19 Historical Photos That Sparked Public Outcry 

The world we live in today is vastly different from how it was several decades ago. While we now have the freedom to make our own decisions and express ourselves freely, this wasn’t always the case. In the past, things that we take for granted now, such as wearing a mini skirt or swimsuit in public, were considered criminal acts.

This collection of 19 historical photos showcases some of the public outrages that occurred in the past. From women being arrested for wearing pants to protests against racial discrimination, these images highlight how much society has evolved over the years.

As you scroll through these photos, take a moment to reflect on how much has changed since these events took place. Share your thoughts with us and join the conversation on the progress we have made as a society.

# Kathrine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon for the first time in 1967. Before the ladies were permitted to participate, it took place five years earlier. In this image, an organizer is attempting to eject her.


# During the races in Melbourne, English supermodel Jean Shrimpton is sporting a minidress. In 1965, the visitors had a tremendous uproar over her dress.

Darlys Michaelis

# These two young women wore miniskirts in 1965 in Cape Town.


# The first known female tattoo artist, Maud Wagner, inked her own body as well. (1907).

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# These schoolgirls are cycling home to change because their school has forbidden shorts, plaid pushers, and tight-fitting trousers. 1953; West Berlin.


# Members of the British women’s suffrage movement fought for women’s right to vote. (London) in 1906


# The most masculine attire that Yves Saint Laurent “gave” to women in 1966 was a tuxedo. Restaurants forbade his well-known models from wearing pantsuits. Such attire was viewed as blatantly provocative.


# An image of professional swimmer, actress, and writer Annette Kellermann in a bathing suit. In 1907, she was detained and accused of having lewd behavior.


# There was a particular league in the USA made up of fervent morality crusaders who opposed indecent swimwear. Actress Lila Lee can be seen in this image sporting a standard bathing costume from the 1920s.

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# This woman is being detained for showing her legs while donning a swimsuit. (1922, Chicago).

# Elizabeth Eckford was among a handful of African-American students who attended lessons for the first time. This picture was taken in 1957, just after the US Supreme Court ruled that segregating kids in schools was against the law.


# Billie Jean King founded an organization for equal rights for men and women in tennis in addition to being a professional tennis player who holds the record for most Wimbledon victories.


# Racing driver Maria Teresa de Filippis was from Italy. She was the first female Formula One driver.


# Women’s basketball was created by American athlete Senda Berenson, who also changed the 1891-invented men’s basketball regulations.


# Hedy Lamarr, an American actress and inventor, disproved the notion that science and attractive women go hand in hand. We have cellular connectivity now because to her ingenuity.


# In opposition to longer skirts and padded hips, members of the “Women’s organization to the war on styles” picketed a dress store. (1947, California).


# When Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to board a bus designated “for white people,” police took her fingerprints (Alabama, 1956).

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# Designer Mary Quant started a revolution when she introduced the miniskirt to ladies.


# French fashion designer Paul Poiret freed ladies from corsets.


Written by Chanuka

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