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“We try to come up with funky stuff that is full of surprises,” says illustrations editor Susan Welchman, who picks the images each month for National Geographic’s most popular feature. “They have to be light, related to the stories in the magazine, and, if possible, funny.”




Click a year to display the archive at right.















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Flashback



January
Amelia Earhart receives a medal from the National Geographic Society for her solo transatlantic flight in 1932.
February
A stereograph of the sinking U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor in 1898.
March
Italian spaghetti makers air dry pasta in 1934.
April
A Missourian family outside their cabin in the Ozarks in 1929.
May
A dust storm gains momentum in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl in 1937.
June
Spectators enjoy auto racing at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines in 1938.

July
A thousand garbardine overcoats hang in a men’s clothing store in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1936.
August
A ship grounds on a reef near Alaska’s Sentinel Island in 1910.
September
Artifacts are taken from King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Published in 1923.
October
Dance students from Mississippi State College for Women pose on a theater curtain with flowers. Published in 1937.
November
Surf’s up in Hawaii in 1924 with surfboad pioneer Tom Blake.
December
A Li woman from Hainan Island in the South China Sea dons five-pound brass earrings. Published in 1938.