On Feb. 23, 1945, a 33-year-old Associated Press photographer who had been rejected from the Army because of poor eyesight took a photograph that would ultimately become one of the most recognizable and reproduced images in history. The photographer was Joe Rosenthal; his image depicted five Marines and a Navy corpsman hoisting an American flag atop Mt. Suribachi on the fifth day of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
U.S. flag raised atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)
On Sunday, Feb. 25, two days after Rosenthal had pressed the shutter on his 4 x 5 Speed Graphic camera, the photograph made the front page of several major newspapers. Its impact was immediate. Three of the surviving men in the photo were summoned home and hailed as heroes. The image was made into a postage stamp and was chosen as the symbol of a war bond drive. After the war, it was turned into a bronze…
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