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December 2004

Sign of the Times

"We had just come through the Khyber Pass, where murders and hold-ups are common occurrences," observed globetrotting journalist Lowell Thomas. Traveling to Afghanistan in 1922, he and his team ignored the posted warning and crossed the border anyway.
Mountain driving was difficult even without the threat of bandits. One of Thomas's group "remarked that if the blankety-blank caravan track got any rockier we should have to trade our Buick for a burro. . . ." The team photographer, Harry Chase, "always looking at the sunny side," said at one point, "It must have been about here that one of the last Europeans to enter Afghanistan had been murdered."
Thomas survived the trip. Though his byline—and this photo from our archives—never ran in the Geographic, his book Beyond Khyber Pass was published in 1925. His career in broadcasting had yet to begin.

—Margaret G. Zackowitz
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December Flashback
Send this image as a postcardPhotograph by Harry A. Chase

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