History by Carl Mydans
  A Korean mother carrying her baby
and her worldly goods flees the
fighting around Seoul in the winter
attack on the Korean capital in 1951.
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"Sometimes people have asked me why I devoted so much of my life to to covering these terrible scenes, these disasters, these wars. And there is an important reason. When I began as a photojournalist I was interested in the history that was developing around me, whether it was the hundreds and hundreds of people I photographed who were the homeless wandering along the roads during the days of the Farm Security Administration, or other pretty heart-rending scenes that I saw in those days. 

Why did I pursue those scenes ? Because they were evidence of one of the most important developments of my time, and I have been attracted all my life to important historical developments Some were good, lots of them were not. And I had and still have a compulsion to record history. Remember, after LIFE was born, we went through years of war. Now it is true that I could have done what some photojournalists did and in some way avoided war. But I have never avoided covering a development of our time because it threatened me. I do not think of myself as being tough. Determined is a much better description. It has never been too hot or too cold or too hard or too tiring for me to keep on going on a story worth telling. And war is one of those stories. 

I want to make it clear it is not because I liked war. They were awful periods. I have often been in places where it was so terrible, where I was so frightened, where I could criticize myself for being there by saying what are you doing, why are you here? The answer always has been that what I am doing is important, and that's why I am here. I am making a record of historic times." 

(Carl Mydans) 

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