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1964: Alaska's Good Friday Earthquake

On March 27, 1964, a megathrust earthquake struck Alaska, about 15 miles below Prince William Sound, halfway between Anchorage and Valdez. The quake had a moment magnitude of 9.2, making it the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded. The initial quake and subsequent underwater landslides caused numerous tsunamis, which inflicted heavy damage on the coastal towns of Valdez, Whittier, Seward, and Kodiak. Alaska's biggest city, Anchorage, suffered numerous landslides, destroying city blocks and neighborhoods. An estimated 139 people were killed, most by tsunamis - including 16 deaths on Oregon and California shorelines. The old town site of Valdez was abandoned, with reconstruction taking place on stable ground nearby. This is the fourth of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964. [36 photos]


1964: Beatlemania

At the start of 1964, the Beatles were at the top of the charts in the UK, but had just started to attract audiences overseas with songs from their first two albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles. Radio airplay and a broad marketing campaign in the U.S. quickly drove huge record sales and enormous enthusiasm among new fans - the band and their sound were something new and exciting, and they were coming to America. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison set off on a series of tours in 1964, starting in Europe, later visiting the United States, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Beatles fans were so excited and determined to see the band that police sometimes resorted to using fire hoses to hold them back. Their first televised concert in the U.S. was on the Ed Sullivan Show, on February 9, 1964. 73 million viewers watched that performance -- 34 percent of the American population. Below are images of the Beatles' big year, in roughly chronological order, as the world discovered Beatlemania. [42 photos]


1964: Civil Rights Battles

Fifty years ago, the civil rights movement in the United States made huge strides among continued setbacks. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, banning discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin -- but segregation remained the norm in many establishments. Sit-in protests were held in cafes, restaurants and hotels, opposing discriminatory service and hiring practices. Small town all-white schools were required to integrate, and big-city schools began large scale efforts to integrate by bus. Segregationists, angered by the Civil Rights Act, took to the streets as well, often attacking African American demonstrations across the South. Decades of police brutality, capped off by several incidents in the summer of 1964 led to a series of racially-motivated riots in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Jersey City. The year ended hopefully though, as activist Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize for his ongoing efforts to promote peaceful change amid harsh opposition and threats of violence. [42 photos]


1964: The World 50 Years Ago

1964 was an eventful year - a half-century ago, humans were making strides toward space travel beyond the Earth's orbit, and Tokyo hosted the 18th Summer Olympics. The Beatles took America by storm, as Race Riots gripped big cities - and the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Boxer Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and the heavyweight champion of the world. Cyprus devolved into civil war between Turks and Greeks, and President Lyndon Johnson escalated U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. This is the first of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964. [50 photos]


Photos of the Week. May 2014

In this week's edition, we have a look at some of the wildlife of Manaus, Brazil, a fossil from a newly-discovered species of titanosaur, a lightning strike in Port-au-Prince, a village of mushroom-shaped houses in China, and much more. [35 photos]


Viewing the Earth From Space

Despite any political differences between the United States and Russia, the space agencies of the two countries continue their cooperative work in Earth's orbit, aboard the International Space Station. Apart from the research being done in microgravity, ISS crew members continue to send back amazing images of our home world, photographed from low Earth orbit. Gathered here are recent images of Earth from aboard the ISS, and from a handful of other NASA satellites. [28 photos]


Balkans Struck by Worst Flooding in 120 Years

Over the past three days, three months' worth of rain has fallen on the Balkan region, producing the worst floods since rainfall measurements began 120 years ago. The flooding has affected huge parts of Serbia, and more than a quarter of Bosnia's 4 million people: The Bosnian government is warning of "terrifying" destruction comparable to the country's 1992-95 war. At least 40 people have died in the region, and tens of thousands of others have fled their homes, packing into buses, boats, and helicopters - many of them farmers leaving their livestock behind. There's an additional hazard: leftover land mines. Floodwater has disturbed known minefields and damaged some markers that had been placed there to warn people away. [35 photos]


Photos of the Week. May 2014

This week's edition includes images of the wildfires in southern California, a Sphinx in China, India's recent elections, a gold mine in Central African Republic, Brazil's new riot police uniforms, a HALO jump over the Philippines, and more. [35 photos]


Cats and Dogs Dressed as People, 100 Years Ago

Harry Whittier Frees was an American photographer who created novelty postcards and children's books based on his photographs of animals. He dressed the animals and posed them in human situations with props, often with captions; these can be seen as progenitors of modern lolcats. The books and postcards are both highly collectible today. Frees was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1879, after which his family moved to Oaks, Pennsylvania, where he did his famous works. [15 photos]


Syria's City of Homs, Shattered by War

A little more than three years ago, anti-government protests swept Syria, leading to severe crackdowns and then escalating into civil war. Homs, the third largest city in Syria, was one of a number of cities and towns besieged by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Homs became an urban battlefield, and remained so until last week when a complex truce began, allowing rebel forces to peacefully leave and the Assad government to retake full control of the city. Residents who had fled the fighting were allowed to return last week, to see their homes and recover what they can - most of the city is now unfit for habitation, and reconstruction will be necessary on a massive scale if Homs is to become a city once again. Gathered here are many recent images, as well as a few from 2011 paired with 2014 photos taken in the same places to show the difference three years of war can make. [28 photos]


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