Can You Name the Decades These Famous Photos Are From?

By: Bri O.

About This Quiz

Photography, to capture a moment in time or tell a tale, began in 1826 or 1827. At least that's the earliest known surviving photograph made in a camera in France. Although photos were found since that date, photography became popular in the United States once the first camera, call the "Kodak" could be purchased in 1888. Cameras were used to visually record family history and important moments in the birth of our nation. 

Our history is full of conflicts, victories, courage and morally questionable ethics. From "Cotton Mill Girl," photographed in an effort to document the grim reality of child labor, to the famous photo titled "Muhammad Ali v. Sonny Liston" which captures the victorious moment just after Ali knocked out Liston, the power of a single image is undeniable. Then there are other reminders of our historic landscape where photos captured the beauty of Yellowstone, as well as the plight of the Native American Indians. 

Just look at the subject of the photo, that should give you the biggest hint as to the decade it was photographed. However, angles, color or black and white, and clothing will also provide other clues to the situation and decade. Take this quiz now and relive history through photos. 

This famous photo is titled "Muhammad Ali v. Sonny Liston" and was taken by photographer Neil Leifer on May 25th, 1965. The picture captures the moments just after Ali knocked out Leifer. The two were rivals, as Ali had won the heavyweight boxing championship the year prior fighting against opponent Leifer.

This famous photo is titled "Migrant Mother" and was taken by photographer Dorothea Lange in 1936 in an effort to depict the devastation inflicted upon Americans by the Great Depression. The photo was taken at a camp in Hoboken, New Jersey. The picture is of a 32-year-old woman named Frances Owens Thompson.

"Micheal Jordan" was shot by photographer Jacobus "Co" Rentmeester in 1984. It's the basis of Nike's Air Jordan logo, a brand that raked in $3.2 billion in 2014.

"Cotton Mill Girl" was photographed by Lewis Hine in 1908 in an effort to document the reality of child labor in the U.S, in hopes it would spark Americans to demand change. He often lied to get into the mills, mines, and factories so he could document the child laborers and the conditions in which they worked. His photographs gave a voice to roughly 2 million children.

This photo was taken by Mathew Brady in 1860 before the future president would lead the country through a civil war. "Abraham Lincoln" was used in his campaign on posters, buttons, and published in magazines.

"Cathedral Rock" was taken by photographer Carleton Watkins in 1862. He was among the first to document Yosemite's majestic landscapes. In 1864, President Lincoln passed the Yosemite Grant Act, which led to the eventual creation of the National Park System.

"The Vanishing Race" was photographed by Edward S. Curtis in 1904 in hopes of documenting the disappearing Native American tribes and their cultures. But the way in which the pictures were received by the public only served to cement stereotypes of indigenous peoples as being part of the past rather than actual, living human beings. Rather than being moved to action, people were moved to experience and reminisce about life in the west.

"99 Cent" was photographed by Andreas Gursky in 1999, and it sold for $2.3 million dollars at an auction in 2006. Out of all contemporary photography pieces sold, 99 Cent set the record for being the most expensive.

"American Gothic, Washington, D.C." was photographed by Gordon Parks in 1942 in direct juxtaposition to Grant Wood's "American Gothic" painted in 1930. The photograph is meant to expose America's racism and dehumanizing treatment towards African Americans. While the picture has come to be recognized as symbolic for life prior to the civil-rights era, it's unfortunately just as relevant to and symbolic of life in 2017.

"Country Doctor" was taken by photographer Eugene Smith in 1948 and quickly became one of his most influential photo essays. The essay is the result of Smith's time spent with Ernest Ceriani, the doctor of a small ranching community in the Colorado Rockies.

"Fire on Marlborough Street" by Stanley Forman was shot in 1975 Boston on what should have been a routine fire rescue but which turned fatal after the poorly maintained fire escape collapsed under the feet of 19-year-old Diana Bryant and 2-year-old Tiare Jones, who were attempting to flee from the fifth floor. Bryant died cushioning the blow for her goddaughter, who survived. Because Forman was there to capture the harrowing details of these events, legislators took action by enacting safer fire-escape regulations.

Charles Levy, a first lieutenant, is credited with capturing this photograph of the "Mushroom Cloud" forming over Nagasaki minutes after his crewmates dropped an atomic bomb, ultimately killing roughly 80,000 people, though it is likely this number is much greater. The effects of the bomb's radiation spans generations.

John Paul Filo captured a screaming 14-year-old Mary Ann Vecchio as she wept over the body of 20-year-old Jeffrey Miller, a Kent State student who had just been fatally shot by the Ohio National Guard while protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The National Guard killed four unarmed, peacefully protesting students and injured nine. Filo, who was also a student of Kent State at the time, would win the Pulitzer Prize for this work.

Richard Drew was near enough to the twin towers on September 11, 2001, to capture the haunting moments just after the terrorist attacks. The identity of the person in this photo, entitled "Falling Man," remains unknown, but is believed to have been an employee of the Windows on the World restaurant, which was located at the top of the north tower.

This photo is of Frame 313, a single frame out of the 486 that make up the 26.5 second film of JFK's assassination. For years, LIFE and the government withheld Frame 313 from the public because of its particularly gruesome nature.

Pete Souza was at the scene to capture "The Situation Room" the day U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden on President Barack Obama's orders. No pictures of the events in Pakistan were released to the public, so this image of the nation's leaders are what the world has to remember it by.

"The Babe Bows Out" was photographed by Nate Fine in 1948 on the day Ruth retired his number 3 jersey at Yankee Stadium. Ruth was struggling with terminal cancer at the time, and would die two months later. Fine would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for the photo, becoming the first ever sports photographer to earn the award.

"Black Power Salute" was taken by John Dominis in 1968 at the Mexico City Olympic games. The photo is of athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos. The athletes leveraged their medalist positions to call attention to the civil rights struggle waging on in the United States.

"The Pillow Fight" was taken by Harry Benson in 1964, 11 weeks after JFK was assassinated. Benson would go on to work with the Beatles for decades to come.

This photograph of the "Little Rock Nine" was taken in 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The picture shows Elizabeth Eckford being harassed and threatened by white students and parents, who were upset the government was forcing them to desegregate Little Rock Central High School.

This photo, shot by Alberto Korda, went unpublished for 7 years until Che Guevara, the man pictured, died while spearheading a guerrilla uprising in Bolivia. Castro used the image, entitled Guerillero Heroico, and his long-time ally's death as a symbol for revolution. Soon after, movements, causes, and artists around the world began using the image as a symbol for revolution and rebellion.

William Anders, a NASA astronaut, shot this photo in 1968 from the window of Apollo 8. Their mission was to orbit to the moon 10 times - "Earthrise" was taken at the beginning of their fourth orbit and became the first full-color image of Earth, helping to spark the environmental movement.

Neil Armstrong was both the first man on the moon and the photographer behind this famous image, "A Man on the Moon." The astronaut pictured here is Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever walk on the moon.

Eddie Adams captured the brutality of the Tet Offensive and Vietnam War when he snapped this photo, entitled Saigon Execution, of Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan just moments before he would casually execute Nguyen Van Lem. Lem was the captain of a rebel unit that had just executed the family of one of General Loan's colleagues.

"Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" was shot in 1932 by one of three photographers - Charles C. Ebbets, Thomas Kelley, or William Leftwich - exactly which one is unknown. The photo captures 11 ironworkers as they spend their lunch break sitting along a beam suspended 840 feet in the air in Manhattan, New York. The photo resonated with Americans as it symbolized their resilience in the face of the Great Depression.

It's unclear who the actual photographer behind this image is, but it's believed to be Robert Wilson, a British doctor. Wilson snapped the photo in 1934, and there have been conspiracy theories about the Loch Ness monster ever since.

"The Critic" was taken by Australian immigrant Arthur Fellig in 1943 New York City. The image is an orchestrated one, though, at the time, unbeknownst to the two ladies on the left, Ms. George Washington Kavanaugh and Lady Decies, who were on their way to the Metropolitan Opera House's Diamond Jubilee celebration and living an excessively luxurious lifestyle while most of the country still struggled, years after the Great Depression. Fellig attempted to highlight this rift by staging this "gotcha" style photo.

Before there was Marilyn Monroe, there was Betty Grable. 20th Century Fox photographer Frank Powolny snapped this "back shot" of Betty Grable in 1943, just when the troops needed rallying by a Hollywood starlet. The photo was sent by the 10s of thousands of soldiers fighting the Axis powers and plastered over military equipment. Hugh Hefner, who was fighting in the war, drew inspiration from this Betty Grable photo when he would later create Playboy.

Annie Leibovitz snapped this "Vanity Fair" cover of a 7-months-pregnant Demi Moore in 1991. Many grocery stores refused to stock the issue, some stocked the issue but covered it up, and a few proudly displayed it, because it was provocative and unprecedented in mainstream media.

Alfred Stieglitz snapped this photo, entitled "The Steerage," in 1907 on a voyage to Europe. A member of the first-class passenger deck, Stieglitz was unaccustomed to the cramped, confined conditions of the ship's steerage and lower deck, where the "huddled masses" were crammed together. There, he captured the ship's abnormal geometric features and the people who occupied it. The image would go unpublished for four years until Stieglitz made it the cover photo of Camera Work, his magazine.

Bradley Cooper snapped this Oscars Selfie in 2014, capturing himself and other award-winning celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence, and Julia Roberts, among others. DeGeneres, who was hosting the event, immediately uploaded the image to Twitter. It quickly went viral, reaching over 3 million retweets.

Philippe Kahn took the first ever cell-phone picture in 1997. The image is of his newborn daughter. While waiting for his wife to give birth, Kahn jerry-rigged a digital camera to hook up to a flip phone and wrote a few lines of code to get the two devices to work with each other. Using this crudely assembled device, Kahn was able to capture and immediately transmit an image to over 2,000 people, making him the first to instantaneously message an image using a phone. He would later release the first camera phone in Japan. It would be a few years still until the development made its way into U.S. markets.

Richard Prince took a photo of a photo to create this Untitled image in 1989. The original photo included Marlboro branding, which he cropped out. Prince's photo sold for $1.2 million at an auction in 2005.

Charles Moore captured the casual violence of segregation in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, with this photo, which pictures a police canine ripping into the pant leg of a Black, nonviolent protester. Moore's photography helped push public sentiment and politicians towards abolishing segregation. Almost a year after this picture was taken, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This piece is the result of a collaboration between two talented artists, surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and the photographer, Philippe Halsman. Halsman's family served as his assistants during the shoot, which took 26 takes to get right. For the photo to work, the assistants had to throw a bucket of water and three cats at the same time Dalí jumped into the air, while a chair is suspended by wire in the air, and at the same time, the photographer had to capture it all at exactly the right moment.

Margaret Bourke, LIFE magazine's first female photographer, captured this image of Mahatma Gandhi next to a spinning wheel in 1946 while she was covering the struggle for Indian Independence. Bourke was prohibited from taking the picture until she learned how to use a spinning wheel.

Arthur Sasse snapped this picture of Albert Einstein at the Princeton Club in March of 1951. Instead of smiling another time for the cameras that day, Einstein decided to stick out his tongue. Sasse was the only photographer around to capture the pose, an image that Einstein would use for sending his friends greeting cards.

Ian Macmillan shot the famous cover photo for the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album. About ten minutes worth of preparation and actual photo snapping went into creating the masterpiece. Paul McCartney drew on this photo for inspiration in shooting the cover for his solo, "Paul is Live," album years later, which features him walking with a leashed sheepdog across the same crosswalk.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a Dream" speech. His speech was part of the March on Washington, and MLK Jr. chose the base of the Lincoln Memorial as the speech's location.

Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured this V-J Day Kiss on August 14, 1945, the day WWII ended. What was once celebrated as a cultural icon has more recently come into question. Because the sailor and nurse were unknown to each other prior to this moment and the sailor did not obtain consent before swooping in and stealing a kiss from the nurse, some question whether it is a photo that should be celebrated.

Sam Shaw snapped this famous photo of Marilyn Monroe in September of 1954. It's known as the iconic "flying skirt" image. Shaw and Monroe were friends; Marilyn fondly nicknamed him Sam Spade.

Jan Rose Kasmir was a 17-year-old girl whose empathy shone through on October 21, 1967, the day of the March on the Pentagon. Around 100,000 protesters attempted to shut down the Pentagon by physically surrounding it. Amidst all these people, photographer Marc Riboud happened to notice Kasmir as she tried to connect with the soldiers by speaking with them and offering signs of peace.

Immersions (Piss Christ) was created and captured by Andres Serrario in 1987. It's a photo that led to much controversy, not unexpected considering the photo is of a crucifix submerged in Serrario's urine. "Piss Christ" sparked enough outrage that decency-standards laws were passed and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1998.

Ansel Adams snapped this photo in 1942. The photo is of the Snake River in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Adams hoped that by capturing the beauty of nature, his passion for environmental awareness might rub off on the public. Climate change wasn't even a blimp on the radar yet.

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