26
votes
0answers
412 views

Did Kim Jong-Il wrest away power (rather than inherit it) from Kim Il-Sung in a power struggle?

I know little about North Korean history, but their official narrative and what I had also believed is that - long story short - Kim Jong-Il basically just inherited his dictatorial powers from his ...
25
votes
0answers
305 views

When did songs extolling leaders of companies go out of fashion?

When recently visiting Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA I came across an exhibit called "Songs of the IBM". It's from 1930s and has a song called "Ever onward" which extols then IBM ...
15
votes
0answers
286 views

CIA mole in Indira Gandhi's Cabinet

It is discussed in several books that the CIA had a mole in Indira Gandhi's cabinet around the time of the Liberation war for Bangladesh in 1971. There are conflicting reports about who the mole could ...
15
votes
0answers
371 views

What is the ancestry of the Robertians, progenitors of the Bourbon dynasty?

The countries Spain and Luxembourg are currently ruled by kings from the House of Bourbon, so I thought I'd try to trace their (patrilineal) ancestry as far back as possible. Well, the Bourbons are ...
11
votes
0answers
123 views

What was the Nove / Millar debate, how is it important to the historiography of the Soviet Union?

The Nove / Millar debate was a debate amongst economic historians in the 1970s, where the Western understanding of Soviet economic development in the 1920 and 1930s was seriously revised. In ...
11
votes
0answers
321 views

Rommel's letter to his wife from November 16, 1942

I'm looking for the original German version of Erwin Rommel's letter to his wife Lucie Rommel from November 16, 1942. You can find the English translation on page 354 of "The Rommel Papers". The ...
11
votes
0answers
212 views

How many firearms were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA?

How many firearms in total were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA (cumulatively, not simultaneously)? The timeframe is what I would consider "Old West" timeframe, but starting ...
10
votes
0answers
306 views

What were birthdays like in Medieval times?

I considered putting this question on Worldbuilding SE, but decided it would be better suited here, as it is about history. I am doing some research for a fantasy medieval novel, and I was wondering ...
10
votes
0answers
185 views

What government functions, if any, did the archchancellor of the HRE actually exercise?

Although the Holy Roman Empire was famous for being a loose confederation of largely independent feudal lords, it nevertheless possessed institutions akin to a unified state even near the end of its ...
10
votes
0answers
120 views

Was the Iraqi Mukhabarat modelled on the German Reichssicherheitshauptamt, and in what ways?

In Charles Stross (urban fantasy-ish) novel "The Atrocity Archives", it is claimed that the Iraqi Intelligence Service Mukhabrat was modelled on the Nazi-German Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). The ...
9
votes
0answers
121 views

Whig party identification in the House of Lords

After the Whigs became subsumed into the Liberal party, did the label survive in the House of Lords? As of today, the longest serving current peer began his tenure during the Second World War. It ...
8
votes
0answers
162 views

Is Lady Arabella Stuart wearing a Jewish symbol?

In this portrait, Lady Arabella Stuart, a member of the Tudor royal court, is shown wearing a hexagram, presently known as the Star of David. It is unclear from the highest resolution photograph ...
8
votes
0answers
195 views

Have there been any joint US-Russia/Soviet military engagements post WW II?

Reportedly, now both the USA and Russia are engaged in military combat against Islamic State in Syria. Although contexts are different and it remains debatable exactly whom Russia are targeting, the ...
8
votes
0answers
202 views

Which fruits and vegetables did Chinese migrants introduce to Australia during the gold rush?

The gold rush in Australia saw many Chinese migrate to the country, with the Chinese population in Australia reaching around 40000 in the 1860s. Many brought with them vegetable seeds to grow near ...
8
votes
0answers
74 views

How was Canadian sovereignty in the arctic threatened in the 1950s?

Wikipedia article on the settlement of Grise Fiord in the Canadian Arctic strongly suggests that Canada in the 1950s was striving to populate its arctic territory in response to challenges to its ...
7
votes
0answers
153 views

What are the ancient origins of the Medicine Ball?

Seeing this question about the oldest known exercise equipment, I remembered a scene from I, Claudius when Tiberius is working out with a medicine ball, so I thought that might be a good candidate. I ...
7
votes
0answers
108 views

How were the Venera Probe missions received/presented in the western world during the space race?

I can find barely any historical documentation on this subject. If you know anything about its development, please chip in as well. I'm writing a paper on the missions and putting them into ...
7
votes
0answers
351 views

What relief efforts did the Japanese attempt after the atomic bombings?

Obviously, once the atomic bombs dropped in 1945, the war was almost over. There wasn't much time to rebuild, or even offer aid, to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before the Japanese ...
7
votes
0answers
222 views

What actions did the KKK take against miscegenation after 1967?

Although the racial attitudes of the (third) KKK are well known, I haven't been able to find much about actions, demonstrations or speeches by the KKK against the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws in ...
7
votes
0answers
118 views

Were dissident KPD members ratted out to the Gestapo?

In her essay "Gestern Morgen", Bini Adamczak tells a story from Manes Sperbers "Wie eine Träne im Ozean." I'll paraphrase: In 1935, a member of the German Communist Party (KPD) finds himself ...
7
votes
0answers
85 views

How did Bedouins exercise tribal governance?

According to the Wikipedia article Bedouins travel together in groups of 1-2 family units however in the same article it mentions the presence of a Tribe who share common descent and are led by a ...
6
votes
0answers
79 views

Where did Roman senators mostly live in the time of Tiberius or Caligula?

My understanding is that under the Republic the Palatine was the most popular place for senators and their families, but from the time of Nero the Imperial family more-or-less took over the Palatine. ...
6
votes
0answers
99 views

What lead to migration of Brahmins into Kerala?

I am amused by the practices and beliefs of a community native to Kerala - India, the Kerala Iyers not Namboodris, they are Tamil Brahmin communities residing in Kerala, who migrated centuries ago ...
6
votes
0answers
157 views

What documented criteria (if any) did the CIA use to determine targets for political assassination during the Cold War?

Did the CIA follow a documented set of criteria when determining targets for political assassination during the Cold War, especially in regards to foreign heads of state or government? There have been ...
6
votes
0answers
181 views

How many citizens were in each of century of the Roman electoral system?

The Centuriate assembly (Comicia centuriata) was arguably the most important assembly of the Roman republic. It was in charge of electing consuls, praetors and censors, of voting laws, declaring war ...
6
votes
0answers
261 views

How stable was the Middle East under Ottoman rule?

Since the outbreak of WWI, the Middle East has been a strategic area; many powers have vied for control. How stable was the region under Ottoman rule? Stable is, for the purposes of this question, ...
6
votes
0answers
78 views

How did the European and international left react to the Cafe War?

During Algerian decolonization, one episode was the Cafe War, when the mainstream Algerian independence group FLN and the communist MNA killed each other's members. This left several thousand dead in ...
6
votes
0answers
191 views

How many of Japan's 29 lost Pearl Harbor aircraft have been accounted for?

I've seen varying numbers regarding the amount of Japanese aircraft that attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, but the number of attacking planes that failed to return to Japan's carriers remains ...
6
votes
0answers
122 views

How similar were Finnish and Lenape slash-and-burn agriculture?

Slash-and-burn agriculture is a technique where farmers cut down woodland and burn the debris to form farmland. This farmland is usually used for a few years until it loses its fertility, then the ...
6
votes
0answers
54 views

How did people dress at the Jesuit missions to the Hurons?

The Jesuits established a number of missions among the Huron people of what is today Ontario during the 1600s. Unlike many other proselytizing groups of that era, the Jesuits were known for ...
6
votes
0answers
227 views

Countries which banned Ferdinand the bull?

Background The book "The Story of Ferdinand " is a short illustrated children's story featuring a bull who would not be provoked by a matador. When it was published in 1936, it was widely interpreted ...
6
votes
0answers
158 views

What were conditions like for Chinese men subject to recruitment by the army during the Second Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War?

In several accounts, it is claimed that conditions of men being recruited by the Chinese army were comparable to those in Nazi death camps. Are such accounts hyperbolic or largely accurate? Thunder ...
6
votes
0answers
285 views

Where were visa documents invented?

Do we know where the first Visa documents were issued? The history of passports is old with Wikipedia dating them back to 450 BC. But when did Visas come into the picture? The etymology suggests a ...
6
votes
0answers
117 views

Date of the death of Socrates

Question 1: The death of Socrates is usually said to have happened in 399 BC, but I've sometimes seen a question mark after the date. Is there actually a possible uncertainty about the exact year? ...
6
votes
0answers
307 views

Who deposited German fuel drums on a Japanese air base in the Kuriles in 1943?

The Imperial Japanese Navy operated two all-weather, heated, lit runways on Matsuwa Island in the Kurile island chain. This island is littered with German fuel drums manufactured in 1943. It also ...
6
votes
0answers
67 views

When was the modern manuscript for the Torah agreed upon?

(This question is also asked on judaism.SE for a different approach.) Considering that variations have occurred in the Torah's text over time (I think the Gemara/Talmud may mention events where a few ...
6
votes
0answers
131 views

Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
6
votes
0answers
153 views

Were there any other systems which resemble the complex election procedure for the doge of Venice

I was fascinated by a passage in Thomas F. Madden's Venice: a New History describing the complex process used to elect the doge of Venice. This process is explained briefly here: Wikipedia: Doge of ...
6
votes
0answers
194 views

The Rosenberg diary and the functionalist-intentionalist debate

Today it was announced that the diary of Alfred Rosenberg was been found, after it had disappeared in 1946. Prima facie, this would seem to be a major piece of historical evidence for the ...
5
votes
0answers
137 views

What evidence is there that Alfred paid the Danes to leave Wessex in 876?

The Danes struck at Wareham in 876. Alfred made peace there with Guthrum, and there was an exchange of hostages. However, the Danes broke the peace and during the night they killed the hostages and ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Why didn't Emperor Gaozu of Tang let Crown Prince Li Jiancheng command battles more often?

When Emperor Gaozhu of Tang (唐高祖) was reigning, there were a number of battles that were helmed by his second son, Li Shimin(李世民) instead of the crown prince Li Jiancheng(太子李建成), such as: The ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

What were the sources of Jewish immigration to Israel between 1939-1951?

Which countries did Israeli Jews emigrate from in 1939-1951 ? This table is incomplete (for example, it only shows the origin of ~3000 in 1948). Is better data available (preferably online) ?
5
votes
0answers
92 views

How were the Morisco refugees from Europe received in North Africa, given that they were foreigners and Christian?

On 1609 Spain ordered the expulsion of the Moriscos, the descendants of Spanish Muslims who were force-converted to Christianity in 1502. Presumably many of them went to the Muslim lands in North ...
5
votes
0answers
141 views

Is there a citable reference of druids using curved swords?

Pliny writes of druids using sickles to cut mistletoe, and there are curved swords from the pre-Roman Iberian peninsula. Are there any references to druids actually using these curved swords? The ...
5
votes
0answers
114 views

Ancient Indian caste system in relation to martial arts

I know that in the area now known as India, there was a rigid caste system as a part of traditional Hindu beliefs. I also know that there are a number of Indian martial arts going back centuries. I ...
5
votes
0answers
97 views

How did the Belgians issue ID cards with ethnicity to women in Ruanda-Urundi?

I've read about how the Belgians issued ID cards to the inhabitants of their colony Ruanda-Urundi (later independent under the names of Rwanda and Burundi): Indeed, the Belgian colonists ...
5
votes
0answers
197 views

What reached Scandinavia/Northern Germany first: Muslims, or Islamic texts?

Years ago i had the chance to leaf through some Qur'an translations (Latin, German? some bilingual with Arabic text) in a library in northern Germany which are dated to 16th century and later. As we ...
5
votes
0answers
149 views

How much tax revenue did the British Empire receive from its colonies in a given year?

I have heard that India at least was quite profitable for the United Kingdom. However, I do not know of any exact numbers for the annual tax revenue of the colonies in any given year. This book on the ...
5
votes
0answers
402 views

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

For those who don't know, the Ulfberht sword was a Viking weapon of the finest quality, made with exquisite skill from the best materials available. They were produced between 800 and 1000 CE in ...
5
votes
0answers
246 views

Origins of knife and fork language etiquette

There is an etiquette of placing knife and fork on a plate while resting or after finishing. For example this cheat-sheet (there are a lot of texts and images like this on the web): I found this ...

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