7
votes
1answer
1k views

What devices used computer-like programs in industrial era?

As possibly some of you remember early computers had very small human-machine interface and coding programs was done by cards like this one: or a tape like these: This invention of controlling ...
13
votes
1answer
333 views

What were Argentina's intentions for the Falkland Islanders?

Argentina must have assumed in 1982 that its occupation of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) would be successful and that Argentinian sovereignty over the territory would be accepted. What were the ...
20
votes
1answer
479 views

When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

What role did Fourcroy play in Lavoisier's execution?

Wikipedia is very sketchy and hazy on this subject: By his conduct as a member of the Convention, Fourcroy has been accused of contributing to Lavoisier's death. Baron Cuvier, in his Eloge ...
6
votes
3answers
650 views

To what degree did women participate in the air war during WW2?

I read that Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak and Katya Budanova, the latter is in the above picture, were fighter pilots in the Soviet Air Force during World War II. Since I cannot find other fighter ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

How strong is the current theory of the beginnings of Chinese writing?

I've heard the claim that the current Chinese calendar was introduced some times around 2637 BCE by Emperor Huang Di. Apparently, written records date back to about 4,000 years ago and before that the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why have major sporting events been held every 4 years?

Many major sporting events are held every 4 years such as the Olympics, Football World Cup, UEFA European Championship, Rugby World Cup, etc. I've had a look around and I've yet to find an answer ...
14
votes
2answers
152 views

In the French Republican calendar: were Quintidis holidays?

I did some research on the French Republican calendar and found some contradictory information on weekly (or decadian?) holidays. Wikipedia (and most other articles I found) mention: The ...
4
votes
3answers
335 views

Did Great Britain benefit economically from the loss of America?

I have been told by many acquaintances that the loss of the thirteen colonies actually BENEFITED the UK. Their claim is that the UK no longer had to pay for the colonies' defence and administration ...
4
votes
5answers
577 views

How did ancient mystery religions impact Christianity?

I recently learned about the existence of mystery religions while listening to lectures by Robert Garland about Daily Life in the Ancient World. Wikipedia seems to imply that the mystery religions ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

In the context of Ancient Egypt, what could “Priest of On” mean?

Was there any city or deity or ruler in Ancient Egypt named On (in Hebrew pronounced "own")? I'm trying to understand what might be the source for the reference in Genesis 41:45: And Pharaoh named ...
9
votes
2answers
609 views

How was beer production affected by the war during WW2?

How did the war affect beer production during World War II? This is a follow-up question to this question at Seasoned Advice, which is gathering interesting food-science answers but which are are ...
5
votes
0answers
102 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
705 views

Why did the clocks go back in Shanghai on December 31, 1927?

If you are a Stack Overflow user you may already have read Jon Skeet's excellent answer that discusses a time zone change at the end of 1927 in Shangai, when the clocks went back for 5 minutes and 52 ...
11
votes
1answer
524 views

Why has Hainan been so little fought over?

There are two really substantial islands off the coast of China, namely Taiwan (Formosa) and Hainan. Whereas Taiwan has been occupied, colonised, renamed and fought over for the last 600 years, Hainan ...
4
votes
3answers
139 views

How and why did the “Green Gang” hold the balance of power in Shanghai in 1927?

The line ups were a bit unusual, to say the least. On one side, you have some thousands of Communist party workers (probably not well armed) loosely aligned with several hundred thousand workers. On ...
8
votes
1answer
161 views

What was it like to have type 1 diabetes in the early 20th century?

Someone in my family died in 1924 of type 1 diabetes at the age of 26. What would life have been like for her? Would she have been in the hospital frequently? What was the average life-expectancy for ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this military patch with the silhouette of a pegasus on it?

I found this patch among my grandfather's things. I know it's a military patch of some sort because it was with his war memorabilia. He served in the European theater during WWII, if that helps at ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views
10
votes
2answers
731 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
1answer
194 views

What is the origin of Gladiatorial Games?

There are several accounts of Gladiatorial Games being organized during the Roman period, but are there any indications that they existed before the Romans? Please include references.
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How prevalent was pork in Arabia before Arabs conversion to Islam?

Before Islam and its prohibition of pork, was it a commonly eaten food? Or was it already prohibited by other religions/cultures? Or was it a kind of uncommon food, which was then prohibited? We also ...
11
votes
1answer
125 views

Was there any connection between the Ottonians and Benedictines?

The Ottonians and Benedictines were expanding across Europe around the same time. However, other than in Rome they didn't have much overlap. I've heard references in some history and medieval ...
5
votes
2answers
339 views

Were natural resources a primary reason for invading Romania during the middle ages-present?

When I was in school in Romania I remember my history teacher saying that historically Romania has seen a lot of invaders (referring mainly from the middle ages-present) because it used to have a lot ...
5
votes
3answers
230 views

Why did the Erdoğan government like to worsen Turkey's relationship with Israel?

Turkey has long been an ally of Israel. Turkey bought a lot of military products from Israel. If Turkey hates Israel, they could have handled the situation much differently. Israel was in the process ...
9
votes
3answers
586 views

Why is Finland represented as a Soviet satellite in this 1947 cartoon?

The cartoon is a British one. I found it at http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/05/28/secretwar/ but without any specific attribution.
3
votes
0answers
97 views

What happened to sacrificed animals in ancient Greece?

I was wondering, what happened to animals that were sacrificed in the ancient Greece. For instance, when Pythagoras created his theorem he made a 100 oxen sacrifice. Was the sacrifice considered a ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Chiang's allies were “a kidnapper, a hooligan and a bully” but which was which?

It is said that Chiang Kai-shek complained bitterly about his allies Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union (the latter admittedly not at war with Japan till the very end). But when he ...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

Parable of the broken window and 1929 crisis

I've read that, in 1938, economic crisis was taking back, and that it's the war effort that finally closed the 1929 crisis. Is it not a version of the parable of the broken window ? How a war effort ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

What is so special about the location of Mexico City?

Since 1325, the area we know today as Mexico City has held some sort of cultural or historical bond. The bond is so strong that, no matter what, no matter how bad a shape the country gets, they ...
5
votes
0answers
2k views

Did Napoleon ever say «On s'engage et puis… on voit»?

Lenin in his "About our revolution" cites Napoleon as saying «On s'engage et puis… on voit». Loosely translated that is, "One jumps into the fray, then figures out what to do next", or "You commit ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Is there a timeline showing the various (known) religions and their birthdates? [closed]

I'm trying to establish origins for the worlds major religions, but eager to research some minor ones as well. I am hoping to find a correlation between several religions based on the timetable of ...
5
votes
2answers
374 views

Were Puritans Prudes or Progressive?

I have recently encountered two independent assertions that Puritans were not prudes like I and most of society think they were. Either society's view of Puritans is revisionist, or the two sources I ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Why, during the Spanish reconquista, did King Ferdinand not take over Portugal?

After unifying Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Aragon through marriage, Ferdinand I proceeded to conquer Grenada, and almost unify the Iberian peninsula, but left Portugal alone. Is there any satisfying ...
2
votes
1answer
307 views

Did the Great Society programs ameliorate poverty or exacerbate it?

Once time ago Martin Luther King Jr., in his "I Have a Dream" speech, said: We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of ...
3
votes
2answers
860 views

Why did the attempts to keep Africa colonized after World War II fail?

After World War II, though the Attlee-led British government decided to give freedom to India, they held on to much of Africa. But why did this attempt at colonization fail? Wikipedia explains that ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

Who won the wrestling match between Lincoln and Jack Armstrong?

According to a site whose name is "Muscles of Iron", the above picture shows Lincoln after taking down “champion” Jack Armstrong at the general store in New Salem, 1831. On the page where the ...
6
votes
1answer
384 views

How did ancient Nomadic communities conduct trade? [closed]

Given that nomads are always on the move, how would you conduct trade with one another? Or maybe a better question did they even conduct trade with one another? Were there always cities/villages ...
6
votes
2answers
503 views

What other war crimes trials besides Nuremberg were held after WWII?

Why were the Nuremberg trials after WWII for the Germans only? The same charges used against the the Germans could be easily extended to the Japanese or possibly Italians. They have committed as much ...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

Why do people still leave flowers at the Temple of Julius Caesar?

I visited Rome recently and did an audio tour through the Colosseum and Roman Forum archeological sites. In the Roman Forum there is the remains of the Temple of Caesar, where Julius Caesar was ...
0
votes
1answer
189 views

Do there exist busts/statues of all the roman emperors until the fall of the West?

I recently visited the impressive Hall of Emperors section in the Capitoline museum in Rome. I had assumed that it would display busts of all the emperors of Rome, but in reality it was obvious that ...
11
votes
2answers
570 views

What was the situation of homosexuals in the early Soviet Union?

Between 1917 and 1930, homosexuality was decriminalised in the Soviet Union. From the Wikipedia article on LGBT history in Russia: The Russian Communist Inessa Armand publicly endorsed both ...
8
votes
2answers
690 views

What are the problems archaeologists face in deciphering Indus Valley writing?

From this link on Indus Valley writing, I came to know that: The first Indian script, developed in the Indus Valley around 2600 B.C. is still undeciphered. Thus, it is still not possible to fully ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

It wasn't thought that Jesus was Jewish until the Renaissance?

Anthony Grafton claims that "the Christian discovery of a Jewish Jesus began not in the 19th century but in the Renaissance"; elsewhere, "Sixteenth and seventeenth-century scholars came to see, as ...
11
votes
2answers
261 views

What right/legitimacy did Normans have to a kingdom in Southern Italy?

In the eleventh century the Northmen conquered England and created a Norman state in Southern Italy. Why did Normans travel so far afield and what right/legitimacy did they have to a kingdom in ...
3
votes
2answers
776 views

What did the founding fathers of America think about immigration?

Once time ago Benjamin Franklin asked "Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us, instead of our Anglifying them?" ...
7
votes
1answer
150 views

What can be said about conditions of slaves owned by George Washington?

I remember hearing a PBS documentary make a claim that the babies of slaves on George Washington's Mount Vernon went naked in winter. I have been trying to verify, or even get a good citation, for ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why wasn't San Marino unified with Italy?

Why wasn't San Marino unified with the Kindom of Italy during the unification process? Were there plans or efforts at the time to unify the two states? Did either government at any time try to annex ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

In what language was the first zionist congress in basel in 1897 held?

In what language was the first zionist congress in Basel held? Was it Yiddish, Hebrew, German, English? Where there translators?
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Why pretend Elser, Thalmann & other dissidents had been killed in air raids?

Richard Evans' The Third Reich at War, like most other substantial histories of the twilight years of Third Reich, paints a picture of quite startling brutality directed against its own population ...

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