27 Iconic Images That Defined The 1970s

Published July 24, 2017
Updated June 22, 2018
Nixon With Elvis
Iconic Images 1970s Napalm Girl
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Hunter Thomspson
27 Iconic Images That Defined The 1970s
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The 1970s were a time of great change and turmoil for both America and the world at large.

The Cold War raged on into its fourth decade, with the US going to war in Vietnam and the Soviet Union going to war in Afghanistan. At the same time, countries around the world were either gaining independence or aligning with one of the two massive superpowers.

And within America's own borders, political upheaval ruled the day as well. The culture clash between President Richard Nixon's conservative "silent majority" and the anti-war movement on the Left remained violent and sometimes deadly as the Vietnam War dragged on and on. As it did, many radical political groups fighting for a myriad of causes were able to rise to prominence in this confrontational political climate.

Yet these tumultuous times also helped give rise to cultural forces of extraordinary power and resonance, with groundbreaking musical artists like David Bowie and Pink Floyd rising to prominence.

From the culture to the politics and beyond, the iconic 1970s photos above encapsulate those turbulent times.

Next, check out some of the most iconic images of the 1990s and the 1940s. Finally, step inside some of the most fascinating hippie communes of the 1970s.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.