As 2014 comes to a close, now is the time for reflecting. What did you accomplish during the past year? What could you have done better?
During this time of reflection, it's important to look to the past for guidance on the future. That is why these recently rediscovered historical photos are so crucial. They show history in the moment and as it's happening. They're also incredibly cool.
1. Civil War General Amrbose Burnside. He coined the term "sideburns."
2. German soldiers in 1935 doing some horseback target practice.
3. 17-year-old Yamaguchi assassinates socialist politician, Asanuma, by stabbing in Tokyo, 1960.
4. German soldiers execute a defiant communist in Munich, 1919.
5. The letter that Gandhi sent to Adolf Hitler in 1939.
6. Every time a plane landed on the wrong carrier, it was tradition to graffiti it before sending it back.
7. A mother in Las Vegas watching the mushroom cloud from atomic testing 75 miles away.
8. Babies for sale.
9. The original design of Mount Rushmore before funding ran out in 1941.
10. This is a "Punt Gun." It was mainly used in duck hunting, and could kill up to 50 birds at a time. It was banned during the 1860s.
11. A French radiographer in his protective gear in 1918.
12. The inside of the Cathedral of Amiens during World War II.
13. A bloody boxing match between Ray Campbell and Dick Hyland in 1913.
14. Damaged and melted mannequins after a fire at Madam Tussaud's wax museum in London, 1930.
15. A victorious chimp holding a newspaper after surviving his trip to outer space.
16. The streets of New York City in 1939. Nearly everyone in this photograph is wearing a hat.
17. The streets of Sweden on the day the traffic pattern changed from driving on the left side to the right side of the road.
18. A boxing match at Yankee Stadium in 1923.
19. Some of the dogs rescued from the Titanic.
20. Illustrating the class divide in Great Britain prior to World War II.
21. The last public execution in the United States, 1936.
22. Mockups from U.S. intelligence of what Hitler might look like if he went into hiding.
23. Moving day in the 1950s suburbs.
Some people might be tempted to say that 2014 was a terrible year, and that things are only going to get worse. I beg to differ. Looking at these old photos reminds me of the progress in the last few hundred years. This excites me for the future, and fills me with hope.