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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7
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2answers
430 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.
12
votes
4answers
2k 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
527 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
1k 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
671 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
109k 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
379 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
191k 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.
14
votes
3answers
1k 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
170 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
4k 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!"?
12
votes
1answer
262 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
370 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. ...
-4
votes
1answer
1k 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.
3
votes
1answer
229 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
467 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
217 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
632 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
240 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
votes
3answers
193 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
331 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
2k 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
732 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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.
5
votes
1answer
403 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
855 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
21k 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
155 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
122 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
409 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
314 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
1k 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
385 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
899 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
votes
2answers
454 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
926 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?
1
vote
2answers
754 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
187 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
775 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
148 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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
397 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
640 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
639 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
149 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: ...