I also had a great conversation with a very sweet lady who was also appreciating it. I'm still impressed--so much so, that I felt that it deserves its own post!
It's the iconic Depression Era 1936 documentary photograph by Dorothea Lange, entitled Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936 taken as part of the California's Resettlement Administration.
Lange's job as photographer was to tell the stories of migrant workers moving into the state so that officials could figure out how to handle the influx of people.
Ironically, she took several pictures before moving the children around and achieving the final, and sixth, photograph.
I've always loved the picture. I think that the mother could have been my own mom at any time of my childhood. Although we always had a house, my dad worked pipeline when we were very young children, and my mom would follow him from job site to job site.
The mother in the photograph, Florence Owens Thompson, remained unknown until 1978. She knew and understood what she was doing at the time that Lange photographed her. Lange promised not to reveal her identity, which helped her to agree to pose for Lange.
She was concerned that her family would be embarrassed since the photos depict her as poor and show parts of the tent they were living out of.
So, while she became famous for her face, she received no money for her work and lived in poverty for most of her life.
All of the photographs on this post are taken from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. The LOC has more information if you're interested in Dorothea Lange or her work.
Another good source is The History Place, an online resource for teachers and students. It's easy to navigate and has a wealth of easy to understand sources, including photos, speeches, reviews, and histories.