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.
A civil rights leader in Harlem before entering politics, Powell was one of the most charismatic black leaders of the 20th century.
Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright built a flying machine that made its first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.
A new religion called spiritualism affected the nation in the era of Abraham Lincoln, P. T. Barnum and Frederick Douglass.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
Today one of the most-recognized figures in American literary history, poet Walt Whitman was denounced by critics in his own time.
From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.
The women's suffrage movement won the right to vote when the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.