletes could compete in the Olympics. As such Canadians disregarded these amateur defeats as empty foreign victories because everyone knew that Canada’s best wasn’t playing. The Soviets sought to break what they saw as the “Invincible Canadian” myth and so the 1972 Summit Series, officially named The Friendship Series was born. Pitting the best of both nations against each other, the summit was to be played in arenas of both countries to see who was really the number one in Hockey. It was in the final of the series that Frank Lennon snapped this iconic picture, taken just after the “goal heard around the world”.

Summit Series




Most people in the professional hockey league and most Canadians thought that the series would be an easy victory for Team Canada. The idea that high-level hockey was played outside of North America, was a concept that the hockey establishment could not comprehend. They were in for a rude awakening when on Game 1, Sept. 2, 1972, the Soviets surprised everyone by crushing the Canadians, 7-3 in Montreal. Holding on by their fingertips the Canadians were able to snatch a few wins out of the jaws of the Soviet Hockey machine but by game 5 the Soviets lead by 2. Amazingly and to the relief of Canada, the Canucks were able to come back winning the next 2 on the Soviet ice.
Game 8, the final, was held at Moscow’s Luzhniki Arena. Each team had three wins and three losses, in addition to a tie, game three resulted in a 4-4 tie. Only a win in Game Eight would deliver victory in the series. The score was 2-2 after the first period, but the Soviets pulled ahead 5-3 after the second. Things looked grim for Team Canada but in the third, they came out roaring with Phil Esposito and Yvan Cournoyer scoring to even it up. At that point, with the score tied 5-5 and the series tied 3-3-1, a member of the Soviet delegation unexpectedly informed Canada that, if the score and the series remained tied, the Soviets would claim victory as throughout the series they had scored the most goals.
Then, with just 34 seconds remaining in the game, Paul Henderson in perhaps the most famous moment in Canadian sports history scored! Jamming in a rebound behind Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak Henderson’s goal became known as “the goal heard around the world”. Team Canada held out for the next 30sec to win the final and the series.

Colorized version

The last game I was so tired because I played all eight games. Ken Dryden played four games and Tony Esposito played four games, but I played all eight games. It was bad luck for me. On the last goal, Yvan Cournoyer gave a pass to Paul Henderson. Henderson shot at me, I made the save, but the second time he scored on me. Unbelievable. –Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak

Capturing Victory

He scored on me. Unbelievable
-Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak

Frank Lennon came to the Soviet games as part of the official Canadian fan contingent of over 3000 people. As the last seconds of Game 8 ticked down Lennon knew if the Canadians were to win they would score in the last then. As the timer counted down Lennon snuck down to the rink edge and choosing the spot that he thought most likely to get a good picture of the winning goal, focused his camera on the Soviet net. He was not disappointed and on film caught one of the greatest moments in Canadian sporting history. Henderson later talked to Lennon and remembered that “Everybody around him jumped up and (Lennon) would (later) say to me that he was amazed he had the presence of mind to keep shooting … Everything within him wanted to jump up and shout.”

The picture earned Lennon numerous awards including, a National Newspaper Award, Canadian Press Picture of the Year and even ‘Sports Picture of the Century’ by one magazine. His paper, The Toronto Star, gave him a bonus for shooting the picture and through a mistake at the syndication department also allowed him to copyright the picture. The picture became hugely popular and Lennon who now owned the copyright got royalties from the shot. Frank continued working at the Toronto Star until he retired in 1990. Once in 1969, Frank Lennon was assaulted by John Lennon, after following the Beatle member into the Toronto airport in an effort to get a photo. Frank died on August 21, 2006, at the age of 79.

In 1972, nobody lost … Who won? Hockey won” -Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak

Canada Celebrates

Most of Canada shut down that day to watch the game. Workers called in sick and schools herded their students into gyms to listen or watch the series finale. As the clock clicked down most feared the worst but when Henderson scored the Country erupted in celebration. Henderson’s mother who was watching the game from her home in Lucknow, Ont. said: “When Paul scored that goal it was like an atom bomb going off”. While the country exploded around her Mrs. Henderson, to celebrate, sat down and had a cup of tea.

Lesson Learned

While the Canadians were overjoyed at winning the series the Hockey establishment saw that European hockey had caught up to the Canadian game. The almost defeat at the hands of the Soviet team saw the Team Canada get a complete overall in their training regime. Where before they would meet only a few weeks before playing now they met months before to start training and getting back to shape. The NHL teams also had their eyes opened. Before the series having a European player was unthinkable but now they saw a real talent pool across the Atlantic. Tretiak who went on to become a goaltending coach for the Chicago Blackhawks believes: “In 1972, nobody lost. Everybody won. Now we could see that the best players in Russian could play with the NHL. It opened the door for the European players in the NHL today. Now, it’s the best league in the world. Who won? Hockey won.”

Game Info

The eight-game series consisted of four games in Canada and four games in the Soviet Union, all of them held in the Moscow’s Palace of Sports, Lenin Central Stadium.

Team Score Team Score City and Venue
Game 1 USSR 7 Canada 3 Montreal (Montreal Forum)
Game 2 Canada 4 USSR 1 Toronto (Maple Leaf Gardens)
Game 3 Canada 4 USSR 4 Winnipeg (Winnipeg Arena)
Game 4 USSR 5 Canada 3 Vancouver (Pacific Coliseum)
Game 5 USSR 5 Canada 4 Moscow (*Luzhniki Arena)
Game 6 Canada 3 USSR 2 Moscow (*Luzhniki Arena)
Game 7 Canada 4 USSR 3 Moscow (*Luzhniki Arena)
Game 8 Canada 6 USSR 5 Moscow (*Luzhniki Arena)

*Luzhniki Arena used to be known in 1972 as the, Palace of Sports, Lenin Central Stadium

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Black Power

Behind the camera: AP Photographer
Where: 1968 Mexico City Olympics
Photo Summary: Tommie Smith on the gold medal platform, John Carlos on the bronze raising their fists in salute with silver medalist Peter Norman looking on
Picture Taken: October 17, 1968 Mexico City Olympics

The AP called it a Nazi-like salute, and Chicago columnist Brent Musburger called them “black-skinned storm troopers”, yet black America saw them as heroes. For many outside of America, Tommie Smith’s and John Carlos’s protest was their first introduction to “Black Power” and the clenched fist raised arm Black Power salute. Media editors denounced them as unpatriotic, and un-American yet Smith thought that was the point saying, “If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black.”

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Symbolism

Being Black, and facing the racism they and other Black Americans felt was what the protest was all about. Smith and Carlos each wore a black glove on opposite hands, and Smith’s raised right fist represented Black Power, while Carlos raised left fist represented Black Unity. Together, the raised black, gloved fists formed an arch of Unity and Power. Along with the gloves, the men wore black socks with no shoes to protest black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf that stood for black pride, and Carlos wore beads which he described, “The beads were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.” Having such an elaborate statement many people assumed that Carlos and Smith were close, yet they barely talked before and after the protest. They only worked out their statement during the two-hour wait for the medal ceremony. Smith comments on the relationship has said, “I don’t think John Carlos likes me, even now, [but] I don’t think Carlos likes very many people. That’s just his demeanour.”

Bios


John Wesley Carlos was born June 5, 1945 in Harlem, New York. One of five children he spent a lot of time across the road from his apartment at the Savoy Ballroom. The Savoy was a hot spot on the big band and jazz circuit. Carlos and his friends were always helping people out of cabs, singing dancing outside the club, “we were out there hustling,” he said. As a promising high school athlete, he was able to get a full track and field scholarship at East Texas State University (ETSU). His presence is attributed to ETSU winning their first Lone Star Conference Championship. After one year, he was lured to San Jose State College where he was trained by Lloyd (Bud) Winter a future National Track & Field Hall of Fame coach.
Tommie Smith was born in Clarksville, Texas on June 5, 1944. One of 12 children born into a farming family, Smith would often spend up to 10 hours a day helping in the fields. After his family moved to California he attended Lemoore High School where he set many track records, some of which still remain unbroken. His skill as a runner won him a scholarship at San Jose State. At San Jose State he won the national collegiate 220 yd title in 1967, and the AAU furlong as well. In 1968 he again won the AAU furlong getting him a spot on the Olympic team.

While both Smith and Carlos attended San Jose State, another former black athlete was teaching Sociology, Harry Edwards. Edwards noted that, “…the same social and racial injustices and discrimination that had dogged [his and other Black student’s] footsteps as freshmen at San Jose were still rampant on campus – racism in the fraternities and sororities, racism in housing, racism and out-and-out mistreatment in athletics, and a general lack of understanding of the problems of Afro-Americans by the college administration.” Edwards and others through protest were able to change a lot of conditions on campus. Through his results, he released the power Black Athlete’s held over America’s unofficial religion, sports. Edwards had been able to organize black players to boycott a football game forcing it to be cancelled, even though then-governor Reagan was willing to bring in the National Guard. The boycott became nationwide news because it was the first time in a 100 years of NCAA Division I history that a football game had been cancelled because of a campus protest. More threats against other sporting events were able to force change, including more Black faculty, desegregated school dorms and more Black student enrollment.

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Olympic Project for Human Rights

It was this power in mind that Edwards, other Black athletes, and Civil Rights activists created the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). The OPHR was originally created to boycott the 1968 Mexico City Olympics unless key demands where met:

  • 1) Return Muhammad Ali title which was stripped from him due to his anti-Vietnam War stance
  • 2) Remove Avery Brundage the President of the International Olympic Committee due to his supposed racist views
  • 3) As a show of solidarity with international black freedom struggles ban Rhodesia and South Africa due to their apartheid governments
  • South Africa and Rhodesia not showing up to the 1968 games and the attitude of most black athletes took the wind out of the boycott. Many athletes did not want to give up an event that they had been training their whole lives for. John Carlos recounted, “We first tried to have a boycott (of the games) but not everyone was down with that plan. A lot of athletes thought that winning medals would supersede or protect them from racism. But even if you won the medal, it ain’t going to save your momma. It ain’t going to save your sister or children. It might give you fifteen minutes of fame, but what about the rest of your life? I’m not saying that they didn’t have the right to follow their dreams, but to me the medal was nothing but the carrot on a stick.” OPHR decided to abandon the boycott plan, although some black athletes decided not to come, and called on black athletes to protest in their own ways.

    When the American athletes arrived in Mexico the media pressed them hard to reveal what type of protest they had planned. The US track coaches sought to assure reporters that there would be “no trouble whatever” and “there will be no demonstrations”. Carlos while pledging that he had no intention to disrupt the games also said, “But that does not mean we will not do something to accentuate the injustices that have been done to the black man in America. . . . If I win a gold medal, I will be up there to get it. I may throw it away afterward, but nothing is going to keep me from getting it.” The world didn’t need long to figure out what “something to accentuate the injustices” meant.

    Even before the medal ceremony, the black athletes caused a stir over when it became known that they didn’t want the Brundage to present any medals to them. It was thought to be an honor for the American president of IOC to present the medals yet the OPHR still detested him for his past actions that many thought were racist. When sprinters Jim Hines and Charlie Greene made it clear that they didn’t want Brundage to present their medals Brundage seeking to avoid controversy stayed away from the ceremony. British official Lord David Burghley instead handed Hines his gold medal and Greene his bronze. Tommie Smith also told the press that if he won a medal he didn’t want to get it from Brundage. Smith’s wife bought a pair of black gloves in case Brundage did show up.

    Even before their medal podium display, Smith and Carlos were making the news. Reporters took note of their unusual long black socks. Newsweek described them as ghetto pimp socks. Jesse Owens the famous black sprinter who beat the Nazi sprinters at the 1936 Olympic games was commentating at Mexico City. Labelled an “Uncle Tom” by the OPHR, he still had advice for Smith and Carlos: they should have shorter socks, below the calves, so as to not affect circulation. At the next race when he noticed that Carlos had indeed switched to shorter socks Owens remarked, “Maybe they’re listening to their uncle. I’m old enough to be their uncle, but I’m not their Tom. We don’t need this kind of stuff. We should just let the boys go out and compete.”

    The race

    Black Power Olympic Salute 1968

    Another angle the salute is pictured


    Curiosity on how black athletes would protest assured a huge TV viewing audience. Smith made it even bigger when in his first heat he tied the Olympic record, 20.3. The bar was raised a few heats later when Australian Peter Norman broke that record with his best print ever 20.2. Smith matched that time in another heat but also pulled a groin abductor muscle. Commentators worried that Smith might not be able to run in the final but in the final race, showing no pain, Smith crushed the world record with an unbelievable time of 19.83. The 20-second mark was not broken at the Olympics again until Carl Lewis at the 1984 LA Olympics. The upstart Aussie Peter Norman bested John Carlos to take the silver but Carlos would later say that he let Smith win because the gold was more important to Smith. Despite the excitement of the race it was at the medal ceremony where the real show would take place.

    As the American and Australian flags were raised with an estimated audience of 400 million looking on Smith and Carlos walked out to the medal podium wearing socks and holding one shoe in their hands. While the Star-Spangled Banner played they each raised their black, gloved fists into the air. Silver medalist Peter Norman, in solidarity, wore an OPHR badge that he took from Paul Hoffman in the stands (US rowing team member that supported the OPHR. For giving the badge he was almost kicked out of the Olympics). Smith recounted:

    “My whole life flashed in my face. I had two minutes to see everything. Oh man, I never felt such a rush of pride. Even hearing the Star-Spangled Banner was pride, even though it didn’t totally represent me. But it was the anthem which represented the country I represented, can you see that? They say we demeaned the flag. Hey, no way man. That’s my flag . . . that’s the American flag and I’m an American. But I couldn’t salute it in the accepted manner, because it didn’t represent me fully; only to the extent of asking me to be great on the running track, then obliging me to come home and be just another nigger.”

    In the stands Mrs. Smith laughed with her friends, “Wait, until Avery sees this, He’ll die.” Not everyone in stands was as supportive, while The Star-Spangled Banner played the audience booed and heckled the two. The Olympic officials never ones to break protocol never turned from the flags to see what all the fuss was about. As the athletes left the stadium the catcalls from the audience grew and Smith and Carlos raising their fists again in defiance.

    Aftermath

    The IOC wanted them Smith and Carlos out of the games. At first, the US Olympic Committee refused to ban but when the IOC said the whole US track team would be kicked out, the USOC complied. The two were withdrawn from all future races and kicked out of the Village. Many of the athletes tried to show solidarity with the two. Wyomia Tyus upon taking the gold in the women’s 4×100 team said, “I’d like to say that we dedicate our relay win to John Carlos and Tommy Smith.” The all white Olympic Crew Team from Harvard even issued this statement “We -as individuals- have been concerned about the place of the black man in American society in their struggle for equal rights. As members of the US Olympic team, each of us has come to feel a moral commitment to support our black teammates in their efforts to dramatize the injustices and inequities which permeate our society.” More surprising was the actions of fellow Olympian, boxer George Foreman. Foreman, who won the gold, waved an American Flag on the podium and then bowed to the stadium crowd, actions seen by many as a show of anti-solidarity with Smith and Carlos.

    Peter Norman


    The other man on the podium, Peter Norman, also faced a storm when he returned to his home country of Australia. While he didn’t raise his fists he did wear a badge supporting Smith and Carlos’ actions. Even though he was a world-class athlete the Australians didn’t send him to the following games and he was treated like a sports pariah. Even during the Sydney Olympics, he was the only VIP sportsperson to be banned from taking the lap of honor at the 2000 Games. The Americans at the games, however, embraced his place in history and allowed him to use their facilities. In an interview in 2012 John Carlos said that:

    There’s no-one in the nation of Australia that should be honoured, recognized, appreciated more than Peter Norman for his humanitarian concerns, his character, his strength and his willingness to be a sacrificial lamb for justice. That’s what I would say to the people of Australia.

    The Australian Olympic Committee has had a decades-long policy of officially denying that it took part in any harsh treatment to Peter Norman as a result of his actions at the 1968 games but in August of 2012 the Australian government issued an official apology to Peter stating:

    “That this House; Recognises the extraordinary athletic achievements of the late Peter Norman, who won the silver medal in the 200 meters sprint running at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, in a time of 20.06 seconds, which still stands as the Australian record;

    Acknowledges the bravery of Peter Norman in donning an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge on the podium, in solidarity with African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who gave the black power salute;

    Apologises to Peter Norman for the wrong done by Australia in failing to send him to the 1972 Munich Olympics, despite repeatedly qualifying; and Belatedly recognises the powerful role that Peter Norman played in furthering racial equality. — Australian statement

    Unfortunately, Peter was no longer around to hear of his redemption. In 2006 he underwent triple bypass surgery and then while mowing his lawn a month later was hit with a fatal heart attack on October 3, 2006. Morning his loos were his second wife, Ruth, their three children, and his first wife, Jan, and their two children.

    Return Home

    The two returned to the States to death threats and attacks on their homes. Smith visited his father who as always was working the fields. His dad couldn’t read, but people told him that his son had gotten into trouble in Mexico. Smith remembers how, “He kind of looked at me, looked up and down, and said in his southern drawl: ‘You know, I’ve been hearing a lot of things about you. Everybody been telling me you did something wrong. You stuck a hand up or hit somebody or something.’ I said that’s not truthful. He said: ‘Well, you’re telling me that and I’m going to believe you. You’re my son.’ First time I shook hands with him in my life.”

    With the death threats and attacks came a mixed blessing when after graduation Smith was given an honorable discharge from the army for “un-American activities”. Saving him from having to go and serve in Vietnam. “I was going to ‘Nam, I could see myself in rice paddies. I believe there’s a God. Sixty-eight had its downfall, but it had its protection for me. I might not be alive.” Carlos who had two brothers in service and they two were discharged after his protest.

    Carlos went on to have his best year in ’69 when he equalled the 100-yard record of 9.1, won the AAU 220-yard run and lead San Jose State to its first NCAA victory in the 100 and 220 4×110-yard relays. After track, he tried the NFL playing with the Philadelphia Eagles until a knee injury forced him out. He tried again in the Canadian Football League before retiring from football after two years. After a number of jobs in 1985, he became the Track & Field Coach, at Palm Springs, California High School.

    Tommie Smith track career saw him setting several world records and he also tried football, playing with the Cincinnati Bengals for three years. He went on to become a professor of sociology and track coach at Oberlin College in Ohio. He is now a faculty member at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California.

    “None of these kids know who I am,” Smith says of his young track protégés at the Santa Monica College. “They don’t have the slightest idea. To them, I’m just ‘coach’.” At a ceremony at San Jose State to honor their protest Smith comments, “What’s so surprising about it is, on a positive note, it’s the brainchild of a 23-year-old white student,” Smith said. It’s been almost 40 years since the two made their stand, made history. Thirty-five years have passed since two sprinters made a stand, made a difference, made history. “We still have a way to go,” Carlos said, “but we can see some distance for where we were.”

    [apimages picturetitle=”Black Power” aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-Sports-Mexico-Olympics-BLACK-P-/885f208ffde6da11af9f0014c2589dfb/63/0″]

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    Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston

    Behind the camera: Neil Leifer
    Where: Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Maine, the state’s second largest city
    Photo Summary: Muhammad Ali screaming for Sonny Liston to get up off the ring
    Picture Taken: Liston was knocked down 1 minute and 42 seconds into the first round on May 25, 1965

    width=”250px”

    [introbox image_link=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Neil-Leifer-ali-liston-fight.jpg” amazon_link=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JPMIVE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001JPMIVE&linkCode=as2&tag=famopictmaga-20″ amazon_tracker=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=famopictmaga-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001JPMIVE” image_width=200 when=”” where=”.” who=”” summary=”.” ]

    Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston title match is still one of the most controversial boxing matches in the world. The second match only lasted 1 and 42 seconds before Muhammad Ali knocked done Liston with what would become known as the “phantom punch”. While Liston laid on the ground Ali stood over him screaming to get up while photographers snapped this now famous photo of the scene.

    Taking the photo


    Ali vs. Liston - May 25, 1965 - Lewiston, Maine. - Neil Leifer  5-22-07

    In 2012 Wired.com did a series of photos of photographers and their iconic pictures


    Photographer Neil Leifer recounting taking the picture:

    Well, I was lucky. I don’t want to sound like I’m just being modest … The photographer you see between Ali’s legs is Herbie Scharfman, the other Sports Illustrated photographer. It didn’t make a difference how good he was that night. He was obviously in the wrong seat. What the good sports photographer does is when it happens and you’re in the right place, you don’t miss. Whether that’s instinctual or whether it’s just luck, I don’t know.

    To capture the color, Leifer had rigged special flash units over the ring, but this led to a bigger challenge: Leifer had one shot. The other photographers brandished the equivalent of semi-automatics whilst he held a sniper rifle. Leifer’s strobes needed time to recharge, which meant he couldn’t click and click. Whenever a fighter fell, the other photographers could quick-twitch their shutters, but Leifer had to pick one moment, artistically aping the sniper’s motto: one shot, one kill.

    Nonetheless, Leifer managed the risks and got the great shot—got it, knew it—but couldn’t get it to stick. Not in the minds of his editors, at least. Eventually, many months after that issue of Sports Illustrated had been consigned to the stacks, an editor espied the image again and thought it worth consideration. He submitted it to the prestigious “Pictures of the Year” contest—the Oscars for photographers. But there, too, the photo failed. What would later be voted as the best sports photo of the century couldn’t conjure an honorable mention. — Iowa Review:How Things Break

    Cassius Marcellus Clay

    Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942) was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr and would grow to stand 6’3″ (1.91 m) tall. It wasn’t until March 6, 1964, Malcolm X when Elijah Muhammad the leader of the Nation of Islam stated that Cassius Clay was to be renamed Muhammad (the prophet of Islam) Ali (fourth rightly guided caliph). As an amateur Clay won boxing gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Turning pro he won his first fight against Tunney Hunsaker in Louisville, October 29, 1960. Over the next three years, he defeated a string of boxers including, Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, Lamar Clark (who had won his previous 40 bouts by knockout), Doug Jones, and Henry Cooper. By 1963 Clay was ready to take a stab at the World Heavyweight Boxing championship title held by the much-feared Sonny Liston.
    Sonny Liston

    Charles L. “Sonny” Liston (May 8?, 1932 – December 30?, 1970), was born into incredible poverty of a shareholder farmer family in Johnson Township, St. Francis County, Arkansas. As a young man, he was arrested and sent to jail which he found he actually enjoyed. The food in prison was better than any he had on the outside and while in he was discovered by a prison Chaplin who encouraged and taught him to box. Outside the prison, he soon gained a fearsome reputation as a professional boxer taking the championship title from Floyd Patterson on 25 September 1962. He and everyone in the boxing world expected Liston to crush the fast-talking Clay.
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    The First Match



    The bout was held on February 25, 1964, in Miami, Florida. Clay launched a physiological campaign against Liston, dubbing him “the big ugly bear” and showing up and taunting him while Liston trained. When the fight opened Liston almost ran across the ring to shut up with his fists the fast-talking Clay. When talking to the press about his strategy for fighting Liston Clay and fellow street-poet Drew Bundini Brown coined the now famous quotes about he would, “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” and “Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.” Which is exactly what Clay did as he slowly tired down Liston while landing a few blows himself. By the third round Clay was in control but in the forth a mysterious substance found its way into Clay’s eyes blinding him. While half blind he was able to avoid Liston’s punishing blows until the burning substance was washed away from Clay’s sweat and tears. Eyes cleared by the fifth round Clay landed a number of combinations and by the sixth Liston seemed pushed to the limit. Then Liston shocked the world when he threw in the towel in 7th claiming to have an injured shoulder and giving Clay the World Heavyweight Boxing championship.

    Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali

    The day after the fight Cassius Clay held a press conference where he announced that he was a Muslim and member of the Nation of Islam or Black Muslims. The American public was shocked at this news as the Nation of Islam was viewed with suspicion if not outright hostility. Soon Cassuis Clay announced that like Malcolm X he would be giving up his last name, his slave name and would like to be called Cassius X. Then on March 6, 1954, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, announced that Cassius X’s new name would be Muhammad Ali.

    Second Fight


    Muhammad Ali (Vs. Sonny Liston) Sports Poster Print
    Due to the highly irregular fight where the now Muhammad Ali had won the title the boxing commission scheduled a new fight for 16th of November 1964. Three days before the fight Ali suffered a hernia that required an operation and recovery time so the fight was delayed for six months. During those months was a fire at Ali’s apartment, Malcolm X was assassinated and the Nation of Islam’s offices in New York was bombed. The fight was to be held in Boston either due to fears of an attack on Ali or Liston’s mob connections one Garrett Byrne, on May 5, 1965, filed an injunction to block the fight. When word broke out that Boston was out Sam Michael the director of economic development in the small town of Lewiston, Maine sent word that his town could host it. Lewiston was well off the beaten path of boxing and Sam had to basically build up the fight from scratch. He had to find an arena, print tickets, get the necessary permits, find a ring but he was able to do it even calling the governor to help. By May 7 Sam Michael had everything in order and announced that the title ship match would be held in a small town about 150 miles north of Boston, Lewiston.

    With the assassination of Malcolm X and Liston’s mob connections rumors abound that either boxer could be killed that night. The TV broadcasters of the fight, Sports Vision, Inc, put out a $1,000,000 insurance policy in case Ali was murdered and the fight called off. Ali’s camp knew the dangers and security were tight a New York bomb squad was brought in to sweep the building and some 200 extra police brought into search people coming into the arena. Prices soared for tickets and due to the location, security fears, and the hysteria surrounding the fight only 2,434 fans attended the fight.
    Ali had changed in many ways since the last fight and so had Liston but where Ali pushed forward Liston seemed to crumble. Black activist Dick Gregory remembered visiting Liston expecting a man of steel eager to retain his title but found a defeated man slumped in front of the TV. He would tell his friends, “his mind is blown. He’s gonna lose fast.”

    Ali Liston fight AP Photo by John Rooney

    AP Photo by John Rooney


    Gregory couldn’t have been more right as 1min and 40 seconds into the fight Ali threw what would become the “phantom punch” knocking Liston down. The ref, Jersey Joe Walcott, a former world Heavyweight champion himself couldn’t keep Ali in the corner. Ali perhaps confused himself on why Liston was on the ground screamed for Liston to get up. It was at that second that ringside photographers snapped one of the most famous pictures of Ali. It was also in that confusion that the ref forgot to count out Liston. After what was determined to be around 14sec Walcott actually allowed Liston to get up and continue the fight. Ali quickly resumed his beating before a publisher, Nat Fleischer of Ring Magazine started yelling at Walcott that Liston was down on the mat longer than 10sec. So one of the important fights of the time was called not by a ref, ringside judge or boxing official but a journalist who just happened to be there. Walcott quickly separated the boxers and declared Ali the defender and still world heavyweight champion.

    What’s my Name?

    Pictures of this famous pose are often confused with another fight of Ali’s February 6, 1967, Muhammad Ali vs Ernie Terrell. Terrell had infuriated Ali by calling him by his former name, Clay. Muhammad Ali pummeled Terrell throughout the fight screaming, “What’s my name, Uncle Tom … What’s my name.” He would beat Terrell unmercifully but hold back from actually knocking him out. Many sports writers at the time said that the fight only went the full 15 rounds because Ali wanted it to. After the fight Sports Illustrated writer, Tex Maule wrote, “It was a wonderful demonstration of boxing skill and a barbarous display of cruelty.”

    [apimages picturetitle=”Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston” aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-Sports-Maine-United-States-Box-/ee01835b9be5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/12/1″]

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    Uncle Sam Wants You

    Behind the camera: James Montgomery Flagg
    Where: Flagg’s Studio
    Photo Summary: Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer in such a way that the finger seems to follow the viewer around the room.
    Picture Taken: Originally published as the cover for the July 6, 1916, issue of Leslie’s Weekly with the title ‘What Are You Doing for Preparedness?’. Released as a poster in 1917.
    This image is in the public domain because it was taken by a federal employee, James Montgomery Flagg

    This World War I recruitment poster image of Uncle Sam is one of the most recognized posters in the world. The poster cemented the image of bearded Uncle Sam and over 4 million posters were created. It became so popular that it was recreated for World War II and since then used as inspiration for countless other posters.

    Painting Uncle Sam

    James Montgomery Flagg

    James Montgomery Flagg

    James Montgomery Flagg originally created the image for the July 6, 1916, issue of Leslie’s Weekly with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?”. When America entered World War I the federal government set up a propaganda division called, Committee on Public Information, headed by one George Creel. Creel, in turn, created a Committee of Pictorial Publicity (COPP) which was to specialize in creating pro-war posters. Flagg joined COPP in 1917 and redesigned his earlier Leslie magazine cover into the present famous poster.

    The image is actually based on a very popular British recruitment poster, Kitchener Wants You! (Shown Below), published in 1914 and designed by artist Alfred Leete. Looking for a more stern face for Uncle Sam Flagg used his own features for the face and, “an inescapable, slacker-accusing finger, demanding: I WANT YOU.” During World War II when presenting a copy to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Flagg remarked that he had used his own face. Roosevelt replied: “I congratulate you on your resourcefulness in saving model hire. Your method suggests Yankee forebears.”

    Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam points from the cover of Leslie's Magazine Feb 15 1917

    Uncle Sam points from his 2nd Front Cover of Leslie’s Magazine on Feb 15 1917

    Uncle Sam’s origins remain rather murky but seem to have come from the war effort surrounding the War of 1812 when America tried to conquer its northern neighbour, Canada. Legend has it that the meat that the soldiers received had the initials E.A.– the U.S. stamped on all the army-bound food. E.A. stood for government subcontractor Elbert Anderson and the U.S. stood for the United States of America. Some of the soldiers didn’t make the connection and when asked what the initials stood for army suppliers told them, “Elbert Anderson and Uncle Sam” Uncle Sam being another contractor who supplied meat, a much loved Sam Wilson. History.com claims that on Sept 7, 1813, the “United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam.”
    Cecil Adams of the Straight Dope remarks that the story is, “Very neat, but is it true? On the surface, it might seem so. Researchers have established that Elbert Anderson and Sam Wilson did exist and did supply meat to the government during the War of 1812. What’s more, the earliest known reference to Uncle Sam in the sense of the U.S. government appeared in 1813 in the Troy Post.”

    However, the first connection with Uncle Sam equaling Sam Wilson doesn’t appear in print until almost 30 years later. Even when Sam Wilson died in 1854 his home papers didn’t mention the Sam Wilson, Uncle Sam connection. The post in 1816 did print a story claiming that Uncle Sam originated from the United States Light Dragoons (USLD) a regiment formed in 1807. This story claims that when asked what was said on their hats the USLD soldiers would say, “Uncle Sam’s Lazy Dogs.” In any event, Uncle Sam’s origins will remain shrouded in history.

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    The Train Leaves the Station

    Behind the camera: Roger Viollet (left) and Lévy et fils (right)
    Where: Gare Montparnasse, Train Station, Paris, France
    Photo Summary: Granville-Paris Express rail engine 120-721 after it crashed through the station wall and onto the street
    Picture Taken: October 22, 1895
    This image is in the public domain because of its age

    As the Granville-to-Paris Express approached Montparnasse Station conductor Guillaume-Marie Pellerin looked at his watch. Knowing that he was going to be a few minutes late for the train’s 15:55 arrival time Pellerin kept the train running at high speed as he completed the approach to the station. Pellerin knew he could maintain the high speed and when he was close to the station he would apply the Westinghouse air brake to safely bring the train to a stop. However, on this October 22 in 1895 the Westinghouse brake system failed and at full speed, the train crashed through 100 ft (30m) of the station concourse, smashed through a two feet (0.6m) wall and sailed two stories to the ground below. The image now long since out of copyright is often used by poster companies to show images where something failed or went wrong.

    The accident


    Accident Montparnasse etching

    Le Journal Illustré used the image as a basis for their front page etching


    Montparnasse Station is one of the oldest stations in Paris have been in operation since 1840. In 1852 the station as to how it looks in the photo was completed based on the design of architect Victor Lenoir. The trains would arrive on the first floor but in front of the station, a sunken road called the Place de Rennes carried a tramway between the station and Place de l’Etoile.

    Locomotive No. 721 a 2-4-0 (or type 120 using the French system) was used for the Granville-to-Paris Express which left Granville every day at 08:45. Nothing was different on the day of the accident with the train conductor Guillaume-Marie Pellerin, a 19-year railroad man, leaving at 08:45. During his run, the train began to fall behind and after the last stop before Montparnasse had 131 passengers aboard. To make up for lost time Pellerin made the infamous decision to enter the station area at cruising speed. But he wasn’t the only one to blame. Two other train staff could have stopped the train with the hand brakes but one of them Albert Mariette was preoccupied with filling out paperwork as they entered the station and he failed to notice in time that train was going faster than it should be. Just as he applied the brake the train smashed through the buffer stop.

    Incredibly no one on the train was killed and there were only five injuries, three of those were the crew. Tragically though, Marie-Augustine Aguilard, the wife of a news vendor on the street below was killed when she was struck by falling masonry. She had been watching the newsstand while her husband went to get the evening papers. The train company paid for her funeral and provided a pension for her children.
    Guillaume-Marie Pellerin and Albert Mariette were both prosecuted for negligence and found guilty for driving the train too fast and Mariette for not applying the brake in time. There were fined 50 and 25 francs respectively.

    Roger Viollet and Lévy et fils both took pictures of the crash though Viollet took a number of photos from different angles. The image now long since out of copyright is often used by poster companies to show images where something failed or went wrong.

    roger viollet la gare montparnasse Gare Montparnasse, Train Station, Paris, France Gare Montparnasse, Train Station, Paris, France The Color of Time

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    Elvis meets Nixon

    Behind the camera: Oliver F. Atkins
    Where: The Whitehouse’s Oval Office in Washington DC, America
    Photo Summary: Elvis shaking Nixon’s hand in front of the Oval office’s military service flags
    Picture Taken: 12:30 Meeting that lasted 30min on December 21, 1970
    This image is in the public domain because it was taken by a federal employee, Oliver F. Atkins

    Nowadays meeting between cultural icons and political leaders is an everyday occurrence with Bono getting access to the UN seemingly whenever he wants. In the ’70s suggesting that Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, and Richard Nixon, the American President could have a get together would have been met with disbelief. Yet on December 21, 1970 it happened and White House photographer, Oliver (Ollie) Atkins, captured the whole event in Black and White glory. The meeting was top secret at the time but almost a year later, on Jan. 27, 1972, the Washington Post broke the story. Soon the photo was released and it quickly became and still is one of the most requested photos from the national archives.

    The Meeting


    Official summary of the meeting


    On the morning of December 21, 1970, a limo pulled up to the White House and one of Elvis’s bodyguards handed over a letter asking for a meeting with President Nixon. The five-page letter was written on American Airlines stationery and requested a meeting with the president to talk about Elvis obtaining the credentials of a federal agent in the war on drugs. Secret Service agents alerted Egil (Bud) Krogh, Nixon’s then-deputy assistant for domestic affairs, who was able to talk to the right people to get a meeting with the President. The time was set for 12:30 and at 11:45 Elvis was at the White House northwest gate. Krogh met Elvis and his two bodyguards, Sonny West and Jerry Schilling, and escorted them to the Oval Office reception area. Bud remembers being a little shocked when Elvis showed up wearing his rock star gear and not the usual business suits that the “normal” visiting world leaders wore. He was still impressed, though:

    … in his own rock star way, he was resplendent. He was wearing tight-fitting dark velvet pants, a white silky shirt with very high collars and open to below his chest, a dark purple velvet cape, a gold medallion, and heavy silver-plated amber-tinted designer sunglasses with “EP” built into the nose bridge. Around his waist was a belt with a huge four-inch by six-inch gold belt buckle with a complex design I couldn’t make out without embarrassing myself. . . This was a time in sartorial history when gold chains festooned the necks of many of the more style-conscious men in our society. — Bud Krogh


    The national archives have a travelling exhibit of the Elvis and Nixon meeting and some of the items they display are Elvis and Nixon’s clothes. In addition to the huge gold plated belt buckle, they have Elvis’s black velvet overcoat and black leather boots. For Nixon, they have the gray woollen suit, tie, and the size 11½ black shoes.

    This was one of many pictures taken by Oliver Atkins, for more pictures go to the photo gallery of the meeting. Elvis had actually requested the meeting because, ironically, he was concerned about America’s drug problem:

    Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley at the White House - Dec 21 1970

    Nixon and Elvis colorized by the talented Marina Amaral ( @marinamaral2 )

    I have done an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques and I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good … The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc. do NOT consider me as their enemy or as they call it The Establishment. I call it America and I love it. Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help The Country out. I have no concern or Motives other than helping the country out.
    So I wish not to be given a title or an appointed position. I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large and I will help out by doing it my way through my communications with people of all ages. — Elvis’s Letter to the President

    In less than seven years Elvis would die at the age of 42 from prescription drug abuse and heart disease (although he never officially sought any sort of drug addiction help) As shown in his letter, Elvis was trying to gain an official title and badge. While he usually carried himself with the confidence that the KING of rock roll would Krogh remembers that even Elvis was awed by being in the Oval Office, “I think he was just awed by where he found himself. I ended up having to help him walk across over to the president’s desk.
    [midgoogle]

    Nixon is admiring the cufflinks given to Elvis by Vice-President, Spiro Agnew.


    Elvis brought a number of things to the meeting including other badges and credentials from other drug agencies, some pictures of his daughter and a present for Mr. Nixon, a World War II-era Colt 45. (The gun is now on display at the Richard Nixon Library) Nixon politely heard out Elvis’s case and did end up giving him the badge he asked for.
    In a summary of the meeting created by Krogh for the President, he noticed that Elvis seemed quite emotional about being on Nixon’s side. He also expressed his concern about how the Beatles were a bad influence on the country. In the meeting summary, Krogh wrote that Elvis said that the Beatles came “to this country, made their money, and then returned to England where they promoted an anti-American theme. The President nodded in agreement and expressed some surprise.”

    As the 30min was about to wrap up Elvis in a spontaneous moment gave Nixon a hug and told him how much he supported him. Just before he was about to leave Elvis asked if it would be OK if Nixon could meet his bodyguards, which Nixon agree to do.

    Nixon meeting Elvis's bodyguards

    Nixon meeting Elvis's bodyguards, Sonny West on the left and Jerry Schilling on the right


    Years later Krogh would look back and recall that Elvis had probably just wanted the badge to complete his collection, “Oh man, we were set up! But it was fun, said Krogh. “He said all the right words about trying to do the right thing and I took him at his word, but I think he clearly wanted to get a badge and he knew the only way he was going to get it.

    The photographer, Oliver F. (Ollie) Atkins, would later die of cancer, in Washington, Virginia, January 24, 1977.

    The Flags Behind the King and President

    In the background, you can see the Oval office’s military service flags from each division of the Armed Forces. From left to right are the US Indoor/Parade versions of the Army, Marines, Navy, AirForce, and US Coast Guard. Below are the flags as they appear stretched out, note that the oval office flags are the indoor parade versions and as such have gold tassels surrounding them.

    Other Popular Culture pictures

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