The United States of America is a nation-state stretching across North America between Canada and Mexico, plus Alaska in the continent's northwest, the mid-Pacific archipelago of Hawaii and several territories in the Pacific & Caribbean. Founded by European émigrés rebelling from British control in ...

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4answers
1k views

Did Churchill and Roosevelt know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or the following secret pacts between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union?

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany prior to, and during WWII. It seems that the actions of the two countries after the invasion of Poland ...
7
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5answers
490 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 ...
11
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5answers
3k views

Rape perpetrated by American soldiers during WWII?

A while back I had a disturbing encounter with someone related to a Jewish survivor from the Auschwitz death camp. This survivor apparently claims that not only Red Army soldiers, but also G.I.'s ...
9
votes
1answer
291 views

When and why did smiling at strangers and in photos become customary in the United States?

In the US, in my experience, it's customary to smile when meeting a stranger. Even in an interaction as casual as passing someone in the street without a word, a smile is normal and expected. In ...
2
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1answer
143 views

Why did Abraham Lincoln choose Andrew Johnson as a vice presidential running mate?

Given the two were from different parties, I was curious as to why Lincoln would choose a man like Johnson from the opposing party when running for reelection. In addition, I'm curious as to why ...
22
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10answers
5k views

Why, in the US, is Japanese brutality ignored compared with the Nazi brutality in WW2?

Instead of accepting too much of what I have read in my textbooks, I have read up a bit about WW2 on my own and have always pondered, why in the USA is the brutality and actions of the Japanese during ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Why did the USA take no action to help Pakistan during their 1971 war against India? [closed]

In 1971, USA and Pakistan were known to be strong allies or were they? Why did the USA just pretend to help Pakistan and actually do nothing in the Indo-Pak war of 1971? Why did the 7th fleet not ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

What did 19th century playgrounds look like?

In the beginning of the novel Cold Mountain, a character recollect his childhood at a school house (maybe in the 1840s or 1850s in rural North Carolina) and describes flinging his hat out onto the ...
9
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3answers
5k views

Why did Spain not participate in World War I?

Spain was losing influence in America for the previous 100 years, and there was a recent Spanish-American war. So how could have Spain remained neutral? Why could Spain not find a place in the ...
12
votes
1answer
387 views

To what extent was Prohibition supported by the American public?

I read an answer here that said the prohibition was imposed on cities against their will. A bit of research on Google seem to say that it was pushed through because people didn't realize even wine ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Were there more robberies of “commercial” or “personal” nature in 19th century in USA?

Is there any statistics showing which trips on highways were statistically safer from being robbed in 19th century USA? the "commercial" ones (e.g. banks or government moving money) which offered ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

How did the Declaration of Independence end up in the United States? [closed]

From what I understand the Declaration of Independence was largely disregarded by the English leaders. So, why did it not just get lost in mounds of paperwork like happens to unimportant documents ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Why is Las Vegas located where it is?

Anybody know the history of Vegas and basically why that location was chosen as the main hub for gambling, hotels, and entertainment given that (at that time) it was pretty much a random desert in the ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

Nomination of candidates in 1824 election

The traditional method of nominating candidates before 1824 in America was "King Caucus", informal congressional caucus. For the 1824 election, William Crawford was nominated by Caucus and four other ...
1
vote
4answers
296 views

Why did the north and south struggle to control the territories before the American Civil War?

Why was it even important to them that one extra state would be added to their collection? Couldn't they just let Kansas and Nebraska decide for themselves under the doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty"? ...
15
votes
2answers
495 views

Strange Symbol Painted on Basement Floor

Given the layers of dirt this symbol and the walkway were found under, I assume it was painted before the 1960s. The house was likely built between 1900-1913, with the basement being dug at the same ...
11
votes
3answers
263 views

Any precedents of U.S. presidents having served in other government roles after the ends of their terms?

Are there any precedents for U.S. presidents having served in other official government roles after the ends of their terms. Conceivably they could become ambassadors or Supreme Court judges, for ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did Taft write a one cent check on his first day as Chief Justice?

I was looking at William Howard Taft's Wikipedia page, and among other things was a $0.01 check drafted by him on his first day as Chief Justice of the United States. The check has ended up at the ...
3
votes
4answers
190 views

Time zones in USA

Time zones are demarcations of solar hours (15 degrees) on the planet (a few are offset by 30 or 45 minutes) used by many nations. Solar noon moves closer on average (depending on the month and day) ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

Did Andrew Jackson think the earth was flat?

You will occasionally see references to the possibility that Andrew Jackson believed the earth was flat. One source for this claim is a well-respected history of the period by Edward Pessen: ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

How was the United States able to produce excellent tanks in 1942?

Most military histories of the war in North Africa, and especially those produced from a British point-of-view, emphasise the greenness of the American troops which landed there in 1942. There is a ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

Has the U.S. Navy ever commissioned the building of a warship overseas?

Many foreign navies have commissioned foreign shipyards to build warships and submarines for them. Most recently, Russia purchased to amphibious dock landing ships from France (that sale is currently ...
6
votes
9answers
672 views

Why didn't Germany attack US ports with U-boats during WW II?

During WW2, Germany owned ships along the eastern US coast with U-boats pretty much unopposed. So... why didn't Germany head into US ports and destroy infrastructure? Why did they keep their actions ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

What was the purpose of a division staff in a US Navy Task Force/Fleet in WWII

Just watching Midway, upon the scene of Raymond Spruance taking command of the Midway Task Force, I remembered an old question that nagged me. Apparently, the US Navy did equip task forces and fleets ...
13
votes
3answers
372 views

Was the concept of religious freedom in the early United States applied to native American faiths?

When the nascent United States was drafting and adopting its supreme laws, some references to religions were made. For example, in the Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law respecting an ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

What were the first “Big Banks” in the United States?

The large financial institutions of the world have dominated the news cycle for the past few years, and it got me thinking, what were the first large banks in the US? I am interested in hearing about ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

How far did the Cold war have an impact on the effectiveness of the UN? [closed]

I currently have in mind: Korean war, which was kind of a part of the cold war, dragging the UN in, proving to an extent effective since communism was contained in Korea. (despite MacArthur's moves). ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Who named the Democratic Party?

Which politician or organization was the first to formally use the name "Democratic Party" for the party of Andrew Jackson? When and where did this happen? Background: Thomas Jefferson's political ...
8
votes
5answers
400 views

When did the English and Americans realize that vegetables were healthy?

I've recently come across two quotes in very unrelated sources implying that for centuries, the English and their colonial offspring did not appreciate the role of vegetables in a healthy diet. From ...
7
votes
3answers
359 views

During 1790-1800, was it legal to pay workers using whiskey?

As is well known, in frontier regions whiskey was regarded as an indispensable necessity to life, health and happiness, at the point that it usually had to substute for specie as a medium of exchange: ...
20
votes
7answers
5k views

Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan? [closed]

Why did the United States drop two nuclear bombs on the Japanese mainland? It appeared that Japan was ready to surrender.
14
votes
3answers
899 views

Why did baseball become more popular than cricket in the USA?

Recently I started reading a very interesting comic about high school baseball. I found that baseball shares so many similarities with Cricket. So I tried to look for some information regarding the ...
0
votes
3answers
224 views

Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the Union through an act of Congress?

I have read the thread about the legality of southern secession - very helpful; thank you. In light of that question, I have another question: Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Wendell Phillips Quote that “Revolutions Never Go Backwards”

What did Wendell Phillips mean when he said, "Revolutions never go backwards."? I believe that Abraham Lincoln also used this quote as a means of promoting the Republican Party and anti-slavery ...
14
votes
2answers
12k views

When did the American War of 1812 actually end?

My daughter was recently studying this in high school, and somehow I had always assumed that it had only lasted a year. Apparently it ran on for at least a couple of years, but her textbook only ...
8
votes
1answer
348 views

Did Native Americans sabotage telegraph lines running through their territory?

In the 1800s in the Western US, there were a number of telegraph lines running through territory mostly inhabited by Indians. Did they ever sabotage the lines?
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Identification of location and type of bi-plane

Could the location be on the west coast or in Hawaii? 1920s time frame?
2
votes
1answer
475 views

Why is the Stamp Act of 1765 known as a “direct tax?”

I'm not exactly sure where to put this question... I am trying to figure out the difference between "direct" and "indirect" taxes in the context of some historical taxes I'm learning about in an ...
7
votes
4answers
280 views

How many acres per person were needed for the early American settlers vs. the native Americans?

Clearly the lifestyle of the native peoples of North America was less intensive than that of the European settlers and thus required more land per person. However, theirs was not exclusively a ...
8
votes
1answer
642 views

Are there cases of U.S. Founding Fathers burning flags of other nations?

After reviewing some arguments for and against flag burning I became curious as to whether or not there were documented cases of the U.S. Founding Fathers (or politically influential people of the ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Were the Puritans for a State Church?

In a book titled America's Providential History it states on page 84 that The major Puritan weakness was their holding to the idea of a State Church. They saw nothing wrong with a National ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

Why hasn't Russia maintained significant numbers of Aircraft carriers?

The United States has 11 aircraft carriers in total. Russia has only one. This is reflective of the past, in which we saw that the USSR also didn't put much importance on constructing aircraft ...
8
votes
2answers
203 views

Did the U.S. actively encourage discord between the Soviets and Chinese?

According to historian Lorenz M. Lüthi, one of the defining events of the Cold War, the Sino-Soviet split (1960 to 1989) was principally fueled by Mao's interpretation of Communist ideology and his ...
11
votes
2answers
775 views
8
votes
1answer
292 views

How common was it for 19th century Americans to visit Europe?

According to this article, in 2009, around 13 million people from the United States travelled overseas, of which 35% visited Europe. Given the United States' population of 320 million, we can estimate ...
3
votes
3answers
456 views

Is this Brzezinski quote real?

Various Russian websites attribute to Brzezinski the following quote: The new world order under U.S. hegemony was created against Russia at the expense of Russia and on the ruins of Russia. I ...
-1
votes
1answer
128 views

Why did many US military designs start with letter M? [closed]

Many US military design start with M, e.g tank m1, rifle m1, helmet m1, m16,...? It seems no other country has such a thing
3
votes
1answer
181 views

Why was California admitted as one big state rather than split up?

In this answer, Mark points out that when California was admitted to the Union as a free state, that changed the balance between free and slave states, leading to the Compromise of 1850. Why indeed, ...
8
votes
1answer
341 views

What percentage of men, ages 18 to 35, from the northern states served in the Union Army?

In my genealogy research, I can assume with some certainty that if a white southern family had sons born between 1835 and 1846 there is a pretty good chance that all of them will have served in the ...
0
votes
2answers
211 views

Cult related law made in US

Was there some law formed in US after Jonestown mass suicide, regarding religious or such kind of clique/sect/cabals? or what actions were taken regarding limiting and monitoring cult activities by US ...