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

3
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1answer
266 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
votes
1answer
4k 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? ...
1
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2answers
489 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 ...
1
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0answers
148 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
419 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 ...
9
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1answer
510 views

Are there studies supporting the claim that the net 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 ...
67
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
70
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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
342 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
516 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 ...
1
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0answers
206 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
805 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, ...
26
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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 ...
97
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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”...
15
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0answers
528 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
275 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
votes
2answers
17k 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
385 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 ...
63
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2answers
12k 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
248 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 ...
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0answers
380 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
174 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
9k 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-...
0
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1answer
476 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
109 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
487 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
1k 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
628 views

Did Thomas Jefferson predict that slavery would split the US?

I was reading about the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens. I got more interested when I found that he believed that the new constitution of the South corrected the false ...
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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....
9
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1answer
1k views

Did Churchill come up with the idea of using civilian vessels to evacuate those trapped at Dunkirk, as portrayed in Darkest Hour?

I just watched the movie, "Darkest Hour", about the first few weeks of Churchill's leadership during WWII. In it, Churchill is studying the map of Calais and Dunkirk when he seems to come up with the ...
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0answers
713 views

What is the origin of this quote: “Humans live on one-quarter of what they eat; on the other three-quarters lives their doctor.”

There is a website about fasting that claims that this quote has been found on an "Egyptian pyramid inscription" in "3800 BC". This makes it extremely dubious: at that time the Egyptians have not yet ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Is there any evidence of individual Jews participating in the Holocaust?

Poland recently passed new legislation which was followed by controversial comments by Prime Minister Morwiecki of Poland and resulted in a dispute with Israel: What did Mr Morawiecki say in ...
9
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2answers
707 views

Did thirteenth century scholars attempt to determine the congealing of oil by reading Aristotle?

In "The Production of Knowledge" William Starbuck presents the following anecdote (without providing its source). Is this anecdote based on a real historically traceable incidence? During the ...
6
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1answer
866 views

Did Polish government institutions collaborate with Nazis?

Referring to an answer to Why is Poland's proposed Holocaust speech law so controversial? While "Poland as a nation" is not to blame for the Holocaust, and while there was no official cooperation ...
3
votes
1answer
568 views

Did archeologists find radioactive skeletons in Mohanjo-daro?

There is a viral claim, copied across many web-sites that ancient people in India had nuclear weapons. Part of the evidence is another claim - that radioactive bodies were found in Mohanjo-daro. ...
3
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0answers
323 views

Did OJ Simpson murder his ex wife and Ron Goldman? [closed]

Many people believe that OJ murdered his wife and Ron Goldman. He was found not guilty in criminal court but later found liable for their deaths in civil court, based on newer evidence that wasn't ...
7
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1answer
763 views

Were modern wheat varieties specifically selected because it was less nutritious?

I don't know if posting Twitter threads counts as a source, but this morning I saw this one on modern agriculture: https://twitter.com/wrathofgnon/status/955647499120726016 During the thread, it ...
8
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1answer
544 views

Did the CIA hire mobsters to stage riots in Iran during 1953 coup d'etat?

In the Wikipedia article 1953 Iranian coup d'état it claims: According to the CIA's declassified documents and records, some of the most feared mobsters in Tehran were hired by the CIA to stage pro-...
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1answer
1k views

Did Britain borrow $120 billion in 1945?

This copy-paste has being doing the rounds of local newspaper letters pages and dodgy hard-core pro-Brexit Facebook pages, etc: JEAN Claude Juncker should be forced to walk past every white ...
4
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2answers
575 views

Were nearly all founders of large companies existing in mid 20th century uneducated “rude mechanicals”?

Y-Combinator cofounder and famous hacker Paul Graham publishes essays, and one of his recent ones was 2016 "The Refragmentation". One of the ancillary claims he made was that for the known founders ...
8
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1answer
299 views

Did tax revenue improve after tax rates were cut after Kennedy's death?

This CNN op-ed about Trump's recent attempts to cut taxes makes some historical claims: President Kennedy declared at the New York Economic Club that "it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are ...
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1answer
858 views

Are there more trees in America today than there were during colonial times?

Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends posted an article defending trophy hunting of elephants in Africa. This led to a discussion about hunting reservations in the US, and ultimately to my friend ...
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1answer
5k views

Did Walt Disney accidentally kill someone during a game of polo?

In a recent episode of the somewhat popular series "James & Mike Mondays", Mike Matei makes the claim that he once read on a card of the game Trivial Pursuit that Walt Disney once kill somebody by ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Did René Descartes develop the Cartesian coordinate system by watching a fly on the ceiling?

René Descartes was a French man who lived in the 1600s. When he was a child, he was often sick, so the teachers at his boarding school let him stay in bed until noon. He went on staying in bed until ...
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0answers
652 views

Did Confucius punish a correct student for arguing with an incorrect one?

In Indonesia there are various variants of a popular story where two students are arguing over a simple mathematics - like whether 1+1 = 2. The incorrect student says he will kill himself if he's ...
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1answer
714 views

Was there a “samurai duel” between a Montenegrin and a Japanese warrior?

A hero whose name shall always be remembered. Montenegrin Aleksandar Lekso Saicic defeated a samurai in the duel during the war between Russia and Japan. (source) A few other websites mention the ...
8
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1answer
643 views

Was slipping on a banana peel an actual danger in the early 20th century?

A common slapstick trope is slipping on a banana peel, however the Mythbusters and others have shown that banana peels aren't as slippery as comedy would have you believe. On the other hand, there ...
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1answer
1k views

Did secret police in the Eastern Bloc use X-ray machines to give people cancer?

This Reddit thread claims that the Soviet secret police used hidden x-ray machines to give people cancer in order to remove them quitely from power. I've heard that claim colloquially before but have ...