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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1answer
359 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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1answer
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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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Did the cat-o'-nine-tails' bag ever exist?

There are numerous instances on the Internet, and in Google books, that 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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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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1answer
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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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2answers
604 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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1answer
446 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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1answer
494 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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3answers
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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
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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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272 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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941 views

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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758 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
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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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687 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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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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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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636 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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329 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
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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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2answers
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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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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
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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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484 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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736 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
367 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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Was the crew dropping the “Tsar Bomba” nuclear bomb given only a 50% chance to survive?

Background The Tsar Bomba was the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created. On 30 October 1961 the Soviet Union experimentally detonated the bomb after dropping it from a plane above Nova Zembla. A ...
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Was the Nazi Hakenkreuz logo based on the Indic swastika?

"Swastika" is sanskrit word for an ancient geometrical symbol, broadly used in Indic cultures. Amongst countries that were involved with World War II, it is associated with the Nazi flag, designed by ...
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1answer
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Could the Ark of the Covenant have killed by acting as a capacitor?

In the biblical account of Uzzah, he touches the Ark of the Covenant on the road from Gibeah to Jerusalem; this irks the god of Israel, who knocks him out on the spot. A 2014 Gizmodo article quotes ...
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Did the Soviet Union murder over 20M people under its control after the war?

Richard Rumelt (business professor at UCLA, 2011): During the whole post-WWII period, the Soviet Union murdered upward of 20 million people, its own citizens and others under its control True?
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2answers
249 views

Was the yellow fever virus a past standardized biological weapon in the US Army?

Dany Shoham writes in a 2012 paper [full text, paywalled]: The yellow fever virus – a past standardized BW in the US Army, then carried by infected Aedes mosquitoes as vectors – was thus genetically ...
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3answers
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Is this letter from Madame de Sévigné authentic?

According to this webpage, Madame de Sévigné wrote the following letter to her daughter (Madame de Grignan). Surtout, ma chère enfant, ne venez point à Paris ! Plus personne ne sort de peur de ...
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Did de Gaulle Machiavellianly “cultivate” the Algerian junta but condemned it after taking power in 1958?

The New Yorker writes about the 1958 events in France: Then, in June of 1958, a group of right-wing French military men, alarmed by the Fourth Republic’s failure to defeat the ongoing rebellion in ...
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3answers
12k views

Has a virus ever escaped a high-level virus lab?

As somewhat unclearly related in the Daily Mail: Dr Keusch, Professor of Medicine and International Health at Boston University's Schools of Medicine and Public Health, stressed that no release of ...
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1answer
506 views

Were flight reservations centrally managed on wall boards in huge halls in the pre-computer era?

For the first fifty years of scheudled air travel, agents' bookings were done over the telephone. At first, charts recording space on particular flights were sheets of paper. Eventually, for large ...
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283 views

Did a ruler/army accept baptism with one hand unbaptized

There are a number of variations of a story on the internet mentioning how a ruler/an army accepted Christian baptism except they held their sword arm and sword out of the water, rejecting any ...
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1answer
453 views

Did William Pitt the Younger say, “We must yoke up the children to work in the factories”?

Purdy (2016): skilled adult labour was in such short supply that when his Chancellor of the Exchequer warned Prime Minister William Pitt that businesses were becoming unable to pay their taxes to ...
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3answers
632 views

In the 1910s and 1920s in the US, did some people face death by government officials for challenging “industrial capitalism in American society”?

The Wikipedia article for criminal syndicalism (during World War I; see also the Sedition Act of 1918) writes: Government officials on the state and federal level ordered arrests, imprisonments and ...
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Was the 1952 Washington DC UFO wave caused by temperature inversions? [duplicate]

The 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident, a.k.a. the "Invasion of Washington", was a series of UFO reports from the 12th to the 29th July 1952 over Washington DC. At 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, ...
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1answer
9k views

Did Roman jurists rule that “to learn the art of geometry and to take part in public exercises, an art as damnable as mathematics, are forbidden”?

According to Morris Kline (Mathematics for the Nonmathematician, 1967): Roman jurists ruled, under the Code of Mathematicians and Evil-Doers, that "to learn the art of geometry and to take part in ...
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2answers
7k views

Have Jews been kicked out of countries 109 times?

Several years ago in Australia, anti-Jewish fliers were distributed. One of the claims that appears on the fliers is: Jews have been kicked out of countries 109 times in history. I've seen this ...
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1answer
18k views

Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle prank 12 men into fleeing their countries?

Purportedly, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — creator and author of Sherlock Holmes series — sent a telegram to 12 men “…of great virtue and respected in society.” The telegram read “Flee! All has been ...
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1answer
663 views

Was the 1971 Pakistani surrender in Bangladesh the first public surrender in history?

In 1971 India invaded east Pakistan, which ended in the "public surrender" of the Pakistani military on the 16th of December, and modern day Bangladesh is the result. Many of the articles and videos ...
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314 views

Did Lyndon Johnson spy on Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign using CIA and FBI assets?

An article by Lee Edwards on the Heritage Foundation website claims so with quite some level of detail, e.g. In the fall of 1964, the White House turned to the CIA to get advance inside information ...
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1answer
393 views

Do the U.S. interstate numbers correspond to land area?

This question is about the numbering scheme of U.S. interstate highways. Wikipedia says: In the numbering scheme for the primary routes, east–west highways are assigned even numbers and north–south ...
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1answer
5k views

Did (former) German Minister Manfred Lahnstein admit that Germany wanted the EMS in order to get a competitive edge over other European countries?

A 2017 article about the European Monetary System (EMS) in Foreign Policy relates this story: But there was always a suspicion that Germany was trying to get long-term trade advantages from linking ...
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1answer
1k views

Did silver mostly not tarnish before the Industrial Revolution?

Theodore Gray wrote an article about silver bullets in Popular Science and mentions in it that silver mostly did not tarnish before the Industrial Revolution. But today silver is far more common, ...
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1answer
885 views

Was the EU created or supported by Nazis? [closed]

My dad has started preaching from this self published book (Indisputable Evidence Proving the EU Was Created by Nazis, by Jack King) which claims the European Union was both wanted and created by ...

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