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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Pre-1950s views of West European Socialist parties on the welfare state

The eminent Robert Paxton writes in a recent article, somewhat in passing: Continental European Marxists opposed piecemeal welfare measures as likely to dilute worker militancy without changing ...
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253 views

The original Lord Haw Haw's life in exile (Ireland)

I am writing a biography about my great uncle "Capt Tom Smith" who fought in WW1, WW2 and the Spanish Civil War During recent interviews the name Norman Baillie Stewart (wiki link) keeps cropping up ...
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135 views

When was the last time period where one could travel by steam powered locomotive across the United States today?

I'm not sure that it is possible to travel the United States from coast to coast by one single steam powered train today, or that there are enough connected routes that a steam locomotive could run on....
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560 views

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

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 ...
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93 views

Were NC, IL, and VA's latest concurrent constitutions' effective dates coincidental?

The latest Constitutions of North Carolina, Illinois, and Virginia all became effective on the same day (July 1, 1971). Was this coincidental, or was there some coordination going on? If so, why did ...
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127 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 ...
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223 views

When and why China started to make a difference in the superpower arena?

China is starting to be more and more remarked on the superpowers' podium, but this surely didn't happened overnight, so what would be that decade that was very auspicious for China, and why?
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152 views

Is there any evidence of Edward VIII trying to influence the UK Government?

Edward VIII was King of the UK, however he abdicated because he wanted to marry a divorced woman. Someone told me that the "real reason" was that he was trying to influence the UK government and/or ...
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859 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 ...
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77 views

How was the transfer of personnel from British women's military services managed?

In the 1990's,the former women's services - WRNS, WRAC, and WRAF - were disbanded and women absorbed into the regular services. Whilst women still cannot serve in combat roles, they are armed and ...
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273 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 ...
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5answers
465 views

Why did email use develop in tandem with the internet, rather than other technologies?

During the 1980s, I envisioned a (primitive) version of email that would come off telex machines. That is, a person would sit down at a keyboard, create a document, store it on a cartridge, stick the ...
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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 ...
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4answers
588 views

What were the causes of the “Dardenelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
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2answers
958 views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and ...
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4k views

What was the fate of most SS members after World War II?

What happened to most of the members of the SS after the war? Were they punished?
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4k views

Machine gun specs in WW1 [closed]

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 ...
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3answers
203 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 ...
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2answers
369 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 ...
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1answer
295 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 ...
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3answers
436 views

What is the origin of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's surname?

This is my first time posting on History.SE, so I hope my question is appropriate for this site. I've tried to look up the nationality of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's parents, that is Ernst and Elsa ...
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2answers
135 views

What percentage of relocated Armenians died?

What percentage of those forced to relocate actually died as a result of the relocation?
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829 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 ...
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255 views

Was *Green Eggs and Ham* really banned in China from 1965–1991?

The Wikipedia article on Green Eggs and Ham states that the children's book was banned in China in 1965 for its "portrayal of early Marxism", and that the ban was lifted in 1991. The citations for ...
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93 views

Street Team Games played by boys in Balkans of early 20th Century

In today's world, probably the most typical neighborhood game played in teams by boys in most countries is football (soccer). I would like to ask what were the team Games played by boys (let's say ...
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415 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 (...
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252 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 ...
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319 views

What differences led to Technicolor becoming the dominant color filming technology in Hollywood?

Apparently another technology, Kinemacolor, was invented first in the UK, but it never caught on in Hollywood. Kinemacolor was expensive, and had some other glitches involved, but the fact that it was ...
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308 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 ...
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153 views

Why was only the Silver medal awarded for music at the 1932s Olympics?

At the 1932s Olympics, Chzechoslovakian composer Josef Suk won the Silver medal in the music category: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Suk_(composer) I'm wondering why no gold or bronze medal was ...
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1answer
141 views

Where can I find more information about this use of Yakuza against a demonstration in 1960?

This (german) article states that in 1960 Japan's President Nobosuke Kishi hired 28000 Yakuza as thugs against an anti-American demonstration. I find nothing indicating this in the wikipedia article ...
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375 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?
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208 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 ...
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212 views

Looking for the 20th century painters on this t-shirt

I bought this t-shirt for a friend who is really into arts, but actually I don't know all the painters that are pictured on this shirt. Clock-wise, I recognize: René Magritte Edvard Munch Salvador ...
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1answer
192 views

What evidence is there to suggest that 'fear of the bomb' is culturally specific? [closed]

In the Western World, we have woven a cultural motif for our feelings about nuclear weapons. Even Scientific American would go so far as to say, "We learned to fear the bomb". Now some of this is ...
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3answers
588 views

Was there discrimination against Jewish people at the entrance exams to the most prestigious universities in the USSR?

The most prestigious universities in the USSR discriminated against Jewish applicants. Tanya Khovanova (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA) wrote: This is a special ...
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3answers
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Why did George H. W. Bush select Dan Quayle as his running mate in 1988?

I've just been revisiting some quotes from Dan Qualyle. For example: I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change. and We are ready ...
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412 views

How did Urdun come to be called Jordan?

In the Middle East, everybody calls this country something more like "Urdun" or "Ordon". How did it come to be called "Jordan" in the West? What is the history of the name of this country?
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219 views

Was it impossible for the Germans to arrange a plane to East Asia for Subhas Bose?

Bose's journey from Germany to Singapore by submarine was a well-remarked incident of World War II history. But what was the need for the Germans or the Italians to use a submarine to transfer a ...
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323 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 ...
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259 views

In the 1920's, why did the German government fire working women if their husband was employed?

To cite this german speaking site: Hatte eine Frau trotz der wenigen Stellen einmal eine Anstellung erhalten, war ihr diese nicht auf Dauer sicher. So gab es zum Beispiel aufgrund der schlechten ...
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3answers
3k views

Evolution of United States' world role? [closed]

This is a pretty big and general question, but I'm interested to hear some opinions from fellow StackExchangians: Over the 20th century, how did the United States evolve into being a world superpower?...
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2answers
1k 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] ...
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2answers
1k views

How is the oldest bank in Mongolia only 24 years old?

According to Wikipedia, the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_and_Development_Bank_of_Mongolia) is the oldest bank in Mongolia. This is further supported by a ...
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2answers
493 views

How many Jewish refugee have been expelled out of Arab lands and when?

Were the Jews in Arab countries driven out after the Six Days War or in 1948 like some Palestinians in Israel? Did they lose their land? I checked this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_refugees
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114 views

This is the second time Australia has had 6 PMs in 10 years. What caused it the first time?

Australian Federal Politics has been tumultuous for Prime Ministers. The last 10 years have seen 6 Prime Ministers (when a political term in Australia is normally four years). But this is not the ...
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264 views

Were there a British 'Négritude' movement?

Did a movement similar to Négritude exist in the UK or amongst Anglo-Saxon Africans? Were there British equivalents of French West Africa's Léopold Sédar Senghor, Alioune Diop, or Aimé Césaire - ...
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103 views

Was Brown v Board of Education the only major decision that changed educational choice in America?

Brown v Board of Education was the landmark Supreme Court case in America that was supposed to allow more educational choice for all Americans, basically stopping segregational policies and on a legal ...
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98 views

Australian Immigration 1945-present

I have been wondering for a while and have always wanted to know about Australia's immigration history, my main question being: Why has Australia accepted many migrants from 1945 to the present time?...
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161 views

Why was Luodian important in the Battle of Shanghai?

In the middle of the 3-month long Battle of Shanghai, the small town of Luodian on the outskirts of Shanghai saw some of the heaviest fighting. After Japanese troops made successful amphibious ...