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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352 views

Did Newton “invent” Physics to perform better spells? [closed]

I know Atomic Robo is not exactly an authority on real history, but there's also some truth and interesting details intermingled. How true is the statement "Newton invented Physics so he could ...
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646 views

Was it ever common in the USA for women to use their husbands' Social Security Numbers as their own?

The December 2015 Uniform Assessment Instrument of Virginia's Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (an instruction manual for administration of certain public social services) contains the ...
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Is this “ancient Hebrew leather manuscript” seized by police in Turkey authentic?

Some time ago there was news of a manuscript stolen from a Syrian museum, seized from smugglers in Turkey. There are many other articles about this as well. Turkish police seize ancient manuscript ...
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Is there a bill in Iowa that bans the teaching of sexism, slavery, and racial segregation?

Is there a critical race theory bill in Iowa that bans the teaching of the following topics: sexism, slavery, racial segregation, racial discrimination, including topics related to the enactment and ...
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1answer
283 views

Did Heimlich maneuvre posters become mandatory in New York shortly after that technique was performed on mayor Ed Koch in 1981?

The New York Times reports in its obituary on former New York mayor Ed Koch, that posters on the Heimlich maneuvre became mandatory in New York restaurants when the mayor got rescued by it: If you ...
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1answer
565 views

Was a 37,000-year-old elephant-skin drum found in the Antarctic?

I was searching information about drums skins made of animal hide and I thought, "has there ever been a drum made with elephant skin?". When I googled this I keep finding multiple links that ...
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1answer
309 views

Is COVID the biggest/worst pandemic in Global History? [closed]

The novel coronavirus pandemic, known as Covid-19, could not have been more predictable. Beginning in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human ...
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259 views

Did the Indus Valley Civilization use cotton as a writing material?

In his book, Science and Secrets of Early Medicine, Jürgen Thorwald writes about the script of the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa civilizations: (in rough translation) Seals, bronze plaques and clay shells ...
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715 views

Did the CIA have a plan to airdrop condoms over Russian soil as a way of psychological warfare?

In various place on the internet, a story circulate about a scrapped CIA plan in which they would airdrop very large condoms labelled "Small" or "Medium" as a way to imply american ...
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Is Spartacus based on true story?

Spartacus (TV Series 2010–2013) The inspiration behind this series is the Thracian Gladiator Spartacus, who led a slave uprising against the Roman Republic Spartacus, 19th-century illustration. ...
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Were senior officals who outran their executioners pardoned in the Ottoman Empire?

According to various sources, in the Ottoman Empire, when a senior official was given a death sentence, he'd race with his executioner. If he were to win the race, the death sentence would be commuted,...
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300 views

Did farmers adopt cars faster than inhabitants of cities?

I learned from this post: Start with a niche that: Cars are almost among the lucky exception to the niche rule. However, there was still one group of people in the USA that moved from horses to cars ...
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Were 80 million black slaves killed in the USA by the end of the civil war?

I was listening to a speech by Malcolm X, where he said (at 1:57) that over 80 million black people were killed in America (100 million brought over as slaves, but less than 20 million remained at the ...
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1answer
448 views

Did British journalists keep silent about Russian defections to Germany in WW2?

In George Orwell's essay, The Prevention of Literature, he claims this: When Germany collapsed, it was found that very large numbers of Soviet Russians — mostly, no doubt, from non-political motives —...
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1answer
223 views

Did Emma Willard send a letter to the French government appealing for women’s suffrage in 1848?

In T.M. Roberts' Distant Revolutions: 1848 and the challenge to American Exceptionalism it's said briefly (on p. 92 and without a citation/reference) that: In 1848 Emma Willard, the director of the ...
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Does archaeological evidence show that Nazareth wasn't inhabited during Jesus's lifetime?

The gospels say that Jesus's home village was Nazareth. A book by Rene Salm claims that according to archaeological evidence, the village of Nazareth didn't become inhabited until after the time when ...
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Does “the captain's daughter” refer to a whip/cat o' nine tails?

Many versions of the popular sea shanty "Drunken Sailor" includes the following verse: What shall we do with a drunken sailor, Put him in bed with the captain's daughter. Sources including ...
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334 views

Were most active policemen in the Weimer Republic not Nazis?

From the Holocaust Encylopedia: The police in the Weimar Republic In the years of the Weimar Republic, most active policemen were not Nazis, meaning they were not members of the Nazi Party or of Nazi ...
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356 views

How did the myth that student loans are non-dischargeable originate?

A fairly common myth is that student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy (USA). For example, this NPR article discusses the myth and its falsity. While I have been able to find plenty of ...
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1answer
157 views

Did Argentine President Juan Peron grant free access to the radio, the press and two soccer stadiums to a preacher called Tommy Hicks in 1954?

The title is a summary of claims I've read from several informal sources. For example, this site claims: It was in this environment that Tommy Hicks was welcomed into the presidential office. After ...
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1answer
1k views

Was the safety of a WW1 helmet called into question because survivorship bias was neglected?

A common story about the British "Brodie helmet", issued first in World War I, is the following: After introduction of the helmet, the number of reported head injuries increased. This called ...
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178 views

Did Emperor Nero burn Frankincense equal to Oman's annual production at his wife's funeral?

In a documentary about Oman -The Paradoxical Life In Muscat - Magnificent Megacities it is narrated that - According to the legend, Emperor Nero burned the whole of Oman's annual production ...
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543 views

Were owners of slaves in 1860, largely Democrats?

According to Dinesh D'Souza "claim that no Republicans owned slaves in 1860 is incorrect. A handful did. " "Here’s the big picture: Out of the 4 million slaves in the US in 1860, more ...
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Did Isidore of Seville ever claim Roman god of wine, Bacchus, got his name from “baculus” (walking stick)?

On multiple places on-line, including Wikipedia, there is information that Saint Isidore of Seville claimed that the name of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus, got his name from "baculus" ...
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Did Burmese typewriters contain an upside-down character, which subsequently became proper typewriter style?

I was reading about the Internet Archive's work to archive the materials of a famous New York City typewriter family: http://blog.archive.org/2020/08/26/an-archive-of-a-different-type/ I was ...
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767 views

Did the cat-o'-nine-tails' bag ever exist?

There are numerous instances on the Internet and in Google books, which claim the cat-o'-nine-tails, a late 17th century instrument of punishment used by the Royal Navy, was kept in a bag. It is said ...
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491 views

Did Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni hand the national flag to intercessors in 1997 in the midst of a Christian revival?

World Trumpet Mission, an international revivalist ministry founded in 1988 in the Republic of Uganda by John Mulinde, presents the following historical timeline on their website (emphasis mine): In ...
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Did the CIA feed false information to McCarthy to discredit his true claims that they were infiltrated by Soviet agents?

In Legacy of Ashes (which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction), Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Tim Weiner, claims that: McCarthy's file grew thick with allegations that "the CIA had ...
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622 views

Did German troops ignite pools of kerosene on a ship in March 1943?

A recent video on the YouTube Lindybeige channel relates the story of Operation Creek in WWII in which irregular British forces invaded a German ship off Goa (now in India), March 1943. He cites James ...
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459 views

Are farm bankruptcies in the US “at highs not seen since the Great Depression”?

A June 29 Vox article quoted a Democratic party notable saying: “Trump’s failed trade war wreaked havoc on industries across the country. Farm bankruptcies are at highs not seen since the Great ...
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518 views

Are the following Twitter quotes from Vox leader true?

Recently Vox leader, Santiago Abascal, tweeted that the Spanish government was the worst government in the last 80 years, stating the following facts: Translation: 🚩 Never in 80 years has a ...
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Was it ever cheaper to starve slaves and replace them than to provide them with food?

In a recent opinion piece in the Guardian, historian David Olusoga makes this shocking claim about slavery in the 17th Century British Empire: The system [Hans Sloane] witnessed and wrote about was ...
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1answer
6k views

Did besieged Russians eat 'library candy' made from boiled down book binding glue?

David Benioff's 2008 historical fiction novel City of Thieves follows two youths during the siege of Leningrad in 1942. In one scene, the narrator explains how the starving inhabitants of the city ...
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Did more more Pilgrims die from drowning after getting drunk than were killed by Native Americans?

Joy Browne's 2011 book Dating For Dummies says: Alcohol has been, is now, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future the major drug of abuse in this country. (More Pilgrims drowned in the ...
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1answer
321 views

Was Alberto Rivera formerly a Jesuit priest?

"Chick tracts" are a series of comic books by cartoonist Jack Chick. The publisher estimates that is has printed over 800 million tracts since its founding. An issue in this series from 1981,...
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Did the “slipping on a banana peel” gag plausibly originate as a reference to horse manure?

Although many people today might not have ever experienced slipping on a banana peel in real life, the peels are actually slippery enough to have caused more than a few accidents in total (see DavePhD'...
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1answer
814 views

Were slaves involved in the building of the Pyramids of Giza?

The claim: Paid, skilled workers built the pyramids without the use of slave labor. Relevant links: Hawass: ‘The Great Pyramids were not built by slaves’ “Linking building the Great Pyramids to ...
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1answer
9k views

Is this colour footage of Breslau in 1939 authentic?

This 7 minutes footage on youtube purports to be from 1939 in Breslau, Germany (today Wrocław, Poland). In it we can see The banks of the Oder/Odra A random boy cycling in the streets Some military ...
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1answer
715 views

Did some people claim in the 1970s that metric road signs would facilitate a ‘Russian invasion’?

According to Why Hasn't the U.S. Gone Metric?: In the 1970s, some opponents suggested that metric road signs would facilitate a Russian invasion. This ("... some opponents suggested...") ...
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1answer
530 views

Was there a group of 'wealthy anti-Christian abolitionists', who funded John Brown?

Thomas DiLorenzo is a American economics professor who writes about Abraham Lincoln and the US Civil War. In a recent opinion piece for LewRockwell.com, A Disease in the Public Mind, Part II?, ...
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2answers
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Was the Roman knowledge of how to build aqueducts lost?

In a TED interview, Elon Musk stated: People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very ...
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1answer
746 views

Did Mao Zedong have a person executed for saying his mangoes looked like a sweet potato?

This video entitled Mao's Miraculous Mangoes! is a bit satirical, but the one claim that somebody got executed during the cultural revolution for saying a mango looked like a sweet potato, is just ...
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1answer
417 views

Did David Ricardo make £1M from the Battle of Waterloo?

Mark Skousen (2008): He was a speculator par excellence, allegedly making a million pounds sterling in 1 day following the Battle of Waterloo. Madsen Pirie: He went into a banking house and made a ...
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3answers
9k views

Did Neil Armstrong write such a letter to a skeptic?

Today, I saw a tweet with an image that claims to contain the answer of Neil Armstrong to a teacher that was skeptical of the moon landing (see below). Of course it's not the image of a real letter, ...
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Did Euler make the elementary mistake √-2 √-3 = √6?

The following extract is from Tristan Needham's Visual Complex Analysis, Even in 1770 the situation was still sufficiently confused that it was possible for so great a mathematician as Euler to ...
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1answer
499 views

Were Boundary Streets in Queensland named as boundaries that Indigenous Australians were not allowed to cross?

This Facebook post has been shared over 7000 times: Do you know the history of the many Boundary Streets around Qld? It was the boundary of where Indigenous Australians were not allowed to cross ...
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1answer
10k views

Were more whites slaves brought to North Africa than black slaves were brought to the United States?

This quotation is attributed to Thomas Sowell "More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or to the 13 colonies from which it was formed. ...
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1answer
547 views

Could 10-15 million Congolese people have died during the reign of Leopold II?

I was listening to No Agenda today and they were talking about the toppling of the Leopold II statue in Belgium, ascribing it to his genocide waged against the Congolese people. John Dvorak stated he ...
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816 views

Did the Catholic church prosecute Galileo because he was teaching unproven ideas?

There is a popular Youtube video, *Priest Debunks Common Catholic Myths, in which Casey Cole, a Catholic and Franciscan, "debunks" the idea that the church wrongly tried Galileo. The Church ...
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1answer
422 views

Was Thales the first to show that the year contained 365 days?

The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, in his 2004 book A New History of Western Philosophy v. 1, Ancient Philosophy claims that Thales of Miletus, an ancient Greek astronomer, was the first to show ...

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