Portal:United States/Selected picture
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Selected pictures list
A street corner in the ghost town of Bodie, California, named after William S. Bodey who discovered gold in the area in 1859. By 1880 Bodie had a population of nearly 10,000. Bodie is also notable for a hydroelectric plant built 13 miles (21 km) away in 1893, one of the first transmissions of electricity over long distance. The town was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and has been in a state of arrested decay ever since.
Allan Pinkerton (left), President Abraham Lincoln (center), and Major General John A. McClernand (right). This photo was taken not long after the Civil War's first battle on northern soil in Antietam, Maryland on October 3, 1862. Pinkerton was the head of Union Intelligence Services at the time. He also, allegedly, foiled an assassination attempt against Lincoln. His wartime work was critical in Pinkerton's development, which he later used to pioneer the American private detective industry when he formed the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.
An animated image showing the U.S. states by date of statehood, that is, the date when each U.S. state joined the Union. Although the first 13 states can be considered to be members of the United States from the date of the Declaration of Independence, they are presented here as being "admitted" on the date each ratified the present United States Constitution. The secession of states to form the Confederacy is not addressed here.
The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the only marsupial found in North America. A solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat, it is a successful opportunist and is found throughout North America from coast to coast (introduced to California in 1910), and from Central America and Mexico to southern Canada.
Scars of a whipped slave named Peter, photo taken at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1863. In his own words, "Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer." The slave pictured here escaped from a plantation in Mississippi, made his way to Union forces, and joined the U.S. Army at the Union garrison located at Baton Rouge. Slavery in the United States began soon after the English colonists first settled in North America. From about the 1640s until 1865, people of African descent were legally enslaved within the boundaries of the present U.S. mostly by whites, but also by a comparatively tiny number of American Indians and free blacks. By 1860, the slave population in the U.S. had grown to 4 million.
The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk, viewed from the south. The Columbia Center (middle) is the second tallest building on the West Coast of the United States, and the twelfth tallest in the United States. Smith Tower (left), completed 1914, was at one time the fourth tallest building in the world. The highway in the foreground is Interstate 5.
A surfer off the coast of Santa Cruz, California, is performing a "cutback", or very sharp turn. Santa Cruz and the surrounding Northern California coastline is a popular surfing destination; however, the year-round low temperature of the Pacific Ocean in that region (averaging 57 °F or 14 °C) necessitates the use of wetsuits.
Baseball pitcher Chris Young of the San Diego Padres practices his four-seam fastball before the June 16, 2007 game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. During the game, Young hit Derrek Lee with a pitch, which led to a bench-clearing brawl. Both players were ejected from the game, which ended in a 1–0 victory for San Diego. The game took place a few weeks before Young was added to his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game roster via the All-Star Final Vote. The picture also depicts a Wrigley Field bullpen located in playable foul territory. In the background, the old-fashioned scoreboard and the 2005–06 reconstruction of the centerfield bleachers are visible. March 25 is Opening Day for Major League Baseball.
Steam locomotives of the Chicago and North Western Railway in the roundhouse at the Chicago, Illinois rail yards, December 1942. Roundhouses are large, circular or semicircular buildings used for servicing locomotives. Due to the advent of newer railway practices, modern roundhouses are frequently not round and are simply service facilities, although they have retained the traditional name.
After being forced to leave the Philippines after the Japanese victory in 1942, General Douglas MacArthur vowed, "I shall return." 31 months later, he waded ashore at Palo Beach at the outset of the Battle of Leyte, fulfilling his pledge as the United States retook the island.
A lithograph from 1876, showing the seals of the then-47 U.S. states and territories as well as the District of Columbia. Some of these seals have changed since this image was created.
David Herold, one of the conspirators in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, photographed at the Washington Navy Yard after his arrest in 1865. Herold assisted John Wilkes Booth to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd, where Booth's broken leg (sustained after jumping from the balcony of Ford's Theatre) was set. He remained with Booth and continually aided him until the authorities caught up with them. Herold surrendered to the police, but Booth refused to lay down his arms and was shot dead. Herold was later hanged for his role in the plot.
A 1909 panorama of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa was first settled during the 1830s by the Creek Native American tribe. Shortly before Oklahoma's statehood on November 16, 1907, oil was discovered nearby and the city played a major role as one of the most important hubs for the American oil industry, eventually giving the city the nickname "Oil Capital of the World".
The Trinity nuclear test explosion, .016 seconds after detonation. The fireball is about 200 metres (700 ft) wide. Conducted by the United States on July 16, 1945, at a location 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, on what is now White Sands Missile Range, Trinity was the first test of technology for a nuclear weapon.
An 1885 lithograph of a bird's-eye view of the city of Phoenix, Arizona, the fifth-most-populous city in the United States. The city was founded in 1868 on the site of lands formerly occupied by the Hohokam, who had abandoned the area roughly 400 years earlier. The name "Phoenix" was chosen as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.
A map of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1775 showing tactical positions from the perspective of the British Army. The caption in the upper left reads, "A plan of the town of Boston with the intrenchments [sic] &ca. of His Majesty's forces in 1775, from the observations of Lieut. Page of His Majesty's Corps of Engineers, and from those of other gentlemen." Boston in the early 1770s played a major role in sparking the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several of the early battles of the Revolution (such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston) occurred near or in the city.
A 1935 photo of a family of migrant workers in California, United States, during the Great Depression. In the United States, the term "migrant worker" is commonly used to describe low-wage workers performing manual labor in the agriculture field. During the Great Depression, Okies who fled the Dust Bowl were a significant source of temporary farm labor. Outside the U.S., the modern definition of the term by the United Nations includes anyone working outside of their home country.
Attempting to block racial integration at the University of Alabama, Governor George Wallace (left) stands defiantly at the door on June 11, 1963, in an incident known as the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door. Wallace moved aside after being ordered to do so by President John F. Kennedy; years later, he became a born-again Christian and recanted his segregationist views.
U.S. President Gerald Ford appearing at an October 1974 House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing regarding his pardon of Richard Nixon. Nixon had resigned due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal, which began with an attempted break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex on June 17, 1972.
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, a 12 by 18 feet (3.7 by 5.5 m) oil painting depicting the presentation of a draft of the United States Declaration of Independence to the Second Continental Congress. While this event did take place, it was not actually in the presence of all the people in the picture. The painting can be found in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.
The construction of Mount Rushmore, a United States National Monument depicting the heads of four U.S. Presidents carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota, began on August 10, 1927, with the bust of George Washington. This first phase was completed in seven years (partial completion in 1932 shown here), culminating in its unveiling in 1934. The remaining three heads—Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt—took only an additional seven years to complete.
A 1908 photo of child laborers in a glass factory in Indiana, United States, taken by Lewis Hine for the National Child Labor Committee, which formed after the 1900 census revealed that about 1 in 6 children between the ages of five and ten were gainfully employed. Hine's photos of children working in industrial settings resulted in a wave of popular support for federal child labor regulations put forward by the NCLC.
A collection of hand-painted tiles adorns this fence in Greenwich Village in Manhattan as a memorial for the attacks of September 11, 2001. Recurring themes within these pieces of art include world peace, American patriotism, and appreciation of the heroism of the FDNY and NYPD.
A fanciful 1892 lithograph of the Salem witch trials. The trials, which took place between February 1692 and May 1693 in colonial Massachusetts, involved people accused of witchcraft, and have been used as a cautionary tale about the dangers of religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and governmental intrusion on individual liberties.
An African American man climbs the stairs to a theater's "colored" entrance in Belzoni, Mississippi, in 1939. The door on the ground floor is labeled "white men only". De jure (legally enforced) racial segregation in the United States was eliminated by a series of Supreme Court decisions starting with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
Two boys enjoy treats during the 1911 Easter egg roll at the White House lawn, the highest-profile event on Easter Monday in the United States. The day after Easter is a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures. The White House Easter egg roll has been held annually since 1814.
United States President Jimmy Carter (right) greeting Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the White House on April 8, 1980, shortly after the Camp David Accords went into effect. The agreements were signed by Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, and led directly to the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.
An 1881 editorial cartoon of Charles J. Guiteau, an American lawyer who assassinated President James A. Garfield on July 2, 1881. Guiteau, depicted here holding a note that reads "An office or your life!", believed himself to be largely responsible for Garfield's victory, and demanded an ambassadorship in return, but his requests were rejected. Despite the use of the insanity defense in his trial, he was found guilty and executed by hanging on June 30, 1882.
In the evening hours of August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces attacked Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House and the unfinished Capitol Building (damage to latter shown here), among other buildings. This was the second and last time in United States history that a foreign power has captured and occupied the United States capital.
Damage caused by American Airlines Flight 77 to the Pentagon as a result of the September 11 attacks. The flight was one of four commercial airliners hijacked that day, and the perpetrators crashed it into the building, causing 189 deaths, including all 64 on board the plane. The damaged sections were rebuilt in 2002.
"An Available Candidate: The One Qualification for a Whig President"—an editorial cartoon about the 1848 U.S. presidential election, showing a military man representing either Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott, both of whom were generals in the United States Army during the Mexican–American War, atop a pile of skulls. The Whig Party only operated for about 20 years, but during their brief existence, they could boast a number of political luminaries such as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln, and would see three of their members become President of the United States (not including Lincoln, who was elected as a Republican).
An 1880 political cartoon depicts Senator Roscoe Conkling over a "presidential puzzle" consisting of some of the potential Republican nominees as pieces of a newly invented sliding puzzle. Conkling held significant influence over the party during the 1880 Republican National Convention and attempted to use that to nominate Ulysses S. Grant, only to lose out to "dark horse" candidate James A. Garfield.
"Join, or Die", a 1754 editorial cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, a woodcut showing a snake severed into eight pieces, with each segment labeled with the initials of a British American colony or region (not all colonies are represented). It was originally about the importance of colonial unity against France during the French and Indian War, and re-used in the years ahead of the American Revolution to signify unity against Great Britain.
On July 7, 1865, at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt (shown left-to-right) were hanged for their roles in the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Eight people were convicted for the crime; three others were sentenced to life imprisonment, with the last receiving a six-year sentence. Mary Surratt's son John was able to escape and was never convicted for his role. His mother was the first woman to be executed by the United States federal government.
The Battle of Churubusco took place on August 20, 1847, in Churubusco (now a suburb of Mexico City) during the Mexican-American War. Three Mexican battalions—including the Saint Patrick's Battalion made up of immigrants—took up defensive positions inside a convent and were able to repulse the American attacks until they ran out of ammunition.
U.S. Senator Henry Clay gives a speech in the Old Senate Chamber calling for compromise on the issues dividing the United States. The result was the Compromise of 1850, a package of five bills, the first two of which were passed on September 9. Ironically, these led to a breakdown in the spirit of compromise in the years preceding the Civil War, particularly after the deaths of Clay and Daniel Webster.
This 1898 cartoon from Puck depicts Richard Croker, an American politician who was a leader of New York City's Tammany Hall, as the sun, with politicians and people from various professions revolving around him. Croker's greatest political success was his bringing about the 1897 election of Robert A. Van Wyck as first mayor of the five-borough "greater" New York.
A drawing of travelers on the California Trail, one of the major emigrant trails across the Western United States used by over 250,000 people heading west during the California Gold Rush. This, combined with those coming from the east across the Isthmus of Panama or around Cape Horn, greatly increased the population of California, and spurred the movement to make it the 31st U.S. state.
An editorial cartoon from the New York Herald depicting (left to right) Uncle Sam, George Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt on a pier welcoming the Great White Fleet back into port. Roosevelt had ordered the fleet, which consisted of 16 battleships and various escort ships, to circumnavigate the globe as a demonstration of growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.
Destruction caused by a natural gas pipeline explosion, which took place on September 9, 2010, in San Bruno, California, a suburb of San Francisco. Defective welds in the pipeline caused the gas to leak, which then caused the explosion. The resulting fire was fed by the natural gas, hampering emergency efforts, and the fire was not contained until the following day.
The 1933 double eagle is a gold coin of the United States with a $20 face value. 445,500 specimens of this Saint-Gaudens double eagle were minted in 1933, the last year of production for the double eagle, but no specimens ever officially circulated, and nearly all were melted down due to the discontinuance of the domestic gold standard in 1933. It currently holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a single U.S. coin, having been sold for $7.59 million.
The Chicago Theatre is located on North State Street in the Loop area of Chicago. When it opened on October 26, 1921, the 3,880-seat theater was promoted as the "Wonder Theatre of the World". Its marquee, "an unofficial emblem of the city", appears frequently in film, television, artwork, and photography.
The mushroom cloud from the Ivy Mike nuclear test, one of two tests conducted as part of Operation Ivy at the Pacific Proving Grounds on Elugelab in the Marshall Islands. Mike was the first successful full-scale test of a multi-megaton thermonuclear weapon, and it left an underwater crater 6,240 ft (1,900 m) wide and 164 ft (50 m) deep where the island had been.
A campaign poster from the 1900 United States presidential election for the incumbent William McKinley, who would eventually win. The poster shows McKinley standing on a gold coin, representing the gold standard, with support from soldiers, businessmen, farmers and professionals, claiming to restore prosperity at home and victory abroad. The election was a repeat of the 1896 election, pitting McKinley against William Jennings Bryan.
A campaign poster from the National Union Party during the US election of 1864, showing presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln (left) and his running-mate Andrew Johnson. The Republican Party changed its name and selected Johnson, a former Democrat, to draw support from War Democrats during the Civil War.
A pile of American bison skulls, waiting to be ground for fertilizer; a man stands atop the pile, with another in front of it. Bison, long a staple of Plains Indian tribal culture, were aggressively hunted by European settlers in the United States, nearly leading to the extinction of the species.
An 1872 lithograph depicting seven early African Americans in the United States Congress, (from left to right) Senator Hiram Revels and Representatives Benjamin Turner, Robert DeLarge, Josiah Walls, Jefferson Long, Joseph Rainey, and Robert Elliott. During the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, some several hundred African-American officeholders were elected – all of whom were members of the Republican Party.
A woman using a Hollerith pantograph, a machine developed by Herman Hollerith for the punching of cards, providing data which could then be processed. Such tools were used in the 1890 United States Census, the first time the country's census was tabulated by machine.
A Democratic campaign poster from the United States presidential election of 1864, showing presidential candidate George B. McClellan (left) and his running-mate George H. Pendleton. They lost to the Republican candidate, incumbent Abraham Lincoln, who became the first American president in 32 years to be reelected.
A 1937 photograph of Wes Brady, a former slave. Born c. 1850, Brady had been owned by a farmer in Marshall, Texas before emancipation. As a young boy he worked the fields, picking cotton. He recalled "The rows was a mile long and no matter how much grass was in them, if you leaves one sprig on your row they beats you nearly to death." This portrait is part of the Slave Narrative Collection, a massive compilation of slave narratives – containing 10,000 typed pages representing more than 2,000 interviews – which was undertaken by the US Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration from 1936 to 1938.
A depiction of the Boston Massacre, an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five male civilians and injured six others in Boston, Massachusetts. Eight soldiers, one officer, and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder, though all but two were acquitted; two soldiers were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to branding. During the era of discontent that led to the American Revolution, this event was used for anti-British propaganda.
An 1873 print promoting the Grange, the oldest U.S. agricultural advocacy group with a national scope. In 2005 it had 160,000 members. The central scene shows a farmer with one foot on his shovel, captioned "I Pay for All". From left to right, the top insets show a farmer's fireside and the Grange in session; the bottom ones show a harvest dance, a broken-down cabin signposted "Ignorance" and "Sloth", and a Biblical scene of the gleaners Ruth and Boaz.
Situation Room is a photograph taken by White House photographer Pete Souza in its namesake, the White House Situation Room, at 4:06 pm on May 1, 2011. It depicts U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, watching live drone feed of Operation Neptune Spear. A Navy SEAL team assaulted the compound of Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This concluded an almost decade-long hunt for bin Laden following the September 11 attacks in 2001.
A map of the United States Naval Academy, as it appeared in 1924. Established in 1845, the service academy educates and prepares officers for commissioning into the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. During the 1920s, the academy's athletics program began its era of success, taking a gold medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics and tying the University of Washington in the 1924 Rose Bowl.
The engrossed copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, which was ratified on July 4, 1776, and signed over the following months. The history of this document is one of reverence and neglect. After being signed, it was moved several times, first with the Continental Congress and later with the Secretary of State. When the British razed Washington during the War of 1812, it was evacuated to Virginia. From 1841 to 1876, the document was on public display in conditions which caused it to fade drastically. Consequently, from 1892 to 1922 it was stored between two glass plates and exhibited only rarely. After a period at the Library of Congress, the engrossed copy is now held by the National Archives. It is exhibited in a titanium-aluminum case filled with argon.
The check used for the Alaska Purchase, issued on August 1, 1868, and signed by US Secretary of State William H. Seward. For a total of $7.2 million, the United States government purchased Russian America from the Russian Empire (represented here by Russian Minister to the United States Eduard de Stoeckl). The lands involved became the modern state of Alaska in 1959.
The first page of the original handwritten text of the United States Constitution, which took almost four months to draft and over three years to ratify. The first Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787, with a quorum at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead the delegates wrote a new constitution, finishing on September 17 of that year, but its ratification by all 13 states was not completed until January 10, 1791. Since then 27 amendments have been made. Read further: Page 2, Page 3, Page 4
Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located 5 miles (8 km) downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, near the town of Page, Arizona. It is accessible via hiking trail or an access road.
An aerial view of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition, a belated celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's entry into United States held between May 1 and October 31, 1897, in what is now Centennial Park, Nashville. Various exhibits were held. For instance, the host city built a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon, whereas Memphis constructed a large pyramid.
A bird's-eye view showing approximately 3 square miles (8 km2) of the central portion of the city of Detroit, Michigan, c. 1889. At this time in the city's history, it was a burgeoning home for manufacturing with expanding city limits. Waves of immigrants, predominantly from Europe, came to Detroit, opening businesses and establishing their own communities. However, infrastructure remained lacking; before 1889, only four of the city's roads were paved.
The Point Cabrillo Light is a lighthouse in northern California, United States, between Point Arena and Cape Mendocino, just south of the community of Caspar. It is part of the California state park system as Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. Completed in 1909, the lighthouse was manned by the United States Coast Guard from 1939 until it was automated in 1973. Beginning in 1996, the station was restored to the state it would have been in the 1930s.
A check from the National American Woman Suffrage Association, payable to Rachel Foster Avery, which was filled out by hand by the Association's treasurer Harriet Taylor Upton and countersigned by Susan B. Anthony as president and Alice Stone Blackwell as recording secretary. NAWSA, formed on February 18, 1890, to work for women's suffrage in the United States, was formally led by Anthony between 1892 and 1900. During her presidency, the small organization focused predominantly on women's rights at the state level—much to Anthony's chagrin. It also sent delegates to the World's Congress of Representative Women at the World's Columbian Exposition.
Walt Whitman (1819–1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass (first published in 1855, but continuously revised until Whitman's death), which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.
A lithograph by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler showing the town of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, in 1896. Originally part of Burrell (and later Lower Burrell) Township, the city of New Kensington was founded in 1891. During the public sale held on June 10, 1891, thousands of people came to the area, including a number of investors, including the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which later became Alcoa. The city continued to grow and, as of 2010, New Kensington has a population of 13,116.
C. Everett Koop (1916–2013) was an American pediatric surgeon and public health administrator. He was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and served as the 13th Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989. Koop was known for his work to reduce tobacco use, AIDS, and abortion, and for his support of the rights of disabled children.
A lithograph by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler and James Moyer showing the town of Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1895. Founded in 1849 by the Pennsylvania Railroad as the site for a shop and maintenance complex, Altoona was incorporated in 1868. It grew rapidly, from a population of approximately 2,000 in 1854 to almost 20,000 in 1880. Presently the Altoona metropolitan area is home to 127,089, and the local economy has diversified to include healthcare and retail.
William H. Seward (1801–1872) was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as Governor of New York and United States Senator. A determined opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, he was a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was generally praised for his work on behalf of the Union as Secretary of State during the American Civil War. His firm stance against foreign intervention in the Civil War helped deter Britain and France from entering the conflict, which might have led to the independence of the Confederate States. His contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as "one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints."
Vivian Malone entering Foster Auditorium on June 11, 1963, to register for classes at the University of Alabama through a crowd that includes photographers, National Guard members, and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. During the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, George Wallace, the Democratic Governor of Alabama, stood at the door of the auditorium to try to block the entry of two black students, Malone and James Hood. Intended by Wallace as a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever", the stand ended when President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and Guard General Henry Graham commanded Wallace to step aside.
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans, commander Neil Armstrong and LM pilot Buzz Aldrin, on the Moon. On July 21, 1969, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the Moon. This mission quickly captured the public's imagination and became prominent in popular culture. Over 530 million viewers worldwide watched the Moon landing, and it received widespread newspaper coverage. For example, the July 21, 1969, edition of The Washington Post—shown here—used the main headline "'The Eagle Has Landed'—Two Men Walk on the Moon". In subsequent years, the Moon landing has been frequently depicted or referenced in media, including in literature, films, and video games.
A bird's eye view of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a 1902 lithograph by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler. At this point in its history, Pittsburgh was an industrial and commercial powerhouse, with extensive railroad connections to the rest of the United States. Together with the rest of Allegheny County, it produced massive amounts of steel and steel products: by 1911 they reached 24% of the national output of pig iron, 34% of Bessemer steel, 44% of open hearth steel, 53% of crucible steel, 24% of steel rail, and 59% of structural shape.
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822–1893) was an American soldier and politician who was elected the 19th President of the United States, serving from 1877 to 1881. The election, at the end of the Reconstruction Era, was highly contentious and he was declared the winner through the Compromise of 1877. As president he ended Army support for Republican state governments in the South, promoted civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction.
The first cabinet of Barack Obama, photographed in the White House East Room in September 2009. Consisting of the heads of the sixteen United States federal executive departments and seven additional members, the Cabinet of the United States acts as an advisory body to the President. Of the persons shown, five (Gary Locke, Peter R. Orszag, Christina Romer, Rahm Emanuel, and Robert Gates) left the Obama administration before the end of the president's first term.
James K. Polk (1795–1849) was the 11th President of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He previously served as the 13th Speaker of the House of Representatives and as Governor of Tennessee. A protege of Andrew Jackson, Polk was a member of the Democratic Party and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy and manifest destiny. During his presidency, the United States expanded significantly with the annexation of Texas, the Oregon Treaty, and the conclusion of the Mexican–American War.
James Monroe (1758–1831) was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Monroe was the last president of the Virginia dynasty, and his presidency ushered in what is known as the Era of Good Feelings. An anti-federalist, Monroe had opposed ratification of the United States Constitution, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. After time as a senator in the first United States Congress and as Governor of Virginia, Monroe was easily elected president in 1816, winning over 80 percent of the electoral vote and becoming the last president during the First Party System era of American politics. During his presidency, he sought to ease partisan tensions and extend the country's reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He also supported the founding of colonies in Africa for freed slaves, and his declaration of the Monroe Doctrine became a landmark in American foreign policy.
John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) was an American statesman who served as a diplomat, minister and ambassador to foreign nations, and treaty negotiator, United States Senator, Congressman from Massachusetts, and the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. Involved in negotiating the treaties of Ghent, 1818, and Adams–Onís, Adams has been called one of the United States' greatest diplomats and secretaries of state. As president, he sought to modernize the American economy and promote education, paying off much of the national debt despite being stymied by a Congress controlled by opponents and lacking patronage networks. Historians have generally ranked him as an above-average president.
The I-35W Mississippi River bridge was an eight-lane, steel truss arch bridge that carried Interstate 35W across the Saint Anthony Falls of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Once the third-busiest bridge in the state, it suddenly collapsed on August 1, 2007, killing 13 and injuring 145. Rescue of people stranded on the bridge was complete in three hours, while recovery of bodies—involving 75 local, state and federal agencies—took three weeks. An NTSB investigation cited a design flaw as the likely cause of the collapse, noting that a too-thin gusset plate ripped along a line of rivets.
Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901) was a politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd President of the United States from 1889 to 1893. Before ascending to the presidency, Harrison established himself as a prominent local attorney, church leader, and politician in Indianapolis, Indiana, and as a Union Army soldier in the American Civil War. After a term in the U.S. Senate (1881–1887), the Republican Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888. Hallmarks of his administration included unprecedented economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and Sherman Antitrust Act, as well as modernizing the U.S. Navy and admitting six new western states to the Union.
Chester A. Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was an American attorney and politician who served as the 21st President of the United States from 1881 to 1885. Born in Vermont and raised in upstate New York, Arthur practiced law in New York City before serving as a quartermaster general in the Civil War. He became active in the Republican party after the war, was elected vice president on the ticket of President James A. Garfield, and assumed the presidency upon Garfield's assassination six months into his presidency. He effected a reform of the civil service during his presidency, as well as navy reform and an act to prohibit immigration by Chinese laborers and deny citizenship to those already in the US. Due to his poor health, Arthur did not seek a second term.
The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s. Drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion caused the phenomenon. The drought came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939–1940, but some regions of the high plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years. This photograph, titled Broke, baby sick, and car trouble!, was taken by Dorothea Lange in 1937 and depicts a Missouri migrant family's jalopy stuck near Tracy, California.
The Battle of Malvern Hill was fought on July 1, 1862, between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac. It was the final battle of the Seven Days Battles during the American Civil War, taking place on Malvern Hill near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Including inactive reserves, more than fifty thousand soldiers from each side took part, using more than two hundred pieces of artillery and three warships. The battle resulted in a tactical victory for the Union side, but the Confederates claimed a strategic victory as the Union failed to go on to capture Richmond. This is a map of the night's march undertaken by the Union forces after the battle.
Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson assumed the presidency as he was vice president of the United States at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote. Although his ranking has fluctuated over time, he is generally considered among the worst American presidents.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. Born in Kentucky into a poor family, Lincoln educated himself and worked as a lawyer in Illinois before entering politics. A powerful orator and astute politician, Lincoln used his Gettysburg Address to promote nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. He has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest US presidents, by both scholars and the public.
The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II was the forced relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. This picture shows members of the Mochida family in Hayward, California, waiting for an evacuation bus to take them to an internment center.
Denver is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. It is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains, just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Founded in 1858, the city is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and it is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level. Formerly part of Arapahoe County, Denver became a consolidated city-county in 1902. This picture shows a panorama of Denver in around 1898, viewed from the top of the Colorado State Capitol, facing northwest and looking down 16th St. The domed building on the left is the former Arapahoe County Courthouse, demolished in 1933, and the Brown Palace Hotel is visible on the righthand side.
Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He had previously been the 33rd governor of New York, from 1899 to 1900, and then the 25th vice president of the United States, from March to September 1901. As a leader of the Republican Party, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. In 1912, he ran for a third term as president. When he could not secure the Republican nomination, he formed his own party, the Progressive or "Bull Moose" Party, which drew enough votes away from the Republican nominee, incumbent President William Howard Taft, to give their Democratic opponent Woodrow Wilson a large victory in the electoral vote. Roosevelt was a distant cousin of the 32nd president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the uncle of Franklin's wife Eleanor Roosevelt. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. This picture is a line engraving of Roosevelt, produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents.
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency, he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, and he served as the first vice president of the United States. Adams was a dedicated diarist and regularly corresponded with many important figures in early American history, including his wife and adviser, Abigail. His letters and other papers serve as an important source of historical information about the era. This picture is a line engraving of Adams, produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents.
Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an American activist in the civil rights movement, best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected a bus driver's order to relinquish her seat in the "colored section" to a white passenger after the whites-only section was filled, inspiring the African-American community to boycott the Montgomery buses for more than a year. Her act of defiance and the boycott became important symbols of the civil rights movement and resistance to racial segregation. After her conviction for disorderly conduct, her appeal became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit, Browder v. Gayle, succeeded in overturning bus segregation in November 1956. Upon her death, Parks became the first woman to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. This photograph of Parks being fingerprinted was taken on February 22, 1956, when she was arrested again, along with 73 others, after a grand jury indicted 113 African Americans for organizing the Montgomery bus boycott.
William Grant Still (1895–1978) was an American composer of nearly 200 works, including five symphonies and nine operas. Often referred to as the "Dean of Afro-American Composers", Still was the first American composer to have an opera produced by the New York City Opera. His first symphony, entitled Afro-American Symphony, was until 1950 the most widely performed symphony composed by an American. Born in Mississippi, he grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, attended Wilberforce University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and was a student of George Whitefield Chadwick and later Edgard Varèse. Still was the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra and the first to have an opera performed on national television. Due to his close association and collaboration with prominent African-American literary and cultural figures, he is considered to be part of the Harlem Renaissance movement. This picture of Still was taken by Carl Van Vechten in 1949; the photograph is in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and philosopher who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is widely considered to be one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States, and historians have generally ranked him as an above-average president. This picture is a line engraving of Madison, produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents, which was reportedly given to Treasury Secretary Lyman J. Gage.
The presidency of George Washington began on April 30, 1789, when he took office after the 1788–89 election, the United States' first quadrennial presidential election. He was unanimously re-elected in the 1792 presidential election. Having chosen to retire after two terms, he was succeeded by his vice president, John Adams of the Federalist Party, in 1797. This picture is a line engraving of Washington, produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents, which was reportedly given to Treasury Secretary Lyman J. Gage. Similar portraits of Washington have been used on designs for the $1 bill.
Fractional currency, also referred to as shinplasters, was introduced by the United States federal government following the outbreak of the Civil War. These low-denomination banknotes of the U.S. dollar were in use between 21 August 1862 and 15 February 1876; they were issued in denominations of 3, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 cents across five issuing periods. The notes could be redeemed by the U.S. Postal Service for the face value in postage stamps.
This picture shows a third-issue fifty-cent fractional currency note (one of three variants of this denomination), issued by the United States Department of the Treasury between 5 December 1864 and 16 August 1869, featuring a personification of Justice holding a set of scales on the obverse. This banknote is in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1849, until his death in office the following year. He was previously a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of major general and became a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican–American War. As a result, he won election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. On July 4, 1850, Taylor reportedly consumed copious amounts of raw fruit and iced milk while attending holiday celebrations during a fundraising event at the Washington Monument. Over the course of several days, he became severely ill with an unknown digestive ailment, several of his cabinet members being similarly affected. Despite treatment, Taylor died five days later. His vice-president Millard Fillmore assumed the presidency and completed his term in office.
James A. Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his death by assassination six and a half months later. He had been shot at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C., on July 2 that year by Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled office seeker. According to some historians, Garfield might have survived his wounds had the doctors attending him had at their disposal today's medical research and techniques. Instead, they probed the wound with unsterilized fingers and equipment, trying to locate the bullet, and the resulting infection was a significant factor in his death. This picture is a line engraving of Garfield, produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents, which was reportedly given to Treasury Secretary Lyman J. Gage.
Silver certificates are a type of representative money issued between 1878 and 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency. This $500 silver certificate, part of the series of 1878, depicts Charles Sumner, an American lawyer, politician and United States senator from Massachusetts. The series is known for the ornate engraving on the reverse of the notes. This banknote is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.
This picture is an engraved vignette of the American artist John Trumbull's 1821 oil-on-canvas painting Surrender of General Burgoyne, depicting the surrender of British troops under John Burgoyne on October 17, 1777, at the end of the Saratoga campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The work is one of eight historical paintings that hang in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The American victory at Saratoga had dramatic consequences on the war. Although some foreign states, notably France, had been supporting the American cause in the form of financial and material provisions, the French wished for no further involvement until the capture of a British army at Saratoga by American forces made them reconsider their level of commitment. This line engraving was produced for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) for use on United States banknotes.
Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th president of the United States (1853–1857), a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation. He alienated anti-slavery groups by supporting and signing the Kansas–Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, yet these efforts failed to stem conflict between North and South. The South eventually seceded and the American Civil War began in 1861. Historians and scholars generally rank Pierce as one of the worst and least memorable U.S. presidents.
Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was an American statesman who served as the eighth president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. A founder of the Democratic Party, he won the 1836 presidential election with the endorsement of popular outgoing President Andrew Jackson and the organizational strength of his party. He lost his 1840 reelection bid to the Whig Party nominee William Henry Harrison, thanks in part to the poor economic conditions surrounding the Panic of 1837, a financial crisis that touched off a major depression. This line engraving of Van Buren was produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents.
Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the 13th president of the United States, succeeding to the presidency in July 1850 upon the death of the incumbent Zachary Taylor. Born into poverty with little formal education, he became a successful attorney and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1832. Never an advocate of slavery, he felt duty-bound as president to support the Compromise of 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states. He sought election to a full term in 1852, but was passed over by the Whigs in favor of Winfield Scott. This line engraving of Fillmore was produced around 1902 by the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as part of a BEP presentation album of the first 26 presidents.