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A key identifier (before personal IDs) was the character witness and guarantor -- someone who knew you and vouched for you. It could be done in person, or documented in an affidavit. Many documents, even today, include witnesses, attesting not only that a particular event took place (marriage, death, official acts like wills, etc), but that the parties were ...


The United States has traditionally been a free country, not requiring people to carry identifying documents. Even today, there are only some states that have stop and identify statutes requiring people to identify themselves when stopped on "suspicion" or for other non-criminal reasons. Even those states mostly require a person only give their name, not ...

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