August 27th, 2008 Headsman
On this date in 1979, the only anonymous photograph to win a Pulitzer Prize captured nine Kurdish rebels and two of the Shah’s policemen executed by firing squad in revolutionary Iran.
This shot, one of a series taken of the event with the permission of the judge who condemned the men to immediate death in a half-hour trial at the Sanandaj airfield, ran the next day in the Iranian paper Ettela’at, whose editor prudently kept the photographer’s identity secret. Within two days, the stunning photo had rocketed around the world.
It won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography the following spring, still credited anonymously.
Two years ago, the Wall Street Journal revealed — with the photographer’s permission — the identity of the man who shot this indelible image: Jahangir Razmi, who had gone on to a career as one of Iran’s top photographic journalists. He came to New York to collect the prize 27 years late.
Also on this date
- 1628: Milady de Winter, Three Musketeers villainess
- 1500: 18 thieves in Rome
- 1679: St. David Lewis, the last Welsh martyr
- 30 B.C.E: Caesarion, "Little Caesar"
Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Arts and Literature,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Hanged,History,Iran,Malaysia,Mass Executions,Mature Content,Murder,Popular Culture,Power,Public Executions,Ripped from the Headlines,Shot,Summary Executions,Treason