It was on June 5th, 1989, that a lone figure stood in front of an advancing column of tanks in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, at the beginning of the Chinese government's crackdown on a pro-Democracy demonstration staged by its own people, mostly students. The lone man's incomprehensibly courageous act earned him oblivion—almost certainly torture and death, or, at the very least, a prolonged imprisonment from which he has not emerged—but he still luminously symbolizes many things to many people. Most indelibly, courage.
The Associated Press recently found, and yesterday released, this previously unknown photograph that includes the unknown man, taken by Terril Jones. The more iconic views were taken by at least four photographers, and most people remember the event from video. The newly discovered picture has historical if not visual importance, although its release yesterday is an appropriate way to mark this anniversary. (Today, in China, police are swarming all over Tiananmen, and, among many other such preparations, the Chinese government disabled Twitter days ago in anticipation of today.)
I wrote about the more famous photographs here.