14. Celebrity Surprises

Sometimes it’s just fun to see people you’ve heard of in places where you weren’t expecting them such as Brian Jones with the Rolling Stones in Oslo, Norway in 1965. Here’s the rest of that photoset from the National Archives of Norway.

The Rolling Stones

Recent Golden Globe winner Cillian Murphy was once just a student attending a career workshop at the University of Limerick in 1992. This photo got added to his Wikipedia page and was viewed over two million times in August 2023.

Introduction to University Programme (IUP) career workshop c.1992

The university also hosted Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at the University Concert Hall, Limerick 1993

Jackie Chan on an aircraft carrier, courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives. Why? We don’t know!

McDonnell Douglas : F/A-18 : Hornet

Similarly, a photo of Amelia Earhart from the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands lacks context which may one day be added.

Pilote Amelia Earhart / Pilot Amelia Earhart

Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh visited Queensland in 1948 and their visit is brought into a LOT more context by the State Library of Queensland in 2017 “Starstruck Queenslanders harass the Oliviers

Sir Laurence and Lady Olivier disembarking from the plane at Archerfield aerodrome June 1948

Muhammad Ali had an exhibition bout at the Sporting Club of Washington, UK in 1977 and brought his family with him, documented by the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

Muhammad Ali visits Washington
Muhammad Ali visits Washington

Rosa Parks was famous throughout her lifetime. This photograph is part of the Schlesinger Library’s Black Women Oral History Project in 1978 which interviewed 72 older Black women from all over the United States who “had made substantial contributions to improving the lives of African-Americans and all people, through professional and voluntary activities, in their communities and nationally.”

Many of their photos were shared in this photoset and have been able to be used on the Wikipedia pages of these notable women.


The Florida Folklife Collection at the State Library of Florida has documentation of many famous people who have passed through the state, or who live there. Alice Walker signed autographs during the Zora Neale Hurston festival of the Arts and Humanities.

Alice Walker signing autographs at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities: Eatonville, Florida

Local Seminole patriarch and legend Billy Bowlegs III was also photographed at the Florida Folk Festival in 1960.

Seminole Indian Billy Bowlegs III at the Florida Folk Festival: White Springs, Florida