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Photos That Changed The World: episodes

President Ronald Reagan

Episode 1: Iranian Embassy Siege

In 1980, six gunmen took over the Iranian embassy in London. Following the death of a hostage, theworld watched, and photographers swarmed as the SAS stormed the building.

Episode 2: Royal Kiss

Newlyweds the Prince and Princess of Wales kiss on a balcony at Buckingham Palace. Charles’s formal pose and Diana’s emotional physicality has since been suggested as a sign for the marriage that lay ahead.

Episode 3: The Terror of War (Napalm Girl)

The horrific photograph of 9-year-old Kim Phuc running naked in terror from a napalm attack was widely published around the world and is attributed to having helped end the war in Vietnam.

Episode 4: Hunting the President

As President Reagan waved, John Hinckley Jr. fired his gun, and photographer Ron Edmonds captured the vulnerability of political leaders for all the world to see.

Episode 5: The Hooded Man

The most memorable image from the war in Iraq was taken not by a photographer, but by US Army staff sergeant Ivan Frederick, one of several soldiers to torture Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. 

Episode 6: Munich Massacre

Kurt Strumpf’s haunting photo of a balaclava-wearing terrorist at The Olympic games in Munich, became a symbol of the times following a 21-hour standoff that ended in an bloodbath.

Episode 7: Mandela’s Walk to Freedom

Greg English’s photo of Nelson Mandela, free for the first time in over a quarter of a century, gave millions of people, not just South Africans, hope for the future.

Episode 8: The Drowned Boy

The photograph of 2-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a Turkish beach caused international outrage and woke the world to the urgency of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Episode 9: The Lady in the Mask

The London 7/7 bombings image of commuter Davinia Turrell clutching a white burns mask to her face outside Edgware Road tube station brought home the very real threat of terrorism in the UK. 

Episode 10: The Moors Murders

A chilling ‘trophy’ photograph taken by Ian Brady shows Myra Hindley looking down on the shallow grave of John Kilbride, one of five children murdered in crimes that shocked the nation.

Episode 11: Tank Man

Jeff Widener's photograph of a lone man stood in front of a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square became a powerful symbol of both the bloody events of June 4, 1989, and of non-violent resistance. 

Episode 12: A Man on the Moon

With its 50th anniversary landing in July 2019, the photo of Buzz Aldrin standing on an alien world is the enduring image of Apollo 11, and changed the way we see ourselves and our planet.