Unanswered Questions

27
votes
0answers
471 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 ...
27
votes
0answers
377 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
354 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
1answer
282 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
271 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
422 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
237 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
0answers
292 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
152 views

Pre-Christian use of the Greek Septuagint

I'm interested in the pre-Christian use of the Septuagint, as well as the Greek language, within Jewish everyday life in Israel and in the synagogues of Israel. Is there evidence that the LXX or ...
11
votes
0answers
145 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
122 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 and ...
10
votes
0answers
77 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
214 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
130 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 ...

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