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Historical Stock Footage for January

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Timeless Clips for Your New Stories

Explore historical stock footage for January events as we surface archival gems from our vast editorial library—uncovering top-quality, timely inspiration for your marketing calendars, news, or documentary projects. This January, explore the Golden Gate Bridge, the telegraph, the first U.S. Presidential Election, the Paris Peace Conference, and Christian Dior.

 

Golden Gate Bridge Breaks Ground

January 5, 1933

First proposed in 1869, construction began with excavations some 64 years later. Though slow to start, this icon has endured much since its completion. A 1935 earthquake struck while men worked atop the south tower. One worker recalled the tower swaying 16 feet, first toward the ocean and then back towards the bay. Eleven men fell to their deaths during construction, and nineteen became members of the “Half-Way-to-Hell Club” when caught by an underlying safety net.

Despite these misfortunes, all efforts made for a national treasure. During the 50th-anniversary celebration, immense crowds gathered to walk the bridge—but things took a turn when its arch flattened under the weight of around 300,000 people. Witness this fascinating project with our curated Golden Gate Bridge collection.

The Construction Of The Main Span Of The Golden Gate Bridge… by retrofootage.

 

Samuel Morse Demonstrates the Telegraph

January 6, 1838

His new device used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire. Morse was a Yale graduate and painter who enlisted the help of Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail to develop a prototype utilizing Morse code—a system of dots and dashes representing letters and numbers.

The telegraphic revolution had begun, with companies like Western Union expanding globally by the end of the century. In today’s era of cost-free apps and bundle deals, it’s hard to imagine paying for each written word. However, that certainly was the reality then. Even full stops came at a price, and people used the free word ‘stop’ to replace these punctuation staples. Revisit the telegraph with our curated media collection—stop

A Telegram Is Sent by retrofootage

 

First U.S. Presidential Election

January 7, 1789

In a seminal moment for North American democracy, presidential electors from various states gathered to cast their electoral votes—selecting Vice President John Adams with George Washington as the United States’ first President. Washington was highly respected for his leadership during the American Revolutionary War and his commitment to the principles of the new nation.

At the start of the upcoming election year, it’s important to remember the crucial first step for a new American government under the infant U.S. Constitution. Explore elections and politics through time with our U.S. Presidential Elections media collection.

Joseph Reed And George Washington, 1700S – Reenactment by AE_Networks.

 

Paris Peace Conference Begins

January 18, 1919

Allied powers met to define the post-World War I order and decide how to treat Germany. US President Woodrow Wilson motioned for “peace without victory,” wanting to avoid punitive measures that could breed resentment and kindle future conflict. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George disagreed. They favored a disciplinary strategy, hoping to weaken Germany and ensure Allied security.

A final compromise established the new League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles, which imposed territorial losses, reparations, and punitive measures on ‘The Fatherland.’ Tensions and resentments resulted and would ultimately influence the outbreak of World War II, proving a fine line between war and peace. Discover the events for yourself with our Paris Peace Conference media collection.

France: Arrivals For Paris Allied Peace Conference At Versailles by Reuters

 

Christian Dior is Born

January 21, 1905

Not all dominance requires violent force—creative genius often does the trick. Christian Dior was initially trained for the French foreign service but became a world fashion force after World War II. He turned his hand to fashion illustration during the financial crisis of the 1930s.

In 1947, Dior revolutionized apparel aesthetics with his New Look. This bombshell silhouette highlighted small shoulders, a cinched waist, and a voluminous skirt—all flying in the face of wartime padded shoulders and shorter skirts. The New Look enjoyed a decade of outstanding success, and Dior continued dreaming up new styles that sealed Paris as a global fashion authority. Discover his life and work in our Christian Dior media collection.

Archival Fashion – 1960 Spring Christian Dior Fashion Show by EasyStreet

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