Most Amish today will not pose for a photograph. Considering it a violation of the Second Commandment, which prohibits the making of "graven images," the Amish believe any physical representation of themselves (whether a photograph, a painting, or film) promotes individualism and vanity, taking away from the values of community and humility by which they govern their lives. Occasionally, Amish people did have their photos taken, as you can see with the couple in the first image who likely went to a studio for their portrait in 1875. But by the time photography became popular in America in the mid-19th century and photographers and researchers armed with cameras began appearing in Amish communities, most Amish objected to appearing in or posing for photographs entirely.
The images in this gallery were all taken between 1875 and 1942.
Originally settled as a mail stop, Las Vegas changed from an Old West vacation town, to a mafia haven, to the "Atomic City" and "Sin City."
Malcolm X, a man who both terrified and inspired, expressed the anger and struggle of black people for freedom in the 1960s.
The ultimate frontiersman, Carson inspired popular novels before being associated with the "Long Walk" of the Navajo people.
Before World War II, young Chinese Americans defied cultural tradition in San Francisco's Chinatown, previously closed to outsiders.
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.