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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is the U.S. Tea Party astroturf or a genuine grassroots movement?

According to The Wikipedia article on the United States Tea Party movement (emphasis mine), TeaParty.org defines the Tea Party as "a grassroots movement that calls awareness to any issue which ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is the US Army Field Manual 30-31B a forgery?

Wikipedia describes content of the US Army Field Manual 30-31B: It identifies a strategy of tension involving violent attacks which are then blamed on radical left-wing groups in order to convince ...
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Did the Philadelphia Experiment ever take place?

The Philadelphia Experiment forms the basis for a claim that in 1943 the U.S. Navy attempted to use "speculative physics" to render a ship, the U.S.S. Eldridge, invisible. Allegedly, they were ...
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At Chernobyl, did someone see the fuel channel caps bounce shortly before the explosion?

The well known 2019 show Chernobyl mentions an operator who happened to walk through the reactor hall of Unit 4 seconds before the reactor exploded. He allegedly saw this: If this story seems ...
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Did Churchill urge the US to ‘wipe out’ Moscow with an A-bomb

I read the following article: https://www.icij.org/blog/2014/10/churchill-urged-us-wipe-out-moscow-bomb/ from a seemingly reputable source (although it is a blog post). The key claim: Privately, ...
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Did ninjas use Pythagoras' theorem to determine the depth of moats?

Ninjas are alleged to have determined the depth of moats by taking a reed that's attached to the bottom of the moat, and measuring the height of the reed above water, and how far forward they had to ...
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Was the crew dropping the "Tsar Bomba" nuclear bomb given only a 50% chance to survive?

Background The Tsar Bomba was the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created. On 30 October 1961 the Soviet Union experimentally detonated the bomb after dropping it from a plane above Nova Zembla. A ...
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Did Brazilian football fans commit suicide 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 committed suicide inside the stadium. The LA Times says that ...
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Did more more Pilgrims die from drowning after getting drunk than were killed by Native Americans?

Joy Browne's 2011 book Dating For Dummies says: Alcohol has been, is now, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future the major drug of abuse in this country. (More Pilgrims drowned in the ...
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Was cannibalism acceptable amongst the Aztecs?

In 1979, William Arens published The Man-Eating Myth, in which he presented his finding that there is no good evidence that cannibalism was socially accepted by anybody, ever, and an hypothesis that ...
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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 ...
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Did Lyndon Johnson spy on Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign using CIA and FBI assets?

An article by Lee Edwards on the Heritage Foundation website claims so with quite some level of detail, e.g. In the fall of 1964, the White House turned to the CIA to get advance inside information ...
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Are Pathans the lost tribe of the Israel?

The Pathan people (also known as the Pasthun) is an ethnic group of around 50 million living scattered across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and also Iran and India. Wikipedia explains:...
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Was the "Quetzcoatl, the White God" myth traditional to Mesoamerica?

I heard on an Internet forum that the Book of Mormon's claims about Jesus Christ preaching to a section of natives in Mesoamerica was based on the myths of a white god, Quetzcoatl. However, reading ...
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Did the cat-o'-nine-tails' bag ever exist?

There are numerous instances on the Internet and in Google books, which claim the cat-o'-nine-tails, a late 17th century instrument of punishment used by the Royal Navy, was kept in a bag. It is said ...
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Were Nezamiyeh (precursors to madrasas) responsible for stifling science [development] in the Islamic world?

An article in The National, while correctly rejecting the Orientalist view that Al-Ghazali was the lynchpin of the Islamic turn from science, nevertheless proposes an alternative that may not be as ...
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Did Governor of Moscow train bears to serve Vodka?

The Governor of Moscow trained a large bear to serve pepper Vodka to' his guests. If anyone showed reluctance in accepting the drink, the bear would remove the guest's clothes, an article at a time." ...
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Did stock trader, Mark Minervini, make 33,554% from 1994-1999 years?

This 2020 Business Insider article claims that author and stock-trader, Mark Minervini made a compounded total return of 33,554% from 1994 to 1999, which equates to roughly 220% a year This seems ...
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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 ...
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Is being a professional logician associated with serious mental health issues?

In Indiscrete Thoughts, Gian-Carlo Rota claims that: It cannot be a complete coincidence that several outstanding logicians of the twentieth century found shelter in asylums at some point in their ...
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Was a German WWI soldier made into a hat rack by a furious Scottish Lord?

In the TV show QI XL J16 - Just the Job Jeremy Clarkson tells a story, about a Scottish Lord making a hat rack out of a german WWI soldier. The story goes (from 21:20 in the video): There were some ...
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Were giant human bones discovered in Castelnau?

French anthropologist Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854 - 1936) reported in 1890 the discovery of "the Giant of Castelnau" - giant bones in neolithic tombs, in southern France. According to Mr. de ...
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Did Voltaire drink 40-50 cups of coffee a day?

From 9 Famous Geniuses Who Were Also Huge Coffee Addicts: Voltaire is said to have drunk 40-50 cups of coffee a day. Elsewhere, from Did Voltaire really drink 40 to 50 cups of coffee a day? Stephen ...
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Were these the last words of Trotsky's assasin?

Ramon Mercader assassinated Leon Trotsky on August 20th 1940. Ramon was jailed by the Mexican government, but was released in 1961. He died in Cuba of lung cancer in 1978. Wikipedia claims his last ...
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Is Al Qarawiyyin the oldest university in the world?

This Moroccan World News article claims that the Univeristy of Al Qarawiyyin of Fez, Morocco is "the Oldest University in the World". Dating back to 859, the University is no doubt older ...
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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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Did Napoleon write an elegy to Imam Hussain(a.s)?

In this YouTube video, noted Pakistani scholar, Allama Zamir Akhtar Naqvi claims (in Urdu) that Napoleon wrote a letter or poem in honour of the historical figure [Imam Hussain] (a.s)(https://en....
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Did most people self-identify as Bulgarians in first census of Macedonia?

I remember seeing on TV in my own country (Bulgaria) floated the claim that during the first census done in Macedonia, most of the population was self-identifying as Bulgarians. After that, the story ...
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Is this anecdote about the adoption of best practices true?

I've been forwarded this by a colleague: There’s a great story of a manager of a Coca-cola plant who’s numbers were far better than his peers. When asked what his “secret” was, he said simply that ...
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Is this quote from Lenin: "Make them swallow the word, they will swallow the thing"?

Éric Zemmour, the far-right probable candidate for the 2022 French presidential election said (in his book La France n'a pas dit son dernier mot but also in many meetings, example) that Lenin has ...
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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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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 where your ...
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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 home to ...
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Did Emil Krebs master 68 languages?

The German polyglot Emil Krebs allegedly mastered 68 languages. Which, frankly, I find unbelievable. Unfortunately, I cannot find any reliable and convincing source. Is there solid evidence that Emil ...
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Was the Anarchist Cookbook created by the FBI/CIA to sabotage insurgency?

My professor said that the Anarchist Cookbook (a collection of recipes for bombs, etc.) was created by the government, who inserted deliberate errors to make sure that budding insurgents would blow ...
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Were there Hungarian speaking Indians in South America?

The following story is a translation from Hungarian, with a lot of discussion in the blog's comments: http://www.cakravartin.com/archives/south-american-natives-speak-ancient-european-language The ...
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Does the video Experiments in the Revival of Organisms depict genuine results?

The video in question, which is in the public domain. Warning: may contain disturbing imagery. http://archive.org/details/Experime1940 The 20 minute 1940 Russian video purports to show the results ...
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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 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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Did Tecumseh Predict the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812?

Tecumseh was the leader of a confederacy of Native Americans that fought against the United States in the early 1800s. Several years ago, I read The Frontiersmen, a "narrative biography" by Allan W. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Was the North Korean leader, Kim Il-Sung, an imposter?

Some claim the founder of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung, was an imposter who adopted the name of another leader. Article from globalsecurity South Korea claims that the present-day ruler of North Korea ...
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Did Incas use potatoes as a measure of time?

I'm currently completing a corporate challenge where you count steps and head to different world destinations to find out interesting "facts". Today we had a fact or fiction quiz at Machu Picchu, ...
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Did Daniel Ekechukwu resurrect from the dead?

According to this four-part report, a man named Daniel Ekechukwu, a resident of Nigera, died November 30, 2001 and came back to life December 2, 2001. A literal and modern resurrection. The same story ...
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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 ...
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