1. The Burning Monk
Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burned himself to death in 1963 in protest against the oppression of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. He did so at a busy intersection in the center of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). It just so happened that Malcolm Browne, an American photojournalist, was on hand to capture the moment. His powerful photograph sent ripples around the world, and brought global attention to the plight of Buddhists in South Vietnam. It also won him a Pulitzer Prize. Then-President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, even remarked that "no news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one."
2. Vancouver Riot Kiss
Back in 2011, fighting broke out in Vancouver following the end of a hockey game that took place as part of the Stanley Cup Finals. Police were busy clearing out the streets and breaking up the rioting as Richard Lam, who captured this photograph, looked on. The woman in the photograph had been knocked down by riot police, and she became frantic. Her boyfriend decided to give her a kiss as she laid on the ground in order to calm her down. Although there's almost no romance to speak of behind the shot, it's probably the most poignant depiction of "make love not war" in the world.
3. The Man Behind the Crossed Arms
August Landmesser, who appears to be the only man not saluting the Nazis taking part in a parade, was actually a Nazi himself. The thing is that he fell in love with a Jewish woman named Irma Eckler before proposing to her in 1935. This resulted in his expulsion from the party and his marriage application being declined under the newly-implemented Nuremberg Race Laws. His refusal to salute the Nazis was in protest against the discrimination he and his family encountered. Two years after this picture was taken, the family was caught attempting to escape from Germany and sent to concentration camps. Landmesser would never see his beloved wife again.
4. War is Hell
The Vietnam War was a horrific mess for all involved, and it was common to see soldiers with messages or graffiti scrawled across their helmets expressing how they felt about the situation they were in. Larry Wayne Chaffin, of St. Louis, Missouri, was just 19 years old at the time this photo was taken. The "War is Hell" message written across his helmet is actually a reference to an address given by Commanding General of the United States Army, William Tecumseh Sherman, to graduates of the Michigan Military Academy.
5. Bill Biggart's Last Photograph
As chaos took hold of New York City on September 11th, 2001, a brave photographer named William Biggart headed for the twin towers of the World Trade Center that had just been struck by airliners. Although Biggart called his wife at 10am to assure her of his safety, he was killed as the North Tower collapsed on top of him just 20 minutes later. His body and camera were recovered on November 15th, and this is the very last photograph that he took before the unthinkable happened.
6. Children of Black Dust
The Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, is well-known for being one of the world’s filthiest cities, with its inhabitants suffering massive social problems. Local photographer Shehzad Noorani wanted to highlight the plight of women and children that work extracting reusable metal parts from used batteries, and did so in her photo series, Children of the Black Dust: Child Labor in Bangladesh. The toxic environment they work in is blackened by dust particles, and the workers inevitably get covered in it too.
7. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is probably the most successful and well –known primatologist that the world has ever seen. Her first husband, Dutch nobleman Hugo van Lawik, captured this touching moment when she met a young chimpanzee named Flint. Note how her hand is closed with her fingers turned away from him in order to put his protective mother at ease. It can be said that Jane Goodall is the living embodiment of humanity's deep and undeniable link to the natural world.
8. Poland's First Heart Transplant
After 23 hours of non-stop operating, Polish heart surgeon Dr. Religa is pictured taking a break as his assistant sleeps in the corner of the operating room. He had just performed the first heart transplant ever conducted in Poland. Although the doctor passed away in 2009, the heart transplant was an obvious success, because his patient lived for no less than 30 years after the operation.
9. Leap Into Freedom
Peter Liebing, a 19-year-old photographer based in West Germany, received a phone call from the police on August 15th, 1961. They told him to head for the border with the German Democratic Republic (or East Germany) because something interesting was about to happen. The image that he managed to capture is the very first defection by a GDR border guard from the Communist East to the Capitalist West. Conrad Schumann would be the first of many to do so and became a potent symbol of the struggle for freedom in Europe in the latter part of the 20th Century.
Yoina is an 11-year-old girl that lives in the remote Machiguenga community in Peru. The photographer was informed of the special bond she had with her pet saddle-back tamarin, which she would take for a swim each day despite it hating water. According to the photographer, she appears to have a bit of an attitude in the picture because she "didn't care much for having her photo taken". Sadly, Yoina's beloved monkey died not long after this picture was taken.