Pearl Harbor

Al Brick for Movietone News, “When ‘Arizona’s’ magazines exploded there was a roar that could be heard for miles. Then she was still.” December 7, 1941, (1406.2005)

Kelso Daly, “Brought from his bed by the thunder of exploding bombs, this pajama-clad islander has rushed out on his terrace to scan with binculars smoke-swept scene. Back and forth Jap planes roared, while at Pearl Harbor other bombs were falling from other planes,” December 7, 1941 (1489.2005)

Movietone exclusive! Bombing of Pearl Harbour – 1941

PM, December 8, 1941

75 years ago today, December 7, 1941, (Sunday, around 1 PM, in New York) the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii was attacked by over 300 Japanese planes. The next day, shortly after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Day in Infamy” speech, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” The U.S. declared war on Japan. In New York City, many people gathered in Times Square, people held newspapers, one person held a camera and another person held a radio. (Speaking of radio, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and President Franklin D. Roosevelt and others can be heard on WNYC.) Almost immediately Mayor La Guardia ordered Japanese subjects in New York to remain in their homes. La Guardia said on WNYC: “I want to warn the people of this city that we are in an extreme crisis… I now want to appeal to the people of our city to be calm… You must remain cool and yet determined. We are aware of the danger ahead but unafraid. In the meantime know that your city’s government is on the job and looking after your welfare and comfort and safety… So, in the meantime, good night, and we will remain on the job.”

PM, December 9, 1941

Weegee (1899 – 1968), [“Japs Bomb Hawaii”], 1941 (15232.1993)

Weegee (1899 – 1968), [After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Times Square, New York], 1941 (15234.1993)

PM, December 17, 1941

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Morris celebrating 100 year today

Cornell Capa (1918-2008), John G. Morris, 1964 (2011.31.4)

Cornell Capa took this portrait of me in front of the huge “contact sheet” that greeted visitors to my Independent Picture Service at 15 West 47th Street, two floors below Magnum.

Longevity and photography: This isn’t the first celebratory centenarian Fanisinaflashbulb post. “Milton Rogovin is 100!” was the first, and hopefully, this post won’t be the last.

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul Caponigro

Paul Caponigro, Tree & Clouds, Rochester, NY., 1958 (66.2001.3)

Paul Caponigro was born in Boston in 1932. He studied photography at the California School of Fine Art after which he taught part-time photography at Boston University. Caponigro was twice  awarded the renowned Guggenheim Fellowship. His photography is often related to nature and its American landscape, harmonized with a certain musical sense. Caponigro has been in many group shows and solo exhibitions in a range of well-respected institutions. His first solo show was in 1958 at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. Caponigro’s son John Paul is also a photographer, he works with digital photography.

Post by Yvan Sikiaridis, intern, International Center of Photography
Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Chess (1950s-1970s)

Chim (David Seymour 1911-1956), [Chess game in the library room, Huleh Valley, Israel], 1951 (691.1986)

Alexander Liberman (1912-1999), Marcel Duchamp, New York City, 1959 (174.1990)

Alexander Liberman (1912-1999), Marcel Duchamp’s hands, New York City, 1959-60, (157.1990)

Carl Mydans, Bobby Fischer, New York, 1962 (177.2005)

Weegee (1899-1968), [Playing chess during a concert in Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village], ca. 1956 (17687.1993)

Cornell Capa, [Inmates playing chess from prison cells, Attica Correctional Facility, Attica, New York], March 1972

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade

Weegee, [Cop and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade clown hand, New York], 1945 (14754.1993)

Weegee, Clown filled with helium gas for annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York], 1945 (3077.1993)

Tomorrow at 9 AM starts Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade. Similar to this year, the first parade in 1924 had floats and dancers, but rather than oversized balloons live animals -such as tigers and camels from the Central Park Zoo, were part of the procession. They were replaced by balloons in 1927. During the long stretch of time the parade has existed, Macy’s had to suspend the event for three years during WWII. There had been a shortage of rubber and all the balloons were donated to the government in support of the war.

If you are unable to see the floating Felix the Cat and Miss Piggy in person, NBC will be live broadcasting the event as it has been doing since 1948.

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post-Truth… That’s Life

In truth, this post, like so much of life, and perhaps death (a subtle reference to the classic tweet: “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”), these days, was inspired by a tweet:

Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. (

Among the many questions that this word of the year invokes, perhaps the least important is: is it possible to make a blog post out of this? Are there relevant photos in our huge, beautiful, big league and hygge-like archive? Perhaps images of propaganda or trick photography might fit the bill. But maybe it would be thought-provoking (and bloggable) to present photos of life in a pre-post-truth world. Here are a few versions of John Filo’s famous photo from Kent State. The series won a 1971 Pulitzer Prize for “Spot News Photography: John Paul Filo of Valley Daily News and Daily Dispatch, Tarentum and New Kensington, PA. For his pictorial coverage of the Kent State University tragedy on May 4, 1970.” ( The photo “became a symbol of college protest in our country. The impact of the photograph is immeasurable even today.” ( A fence post was airbrushed out of a widely used press print in the early 1970s. (More info here.) The back of the photo is demonstrative of a pre-post-truth world. (Overheard at a recent protest: “Build a fence around Mike Pence!”) This is not to illustrate a post-truth world, but to do the opposite, to propose that photography can often preserve and memorialize “less influential objective facts.” And what’s true is not always black and white and in focus; memory is post-truth. A post-post photo and pre-post-less photo in a post-truth post.

John Paul Filo, [Mary Ann Vecchio grieving over body of college student Jeffrey Glenn Miller shot by National Guardsman during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, Ohio], May 4, 1970 (1919.2005)

John Paul Filo, [Mary Ann Vecchio grieving over body of college student Jeffrey Glenn Miller shot by National Guardsman during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, Ohio], May 4, 1970 (57.1998)


LIFE, “Kent State: four deaths at noon,” photos by John Filo, John Darnell and Howard Ruffner, May 15, 1970 (2012.46.4)


“I was standing to the right of the Guard when the shooting started,” he [Howard Ruffner, photographer] recalls. “I assumed they were shooting into the air. I couldn’t believe they’d shoot into a crowd. Suddenly I understood and dropped to the ground – right on top of my cameras. In a few seconds it was over and I began to photograph the wounded and dying. People kept saying, ‘No pictures, don’t take any pictures,’ but I had to. I knew pictures were the only way to tell this story.”
Ralph Graves, Managing Editor. Life, May 15, 1970, p.3

Vik Muniz, Memory Rendering of Kent State Shooting: The Best of LIFE, 1995 (155.1998.2)

These are photographs of drawings done strictly from memory. The source of imagery employed in the execution of these works are utterly mental, bearing no direct connections with former pictures or depictions of the events. Vik Muniz, The Best of Life portfolio.

PS. In truth, these pre-post-truth and amazeballs pair of “word of the year” posts from the past: Yolo! and unfriend are perhaps better than this post-truth post. That’s life or Yolo!

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Angkor, Cambodia, 1925

2009_32_68_41 copy

2009_32_68_39 copy

2009_32_68_43 copy

2009_32_68_44 copy

2009_32_68_45 copy

2009_32_68_46 copy

2009_32_68_48 copy
Vera Talbot, [Travel album], 1924-26 (2009.32.68)

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will present a photo album that is chock-full of photos, maps, postcards, passenger lists, and ephemera that document a two year journey from Hawaii to Asia to Africa and Europe, that began on December 5, 1924. The above photos were made in Cambodia in January 1925. To be continued…

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment