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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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the current state of the evidence of the existence of the so-called Nazi UFO's?

As a skeptic, I was present at a meeting during which the presenter stated his belief in Nazi UFOs. Many websites claim that the Nazis had developed flying saucer technology during WWII: In science ...
2 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
533 votes
3 answers
58k views

Does torture work well as an interrogation technique?

Wikipedia's Effectiveness of torture for interrogation says, Torture has been used throughout history for the purpose of obtaining information in interrogation. Some arguments say that it is an ...
74 votes
3 answers
12k views

Has a virus ever escaped a high-level virus lab "such as the one in Wuhan"?

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 ...
14 votes
0 answers
1k views

At Chernobyl, did someone see the fuel channel caps bounce shortly before the explosion?

The well known 2019 show Chernobyl mentions an operator who happened to walk through the reactor hall of Unit 4 seconds before the reactor exploded. He allegedly saw this: If this story seems ...
-4 votes
1 answer
496 views

Do most scholars agree upon four historical facts about Jesus of Nazareth?

In this article, William Lane Craig claims: Fortunately, Christianity, as a religion rooted in history, makes claims that can in important measure be investigated historically. Suppose, then, that we ...
24 votes
1 answer
12k 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. ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k 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,...
19 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
35 votes
1 answer
7k views

Did the percent of humans living on < $2/day drop from 94% to 8.6% since 1820?

In a recent Vox article, the author claims (without citation): In 1820, some 94 percent of humans lived on less than $2 a day. Over the next two centuries, extreme poverty fell dramatically; in 2018, ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
580 views

Did Gustavus Doane participate in and brag about participating in the Marias Massacre?

An NPR article from yesterday claims that Gustavus Doane (the former namesake of Mount Doane, now First People's Mountain) participated in and bragged about participating in the Marias Massacre. There ...
8 votes
2 answers
589 views

Did Peter the Great just "return" lands that "belonged to Russia", in the Great Northern War?

According to the Guardian, in a recent speech/interview Putin said “Peter the Great waged the great northern war for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from ...
23 votes
3 answers
10k views

Has a weapon functionally equivalent to the AR-15 been available for U.S. civilian purchase since 1907?

According to a (since-deleted) widely shared LinkedIn post (emphasis added): A hundred and twelve years ago, in 1907...our great grandparents were first able to buy the rifle pictured. The semi-auto ...
29 votes
2 answers
8k views

In 1936, did brothers Mark and David Ferrow transition?

The story of transgender brothers Mark and David Ferrow has become popular on Tumblr and Twitter in recent weeks. It claims In 1934-1936, trans brothers Mark and David Ferrow of Yarmouth, UK both ...
2 votes
1 answer
847 views

Are dates of historical events systematically inaccurate prior to the 17th Century?

In 2007, Vyacheslav Alekseevich Lopatin wrote The Scaliger Matrix [Russian]. (Full Russian title: Вячеслав Алексеевич Лопатин: Матрица Скалигера. Вся мировая история насквозь фальшивая! [On the book ...
23 votes
1 answer
13k views

Did a magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit Jerusalem in 33AD?

A Telegraph article makes an interesting claim, in a discussion about the Shroud of Turin: However a new study claims than an earthquake in Jerusalem in 33AD may have not only created the image but ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did the ten plagues take place in Ancient Egypt?

Inspired by this question. Is there any extrabiblical evidence that any or all of the ten plagues occurred as outlined in Exodus 7:14-11:10? Particularly, any evidence in Ancient Egyptian records?
33 votes
3 answers
3k views

Did the Hebrew exodus from Egypt ever happen?

The Book of Exodus describes a movement of the Hebrews from Egypt, through the desert, and into the Palestine/Israel region. It also describes a number miracles, such as the ten plagues and the ...
4 votes
2 answers
5k views

Did people use to urinate everywhere at fancy balls?

My history teacher once told us about how several centuries ago people in Europe who were guests at fancy balls and masquerades used to urinate on curtains, under stairs and in dark corners of dimly ...
13 votes
1 answer
514 views

Did vehicle registration occur before automobiles?

I found an article online that makes the claim: "... registration plates having been used on carriages and wagons in the U.S. as far back as the early 1800s." The article can be found here: ...
12 votes
0 answers
710 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 ...
323 votes
7 answers
40k views

Did Jesus live?

Regardless of whether you believe or not... What is the non-Biblical evidence regarding his existence around the time he is commonly thought to have lived? That is, are there other historically ...
26 votes
5 answers
5k views

Was the world life expectancy only 30 years at 1900?

In this article, About.com article on Life Expectancy they claim: In 1900, the world life expectancy was approximately 30 years I've also the same claim elsewhere. However, this doesn't jibe with ...
8 votes
1 answer
683 views

How many non-citizens were removed from the US from 2009–2015?

I'm trying to reconcile two different sets of data. The House Judiciary committee reports: year Criminal Alien Removals Non-Criminal Removals Total 2015 139368 96045 235413 2014 177960 137983 ...
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Were staff at Bletchley Park predominantly male?

In The Imitation Game, most of the staff portrayed on-screen were male, and Joan Clarke faced sexist assumptions that because she was a woman, she was in the wrong room when she tried to go into the ...
3 votes
0 answers
318 views

Did Percy Bysshe Shelley take credit for work done by Mary Shelley?

This is going to be a rather unorthodox question by me, as I can't fully legitimize the claim about to be questioned, but today, in conversing with a colleague of mine, the Shelleys popped up in ...
4 votes
0 answers
216 views

Is it true that the Bennington College endowment is low because they declined donations to maintain academic independence?

Some (possibly dubious) college Q&A web sites (e.g. this one) make the claim that Bennington has a paltry endowment of $3.5 million, the result of a historical philosophy - now recognized by its ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
21 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Reverend Mezzofanti fluently speak thirty-four languages?

In the John England's book titled "The Works of Reverend John England, Volume 6" (page 172) I read: Reverend Joseph Mezzofanti, first keeper of the Vatican library, of whom Lord Byron had ...
15 votes
1 answer
859 views

Have there been more books written about Napoleon Bonaparte than days have passed since his death?

Searching for more books on Napoleon than days since his death on Google shows a few websites that make this claim. Note that Napoleon Bonaparte died roughly 200 years ago, or about 73.000 days ago. ...
57 votes
3 answers
10k 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, author of 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 ...
203 votes
10 answers
30k views

When did people first know the Earth was a sphere?

I've heard it numerous times, that in the old days people thought that the world was flat. Most commonly I heard this in connection with the voyage of Columbus, that he believed the earth to be a ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Have about 170 million people been killed in the name of Allah?

In a question recently asked on the Christianity site, namely, Why don’t Christians accept Muhammad as the true prophet?, an answer quoted this article: “Beware of false prophets who … inwardly are ...
39 votes
2 answers
6k views

Did Rudolf Steiner prove the contagiousness of varicella in 1875?

Pages like those from the National Vaccine Information Center NVIC or the Centers for Disease Control CDC make the following claim: In 1875, Rudolf Steiner discovered that chickenpox was infectious ...
24 votes
1 answer
5k views

Were 1 in 6 protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention FBI agents?

At a press conference today, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene made this claim: In 1968 at the Democratic National Convention where there were 10,000 protestors. One out of six were federal ...
-3 votes
1 answer
816 views

Is there a 218-year gap in the dendrochronological oak scale of the late Roman Empire?

There a very controversial study conducted by Petra Ossowski Larsson and Lars-Ake Larsson called "Dendrochronological Dating of Roman Time". If I understood correctly, it states that there ...
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are the British to blame for Israel's stray cat problem? [closed]

Stray cats are extremely common in Israel and there is a common urban legend that they were imported by the British during the mandate period to combat a rat problem. For example, you can see this ...
9 votes
1 answer
504 views

Could the diphtheria antitoxin (vaccine) have been flown into Nome, Alaska in 1925, but was chosen not to?

I just finished watching Togo on Disney+ last night, where the plot of the story is centered around a musher, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo. They make a very long trek across the ...
4 votes
1 answer
679 views

Is this the sound of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption?

This widely watched video claims to be audio from the infamous Krakatoa explosion. Is it authentic?
28 votes
2 answers
7k views

Has LSD 'been widely used in hospitals for the treatment of mental disorders'?

Operation Moneybags is a video purporting to be a documentary covering medical experiments on British troops, The film has an opening card (27 seconds in) stating: This film was made during the ...
34 votes
1 answer
3k views

Was the wild west less violent than the current west?

Matt Ridley's The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge has a chapter on the evolution of government, in which he starts by making the startling statement: The truth is that the [American] ...
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was text messaging originally developed for deaf people?

I just heard this claim in this TED talk by Elise Roy (at about the 5:24 mark in the transcript): Text messaging: that was originally designed for people who are Deaf. Is it true?
6 votes
0 answers
671 views

Is this quote from Lenin: "Make them swallow the word, they will swallow the thing"?

Éric Zemmour, the far-right probable candidate for the 2022 French presidential election said (in his book La France n'a pas dit son dernier mot but also in many meetings, example) that Lenin has ...
-10 votes
1 answer
411 views

Is there another period of history in rest of world as detailed as Islamic history? [closed]

There so many hadiths (quotes) and riwayahs (anecdotes) about the life of Muhammad the prophet or messenger who brought Islam. I have heard more than 200,000 hadiths exist, sahih(authentic) and not ...
41 votes
3 answers
13k views

Was there no tax before 1913 in the United States?

This image claims that "Up until 1913 Americans kept all of their earnings". Up until 1913 Americans kept all of their earnings Despite this, America still had schools, roads, colleges, vast ...
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does the Piri Reis map demonstrate the Antarctic coast was ice-free?

The Piri Reis map is supposed to be a 300 year old map compiled from much older sources (possibly thousands of years old) that shows an accurate antarctic coastline. This site claims that it is ...
7 votes
1 answer
8k 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 votes
2 answers
8k views

Did a turkish man invent a steam engine 200 years before the industrial revolution and only made it to spin doner kebab? [closed]

I've seen this picture being reposted in many different places recently: Is it true? Where can this machine be seen? What is it if it's not a steam engine? Update: The pictures posted above show ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did some men in the Middle Ages remove their left testicle in an effort of having a son?

As mentioned here: During the middle ages, it was believed that sperm produced by the left testicle produced girls. To ensure having a son, men would have it removed. I have not heard about this ...

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