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38 votes
Accepted

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

Landrath, "Die Rohrpost-Anlage in Berlin und Charlottenburg." Archiv für Post und Telegraphie , Vol. 16, No. 12, Jun. 1888, pp. 354-369 describes, among other items, the initial version of ...
njuffa's user avatar
  • 496
36 votes

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

Annual report of the Postmaster General, 1891 is as close to a primary source as I could find: In working the line of Berlin tubes a number of defects became apparent in course of time, caused partly ...
Laurel's user avatar
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34 votes
Accepted

Did Emperor Norton ever kneel in defiance of racist mobs?

The answer to this and other Norton-related questions can be found at The Emperor Norton Trust. First, the story of the prayer comes from a 1939 book by a man named Ryder. The Trust believes that the ...
Avery's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

Did Ertugrul and his son massacre Muslims?

First I have to admire the boldness with which this Hindu Quora poster, an "expert in Ottoman History" according to his bio, quotes from The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire (1916), by a ...
Avery's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

Is this gorilla joke from 1897?

The font in the image is Times New Roman, which was created in the 1930s, and the word "zookeeper" was rare before c.1920 according to Google Ngrams. The image was posted in 2020 on the blog ...
benrg's user avatar
  • 3,554
15 votes

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

The maps have problems and many inaccuracies. In the first map, the green area is described as "Palestinian land". Before 1947 the term "Palestinian" referred to any inhabitant of ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

Did President Richard Nixon say that the Warren Report was a hoax?

No, he didn't say that the Warren Report was a hoax. Nixon did use the words "the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated" in a recorded conversation related to the Kennedy ...
13 votes
Accepted

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

Google Books is too limited for me to get the full context, but this is what I have, evidently from a letter he wrote in 1900. From The years of preparation, 1868-1900 - Page 1356: …which will help ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 32k
9 votes

Was the oven mitt first developed by Earl Mitt?

I found some evidence (all of which points very strongly against any "Earl Mitt") and assembled a timeline: 1757: Mitt (a clipping of "mitten" with the same meaning) is first ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 32k
9 votes
Accepted

Did 'regulated' in the US's Second Amendment refer to function or restriction?

The 1828 Websters Dictionary explains: The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades, with officers of all grades, and required by law to attend ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
8 votes

Did Voltaire drink 40-50 cups of coffee a day?

A much older source is Frederick II 's eulogy of Voltaire, immediately after his death. An English translation published in 1789 says: He passed whole nights in new modelling his work; and whether it ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
8 votes

Were there 20,000 Jewish people in Lebanon in 1948?

The first thing to say is that if you are asking whether 20,000 is too high and 10,000 or even 5,000 - a more realistic number, then maybe. Estimating populations is really difficult when there isn't ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 57.7k
7 votes
Accepted

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

Partial answer Not found in French Looking for Voltaire's citations in French with related words ("vérité", "vrai") on various websites doesn't bring any hit that could be the ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 2,001
6 votes
Accepted

Were Ertugrul and his son Osman pagans?

For cultural context, in case it's not clear why this question is interesting, Ertuğrul was portrayed in a 2010s television show Diriliş: Ertuğrul which became extremely famous throughout the Muslim ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 46.4k
6 votes

Is this the Oath to become a Master Mason?

The same oath also occurs in Morgan's Exposure of Freemasonry, on pages 47 and 48. However, it seems that Freemasonry has never confirmed any of the exposures. Therefore, we can never know for certain....
Riemann's user avatar
  • 1,187
6 votes
Accepted

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

There is a 1957 article which specifies which city. 1957 is older than the sources in all the other answers. The 1957 Newsweek says: A nail factory at Kubishev (on the Volga River) is a model. ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
5 votes

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

Yes. ...it has long been nearly impossible to function in the US without a number... While Social Security numbers (SSN) are ubiquitous today, and women's rights have advanced, I believe this ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 20.4k
5 votes

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

The Wikipedia page on the Berlin Crisis of 1961 mentions the incident where an American soldier climbed into a T54 to see if it were a Soviet tank. It references the book Berlin 1961 by Frederick ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 5,922
5 votes

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

The German Wikipedia article on the standoff provides this article as its primary source. It is a newspaper article written in 2011, so unfortunately it doesn't provide sources itself but it seems ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 1,848
5 votes
Accepted

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

Some such comparisons were made, but shouldn't be exaggerated. In the July 1861 Brownson's Quarterly Review writings of Vincenzo Gioberti state: the Finns and Negroes, the two most degenerate ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
5 votes

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

After @Laurel's answer I googled for "Oriana Fallacci interview with Ariel Sharon" and just found out that there is a new edition of Oriana Fallacci's book featuring Ariel Sharon and some ...
C.F.G's user avatar
  • 1,185
5 votes

Were there 20,000 Jewish people in Lebanon in 1948?

According to The Jews Of Lebanon, Between Coexistence And Conflict, second edition: The population of Jews in Lebanon was: 1948: 5,200 1951: 9,000 1958: 14,000 1967: 7,000 1971: Less than 4,000 See ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
5 votes

Was there an "understanding between King Abdullah and the Jewish Agency to partition Palestine between themselves"?

In 1921 Britain created Trans-Jordan and gave it to the Hashemites to rule over. Trans-Jordan is an arbitrary piece of the Arabian desert and Churchill famously boasted that he had created it with &...
Gaslight Deceive Subvert's user avatar
4 votes

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

Partial answer: I don't know, and neither do the Wikipedia editors Some additional context is given by Dankula on the Wikipedia talk page (Google Translated with minor copyedits and added notes): ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 32k
4 votes

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

According to Tools for Evaluating Health Technologies (1995), a publication of the 103rd Congress, at page 50 in a portion written by Jeff Whittle of the Veterans Administration: For example, women ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
4 votes

Was the financial crash of 2008 caused by top graduates of the American Ivy Leagues working at wall street banks?

This question is based on a fallacy: Fallacy of the single cause: The fallacy of the single cause, also known as causal oversimplification, is a fallacy of questionable cause that occurs when it is ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
3 votes

Did Voltaire drink 40-50 cups of coffee a day?

This is an answer not to address the claim directly, but the implications of the claim (and thus some of its notoriety) by providing important context. Drinking 50 cups of coffee in one day now has ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 20.4k
3 votes

Did Malian sailors reach the Americas in 1311 CE?

I don't have a copy of al-'Umari's Arabic text, but I do have an English translation of it, it is in Corpus of Early Arabic Sources of West African History edited by N. Levtzion & J.F.P. Hopkins, ...
MagisterSomnii's user avatar
3 votes

Are Ashkenazi Jews genetically more European than Semitic?

Male / Female Line Genetic Split is not Uncommon In his 2018 book Harvard geneticist David Reich discusses this kind of evidence at length. There are parts of the genome that are passed down in the ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
2 votes

Did Richard Feynman see Josef Papp's machine explode?

It is not a hoax. In 2022, a tribute site to Joseph Papp includes a contemporaneous source: Gardena Valley News, November 21, 1968 According to Papp; "The motor had been running for about 10 ...
ozers's user avatar
  • 29

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