For questions spanning a significant proportion of the 20th century. Questions focused on the latter decades should consider using the contemporary-histroy tag. Individual tags exist for specific decades.

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2
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2answers
179 views

Why was there a reference to the Battle of Hastings in Harper Lee's novel?

I am unfamiliar with details of European history; how is the Battle of Hastings relevant to the historical background in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird? Chapter 1, Paragraph 4: Being ...
5
votes
4answers
424 views

How did South Korea become one of the most developed nations on Earth? [on hold]

What I've learnt from South Korean history (roughly, from one of my liberal arts classes) is that because of their geographical disadvantage, they were invaded by China and Japan numerous times in the ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Why were Chinese divisions undersized?

Reading the orders of battle for the Second Sino-Japanese War, it seems that in the major battles, the Chinese side consistently fields large numbers of divisions, but not as many total troops as that ...
5
votes
2answers
579 views

Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...
1
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0answers
70 views

What was the nature of the Japanese cabinet crisis after the Battle of Taierzhuang?

According to Wikipedia, after the Japanese defeat in the Battle of Taierzhuang, "It was reported in the world's newspapers, however, and by mid-April had provoked a Cabinet crisis in Tokyo". What was ...
10
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2answers
189 views

Why did 1906 Iranian constitutionalists use the Belgian constitution as inspiration?

The Constitutional Revolution of Iran in 1906 resulted in a constitution that established a parliament and a constitutional monarchy. Interestingly, it was based on the Belgian constitution. Was ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Did Jiang Baili receive a sword from Emperor Meiji for graduating first of his class?

Jiang Baili was a famous Chinese military trainer who attended the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Some sources, including the Wikipedia article, claims that he graduated top of the class and that ...
5
votes
1answer
678 views

What happened to Justice, Nelson Mandela's cousin (or stepbrother)?

Reading Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela ran away from his guardian, Jogintaba the regent of Transkei, with the regent's son who was called Justice. Then Justice simply drops out of the story. ...
14
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2answers
443 views

Where did Japan get their oil during WWII?

To my understanding the United States was the largest exporter of oil to the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor. The Japanese islands aren't known for their oil fields. It's also believed that the attacks ...
-2
votes
2answers
177 views

Reasons for transfer of leadership in computing from Britain to US after WWII

Great advances were made in field of computing until end of WWII. Many of them happened in Britain. However, by about 1960 it can be safely said that US became home of computer science. Why didn't ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Legal guardians for minors in the U.S in 1910? [closed]

What were the different types of guardianship in the United States in 1910 ? Until what age did the legal guardian take care of the minor (21 Years old or 18) ? Was possible for parents to name a ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

What military first used fire support bases?

What country first introduced the use of fire support bases (FSB) as seen, for example, during the Vietnam War? Is this a uniquely U.S. military doctrine that developed out of that specific war? The ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How was Martin Luther King Jr. viewed by white Americans at the time? [closed]

In today's United States, MLK Jr. is universally regarded as a hero and patriot (...or as universally regarded as one can be in this nation). By that, I mean all races, all political parties—everyone ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Is Britain currently undergoing a sea-change in its history? [closed]

When, a few years ago, in my retirement, I took an undergraduate degree in history one of my early courses was British political history in the 20th century. At the first lecture the Professor of ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

Were non German soldiers treated differently than German soldiers in the German army during the Great War?

For some reason I cannot find reliable source about that. Germany's population were in majority German, but there was also Frenchs in the west, Danes in the north, Lithuanians, and Poles in the east, ...
4
votes
2answers
284 views

How were blacks excluded from juries in the US southern states in the 1930s?

As I am in the process of re-reading Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird, I did a bit of elementary research on the subject of jury selection in Alabama. I discovered that in the Scottsboro boys case ...
8
votes
2answers
293 views

Why didn't Stalin use force to bring Tito into line?

In 1956 and 1968, the Soviets invaded Eastern European countries because they had deviated from Moscow's model. Why didn't they do this to Tito? His independent inclinations are usually explained by ...
9
votes
1answer
147 views

Did Radio Free Europe say that the Allies would come to the rescue during the Hungarian Revolution?

I found this video (in Spanish) where a woman claims that Radio Free Europe encouraged the Hungarians to resist, and that aid was on its way. Is this true? Is there any evidence? And if it is true, ...
14
votes
1answer
292 views

What were the key factors to the fall of domestic socialism in the USA?

During the late 1800s, and early 1900s the United States saw the rise of trade union membership, the coming and going of the populist party, and watched the progressive era come to institute reforms ...
0
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1answer
115 views

Was smoking allowed aboard hydrogen-filled zeppelins?

The question is self explanatory: Were passengers aboard rigid airships filled with hydrogen, like the Hindenburg, allowed to smoke?
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Was George Wallace's American Independent party (1968) “the same party” as Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat party (1948)?

The party that nominated George Wallace for president in 1968 (the American Independent Party) seems very similar to the State's Rights Democratic Party (aka. Dixiecrat) that nominated Strom Thurmond ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

In Montgomery, Alabama, how common was it to be arrested for sitting in the incorrect section of the bus?

Rosa Parks' arrest, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, is the most famous case, while Claudette Colvin is often listed as the first. (Sometimes she is listed as first, other times as the first ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

What was the general attitude of people in states without anti-miscegenation laws toward interracial marriage?

Can we say that interracial relationships were somehow tolerated in states that had not passed any anti-miscegenation laws?
9
votes
2answers
237 views

Did the German authorities respell Polish names to be more German during the time of the Empire?

How were Polish names handled by Prussian and German authorities during the times of the German empire? It is well known there was intense Germanisation throughout the area, for example all location ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Why did Puerto Rican families send their children to New York?

I'm currently reading Run Baby Run, an autobiography by Nicky Cruz. Mr Cruz is a former New York City gang leader who became a Christian minister. In the first chapter, in which he describes how he ...
8
votes
3answers
815 views

Who introduced Yoga to the West?

Yoga has been accepted as a way of life by so many people around the world irrespective of the religion and country. There is world wide promotion for Yoga and June 21 is going to be celebrate as ...
5
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1answer
155 views

When penicillin was initially introduced, was it effective against all gram positives?

I'm trying to investigate the history of resistance. Just how good was penicillin when it first emerged? Were there any gram positives it couldn't get?
5
votes
2answers
554 views

What does a slitterman do?

On my Great-Uncle's Naval Entry Form, it says: Occupation upon entry: Slitterman (paper) I found this article, which says a slitterman is: A representative for the Travellers Aid Society ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How common was smoking in first half of the 20th century?

When watching movies that were made in first half of the 20th century, one can see many people are smoking (cigarettes), but it is not they smoke all time long. I refer to the movies, because they ...
-4
votes
1answer
165 views

Borisov aktion of 23 July , 1941 [closed]

I'm looking, following a similar former request, for info, regarding certain actions performed by einsatzgruppen of the SS in Barysaw on 23 July, 1941....couldn't find anything on the web but could be ...
4
votes
1answer
288 views

What were common reasons people attended executions in mid 1930s.?

In The Green Mile movie (1999) the main character is a guardian in jail and performs death penalty executions. One can see that on such executions some external people come to watch (as "external" I ...
1
vote
2answers
472 views

Why weren't Baden, Würtemberg and Bavaria independent states ever restored? [closed]

The southern german states of Baden, Würtemberg and Bavaria were independent states until 1871. Their historical background is quite different from the northern Germany which was dominated by Prussia ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Usage of German camoflage during World War II

Although most do not know this, Germans used camouflage during the war. The grey uniform was only ceremonial. However, they are pictured without the camo 99% of the time so I'd like to ask, during ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

What is / are the specific reason(s) for Vyacheslav Molotov's fall from grace with Joseph Stalin?

From the 1930's through World War 2, Vyacheslav Molotov seemed to be the face of the Soviet Union in most diplomatic circles. Sometime after the war he lost favor with Stalin. Some reports say to the ...
6
votes
3answers
304 views

When and what was the maximum extent of Nationalist China?

The Republic of China (1912–49) claimed a large area of land, the most notable difference compared to present-day China being the inclusion of Mongolia. However, it's my understanding that at no point ...
7
votes
1answer
142 views

What did Central America export in the early 20th century other than coffee and bananas?

Coffee and bananas dominated the Central American economy after the turn of the century, accounting for 75% of the region's exports in 1930. Central America became very dependent on the fortune of ...
10
votes
1answer
733 views

What was Poland's involvement in Vietnam War?

So far I've found a few stories about Poland's involvement in Vietnam War: historycy.org (in Polish) Operation Marigold Multinational UN peacekeeping force International Commission of Control and ...
1
vote
1answer
704 views

What effect did the Mafia have during World War 2?

I have heard that the Mafia cooperated with different governments in WW2. How extensive was this cooperation and was it effective?
5
votes
1answer
727 views

Income distribution of major combatants before and after WWII?

This question about GDP per capita of major combatants before and after WWI made me wonder how these GDPs were distributed. Do we know the Gini coefficient (or a similiar metric) for the major ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How was titanium transported from Soviet Union to Area 51 for Oxcart?

Oxcart was one of its kind, a sophisticated aircraft designed during the Cold-War era. Its body was made up of titanium. Titanium was only found in substantial quantities in the then Soviet Union. The ...
1
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0answers
159 views

What did Thomas Mann yield in negotiations with Nazis in 1933?

The following is from the article on Golo Mann (1909 – 1994) in the German Wikipedia (translation courtesy of Google Translate). Golo Mann was the son of German novelist and 1929 Nobel Prize in ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did the Government of India Act create separate electorates for the depressed classes?

The Communal Award, in 1932, conceded to the demands of B.R. Ambedkar and the ilk to have separate electorates for depressed classes. But Gandhji held fast unto death to undo this. So, Poona Pact ...
0
votes
1answer
254 views

Who inherited from the pre- World War II German states?

The German states (aka Länder) have been completely reshaped after WWII and I wonder: Which current German states inherited laws and state-owned property from the former pre-WWII states? In states ...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

Destruction of iconic structures in wars of the 20th century and later

I was thinking about this question I just asked, and I wonder whether the potential destruction of such an iconic building is even a realistic fear. Has there been any incident of deliberate ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

What is wrong with Russian claim that 7 million people starved to death in the Great Depression in the USA? [duplicate]

An article published in Russia claims that 7 million people are demographically unaccounted for during the Great Depression in the USA, and can therefore be assumed to have died as a result of the ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

Was Jawaharlal Nehru virtually a Buddhist?

At the end of this conversation (in the podcast version at 46'30") about Ashoka the Great scholar of Buddhism Richard Gombrich made this remark: The Indian flag has [Ashoka's] wheel of the dharma ...
1
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0answers
33 views

Sources for researching the MKULTRA program [closed]

What kind of sources are available for researching the MKULTRA program? Is it actually possible to research the subject when most of the official documents are lost?
3
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2answers
148 views

How powerful and influential was the “last caliph” Abdul Mejid?

It is unbelievable to see how a Caliph was so easily deposed by Turkish parliament which begs a question: How powerful and influential was Abdul Mejid II? Was he merely a titular symbolic puppet who ...
3
votes
2answers
972 views

Why would staff officers carry swords during combat, in World War II?

I realise one purpose as ceremonial, as depicted in Lieutenant General Hatazō Adachi's surrender (eg this picture), but when Isoroku Yamamoto was killed, his white-gloved hand [was still] ...
2
votes
1answer
528 views

How did women's roles and rights change during the early Republican period in China?

How did attitudes towards women and their role within the family unit and greater society change under the Chinese Republican government? What rights did they gain? Did they generally benefit from the ...