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
267 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
927 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
316 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
746 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
370 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
684 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
575 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
163 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
658 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
127 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
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
318 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
494 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
512 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
479 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
135 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
79 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
308 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
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
146 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
280 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
votes
4answers
337 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
votes
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
340 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
373 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

Was there anything like African American architecture style or symbolic in the beginning of 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to North or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, previously ...
6
votes
4answers
451 views

How would Eastern European emigres have traveled across Eastern Europe to Warsaw in the early 20thC?

I was looking back at my grandmother's voyage to America, she made the trip from Zbaraz in the Ukraine through Warsaw and then on to Gdanks and through steerage class to the New York. I know she took ...
4
votes
2answers
563 views

Italian History from 1870-1913: Why did Italy have such a hard time becoming a Great Power like Germany

Both Italy and Prussia-Germany were united from the years 1870-1871. Instead of small provinces, the country became united under one political leadership. Their unification received the help of France ...
3
votes
2answers
681 views

Was India's independence inevitable after Cripps Mission?

In 1942, the British government had sent Sir Stafford Cripps to negotiate with the Congress. According to most sources (though this was not made public at that time), the Cripps Mission had proposed ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What happened to the S.A. (Sturmabteilung; “Stormtroopers”) after The Night of the Long Knives?

I'm reading The Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany by Warren B. Marris, Jr. (Nelson-Hall, Chicago), 1982 for an eassay. It outlines the power that the Sturmabteilung (abbreviated S.A., trans ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Why was the movement for Austro-German unity less successful than that of Italian unity? [closed]

Primarily, I am looking at the differences between say, the movements for German unity and that of Italian nationalists. The record shows that the people of Austria had accepted without much ...
9
votes
2answers
465 views

What was the contemporary German public opinion on the Herero Genocide?

The genocide took place during 1904-1907, organized by General von Trotha. Wikipedia says: Von Trotha's methods caused a public outcry which led the Imperial Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow to ask ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did the USA stay out of the League of Nations?

Woodrow Wilson, who was President of the USA at the time of the League's creation, was the person who pushed for the inclusion of the League in the Treaty of Versailles in the first place. Why is it ...
6
votes
1answer
280 views

Why did the Arab League re-admit Egypt in 1989?

Wikipedia: During the years 1979-1989, Egypt was suspended from the Arab League in the wake of President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and ...
-2
votes
3answers
245 views

Hitler's Religion or Atheism [closed]

There seems to be even amongst some Historians and even this forum an unclear approach to Hitler and his Religion or the lack there of is there any clear history that establishes Hitler's religious ...
7
votes
3answers
402 views

Why the difference of opinion about the disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose

A year back, Harvard professor Sugata Bose released a biography of the Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose which claimed to lay all speculation regarding his death to rest. However, last week, a veteran ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

What was the reaction of Western Communist Parties to Kruschev's 1956 speech denouncing Stalin?

I am also curious about the reactions of left-leaning intellectuals (aka "fellow-travellers").
10
votes
2answers
335 views

Were any of the major battle plans in WWII changed last minute by officers on the ground?

I haven't found any consistent reference to a particular battle wherein the battle plans were changed by a lower level officer on the ground at the last minute. Specifically, a major battle plan, not ...
18
votes
1answer
300 views

North Korean Famine

I have just read an article (in Russian) about the most recent weird news from N.Korea: women are (again) not allowed to ride bicycles. After you've finished splitting your sides with laughter, allow ...
3
votes
2answers
471 views

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture?

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture? Wikipedia: Hipster, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
9
votes
1answer
541 views

What do “zones of influence” mean, according to the Treaty of Sevres after WWI?

After its defeat in World War I, European powers partitioned the Ottoman Empire, annexing some of its territories, and setting up other territories as their "zones of influence". What do the zones of ...
13
votes
1answer
245 views

How did the existence of the Alps impact the development of Switzerland?

Can anyone tell me what was the role of Alps and Alpine region in Swiss development of Switzerland?
1
vote
6answers
1k views

What was the reason of extreme anti-Communism in the first half of 20th century? [closed]

It is often alleged that a grand part in the success of the Nazi and fascist movements in Europe was their hard-line anti-Communism. Thy used anti-Communist sentiments to gain popularity and even many ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What was Lenin's major criticism of or differences with Marx?

I'm interested in what specific differences in Lenin's writing might address what he perceived to be the shortcomings of Marx's work. Wikipedia is weak on this topic.
7
votes
1answer
107 views

What was the procedure for prosecuting criminals in England between the World Wars?

I'm doing some research on court procedures during the '20's and '30's in England. I understand that at that time there was a Director of Public Prosecutions, and some of the resources I have found ...
16
votes
1answer
257 views

In which document was the exact course of the northern part of the German-Polish border decided?

While researching the answer to "How was Germany's border decided?", I didn't manage to find any documents which would precisely describe the borders between Germany and Poland between the points 53° ...
11
votes
2answers
889 views

What were the operating principles of Japan's MITI during the 1950s and 60s?

Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) guided Japan's economy through two decades of unprecedented economic growth. MITI was the primary instrument of Japan's industrial policy, ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

Which technologies/commodities were available during the 30s on USA?

This is for a RPG story, so I don't need too much accuracy, but the common stuff would be very useful :) I've already found this site: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/ but would like more ...
1
vote
0answers
132 views

Looking for a book about Haile Selassie's rise to power [closed]

Is there a good English-language book about Haile Selassie's rise to power? I'm particularly interested in the strife he had with the various other nobles.