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 is there a Pegasus on Huey Long's grave?

The tombstone of Huey Long on the grounds of the Louisiana statehouse is engraved with depictions of his achievements as a politician. On the front, however, is a large Pegasus. Was the Pegasus a ...
10
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3answers
690 views

Where did the so-called “Jap Skulls” end up?

I have read that there was a disturbingly common practice of American soldiers in the Pacific theater of WWII to take the skulls of dead Japanese soldiers as trophies to take home, give to ...
2
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0answers
169 views

Did any slaves with Jewish owners ever adopt Judaism?

In a separate question, it was suggested that because Jews tend not to proselytize, there would not, in contrast to slaves who became Christians, be many Blacks who became Jewish even though their ...
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1answer
256 views

Why did Meriwether Lewis think that William Clark was coming to help him just before he killed himself?

It is well known that Meriwether Lewis suffered from some kind of mental illness, and that the his symptoms were especially pronounced during his final days of life, in the weeks leading up to his ...
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1answer
489 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 ...
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0answers
108 views

Did US propaganda change eating habits in Turkey post WW2? [closed]

There is a story going on here in Turkey about propaganda efforts by the US to change eating habits of the population to sell surplus US corn and corn products to Turkey. Is it possible to find legal ...
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5answers
2k views

What does it mean that the early supreme court “gave themselves” the power of judicial review?

I'm watching the "Crash Course: American History" youtube series, and I like, it, but it obviously skips over a ton because it's packing decades at a time into 10 minutes. So he just (briefly) ...
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3answers
1k views

Why does the UK buy some of its major military hardware from the USA while France is self-reliant?

UK: Trident missile. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. AgustaWestland Apache Boeing E-3 Sentry. Raytheon Sentinel some other examples In contrast, France isn't nearly as reliant on USA. Why did ...
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2answers
251 views

How widespread was dueling in the United States from its formation to 1860?

I saw a different question that sparked my interest in this subject. Several important people in American history have died dueling, so my question is how widespread was duelling in the U.S until ...
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3answers
1k views

When was the American War of Independence first called a 'Revolution'?

What happened in America seems to be nothing of the kind that happened in France a few years later. American Independence was all about a group of Englishmen exercising their rights under the 1688 ...
9
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7answers
897 views

Who turned the (originally) “anti-slavery” GOP into the “pro-business” party?

It is my understanding that the Republican Party arose from the anti-slavery movement, and, more specifically, as a reaction against the 1854 repeal of the Missouri Compromise. And yet, pretty early ...
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2answers
225 views

What sort(s) of identification were used before driver's licenses were issued in the US?

In the United States, before driver's licenses became a nearly universal means of identification (i.e., before autos), what form of identification was routinely used? For example if one was arrested, ...
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2answers
838 views

When was the last time (if ever) an elector was faithless in US presidential elections?

With regards to the ongoing US presidential elections, I just read this on electoral-vote.com: Could There Be Faithless Electors? Presidential electors are supposed to vote for the person who ...
26
votes
1answer
926 views

How did people react to Cavendish bananas when they first replaced the Gros Michel strain?

I was reading that the bananas we eat today (Cavendish) weren't particularly popular until the 50s, when the more popular Gros Michel variety was virtually wiped out by a nasty disease. Apparently ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

Did a German Jew in the US Army save his home district from bombing?

While visiting the Old Town of Düsseldorf, the guide told us that this district (now one of the most expensive places in Germany) was saved from WW2 bombings by a Jewish man who used to live there. He ...
7
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1answer
454 views

What were the conditions that Pieter Stuyvesant found when he arrived in America?

I have been studying Pieter Stuyvesant recently, and would like to know two things about him and New Amsterdam: What were the conditions that he found when he arrived in New Amsterdam? By this I ...
4
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2answers
380 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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2answers
189 views

Why was the arrival of the Hindenburg considered newsworthy?

Obviously, no one expected that the Hindenburg would explode during the mooring process, so it the expectation would have been that a passenger aircraft was going to arrive, the passengers would ...
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2answers
1k 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: ...
21
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6answers
3k views

By mid-1945, was Japan capable of maintaining the war even in the absence of further direct American attacks? [closed]

The USA went to a great effort to defeat Japan, but do historians regard it as necessary? For example if the USA had just kept the naval action going to the extent of cutting of all shipping to ...
3
votes
2answers
417 views

Did land based airpower give the Americans a decisive advantage at the Battle of Midway?

This question was inspired by another (on a different SE site) about the Avalon Hill board game. As told in many American history books, the battle of Midway featured four Japanese heavy carriers vs. ...
2
votes
1answer
381 views

What did the Japanese believe about the USA capability of making/using additional atomic bombs?

Clearly the Japanese believed that if they did not surrender another atomic bomb would be used on them. However how soon did they believed this would happen? And how many atomic bombs did they ...
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4answers
1k views

What benefits were there to the USA of developing both Uranium and Plutonium bombs in World War 2?

Clearly there was a large cost both in money and resources. Working on both very likely slowed down the production of the first nuclear bomb.
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votes
1answer
174 views

When was the last time there were border controls, customs, or border patrols inside what is now the contiguous US?

Reading about the complexities of Europe has made me wonder about when American (internal) borders were less porous. Also, were the borders between the 13 colonies completely open? Or did they at ...
6
votes
1answer
277 views

What happened in Calcutta in 1961?

I was watching a clip of the American flag being raised in Havana for the embassy re-opening since closing in 1961. There were some retired Marines there who were there when the flag was taken down. ...
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3answers
535 views

What were the most common reasons why draft-age men were not conscripted for the Union Army?

Based on this question and an answer, it appears that although almost all southern white men of draft age were in the military during the Civil War, only about half of northerners were. For those in ...
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3answers
32k views

Why did the Federalist Party collapse?

The Federalist Party in the United States was a significant political force during the early years of the United States' history. Wikipedia doesn't really cite reasons why the party declined and ...
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1answer
189 views

When were the most recent Amendments to the boundaries of Boston Ward 3?

When were the most recent Amendments to the boundaries of Boston Ward 3? What were the changes at the time?
16
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3answers
4k views

Why did the United States enter World War I?

The topic of World War I came up last night with a few strangers, at a bar, of course. One seemingly knowledgeable gentleman, who happened to have Howard Zinn's A Peoples' History of the United States ...
6
votes
1answer
401 views

Evolution of the names of slaves

I'm curious to know how the names of African slaves in the US changed from that of traditional names used by their tribes eventually to their modern, (mostly Christian) names. In other words, how did ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
401 views

What was lost when the British burned the White House in 1814?

Dolley Madison saved state papers, Washington's portrait, and silver from the White House before it burned (source), but what was left behind and lost? Were there other would-be famous items taken or ...
6
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1answer
217 views

What was the typical range of travel of a Pennsylvanian resident for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century Pennsylvania?

How much traveling did a typical Pennsylvanian resident do for everyday life in the late 18th early 19th Century (1775-1825) Pennsylvania, and what was the 'typical' range (in miles) from their home ...
2
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3answers
483 views

What factors contributed to the United States having a larger proportion of Jews than other British colonies?

Related but more broad question: Why is such a large percentage of Jewish population worldwide in USA According to Wikipedia, the United States has a higher proportion of Jews than Canada, Australia ...
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5answers
593 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
571 views

What was the third best-selling book in the antebellum US?

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel in antebellum America and the second best-selling book overall. The Bible, of course, was number one. Here's an insanely detailed rundown of UTC's sales ...
11
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2answers
182 views

What institutional precursors enabled labor unions to emerge in the United States?

What institutions and organizations existed in the United States before the structured and recognizable labor unions formed as a visible sign of organizations to come? How did these predecessor ...
11
votes
5answers
743 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
848 views

Was violent or nonviolent protest more effective in the context of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement?

Was violent or nonviolent protest more effective in the context of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement? It seems like a simple question, but on further examination it is a challenge to discern. The ...
6
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1answer
244 views

In Montgomery, Alabama, how common was it to be arrested for sitting in the incorrect section of the bus?

Rosa Parks' arrest, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, is the most famous case, while Claudette Colvin is often listed as the first. (Sometimes she is listed as first, other times as the first ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What is “Egyptland” in the context of the 1960s black civil rights movement in the US?

Title of Chapter 10 of MLK book From Civil Rights to Human Rights. Egyptland is the name of chapter 10, and I was wondering why this might be and what it is referring to. Thanks for your help!
5
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3answers
846 views

Why did the US not move to crush the Haitian Revolt after the 1804 massacre?

Understandably, the European nations were embroiled in the Napoleonic wars. But the American Revolutionary War had been over for almost 20 years by then. A large part of their population too, were ...
18
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

Were there any abolitionists imprisoned for being critical of the Congress or the President during the American Civil War?

It's been said that some 14K civilians were imprisoned without trial and that some 300 newspapers were temporarily shut down by the executive branch over the course of the Civil War. I'm wondering if ...
14
votes
1answer
175 views

Why did Thomas Hendricks win the majority of Horace Greeley's electoral votes in 1872?

In researching my answer to Can electors "flip the ticket?", I re-examined the results of the election of 1872. As stated in that answer, 1872 was an interesting election, not for the result (Grant ...
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2answers
356 views

Why didn't Nixon erase the smoking gun?

Given that President Nixon was bold enough to erase 18 minutes of the "Nixon tapes" before turning them over to the Watergate investigators, why didn't he also erase the "smoking gun," the ...
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1answer
101 views

What were the efforts made by the U.S. government to conserve forests?

What were the efforts made by the U.S. government to conserve forests after World War 1 and World War 2? Was any special community or group made to complete this task? If yes then how did it conserve ...
9
votes
1answer
706 views

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

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 ...
14
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1answer
590 views

Why did Stephen Ambrose believe that the election of Aaron Burr would have led to the end of the USA?

I'm reading Stephen E. Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage", and in pg. 50, he writes (emphasis mine): On December 5, 1800, Lewis was promoted to captain. That month the states selected their delegates ...