Use this tag for questions that pertain to historical events, or claim whose evidence is historical in nature.

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-3
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0answers
83 views

Did Soviet dissidents support democratic ideals? [closed]

According to The Net Delusion many Soviet dissidents were wary of western democracy and favoured communism: Despite the widespread myth that Soviet dissidents were all believers in US style ...
3
votes
2answers
424 views

Were staff at Bletchley Park predominantly male?

In "The Imitation Game", most of the staff portrayed on-screen were male, and Joan Clarke faced sexist assumptions that because she's a woman, she was in the wrong room when she tried to go into the ...
49
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1answer
8k views

Did Alan Turing publish a paper called The Imitation Game (as claimed in the movie)?

I have seen a couple of Turing's papers, but never have found one called "The Imitation Game". The Imitation Game seems to be a name used by Turing to refer to his test to decide whether an ...
-1
votes
1answer
135 views

Is/was there an illuminati founded in 1776?

I am pretty sure wikipedia is right about it being founded on May 1st 1776, but they don't reference this. Can someone provide a reliable website, preferably by authored by a historian, that can ...
6
votes
1answer
406 views

Did Mozart improvise?

After I had discussed the lack of improvisation in classical music with a friend, he showed me this article from WQXR.org (the website of a classical music radio station), which claimed that Mozart ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Did Thales conduct experiments in electricity?

Many school texts and other popular sources claim Thales of Miletus conducted experiments in electricity, showing amber to attract feathers, for example, supposedly. However, I can find no verifiable ...
1
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0answers
106 views

Was the hand of a princess ever given to the winner of a competition? [closed]

A staple plot device in folk and fairy tales is a king determining a suitable groom for his daughter by holding a competition of some sort (often with a rather strange task such as navigating a maze). ...
14
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0answers
503 views

Did the Hebrew exodus from Egypt ever happen?

The Book of Exodus describes a movement of the Hebrews from Egypt, through the desert, and into the Palestine/Israel region. It also describes a number miracles, such as the ten plagues and the ...
3
votes
1answer
457 views

Was Isaac Newton responsible for the loss of Robert Hooke's work?

This Yahoo answer citing this dead source (mirror) claims: It may be a coincidence but the only known portrait of Hooke which had been housed in the President's office, was mysteriously lost as ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Was Licio Gelli nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature?

In Wikipedia it's stated that Licio Gelli In 1996, Gelli was nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, supported by Mother Teresa and Naguib Mahfouz. The references give some ...
5
votes
1answer
369 views

Did James Buchanan say there were “too many educated people in the world”?

I was recently reading through a rather popular elementary/junior high school textbook A History of Us: The New Nation. On page 167, the author, Joy Hakim, says of James Buchanan (the 15th president ...
13
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1answer
687 views

Did Muslims discover the Americas in the 12th century A.D.?

Turkish president Erdogan recently claimed Muslims discovered the Americas in 1178 A.D. Muslims discovered the Americas more than three centuries before Christopher Columbus, Turkish President ...
-2
votes
1answer
191 views

Was swastika a popular symbol among Slavs and/or Proto-Indo-Europeans?

It seems to me that many Russian nationalists and neo-paganists currently believe that swastika was a Solar symbol or a symbol of fortune in ancient Slavic folklore. There are multiple paintings by ...
4
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0answers
193 views

Did priests use maces because they did not spill blood? [closed]

Many games and stories that draw upon medieval history tend to claim that priests use maces because they do not spill blood. Wikipedia provides a citation for this on the Mace page, as does the page ...
4
votes
1answer
573 views

Did stone age people have an income of slightly below $2 a day? [closed]

In his 2014 book "War! What Is It Good For?", historian Ian Morris writes: Ten thousand years ago, there were only about six million people on earth. On average they lived about thirty years and ...
10
votes
0answers
867 views

Is Obama the First President to Write a Computer Program?

According to a recent Wired article, US President Barack Obama was the first president to write code: President Barack Obama told the world that everyone should learn how to code. And now he’s ...
8
votes
1answer
896 views

Did 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 die in WWII?

I found this fact on OMG Facts: 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 died in WWII. Not surprisingly, Russia was the country with the highest WW2 causalities, with over 21 million. I can't find ...
8
votes
1answer
413 views

Did men sell their wives on Wednesbury market?

To my knowledge wife sales on Wednesbury market were a bit of a family legend my great-grandfather used to tell. However, it seems to be more widely spread than that. I have found an article which ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Was the Emancipation Proclamation an Executive Order that bypassed Congress and freed 3 million slaves?

This should be an easy one, but I wanted to ask so we have confirmation or refutation. This image is making the rounds on facebook: So, how factual is this statement?
5
votes
2answers
381 views

When is the origin of Datura in India?

The abstract for this paper on PubMed, Historical evidence for a pre-Columbian presence of Datura in the Old World and implications for a first millennium transfer from the New World says, Datura ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Adolf Hitler's family make a pact to ensure the line died out?

Today on facebook I saw a claim under the heading of "11 mind blowing facts from history". The very first one states: Adolf Hitler's remaining relatives made a pact to never have children, ...
9
votes
1answer
529 views

Did Malian sailors reach the Americas in 1311 CE?

Some sources claim that Malian soldiers arrived in the Americas in 1311 CE. For example, in Silicon Africa: 100 African Cities destroyed by Europeans: Malian sailors got to America in 1311 AD, ...
1
vote
0answers
179 views

Was SS Californian intended to be a rescue vehicle for the passengers of a deliberately-sunk Titanic?

I keep running into a (quite frankly daft) conspiracy theory regarding the sinking of the Titanic. It posits that the RMS Olympic was secretly swapped in to replace the RMS Titanic and was ...
30
votes
2answers
4k views

Did humans almost become extinct about 70,000 years ago?

I received this screenshot which is actually a post on Facebook by 8facts. It claims that humans nearly became extinct 70,000 years ago when the population sunk to 2,000. Is there any evidence ...
5
votes
0answers
377 views

Was the North Korean leader, Kim Il-Sung, an imposter?

Some claim the founder of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung, was an imposter who adopted the name of another leader. Article from globalsecurity South Korea claims that the present-day ruler of North ...
9
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1answer
517 views

Did some Romans clean their teeth with urine?

buzzfeed The Romans used to clean and whiten their teeth with urine. Apparently it works. Is this true?
4
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0answers
381 views

Was Johnny Cash the first American to learn of Stalin's death?

I just came across this claim in a letter to The Economist: He worked the line SIR – Charlemagne considers it “safe to assume that Johnny Cash… gave little thought to European foreign ...
10
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0answers
198 views

Was there inscribed over the gate of Agra this story about divorce?

An 1825 piece claims: The following inscription is written, in large characters, over the principal gate of the city of Agra, in Hindostan: "In the first year of the reign of king Julief, two ...
3
votes
0answers
218 views

How accurate are estimates of death tolls attributed to Hitler, Stalin and Mao Zedong? [closed]

When one searches the Internet for the biggest killers in world history, the general consensus seems to be: Mao (~60m fatalities) Stalin (~30m fatalities) Hitler (~10m fatalities) However most ...
7
votes
1answer
418 views

Did Martin Luther refer to physicians who assume diseases come from natural causes as “ignorant blockheads” (or the German equivalent)?

I found this quote, attributed to Martin Luther: Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, ...
3
votes
0answers
291 views

Did Napoleon write an elegy to Imam Hussain(a.s)?

In this YouTube video, noted Pakistani scholar, Allama Zamir Akhtar Naqvi claims (in Urdu) that Napoleon wrote a letter or poem in honour of the historical figure [Imam Hussain] ...
4
votes
2answers
451 views

Did the Lydians invent games?

On this TED talk, Jane McGonical states that Lydians invented games a few centuries ago, as dice games they would play to forget about famine. 12:14 So, I take my inspiration from something that ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Did Niccolo Machiavelli advocate to fake your own death?

Well it is getting September the 13th pretty soon and it will then be 18 years ago that 2Pac (Tupac Amaru Shakur), the famous American gangster rapper, was murdered in Las Vegas. There are a lot of ...
10
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0answers
323 views

Was St Peter a bishop of Rome?

The Roman Catholic Church claims that St Peter was the first pope, which would imply that he was also one of the first bishops of Rome. Some statements from the New Testament make this seem unlikely: ...
2
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0answers
156 views

Did the pitchforks ever come for the plutocrats? [closed]

Nick Hanauer recently wrote an article where he claims that income inequality is rising to extreme levels, and soon the lower classes will rise up and overthrow the financial elite in bloody ...
2
votes
0answers
161 views

Was Elizabeth Báthory a serial killer? [closed]

I've read in countless magazines that Countess Elizabeth Báthory (1560-1640) was the most prolific serial killer and it is taken as accepted. But it might also be possible that Bathory was framed! ...
2
votes
1answer
683 views

Was Hermann Göring a transvestite/cross-dresser?

Although I have been unable to come up with the proper quote, Eddie Izzard - himself a transvestite - has allegedly remarked that he's not a [...] drag queen or weirdo like J. Edgar Hoover and ...
2
votes
1answer
404 views

Did Nintendo own Love Hotels?

Is this claim accurate? Before developing video games, Nintendo owned 'Love Hotels.' Private short-stay rooms that were used for sexual encounters.
3
votes
1answer
486 views

Did Julius Caesar tell his captors to double their ransom demands?

According to a Time.com article, Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates when he was 25. He charmed them, telling his captors to double their ransom demand and joking about how he would punish ...
1
vote
0answers
227 views

Why aren't the Jewish settlements legal under International Law, Canon Law, US domestic law, and historic rules for obtaining sovereignty? [closed]

The Supreme Council of the Allied Principal War Powers recognized the Jewish People as the owners of the political rights to Palestine, but put them in trust for World Jewry until they attained a ...
14
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3answers
739 views

Did the ballet/orchestral work 'The Rite of Spring' provoke a riot?

I took this from a newspaper article in the telegraph. It is often said that The Rite of Spring are what caused the outrage, but pulsating rhythms at least have an appeal at a visceral level (an ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

How did people sleep in the past? [duplicate]

Recently I was told by a friend: People used to sleep in two shifts, one from 8pm to midnight, then wake up for an hour or two, before taking a second sleep shift from 2am to 6am. He claims that ...
6
votes
1answer
631 views

Did a Soviet nail factory produce useless nails to improve metrics?

We've all heard the story, which sounds for all the world like a typical urban legend. It goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a factory in the Soviet Union that made nails. ...
4
votes
1answer
522 views

Does the Piri Reis map demonstrate the Antarctic coast was ice-free?

The Piri Reis map is supposed to be a 300 year old map compiled from much older sources (possibly thousands of years old) that shows an accurate antarctic coastline. This site claims that it is ...
11
votes
2answers
618 views

Did life expectancy increase by 6 years during Great Depression?

According to Michael Mosley, life expectancy rose through the Great Depression. In his Horizon programme Eat, Fast and Live Longer he claims: From 1929 to 1933, in the darkest years of the great ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

Was the Jenkins Continuous Build Integration server named after Tom Jenkins, Thomas Jefferson's slave master?

I heard this rumor today and I was wondering if there is any truth to it. I guess there are two parts to it: Did Thomas Jefferson have a slave master named Tom/Thom/Thomas Jenkins? Was the Jenkins ...
5
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0answers
189 views

Were there Hungarian speaking Indians in South America?

The following story is a translation from Hungarian, with a lot of discussion in the blog's comments: http://www.cakravartin.com/archives/south-american-natives-speak-ancient-european-language The ...
15
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1answer
537 views

Were firearms prohibited in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1870s?

This image has made the rounds in various discussions of gun control in the USA. The picture was purportedly taken in Dodge City, Kansas (Popular culture's quintessential Wild West town, populated ...
8
votes
2answers
358 views

Were Alpine glaciers much smaller in Roman times?

In a critique (or possibly a rant) against modern climate science, Swiss geologist Christian Schlüchter makes a very specific claim that Alpine glaciers were essentially non-existent (or very much ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the head of the Joint National Committee on language claim Jesus spoke English?

In Bill Bryson's book The Mother Tongue, it is claimed, that Dr. David Edwards, head of the Joint National Committee on Languages once said: "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for ...