Did you know that Elvis invited himself to the White House while Nixon resided there? Or how about 15 years later, when in the same house, John Travolta would share a dance with Princess Diana? Lots of unexpected moments like these have occurred and history has almost forgotten them, but we’re here to remind you. Take a look at history’s forgotten moments! You’ll never guess how Freddie Mercury returned on stage for encores in 1980.
Albert Einstein Gave A Lecture At An HBCU In The ’40s
In 1946, Albert Einstein visited Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, the first historically black university to grant college degrees. The undisputed genius was ahead of America’s own Civil Rights Movement and deplored racism as a “disease of white people.”
During his visit, Einstein received an honorary degree and treated students to a lecture on relativity. Unfortunately, this historic moment was widely ignored by the mainstream press, who turned a blind eye to the physicist’s fraternizing with people of color.
Freddie Mercury’s Grand Re-entrance Was Enough To Distract From His Mustache
“You may be cool, but you will never be Freddie Mercury riding Darth Vader cool,” said the person who shared this legendary photo on Reddit. A statement that rings true for many.
Freddie Mercury was always known for being over-the-top, so for The Game Tour of 1980, he would come out for the encore on the shoulders of Darth Vader. At the time, Mercury’s newly grown mustache was the ire of many loyal fans, who were so perturbed they threw razors onstage.
Carrie Fisher Related To Princess Leia On A Personal Level
Looks like Carrie Fisher made a splash as Princess Leia for her 1983 Rolling Stone cover shoot. The actress was promoting the recently finished Return of the Jedi, the third Star Wars installment.
In her interview, Fisher made parallels between her real life and the life of her character. Princess Leia’s dad was lured to the Dark Side, so her mother married the rich King Organa. In real life, Eddie Fisher was lured away by Liz Taylor, leaving Debbie Reynolds as a woman scorned.
Tina Louise Has Said That Gilligan’s Island Ruined Her Career
Born in New York City, Tina Louise got her first acting role at just two years old. While she studied acting, dancing, and singing as a teen and appeared in numerous small roles in musicals, she got her big break when she made her film debut in God’s Little Acre.
This was just the beginning for Louise who went on to star in a slew of successful movies as well as the hit television series Gilligan’s Island. Although she maintained a successful career after the show, Louise has said that Gilligan’s Island ruined her career. She’s refused to appear in any of the reunions.
Princess Diana And John Travolta Had Saturday Night Fever
John Travolta had the pleasure of dancing with none other than Princess Diana at the 1985 White House Gala Dinner. Their dance was one of the most memorable moments of the night, as they glided across the Entrance Hall to the music of 1977s Saturday Night Fever, in which Travolta starred.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles stayed at the White House during this visit and Diana wore this dress designed by Victor Edelstein. It thusly became known as the “Travolta Dress.”
Jamie Lee Curtis Starred In Perfect
Most millennials known Jamie Lee Curtis for her role in Freaky Friday and, of course, those Activia commercials. But back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Curtis starred in a slew of roles — both successful and not.
In 1985, she and John Travolta teamed up to lead the film Perfect, which was based on a series of Rolling Stone articles that chronicled the popularity of L.A. fitness clubs amongst singles. Curtis played Jessie Wilson a workout instructor known for dawning era-appropriate leotards like this one. The film was a flop, receiving just a 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and earning itself a handful of Golden Raspberry Awards.
Ready to Fly?
Here’s something you don’t see every day. This photo, snapped in 1959, shows a Swedish stewardess named Birgitta Lindman and a showgirl. Lindman was called to inspect the showgirl costume following the new that the stewardesses would soon be getting shorter uniforms.
Just a year prior, Lindman had shot to fame after appearing on the cover of Life magazine. She had competed to be the covergirl for the issue, beating out 53 others. This gives a whole new meaning to the term in-flight entertainment!
Jungle Pam Was A Fixture On The Drag Racing Scene
This woman is Pam Hardy, also known as Jungle Pam. Jungle Pam arose on the drag racing scene in the ’70s as the bodacious sidekick to drag racing legend, Jim Liberman.
Hardy met Liberman in 1973 when she was still in high school and working at a convenience store in Pennsylvania. Hardy traveled the country with Liberman and helped him back out his cars after he performed burnouts. Hardy left the drag race scene in 1977 after Liberman passed away in a non-racing accident.
Would You Have a Picnic In the Middle of the Freeway?
This image was taken on November 4, 1973 in the Netherlands. The photographer captured a large group of people having a picnic on a deserted highway. The highway was deserted thanks to “car-free Sunday” — a product of the great oil crisis.
During this time, the price of oil had risen from $3 to over $12 in most countries. The embargo caused a crisis, which had numerous short and long-term effect on both the global economy and politics.
Raquel Welch’s Controversial Talk On The Dick Cavett Show
Comedy writer and author Dick Cavett led The Dick Cavett Show from 1968 through 1974. The memorable late-night talk show featured Cavett as he interviewed a laundry list of eclectic guests from Katharine Hepburn and Lucille Ball to David Bowie and Orson Welles.
In the summer of 1970, Cavett had one of the most interesting episodes ever, featuring Raquel Welsh and Janis Joplin. Welsh was talking about a controversial sex-change comedy she worked on when Joplin chimed in that she couldn’t follow the film because it “kept changing.” Welch, remaining cool, responded, “Well the whole movie is about change!” Although these topics were still very much taboo, the audience erupted in laughter.
Johnny Cash Performed A Song Written By An Inmate For At Folsom Prison
Johnny Cash began touring American prisons after inmates wrote to him following the success of his song, “Folsom Prison Blues.” Cash finally visited Folsom State Prison in 1968. His performance was recorded live and released at his 27th album, At Folsom Prison.
Cash performed two sessions that day, planning the second in case the first wasn’t good enough. At the end of each session, he performed “Greystone Chapel,” a song written by Folsom inmate Glen Sherley, whose hand Cash is shaking in this photo.
These Beefy Men Had Beef With Each Other Back Then
At some point in the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone met up for a workout session in Venice Beach. This was odd because you might recall that the two actors appeared to be fierce rivals at the time.
In 1985, Schwarzenegger even said, “I’d be angry at hearing my name mentioned in the same breath as Stallone’s.” But in the present day, they seem to have buried the hatchet. They even co-headline movies together.
Louis Armstrong Fought Communism With The Power Of Jazz
In this photo from 1961, Louis Armstrong performs for his wife in front of the Sphinx. Armstrong and his wife were in Egypt at the time as “jazz ambassadors” in part of what was known as “jazz diplomacy.”
The U.S. believed that jazz could be used as a weapon against the Cold War. They sent popular jazz musicians to tour all over the world with hopes of spreading democracy and freedom to countries threatened by communist dictatorships.
Heather Locklear Stunned In This 1981 Photoshoot
Heather Locklear scored her first major television role in the Dynasty soap opera. With her beauty and talent, Locklear captivated viewers as Sammy Jo Carrington from 1981 to 1989. She went on to star in Melrose Place and earned four consecutive Golden Globe noms for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.
While Locklear was a stunning staple of the ‘80s and ‘90s Hollywood scene, she starred in a series of unsuccessful projects in the early ‘00s and beyond. In 2018, the star was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after threatening suicide.
The Battle of the Network Stars Pinned Celebs Against Each Other
In this photograph, Three’s Company actress Joyce DeWitt smiles alongside two other women who were competing on behalf of ABC in the Battle of the Network Stars in 1978. The series, which aired on ABC, also featured stars from competing networks CBS and NBC.
From bowling and cycling to kayaking and volleyball, viewers got to watch the stars compete against each other in a variety of sports events. Along with DeWitt, other notable faces included Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. The gorgeous Lynda Carter was there too!
Lynda Carter Turned Heads In The Battle of the Network Stars
This photo on the set of The Battle of the Network Stars shows Lynda Carter with her fellow teammates following a swimming event. The show premiered in 1976 and ran through 1988 and was revived by ABC in 2017.
Carter, who is best known for playing Wonder Woman, was on ABC’s team alongside Farrah Fawcett, Hal Linden, Richard Hatch, and more. ABC competed against CBS and NBC in a series of events. After the regular events concluded, the lowest-scoring team was eliminated and the remaining teams battled it out at the Tug-Of-War. ABC was victorious in 1976.
Jungle Pam Was Just as Over-The-Top as Jim
Jungle Pam knew how to have fun on the track, but this didn’t mean she wasn’t an effective assistant to Jungle Jim. When Jim would frequently do over-the-top burnouts and other stunts, she was always there to help prep his car and guide him back to the path.
Old videos of Jungle Pam show her signature audacious moves. When she would guild Jim back onto the track, she would use outrageous contortions and gyrations…all while looking beautiful!
Lynda Carter Made a Special Appearance In Starsky & Hutch
Starsky & Hutch premiered in April 1975 and became an immediate hit. The action television series follows Starsky and Hutch, two Southern California police detectives, as they roam about the streets in Bay City.
Lynda Carter was at the height of her career during this time when she appeared in a two-episode special for the series called “The Las Vegas Strangler.” Carter played a woman named Vicky in the episode who helps the men as they search for a serial killer who has strangled a string of chorus girls.
Linda Ronstadt Became Known As the “Queen of Rock” In the ’80s
With 11 Grammy Awards under her belt, Linda Ronstadt is one of the greatest musicians of the last century. She started her music career in the 1960s but it wasn’t until the next decade that she became known as the “First Lady of Rock.”
Ronstadt has released 30 albums throughout her career, including Hasten Down the Wind, featured above. The album, which was released in 1976, became Ronstadt’s third straight million-selling hit — making her the first female in history to do so.
Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland Starred In 15 Movies Together
This photo of American actor Charles Bronson and his wife, English actress Jill Ireland, was snapped in 1971 as the stylish duo walked the streets of Santa Monica, Calfornia. They say you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, but this famous couple didn’t seem to care. They starred in a whopping 15 films together. Ireland even joked, “I’m in so many Charles Bronson films because no other actress will work with him.”
The pair were married in 1968 and were together until Irland passed away from breast cancer in 1990.
The Hindenburg Disaster
This photo, taken on May 6, 1937, shows one of — if not the most — well-known aerial disasters of the century. Thirty-six passengers and 61 crew members were aboard the LZ 129 Hindenburg when it crashed in Manchester Township, New Jersey, as it was ending a trans-Atlantic trip from Germany. Thirty-five of them perished when the aircraft caught on fire.
The Hindenburg was ultimately destroyed during its attempt to land. The disaster also claimed the life of one crew
Cher Was Ahead Of Her Time In 1974
Cher wore this iconic number at the 1974 Met Gala, where that year’s theme was “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design.” By then, Cher’s solo career was on the rise, while she and first husband Sonny Bono were on the brink of divorce.
Because celebrities today often wear outfits that leave little to the imagination, Cher’s gown in this photo might seem like nothing new. But not for 1974. Back then, Cher’s revolutionary style shocked people to the core, but that only made her the red carpet legend that she is.
Skateboarder Ellen O’Neal Hangs Ten In Style
Ellen O’Neal is known in the skateboarding community as one of the greatest freestylers in the game. She became a World Skateboarding Champion, holding the World Freestyle title as she competed throughout the late ’70s.
O’Neal was born and raised in San Diego, where skateboard culture was at its height during the ’70s, as evidenced by her short shorts. As a teen, she had only been skating for about a year before she started picking up sponsors.
Doves Flew At Led Zeppelin’s 1973 North American Tour
A dove flew into Robert Plant’s hand during a Led Zeppelin concert in 1973. It must have been a magical moment for folks in the audience, but many people on the Internet claim that the moment was staged.
Either way, Led Zeppelin was at one of the high points of their career and their 1973 North American Tour broke attendance records. They played three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and they performed for over 56,000 fans in Tampa, Florida, breaking a record previously set by The Beatles.
Clarice Davis Is Crowned The First African-American Homecoming Queen In 1951
Clarice Davis was a senior at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois when she was elected as Homecoming Queen in 1951. Davis was the first African-American woman to be elected Homecoming Queen at a major university.
This is a photo of her passing by in front of a packed stadium, where the University of Illinois defeated Iowa at their Homecoming game. Ms. Davis graduated the following year in 1952.
Portraying A Sadistic Shapeshifting Clown Can Be Pretty Taxing At Times…
…as evidenced by this photo of Tim Curry taking a smoke break in the cold rain on the set of the 1990 version of It. Though he was playing a character, Curry was so good he would scare the child actors.
“I have a lot of sympathy for child actors,” Curry once said, recalling a moment when he grabs a child’s hand to join him in the gutter. “He stopped and said, ‘Tim, you’re scaring me.’ I said, ‘Gee, I’m so sorry, but that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.'”
The Kennedys Took Mirror Selfies Before Myspace Was Even A Concept
Kids these days always get criticized for taking selfies, but as you can see, history only repeats itself because Jackie Kennedy was taking selfies before it was even a thing! Here she is, posing with a young JFK and her sister-in-law Ethel Kennedy.
Historian Michael Beschloss shared this photo via Twitter in 2014, saying that it was taken 60 years prior. If this is the case, this was taken when JFK was still on the U.S. Senate and nearly ten years before his untimely assassination.
The Last-Known Photo Of James Dean Before His Death
James Dean is pictured here at a gas station north of Los Angeles on September 30, 1955. He was filling up his silver Porsche 550 Spyder named “Little Bastard,” in preparation for a road race he would never make it to.
“Little Bastard” was said to be cursed because shortly after this photo was taken, Dean died in a near head-on collision on his way to the race. The actor was only 24 years old at the time and had just finished filming his last movie, Giant.
These Guitar Heroes Met In 1966 And Their Lives Were Changed Forever
In the ’60s, many people believed that Eric Clapton was the guitar god until they heard Jimi Hendrix play. Even Clapton was impressed by Hendrix, who was brought to London after he failed to gain a following in the U.S.
Of their first meeting in 1966, Clapton recalled, “[Hendrix] played just about every style you could think of, and not in a flashy way. I mean he did a few of his tricks… but it wasn’t in an upstaging sense at all, and that was it … He walked off, and my life was never the same again.”
Gwen Stefani Was Getting Autographs Before Doling Them Out Herself
Back in 2014, Gwen Stefani shared this photo of her younger self getting an autograph from Sting. This photo dates back to 1983 when Gwen was 14 years old and according to her, “chunky.”
At the time, Sting had not yet gone solo and was still the frontman of The Police. By 1983, The Police had won six Grammy Awards and their final album, Synchronicity, was nominated for another five, including Album of the Year.
Natalie Wood Went From Child Star To Leading Lady
Natalie Wood must have spent many days by the pool as she is in this photo circa 1965. Wood successfully made the transition from child star to leading lady after starring alongside James Dean in 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause.
In 1961, she starred as Maria in the film adaptation of West Side Story. By the time this photo was taken, Wood had already earned three Academy Award nominations before the age of 26, which was a record she held for 50 years until Jennifer Lawrence broke it in 2014.
Pubescent Metallica Performed Their First Show In 1982
A teenaged-version of Metallica posed for this group picture back in 1982. That was the same year that the band performed their first show at Radio City in Anaheim, California where they played only two original songs, “Hit the Lights” and “Jump in the Fire.”
In late 1981, Lars Ulrich put an advertisement in his local newspaper, looking for fellow metal musicians he could jam with. James Hetfield was one of the first guitarists to answer the ad.
Brigitte Bardot at 18 Years Old
Does this face look familiar? That’s because this is none other than Brigitte Bardot. This photo was snapped when the stunning French actress was just 18 years old in 1953 at the Cannes Film Festival.
This was the star’s first time at the festival and she hadn’t yet made it big. Missing from this photo are her iconic blonde locks, which she wouldn’t adopt for another year or so taking her from brunette bombshell to blonde bombshell
Her Majesty As You’ve Never Seen Her
Life as a royal means following a strict set of rules and always looking prim and proper. So it’s particularly startling to see Queen Elizabeth wielding a machine gun. This photo, which was taken in 1993, shows her majesty firing anL85, a large machine gun typically used by the British military.
Although she’s known for her ladylike behavior, the Queen is not stranger to the workings of the military. She even served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II!
A British Military Guard Passed Out
We all know that British military protocol is strict, but did you know they even have rules on how not to faint? It’s true. If you’re a member of the British military, you must avoid fainting by keeping your knees just slightly bent. This helps avoid poor blood circulation, which can result in passing out.
Unfortunately, this soldier didn’t follow orders. In this image taken in 1970, the unidentified soldier is passed out, just as Queen Elizabeth was approaching.
A Rare Photo of Adolf Hitler
In this rare photo of Adolf Hitler, the maniacal ruler smiles as he sips tea with Gertrud Deetz. Deetz was the wife of Albert Forester, a Nazi politician.
At the time, Hitler was in a secret relationship with a woman named Eva Braun. The pair’s relationships
The North American XB-70 Valkyrie Prototype
This rare photo shows the North American XB-70 Valkyrie prototype. The aircraft contained six engines and was intended to be used a strategic bomber, equipped with nuclear weapons. Capable of travelling at Mach 3+ speeds for far distance, the aircraft was truly a modern marvel during the ‘50s.
Eventually, the USAF stopped production of the aircraft and the B-70 program was abandoned entirely in 1961. The XB-70A designation was given to two new prototypes, but one crashed after it flew into another aircraft mid-flight. The remaining aircraft is still stationed today at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Does this image make you uneasy? It should! Although the information behind this photo is unknown, it appears to be a moving USS Queenfish Balao-class submarine. This ship was first laid down in Maine on July 27, 1943, and launched in November. Queenfish made her first kill the next year, taking out the 4,700-ton tanker Chiyoda Maru.
The submarine was in commission for nearly two decades, until it was officially decommissioned on March 1, 1963. She was sunk by the nuclear-powered submarine Swordfish.
Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh On Set
Talk about legends! Here, American heartthrob Marlon Brando and British actress Vivien Leigh take a break on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire. The film, which was released in 1951, has become one of the most iconic films of the times and is especially renowned for the “Stella!” scene.
At the time of filming, Brando was relatively new to the scene, while Leigh was an established actress and already had an Academy Award under her belt. Thanks to a standout performance, A Streetcar Named Desire put Brando on the map.