Top 25 Emotional Pictures From History

It is rightly said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and some convey even more. The world has seen a lot in the co...

7 years ago
Top 25 Emotional Pictures From History

It is rightly said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and some convey even more. The world has seen a lot in the course of history and photographs are a medium that brings forth these stories to us. Be it a crisis or relief, some pictures have depicted the gravity of the situation. We have gathered a moving collection of pictures that will make way to even the slightest corner of your heart.

These photos are a reminder for me to be grateful for every day, for having a roof over my head, to be surrounded by loved ones and also to be a part of this beautiful society where the beam of love persists even in the darkest hours. Share them with your dear ones if you feel the same.

1. Tibetan exile sets himself on fire during a protest

Source = Mid-day

A Tibetan man named Jamphel Yeshi set himself on fire during a protest in New Delhi, India. The activists were expressing their revolt against the Chinese rule of Himalayan region. The scene took place hours before the arrival of Chinese President Hu Jintao. On March 26, 2012, a summit of the emerging market nations was organized. 

27 year old Yeshi died from his injuries in the hospital. A handwritten statement was found in his room, that said-

"The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering."

2. One of the few survivors of Japan’s Tohuku earthquake

Source = Asahi Shimbun, Toshiyuki Tsunenari /AP

Amidst the wreckage of earthquake, a woman sits in pain, crying for the truth behind the remains. 

The Great East Japan earthquake or the 2011 Tohuku earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 was the most powerful earthquake recorded to hit Japan and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world. The National Police Agency of Japan released a report on March 10, 2015 that confirmed 15,894 deaths, 6,152 injured and 2,562 people missing.

3. Dead couple embracing each other after the collapse in Bangladesh

Source = Taslima Akhter

Rana Plaza collapse or the Savar building collapse was a structural failure of the eight storey commercial building named Rana Plaza. The incident occurred in Savar Upazila, Dhaka district, Bangladesh on April 24, 2013. This accident is considered as the deadliest garment factory accident in history. With the death toll reaching up to 1,129, it is also the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history. Around 2,500 injured were rescued alive from the building.

4. Pope Francis caresses a man suffering rare disease

Source = Claudio Peri – EPA

Vinicio Riva suffers from a non-infectious genetic disease, neurofibromatosis type 1. This had left him completely covered with growths, swelling and itchy sores. His mother suffered the same illness before her death. 

In early November, Vinicio attended a morning public audience held by Pope Francis with his aunt in Vatican City. The Swiss Guard settled them in the first row. Pope came close to him and embraced him tightly. 

Accustomed to the unkindness of strangers, and stares of shocks and fears, Vinicio was confused with Pope’s gesture initially.

"He didn't have any fear of my illness. He embraced me without speaking ... I quivered. I felt great warmth. I felt I was returning home ten years younger, as if a load had been lifted.”

5. Lunch atop a Skyscraper

Source = Wikipedia

This is a very famous black and white photograph clicked during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, New York City, United States. It was captured on September 20, 1932 in the last months of RCA building’s construction. Eleven laborers are seated on a girder on the 69th floor; their feet dangling 840 feet above New York streets. 

Formerly attributed to ‘unknown’, since 2003 Charles C. Ebbets has been credited for this. However, the Corbis Corporation officially states it unknown.

6. Victims of persistence

Source = Worldpressphoto

Somayeh Mehri and her daughter Rana Afghanipour were attacked with acid by Somayeh’s husband Amir. The Iranian woman had been a victim of her husband’s physical tortures for quite some time and when she finally gathered courage to file a divorce, on a night in June 2011 while they were asleep, her husband poured acid on their faces. 

Both were severely burned. Somayeh was blinded and Rana lost one eye. Due to the complications of acid attack, Somayeh died on April 13, 2015. 

The above photograph shows a kiss between these victims. This might be the last loving memory of the daughter with her mother.

7. A firefighter feeding thirsty koala in the devastating bushfires

Black Saturday bushfires were Australia’s all time worst bushfire disasters. Bushfires were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around February 7, 2009. It was the highest ever loss of life from such occurrence in Australia. 173 people died and 414 were injured. 400 individual fires were recorded on this date and the day became widely referred to as Black Saturday in Australia.

8. Boy saving his dog from the Filipino Flood Waters

Source = Theatlantic

The relentless monsoon rains and Tropical Storm Trami severely flooded wide swaths of Philippines capital Manila on August 20, 2013. Due to the overflowing rivers, thousands of residents were evacuated from their house. Government offices, schools and businesses had to suspend their work in the nearby provinces as well due to heavy rains.

9. Captain pulls a six year old from fire

Source = Evansville Courier & Press

Fire captain Don Splindler rescues a young girl from a burning apartment in Evansville on September 7, 2011. She was pulled out from a closet. The girl was in a critical condition and given life support through ventilator until she got stable. Her mother, however, was much injured. Her brain was dead. She was kept on life support until her organs could be donated. 

10. Sergeant looks after a kitten in the Korean War

Around 75,000 soldiers of the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950. This was the first military action of the Cold War. American troops had entered the battle in July on behalf of South Korea. The war grew so fierce that some feared for it as World War III. 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives. Amidst such situation, Sergeant Frank Praytor looks after a two week old kitten. 

11. 12-year-old Brazilian plays violin at his teacher’s funeral

Diego Frazão Torquato has lived with diseases from a very young age but he never lost enthusiasm for music. He was a part of the string orchestra Afroreggae and became a symbol of hope for fight against leukemia. He was also a strong protestor of indignation which also killed his group’s leader Evandro John Smith. Evandro died in an assault on October 18, 2009. 

The Brazilian violinist plays violin at his funeral. Evandro has always been his mentor. He helped him escape poverty and violence through music.

12. Clara Gantt, 94 reunites with her husband’s body after 60 years

Source = Andrew Renneisen

Army Sergeant 1st class Joseph Gantt went missing during the Korean War. His wife Clara Gantt waited for more than 60 years for her husband to come home from the Korean War. She never wavered from the hopes of reuniting with her husband. And the wait came to an end on December 27, 2013 when her beloved’s remains were returned to her at Los Angeles International Airport. The funeral was held on the next day with full military honors. 

13. 2-year-old passed to his grandparents through the wired fence at a refugee camp in the Kosovo War

Source = Carol Guzy

The armed conflict in Kosova lasted from March 5, 1998 to June 11, 1999. The forces of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were fighting this war. Agim Shala, age 2 is passed through the wired fence to his grandparents in a refugee camp run by UAE in Kukes, Albania in the anticipation of a better future. The family was, however, reunited after the conflict ended.

14. Major Terri Gurrola reunites with daughter after serving 7 months in Iraq

Source = Louie Favorite

Behind a soldier’s dedication to serve for their country, is a great fear for their family. Leaving the two year old daughter was the worst fear of Major Terri Gurrola when she went to fight in Iraq in 2007. Terri Gurrola, a military doctor feared that her daughter might forget her after seven long months but when she was being greeted by a gentleman from USO at the airport, a beautiful voice shouted ‘Mommy’.

15. Russian war veteran finally finds the tank he spent the war in

Source = Englishrussia

An old veteran of World War II finally finds the tank in which he had passed the whole Russian War. The tank stands as a monument in a small town in Russia. He got so emotional with the sight that he knelt beside the tank and people worried that he won’t be able to cope up with this.

16. A missionary holding hand of a starving child in Uganda

Source = Mike Wells

Uganda is among the poorest countries in the world. A famine struck the Karamoja region in Uganda in 1980. It was so severe 21% population of this region died. More than 60% infants lost their lives. Considering the mortality rate, it was the worst famine in history. 

The above photograph gives an insight to the plight of these people. Captured during the famine in Karamoja, it is yet another reminder of disparity in our world. It was also the World Press Photograph of 1980. 

17. A Pearl Harbor survivor embraces Marine Sgt. for his bravery and sacrifice

Source = Jim Mahoney/Dallas Morning News / AP

Houston James, a Pearl Harbor survivor is overwhelmed while embracing Marine staff Sgt. Mark Graunke Jr. on the Dallas Veterans Day Commemoration at Dallas City Hall in 2005. Sergeant Graunke was a member of the Marine ordnance-disposal team. He lost a hand, eye and leg while diffusing a bomb in Iraq in July 2004.

18. First same sex couple to get married

Source = Stan Honda / Getty Images

Phyllis Siegel, 76 and Connie Kopelov, 84, of New York had been together for 23 years. They got married in 2011 at the Manhattan City clerk’s office. Under the state’s new law, they were the first same sex couple to get married in New York City. From the time, online marriage application changed from ‘Groom and Bride’ to ‘Spouse A and Spouse B’, more than 2600 requests for marriage licenses had been flooded with the New York City’s clerk office.

19. 4-month-old baby girl miraculously rescued by soldiers in Japanese tsunami

Source = Yomiuri Shimbun / Reuters

Amid the destruction and death from March 2011 disasters, a baby girl evokes a rare glimmer of hope. Three days after the powerful earthquake and tsunami flattened much of Japan’s northeastern coastline, 4 months old Iroha Ishikawa was rescued by a soldier on March 14, 2011 from the second story of a wreckage-blocked house. The disaster killed an estimated 26,000 people.

20. Graves of catholic woman and her protestor husband

Source = Retronaut

Colonel of the Dutch Cavalry and militia commissioner in Limburg, J.W.C van Gorcum is buried on the protestant part and his wife J.C.P.H van Aefferden is buried in the catholic part of this cemetery. These graves are situated at Het Oude Kerkhof, Roermond, The Netherlands. 

The couple was married in 1842 when the lady was 22 and colonel was 33. The colonel didn’t belong to the nobility and so, he was buried in the protestant part in 1880. His wife did not want to be buried in the family tomb but to the closest she could get to her husband. Thus, she was buried on other side of the wall after her death in 1888. The two clasped hands connect the graves across walls.

21. The Golden Labrador who saved thousands of lives in Mumbai serial blasts

Source = STR News / Reuters

A series of 12 bombs went off across Mumbai, India in March 1993. 257 people died and 713 were injured. A golden Labrador named Zanjeer emerged as a hero in this situation. In his association with the bomb squad, he detected “more than 3,329 kg of explosive RDX, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades and 6406 rounds of live ammunition.” The hero helped avert three more bombs in the days following the blasts. He died on November 16, 2000 out of bone cancer and was buried with full state honors.

22. Mother overwhelms while holding her premature baby who spent 107 days in intensive care

Source = Benjamin Scot

Lyndsey Miller gave birth to her baby 3.5 months earlier than the expected date. Her son Ward Miles Miller was 12 inches long and weighed only 1 pound 13 ounces on the day of his birth, July 16, 2012. The photograph was captured when Lyndsey Miller first held her son when he was four days old and covered in tubes and cords. After spending 107 days of his life in intensive care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio, Ward is healthy and strong today.

23. The walls of Auschwitz gas chamber

Source = Furtherglory.wordpress

Gas chambers were initially used by Third Reich in the 1930s and 1940s to eliminate physically and intellectually disabled people and political undesirables. Auschwitz was a Nazi concentration and extermination camp that used hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon B to execute the condemned prisoners. 

The scratches visible on the walls of this gas chamber are a result of people crying out for help, scratching the walls until the gas took effect.

24. Some tragedies go beyond just harming men – Bhopal gas tragedy

Source = Majedmj.blogspot

The night of December 3, 1984 was one of the darkest days in Indian history. Considered as the world’s worst industrial disaster, over 500,000 people and other species were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals. Madhya Pradesh government confirmed total 3,787 deaths from the gas release; 558,125 people were injured. The exact cause of the disaster remains debatable.

25. Successful heart transplant surgery that lasted 23 hours

Source = James Stanfield

This picture was chosen as the best picture of 1987. Dr. Zbigniew Religa watches the vital signs of patient after completing the 23 hour heart surgery. His assistant can be seen asleep in the corner of the room. The surgery was considered virtually impossible at that time but the pioneer of heart transplantation in Poland took the chance and the procedure was entirely successful. The fact that his patient Tadeusz Zitkevits outlived him is only a testament of the surgery’s success.


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