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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Did Chinese school textbook maps (c. 1951) “depict China as stretching even into the central Asian republics”?

In Marshall (Prisoners of Geography, 2015) writes: In 1951, China annexed Tibet (another vast non-Han territory) and by then Chinese school textbook maps began to depict China as stretching even ...
17
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1answer
790 views

Do historians agree the motive behind Catholic celibacy was primarily economic?

According to a BBC article: the First and Second Lateran Councils of 1123 and 1139 explicitly forbade priests from marrying - so we are almost past 1,000 years since the Catholic Church has ...
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Is this “the largest single donation to Oxford University since the Renaissance”?

The University of Oxford recently announced a £150 million donation from Stephen Schwartzmann, which their press release (PDF) prominently calls "the largest single donation to Oxford University since ...
11
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1answer
878 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
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Did the CIA blow up a Siberian pipeline in 1982?

The Telegraph claimed in 2004 that the CIA blew up a Russian gas pipeline in Siberia, by tricking the operator into installing booby-trapped software. Thomas Reed, a former US Air Force secretary ...
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In the USSR's legal system, was everything illegal unless specifically allowed?

Alan Dershowitz was recently interviewed by Michael Tracey on the latter's podcast. At 09:20 into the interview, Dershowitz makes the following claim regarding the USSR legal system: ... unlike in ...
71
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4answers
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Did thousands of women die every year due to illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade?

Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, has repeatedly said that thousands of women died every year as a result of abortions prior to Roe v. Wade: We face a real situation where Roe could ...
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Did U.K. nuclear power plants of the '80s play a continuous sound and indicate emergency by stopping it?

Allan Friswell's comment (scroll down) on this video for "O Superman" for Laurie Anderson contends: The UK nuclear power stations of the 80s had that "ha" sound on continuously 24/7. Apparently it ...
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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
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1answer
516 views

Did Lenin say he made a mistake, their actions caused oppression and massacres and what Russia needed was ten Francis of Assisi?

I have found claims about Vladimir Lenin saying near end of his life: "I have been mistaken. It was necessary, I suppose, to liberate the multitude of oppressed people, but our method only ...
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Did a radio DJ lock himself in the studio and play the same song on repeat?

I've heard and read this one in various places, in many variations: a radio DJ gets (disgruntled)/(drunk)/(fired), and as a response (locks)/(barricades) (himself)/(herself) alone in the (...
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Was the word 'racist' coined by Trotsky in 1927?

According to the image below, "racist is a made up word by Leon Trotsky in 1927." I searched in the Online Etymology Dictionary and found that racist (n.) 1932 [as a noun], 1938 as an ...
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1answer
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Was Julius Caesar good at multitasking?

A popular belief (at least in Russia) holds that Julius Caesar was good at multitasking; he was able to read, write and give orders simultaneously. Julius Caesar was the first person praised for ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Did Stalin kill more than 10 million People?

There are many sources claiming that Stalin killed between 20 and 60 million people. A few articles with this claim: In February 1989, two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, a research ...
29
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1answer
7k views

Did medieval Russia reject Islam because of its prohibition against alcohol?

For a long time, I have been aware of a historical anecdote about the attempt to convert Russia to Islam. I don’t know where I first heard the anecdote: I’m pretty sure it was oral, so I had to dig a ...
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1answer
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Did NASA invest a million dollars in the research of a space pen, when the USSR simply used a pencil?

I encountered this picture of the "Russian space pen" from the MIT Museum gift shop When NASA first started sending astronauts into space, they realized that the ball-point pen would not work at ...
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Was Obama's JAMA paper the first academic journal article authored by a sitting president?

I have read a few sources claiming that Obama's JAMA paper published this month was the first academic journal article authored by a sitting president. Is that true? Example:
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Did Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov, and Boris Baranov die of radiation poisoning?

During the Chernobyl disaster, Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov, and Boris Baranov were tasked with preventing a potentially disastrous steam explosion, by opening the sluice gates to drain a bubbler ...
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Is the March of the Immortal Regiment a cult of the German Third Reich?

The March of the Immortal Regiment is a recent tradition which is part of the annual Moscow Victory Day Parade Russian journalist and politician, Alexander Nevzorov has criticised it: (Inaccurate ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Is Jesus Christ's birthday March 28th?

Prior to about a week ago, I've never known Christ's birthday to be anything other than December 25th. However, my kids are starting to tell me about how they're hearing claims from peers that this is ...
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1answer
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Who invented the chicken sandwich?

There's a US restaurant chain called Chick-Fil-A and their motto is "We didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich" If you dig deeper you find that they claim that what they really mean is ...
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Do European deer still stick to their sides of the Iron Curtain?

I found such a claim in an article here: http://nowiknow.com/the-thin-red-deer-line/ But that was a long time ago, especially if you’re a deer — they only live about ten or so years in the wild. ...
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Did “ancient people who spoke languages that didn't have words for numbers greater than three” keep track of sheep using stones?

In the TED-Ed video "How big is infinity?" Dennis Wildfogel says (at the 50 second mark) this about "matching being more fundamental than counting": In fact, we think that some ancient people who ...
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Did the USS Buck (DD-761) send the message “Temper, Temper”?

In a March 26, 2019 Reddit post with 1.0k upvotes, there is a picture with a story as follows (emphasis added). 15 Mar 1952: The Wisconsin receives her first direct hit in her history when one of ...
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Did 3000BC Egyptians use meteoric iron weapons?

Citing Wikipedia's article on Metallurgy Egyptian weapons made from meteoric iron in about 3000 BC were highly prized as "daggers from heaven".[11] The listed source is: 11. W. Keller (1963) The ...
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1answer
746 views

Did Archduke Franz Ferdinand mow down animals with a machine gun?

I know Archduke Franz Ferdinand was an inveterate hunter, and this might be an understatement: Franz Ferdinand had a fondness for trophy hunting that was excessive even by the standards of European ...
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4answers
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Was this quote on a clay tablet about unruly kids written by an Assyrian?

I've been sent an email saying that every generation thought that kids were too stupid or unruly, with this text as evidence: "Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that ...
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1answer
782 views

Are these logos properly attributed to their original users?

Following picture has been recently tweeted: Are the descriptions in the picture authentic?
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1answer
908 views

Was breaking apart coins for change ever a common custom?

Discussion at many online sites asserts that it was a common custom (e.g., in medieval or Roman times) to pay for a purchase with a coin and have the coin broken apart, with part of it returned as ...
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Were there only two cars in Ohio in 1895, and they managed to crash into each other?

Currently on Today I Learned, Reddit. TIL [Today I Learned] In the entire state of Ohio in 1895, there were only two cars on the road, and the drivers of these two cars crashed into each other. ...
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Has India invaded any country in the last 10,000 years?

There is a common claim that India hasn't invaded any other country in the past 10,000 years. It has been repeated in chain mails and various web-sites: Example, Example. India never invaded any ...
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1answer
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Did Jim Lovell accidentally swear at Mission Control? [closed]

The movie Apollo 13 famously depicts a tense scene from relatively early on in the accident where the astronauts were having diffucilty controlling the space craft due to the centre of gravity being ...
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7answers
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Has France ever won a war?

France is commonly made fun of for not having won a war, for instance when they rejoined NATO and the daily mail made fun of them: Why did the French celebrate their World Cup in 1998 so wildly? ...
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3k views

Was Hitler Jewish?

What evidence is there to show conclusively that Hitler was or was not Jewish or had Jewish ancestry even if he was not a practicing Jew?
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1answer
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Was the Great Sphinx of Giza originally an Anubis?

Does Robert Temple's book The Sphinx Mystery: The Forgotten Origins of the Sanctuary of Anubis have any support in the academic community? For those of you unfamiliar with his theory, here's a quote ...
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5answers
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How were the pyramids built?

It is claimed in many different pseudoscience publications and sites that it was impossible for the ancient Egyptian civilization to build the pyramids, because: too much labour was needed it was ...
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3answers
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Did Hitler design the VW Beetle?

It if often cited that Adolf Hitler designed the VW Beetle. Is there any truth to this myth, did he perhaps commission it? It seems strange that a car supposedly designed in the 30s could have been ...
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3answers
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Did the future Prime Minister of Poland help the future president of USA to pay his tuition?

The Amazing Real Life Experiences tells a story about how the pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski did a favour for a student Herbert Hoover, and that later Hoover (in his role of head of the US Food and ...
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Was anyone murdered, disappeared, or died suspiciously to cover up the Deepwater Horizon disaster?

This recent Tumblr post claims that multiple activists and scientists were murdered or died under extremely suspicious circumstances, including one person being found dead and mutilated in a dumpster, ...
6
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1answer
638 views

Was the death rate in Boer War concentration camps the same as in Glasgow?

In a widely reported debate on BBC's Question Time, Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg was accused of "justifying" the British use of concentration camps during the Boer War at the beginning of ...
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2answers
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Were there no “white” people in Virginia between 1619 and 1679?

The back cover of historian and scholar Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race, Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control quotes the late Mr. Allen When the first Africans arrived ...
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Did anyone ever escape from Alcatraz?

Source They said it could not be done, and the official history of the island prison says it never was done: no one ever escaped from Alcatraz Island during the 29 years (1934-63) it was a ...
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1answer
3k views

Did Mother Teresa's hospices lack strong painkillers?

I've seen several articles claiming that Mother Teresa refused to make use of pain-killers within her hospices. For example: The formulary at the facility Fox visited lacked strong analgesics ...
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1answer
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Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle call J.B. Rhine a “monumental ass” in print?

I need help confirming or debunking what may be an urban legend in the paranormal literature regarding the rocky public relationship between spiritualism believer (and famous author) Arthur Conan ...
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Did Charlie Chaplin lose a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest?

I heard this several times, is it really true or just a joke/rumor? The claim is, that "Charlie Chaplin once only came second in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest". source
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Did Colonel Gaddafi have a harem of thousands of women?

According to The terrible truth about Gaddafi’s harem: Yet Soraya’s story is typical. She was just one of thousands of young Libyan girls and women who were kidnapped from their schools, homes or ...
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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 ...
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Did Christopher Columbus believe America was India?

Many of us might recall learning in school that when Christopher Columbus reached the New World, he believed that he had reached India. For that reason, Native Americans are often called Indians. ...
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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 ...