Enjoy this tour of 150 years of Brazilian history through photography and other iconography.
Marta Rocha is not elected Miss Universe in 1954 because she has 2 inches two many in her hips . She becomes the most famous beauty pageant contestant of all times in the country.
Getúlio Vargas suicides
President Getúlio Vargas’ suicide reported by daily Última Hora, in 1954.
Amigo da Onça
Amigo da Onça, a famed cartoon by Péricles in the very popular magazine O Cruzeiro during the 50s. The character is invariably betraying somebody. Even today, we call treacherous people “amigos da onça” (friends of the jaguar)
Considered by most the greatest Brazilian writer of the 20th century, João Guimarães Rosa published in 1956 his almost untranslatable “Grande Sertão: Veredas” (The Devil to Pay in the Backlands).
Oscarito and Grande Otelo, the duo of comic artists that marked the golden days of Atlântida, the main Brazilian film producer in the 50s. Here they perform in “De Pernas pro ar”, 1957.
1958 – Brazil wins its first World Cup. In this photo, standing up, Feola, Djalma Santos, Zito, Bellini, Nilton Santos, Orlando and Gilmar. Crunching: Garrincha, Didi, (a very young) Pelé, Vavá, Zagalo and trainer Paulo Amaral.
Singer Angela Maria in the cover of mega-popular magazine O Cruzeiro in 1959
School in the rural area of Verê, state of Paraná, circa 1959. Check the very typical wooden construction, a structure highly influenced by Italian immigrants
João Gilberto releases the first Bossa Nova record in 1959.
1960. Pelé scores 2 goals in the victory of Brazil over Swedish Malmö (1X7)
Construction of Brasília, the country’s planned capital that was inaugurated in 1960.
Glória Menezes and Tarcísio Meira, the most famous couple of actors of Brazilian television, starred the first daily soap opera in 1963: “2-5499 Ocupado”. Gloria’s character is in jail, where she works as a phone operator. Tarcísio falls in love when he hears her voice, not knowing that she is a prisoner.
Roberto Carlos, the Brazilian king of ie-ie-ie, releases one of his early successes, “O Calhambeque”/The Jalopy, in 1965.
Three-time winner at Wimbledon, Maria Esther Bueno was the queen of the world tennis courts between the late fifties and the early sixties
Cacilda Becker, that many consider the best Brazilian actress of all times.
1968. First flight of the Bandeirante, the most successful airplane built by Embraer, the public company that became one of the biggest aircraft builders in the world.
The political prisoners that were exchanged in 1969 for the American embassador, Charles Elbrick, that had been kidnapped by militants of MR-8 and ALN, two groups that were fighting the military dictatorship.
Carlos alberto Torres lifts the 1970 World Cup trophy.
Sticker extremely popular during the iron years of the military dictatorship. It says: “Brazil, Love it or Leave it”
Full-mouthed and irreverent actress Leila Diniz displaying her pregnancy at Ipanema beach in Rio, in 1971, caused a big scandal and still remains the main symbol of the women’s liberation movement in Brazil.
Raul Seixas, beloved rock composer and singer, one of the main Brazilian symbols of counterculture and hippie/junkie way-of-life. He left a legion of followers and impersonators.
“Os Trapalhões” (The Goofies) was the most successful comedy group of Brazilian TV history. From top left, clockwise: Mussum, Zacarias, Didi and Dedé. Led by Renato Aragão (Didi), an anti-hero and a trickster, they also produced 24 movies watched by 120 million people.
Chacrinha, the psychedelic king of Brazilian TV, and his voluptuous chacretes in the seventies.
The first Brazilian car fueled by sugar cane alcohol, in 1975. Pró-álcool, the official program to promote the use of this alternative fuel, was developed after the early seventies oil crisis.
Journalist Vladimir Herzog was killed in 1975 after a torture session promoted in the midst of political repression. According to official sources, he committed suicide in jail.
Serra Pelada gold rush attracted at least 100 thousand men to the state of Pará, in the Amazon, in the early eighties
This is one of the most memorable covers ever published by a Brazilian diary. Brazil lost the 1982 World Cup, in Barcelona. Jornal da Tarde, now extinct, known for its innovative design, chose to publish this image in its cover, without a title or comments. The whole country new what it was all about.
Brazilian-Argentinian Itaipu dam, the biggest in the world in terms of generation capacity – even bigger than the Three Gorges Dam, in China. It began to operate in 1984.
Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Terra (MST), the landless workers movement, was founded in 1984 to promote land reform. Today, it has around 1.6 million members. Photo by Fotos Gov/BA, via Flickr
The million-people-rally in São Paulo, in 1984, here in the cover, once again, of daily Jornal da Tarde. A huge popular movement demanded direct elections to bury the dictatorial years. Nevertheless, direct elections only happened five years later. Unfortunately the image is black-and-white, otherwise you would see most tee shirts were yellow, the convened protest color.
Roque Santeiro, the most successful soap opera of Brazilian TV, was exhibited in 1985, after being banned for 10 years due to military censorship.The over-the-board style of Viúva Porcina, the main female character, interpreted by Regina Duarte, became extremely popular at the time. The story even named a huge shanty town in Angola.
In 1986, president José Sarney asked the population to control the retail’s activities on his behalf, to denounce shops that raised their prices, which was forbidden by the government.
Loved by his readers, hated by literary critics, Paulo Coelho published esoteric best-seller “The Alchemist” in 1988. It sold 65 million copies since, a world record.
Pedro Collor details in an interview to Veja magazine a series of corruption crimes (and even sorcery episodes) involving his estranged brother, president Fernando Collor de Mello. This is the beginning of a political process that leads to Collor’s impeachment.
Just like Americans and President Kennedy, most Brazilians remember where they were when they learned that Ayrton Senna, the three-time Formula 1 champion, died. He crashed against a guard-rail during the San Marino Gran Prix, in 1994.
Photo taken in 1998 by Noel Villas Bôas, from a very famous clan of anthropologists. It depicts the Kuarup, an Indian ceremony frequent in the National Park of Xingu, the main indigenous reservation in the country, conceived by the Villas Bôas.
central do brasil
“Central do Brasil” (Central Station), film directed by Walter Salles in 1998. It is considered one of the first great movies of the Brazilian film renaissance, that began a little over 10 years ago.
President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and vice-president José Alencar during the ceremony marking the beginning of his second presidential mandate, in 2007.