2015: A year of anniversaries to commemorate

 Prepare for the year ahead with our archival calendar

 

The Bridgeman archive holds a wealth of images and clips of, and relating to, many of 2015's major anniversaries. See highlights of the biggest commemorative dates below and visit our archival calendar of anniversaries for many more.

 

First World War (100 years) 1915
 
Following the optimism of the early days of war in 1914, when many expected to be home by Christmas, 1915 saw troops settling in for a long slog of trench warfare and new horrors.
 
Key events taking place 100 hundred years ago this year include Germany's first large-scale use of poison gas as a weapon,  the failed Gallipoli invasion, the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the start of Zeppelin attacks on England.
 
Represented collections include the National Army Museum and Imperial War Museum in London.
 
Photographs, paintings, maps, portraits, drawings and archive footage can all be sourced.
 

 

German soldiers with gas masks in a trench on the Western Front during WWI, 1915 (b/w photo),  © SZ Photo
German soldiers with gas masks in a trench on the Western Front during WWI, 1915 (b/w photo), © SZ Photo

 

 

Selma Montgomery Marches / Bridgeman Footage
Selma Montgomery Marches / Bridgeman Footage

 


Black History: Civil Rights
 
Selma Montgomery Marches - 50 years 
Even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, most African Americans in the southern United States were still unable to vote because of registration requirements such as literacy tests. In March 1965 the Selma to Montgomery protest marches led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
 
Nelson Mandela freed - 25 years
February 11, 1990. Leading anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in South Africa after 27 years.
 
Rosa Parks arrested - 60 years
December 1, 1955. Rosa Parks, was arrested by police in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white person. For her quiet act of defiance, she is known as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." 

 

US Civil War Ends (150 years) April 9, 1865

This April will mark 150 years since the bloodiest battle in US history came to an end, the American Civil War.

Lead by President Abraham Lincoln, the four year battle was fought to secure the survival of the United States from the Confederate States of America in the South who had seceded over mounting tensions about slavery.

In the spring of 1865, the Confederate armies surrendered to the Union in the North. The Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, was captured, slavery was abolished, and the resistance collapsed.

 

 

The Battle of Spotsylvania / Henry Alexander / The Stapleton Collection / Bridgeman Images
The Battle of Spotsylvania / Henry Alexander / The Stapleton Collection / Bridgeman Images

 

 

Mussolini and Hitler meet in Munich, 16th June 1940 (b/w photo) © Galerie Bilderwelt / Bridgeman Images
Mussolini and Hitler meet in Munich, 16th June 1940 (b/w photo) © Galerie Bilderwelt / Bridgeman Images

 

Death of the Dictator

Death of Benito Mussolini - 70 years
On April 28, 1945,  Mussolini was captured and summarily executed near Lake Como by Italian partisans.
 
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide - 70 years
On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler shot himself in the head in his bunker beneath Berlin, moments after his wife of just one day, killed herself by ingesting cyanide. Eva Braun's home movies can be found in our archive.
 
General Franco, Spanish dictator, died -  40 years
Francisco Franco rose to power during the bloody Spanish Civil War and exerted absolute control over the country. Some of these restrictions gradually eased as Franco got older, and upon his death on November 20 1975 the country transitioned to democracy.

 

 

Vietnam War Ends (40 years) April 30, 1975

April 30, 1975, the long and bloody war in Vietnam ends as the government in Saigon announces its unconditional surrender to the Vietcong.

The United Sates military involvement in the war (1961-1973) was a way to prevent the Communist takeover of South Vietnam. The guerrilla warfare fought in this time resulted in over 50,000 American casualties which added to an almost 3.1 million death toll from the war.

See footage clips of the Vietnam War

 

 

Four-man American patrol armed with machine guns / Peter Newark Military Pictures / Bridgeman Images
Four-man American patrol armed with machine guns / Peter Newark Military Pictures / Bridgeman Images

 

 

Uniformed women celebrate the end of World War II, 1945 (b/w photo) / HistoryMiami, Florida, USA
Uniformed women celebrate the end of World War II, 1945 (b/w photo) / HistoryMiami, Florida, USA

 

 
 
VE Day (70 years) May 8 1945
 
This year will be 70 years since Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day, marking Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.
 
The conclusion of the Second World War was an occasion marked with both relief and celebrations, resulting in street parties across Britain.   
 
Casualties of the war rose to an estimate of 70 million people, with approximately 6 million perishing in Adolf Hitler’s holocaust.
 
 
 
Magna Carta (800 years) June 15 1215
 
June will mark 800 years since King John put his seal to the Magna Carta, or ‘great charter,’ seen today as one of the cornerstones of British democracy and law. The core principles are also echoed in the United States Bill of Rights (1791) and in many other constitutional documents around the world.
 
First signed at Runnymede in Surrey, copies of Magna Carta are today held at the British Library, Salisbury Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral.  
 
Images in the archive include copies of the Magna Carta,  the Magna Carta Memorial and the seal of King John.
 
For information of commemorative events happening in 2015 visit the British Library Magna Carta website

 

King John signs the Great Charter by James William Edmund Doyle (1822-92) © Look and Learn / Bridgeman Images
King John signs the Great Charter by James William Edmund Doyle (1822-92) © Look and Learn / Bridgeman Images

 

 

The Shower of Cards, illustration from 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll (1832-98) and John Tenniel (1820-1914)
The Shower of Cards, illustration from 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll (1832-98) and John Tenniel (1820-1914)

 

 

Alice in Wonderland (150 years) July 4 1865

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), the pen name of Oxford mathematician, photographer and author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, is famous the world over for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," first published by Macmillan on July 4, 1865. 

Alice Liddell inspired the children's classic when she asked him to tell her a story on a boating trip in Oxford. 

"...what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"

John Tenniel (1820-1914) was chosen to illustrate Alice for publication, later coloured by Harry G. Theaker, and it is these illustrations that established the iconic image of Alice with blue dress and blonde hair that we recognise today. 

Alice has also been illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1907), Dali (1969) and Francis Broomfield and Jonathan Barry

Search all Alice in Wonderland images

 

Atomic Bomb (70 years) August 1945

August 06 1945, in the final stages of the Second World War, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Just three days later, the second blast was hit to neighboring Nagasaki.

To this day, this attack remains the only use of nuclear weapons in history. At least 120,000 people were estimated to have been killed by the blasts.

See footage of atomic bombs in the archive

 

 

150-megaton thermonuclear explosion, Bikini Atoll, March 1954 / UNO photograph / Universal History Archive / Bridgeman Images
150-megaton thermonuclear explosion, Bikini Atoll, March 1954 / UNO photograph / Universal History Archive / Bridgeman Images

 

 

Nixon-Kennedy Debate On TV / Underwood Archives/ Bridgeman Images
Nixon-Kennedy Debate On TV / Underwood Archives/ Bridgeman Images

 

 

John F Kennedy (55 years) November 9, 1960

November 9, 1960, John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the youngest person ever to be elected as president of the United States.

Running against the standing Vice president and Republican representative Richard Nixon, the two participated in the first televised presidential debate.

Kennedy’s controversial liberal views and support for the Civil Rights movement won him the election, but he was tragically assassinated only a couple of years later on November 22, 1963. 

Find out More

View our archival calendar of historical anniversaries linking through to images and clips up to 2016. 

Bridgeman Footage: 2015 Anniversaries

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