Just 22 years after the birth of photography, enterprising photographers rushed to Civil War battlefields and produced America's first documentary images of war. Working with cumbersome wet plates, they produced grim, shocking pictures that the New York Times described as revealing "the terrible reality and earnestness of war." The American people were both drawn to the images for their apparent realism and repulsed by the horrors they depicted. Seeing Civil War photographs was so much like visiting the battlefield, wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, "that all the emotions excited by the stained and sordid scene... came back to us, and we buried them in the recesses of our cabinet as we would have buried the mutilated remains of the dead they too vividly represented."
Thousands of Civil War images, original 19th-century photographs from such renowned photographers as Timothy O'Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, lay perfectly preserved in the attic of the Medford Historical Society in Medford, Massachusetts until 1990. This gallery presents a small sample of this pristine collection.
The last surviving member of a California Indian tribe became a sensation in 1911.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
The story of a Vietnamese mother, the Amerasian daughter she sent away for adoption, and their reunion 22 years after the Vietnam War.
Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
Richard Nixon faced impeachment but also ended the Vietnam War. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.
Intrepid journalist Nelly Bly went on a journey around the world breaking the record of Julius Verne's fictional character.