There are many moments that have changed the way people see the world around them. Photographers do the hard work of attempting to capture them on film as they happen. Whether they know it or not, they are single-handedly changing how history is remembered.
All of these photos capture something unique. Some are inspiring, some are unsettling, but all are important documents of singular historical moments.
1. Elliott Erwitt photographed public water fountains in North Carolina, demonstrating the issue of segregation in the American South.
2. This photo of a young woman next to her murdered friend came to symbolize the tragedy of the 1970 Kent State Massacre.
3. Thích Quang Duc setting himself on fire to protest the Diem government in South Vietnam shocked the world in 1963.
4. Horace Greasley standing behind a wired fence, stoically facing Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler.
5. This photo of a rescued baby became a symbol of hope in the wake of the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.
6. The Tiananmen Square protests took place in China in 1989. The protesters were fighting for democracy, and in the photo below, one man stood and faced the Chinese government's oppressive forces.
7. This emotionally charged photo is of Terri Gurrola reuniting with her daughter after serving a tour in Iraq.
8. When this little girl was told to draw "home" on a chalkboard, this is what she came up with...
She had grown up in a concentration camp.
9. In 1993, this photo of a young Sudanese girl being watched by a vulture brought the world's attention to hunger in Africa.
10. Robert Capa's world-famous photograph of a soldier struck down during the Spanish Civil War.
11. This haunting photo, taken in Chechnya in 1994, is of a Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano.
12. The graves of a husband and wife, one Protestant and the other Catholic, connected above a wall that divides a religiously segregated graveyard.
13. Pele and Bobby Moore greet each other at the end of the World Cup in 1970.
14. In this photo, a veteran of the war in Iraq is embraced by a survivor of Pearl Harbor.
15. This is the moment club owner Jack Ruby shot and killed President John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
16. Robert Capa's image of a soldier crawling ashore on D-Day captures the chaos and courage of that day.
17. This eerie photo was taken on Mars at dusk by Spirit, a Mars rover.
18. A member of Apollo 11 snapped this shot of mankind's first successful mission to the Moon.
19. When schools became racially integrated in Charlotte, North Carolina, African American students had to deal with harassment from white students and citizens on the way to school.
Here, Dorothy Counter makes her way to class and shows that she stands above the hatred that surrounds her.
20. On May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg caught fire in one of the most infamous disasters in history.
21. Victims of the March 2012 tornado in Alabama comfort each other among their decimated neighborhood.
22. Haiti was hit hard by Tropical Storm Hanna in 2008. This photo captures a young boy salvaging a stroller in the aftermath of the storm.
23. Timothy O'Sullivan's image of deceased soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg is titled Harvest of Death and represents the lives sacrificed during the American Civil War.
These photos are breathtaking. It really is incredible what some photographers have captured since the advent of photography. Thanks to them, images like these have and continue to influence how we see the world and its history.