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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5
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1answer
271 views

During World War II, in the U.S., were diapers available?

As is well known, during World War II many consumer goods became difficult to find and with regard to the situation in the United States, after some searches, I observed that, among others: U.S. ...
-3
votes
1answer
647 views

Why did France just give up without a major fight in WW2? [closed]

Why did France give up when Paris was taken in WW2? They could have kept fighting just like the Polish did.
2
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1answer
183 views

Is there a way to find who died and what american plane crashed over a spot in Romania in 1942/1943?

My grandparents told be that in the nearby forest there was an american plane crash when american planes got back from bombing Ploiești. This is the place on Google Maps. To put things a bit in ...
10
votes
5answers
396 views

What factors contributed to the popularity of Eastern cultures in the USA in late 20th century?

Question says mostly all. To be more concrete, I am talking about the popularity of Krishna and Buddhism on the religious side, and stuff like yoga on the more practical side. Some other things might ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

Why was A.K.Gastev purged in 1939?

Gastev was the chief Soviet proponent of Taylorism, aka scientific management: In the Soviet Union, Taylorism was advocated by Aleksei Gastev and nauchnaia organizatsia truda (the movement for ...
6
votes
2answers
418 views

How high was the morale of non-Soviet Warsaw Pact states' armies and governments in the '80s?

Does anyone with any relevant expertise know the general mood of the armies during the time? Is there documentation of any concerns from high ranking Soviet military officers, or of their Warsaw Pact ...
9
votes
1answer
176 views

Suffragettes vs. Einstein

A long time ago -- either when I was in school, or via some documentary -- I learned that Einstein had to face a public immigration hearing in 1933 [edit: probably it was a naturalization hearing in ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

Why did former Yugoslav republics dispute the legal successor of Yugoslavia?

In Wikipedia's article for Yugoslavia: One of the seven successor states was also known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) until 2003. The FRY aspired to be a sole legal successor to ...
4
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3answers
157 views

How and why did the “Green Gang” hold the balance of power in Shanghai in 1927?

The line ups were a bit unusual, to say the least. On one side, you have some thousands of Communist party workers (probably not well armed) loosely aligned with several hundred thousand workers. On ...
10
votes
1answer
264 views

What was it like to have type 1 diabetes in the early 20th century?

Someone in my family died in 1924 of type 1 diabetes at the age of 26. What would life have been like for her? Would she have been in the hospital frequently? What was the average life-expectancy for ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this military patch with the silhouette of a pegasus on it?

I found this patch among my grandfather's things. I know it's a military patch of some sort because it was with his war memorabilia. He served in the European theater during WWII, if that helps at ...
6
votes
2answers
485 views

Were natural resources a primary reason for invading Romania during the middle ages-present?

When I was in school in Romania I remember my history teacher saying that historically Romania has seen a lot of invaders (referring mainly from the middle ages-present) because it used to have a lot ...
10
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3answers
737 views

Why is Finland represented as a Soviet satellite in this 1947 cartoon?

The cartoon is a British one. I found it at http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/05/28/secretwar/ but without any specific attribution.
4
votes
1answer
334 views

Did the Great Society programs ameliorate poverty or exacerbate it?

Once time ago Martin Luther King Jr., in his "I Have a Dream" speech, said: We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did the attempts to keep Africa colonized after World War II fail?

After World War II, though the Attlee-led British government decided to give freedom to India, they held on to much of Africa. But why did this attempt at colonization fail? Wikipedia explains that ...
11
votes
2answers
669 views

What was the situation of homosexuals in the early Soviet Union?

Between 1917 and 1930, homosexuality was decriminalised in the Soviet Union. From the Wikipedia article on LGBT history in Russia: The Russian Communist Inessa Armand publicly endorsed both ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

What was Finland's position in World War Two? [closed]

What was Finland's position in World War Two? Apparently, they were fighting against the Soviet Union, but not as Nazi Germany's ally. Are there reasons for this, and were they actually on Germany's ...
6
votes
2answers
894 views

When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

By what right/legitimacy did the Republic of Indonesia come to rule the country?

Before the Dutch rule, Indonesia consists of various sovereign kingdoms and sultanates. The Dutch left after armed fighting, so it was not like they peacefully left the sovereignty to a designated ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

What family or other connection bound Chiang Kaishek and Cai Yuanpei, two ideological opposites?

Politically, Nationalist China's Chiang Kaishek must be considered a "strange bedfellow with Cai Yuanpei. Chiang was a disciplined, narrow-minded conservative of the type one might expect from a ...
6
votes
1answer
310 views

Do photos of Wernher von Braun and Neil Armstrong exist? Have they ever met?

A quick google search for the term "Korolev and Gagarin" reveals many photos of the two together - surprisingly, as Korolev's identity was kept strictly secret up to his death. When searching for ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

Where can I find American circus or carnival grounds plans? [closed]

I am looking for a circus or carnival floor plan, and even combining several search terms ("grounds" "site" "floor plan" and "carnival" and such) I have not been able to find one. Circus history sites ...
11
votes
2answers
705 views

What role did Lucky Luciano play in faciliting South Europe invasion?

On the night of July 9, 1943, 160,000 Allied troops landed on the extreme southwestern shore of Sicily. After securing a beachhead, Gen. George Patton's U.S. Seventh Army launched an offensive into ...
5
votes
2answers
298 views

What is Adios Bruce Lee?

A co-worker of mine came in wearing a shirt with this image on it: This looks like a movie poster, but I'd never heard of that particular Bruce Lee movie, so I tried looking it up. As near as I can ...
1
vote
1answer
279 views

Cover Art of “Álbum de la Revolución Cubana”

On the cover of the famous "Álbum de la Revolución Cubana": Who is the person whose face is painted in the top-right corner? What is his importance? Is the cover (where we see Fidel Castro actively ...
7
votes
4answers
667 views

Why didn’t Britain use its vast navy to get past trench warfare?

Before the start of World War I there was a large arms race between Britain and Germany and although Britain didn’t come out with the largest army – they had by far the largest navy in the world. This ...
15
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2answers
298 views

How popular was Mozart in France before WWII and after it?

Another intriguing statement by Robert Paxton: I was surprised myself to learn that Mozart had been little played in France before 1940, and that his prominence since 1945 in the French ...
10
votes
2answers
586 views

Why didn't the Arab states industrialize?

Why didn't the states of the Arabian peninsula industrialize around the time that Europe and East Asia were? Was it simply a lack of accessible natural resources? Why not import coal?
7
votes
0answers
119 views

How many firearms were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA?

How many firearms in total were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA (cumulatively, not simultaneously)? The timeframe is what I would consider "Old West" timeframe, but starting ...
6
votes
1answer
165 views

How big was the percentage of white people in the USA who were not against granting the blacks equal rights?

How big was the percentage of white people in the USA who were not against granting the blacks equal rights at the time when the blacks finally got the equality of rights (which I think was in 1964). ...
1
vote
2answers
511 views

Was the N.E.P. of Russia successful in terms of economics?

The Soviet's New Economic Plan was indeed a successful plan in establishing a comparatively strong postwar economy for the Soviet Union, but there were many imperfections: food prices fluctuated ...
5
votes
2answers
138 views

Did the break up of AT & T in 1984 lead to technological innovation?

Are there examples of technologies developed since 1984 that would not have been likely to be developed had the Bell system stayed intact rather than being broken up by the US government? UPDT: To ...
12
votes
3answers
612 views

Was the Titanic tragedy at least partly avoidable?

Was there any way that Titanic's collision with the iceberg could have been avoided after the iceberg had been spotted? Could the ship have been saved from sinking by the pilot or captain after the ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

What exactly was the Philby Plan?

From what I gather it was some sort of idea for an amicable settlement between Jews and Arabs in Palestine and somehow involved Ibn Saud. Weizmann and Churchill apparently supported it but Ibn Saud ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the Olympics make the Star Spangled Banner the US national anthem?

A long, long time ago, I remember watching a TV miniseries about the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896. One of the amusing substories I remember involved the USA's National Anthem and the ...
7
votes
1answer
289 views

Argentina's involvement with the League of Nations

Argentina was a founding member of the League of Nations. However, Argentina left in 1921 when an Argentine resolution was rejected. Why, and through what procedure (if any), was Argentina allowed to ...
9
votes
1answer
394 views

What was the Soviet role in Syria during the Cold-War?

It is my understanding that the Soviet Union supported governments in Syria during the cold-war primarily as a counter-balance to American influence over regional powers particularly Saudi Arabia and ...
6
votes
1answer
377 views

What were acceptance criteria/process to the Vienna Fine Arts Academy in 1906-7?

One famous applicant rejected by the Vienna Fine Arts Academy was of course, Hitler. I got to thinking: so who was accepted instead? To make sense of this we would need to know how was the admission ...
2
votes
2answers
404 views

How did the triple entente manage such a large breakthrough in WW1?

In WW1, there have been many attempts at breakthroughs in order to evade the trench system. The battle of Somme was one of the less successful attempts at a German breakthrough. Yet, before USA ...
7
votes
2answers
123 views

How did the Chinese help Khrushchev?

I read this in the source cited in this answer Initially the Soviet assistance in China’s nuclear programme was limited to the civil nuclear energy field. However, Moscow’s attitude shifted in ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Machine gun specs in WW1

I know that machine guns were a vital part of world war 1. I know that they were mainly used in the trenches as fixed position weapons. However, I would like some specifications about the machine gun ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

percentage of British and American troops involved in direct combat with enemy in World War II

How large a proportion of British and American troops were involved in direct combat with the enemy in World War II? What was the casualty rate among those men?
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Were members of Soviet Republican Communist Parties also members of the CPSU?

I know that each Soviet Republic X had its own Communist Party of X. Question is: were members of these parties also members of the CPSU? I am interested here only in the formal side of things - I'd ...
9
votes
1answer
276 views

When did retailers stop wrapping purchases in paper and twine?

Listening to stories from relatives, it sounds like it was a near-universal practice (in the US, before the 1970s) to wrap retail purchases with brown paper and twine. Searching for information about ...
4
votes
2answers
935 views

Did the Nazis regard chemical warfare as inhumane and “Jewish”?

I sometimes encounter accounts that the main reason why chemical weapons were not used in WWII was because initially they were invented by a Jew Fritz Haber, and as such Hitler expressed opinion that ...
13
votes
1answer
144 views

Gazan attitudes to Egyptian rule 1948-1967

Was Egyptian rule viewed favourably by the population? Were there uprisings? Another related question: were there travel restrictions of some form (i.e. could Gazans travel freely in Egypt)? UPDT: ...
5
votes
1answer
240 views

Why did Egypt forbid entry of Israeli ships into the Suez canal in 1956?

In 1956, as a response to withdrawal of American aid for the High Aswan dam, Nasser nationalized the Suez canal giving freedom of transit through it to all countries except Israel. Why did they do ...
12
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4answers
307 views

Why were the Prague Spring leaders treated more leniently than Nagy and his colleagues?

Following the Warsaw Pact's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia the lead Czech reformer Alexander Dubček was dismissed and given a lowly job with the forestry commission. A decade or so earlier, the ...
15
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3answers
3k views

What caused the Iranian 1979 revolution to become Islamic?

How did an initially anti-Shah revolution become an Islamic revolution? Was it because of Khomenei's return to Iran such that he seized the Iranian revolution?
6
votes
1answer
283 views

Why didn't Ronald Reagan become Republican candidate for the President of the USA in 1976?

I'd really like to know, how did it happen that Ronald Reagan lost the Republican Party presidential primaries in 1976, against Gerald Ford. It's easier for me to understand that he could fail in the ...