In the early 1960s, LIFE magazine’s photographers chronicled the construction of the Berlin Wall and, once it was built, its effect on residents living in the newly divided city.

Here, five long decades after construction began, and on the anniversary of German unification in 1990, offers a gallery featuring powerful pictures of the Wall — photos that offer a glimpse into an era that today feels at once profoundly alien, and disturbingly familiar.

Pictured: An East German policeman uses sunlight reflected off a mirror in an attempt to stop photographers from taking pictures in August 1961.

See more photos here.


Happy 63rd birthday, Twiggy. celebrates her career and her enduring style with a series of rare pictures — shot in California for a feature that never appeared in the magazine — by long-time LIFE photographer Ralph Crane. Captured at the very height of her fame as one of the first-ever supermodels, and during her first visit to the U.S. when she was all of 18 years old, the Twiggy in most of these pictures seems remarkably cool and sophisticated for one so young. (Perhaps not surprising, considering that she’d been one of the most famous figures — and had one of the most famous figures — in the world for the previous whirlwind year.)

See the photos here on



Man Bahadur Tamang, 51, who sold his kidney for 64,000 Nepalese rupees ($727) due to poverty, sits outside his home in Kavre September 4, 2012. According to the Kavre District Health Officer Dr Arjun Prasad Sapkota, about 150 villagers from two to three villages in Kavre district have gone to neighbouring India to sell their kidney due to poverty and a lack of awareness in health education. 

[Credit : Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters]

This was included in the Guardian’s 24 hours in pictures gallery on Wednesday. Here’s another great shot which is part of the gallery:

Athens, Greece: A presidential guard marches past the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier as the sun sets. Photograph: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Photo by Lambis Stratoudakis


July 26, 1968: Aboard the First Flights

In 1968, LIFE magazine celebrated the first flights allowed into Russia, a negotiation 10 years in the making, as Aeroflot and Pan Am did reciprocal flights between New York and Moscow. The Russian flight attendant, left, looks more fashionable than what was generally being worn by crew in other communist countries. China’s crew wore grey baggy trousers and shirts, and carried a book of Mao’s sayings in hand, and the requirement to recite them to all the passengers mid-flight.

For many flight attendants it was the golden age: United put its stewardesses up in New York’s ritzy St. Moritz; one TWA stewardess recalls that founder Howard Hughes would board his airline, ask all the passengers to leave, then fill the seats with movie stars and head off for a party.

Read more about the history of flight fashions here.