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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4
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2answers
335 views

Symbol on utility pole in photograph from 1906

I happened to notice this symbol: on a utility pole in a photograph from 1906. What's the meaning of that symbol?
8
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4answers
506 views

Chronology of Political Party Alignment with “Left” and “Right”

I once heard it said that U.S. political parties (Republicans and Democrats) have both spent the last century becoming increasingly liberal, such that 21st century Republicans now hold the same ...
10
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5answers
1k views

What new technology/tactics allowed the breakthrough of the trenches in WW I western front?

Reading the answers to this question about WW1 Western Front, it appears that breaking through the trenches was a very difficult task to do. How did the Allies finally make it? Was it the invention of ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Why was the Western Front so static in World War I?

Once the German advance was halted, neither side could seriously advance for two years. This seems like an extraordinarily long time. Why didn't anyone succeed at going around the trenches or striking ...
16
votes
3answers
586 views

Why were the British so reluctant to allow Jewish migration to Palestine?

Not sure this is the correct forum to ask this, but i'm currently reading 'Exodus' by Leon Uris, and i'm curious as to why the British were so reluctant in letting jewish people in Palestine. This ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

What was Wilson's mistake in the 1918 Congressional election?

Keynes writes in The Economic Consequences of the Peace that The President's mistaken policy over the Congressional election had weakened his personal position in his own country, and it was by ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

Nicknames of M36 Gun Motor Carriage

During World War 2 and Korean War United States Army used tank destroyer M36 (90mm Gun Motor Carriage M36). British soldiers gave one of nicknames to it, "Jackson", after general Thomas Jonathan ...
3
votes
3answers
149 views

Smoking as a throat cure

In the movie The King's Speech Prince Bertie at some point says his doctors had advised him to smoke, in order to improve his throat's condition. Does this stupid suggestion represent actual medical ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What percentage of relocated Armenians died?

What percentage of those forced to relocate actually died as a result of the relocation?
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Is taking away decorations of traitors a normal modus operandi?

In the USSR, people convicted of treason were routinely stripped of their State decorations, even when they were honestly earned before the treason (e.g., Власов, Добробабин, Берия). The sentence also ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

What were the reasons for the Federal Art Project?

From August 29, 1935, until June 30, 1943 United States promote what they called Federal Art Project. Reputed to have created more than 200,000 separate works, FAP artists created posters, ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Why was the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959) ultimately successful?

Communist revolutions have been attempted across the world - what were the primary reasons that the Cuban Revolution succeeded while others failed?
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Would modern aerodynamic design be recognizable to a vehicle expert 100 years ago?

Which is a stronger constraint on vehicle appearance: aerodynamic theory or manufacturing? If we gave Henry Ford a peek at our modern cars, would he fail to recognize it as a car? Or would it his ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Who was Charles Kingston O'Mahony?

I've read his book The Viceroys of Ireland and am trying to find out more about him. The book was published in 1912 and I can't find any more information about him. I was able to dig up references to ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Can someone help explain this floor plan of a mid 20th century apartment?

I was watching 12 Angry Men, which was made in 1957; and they show this floor plan of an apartment: My main question is, what's the opening in the wall between the hallway and the main room? It ...
6
votes
13answers
4k views

What is the oldest movie theater in the US that has been in continuous use as a movie theater?

It appears from Wikipedia that the oldest theater in continuous use is in Denmark, but since so much of the film industry is dominated by Hollywood, I was wondering what is the oldest movie theater in ...
6
votes
4answers
401 views

How to validate a historical source

You can learn and understand history various ways such as learning in a university, reading books, being taught by someone with a background in history, watching TV, browsing the internet, or, in my ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Is there support for the theory that the 1918 influenza resulted from churning up microbe-laden French soil?

Margaret MacMillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 contains the following: In the first years of the peace, fresh afflictions fell on European society: the influenza epidemic ...
4
votes
0answers
153 views

How was the relation between the Ottoman Empire and Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro during the Second Balkan War?

As pointed out by Tom Au in this answer to "Has there ever been a truly multi-sided war?", Turkey fought and lost to Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in the First Balkan War. However, shortly ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

What was the Nature of Resistance in 1938 Czechoslovakia?

I wonder if someone might help me. I'm writing a novel. My protagonist is a dual national (English born, German parents) bio chemist contracted to work for Freiburg University 1938. At the time ...
19
votes
1answer
527 views

How did people react to Cavendish bananas when they first replaced the Gros Michel strain?

I was reading that the bananas we eat today (Cavendish) weren't particularly popular until the 50s, when the more popular Gros Michel variety was virtually wiped out by a nasty disease. Apparently ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

(War Guilt Methodology) Was Germany solely to blame for WWI?

Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles places the blame of the war solely on Germany and her allies. This is the quote: The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese?

There's general agreement that the Japanese invasion of China benefited the CPC by interrupting the civil war, forcing the KMT to fight the Japanese instead of continuing the CPC purge, which they ...
-4
votes
3answers
684 views

Did Gorbachev say that his intention was to destroy Communism?

As I remember the 1980s and the Perestroika epoch, the reforms were advertised to the people as "return to Leninist principles", even deeper implementation of Socialism. The posters claimed it was ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views
6
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1answer
302 views

Who was in charge of the Barysaw massacre (20 October 1941)?

I'm looking for information about the Barysaw Massacre of 20 October 1941. Who preformed it and who was in charge of this operation?
5
votes
0answers
132 views

What were the factors that caused debtors' prison to disappear in most parts of the world in the 20th century?

Debtors' prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. As recently as the mid 19th century, it was a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Debtors' prison started to ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why were there more Muslims in East Bengal than in West Bengal

When India and Pakistan were partitioned, Muslims were in a majority in east Bengal whereas Hindus were in a majority in west Bengal. What is the historical reason behind this demographic statistic?
3
votes
1answer
80 views

When was first security screen door instaled in Seoul metro

My task is to document Seouls metro history. However, I'm from Czech Republic which limits selection of sites I can get data from. (I don't speak Korean, and google translate usually fails). Also, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Japan ever pay Russia war reparations after WW2? Why or why not?

Russia had the largest number of casualties during WW2, and Russia had taken many Japanese prisoners. So, why didn't Russia receive a reparation from Japan to help boost Russia's economy after the ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

When was the british rail strike when the workers fought by following the regulations?

I once heard about a strike in british railways. The workers decided to follow strictly the law regulations and that created chaos and that's how they proved the law was wrong. I can't find any ...
0
votes
3answers
343 views

Was “Blitzkrieg” at least partly intended for trapping the Jews?

I encountered a point of view that the German tactic of "Blitzkrieg", besides purely military purpose to achieve victory as quick as possible, was in fact designed to trap the Jews so that they could ...
9
votes
4answers
571 views

What is this strange uniform?

Colonel John Tiltman wears a very strange uniform in this picture, dated 1919. The original webpage where I saw the picture is http://www.colossus-computer.com/colossus1.html.
8
votes
2answers
457 views

What are the scholarly opinions on the idea of the “European Civil War”?

On Wikipedia, I ran into an article talking about World War I to World War II and some of the adjacent wars before WWI as being a "European Civil War" or a "Second Thirty Years War". What is the ...
15
votes
3answers
419 views

What were the factors that caused the world to move away from the Gold Standard in the 20th century?

For most of the world's history for thousands of years, gold was used as the medium of exchange for money. The world gradually moved off the gold standard in the 20th century. What were the factors ...
0
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1answer
299 views
6
votes
3answers
312 views

Why did Churchill accept the Order of the Garter in 1953?

Churchill had refused the Order of the Garter in 1945, quipping that he couldn't accept the garter from the king after the people gave him the boot. But in 1953 he relented and accepted the honour? Is ...
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Could you help me identify this photograph that was taken shortly after World War 2?

Could you help me identify this photograph? All I know is that it was taken shortly after World War 2.
3
votes
2answers
299 views

Where, exactly, was the “Sudetenland?”

In an early version of my earlier Skoda Works question, I placed the works in the "Sudetenland." A European protested that they were 250 kms. away from the Sudetes mountains, which he considered the ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the steel pan the only acoustic musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century and used widely around the world?

I have seen claims that the steel pan (commonly called steel drum) was the only acoustic instrument developed in the 20th century. Is this true? There are related instruments (the Hang or hand pan) ...
9
votes
2answers
410 views

When did we figure out that Venus was too hot for humans?

Today it's well known that the surface of Venus is incredibly hot, over 800 °F (427 ºC). Depictions of Venus in fiction, however, used to portray it as something close to Earth temperatures, ...
5
votes
2answers
901 views

Was the painting of men's nails a rare practice in the mid-20th century?

I came across the following description of Hermann Göring after his capture in 1945 in Elizabeth Borgwardt's A New Deal for the World (On Google Books): The impression of a dissolute voluptuary - ...
11
votes
2answers
452 views

Amount of time an aeroplane could stay in the air during the last stages of WW1

I know for a fact that aeroplanes were used at the last stages of the first world war to capture images of the enemy trench system and supply lines. They were also used to alert the artillery how far ...
2
votes
4answers
58k views

Did the fights in the Ip Man movie series actually occur in real life? [closed]

In a series of movies called Ip Man 1 and 2, based in WW2, a Wing Chun martial arts master called Ip Man fought with a Japanese general and a western boxer named Twister. Did these events actually ...
5
votes
2answers
298 views

Did the United States ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? [closed]

Did the United States (particularly in the 20th century) ever impose any trade embargoes on the basis of health related concerns? Are there instances where the U.S. said that if Country X doesn't meet ...
11
votes
4answers
114k views

If Bill Clinton was impeached, why did he finish up his second term

I don't understand how he could have been impeached but did not have to leave office.
11
votes
3answers
875 views

What factors related to the Eastern Crisis contributed to the outbreak of World War 1?

What factors related to the Eastern Crisis contributed to the outbreak of World War 1? The Eastern Crisis pertains to problems posed by the decay of the Ottoman Empire. Primary among these problems ...
9
votes
1answer
149 views

How were British personnel employed in the colonies after independence

A lot of colonies continued to employ British citizens in their government even after attaining independence. But how were these employees paid (in local currency, or in pounds)? Was it not considered ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Who said “Lafayette we are here!”? [closed]

My sister has been saying this quote for about a month and says it has historical significance. After searching I can't find anything. What famous person said "Lafayette we are here!"?
10
votes
1answer
231 views

Are submarine launched ballistic missiles still inaccurate?

In the early 1980s documentary First Strike, one of the arguments made for the development of the MX missile program was that in the event of a massive Soviet attack on the land-based missile and ...