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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.

51
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1answer
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Did the Trump family change its name from Drumpf to Trump?

According to some media (e.g., International Business Times, Washington Times), the grandfather of Donald Trump, Frederick Trump, was originally called Friedrich Drumpf but changed his name after ...
8
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1answer
569 views

Is the NYC Financial district build on top of an African slave burial ground

Jesse Jackson claimed in a 2003 speech that New York's financial district was built on an "African burial ground." Since then I have seen this claim repeated may times on Facebook memes. Is there ...
2
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0answers
165 views

Did Leopold Godowsky perform the entire 19th Century piano repertoire? [closed]

In 1897–98 the Polish-American pianist and composer Leopold Godowsky is reported to have performed the entire 19th century piano repertoire in a series of only 8 concerts. This is hardly imaginable or ...
58
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2answers
9k views

Has Barack Obama achieved these goals in the last six years?

A claim, attributed to Occupy Democrats (which may or may not be true), that is doing rounds in social networks shows a photo of the current US President Barack Obama raising a toast with these words: ...
5
votes
1answer
385 views

Did Food Prices Spur the Arab Spring?

Dalia Mortada writes for PBS in Did Food Prices Spur the Arab Spring?: One of the driving forces behind the Arab Spring, some contend, is the high cost of food. A combination of shrinking farmlands,...
11
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1answer
2k views

Is Obama the first U.S. President to skip the funeral of a sitting Justice?

So there's this Facebook post that makes this claim: No sitting President, in the history of The United States of America, has ever 'skipped' the funeral of a sitting US Supreme Court Justice. ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Do these photos from the Civil Rights Era show Bernie Sanders?

Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nominee, features the above photos in the campaign ad Progress as evidence of his contributions to civil rights. While no one doubts ...
6
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1answer
465 views

Was Napoleon Bonaparte short?

Is the common belief of Napoleon Bonaparte being a short person true? I've always believed it, but I recently heard that he was actually 1.69m (5 feet 7 inches), which isn't short at all.
36
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1answer
6k views

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. http://www.arinanikitina.com/truth-about-...
74
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3answers
31k views

Is this a photo of Margaret Hamilton standing next to Apollo Project code that she wrote?

The image below is widely circulated on Facebook: The caption says: Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer of the Apollo Project, stands next to the code she wrote by hand and that was used to ...
19
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1answer
12k views

Were lawn jockey statues used to indicate stops on the Underground Railroad?

Ran into the following meme on Facebook, accompanied by a picture of one of the lawn jockey statues. They credit it to http://www.ugrrf.org/ (although I can't find that text on their site): A lot ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Did Soviet soldiers commit two million rapes of German women in 1945?

During the Allied troops entry and occupation of German territory during the later stages of World War II, it is alleged that mass rapes were committed by Allied Forces. The Telegraph reported: ...
5
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0answers
308 views

Did ancient Peru use electroplating?

Wikipedia states that ancient Peruvian metalsmiths applied gold with electroplating, citing a 1979 article in The Journal of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. I'm not familiar enough with ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Do loopholes in the Great Wall face the China side?

There is a pseudoscientific theory popularized by Russian authors Fomenko and Nosovsky which, among other things, claims that the Great Wall of China had been built by peoples living to the north of ...
11
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2answers
4k views

Were these 'Communist Rules for Revolution' written in 1919?

Please disregard the website on which this is found. Were these "rules" actually found in 1919? From: http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/newspaper-clipping-from-oct-13-1975/104739 A reader ...
5
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0answers
920 views

Is the handprint on the Carbon County jail wall uneraseable?

The Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe, PA, formerly the Carbon County Jail has one cell with a handprint on the wall. According to legend (emphasis mine): Before their hanging, the men proclaimed ...
20
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1answer
791 views

Did Puritans punish people for celebrating Christmas?

The Facebook group Americans for the Separation of Church and State posted this link: Puritans in Massachusetts arrested and fined anyone who celebrated Christmas. But go ahead, tell us how awful ...
10
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1answer
802 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
295 views

Is the Stuxnet worm a government facade? [closed]

I just read about Stuxnet, which is allegedly a computer worm that silently infected thousands of computers and eventually sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program. I find it difficult to believe that so many ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Was the Original Statue of Liberty a Muslim Woman?

I saw this article on Facebook: Smithsonian: Statue of Liberty was originally a Muslim woman By Bradford Richardson November 25, 2015, 03:19 pm An article on the government-...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

Was Ignaty Karpezo buried alive and then found alive?

Wikipedia claims the following. Ignaty Karpezo was a general during WWII. After a heavy bombing he was found without signs of life. A medic determined death. He was buried consequently. But after a ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Did Woodrow Wilson say he was a 'most unhappy man' that 'unwittingly ruined' the USA?

According several "sources" including Alex Jones, Peter Joseph, users of Facebook, and 'Occupiers of Wallstreet,' Woodrow Wilson said: I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. ...
19
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1answer
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Was the phrase “hello” popularized because of the name of Alexander Graham Bell's wife/girlfriend “Margaret Hello”?

This is a popular explanation of the etymology of the word hello, seen in many email forwards: When you lift the phone, you say "Hello". Do you know what is the real meaning of "Hello" It is ...
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0answers
116 views

Was the Sphynx at Giza originally carved with an eagle head? [duplicate]

I think perhaps the Anubis theory does not have the substance of the mythological griffin that is found in ancient Crete.
2
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1answer
994 views

Which typically comes first: basic science or technological advance?

Matt Ridley claims in his latest book (and also in an article in the Wall Street Journal): In his book he argues: Again and again, once you examine the history of innovation, you find scientific ...
3
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0answers
728 views

Is the Treblinka Archaeology study a hoax? [closed]

Treblinka was a Nazi extermination site for Polish Jews between July 1942 and October 1943. Jews were claimed to have been shipped to Treblinka and upon arrival immediately executed by carbon monoxide ...
3
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0answers
356 views

Did Ancient Roman bureaucrats file data only by year?

In an aside in an article about the greatest human innovations where he proposes the relational database as a candidate, Tim Worstall quotes the following comment about the Roman Empire: Finding ...
119
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3answers
26k views

Did the Nazis kill Jews with gas chambers?

I just heard Holocaust denier and former academic, Robert Faurisson, explaining a few things about gas chambers. What he claims : The dilapidated chambers, thought to be gas chambers in the Nazi ...
2
votes
1answer
426 views

Is the skull fragment, said to be Hitler's, from a young woman?

Wikipedia tells the story of some alleged fragments of Hitler's skull that were tested in 2009: In May 1946, SMERSH agents recovered from the crater where Hitler was buried two burned skull ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Is extreme poverty in the world getting worse?

In a recent Guardian article Jason Hickel argues that the west needs to de-develop in order to have any hope of meeting the UN goal of eradicating world poverty. He specifically says: Growth has ...
27
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1answer
2k views

Was the wild west less violent than the current west?

Matt Ridley's latest book has a chapter on the evolution of government, in which he starts by making the startling statement: The truth is that the wild west was without much government, but it was ...
57
votes
1answer
8k views

A century ago, was giving birth a major cause of death?

When reading this article on BBC News I was surprised by the following claim: Just compare now to what happened 100 years ago or so. Then, many women died in their 40s because of having to give ...
6
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0answers
310 views

Has Syria received proportionally more refugees than other countries in recent history?

This comment by Sonia Bous Aidi on a recent Humans of New York post about the European migrant crisis is powerful if true: Syria became home to the Circassian refugees in 1860 Syria became ...
26
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2answers
4k views

Did Six FBI Agents die before they could testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations?

While reading a different question Was Martin Luther King taped by the FBI while committing adultery? I came to the Wikipedia page for William Sullivan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_C....
9
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1answer
1k views

Was Martin Luther King taped by the FBI while committing adultery?

In a review of Taylor Branch's biography of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Slate Magazine repeats a story that can be found in several places on the web: On Jan. 6, 1964, FBI men installed microphones ...
22
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0answers
2k views

Was the oven mitt first developed by Earl Mitt?

Did "Earl Mitt" even exist at all? I first heard this story from an answer to this English Language and Usage Stack Exchange question about oven mitts/oven gloves. Earlier today, the story was in ...
42
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1answer
9k views

Was the original version of the Statue of Liberty of a Black slave?

A few people I know on social media are passing this image around this week. The claim is the original Statue of Liberty was a black women, given to celebrate the end of the Civil War, and the ...
-1
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1answer
521 views

Did the Nazis meet in a “gay” bar?

It is an assertion made by the German Journalist, Heinz Hohne in "The Order of the Death's Head". The assertion was popularized by the fraudulent anti-gay book, "pink swatiska". Hohne's book was ...
8
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0answers
403 views

Did Columbus have Jewish ancestry?

There are a number of articles and books that claim that Christopher Columbus has Jewish acenstry: Christopher Columbus: Jewish Virtual Library The mystery regarding Columbus' origins is largely ...
15
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1answer
7k views

Did the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron score the most kills in the Battle of Britain?

It's often claimed in Polish media that No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron scored the most kills in the whole Battle of Britain. This claim is repeated in Wikipedia, although with annotation [citation ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Did the Center for Naval Analysis recommend that the damaged areas be reinforced on all bombers, creating a famous case of survivorship bias?

One example of this claim from the Statistics How To website: Abraham Wald’s Naval Work In World War II, statistician Abraham Wald tried to determine how to minimize bomber losses. Prior to ...
22
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1answer
7k views

Did a man from a non-existent country, Taured, appear in a Japanese airport in 1954, and then disappear?

A number of different web-sites document this mysterious storey of an apparent traveller from an alternate history: It’s July 1954; a hot day. A man arrives at Tokyo airport in Japan. He’s of ...
6
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1answer
617 views

Are Ashkenazi Jews genetically more European than Semitic?

Referring to this article Surprise: Ashkenazi Jews Are Genetically European. But a new study suggests that at least their (Ashkenazi Jews) maternal lineage may derive largely from Europe. ...
3
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0answers
1k views

Did Thomas Edison kill elephant Topsy?

It is largely believed that Edison electrocuted lot of animals to prove that AC current was dangerous. There is a video on youtube that goes to show that Edison killed Topsy. But in Wikipedia I found ...
30
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1answer
3k views

Do ~25% of Japanese people believe that USSR dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

I have heard this claim a few times from some random people, and recently came across it in pravda.ru as well: from "Japan will never forgive USA" There is such a statistics: 25 per cent of young ...
4
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0answers
143 views

Did Nelson Mandela order the Church Street bombing? [duplicate]

"In his book Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela wrote that as a leading member of the ANC’s executive committee, he had ‘personally signed off’ in approving these acts of terrorism. This is the ...
58
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1answer
8k views

Does Lebanon ban the diary of Anne Frank?

According to factslides, a reddit post, Wikipedia, and the Wall Street Journal, the Diary of Anne Frank is banned in Lebanon. According to a reddit comment this is "rubbish". Other news reports a ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Was wife of Emperor Bayezid forced to serve naked at a party?

I got this from a Quora answer: 1)When Taimur won war with Ottoman emperor Bayezid, he had emperor put in a cage like animal. He also made empress of Bayezid serve wine naked in his court. ...
6
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0answers
648 views

Did nude pictures kick off the industry for photographs?

The Internet History Podcast claims: When photography was developed in the 18th century, photographic commerce was mostly about selling people portraits of themselves or their loved ones—at least, ...
28
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1answer
4k views

Did Lenin say this about guns?

a system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie - Lenin This quote can be found all over the internet, but I can't find any reliable sources ...