BLOGGING FROM A TO Z
A 1970’s Time Capsule
NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY
Be sure to visit my Pop Culture post today as well.
The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on. Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE
The Napalm Girl
Nick Ut (born Huỳnh Công Út) is an Associated Press (AP) photographer out of Los Angeles. He is best known for his 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for “The Terror of War”, depicting children in flight from a napalm bombing. This photograph is one of the most influential visual stories of the Vietnam War. Featuring a naked 9-year-old girl named Phan Thị Kim Phúc, Nick Ut and his camera captured the children running toward his view after a South Vietnamese napalm attack on North Vietnamese invaders at the Trảng Bàng village during the Vietnam War. After the photograph was taken, Ut took her to the hospital.
Published on June 12, 1972, it almost wasn’t published. The publication of the photo was delayed due to the AP bureau’s debate about transmitting a naked girl’s photo over the wire. Full frontal view nudity of anyone and especially children just wasn’t done. The New York newspaper decided that the news value outweighed the moral dilemma.
Tricky Dick was a doubter. Audiotapes of then-president Richard Nixon show that Nixon doubted the veracity of the photograph, musing whether it may have been “fixed.”
Even though it has become one of the most memorable images of the twentieth century, President Nixon once doubted the authenticity of my photograph when he saw it in the papers on June 12, 1972…. The picture for me and unquestionably for many others could not have been more real. The photo was as authentic as the Vietnam war itself. The horror of the Vietnam war recorded by me did not have to be fixed. That terrified little girl is still alive today and has become an eloquent testimony to the authenticity of that photo. That moment thirty years ago will be one Kim Phuc and I will never forget. It has ultimately changed both our lives.”— Nick Ut