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 Talleyrand say "If we go on explaining we shall cease to understand one another"?

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (a.k.a. Talleyrand) was a French diplomat of the late 18th Century. A number of websites of quotes (for example: [1], [2], [3]) claim that he said: "If we go ...
4 votes
0 answers
223 views
+50

Was Imran Khan's prosecution on charges of "iddat" ("un-Islamic marriage") the first such case in Pakistan?

The Guardian writes: A local court in Pakistan has sentenced Imran Khan, the country’s former prime minister, and his wife to seven years each in a case related to their marriage, which it declared “...
4 votes
2 answers
590 views

Did a US soldier climb onto an unmanned T-54 during the Checkpoint Charlie standoff of Oct 1961?

A US soldier present at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961 says he climbed into or at least onto an unmanned T-54 and looked inside the unmanned driver compartment to identify it if was a Soviet or East ...
15 votes
1 answer
6k views

Was "red, gold, and green" used to display gay pride?

Several websites claim that the line "red, gold, and green" in the 1983 song Karma Chameleon by Culture Club refers to the colors of gay pride. For example, Genius: Before the rainbow was ...
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

Did Ertugrul and his son massacre Muslims?

The Milli Chronicles Ertugrul and his son Osman When they sacked Mosul in 1286, they made no distinction between Muslim and Christian. They slaughtered everyone including Muslims to the last man and ...
2 votes
1 answer
401 views

Were Ertugrul and his son Osman pagans?

Ertugrul Gazi and his son Osman Ertugrul was not a Muslim. He was a Pagan. Turkey makes purely fictional stories about Ertugrul, glorifying him as a Ghazi fighting crusaders and Mongols. Anyone who ...
10 votes
2 answers
503 views

Did Menachem Begin say "I am a former terrorist"?

There are a lot information about Menachem Begin on Wikipedia page but when I change the language of same page of Wikipedia into Persian there is a line that has not been mentioned in English version. ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is this gorilla joke from 1897?

From a viral image I found on Twitter: Text transcription: thatsbelievable: The Best Gorilla Joke of 1897 Gorilla: Did you hear about the gorilla who escaped from the zoo? Zookeeper: No, I did not. ...
78 votes
2 answers
16k views

Was the Roman knowledge of how to build aqueducts lost?

In a TED interview, Elon Musk stated: People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very ...
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did Brazilian football fans take their own lives inside the stadium after the loss to Uruguay in 1950?

An oft-repeated claim about the Uruguay v Brazil 1950 World Cup match is that upon the blowing of the final whistle, several Brazilian fans took their own lives inside the stadium. The LA Times says ...
4 votes
1 answer
682 views

Did the first Mughal emperor of India, Babur, write love poems for men?

Sites such as The Tiny Man: Was Islamic Emperor Babur Gay? Or was Babur impotent?, Collecting Indian ness and Rainbow Rays: Was Babur Gay? claim that Babur the founder of the Mughal dynasty and the ...
36 votes
4 answers
18k views

Did a Soviet nail factory produce useless nails to improve metrics?

We've all heard the story, which sounds for all the world like a typical urban legend. It goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a factory in the Soviet Union that made nails. ...
28 votes
0 answers
1k views

Did Burmese typewriters contain an upside-down character, which subsequently became proper typewriter style?

I was reading about the Internet Archive's work to archive the materials of a famous New York City typewriter family: http://blog.archive.org/2020/08/26/an-archive-of-a-different-type/ I was ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was the 1971 Pakistani surrender in Bangladesh the first public surrender in history?

In 1971 India invaded east Pakistan, which ended in the "public surrender" of the Pakistani military on the 16th of December, and modern day Bangladesh is the result. Many of the articles ...
28 votes
3 answers
10k views

Did Ataturk say that Islam is "an absurd theology" and "a rotting corpse which poisons our lives"?

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) ...
6 votes
3 answers
12k views

Is the name of Prophet Muhammad mentioned in the Bible?

Is the name of the Prophet Muhammad or Ahmad mentioned in the Bible? Does Jesus predict the coming of Muhammad in the Bible? This video (part 2) is an example of this claim. Here is a quote of a ...
27 votes
2 answers
7k views

Were postal pneumatic tubes in Berlin (Rohrpost) cleared with wine?

According to “A Series of Tubes” by Molly Wright Steenson: If a pneumatic canister got stuck and couldn’t be cleared by reversing airflow, there was another solution: firing a pistol into the tube ...
26 votes
5 answers
18k views

Did Malian sailors reach the Americas in 1311 CE?

Some sources claim that Malian soldiers arrived in the Americas in 1311 CE. For example, in Silicon Africa: 100 African Cities destroyed by Europeans: Malian sailors got to America in 1311 AD, 181 ...
1 vote
0 answers
144 views

Did US president Theodore Roosevelt call Democrats "prison vermin"?

According to two very non-primary references, the President called Democrats "prison vermin". The first is the 1902 Political X-rays, saying that it is quoting from an 8 November 1901 letter ...
10 votes
0 answers
1k views

Was whaling the biggest industry in 1903?

In a podcast with Joe Rogan, Jimmy Carr made the claim that: Whaling was the biggest industry in the world in 1903. However, some people in the comment section dispute this, claiming that Carr meant ...
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

Would US president Theodore Roosevelt refer to his political enemies as "vermin"?

A publication of the Library of Congress says: Mr. Foulke in his letters reveals an unusual frankness in letting President Roosevelt know of the attitudes of his political enemies -- "small ...
2 votes
0 answers
219 views

Was the Israeli interception of a missile (from Yemen) recently "the first combat ever to take place in space", 62 miles high?

Claim in The Telegraph on Nov 5: Israel this week used its Arrow missile-defence system to shoot down a ballistic missile outside of Earth’s atmosphere, in what is believed to be the first combat ...
3 votes
0 answers
331 views

Did György Sherfezi fall from the 10th floor on a passing Laszlo Karvasha and both survived?

Some researchers of Coincidence insist on the veracity of the story: "A resident of Budapest György Sherfezi fell out of the 10th floor window and landed on a passing Laszlo Karvasha. Exactly one ...
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Was it ever common in the USA for women to use their husbands' Social Security Numbers as their own?

The December 2015 Uniform Assessment Instrument of Virginia's Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (an instruction manual for administration of certain public social services) contains the ...
7 votes
1 answer
873 views

Is this the Oath to become a Master Mason?

In Freemasonry, the third degree that one may obtain is called Master Mason. I found a book claiming to contain the rituals and oath that the Mason has to perform. The book is called "Duncan's ...
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was Greenpeace ever sponsored by the KGB?

As an urban legend, I've heard this claim many times. Allegedly, in the 1970s, the KGB sponsored various Western "anti-war" movements, especially the ones that could hinder Western nuclear ...
3 votes
2 answers
847 views

Were the Finns ever considered as the Negroes of the North?

The Finnish member of parliament Teemu Keskisarja recently made headlines by claiming in a parliament speech: Suomen rasismihistorian lyhyt tiedonanto: ...Esivanhempamme eli Pohjolan neekerit olivat ...
11 votes
1 answer
14k views

Was Johnny Cash the first American to learn of Stalin's death?

I just came across this claim in a letter to The Economist: He worked the line SIR – Charlemagne considers it “safe to assume that Johnny Cash… gave little thought to European foreign policy” (...
28 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
5 votes
0 answers
278 views

Did Mongolian president Ochirbat Punsalmaa make a funny remark about a snoring bodyguard to Queen Elizabeth II on a visit to the UK in 1996?

According to this widely shared Quora answer, the following interesting story took place when the Mongolian president visited the UK in 1996: In 1996, Mongolia's first president, Ochirbat Punsalmaa, ...
6 votes
1 answer
873 views

Did Voltaire say/write "Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said."?

There is a popular saying: Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said. On the internet, many pages attribute this quote to Voltaire - however, I could not find any ...
10 votes
2 answers
79k views

Did Niccoló Machiavelli advocate to fake one's own death?

September 13, 2014 will mark the 18th anniversary of when 2Pac (born Tupac Amaru Shakur), famous American gangster rapper, was murdered in Las Vegas. There are many conspiracy theories behind his ...
6 votes
0 answers
1k views

Was the flawless execution of code used as motivation for moonlanding denial?

In this video around 2:25 on programmer stereotypes it is mentioned in the part named female programmers that the code Margaret Hamilton wrote for the Apollo mission was so flawless that some use it ...
16 votes
1 answer
8k views

Did Emperor Norton ever kneel in defiance of racist mobs?

There is a rumour on the Chinese internet that during one of the anti-Chinese riots in the 1860s, Norton stood in front of the Chinese migrants, and, facing the rabid racist mobs, kneeled down and ...
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is this infographic about Palestinian loss of land since 1947 accurate? [duplicate]

I've come across this infographic a few times on social media, most recently in this widely shared Facebook post: Here is a larger version of the infographic: Are the borders in it largely accurate?
6 votes
0 answers
546 views

Did Zhang Zongchang order each player in a basketball game be given their own ball?

There is a claim that Chinese warlord, Zhang Zongchang was confused by the sport of basketball: iFunny After seeing a basketball game for the first time, he allegedly asked "Why the hell are ...
32 votes
2 answers
8k views

Did Andrew Tate claim his job was to seduce women and get them on a webcam?

Andrew Tate is a social media personality who was recently charged with rape and human trafficking offences. There are screenshots available of Andrew Tate's website cobratate.com, on which it says: ...
32 votes
4 answers
19k views

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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
876 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 ...
24 votes
1 answer
8k views

Did Minecraft sell 600 million copies?

According to this website and this one, Minecraft has sold over 600 million copies. However, in a 2021 Gamespot article it says that only 238 million copies had been sold at that point. Have there ...
24 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
30 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was Robert Capa’s famous 1936 war photo “The Falling Soldier” a faked photo?

The photo in question (Death of a Loyalist Militiaman, Córdoba front, Spain (1936)) can be found here at The International Center of Photography and is also attached below. The question is: The core ...
21 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
738 views

Did Tsar Nicholas II really call for a "short, victorious war"?

Back in 2018, an article in the Political Studies Association blog quoted Tsar Nicholas II as saying that what his people needed was a "short, victorious war" prior to the Russo-Japanese War ...
8 votes
1 answer
554 views

Were South Korean workers forcibly injected with amphetamines?

In a biographical article about the life of Jeon Tae-il, Wikipedia states that As a tailor, Jeon witnessed the horrendous working conditions in the Seoul Peace Market... Such conditions included ...
2 votes
1 answer
921 views

Did the Joint Intelligence Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff claim the USSR would convince all Japanese?

An opinion piece posted on 10.05.2016 08:46 by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey on Pravda states that Peter Kuznick claimed: The Japanese leaders did not know that at Yalta Stalin had agreed to come into the ...
48 votes
4 answers
6k views

Was the golden ratio deliberately used for aesthetics in ancient or Renaissance times?

It's a famous claim that the golden ratio was both known to and deliberately used by artists and/or architects, for example in the Parthenon. I doubt this, and suspect that any observations about the ...
14 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 ...
7 votes
0 answers
3k views

Was there a pattern of women in Middle Ages Europe poisoning their husbands to keep them close?

There's a claim doing the rounds on social media, that women in the Middle Ages would poison their husbands, and then administer an antidote on their arrival home. The implication is that this would &...
1 vote
2 answers
345 views

Did Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird ignore direct orders from Nixon during the EC-121 crisis, as Henry Kissinger alleged?

It's mentioned in a paper on the Vietnam war that (contemporaneously): When [... in 1969] a North Korean jet shot down a U.S. EC-121 surveillance plane, Laird again acted on his own as he ignored a ...

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