AP Photo/Jeff Widener
Jeff Widener's iconic photo of Tiananmen Square from June 5, 1989
This is the photo many of us saw on the front page in June of 1989. It put a human face on an otherwise distant foreign story. USA Today this morning ran a brief piece by Jeff Widener, the AP photographer who captured that shot. It was a photo that almost never happened, and owes its existence to two men who have never been identified:
So I hid my camera inside my Levi's jacket, and stuffed my film in my underwear. Then I walked through the hotel's front door, and the guards approached me. I saw this long-haired college kid who was registered at the hotel, and I exclaimed, "Hi, Joe! I've been looking for you!" Then I whispered, "I'm from the AP. Can you show me up to your room?"
The kid picked it up immediately. We went up to his room, and then to the roof.
It's a fascinating history of an iconic image. He explains how he nearly blew the shot, and why it's the only image he hangs on his wall. The whole story is here.