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Questions tagged [history]

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

62
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3answers
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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 ...
80
votes
1answer
12k 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
514 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
921 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
votes
1answer
280 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
227 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
499 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
471 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
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1answer
515 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
591 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
681 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
377 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
737 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
642 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 ...
11
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2answers
975 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
644 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
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1answer
616 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
votes
1answer
358 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
5k 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? ...
3
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1answer
742 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 ...
3
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0answers
171 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
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1answer
460 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
903 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 ...
69
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2answers
13k views

Were World War II scrap drives in the United States truly necessary for the procurement of raw materials?

I’ve been reading up on World War II scrap drive efforts in the United States, and am wondering if these (mostly) community-based efforts actually contributed enough raw materials to the war effort ...
72
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1answer
11k views

Are the claims made by Indian Ministers / personalities regarding ancient Indian inventions true?

In the past couple of years, several Indian Ministers / personalities have made claims regarding existence of modern inventions in Ancient India. Prime Minister Modi claimed that genetic science ...
5
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0answers
389 views

What was the real reason for India pulling out of the 1950 World Cup? [closed]

There is a common claim that India refused to play with shoes during the 1950 FIFA World Cup. However it does mostly seem to be a myth. This, this and this article clearly seem to debunk this myth. ...
14
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0answers
639 views

Was the Stroop Effect used to catch spies?

In the field of Cognitive Science, when studying about the Stroop effect, the claim is often made that it had been used during the Cold War by the American counter-intelligence units in order to ...
2
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0answers
222 views

Had ENIAC run more calculations than all mankind had done (up to 1955)? [closed]

According to this comment on Quantum Computing StackExchange, For a decade, until a 1955 lightning strike, ENIAC may have run more calculations than all mankind had done up to that point I search ...
7
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1answer
848 views

Did the Roman senate vote to declare Julius Caesar had been born of a virgin?

The narrator of a YouTube video, Jesus Christ Never Existed, makes this claim: Julius Caesar, in the century before Jesus, was declared to have been born of a virgin, by a vote of the Roman senate, ...
27
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1answer
7k views

Is the skeptical movement an offshoot of the Communist Party?

Found on EXTRAORDINARY MEDICINE The truth about homeopathy is the following claim: Media Skeptics: A Popcorn Gallery The skeptical movement is an offshoot of the Communist Party. (Really: see ...
98
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2answers
18k views

In the American west—the world of cowboys and cowhands—was ammunition traded for alcoholic “shots” of a drink?

CLARIFICATION: Just so it’s clear, this question is specifically about the economic claims made by the meme presented below. It is a NOT question concerning the origins and etymology of the word “shot”...
17
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0answers
664 views

Was Robert Capa’s famous 1936 war photo “The Falling Soldier” a faked photo?

The photo in question (Death of a Loyalist Militiaman, Córdoba front, Spain (1936)) can be found here at The International Center of Photography and is also attached below. The question is: The core ...
4
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0answers
288 views

Is Al Qarawiyyin the oldest university in the world?

This Moroccan World News article claims that the Univeristy of Al Qarawiyyin of Fez, Morocco is "the Oldest University in the World". Dating back to 859, the University is no doubt older than Egypt’...
88
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2answers
18k views

Was Morocco the first country to recognize USA?

Here in Morocco, when you talk about relations between Morocco and the USA, Moroccans tell you, proudly, that Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States of America, and that the ...
14
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0answers
405 views

Did Churchill urge the US to ‘wipe out’ Moscow with an A-bomb

I read the following article: https://www.icij.org/blog/2014/10/churchill-urged-us-wipe-out-moscow-bomb/ from a seemingly reputable source (although it is a blog post). The key claim: Privately, ...
33
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1answer
5k views

Did raising a Japanese freighter by means of ping pong balls happen?

According to Tom Waits a Japanese freighter was raised from the seabed by means of ping pong balls, Donald Duck comic style. Here is the quote: A Japanese freighter had been torpedoed during WWII ...
64
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2answers
17k views

Did Susan B. Anthony make these statements regarding suffrage for women and former slaves?

Telesur posted an article on 8 November 2016 which claims Susan B. Anthony made a number of statements under the headline "White Women Pay Tribute to Susan B. Anthony, Notorious Racist": The Bad ...
7
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0answers
257 views

Are records of people's deaths and births from ancient times wildly unreliable? [closed]

In comments below this question: Did people in ancient times, who survived childhood and were not killed in wars, have roughly the same chance to reach old age as contemporary people? an example list ...
2
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0answers
415 views

Is the Mona Lisa in the Louvre the Real one [closed]

Is the Mona Lisa hanging in Paris/Louvre the real one? There are "other versions" and copies that are well known. It was stolen in 1911 after all, as well as vandalized a couple of times. There have ...
28
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2answers
1k views

Did people in ancient times, who survived childhood and were not killed in wars, have roughly the same chance to reach old age as contemporary people?

During an academic course on the history of biology there was a lecture dedicated to ancient Greek philosophers. I noticed that surprisingly many of these philosophers reached age considered advanced ...
7
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0answers
231 views

Were Nezamiyeh (precursors to madrasas) responsible for stifling science [development] in the Islamic world?

An article in The National, while correctly rejecting the Orientalist view that Al-Ghazali was the lynchpin of the Islamic turn from science, nevertheless proposes an alternative that may not be as ...
89
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2answers
10k views

Did al-Ghazali lead to decline of science in Islam as Neil Tyson claims?

The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has said that during the Islamic Golden Age, especially in Baghdad, science and discovery flourished for a few centuries. Then an Islamic scholar named al-...
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1answer
493 views

What evidence would remain of the use of atomic/nuclear weapons 26,000 years ago? [closed]

In his 1998 book, Yellow Sky: an alternative perspective about the human condition and history, Kenneth Lipton argues that high radon levels in southeastern Pennsylvania may provide evidence of prior ...
3
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0answers
169 views

Did Theodor Herzl adhere to Spinozism?

The following are found among a list of Theodor Herzl quotes on the Web site of the World Zionist Organisation: When I say God I do not mean to offend the freethinkers. For my part they can say ...
6
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1answer
663 views

Was Theodor Herzl a self-confessed atheist? [closed]

I'm watching a Youtube video that explains the Israel-Palestine situation, and at this point the journalist/narrator says that Theodor Herzl, known as the father of Zionism or at least a chief ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Did Thomas Edison steal inventions?

This video clip from the Family Guy animated sitcom depicts Thomas Edison stealing the ownership of the inventions of the lightbulb and phonograph. While the Family Guy is a fictional show, an ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Did Thomas Jefferson predict that slavery would split the US?

I was reading about the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens. He made the "Cornerstone Speech" in 1861, about 5 weeks before the Civil War started. He claimed Thomas Jefferson ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Did passengers of the Titanic predict/foreshadow its sinking?

I just watched the episode "Night of April 14th" of the 1950s television show "One Step Beyond." The premise of the series is to present real life stories involving paranormal supernatural occurrences....