Five Of History’s Most Iconic Photographs

Published October 13, 2011
Updated February 1, 2024

An amazing look at the photographs and events that have defined human history -- five of history's most iconic photographs.

Iconic Photographs: Tiananmen Square ‘Tank Man’, 1989

History's Most Iconic Photographs Tank Man Photograph

Despite being an event that China would like the world to forget, this image of the anonymous ‘Tank Man’ who stood in front of advancing tanks the day after the Tiananmen Square Massacre spoke volumes around the world about the struggle for democracy in China.

Though the ‘Tank Man’ was eventually dragged away, the photograph became synonymous with political activism and resistance in the modern world. Similarly risking their lives, various photographers and videographers shot the scene and managed to have it published in numerous outlets.

History’s Most Iconic Photographs: Man Walks on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, 1969

Man Walks On The Moon Picture

Taken by Neil Armstrong, this iconic photograph captures Buzz Aldrin as he walks along the surface of the moon in 1969.

Battle Iwo Jima Flag Raising, Joe Rosenthal, 1945

Iconic Photographs Iwo Jima Flag Raising

The flag raising at Iwo Jima was the defining image of the Pacific theater of World War 2 and one of history’s most iconic photographs. The American Marines and a Navy corpsman were snapped atop Mount Suribachi, hoisting their flag after wresting Iwo Jima from the Japanese.

author
All That's Interesting
author
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
editor
John Kuroski
editor
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.