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

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2
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0answers
123 views

Did the Roman army have more servants than soldiers?

In one of his essays Joel Spolsky (co-founder of Stack Exchange) wrote: [...] the Roman army had a ratio of four servants for every soldier. Is this true?
-2
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0answers
87 views

Why use the name “Red Indians”? [on hold]

Based on what I know ,Historically Columbus is said to have been on an voyage to India but ended up accidentally discovering America .He felt that the people he met were Indians.Since they had red ...
7
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2answers
408 views

Did classical Greeks claim that “children were generated solely from the fathers sperm”?

I just read on a site about Greek mythology: It may seem odd for Metis to have been pregnant with Athena but, never mentioned as her mother. This is because the classic Greeks believed that ...
3
votes
0answers
290 views

Did Emil Krebs master 68 languages?

The German polyglot Emil Krebs allegedly mastered 68 languages. Which, frankly, I find unbelievable. Unfortunately, I cannot find any reliable and convincing source. Is there solid evidence that Emil ...
3
votes
0answers
130 views

How many people died at the Tulsa Race Riot? [closed]

There is a video on Facebook by the Young Turks that claims 3000 black people were killed by the KKK, but there is a text "UPDATE" under the video that corrects it to 300. Other sources I saw online ...
9
votes
1answer
352 views

Is the practice of circumcision in the west derived from a puritantical desire to stop masturbation?

This collegehumour video claims that the practice of circumcision in the west (and particularly the US), outside of Jewish and Muslim religions, comes from the puritanical Victorian era, where it was ...
5
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0answers
248 views

Was the Anarchist Cookbook created by the FBI/CIA to sabotage insurgency?

My professor said that the Anarchist Cookbook (a collection of recipes for bombs, etc.) was created by the government, who inserted deliberate errors to make sure that budding insurgents would blow ...
12
votes
1answer
421 views

Is there any archaeological evidence for Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066?

This article by Joshua Berman claims that "The Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain in the 5th century, the Arab conquest of Palestine in the 7th century, even the Norman invasion of England in 1066: all ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Edgar Allan Poe predict a shipwreck?

Edgar Allan Poe predicted the future. His only novel is about 4 shipwrecked men who run out of food and eat the cabin boy, Richard Parker. 46 years after it published, a yacht sank in real life ...
14
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1answer
780 views

Did the Ottoman government kill ~1 million Armenians during and after World War I?

The Armenian Genocide is explained in Wikipedia as the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects inside their historic homeland, which lies within the ...
3
votes
1answer
484 views

Is this photograph of Frank Sinatra as a 10 year old real?

There is an image of Frank Sinatra floating around the internet in its usual unattributed copyright-infringing fashion: No doubt there are pictures out there of Frank Sinatra as a young boy, but my ...
2
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0answers
166 views

Has the documentary hypothesis become invalid? [closed]

The documentary hypothesis is a hypothesis which proposes that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were ...
25
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1answer
3k views

Was this Indian from British India the first to strike Berlin during World War I?

This article came to my eye recently. The article glosses over the exploits of a citizen of British India who, purportedly, rose from utter obscurity to becoming an ace flier. A quote of some of the ...
55
votes
4answers
6k views

Were Mermaid passengers shipwrecked by 5 different vessels before being successfully rescued?

In a post by dotcommerce.ro called You think you had bad luck ? Think again! this story was mentioned: It’s either a case of the worst luck in history or the best: In 1829, a ship called The ...
8
votes
0answers
225 views

Was Germany's reunification an annexation? [closed]

Russian media has reported that members of the Russian legislature have claimed that Germany's reunification was in fact an "annexation" of East Germany by the West and thus they have no right to ...
2
votes
1answer
355 views

Was Mikhail Bakunin a murderer?

I own a copy of the card game Burn In Hell by Steve Jackson Games. There is a card in the game for the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin. He is caricatured with one eye shut, bearing resemblance to ...
16
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2answers
4k views

Did Iraq have the use of electricity 5000 years ago?

Just I came across this tweet of which I'm skeptical of. So, I ask: Had Iraq use of electricity 5000 years ago?
7
votes
1answer
423 views

Is being a professional logician associated with serious mental health issues?

In Indiscrete Thoughts, Gian-Carlo Rota claims that: It cannot be a complete coincidence that several outstanding logicians of the twentieth century found shelter in asylums at some point in ...
6
votes
0answers
636 views

Did the Philadelphia Experiment ever take place?

The Philadelphia Experiment forms the basis for a claim that in 1943 the U.S. Navy attempted to use speculative physics to render a ship, the U.S.S. Eldridge, invisible. Allegedly,they were ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Is this a genuine 1965 literacy test?

According to the Michigan-based Ferris State University's Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, this is an excerpt of the text of the 1965 Alabama Literacy Test: If it were proposed to join ...
2
votes
0answers
298 views

Did women in New York textile factories strike on March 8, 1857?

Some websites claim that Internation Women's Day in on March 8th to celebrate a famous strike by female textile workers in New York. e.g.: Woman Aid: 1857 The first recorded organised action by ...
3
votes
2answers
488 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 ...
50
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
444 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
307 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 ...
23
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3answers
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
471 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
140 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
444 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
votes
1answer
737 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
216 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
257 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
603 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 ...
11
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0answers
991 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
1k 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
433 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
4k 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
402 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
4k 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
680 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, ...
2
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0answers
235 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
5k 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
396 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
551 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?
5
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0answers
468 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
votes
0answers
203 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
254 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
479 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
350 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] ...