Questions tagged [20th-century]

For questions spanning a significant proportion of the 20th century. Questions focused on the latter decades should consider using the contemporary-history tag. Individual tags exist for specific decades.

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4 votes
3 answers
544 views

How did British people cope with damp/mould without central heating in the past?

Having read a bit about damp and mould issues in poorly heated homes, I was wondering whether this was an issue for Britain in the past, where few houses have central heating systems. Presumably the ...
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

When did retailers stop wrapping purchases in paper and twine?

Listening to stories from relatives, it sounds like it was a near-universal practice (in the US, before the 1970s) to wrap retail purchases with brown paper and twine. Searching for information about ...
7 votes
1 answer
505 views

How did people 'park' their horse and buggy in early 20th century cities? How was theft prevented?

I am writing a story that is set in Philadelphia 1904. The protagonist of the story travels to a part of town near a church, parks his horse and buggy, and walks a couple of blocks to visit a brothel. ...
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

How many people were affected by the Holodomor [Famine-Genocide in Ukraine]

How many people were affected during the famine? Are there any sources for Soviet records on the Holodomor?
3 votes
4 answers
4k views

Has any music act ever topped the Beatles in sales?

The Beatles in 1965. Source: Wikipedia Elvis Presley is widely hailed as the King of Rock and Roll, but in 1966 John Lennon said the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus" in a London Evening ...
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why was the Me262 not suited for a bomber role?

A documentary at Radio-Canada named "mégastructures nazies" mentioned the Me262 as not being suited for a bomber role. Also, Albert Speer was against the decision to convert the Me262 to this role, as ...
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

How difficult would it have been for a European to obtain access to US scientific journals in 1945?

On May 1, 1945, volume 158 of the Journal of Biologic Chemistry was published. I'd like to establish to what degree –and how soon thereafter– its content may have been accessible in continental Europe ...
65 votes
5 answers
40k views

How did Israel win the Six-Day War?

Considering Israel fought several Arab countries, which had troops largely outnumbering the Israeli, how did they manage to win the war decisively, with much fewer casualties than the Arab countries? ...
0 votes
2 answers
105 views

Why did Associate justice Black speak of a Pyrrhic victory?

At the end of the case Beauharnais vs Illinois, the Associate Justice Black said: In his dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Black quoted Pyrrhus of Epirus by alluding to the term Pyrrhic victory: &...
1 vote
3 answers
147 views

Were there universities that treated socioeconomic status as a major factor in college admissions? [closed]

For many years I have been asking myself the same question: Are there universities that treat socioeconomic status as a major factor in college admissions (without taking race into consideration at ...
3 votes
2 answers
5k views

Who wrote the "Mi General Augusto Pinochet" Song?

It is available here. According to Wikipedia, mi general was a nickname sometimes used by General Pinochet's supporters. Is it modern or contemporary? In the former case I would like to know who ...
37 votes
8 answers
7k views

Did a significant number of women drive in late 1950s/1960s USA?

During lockdown, I have become addicted to old 1950s/60s Perry Mason series. I am struck by the number of women, from all walks of life - waitresses to wealthy matrons - who owned and drove their own ...
11 votes
4 answers
11k views

Who introduced Yoga to the West?

Yoga has been accepted as a way of life by so many people around the world irrespective of the religion and country. There is world wide promotion for Yoga and June 21 is going to be celebrate as ...
-1 votes
1 answer
104 views

Where is Heinrich Martin Weber's grave located?

Where is Heinrich Martin Weber buried? His full name is perhaps: 'Heinrich Martin Georg Friedrich Weber', or 'Heinrich Martin Georg Weber' or as this historian amateurs site claims 'Martin Georg ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Who are the 20th century painters on this t-shirt?

I bought this t-shirt for a friend who is really into arts, but actually I don't know all the painters that are pictured on this shirt. Clock-wise, I recognize: René Magritte Edvard Munch Salvador ...
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

In Shanghai before World War II what were relations like between the Europeans living there and the local Chinese?

My Uncle has been telling me a lot about my great grandfather. He was in the merchant marine and, before World War II, he was stationed in Shanghai which at the time had a large European population. ...
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

Where can I find information on a WWI soldier?

Does anyone know where to find details on WWI soldiers? I am researching a captain called Thomas Zachary Woods. Thus far I have found this website: http://doingourbit.ca/profile/thomas-woods. Where ...
8 votes
1 answer
222 views

What was a Purity Chapter?

In turn-of-the-last-century American newspapers, I keep finding notices of numbered "Purity Chapters" holding meetings, like this... The annual meeting for the election of officers of ...
2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Were there serfs in early 20th century in south of Spain? [closed]

So, here is the deal, My grandad fled Andalusia in 1934 when he was a little kid with his mother. For what he told me he and his mother they were practically serfs. Working for a rich man, sleeping in ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why was Stalin chosen as the First General Secretary in 1922?

At the 11th Party Congress, Stalin was voted into the position of General Secretary. This was the first time the party had a General Secretary. This was in 1922 Mar/Apr. Why was Stalin chosen? I ...
5 votes
1 answer
194 views

How was coffee brewed in Philadelphia (or surrounding area) in 1904?

I am writing a story about a physician in Philadelphia in 1904. I read that Hills Bros. packaged the first 'vacuum packed tins' of coffee. I just don't know if there was enough distribution that he ...
28 votes
10 answers
6k views

Were there military operations that targeted individual enemy commanders?

Operation Vengeance (1943) was a US military operation aimed specifically to kill Japanese Admiral Yamamoto. It looks like something weird in contemporary era: are there any similar military ...
1 vote
0 answers
104 views

In the early 20th century, was there any difference in the size of war horse between heavy cavalry and light cavalry?

In the early 20th century(during WW1), was there any difference among the sizes of war horses used by heavy cavalry (dragoons, schweres reiters, cuirassiers) and light cavalry (hussars, uhlans, ...
13 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

In the first half of 20th century, how was gold inspected for authenticity?

Let's say this for the years 1900 - 1950, before we had modern analysis tools. When trade payments were made in gold, how was the gold inspected for quality? How did they assess the purity of gold, ...
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

How was South African infrastructure before 1994?

So we all know that 1994 was a good year for the social side of South African life. Apartheid was over, the government was now elected by the majority of the people and Nelson Mandela was in charge ...
5 votes
1 answer
213 views

Who was Professor Henri Andre and what did he publish?

Looking at the history of electrochemical batteries, I came across this article from NASA where it says: In the late 1920s, French Professor Henri André finally made the first practical silver-zinc ...
21 votes
10 answers
5k views

Is there any instance of part of a country successfully seceding and then unifying with a neighbouring country in the last century?

There have been and still are plenty of groups who are fighting for independence of their home regions, and many who have been successful, but is there any precedent for groups fighting to leave the ...
1 vote
0 answers
123 views

Did mother Teresa ask to allow to Christianise Arunachal Pradesh to receive Bharat Ratna?

Mother Teresa is a popular person, generally known for her humanitarian work. But from my childhood, I repeatedly used to hear that she promoted and converted many Indians to Christianity either ...
2 votes
0 answers
159 views

Did Deng Xiaoping really break his leg playing billiards?

I am reading the biography of Deng Xiaoping by Ezra Vogel. In the biography, it mentions that Deng Xiaoping once broke his leg playing billiards. I personally find that highly unlikely. Billiards is ...
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did diplomats of the Axis powers travel and communicate among themselves in World War II

In World War II, Japan and the European Axis powers had to communicate over strategy and other things. Also, their diplomats must have had to go to their own countries sometimes. After the USSR ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What happened to the Heart of Atlanta motel after the ruling of Heart of Atlanta v. United States?

The Heart of Altanta Motel was a resort motel in Georgia that infamously sued the United States for the right to discriminate against customers against the provisions of the public accommodations ...
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why did the USSR stop in the Winter War against Finland in 1940?

To me, this is one of the biggest history mysteries. By the end of February 1940, the USSR breached the Mannerheim line, and the Finnish troops were exhausted and short of ammunition. I have little ...
1 vote
1 answer
773 views

How many vehicles were involved in Operation Gothic Serpent (Mogadishu, October 3-4, 1993)?

I wanted to know how many vehicles (include their model and which country used it), aircraft and infantry were deployed in Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu in October 1993. Specific numbers of: ...
14 votes
4 answers
4k views

Did the German authorities respell Polish personal names to be more German during the time of the German Empire?

How were Polish names handled by Prussian and German authorities during the times of the German empire? It is well known there was intense Germanisation throughout the area, for example all location ...
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

How many visits did the Mitford sisters or Oswald Mosley make to Nazi Germany?

The youngest Mitford sister, Unity, first met Hitler in Munich 1934, who invites her older sister Diana over to meet him in April 1935. Sometime in 1935 Unity delivers the televised speech at ...
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Where can I find primary sources about the 1973 Arab oil embargo? Specifically from a non western perspective?

I'm trying to compare U.S/British media portrayals (newspaper articles, speeches, etc.) to ones coming from the Middle East at the time, but it's very difficult to find the latter, especially ...
206 votes
34 answers
187k views

Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

During World War 2, Hitler was fighting a war with Great Britain and her colonies, but while fighting that war, he attacked the Soviet Union even though they had a non-aggression pact. Everyone knows ...
1 vote
0 answers
110 views

When did people first think of plastic as bad for environment?

I know that at first plastics was thought of as good. It replaced certain natural materials. For some decades after plastics was invented, it wasn’t thought as bad for environment and nature. Since ...
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

Has anyone ever been punished for Project MK-ULTRA?

So I've been looking into what MK-ULTRA is, and recently a scary question has came to mind. That question being, has anyone been punished for the events of MK-ULTRA? By punished, I don't mean a slap ...
-3 votes
1 answer
163 views

How colonialism have been done right (benevolently)? [closed]

The British Empire (& Europeans, Arabs etc.) colonised many countries but the colonial experience, advertised as a "westernizing the backward people for their own good" masked the ...
6 votes
1 answer
307 views

What did MLK, Jr. mean by "Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor"?

In his famous 1968 "I've been to the mountaintop" speech in support of the striking Memphis Sanitation Workers, Martin Luther King, Jr. made a reference to then-mayor Henry Loeb: You know ...
1 vote
3 answers
450 views

Why were French maids apparently so common outside France?

Wikipedia article doesn't help at all. It's surprisingly thin and essentially doesn't explain anything. It's only vaguely implied that this was a thing outside of France. Why exactly did so many ...
5 votes
0 answers
353 views

Can you identify the military uniform on the man in this photo?

I found this photo in a box I inherited from my grandmother. The photo is on heavy card-like stock, but there is no writing or any markings on the back. My grandparents were born in Germany, but came ...
12 votes
2 answers
9k views

When did the last (non-tourist) commercial stagecoach line run in the USA?

Stagecoach at Holladay Express Office, Boise City, Idaho, circa mid-1860s. Source: A Stamp a Day- National Stamp Collecting Month: The Mail Coach Background Across from my office is a small Wells ...
4 votes
1 answer
266 views

Was Castro City ever a city?

I obtained a map of a South-East SF Bay. Officially it is Page 8 of San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Berkeley set, compiled by the Soviet Main Intelligence Department of General Staff (ГРУ ГШ) in 1976....
8 votes
5 answers
813 views

Why was A.K.Gastev purged in 1939?

Gastev was the chief Soviet proponent of Taylorism, aka scientific management: In the Soviet Union, Taylorism was advocated by Aleksei Gastev and nauchnaia organizatsia truda (the movement for the ...
6 votes
0 answers
104 views

What did US presidential ballots look like when unpledged electors were offered?

Unpledged presidential electors have run in at least four US presidential elections. In 1960, 14 were elected. In this age, where the electoral college is almost a mere formality and we rarely think ...
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Where can I find Information about small businesses in Europe who formed 'co-op' currency & traded among each other between WW1/2?

Several years ago I read an essay on a small/independent website about companies in Europe which got together during the hyper-inflationary 1920s & 30s and negotiated amongst each other for ...

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