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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.

22
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1answer
8k views

Was Sigmund Freud “deathly afraid” of the number 62?

The Wikipedia article on the number 62 states this, and provides a link to a (paywalled) Time article that I can't access. I found a book on Google books that chalks this up to aspects of Freud's "...
13
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0answers
632 views

Did Saddam Hussein have a secret torture chamber in New York City?

The NY Post reported this week that Saddam Hussein had a secret torture chamber in New York City between 1979 and 2003. The sources the paper cites are two "anonymous officials". The paper does not ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Did India's population decrease “by 80 million between 1000 and 1525” CE?

Daniel Pipes reports: Koenraad Elst , the german historian writes in "Negation in India" ..Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this a photograph of 23 year old Joseph Stalin?

I've seen the following picture on multiple websites including these two, Is this really Joseph Stalin as a young man? and Beware, girls: even Stalin could switch on the 'charm offensive', saying ...
0
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0answers
125 views

Was Christopher Columbus involved in the slave trade? [duplicate]

It seems to be common knowledge on the internet that Columbus was involved in the slave trade. I just saw this on Facebook and thought I would try to find how true the quote is to what we know ...
15
votes
1answer
821 views

Did unit confusion lead to a house with enormous doors and windows in Ypres, Belgium?

The Wikipedia article on metrication contains an unsourced statement regarding an incident in Ypres (Ieper), Belgium: During the reconstruction of Ypres after World War I, British Army engineers ...
11
votes
1answer
707 views

Did DR Congo use banknotes with hole where Mobuto's face used to be after he was deposed?

On almost every list on the internet featuring strange banknotes that were at one time in circulation, one can find a picture of old Zaire banknotes with the image of the dictator Mobutu's face ...
16
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2answers
2k views

What percentage of white people owned black slaves in the US?

I recently read a French post on Facebook saying that only 3% of white people owned slaves of African descent in the United States. Here is a part of a debate in French quoting a twitter post about ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Did Christian soldiers commit the first recorded suicide bombing?

According to this Sky News article: The first recorded suicide bombing came from Christian soldiers during the Crusades to free The Holy City of Jerusalem from the control of Muslim armies. ...
4
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1answer
367 views

Did Babylonians in BCE used geometrical methods in mathematical astronomy to calculate planet positions and its motions?

A recent (2016) study, Ancient Babylonian astronomers calculated Jupiter’s position from the area under a time-velocity graph examines a cuneiform script and gives evidence that that Babylonians in ...
5
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1answer
802 views

Is there an alignment between Giza pyramid complex and Orion's Belt?

The following pictures which are circulating online: There is no original source of these images which I could found, but you can try reverse image lookup to find the copies of it. Are these ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Do soldiers intentionally miss their targets?

The claim is that a surprising percentage of soldiers do not shoot to kill in battle or do not shoot in the general direction of the enemy at all, unless specifically conditioned to do so with special ...
1
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0answers
419 views

Was Mahatma Gandhi gay?

In 2013, an exhibit of Mahatma Gandhi's personal correspondence triggered some speculation about his private life: The Daily Telegraph raises the question: The bond between Gandhi and Hermann ...
1
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0answers
238 views

Uniqueness of the Bible's Exodus Narrative [closed]

In Deuteronomy(4:32-34), two claims are made in reassuring Israel that God has not abandoned them. The reader is tasked with searching from one end of the heavens to the other to see if a God ever ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Did George Washington say no political parties?

I hear often that George Washington said he did not want political parties after he left. I've had trouble finding a source for this. Also, since democracy was so young, wouldn't the idea of political ...
25
votes
1answer
5k views

Is this Indonesian man, Mbah Gotho, 145 years old, as he claims?

Apparently a person in Indonesia is claiming he is 145 years old. The world’s oldest man has been named as Indonesian Mbah Gotho, who is 145 years old, with documentation that says he was born in ...
2
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0answers
441 views

Has Any Conspiracy Theory Turned Out To Be True? [closed]

Has any conspiracy theory turned out to be true? There are various lists of conspiracy theories that turned out to be true: http://list25.com/25-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true/ http:/...
18
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0answers
4k views

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 ...
33
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2answers
2k views

Did fewer Jews die of the Black Plague because of ritual washing?

I've frequently heard the claim that fewer Jews died of the Bubonic Plague than their Christian neighbors in the Middle Ages because Jews took regular ritual baths (mikva) and ritually washed hands ...
7
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1answer
709 views

Did soldiers of Alexander's army settle in Malana?

Malana is an ancient Indian village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. You can read more in Wiki page. It is believed that the people live there are descendants of Greek soldiers of Alexander's army. ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Is it true that 4th century Christians “destroyed all they could reach of ancient learning”?

On page 19 of Mathematics for the Nonmathematician, mathematician Morris Kline claims that: In 313 A.D. Rome legalized Christianity and, under the emperor Theodosius (379-395), adopted it as the ...
37
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4answers
6k views

Did Augustine of Hippo warn Christians to beware mathematicians?

On the first page of Mathematics for the Nonmathematician, mathematician Morris Kline quotes Augustine of Hippo as saying: The good Christian should beware the mathematician and all those who ...
11
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1answer
699 views

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:
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Was the ancient Indian city of Mohenjo-daro destroyed by a nuclear weapon?

This Youtube video of the History Channel documentary Ancient Aliens, Season 3 Episode 9 makes the claim that the ancient Indian city of Mohenjo-Daro was destroyed by a nuclear weapon, and that the ...
6
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2answers
2k 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?
2
votes
1answer
435 views

Is the Dome of Rock the oldest Islamic building in existence?

In this documentary, Tom Holland the author of 'In the Shadow of the Sword' claims at the time point 57:58, the Dome of Rock is the "oldest Islamic building in existence". Is he correct?
3
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0answers
906 views

The problem with freezing oil gun for the firearms [closed]

A detailed question is the next. It is not specifically about WW2. It is about firearms and freezing gun oil in general. Whether it is possible even today to have a malfunctioning gun which was oiled, ...
24
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1answer
1k views

Did people blaspheme deliberately to be tried in the Medieval European Inquisition courts instead of other secular courts?

On the Wikipedia page about "Criticism of the Catholic Church", there was recently (though removed by an editor since this question was asked) a little paragraph about the Medieval European ...
12
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2answers
898 views

Did Patrick Matthew came up with the theory of natural selection before Charles Darwin?

Daniel Engber writes in Who Will Debunk The Debunkers?: Sutton thinks that story has it wrong, that natural selection wasn’t an idea in need of a “great man” to propagate it. After all his months ...
10
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1answer
940 views

Do the English eat “pork” instead of “pig” because they were servants of the French?

Many online sources make the claim that the strange quirk in the English language of having French-derived terms (pork, beef, veal, mutton) for the meat of the animal, and having German-derived terms (...
15
votes
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 ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Did Alan Turing commit suicide, or is it possible his death was an accident?

When Alan Turing died, the reason for his death was cyanide poisoning, and his death was officially ruled as a suicide. See Homosexuality, Conviction and Death The BBC published an article in which "...
79
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1answer
15k views

Did the U.S. Army treat a President's cold using chlorine gas?

Several texts on the history of chemical warfare mention the story that in May 1924 the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) treated President Calvin Coolidge for a severe cold with chlorine. For ...
6
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1answer
800 views

Was a mirage involved in the Titanic's sinking?

I watched a documentary, Titanic's Final Mystery. It premise is summarised by this Smithsonian Magazine article. An unusual optical phenomenon explains why the Titanic struck an iceberg and ...
76
votes
3answers
14k views

Has a fifteen year old from Canada discovered a hidden Mayan city?

Recent news stories have reported on the discovery of a lost Mayan city by William Gadoury, a 15-year-old from Canada. According to these reports, Gadoury noticed a correspondence between the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the New Testament significantly corrupted from its originally intended form?

I have seen "evidence" that we know with a great degree of certainty and accuracy what the original New Testament bible said. This is to say, we know what the original authors wrote. I'm not sure how ...
12
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1answer
922 views

Did Babbage write programs for the Analytical Engine prior to Lovelace?

Charles Babbage was the inventor of Analytical Engine and Difference Engine. Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and computer programmer. The Guardian says : Often described as the world's first ...
18
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2answers
3k views

How old is Judaism?

I've recently read this BBC article which makes the claim that Judaism originated some time around 2000 B.C, if not earlier. I've seen a number of sources which make similar claims (Source 1, Source ...
6
votes
1answer
772 views

Could Neolithic people outrun modern athletes?

I heard in many documentaries that people in the past had higher stamina due to the necessity to walk everywhere or because they worked in the fields. The Daily Mail reports: Mo Farah would have ...
3
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1answer
474 views

Are these logos properly attributed to their original users?

Following picture has been recently tweeted: Are the descriptions in the picture authentic?
17
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2answers
10k views

Did Hitler support zionism?

According to Ken Livingstone (UK Labour politician, former Mayor of London), Hitler supported Zionism: Evening Standard: Mr Livingstone told BBC Radio London he had never heard anyone in the party ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Did Obama remove a Winston Churchill bust from the oval office?

President Obama recently commented on the debate about whether the UK should remain in the European Union. He supported the government position that remaining in the EU is better. Boris Johnson (...
56
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4answers
20k views

Was Stonehenge built in the 1950s?

A set of photos from a Russian web-site apparently show Stonehenge being built in the 1950s, rather than the more customary dates of 3000-2000 BC. An conspiracy theory web-site Max Resistance ...
25
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1answer
5k views

Does Boltzmann's tombstone have “S = k log w” engraved on it?

I heard somewhere that Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann's tombstone has S = k log w engraved on it. Wikipedia repeats the claim without references: The equation for S is engraved on Boltzmann's tombstone ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Did Herodotus call Egypt the “Gift Of The Nile”?

The history site, Mr Dowling says: About 450BCE, a Greek historian named Herodotus called Egypt the “Gift of the Nile” because the Egyptian civilization depended on the resources of the great river....
15
votes
1answer
981 views

Did “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife” originally refer not to sex but to housework?

In "Debt: The First 5000 Years" by David Graeber, there is a claim on page 129: Even in the Bible, the admonition in the Ten Commandments not to "covet thy neighbor's wife" clearly referred not to ...
8
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1answer
499 views

Did the ancient Egyptians call aloe vera “the plant of immortality”?

I came across the following on facebook (it linked to this article): I was wondering whether that is actually true. Did the ancient Egyptians call aloe vera (and possibly other related species) the "...
12
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1answer
895 views

Did Ehrlichman claim the reason for the Nixon drug war was to criminalize black people and hippies?

This story recently appeared claiming that one of Nixon's aids had admitted that the war on drugs was all about targeting specific groups and not really about the harms of drugs. http://www.vox.com/...
4
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1answer
363 views

Did Aldous Huxley turn out to be reciting not reading when lecturing on the Bates Method?

Some years ago I remember reading an account of Aldous Huxley lecturing on the Bates Method. I think it was a book by a well-known skeptic (maybe Gardner or Sagan?) but I don't remember exactly. ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Did 800 people estimate the weight of an ox within 1% in 1906?

According to Wikipedia, At a 1906 country fair in Plymouth, 800 people participated in a contest to estimate the weight of a slaughtered and dressed ox. Statistician Francis Galton observed that ...