A look at various events that took place on this day, January 4, photographed over the past century. Today’s collection includes scenes from World War II, voiceover work for Popeye cartoons, President Franklin Roosevelt’s massive globe, a newly discovered coelacanth, safety airbags designed for passenger aircraft, a rush to buy American candy bars in the USSR, a meeting between Newt Gingrich and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and much more.
A young unidentified woman patrols near a headquarters building in Havana, January 4, 1959. The Cuban Revolution had just come to an end, with Fidel Castro’s forces entering Havana in early January.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt are seen up Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., on January 4, 1937.
A German Messerschmitt plane brought down by French aviators is exhibited in Paris, visible for the payment of a small fee for the benefit of French Airmens Welfare Fund. The plane upon its arrival on the avenue Des Champs Elysees in front of the exhibition hall in Paris on January 4, 1940, before unloading.
As assistants stir broken ice aside, Elder Benjamin Watkins of the church of God and Saints of Christ raises his arm in glory to the lord as he prepares to plunge under Charles Harris and wash his sins away in baptizing ceremony held in the ice-coated waters of Mashpaug pond near Providence, Rhode Island, on January 4, 1940. It was far below freezing but a hole was cut in ice and three candidates icily inducted into the church.
Voices for the movie cartoon characters “Popeye” and “Olive Oyl” are Jack Mercer and his wife Margie, of Schenley Park in Miami, Florida, are shown adding their voices to a cartoon on January 4, 1942. They are seen dubbing in the voice parts of a new Popeye cartoon, “Kickin” the Conga.
A striking view, taken from the roof of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on January 4, 1941, showing how the famous building was ringed by fires and devastated buildings on the night of the great Blitz.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a 54-inch, 800-pound globe which was installed near his White House office desk in Washington on January 4, 1943. Presented by the Army, it brings this global war into focus for the commander-in-chief of U.S. forces.
Flying fortresses, flying at high altitude in a practice bombing raid over England leave vapor trails in the sky, on January 4, 1943.
Under the direction of a single American, New Guinea natives tote coconut logs to fashion a bridge across jungle swampland for the use of jeeps traveling up to a new airstrip on the northeast side of the island on January 4, 1943.
A column of captured German and Italian prisoners being marched back to base at the end of a day’s fighting in Tunisia on January 4, 1943, guarded by fighting French and American troops.
A German sailor is buried at Sea, under the American flag and with services read by a coast guard officer on January 4, 1944, from the deck of a coast guard-manned destroyer escort. One of three escorts which blasted his U-boat to the bottom in battle after the U-boat had torpedoed an American tanker. The commanding officer of the Nazi sub, one of 12 survivors picked up by the coast guardsmen, authorized use of the American flag for the burial when no German flag was available.
Firefighting crews of an unnamed U.S. carrier battle flames on two planes, which were hit by Japanese bombs in the Philippines, on January 4, 1945 while on the flight deck of the flat top.
Last UN tanks and vehicles crossing Han River bridge in before the bridge was blown by US Army Engineers on January 4, 1951, following the Battle of Uijeongbu in South Korea.
Max Desfor / AP
Prof. J.L.B. Smith, ichthyologist of Rhodes University, South Africa, poses with his hand on the head of the 120-pound Coelacanth in the Comoros Islands on January 4, 1953. Kneeling at extreme left is Capt. Eric E. Hunt on whose schooner the fish was kept preserved in formalin until Smith's arrival. Holding fin at right is Pierre Coudert, governor of Comoros Archipelago. The fish, caught off Anjouan Island off the coast of Madagascar in December 1952, is of a species thought to be extinct until its discovery in 1938.
Shirley Schaefer points to the chassis of a tubeless portable radio being at the mid-winter furniture market in Chicago on January 4, 1955. Henry F. Argento, General Manager of the Raytheon Manufacturing Co., said, “It will operate for a full year on one set of four conventional flashlight batteries.” He said the radio utilizes eight transistors, which with normal care will never need replacement.
Edward Kitch / AP
Children play with snowballs in front of Buckingham Palace, London, January 4, 1955, while a sentry stands in his box and a policemen patrols in front of the gates.
Sidney Smart / AP
To keep the kids happy when out driving, Jack Fletcher, a designer at 21st Century Home, has installed three miniature steering wheels and a plastic windshield in their car in West Covina, California, on January 4, 1955.
Don Brinn / AP
Singer Elvis Presley, 21, takes his pre-induction written examination as he is processed for the U.S. Army in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 4, 1957.
Happier landing for airplane survival crash victims is the purpose of the Micro-Moisture pneumatic safety cushion demonstrated by its designer, Assen Jordanoff, a pioneer aviator, on January 4, 1957. The cushion, which is being studied by military and civil aviation authorities, is installed in the back of airplane seats. By throwing a single switch, the pilot can inflate a planeful in three seconds. The French poodle shows how a child on a parent's lap would be protected from the crushing jolt of a crash landing or ditching.
Actor Ronald Reagan answers questions at a news conference in Los Angeles, California, on January 4, 1965, after announcing that he will campaign for the Republican nomination for governor of California.
A U.S. paratrooper moves away after setting fire to house on bank of the Vaico Oriental River, 20 miles west of Saigon on January 4, 1966, during a “scorched earth” operation against the Viet Cong in South Vietnam.
Peter Arnett / AP
A Muslim militia man aims his automatic rifle at Christian forces on the other side of the Green Line in Beirut, Lebanon, on January 4, 1982.
Fred Rogers, star of Public Television's "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," rehearses with some of his puppet friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 4, 1984.
Gene J. Puskar / AP
Soviet shoppers waited more than two hours to reach the counter to buy American brands of Chocolate candy bars, such as Snickers, Mounds, and Milky Way, in downtown Moscow on January 4, 1991.
Alexander Zemlianchenko / Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP
Princess Diana of Great Britain talks to children in her beach group, including son Harry, left, at Banana Bay Beach in St. Kitts, in the Caribbean on January 4, 1993.
Richard Drew / AP
A father and son run to avoid snipers across a sandbagged bridge in the Olympic village area of Dobrinja, near Sarajevo, on January 4, 1993.
Colombian star midfielder Carlos "Pibe" Valderrama speaks on a mobile phone to a local radio station accompanied by his agent J. Castano (right) after his arrival in Buenos Aires on January 4, 1995.
Zoraida Diaz / Reuters
House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia gestures while meeting with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Capitol Hill in Washington, on January 4, 1995. The Rangers were invited to Capitol Hill to entertain congressional children who attended the swearing-in ceremony for the 104th Congress.