Questions tagged [history]

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

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47
votes
2answers
9k views

Was the Ford Model T black because of the speed black paint dries?

In this BBC news article labour historian and lecturer Steve Babson says: The reason the Ford Model-T was black, was because it was the only paint that would dry fast enough to keep pace with the ...
55
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2answers
11k views

Was adding milk to tea started to reduce employee tea break time?

I was talking about the all important Tea Making Process to a fellow Brit the other day, and he told me that the real reason we add milk to tea is: “It cools the tea down, so you can drink it faster. ...
67
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1answer
9k views

Was it ever illegal to name a pig “Napoleon” in France?

This is an oft-cited "unusual law", e.g. from The Sun: IN FRANCE it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon, almost 200 years after his death. Experts say the odd law exists because ­calling a pig ...
66
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1answer
13k views

Was the 45.9°C temperature in France in June 2019 the highest ever recorded in France?

It was widely reported that on 28th June, 2019, a record temperature of 45.9°C was recorded in Gallargues-le-Montueux, France, breaking the previous 2003 record of 44.1°C. Sources: Metéo France, BBC, ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Did Winston Churchill praise Rolls-Royce engines?

In 1919, the world's first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight happened, and Rolls-Royce engines provided the power to make it happen. Marking the 100th anniversary of the 20th-century milestone, Rolls-...
29
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1answer
6k views

Did Chinese school textbook maps (c. 1951) “depict China as stretching even into the central Asian republics”?

In Marshall (Prisoners of Geography, 2015) writes: In 1951, China annexed Tibet (another vast non-Han territory) and by then Chinese school textbook maps began to depict China as stretching even ...
3
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0answers
352 views

Is this “the largest single donation to Oxford University since the Renaissance”?

The University of Oxford recently announced a £150 million donation from Stephen Schwartzmann, which their press release (PDF) prominently calls "the largest single donation to Oxford University since ...
18
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1answer
933 views

Do historians agree the motive behind Catholic celibacy was primarily economic?

According to a BBC article: the First and Second Lateran Councils of 1123 and 1139 explicitly forbade priests from marrying - so we are almost past 1,000 years since the Catholic Church has ...
53
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1answer
13k views

Did the CIA blow up a Siberian pipeline in 1982?

The Telegraph claimed in 2004 that the CIA blew up a Russian gas pipeline in Siberia, by tricking the operator into installing booby-trapped software. Thomas Reed, a former US Air Force secretary ...
15
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2answers
2k views

In the USSR's legal system, was everything illegal unless specifically allowed?

Alan Dershowitz was recently interviewed by Michael Tracey on the latter's podcast. At 09:20 into the interview, Dershowitz makes the following claim regarding the USSR legal system: ... unlike in ...
71
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4answers
11k views

Did thousands of women die every year due to illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade?

Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, has repeatedly said that thousands of women died every year as a result of abortions prior to Roe v. Wade: We face a real situation where Roe could ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Did Oliver Kahn deny children's penalty goals and thus, charity money?

There is a claim on Reddit, originally from Twitter, stating that Oliver Kahn denied all penalties from children, even though every goal was worth charity money. Original transcription: Currently ...
14
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1answer
541 views

Did Lenin say he made a mistake, their actions caused oppression and massacres and what Russia needed was ten Francis of Assisi?

I have found claims about Vladimir Lenin saying near end of his life: "I have been mistaken. It was necessary, I suppose, to liberate the multitude of oppressed people, but our method only ...
0
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1answer
203 views

Did the “The Hampshire Advertiser” publish an article about many droughts in Europe on Saturday July 17 1852?

Craig Kelly, an Australian Politician, shared this photo on Facebook in the context of global warming and climate change. The article contains dates of droughts and "excessive heat" during the ...
-3
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1answer
240 views

Is the March of the Immortal Regiment a cult of the German Third Reich?

The March of the Immortal Regiment is a recent tradition which is part of the annual Moscow Victory Day Parade Russian journalist and politician, Alexander Nevzorov has criticised it: (Inaccurate ...
4
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0answers
201 views

Did “ancient people who spoke languages that didn't have words for numbers greater than three” keep track of sheep using stones?

In the TED-Ed video "How big is infinity?" Dennis Wildfogel says (at the 50 second mark) this about "matching being more fundamental than counting": In fact, we think that some ancient people who ...
11
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1answer
945 views

Do European deer still stick to their sides of the Iron Curtain?

I found such a claim in an article here: http://nowiknow.com/the-thin-red-deer-line/ But that was a long time ago, especially if you’re a deer — they only live about ten or so years in the wild. ...
24
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1answer
5k views

Did 3000BC Egyptians use meteoric iron weapons?

Citing Wikipedia's article on Metallurgy Egyptian weapons made from meteoric iron in about 3000 BC were highly prized as "daggers from heaven".[11] The listed source is: 11. W. Keller (1963) The ...
14
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1answer
750 views

Did Archduke Franz Ferdinand mow down animals with a machine gun?

I know Archduke Franz Ferdinand was an inveterate hunter, and this might be an understatement: Franz Ferdinand had a fondness for trophy hunting that was excessive even by the standards of European ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Did the USS Buck (DD-761) send the message “Temper, Temper”?

In a March 26, 2019 Reddit post with 1.0k upvotes, there is a picture with a story as follows (emphasis added). 15 Mar 1952: The Wisconsin receives her first direct hit in her history when one of ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Was breaking apart coins for change ever a common custom?

Discussion at many online sites asserts that it was a common custom (e.g., in medieval or Roman times) to pay for a purchase with a coin and have the coin broken apart, with part of it returned as ...
4
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1answer
727 views

Did Jim Lovell accidentally swear at Mission Control? [closed]

The movie Apollo 13 famously depicts a tense scene from relatively early on in the accident where the astronauts were having diffucilty controlling the space craft due to the centre of gravity being ...
6
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1answer
646 views

Was the death rate in Boer War concentration camps the same as in Glasgow?

In a widely reported debate on BBC's Question Time, Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg was accused of "justifying" the British use of concentration camps during the Boer War at the beginning of ...
49
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2answers
10k views

Was anyone murdered, disappeared, or died suspiciously to cover up the Deepwater Horizon disaster?

This recent Tumblr post claims that multiple activists and scientists were murdered or died under extremely suspicious circumstances, including one person being found dead and mutilated in a dumpster, ...
20
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2answers
9k views

Were there no “white” people in Virginia between 1619 and 1679?

The back cover of historian and scholar Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race, Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control quotes the late Mr. Allen When the first Africans arrived ...
62
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3answers
15k views

Did college students clamor for cyanide pills in student health clinics in the 1980's in America?

According to the article Media Throw Everything at the Wall to See What Sticks: Witless college students demanded cyanide pills be stocked in campus health care clinics, on the grounds that Reagan ...
82
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1answer
13k views

Was the wheel invented before the wall?

So, this extraordinary claim has been getting a lot of publicity lately: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQKrfGCd7I8 They say a wall is medieval, well so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall. ...
-1
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1answer
680 views

Did a prisoner die of needlestick injury when he was told that it was snake bite?

I read somewhere that there was a prisoner (facing death sentance) before 1950s on whose an mind experiment was conducted. Experiment: He was told that he will be killed by snake bite by a venomous ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Did 120,000 Egyptians die building the Suez Canal?

According to wikipedia > Gamal_Abdel_Nasser#Nationalization_of_the_Suez_Canal (current revision), on 26 July 1956, Nasser gave a speech in which he claimed 120,000 Egyptians died during the ...
0
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1answer
317 views

Did Gustave Whitehead achieve powered flight before the Wright brothers? [duplicate]

Specifically, this question relates to Gustave Whitehead's achievement, credited with first flight by one state and evaluated by a growing number of historians. This question is specific to Gustave ...
0
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0answers
250 views

Did A. I. Root witness a Wright machine flying on September 20, 1904, as he claimed?

Amos Root wrote about being a witness to some of the early flights of the Wright Brothers - not their most famous initial flight (December 17, 1903), but later flights. An online book called A. I. ...
2
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1answer
557 views

Was the Polish army the fifth largest in 1939?

In an Italian mini-series, Campi di Battaglia, in an episode about tanks, they claim that the Polish army ranked fifth worldwide just before the German invasion in 1939. I think the claim refers to ...
9
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0answers
518 views

Was cannibalism acceptable amongst the Aztecs?

In 1979, William Arens published The Man-Eating Myth, in which he presented his finding that there is no good evidence that cannibalism was socially accepted by anybody, ever, and an hypothesis that ...
11
votes
1answer
712 views

Did the Neolithic Revolution increase infant mortality rates?

I was reading this article, and it's honestly better cited than a lot of things I read, but one of the claims it includes contradicts my expectations. Specifically, this claim: In the best-selling ...
6
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2answers
628 views

Did a NY Supreme Court judge give positive reviews about USSR prisons?

After writing (or perhaps, "collecting" or "curating") his work, "The Gulag Archipelago", Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn received a Nobel Prize: the book revealed a 20th century horror that claimed many ...
64
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8answers
21k views

Was the German V2 rocket the only weapon whose production killed more than its use?

Early in David Edgerton's history of technology, The Shock of the Old he discusses cost benefit analysis applied to some military weapons. He argues, for example, that the US would have caused a lot ...
3
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2answers
706 views

Did The US founding fathers consider only property owning males over 21 could vote?

I saw this comment from a video: Just maybe our founding fathers had the right idea when they said only property owing males over 21 could vote. Then I checked the List of amendments to the ...
5
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1answer
399 views

Are the various claims regarding Ancient Indian Science made in the AICTE/MHRD new book “Bharatiya Vidya Sar” for a Indian Elective Course true?

This question is based on the following petition and this and this news article. Background The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has proposed a new textbook that will discuss the ‘...
7
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2answers
790 views

Was there ever a speech by USSR officials before 1950 where it was asked of Soviet women to uphold traditional female roles?

In 1949 Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir writes: There is no way to directly oblige a woman to give birth: all that can be done is to enclose her in situations where motherhood is her only option:...
8
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2answers
692 views

Did any U.S. president try to set up an interest free monetary system in the past?

On this ultra-fascist page 12 Things You Were Not Told About Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany, it is claimed that: If America nationalized their currency as Hitler did for Germany, they would ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Did the Catholic Church forbid the use of forks in Medieval times?

A very popular "demotivational" website in Poland has an image that claim that in Medieval times, the Roman Church forbade the use of forks, calling then "tools of the Devil" and threatening to ...
5
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1answer
721 views

In ritualistic use, did “virgin blood” originally mean “unused blood”?

I recently saw the following tumblr meme on Facebook: This strikes me more as a fanciful reinterpretation than an actual etymology (a la the more recent interpretation of "blood is thicker than water"...
40
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3answers
10k views

Was JFK's 1960 election win due to fraud?

I found via politics.SE that MRC-owned site Newsbusters claims that: In a discussion of modern electoral fraud, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday offered a journalistic admission: She conceded that ...
4
votes
1answer
766 views

Is “C'est pour cela que je suis née” a real quote from Joan of Arc?

I have found a very beautiful song, which is part of a soundtrack and numerous people claim that the lyrics consists of several quotes from different people. One part of it is: "C'est pour cela que ...
3
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1answer
372 views

Did Talleyrand say “If we go on explaining we shall cease to understand one another”?

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (a.k.a. Talleyrand) was a French diplomat of the late 18th Century. A number of websites of quotes (for example: [1], [2], [3]) claim that he said: "If we go ...
20
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1answer
6k views

Did Hitler use a verse from the Quran in one of his speeches?

In this book ( سلسلة قادة الحرب - كتاب أدولف هتلر.. الطبعة الاولى - بيروت - صفحة 38 - ترجمة كمال عبدالله. ), the author claims that Hitler quoted a verse from the Quran. Is there any evidence of this? ...
4
votes
1answer
801 views

Did 20th-century Marxists acknowledge that the central social predictions of Marxism were wrong?

In this video, starting at 5:36, Stephen Hicks claims that there are three central "social science" Marxist predictions, which I would sum up as follows: Over time, in any capitalist society, The ...
2
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0answers
182 views

Did Jewish Ethiopians only discover the destruction of the Second Temple when they moved to Israel? [closed]

Here's a supposed first-person account saying that she (an Ethiopian Jew) only found out about the destruction of the Second temple when she moved to Israel. Here's another account. But Ethiopia ...
4
votes
1answer
485 views

Did The Maharal of Prague claim this verse was recursive?

Today I encountered a claim that Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (known as The Maharal of Prague) said that the statement "So God created mankind in his own image" So God created mankind in his own ...
10
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1answer
945 views

Is Noam Chomsky right in saying the economic benefits of British colonialism to Britain were nonexistent?

In an interview about imperialism Chomsky claims there were no overall benefits of colonialism to the British population, and asserts there are studies confirming this. But, going back to the ...