1. Derek Redmond And His Dad Finish An Olympic Race
Derek Redmond was a British Olympic sprinter (400 meters) in the '80s and early '90s. His career had been plagued by injuries that forced him to drop out of the 1988 Olympics just before his race. He had eight surgeries between 1988 and 1992 and by the time the Barcelona games came along he was ready to go. In the semifinals his hamstring snapped after 150 meters. A stretcher was brought out but Redmond refused it. And pulled himself up and began limping to the finish. His father ran through security to be with his son and helped him cross the finish line.
2. Diego Maradona Takes On Six Defenders
Diego Maradona is among the greatest soccer players to have ever played the game. This photo from the 1982 World Cup shows him going up against six Belgian defenders. This sums up how many saw Argentina's teams of the period: Maradona vs. the world. Four years later Maradona would win that match up and lead Argentina to a World Cup victory.
3. Mickey Mantle Takes Out His Bad Day On His Batting Helmet
This is the defining photo of one of baseball's greatest players. And though at the time Mickey was seen as a happy-go-lucky guy, through his biographers, we've come to know this version of Mick. Angry. Frustrated. Complex.
4. Muhammad Ali Stands Over Sonny Liston
This is one of the most Iconic photos of all time. It shows a young Muhammad Ali shouting at Sonny Liston after knocking him down in the first round. Reports from the fight said Ali told Liston to "get up and fight," but Liston did not. What exactly happened that night is unclear (many claim that Liston took a dive), but the first round knockout (and in many ways the uncertainty of the fight) helped add to Ali's mythology.
5. Roger Bannister Runs The First Sub-Four-Minute Mile
Until a 25-year-old medical student named Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds, no human had ever accomplished the feat.*
*At least no one who was officially recognized, though there are a few pre-Bannister runners who made claims on a sub-four-minute mile.
6. Eddie Gaedel Becomes The Only Little Person To Play Major League Baseball
At 3'7" tall, Eddie Gaedel had a nearly invisible strike zone, which (along with selling tickets) is just what St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck had in mind when he staged this publicity stunt. Gaedel was under orders not to swing and he walked on four pitches. He was immediately pinch-run for, and his jersey (number "1/8") currently hangs in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
7. JT Snow Saves Dusty Baker's Young Son
In the 2002 World Series, Giants manager Dusty Baker's three-year-old son Darren served as one of the team's bat boys. After a Kenny Lofton triple, Darren ran out after the bat, while the play was still happening. JT Snow, who started the play on third, ran home and managed to touch the plate and whisk Baker away before a play at the plate could smash the mini-Baker.
8. Derek Jeter Dives Into The Stands
In a July 2004 game against the Yankee's hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, Derek Jeter covered a ton of ground to make a one-handed running catch in shallow left field. He had to run so hard to get there that he couldn't stop himself before he flew into the stands. It's one of the grittiest plays any modern athlete has made.
9. Mark Cuban Finally Wins An NBA Title, Celebrates Accordingly
Dallas Maverick's owner Mark Cuban has a long and storied history of offending the NBA and its commissioner David Stern. He also, until 2011, had a long history of fielding teams with large payrolls who could never win when it counted. That all changed last year when the Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals and Mark Cuban finally got to celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy. No picture has ever encapsulated an NBA owner the way this one encapsulates Cuban.
10. Joe Carter's Walk-Off World Series Home Run
This is what it looks like when you achieve what every kid dreams of in his backyard. Down one run in the bottom of the 9th inning in the World Series, and you get up with men on and hit the Championship-clinching home run. As announcer Tom Cheek said that day, "Touch 'em all, Joe."
11. Scott Norwood Is Sad
With eight seconds remaining in Super Bowl XXV and his Bills trailing the Giants by only one point, Scott Norwood took the field to attempt a 47-yard field goal that would have made his team champions. He missed wide-right and his name became synonymous with choking in the big moment.
12. Y.A. Tittle In His Last NFL Season
This photo taken during the last season of Y.A. Tittle's storied career as an NFL quarterback captures Tittle after having just thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown. On the play he suffered both a concussion and a cracked sternum. Tittle says of the photo, "It was the end of my dream. It was over."
13. Carlton Fisk Waves A World Series Home Run Fair
In the 1975 World Series, with his Red Sox on the brink of elimination, Carlton Fisk hit a deep fly ball down the left field line in the bottom of the 12th inning. It looked as though it might go foul, but Fisk began waving his arms and (along with the prayers of Red Sox faithful) seemingly willed the ball to stay fair, sending the series to Game 7.
14. Mark Messier Raises The Stanley Cup Ending The New York Rangers 54-Year Draught
In 1994, the New York Rangers hadn't won a Stanley Cup in 54 years. That all changed as Mark Messier led the Rangers past the Vancouver Canucks. This is what ending a city's suffering looks like.
15. University Of Pittsburgh Students Watch The Pirates Win The World Series From A Nearby Roof
I'm not sure any other photo has ever captured what it means to be a fan more than this one. Watching your team win their first world series in 35 years from so far away that the players look like ants, is only something you do when you care deeply about something. Also it's one of the coolest sports photos ever.
16. Willy Mays Makes "The Catch" In The 1954 World Series
One of the most famous plays in baseball history, Willy Mays caught Vic Wertz's giant blast to center (a hit that would have been a home run at any other ballpark) by making a beautiful (and insanely difficult) over the shoulder catch. Had Mays misplayed the ball, The Cleveland Indians would have taken a 4-2 lead late in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. Instead, Mays caught the ball and his New York Giants went on to sweep the Cleveland Indians.
17. Michael Jordan's Flu Game
Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals was a defining moment of Michael Jordan's career. The Jazz had just won Games 3 and 4 to tie the series, when Jordan was diagnosed with the flu and told that he couldn't play in Game 5. Michael Jordan ignored that advice and went on to play 44 minutes (of 48 possible), looking visibly weak the entire time. That didn't stop him from leading Bulls back from an early deficit and then hitting a game-winning three as the fourth quarter wound down. Jordan finished with 38 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, before collapsing into Scottie Pippen's arms.
18. Bill Buckner's World Series Error
The 1986 World Series. Game 6. The Boston Red Sox could clinch their first World Series title since 1918 with a win. In extra innings with the score tied, Mookie Wilson hit a slow-rolling ground ball up the first base line. The routine ground ball went through Buckner's legs allowing the Mets to score the winning run. The Mets would go on to win the series. Buckner would go on to be the most famous goat in sports history.
19. Gymnastics Coach Béla Károlyi Holds Kerri Strug After Winning The Gold
With the Russian and American female gymnastics teams neck and neck for the gold, the American team needed a good performance from Kerri Sturg on the vault to ensure victory. On her first attempt she fell and hurt her ankle, but the team needed her to land a second attempt to clinch the gold. She landed it perfectly before lifting up her bad foot. The team won the gold.
20. Bill Mazeroski's Game 7 Walk-Off World Series Home Run
Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. Pirates vs. Yankees. Bottom of the 9th inning. Game tied 9-9. Light-hitting second baseman Bill Mazeroski comes to bat and hits a walk-off home run to win the World Series and give the Pirates their first title in 35 years.
21. Bobby Orr Flies After His Stanley Cup-Winning Goal
In 1970 Bobby Orr scored an overtime goal to give the Boston Bruins their first Stanley Cup since 1941. Seconds after scoring what has now been dubbed "The Goal" Orr tripped, but it didn't stop him from celebrating. It resulted in this, one of the most famous and joy-filled sports photos of all time.
22. Jess Owens Wins Gold In Nazi Germany
The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were marked by Hitler's desire to showcase Aryan supremacy and American Jesse Owens' refusal to play along. Owens won four gold medals at the games including the long jump. This photo from the medal stand of that event is one of the most powerful images in Olympic history.
23. Dan Jansen's Olympic Heartbreak
Dan Jansen was an American speed skater in the late '80s and early '90s. Just before his first event in the 1988 games, Jansen's sister Jane lost her battle with Leukemia. He promised to win the gold for her, but after getting off to great starts in each race, he fell. This photo was taken after one of those races. But six years later (the Winter Olympic cycles changed after the 1992 games) Dan did win the gold and took a victory lap with his young daughter, Jane.
24. The Americans Defeat The Soviet Union In The "Miracle On Ice"
The Soviet hockey team was legendary. They had won the gold medal in every Olympics since 1964 and had regularly destroyed NHL teams in exhibition. The 1980 US hockey team was not an NHL team. They were a collection of college players and no-names, who should have had been crushed by the vastly superior Soviets. But that's not what happened. The US Team gutted out a victory and Al Michael's bellowed "Do you believe in miracles?!" as time expired.
25. The Black Power Salute On The Podium
At the 1968 Olympic games, African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists as a display of black pride. They both accepted their medals in black socks to represent black poverty. The Australian silver medalist Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project For Human Rights badge to show solidarity. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result of their actions.
26. Kevin Dyson Is One Yard Short In The Super Bowl
Super Bowl XXXIV came down to the last play of the game. The Titans were losing 23-16 when Kevin Dyson caught a pass across the middle. He was hit by St. Louis Ram, Mike Jones but Dyson dove for the goal line hoping to send the game into overtime. He was one yard short as time expired.
27. Lou Gehrig Says Goodbye
The Yankee star was forced to retire due to his bout with ALS (a disease that would later carry his name). On July 4th, 1939, the Yankees held a ceremony for him between games of a double header. During that ceremony they retired his number (the first time that was done in major league baseball) and Gehrig gave a speech to fans:
28. Curt Schilling's Bloody Sock
The 2004 American League Championship Series is remembered for the Boston Red Sox coming back from down 3 games to none to beat the New York Yankees and earn a trip to the World Series. A World Series that they would win ending an 86 year championship draught. In Game 6 of that ALCS Red Sox ace Curt Schilling pitched 7 innings giving up only 1 run, despite having a major ankle injury that was so intense that by the end of the game his sock was covered in blood.
29. Steve Bartman's Nightmare Night
Since 2003, it's become every fan's nightmare. Steve Bartman loved the Cubs deeply. So deeply that he was the type of guy who would go to a National League Championship Series game with friends but still wear a radio so he could listen to the play-by-play. Late in the game a foul ball was hit down the left field line to wear Bartman was sitting. He reached out for the ball despite the fact that Moises Alou could potentially make a play on it thus ending the inning. Bartman knocked the ball away and the inning continued, allowing the Marlins to come back and win the game. They would go on to win the series. Bartman is still reviled by many Chicagoans.
30. Brandi Chastain's Goal Clinches The World Cup
The United States was facing China in the 1999 Women's World Cup Final. After playing the Chinese to a 0-0 draw the match moved to penalty kicks. Brandi Chastain kicked through the clinching 5th penalty and ripped her jersey off in joy as 90,000 fans celebrated in the Rose Bowl.
Black physicians treating in the ER a member of the Ku Kux Klan
Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
Charlie Chaplin and Gandhi
The first Computer ever
Construction of the Cristo redentor in Rio de Janeiro
The Beatles in 1957
School grades of Albert Einstem
Google in 1999, when they started.
On March 10, 1869, railroad officials, political leaders and work gangs converged at Promontory Point, Utah, to drive in the last spike of the Pacific Railroad, the first of five transcontinental railroads built in the 19th century. The driving of the spike linked the Union Pacific line built from East to West with the Central Pacific, which had commenced construction in California.
moment when Geoge Bush was notified of the attack in the Twin Towers
Pope John Paul with Mehmet Ali Agca who tried to kill him.
Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee
First photograph in history. View from the Window at Le Gras 1826
14 Bis. he first officially witnessed unaided takeoff and flight by a heavier-than-air aircraft.
great fire and earthquake in San Francisco – April 18th, 1906
Hitler in Paris 1940
the first ever untethered free space walking, using the Manned Maneuvering Unit by Bruce McCandless – 1984
On January 28, 1986, after about 73 seconds into its launch, space shuttle Challenger exploded, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members, which included the first teacher in space.
The first transcontinental telegraph line went into operation 149 years ago on October 24, 1861, when the gap between the country’s eastern and western networks was closed. The year before, Congress passed the Pacific Telegraph Act, subsidizing its construction and Hiram Sibley, president of the Western Union Telegraph Company, organized crews to build west from Omaha and East from Carson City to Salt Lake City.
At a League of Nations conference in 1933, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels remains seated while speaking to his interpreter. German-born Alfred Eisenstaedt, later one of the founding photographers of LIFE, recalled that Goebbels smiled at him until he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish — a moment Eisenstaedt captured in this photo. Suddenly, “he looked at me with hateful eyes and waited for me to wither,” the photographer recalled. “But I didn’t wither.” Not only didn’t he wither, he managed to take perhaps the most chilling portrait of pure evil to run in LIFE’s pages.
For the 15,000 spectators at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962 — including LIFE photographer Bill Ray — Marilyn’s breathy, intimate rendition of “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy amplified the buzz about an affair between the two. But beyond the titillation, the moment Ray captured in this, his most iconic shot, went on to play a major role in both Marilyn’s and JFK’s biographies, coming as it did near the end of their short lives. You don’t even need to see her face to know who she is: There she stands in the spotlight, unbelievably sexy, in a fleeting moment that would forever
Gen. Douglas MacArthur (center) kept his famous promise, personally storming the beach at Lingayen Gulf on his way to retaking the Philippines in early 1945. (Accompanying him were, from left, Gen. Richard Sutherland and Col. Lloyd Lehrbas.) Tracking MacArthur’s progress was LIFE photographer Carl Mydans, who had been captured during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941 and had spent two years as a prisoner of war. Mydan’s picture has become one of the most famous — and unabashedly triumphant — images of the war.
In 1955, the same year he’d die in a horrible collision on a California highway, James Dean walks through Times Square on a rainy day. Dennis Stock’s photo is illustrative of the actor’s persona — a true rebel don’t need no umbrella — but also quietly speaks to Dean’s professional roots (in New York, where he studied at the Actors Studio) and his legacy (see the long shadow stretched across the slick street).
J.R. Eyerman’s peek inside the opening-night screening of Bwana Devil, the first full-length color 3-D feature, certainly is peculiar: Men and women, young and old all angle in the same direction, formally dressed but for those silly specs over their eyes. Funny as it is, with the audience members coming off like clones of an alien species, there’s also prescience in the photo — not just about the emergence of special effects in cinema but also, on a deeper level, about the hypnotizing nature of our entertainment.
At the end of his shoot with artist Salvador Dali — a session that took six hours and 28 throws (of water, a chair, and three cats), “my assistants and I were wet, dirty and near complete exhaustion,” photographer Philippe Halsman reported. The resulting image, with a leaping Dali in midair amid the madness, is a portrait as kinetic and surreal as artist’s own work.
Then-U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy confers with his brother Robert F. Kennedy in a hotel suite during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Looking at Hank Walker’s image today, through the filter of all we know now — that Jack would indeed win the nation’s highest office, with Bobby by his side as his most trusted adviser; that the brothers would navigate the United States through almost three years of magic and turbulence; that each man would be cut down by an assassin’s bullet by decade’s end — the poignancy is astonishing. And yet, even without the context of that history, the photo, with all its fascinating details and near-perfect composition, stands alone as powerfully
Backstage at the Academy Awards, two past Best Actress winners, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, await their turns to present. That Allan Grant could catch both supremely elegant, stylish icons together in a moment may have been a stroke of luck (Hepburn and Kelly never did work together, and very soon after this photo was taken the latter left Hollywood to become Monaco’s princess). But Grant’s use of composition and lighting — with the two women parallel and glowing in profile — is nothing short of masterful.
The bitter brutality of the Battle of Iwo Jima is brought home in W. Eugene Smith’s 1945 photo of Marines taking cover as explosives obliterate a Japanese bunker — one of the most violent pictures ever to make the cover of LIFE. Composed as if by a master painter (Hieronymus Bosch comes to mind), Smith’s picture perfectly encompasses the apocalyptic destruction inherent in modern warfare. It is also implausibly, unsettlingly beautiful.
For this 1949 portrait of Pablo Picasso in his studio in the south of France, the artist was inspired by Gjon Mili’s previous photos of ice skaters spinning through the air with small lights attached to their skates. Mili left the shutters of his cameras open as Picasso made ephemeral drawings in the air of a darkened room. This one was of one of a centaur. Mili caught the artist himself by using a 1/10,000th-second strobe light. This photo ranks among LIFE’s best partly because it actually captures the moment of creation by a genius.
A grizzled, weary American peers over his shoulder during the final days of fighting during the July, 1944 Battle of Saipan. The pivotal Allied victory there, 1,500 miles south of Tokyo, was earned at the cost of 3,000 American lives. This picture — easily among the most striking and immediately recognizable of LIFE’s countless war photos — was the 1940s equivalent of saying to the American public: We didn’t start this fight. But we’re going to finish it.
Promotional photo of Colonel Sanders for Kentucky Fried Chicken