I have a book on my bookshelf entitled "Photos that changed the world" which is a great book containing around 90 images, dating from 1906 up until 2005. Each photo is reproduced on one side of the book, and background information about the details of the picture, and the circumstances under which is was taken are on the other side. I have read it from cover to cover, and found the insights incredible, and some of the photos immensely moving, and I found that they helped to bring the historical events that they portray to life.
Earlier this week I stumbled across 13 Photographs That Changed the world, which is quite an old article, dating from 2007 which again displays a photo and an explanation text for 13 historical photos, this time dating from 1863 until 1967.
Interestingly enough, whilst some of the same events and people are covered, the photos chosen to depict them are different, choosing different images to commemorate the Normandy landings, Che Guevara, Einstein, the Hindenburg disaster and even Gandhi and the spinning wheel.
One of the few overlaps is the Dorothea Lange image "Migrant Mother" from 1936. This is a very well known image, and is an absolutely incredible portrait of a family suffering during the Depression (the wikipedia article also displays the same photograph) . Dorothea Lange's birthday was celebrated on the flickr blog earlier in the week which brings all of this together nicely and gives me a great excuse to reproduce that photo here.
Photo via Library of Congress