Two Women Under a Tree photo by Alice M. Boughton | 1906 This is NOT a post mortem. Both women are very much alive in this picture. You can’t make dead bodies sit up like this. If she were dead, her head would be slumped over, her chin on her chest, and she would look, well, dead. But she doesn’t. Because she isn’t dead. She is alive
Juliane Koepcke, 17, was sucked out of an airplane after it was struck by lightning. She fell 2 miles to the ground still strapped to her chair and lived. However, she had to endure a 9-day walk through the Amazon jungle before being rescued by loggers. She was the sole survivor of 93 passengers and crew in the December 24, 1971, crash of LANSA Flight 508.
The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” was coined by American newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane in 1911. It’s a simple notion that applies to many aspects of our lives, but especially to historical photography. Sometimes, one simple picture can tell you more about history than any story you might read or any document you might analyze. These photographs all tell stories about the historical figures or events that they represent.