The Most Iconic Images Of The 1990s

Published June 30, 2012
Updated June 26, 2018

Iconic Images Of The 1990s: Fall Of KGB Statue, 1991

Iconic Images Of The 1990s Fall Of KGB Statue Soviet Union

In August 1991, hardliners in the Communist Party demanded the removal of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who wanted to sign a treaty that would lead to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. They did this by placing him under house arrest and reinstating censorship. However, they were met by mass civil resistance–particularly in Moscow. Even with the aid of the KGB, the feared secret police, hardliners couldn’t win support and their coup toppled in three days.

Two AP photographers, Olga Shalygin and Alexander Zemlianichenko, snapped this iconic image of Moscow civilians destroying the large, reviled statue of feared KGB founder, Feliks Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky. It won the Pulitzer Prize for AP the next year and became of symbol of the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union and one of the lasting and iconic images of the 1990s.

The Most Iconic Images Of The 1990s: Starving Child In Sudan, 1993

The Most Iconic Images Of The 1990s Sudan Child and Vulture

The Pulitzer Prize winning photo by Kevin Carter depicts a vulture stalking a starving, dying child, probably awaiting its death. It was a horrific image that brought home the plight of Sudanese children as well as plenty of criticism toward Carter for taking the photo instead of helping the child.

Nelson Mandela Freed, 1991

Nelson Mandela Freed 1991

After a 27-year jail sentence for his revolutionary part in the anti-apartheid movement in Africa, Nelson Mandela was finally freed in 1991. This iconic image shows the jubilant Mandela being release after his wrongful incarceration.

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John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.