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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 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
3k 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
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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 ...
10
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2answers
723 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
949 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 ...
5
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2answers
949 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
339 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
823 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
596 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-...
9
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1answer
2k 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
591 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
326 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 ...
4
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1answer
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
3k 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
786 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 ...
5
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1answer
1k 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
686 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 ...
13
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1answer
2k 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 ...
3
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0answers
335 views

Did commerical flag makers catalog and sell the second Confederate national flag as “whiteman's flag”?

According to the 1957 Stevens-Davis and allied families: a memorial volume of history , biography, and genealogy : Commercially, this design is called the "Whiteman flag" or "White-man design", ...
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1answer
405 views

Did Islam dominate slave trade, and did Christians enter the slave market only later? [closed]

Stefan Molyneux claims in The Truth About The Crusades that: Islam dominated slave trade between the 7th and the 15th century, while the Christians entered the market of human flesh much later - ...
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1answer
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Did the Constitution of the Confederate States of America ban the slave trade?

From 25 Strange Facts From History You Probably Didn’t Learn In School: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America banned the slave trade. Did the Confederate States of America banned ...
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2answers
785 views

Did the North Korean Navy sink the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Chicago by torpedo boat in 1950?

I am from an Eastern bloc nation. In my childhood I was taught that the North Korean Navy sunk the U.S. Navy heavy cruiser U.S.S. Chicago by torpedo boat in 1950. The teaching was such: On June ...
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0answers
350 views

Did the Soyuz 1 mission fail because of an ignored decimal point?

I am from an Eastern bloc nation. In my childhood I was taught that the Soyuz 1 mission failed because a decimal point was ignored during the pre-flight check, which was the cause of the parachute ...
5
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1answer
415 views

Did Whiskey taxation make up 30%-50% of England's revenue?

In this article it is claimed that (1st paragraph): Especially in England and Ireland, it became the drink of choice, and through taxation, came to contribute 30%-50% of the nation’s revenue. This ...
3
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1answer
943 views

Did a Jewish boxer survive the holocaust by fighting fellow prisoners?

During the Holocaust, Jewish boxer Salamo Arouch was imprisoned at Auschwitz. He was forced to fight fellow prisoners; the losers were sent to the gas chambers or shot. He survived over 2 years and ...
13
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1answer
80k views

Did 13 men kill themselves after being rejected by Princess Qajar?

This has been doing the rounds on social media sites, this image with this caption Princess Qajar. A symbol of beauty in Persia. 13 young men killed themselves because she rejected them. Is this ...
3
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1answer
699 views

Did The Beatles write “Norwegian Wood” after hearing Bob Dylan's “4th Time Around” as claimed by producer Al Kooper?

It's widely believed that the Bob Dylan song "4th Time Around" was inspired by "Norwegian Wood" by The Beatles. However, music producer Al Kooper claims that John Lennon heard live renditions of "4th ...
3
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2answers
725 views

Did the bible say slavery was okay? [closed]

I am in high school and we are doing a report on why slavery is or is not okay. A lot of my peers have been saying that the bible says there is nothing wrong with slavery. Is this really true?
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0answers
511 views

Did the story of Columbus and the lunar eclipse take place?

In eclipse season, it’s bound to happen that someone will quote the story of Columbus fooling the settlers into believing that his god was upset with them and therefore eclipsed the moon. But as ...
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0answers
190 views

Did CNN broadcast this “fake news” in 1990? [duplicate]

I came across this footage on youtube. It shows CNN anchor Charles Jaco broadcasting what seems to be a fake news story about the 1990 gulf war, using a stage, fake palms, fake sounds, etc. This ...
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3answers
1k views

Did spaghetti originate in China?

From an English-speaking competition at Beijing in 2005, a contestant claimed that spaghetti came from China. The contestant said that Marco Polo lived in China for 20 years. He learned making ...
4
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0answers
569 views

Did Franciscan friars survive the nuking of Nagasaki in a way suggesting a miracle?

Note: This is a very similar question to this: Did eight Jesuit priests survive the nuking of Hiroshima in a scientifically inexplicable manner? However, since in spite of their parallelism these ...
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0answers
336 views

Ancestry tracking DNA tests

Since the advent of cheap DNA tests, several companies have sprung up which will tell you ancestral origins according to your DNA. 23andMe claims, Where in the world are you from? Find out ...
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0answers
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Was John F Kennedy accidentally shot by a secret service agent?

In the book Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK, Bonar Menninger argues that the third shot that hit John F Kennedy was fired by accident by a secret service agent. The book's Wikipedia page ...
4
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0answers
238 views

Ancestral DNA tests [closed]

A friend of mine recently took a DNA ancestry test using one of these mail-order services. Sadly he did not provide the name of the company used. According to his results, he has partial Native ...
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2answers
1k views

Did Muhammad behead 600 Jews in one day and torture unbelievers?

This Skeptics.SE question mentions a anti-Muslim billboard that contains the following claims about Muhammad: Married 6 year old Slave owner & dealer Rapist Beheaded 600 Jews in one day 13 wives, ...
3
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2answers
391 views

When instituting Quds Day, did Khomeini say that one should emulate Imam Ali who killed 700 Jews?

The German newspaper Der Spiegel claims: Der Schwiegersohn des Propheten ist das Vorbild: Imam Ali habe "siebenhundert Juden an einem Tag" erschlagen. Ihm solle man nacheifern, verkündet ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Did McKinsey & Co. tell AT&T there was no market for mobile phones?

In this interview about his time at Bell Labs and their ability to "invent" the future, Prof. Brian Kernighan (the famous computer scientist involved in the development and popularisation of the ...
12
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3answers
8k views

Did William T. Thompson design a flag with explicit white supremacist symbolism, which was adopted by the US Confederacy?

I saw a meme on social media that claimed that a William T. Thompson designed a flag with explicit white supremacist symbols, that was, for a time, an official flag of the Confederacy. The text of ...
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1answer
805 views

Did Betsy Ross make the first US flag?

I think that there is a common idea that the first US flag was designed by Betsy Ross, who told George Washington to change the flag from 6-pointed stars to 5-pointed stars. Due to this, pictures of ...
8
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3answers
884 views

Was this a fire brigade reservoir at Auschwitz?

There seems to be a lot of photo evidence suggesting that there is a "fire brigade reservoir built in the form of a swimming pool" within the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Is it a "fire brigade ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Did Muhammad marry a 6 year old?

Making the rounds of news sites today is a story of a billboard in Indianapolis that makes the following six claims regarding the prophet Muhammad, under the heading "The Perfect Man": Married 6 year ...
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3answers
14k views

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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0answers
363 views

Did Master Stone Masons have to Bow to the King?

I have heard this multiple times, including in a documentary once. The claim is that the Master Stonemason, in historic times, did not have to bow to the King (generally implied to be from the British ...
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1answer
1k views

Did a British committee in 1907 recommend pushing Middle East into internal wars?

The 2007 article The Arab Scene 100 years After Campbell-Bannerman is an English translation of an article about a committee created by British Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman in 1907. The ...
16
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2answers
879 views

Did Marie Antoinette say “Let them eat cake”?

Is there any evidence that Queen Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake"? It is often purported that she said this in response to learning that the peasants had no bread to eat.
6
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1answer
537 views

Was there a co-regency of Tiberius and Augustus?

Caesar Augustus was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire. He succeeded the dictator Julius Caesar and was succeeded by Caesar Tiberius. Some claim Tiberius was co-regent with Augustus for a couple ...
16
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1answer
3k views

Did Ataturk say this about Islam?

Various places (for example, the books Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future by Stephen Kinzer and From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia by Pankaj Mishra) ...