30 astonishing pictures from the Nat Geo archives

Check out these vintage photos sourced from our historic collection.

By Breann Birkenbuel
Flight Training

Aspiring astronauts experience 30-second intervals of weightlessness in a NASA training aircraft. To create the effect, the plane flies in parabolas—and thus earns the nickname "The Vomit Comet."

Photograph by James A. Sugar, Nat Geo Image Collection

We’re in the midst of a historic moment that, one way or another, will impact each of us. For this month’s collection of images, I wanted to examine parallels between the past and the present.

An image by Clinedinst Studio shows thousands of women marching in 1913 in Washington, D.C., for the right to vote, shedding light on the fight for women’s equality in a way reminiscent of today’s protest marches.

Today, we continue to push the boundaries of space exploration—reminding me of James A. Sugar’s photo of aspiring astronauts in 1989 practicing weightlessness on a NASA training aircraft.

And just like families in decades past, we’re concerned about what the future holds for our children. An image by Steve Raymer shows an Indigenous boy and a white boy shaking hands at a youth baseball game, capturing the importance of acceptance.

As you look through this collection of vintage images from our archives, I hope it reminds you to consider where we came from—and where we are now.

Breann Birkenbuel is the editor for Photo of the Day. Melody Rowell writes and researches the captions.

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2023 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved