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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Why are the USA and Canada's states border so straight?

Many states within the USA and Canada have straight lines as a border, completely ignoring natural borders like mountains or rivers. Many American states and Canadian provinces are just ...
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4answers
2k views

Can anyone explain why a wreck of a battleship lies in the Nevada desert?

Can anyone explain the reason why a wreck of a battleship lies in the Nevada desert as it is represented in the picture above?
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9answers
3k views

Have there been any nuclear accidents in the US at nuclear facilities which were not “commercial”?

In a feature called "On This Day," the March 28th, 2015 issue of the New York Times recounted how "On March 28, 1979, America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor ...
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1answer
1k views

How was titanium transported from Soviet Union to Area 51 for Oxcart?

Oxcart was one of its kind, a sophisticated aircraft designed during the Cold-War era. Its body was made up of titanium. Titanium was only found in substantial quantities in the then Soviet Union. The ...
7
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3answers
359 views

Has any US President served in a government position with a foreign nation before or after their presidency?

Has a person elected to the US Presidency ever held a government position in a nation besides the United States? I think any government-related role would be an interesting answer. I think the ...
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5answers
521 views

What does a “boat crimper” do?

Working with Census data and other 19th century sources, I occasionally come across the occupation of "boat crimper." I can't figure out what these boat crimpers do. Based on the definition of ...
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3answers
701 views

Did American slave holders typically give their slaves the names of Roman nobility?

'Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it and I don't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me.' As is ...
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1answer
174 views

What is wrong with Russian claim that 7 million people starved to death in the Great Depression in the USA? [duplicate]

An article published in Russia claims that 7 million people are demographically unaccounted for during the Great Depression in the USA, and can therefore be assumed to have died as a result of the ...
4
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1answer
150 views

A counterpoint/corrections list to “A Peoples' History of the United States”

I'm very interested in reading Howard Zinn's "A Peoples' History of the United States". I've heard it's a more honest of American history than most textbooks are. The strongest criticisms I've seen ...
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0answers
84 views

Have there ever been maximum age limits for public office in the United States?

In doing some research, I came across this obituary in "The Sabbath Recorder" At his residence in Hopkinton, R. I., Sept. 18th, Deacon Daniel Babcock, in his 85th year of his age, and the 59th ...
3
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2answers
257 views

How could lower judges ignore the US Supreme Court? [closed]

[Source:] Despite the Supreme Court's decision, anti-miscegenation laws remained on the books in several states, although the decision had made them unenforceable. Local judges in Alabama continued ...
3
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0answers
101 views

How much infrastructure damage has there been in Iraq, after the invasion? [closed]

I know that thousands up to a millions (depending on source) of people have died due to the conflict, but how much damage to infrastructure has been caused? I read somewhere that it was $1 trillion ...
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2answers
1k views

On Washington's Farewell Address

Here is a question from CollegeBoard's practice APUSH exam... I'm having trouble answering it. Washington's Farewell warned against the dangers of international alliances and the formation of ...
5
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3answers
399 views

What steps did President Herbert Hoover take to reduce unemployment during the Great Depression?

I am mainly trying to remember the name that was given to the jobs that he created that were rendered 'worthless', and paid a very low wage. Such examples were scaring away pigeons and selling apples. ...
6
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2answers
475 views

What was the context behind Felix Frankfurter's quote?

Some internet sites, including those of a more dubious and conspiratorial nature, have been posting this rather ominous quote: The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from ...
11
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5answers
4k 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
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1answer
321 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
282 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 ...
8
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3answers
3k 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
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1answer
279 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
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1answer
451 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
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1answer
147 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
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1answer
157 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
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3answers
210 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 ...
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4answers
429 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
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2answers
527 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 ...
12
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3answers
292 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 ...
13
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1answer
2k 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
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4answers
199 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) ...
8
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1answer
383 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
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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
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3answers
187 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
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9answers
811 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
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2answers
98 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
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3answers
402 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 ...
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2answers
182 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
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1answer
106 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). ...
19
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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
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5answers
454 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
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3answers
380 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: ...
21
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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
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3answers
1k 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
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3answers
344 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
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1answer
132 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 ...
13
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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
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1answer
379 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
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1answer
137 views

Identification of location and type of bi-plane

Could the location be on the west coast or in Hawaii? 1920s time frame?
2
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1answer
522 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 ...