Unanswered Questions

27
votes
0answers
451 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 ...
26
votes
0answers
323 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
338 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
415 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
278 views

The riddle of Marco's Millions

The question is asked in the context of theories about the use of 'millions' or 'milioni' in association with Marco Polo and the reason for the use of the word as the Italian title for his book, known ...
14
votes
1answer
265 views

What was done to improve the safety of jousts after the death of Henry II?

While jousting in a tournament to celebrate his daughter's marriage in 1559, France's Henry II received a splinter in the eye, and died not long afterwards. According to Wikipedia, this marked the ...
13
votes
0answers
412 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 ...
12
votes
0answers
229 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
138 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
144 views

Why did Switzerland not grant votes to women until 1971?

I was shocked to learn yesterday that Switzerland didn't grant votes to women until 1971. Other European foot-draggers like France granted this right at the end of the second world war, making ...
10
votes
0answers
118 views

What is the band beneath Nefertitis crown?

I'm sure I read somewhere that the yellow band at the bottom of the crown was a sweatband and not part of the crown itself. Is this true? Would this be linen that is wrapped around the forehead ...
10
votes
0answers
73 views

When did it become common for optical brighteners to be added to commercial laundry detergent?

While watching The Theory of Everything, during a scene set in the 1960s, Steven Hawking remarked to his future wife that peoples' clothing were glowing because of the florescent brightener dyes added ...
10
votes
0answers
206 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
126 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

The Wiki page on the spread of Islam in Indonesia stresses that our knowledge of this macro-historical process is fragmentary, for instance often we don’t how the religion diffused out into the ...

15 30 50 per page