Alfred Eisenstaedt –
This iconic photograph is so widely recognized to the average American it's been made into statues. Many believe the photograph to be a romantic gesture, but actually, the two swappin' spit are complete and total strangers. Here's the story as told by the renown photographer who captured the moment, Alfred Eisenstaedt: “In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn't make a difference...Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse.”
Guerillero Heroico –
We've all seen the T-shirts celebrating the revolutionary figure, Che Guevara, most often depicted as a stencil of his portrait. Well, it came from this black and white photograph taken in 1960 by Guerillero Heroico. If alive, Che certainly wouldn't approve of how his face has comfortably nestled itself into consumer culture, as a staple symbol for wanna-be Westernized activists. It's assumed he approved of the original which accurately captures the intensity and stoic nature of the revolutionary leader.
Robert Capa –
This photograph was believed to be taken on September 5, 1936 by Robert Capa, depicting the death of a Republican soldier in the Spanish Civil War. One of the first well-recognized war photographs ever, it has grown in popularity not only because of what is believed, but more so of what isn't believed. People think it is staged. Who cares? It's a classic image of death in war. Don't ruin the message.
Eddie Adams –
This image is known by almost anyone who pays an ounce of attention to US history during wartimes. Eddie Adams won a Pulitzer prize for it in 1969. The photograph also served as a major platform for anti Vietnam War protesters. It's one that really stirs the gut. What people don't know is what the executioner said to Adams after he shot the man in the head: “They killed many of my people, and yours too.” Apparently the man killed was a vicious murderer. For many, the execution was an act of justice.