10
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Japan ever pay Russia war reparations after WW2? Why or why not?

Russia had the largest number of casualties during WW2, and Russia had taken many Japanese prisoners. So, why didn't Russia receive a reparation from Japan to help boost Russia's economy after the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Did the Olympics make the Star Spangled Banner the US national anthem?

A long, long time ago, I remember watching a TV miniseries about the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896. One of the amusing substories I remember involved the USA's National Anthem and the ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

When was federal sovereign immunity in the U.S. established?

Lawsuits against the federal government can be dismissed under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. For example, Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama was recently dismissed (Appeals court dismisses ...
7
votes
1answer
237 views

Is there any evidence for dual-wielding in the 12th Century?

To settle an office debate - I was wondering if there was any evidence for any soldier or knight in the 12th Century using two weapons at once - for instance, if a shield was dropped or wasn't ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

What island in the Caspian sea did Ala Ad-Din Muhammad die on, after escaping Genghis Khan?

At the end of the invasion of Khwarezmia Empire, Genghis Khan chased Ala Ad-Din Muhammad to the Caspian sea, where he hid on an island and died several weeks later. However, none of the sources I can ...
8
votes
4answers
523 views

Chronology of Political Party Alignment with “Left” and “Right”

I once heard it said that U.S. political parties (Republicans and Democrats) have both spent the last century becoming increasingly liberal, such that 21st century Republicans now hold the same ...
28
votes
4answers
449 views

What Factors Have Led to the Duration of US Copyrights Continuously Increasing?

The below image shows how the duration of US copyright laws has increased to 4x what it was originally. Is there a reason that copyright duration has only been extended in the US? What are the ...
6
votes
1answer
515 views

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union?

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union? That is what the world history teacher told me. Please show your sources.
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Robert Hookes Diary - Why would he have bought and drunk Vomit?

I have been reading extracts from Robert Hookes diary located here between the dates 1672-1680, on at least eight occasions he describes taking vomit and sometimes even using a feather to induce ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

Where did the Romans store their cash?

In the era before banking was invented, where did wealthy Romans store their cash? The emperor probably could store it somewhere in the imperial palace thanks to the Praetorian guard, but what about ...
1
vote
2answers
728 views

Was swastika really a popular symbol among Slavs and/or ancient Indo-Europeans?

It seems to me that many Russian nationalists and neo-paganists currently believe that swastika was a Solar symbol or a symbol of fortune in ancient Slavic folklore. There are multiple paintings by ...
3
votes
0answers
14k views

What is the standing arch in Nagasaki made of? [closed]

I am not sure if this is for here, for Skeptics.SE.com or not a serious question at all. However:
6
votes
4answers
269 views

Continent-wide common languages in human history

My question on rpg.stackexchange.com seems to have reached a point where a "history-person" would be quite suitable to answer it. So let me rephrase it, so as to be at least marginally suitable for ...
0
votes
1answer
185 views

What are the known facts about the Great Pyramid of Cheops (Giza)? [closed]

I know the pyramid is supposed to have pointed to the north star at the time, and also that some proportions (height to width??) are in the Golden Ratio. Is there a complete list of such features, as ...
6
votes
2answers
916 views

What are Kublai Khan's contributions to culture?

I was under the impression that Genghis Khan was an invader while Kublai was more of a patron of fine arts; but reading Wikipedia it mainly mentions his campaigns for the Mongol throne and the ...
8
votes
3answers
667 views

Rosie the Riveter and “We Can Do It!”

I have read that Rosie the Riveter is a symbol of the American woman who worked in factories instead of men during the Second World War. She appears to be associated with the slogan “We Can Do It!” ...
11
votes
2answers
636 views

Did Jefferson really say this quote about patriotism?

Who said this quote? Patriotism is not a short frenzied burst of emotion, but the long and steady dedication of a lifetime. I've seen some sources claiming it was Thomas Jefferson and others ...
19
votes
2answers
612 views

What would a Norseman in the early 11th century have worn as daily clothing?

Most of the Norse clothing we know about seems to come from burials. However, in many cultures, bodies dressed for burial are wearing either "good" clothes, or special clothes for the dead. Is there ...
9
votes
7answers
562 views

Has there ever been an attempted military takeover of a democracy in the western world?

Ignoring the Spanish 1981 and Greek 1967 coups. Are there any other examples of the military attempting (or even managing) to overthrow an elected government in an advanced democracy in the western ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Book on history of international trade

I have just finished reading the book Taipan by James Clavell and I am fascinated by the history of International Trade and merchants and how they have affected the course of history. Can I get a ...
10
votes
2answers
304 views

How Many Surface Ships Have Reached the North Pole?

I realize that the nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (Soviet Union) reached the north pole on August 17, 1977. However, I would like to know of any other ships that have also reached the North Pole. ...
10
votes
1answer
217 views

When did European building interiors partitioned into rooms become commonplace?

My visit to Versailles many years ago confronted me with an alien concept of interior architecture: everything was a large hall, including the bedchambers, and getting to another part of the palace ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Which cultures did *not* produce alcohol?

I've been reading Harold McGee's fascinating On Food and Cooking, and the chapter on alcohol has some interesting historical notes. He describes the widely varied and creative methods used in various ...
0
votes
4answers
383 views

Why some monarchs are sent to exile after a country is declared a republic?

Personally, I like monarchy. Monarchs are symbols of national unity and rich heritage. Just look at British monarchy. It is a matter of their pride. And, I also think that countries like France, ...
3
votes
3answers
160 views

Timing of Trotsky's Assassination

Stalin's arch rival Trotsky was exiled, but why did Stalin wait until later before sending assassins to finish him off?
10
votes
2answers
450 views

Were the 19th century decades referred to as 40s, 50s back then?

I was just thinking what will happen to our reference of "the 50s", "the 60s" when we get to the end of this century. So I began wondering if this collision has already happened back when the 20th ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

In Golf history, why is Musselburgh considered the first course, when St. Andrews was where golf was first played?

As the title states, Musselburgh Links is widely considered to be the first golf course, but it's also widely acknowledged that the game was invented at St. Andrews. This disparity doesn't quite make ...
30
votes
3answers
13k views

Did World War II-era bombs actually whistle?

In WWII-era films and newsreels, aerial bombs are often shown making a whistling sound as they fall; starting high pitched, then decreasing as the bomb approaches the Earth (example here, starting at ...
8
votes
2answers
234 views

Why is the Ping Yuen river in Hong Kong called River Ganges?

Why is the Ping Yuen river in Hong Kong called River Ganges? From the wikipedia: Ping Yuen River (also known as River Ganges) (平原河) is a river in northern New Territories, Hong Kong. Its source ...
3
votes
6answers
205 views

What lands have been called by names chosen to disassociate those lands from its inhabitants

Historically, the name "Persia" has been applied to southern Asia to disassociate that land from the people who inhabit it, who called themselves Aran. Similarly, the name "Palestine" has been applied ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

President proposes bills: provenance

The President of the United States sends proposed bills to members of Congress, that they may introduce the bills on his behalf. There's no provision for this in the Constitution (AFAICT). What was ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

When was Silver ever more valuable than Gold?

These days we pretty much take it as a given that gold is more valuable than silver. The obvious example is the Olympics and other such competitions that give "gold" medals for first place and ...
9
votes
1answer
595 views

What would be the problem if Turkey admits Armenian Massacre? [closed]

Armenian massacre happened long before the establishment of Turkish republic. Can't Turkey just say that, "Yes, it happened. But since the Ottoman emperor Abdul Hamid is responsible for that, Turkey ...
13
votes
1answer
236 views

Castaways rescued by a message in a bottle?

Has there ever been a time when people were rescued by sending out a message in a bottle to drift across the sea? The "bottle" doesn't have to be an actual bottle. It could be a box, a cask, a ...
7
votes
3answers
318 views

What was the first major historical event to be photographed?

The first photograph is supposed to have been taken in the late 1820s. But what was the first major historical event to be photographed?
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Why did non prosecuted craftsmen go to the new world in the Roanoke era?

I've just been reading The Rise & Fall Of The British Empire by Lawrence James. In this book, James said that craftsmen, who were not prosecuted for their religion, went to the New World because ...
5
votes
1answer
210 views

First recorded use of a traditional tombstone?

The question is rather straight-forward. I consider a "traditional" tombstone as some sort of monument having an inscribed name and date of birth/death or age.
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
384 views

How far into the past was significance ascribed to the Golden Ratio?

I think everyone knows about the golden ratio or the divine proportion (I got to know more about it after reading the wikipedia article on it). It's present everywhere in nature and also in the human ...
6
votes
1answer
416 views

Literacy in the classical world

How literate was the ancient world? I'm particularly interested in the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians in, say, the first few centuries BC. It's hard to find authors willing to give an explicit number, ...
9
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Were there many instances when an “overaged” commander was at odds with a much younger second in command?

I can think of two. The first was at Stirling Bridge, in 1297 when the English outnumbered the Scots some 4 to 1, but the 72-year old English commander, John Warrenne, Earl of Surrey was not keen on ...
12
votes
2answers
164 views

Completeness of Old Parish Registers in the 1700s

In England, local churches were required to keep registers of all baptisms, marriages and burials. Are there any studies that show how complete these records generally were, in particular in relation ...
12
votes
1answer
555 views

Why did civilisation/city states never take root in Australia and North America?

I recently read that the Australian Aborigines numbered close to a million during the time of Botany Bay and comprised of ~250 tribes/nations. The Native Americans of North America also boasted ...
13
votes
2answers
494 views

Early history of prime numbers

Prime numbers are those whole numbers greater than 1 which cannot be written as a product of numbers greater than 1. I'm curious about their very early history, say 200 BC and earlier. What I know: ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

Did the Carthaginians have the option of sending Hannibal to Sicily?

Sicily was a major focus of the First and Second Punic Wars. The first Punic war ended with Carthage handing over major grain-growing areas on the island, and the port of Lilybaem to Rome as spoils of ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

Mountain flags from Batman Begins

This question may come up as a bit strange, but rest assured, it is about culture and symbolism. During the first few minutes of Batman Begins (at 06:25), there is a scene of Bruce Wayne wandering to ...
5
votes
4answers
402 views

Which historical figures are remembered for actions contradictory to their intentions?

Some historical figures are remembered for their actions (Alexander of Macedon, Napoleon), while others are remembered for their intent (Charles de Gaulle). Which historical figures are remembered for ...
15
votes
5answers
730 views

What made Alexander great?

Historians have titled Alexander III of Macedon "the Great". In a very short period of time he conquered one of the largest empires in ancient history and was undefeated in battle. What I'd like to ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars

I would like to know which kind of siege weapons were used during Punic wars on both sides, there is not wery much information around.

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