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Amazing Color Photos of France After D-Day

In honor of the anniversary of D-Day, LIFE granted us permission to reprint a few photographs from their World War II archives. In stunning color, here's a look at life in France in the summer of 1944.

Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Original caption: All the civilized world loves France and Paris. Americans share this love with a special intimacy born in the kinship of our revolutions, our ideas and our alliances in two great wars.

Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Original caption: A French couple shares cognac with an American tank crew, northern France, summer 1944.

See Also: Before & After D-Day: Color Photos from England and France

Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Original caption: Jeeps (including a press vehicle) in the town square, Marigny (Manche), Normandy, 1944.

See Also: Color Photos from Normandy, Summer 1944

Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Original caption: American Army trucks (note cyclist hitching a ride) parade down the Champs-Elysées the day after the liberation of Paris by French and Allied troops, August 1944.

Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Original caption: Paris is like a magic sword in a fairy tale — a shining power in those hands to which it rightly belongs, in other hands tinsel and lead. Whenever the City of Light changes hands, Western Civilization shifts its political balance. So it has been for seven centuries; so it was in 1940; so it was last week.

See Also: Rare Photos from the Allied Invasion of Southern France

Bonus: The First Organized Show for American Troops After D-Day

Ralph Morse—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

LIFE also has a separate gallery of post-D-Day images from the first organized show for American troops in Normandy. There are dancers, acrobats, and this terrifying clown.

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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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History
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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