Incredible Set of Historical Photos are Signed by Photographers and Subjects

A situation room photograph, signed by Joe Biden, shows the tense moments during Operation Neptune Spear when U.S. Navy Seals raided Osama bin Laden’s compound. Signed ‘Keep the faith! Joe Biden’ | Pete Souza

A collection of photographs that mark pivotal moments in American history complete with notes from the people who took them is being auctioned off today.

The photos include Neil Armstong’s photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, a portrait of Rosa Parks on a bus, and Nick Ut’s images of Kim Phuc fleeing napalm in Vietnam.

One of the most iconic photos of the 20th century, the Times Square Kiss taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, showing the joyful response to the end of World War II. Photo is signed by the photogenic couple, Navy sailor George Mendonsa and nurse Greta Zimmer.
The infamous shoeing incident in 2008 when Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at President Bush. Zaidi describes why he accosted the US leader, an act of defiance that would result in a three-year prison conviction for assaulting a foreign head of state: ‘Everyone had been repeating George W Bush’s claim that we greeted him with roses, and the world unfortunately believed this lie. That’s why my idea was to find a solution in accordance with Newton’s Third Law that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I chased George W Bush everywhere so that I could show the world my protest by throwing my shoes at him. I expected to be killed for it.
A photograph signed by Rosa Parks shows the civil rights icon sitting in a bus, the simple act that led to her arrest in 1955.

The photos and the stories behind them underline the impact that photography has had on history, particularly in the 20th century.

That Nick Ut was there to capture the awful image of a Vietnamese girl running from a napalm explosion, a single frame that helped shape public opinion of the Vietnam War back in the United States, is an incredible photography accomplishment in itself.

A picture by the Associated Press photographer Nick Ut of Kim Phuc Phan Thi, known as ‘Napalm Girl’ from the Vietnam war. Kim Phuc wrote: ‘On June 8, 1972, we were allowed to play inside of a temple near the bomb shelter. I remember after lunch, we heard the noise of some burning outside and suddenly, the soldier asked the children to run out of the temple. I saw the planes were very fast, very loud. As a child, I didn’t know anything. And I turned my head. I saw four bombs landing, then suddenly, the fire was everywhere around me. I didn’t see anybody else. And then the fire burned off my clothes, and I saw the fire on my left arm. I used my right hand to wrap it up. That’s why my right hand got burned as well. I put the fire out with my hand. I was terrified. Then, I kept running and running and running, until I was too tired to run any more. And then a soldier poured water over my skin. At that moment, I passed out.
impeachment
Articles of impeachment signed by President Donald J Trump. His large signature fills the top half of the page of House Resolution 755, ‘Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors’
Eckford
Elizabeth Eckford attends her first day of school at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Excerpts from her handwritten account read: ‘I am one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American teens who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School […] As I walked toward the school I saw Arkansas National Guard soldiers surrounding the grounds. […] When I approached the soldiers stood shoulder to shoulder to bar me. I walked further and stopped where I could see another sidewalk leading to the school. This time the state troops crossed rifles to block me. […]. When I stepped out into the street an angry mob started following and screaming insults. Photographers were in front of me walking backwards. Someone yelled “Get a rope. Drag her over to the tree! Let’s hang her!” Other voices cursed and threatened. I looked for help. When I approached an elderly woman who had a kind face, she spat on me. The mob followed me to the bus stop where two middle-aged white reporters tried to comfort me. When one reporter embraced me across my shoulder, the crowd’s anger rose in increased fury.’
bush
Firefighter Bob Beckwith with President George W Bush at Ground Zero on 14 September 2001. Beckwith wrote: ‘Hoping for a good view of the President, I climbed on to a covered Engine across from the command post. A secret service member approached me, and asked “is it safe here?” I said yet it’s a fire engine. He said jump on it. So I did. He said, There’s someone coming over here. When [he] does, you help him up and then you get down. So I did. Then I saw the President. He was heading to the command post when he suddenly turned and walked in front of me. He gives me his hand and I helped him up, I turned him around and said “Are you OK Mr. President?” He replied “yes”. I started to get down when he said “Where are you gong? I was told to get down.” He said “no you stay here.” He began to address the crowed. The crowd shouted “We can’t hear you!” Using a bullhorn he said, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” They began chanting U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A. Looking up to heaven I said “Look at me now I’m with the President.”
Osama
Osama bin Laden’s FBI most wanted poster, signed ‘Barack Obama’. In 2011 President Obama ordered Operation Neptune Spear, the successful mission to kill the al-Qaida leader
JFK
A photo of President John F Kennedy delivering his famous speech on 12 September 1962 about landing on the moon before 1970. The picture is signed by Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke who quotes JFK’s speech, ‘We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard’
birth certificate
A photocopy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, with the 44th US president boldly signing his name across the document verifying his place of birth as Honolulu, Hawaii, on 4 August 1961.
tongue
An original artwork of the Tongue and Lips logo of the Rolling Stones, hand-drawn and hand-painted by John Pasche, who designed the logo in 1970 as a young art student, not realising he would be creating one of the most instantly recognisable pop artworks of the modern era
moon
A scarce Apollo 11 photo signed by Buzz Aldrin. The picture is a visor shot, with Neil Armstrong taking a photo of Aldrin on the moon and Armstrong’s image reflected back in the visor.

The auction is held by Nate D Sanders Auctions with the lots available from $100 to $1,000. It can be viewed here.

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