Who doesn’t know the black and white picture with the head of Albert Einstein, on which he sticks out his tongue to the respective observer. The picture which was taken in 1951, is still present on the front pages of magazines, on posters and t-shirts.

When and where

was this picture taken?

It was taken on Einstein’s 72nd birthday in Princeton on March 14, 1951 by a press photographer (Arthur Sasse). The original picture shows Einstein sitting on the backseat of a car between Dr Frank Aydelotte, the former head of the Institute for Advanced Study, and his wife.

Why did Einstein stick out his tongue

to the photographer?

Albert Einstein and the Aydelottes were just returning from an event which had taken place in honour of Einstein. Einstein was, though already sitting in the car, still bullied by reporters and photographers. They didn’t let him be and he is said to have shouted: “That’s enough, that’s enough!” However, these words didn’t hinder the photographers from taking some more pictures of Einstein and his companions. And when he still was asked to pose for a birthday picture he really grew tired of the journalists and the photographers and as encouraging words didn’t help any more, he stuck out his tongue to his “prosecutors”. The photographer Arthur Sasse pressed the button of his camera in just this moment.

Einstein liked the picture very much. He cut it into shape so only he can still be seen. Then he had made several copies of it and sent the thus “manipulated” picture as a greeting card to friends later on.

In this form we know it today and though it isn’t shown here the reader clearly remembers the picture with Einstein’s tongue.