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4
votes
1answer
270 views

Which side of the Atlantic does the jack-o'-lantern come from?

There is an often-repeated 'fact' that although the pumpkin is an American plant, the Jack-o-Lantern tradition is an older Irish tradition (e.g., in today's Washington Post) in which turnips were ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Did the 1962 comedy album about JFK impact the presidency or US prestige abroad?

On October 22, 1962 -- the same day President Kennedy appeared on television to announce the discovery of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba and the American response -- commedian and JFK impressionist ...
6
votes
4answers
305 views

When did formal social dance fall out of favor in the US?

Up until about the 1950s, one can see instances of social dance (especially ballroom) dominating the social scene. This includes instances such as the tennis court scene with Humphrey Bogart and ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Was “the modern cocktail” intended to mask the foul taste of Prohibition-era liquor?

I have long suspected that what we know today as a "cocktail" was invented to mask the taste of bad liquor. Indeed I've found several unsupported assertions to this effect online, generally pointing ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What is the origin/history of the practice of standing up if an elder or respectable is approaching?

It is usually witnessed that whenever someone respectable (parents), of a higher status (king/president) or an elderly approaches e.g. enters the room, people tend to stand-up as a sign of respect. ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

What was the earliest professional recording of “Happy Birthday to You”?

Since it's creation, there has been confusion over the copyright status of the familiar song "Happy Birthday to You". As it became widely popular, the original copyright holders lost control of when ...
-4
votes
1answer
188 views

When did the first major group of Eunuchs started to congregate at this Khawaja Polytheistic Shrine? [closed]

In India, Eunuchs revere the Khawaja Polytheistic Shrine and make an annual pilgrimage to its shrine in large numbers. What is the authentic historical reason for Eunuchs in large numbers ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Does the forearm grip/handshake have a historical basis?

I was wondering where the forearm handshake came from. I found absolutely nothing in wikipedia, so I have no idea if this is really historically based or just a recent popular greeting. I was led to ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Where can I find information about classical sailor culture/general nautical knowledge? [closed]

Out of strong curiosity, I would really love to know what it was like on sailing ships centuries ago. I can look up nautical terms all day, but those don't express the culture, or much of the ...
3
votes
1answer
398 views

Why was Woody Woodpecker a “natural” hit during WW2?

Woody Woodpecker "with his innate chutzpah and brash demeanor, ... was a natural hit during World War II. His image appeared on US aircraft as nose art", Wikipedia says. Why was Woody Woodpecker a ...
5
votes
2answers
286 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
304 views

Earliest examples of “pop culture” in history

What is the earliest evidence of pop culture/viral trends throughout history? By pop culture I mean music, theater etc... Basically "gangam style" of the olden days. I understand that any sort of ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

“No sane man will dance.”? When / where / about-what did Cicero say this?

I hate quotes out of context, even great lines like "No sane man will dance." -- which was allegedly uttered by Cicero. But every time the quote is used, context is omitted. Was Cicero really ...
11
votes
5answers
798 views

Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?

I've read in a few places that American soldiers during WWII (meaning men who had actually seen combat, not rear echelon troops) preferred light comedy or romance movies to the sanitized propaganda in ...
10
votes
5answers
361 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
836 views

Was there actually a project by the Nazis to create supernatural monsters/weapons? [closed]

In many American sci-fi/fantasy fictional works, there's a trope about Nazis creating/attempting to create/use supernatural weapons/monsters (examples Hellboy movie, Indian Jones movie etc.) What, if ...