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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32 votes
6 answers
8k views

Was World War I a war of liberals against authoritarians?

An essay by Robert Kagan in the Washington Post, March 14, 2019, argues for rethinking the big theme of 20th-century history as a struggle between liberalism and authoritarianism, and for an ...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
235 views

Was Rachel Carson the first person to discover the environmental impact of fertilizers? If not, why was she the first one to talk about it publicly? [closed]

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, environmentalist and a writer who alerted the world to the environmental impact of fertilizers and pesticides. When she discovered the impact of pesticides and ...
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 ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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About how many immigrants were on the Titanic?

All that I can find is that the majority of the 709 third class passengers were immigrants. Was it the vast majority, or nearly all of them? Would there have been any immigrants in second class? Is ...
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9 votes
1 answer
291 views

Why were the Yellow River dyke repairs delayed?

In 1938, in a desperate bid to slow the Japanese advance, Chinese forces breached the Yellow River dykes at Huayuankou, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing millions more. The ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why was John Paul Jones pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999?

The Wikipedia page for John Paul Jones states that he was pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999 for his raid, but doesn't state why. So far, the article I have found that seems to contain the most ...
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did 20th century militaries have their own fire-fighter units?

I tried googling this but fire-fighter is too similar to fire-fight (as in gun fight or shootout) so I keep getting the wrong results. I'm asking about fire-fighting as in containing and extinguishing ...
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5 votes
2 answers
5k views

Does the HMHS Britannic wreck still have a grand staircase or any staterooms?

Does the wreck of HMHS Britannic still have a grand staircase or any staterooms or were they all removed prior to being converted into a hospital ship?
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13 votes
1 answer
504 views

What is the earliest mention of an estimate of 71% water (or 70.8%) / 29% land (or 29.2%)?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey's article How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?, About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered Wikipedia's Earth article also ...
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

When (and where) did public polling start taking place on topics other than elections?

Image Source: The Roper Center on Cornell.edu Question When did public opinion polling on topics other than elections begin? Are there examples prior to the 1930's when Gallup and Roper began ...
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15 votes
3 answers
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Did the founding members of the Black Panthers ever mention the role of Malcolm X in creating their group?

I'm trying to find out if the Black Panther Party (BPP) ever said (preferably in an interview of some kind) whether Malcolm X or the Nation of Islam's more active approach to civil rights helped to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What were traffic lights like in the USSR?

I'm interested in the design of illuminated traffic lights (for automobiles) in the USSR, especially the old history. I tried to google this for what year the first illuminated traffic light was ...
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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 ...
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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

How many pens were used by MacArthur to end the final chapter of World War II and where are they now?

General Douglas MacArthur counter-signs the Japanese instrument of surrender as Supreme Allied Commander aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. Standing behind him are Generals ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
738 views

How many Black Panthers were killed in 'justified homicide' that was later overturned?

A few days ago I was in a cafe where I picked up a leaflet on labour disputes which went into some detail about Fred Hampton. He was a African-American activist in the Black Panther Party (BPP), in ...
3 votes
1 answer
266 views

What was the troop ratio between the Reds and the Whites in the Russian Revolution?

I am making a game over the Russian Revolution for English class. I want to make this game a somewhat accurate representation of the Russian Revolution. I have been able find the answers to all of my ...
23 votes
1 answer
645 views

What did Zhang Zuolin say after his train blew up?

Zhang Zuolin was an early 20th century Chinese warlord of Manchuria. He was fatally wounded by the Japanese Army on June 4, 1928, using a bomb laid beneath tracks where his armoured train travelled ...
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14 votes
2 answers
821 views

Who flew the T-38 "Missing Man" formation at the Challenger Memorial service at JSC, 31 January 1986?

President Ronald Reagan at Memorial Service for Challenger Crew. Photo courtesy of NASA On January 31, 1986 I attended the memorial service at Johnson Space Center for the STS-51-L Challenger crew. I ...
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

In WWI, which countries used prisoners as soldiers?

What happened to prisoners incarcerated for domestic crimes (not war) before and during the outbreak of the Great War? Using a UK report, in 1914 the prison population dropped around 5000, but 11,000 ...
10 votes
1 answer
7k views

Did the US quarter shrink in size?

I am confused by the size of a current US quarter. It is not a major problem, but it is baffling. It is smaller than a shilling, yet 5 shillings make a crown and 4 quarters make a dollar —...
-1 votes
2 answers
475 views

Was Freud the first to say that Judaism borrowed from Atenism?

Every source I mention seems to attribute this to Freud. Was there an earlier proponent? I realized the question as originally written was horrifically vague. I'm not looking for scholars before ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did the Soviet Union hand over thousands of Jews to the Nazis in the spirit of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact?

The most recent episode of the Italian documentary TV series Ulisse - Il piacere della scoperta (Ulysses - The pleasure of discovery) covered the deportation of Jews from Italy, and at some point it ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How long did it take for mail to get to London from New York in 1919?

In an essay I am working on, I am writing letters between two sisters. One lived in New York and the other lived in London during the time of 1919. I need to figure out the amount of time it took for ...
11 votes
0 answers
635 views

What is this old dual-disc metal object with a spindle? [more pictures added]

[Updated: There are now pictures of both top and side views. Scroll to bottom of post to see the side views.] While sorting through family artifacts, I found a black metal two-layer disc with a long ...
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7 votes
1 answer
635 views

What is the approximate date of this photo?

The photo below is of an (as yet) unidentified (English) family member and is from the London studio of Hermann Ernst. There is nothing printed on the back. The photo is part of a collection, the ...
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: ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why was France's birth rate low from 1800 to WWII?

Inspired by this lemma on Wikipedia as well as a few paragraphs here and there in Piketty's Capital in the 21st century I'm asking the question how the low birth rate in France between 1800 and WWII ...
4 votes
2 answers
575 views

What was the Catholic Church trying to do in Spain in the 1930s?

Right now I'm trying to learn about Spain's transition to democracy in the 20th century. To start, I'm looking at the civil war that took place in the '30s. And the question I'm trying to answer is: ...
6 votes
2 answers
286 views

How and when did the border regime change when the USSR broke up?

According to my knowledge, borders between individual SSR's were generally open and consisted just of signs during Soviet times. With the breakup of the union, the problem of border security arose. ...
1 vote
2 answers
927 views

Was Ezra Pound a descendent of Jews?

I've tried to search the internet for poet's Ezra Pound genealogy, but I only find extreme-right sites... A person with the name Ezra seems to have some relationship to Jewish culture/religion. ...
13 votes
1 answer
527 views

How were interracial relationships between African-Americans and Latinos treated in Southern states before the Loving decision?

There are two states in the American south that historically had large numbers of both African-Americans and Latinos, as well as laws banning marriage between black people and white people: Texas and ...
13 votes
2 answers
21k views

Was PepsiCo really sixth largest military force?

There are several claims on the internet that for a brief time PepsiCo owned the sixth largest military force in the world. You can read about it, e.g., at Wikipedia. This seems quite fishy to me, so ...
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1 vote
1 answer
241 views

What is the difference between the Nobel Banquet and the Nobel Anniversary Dinner?

On December 10, 1945, the Nobel Banquet took place in Sweden and the "5th Annual Nobel Anniversary Dinner" took place in New York City. I understand that the Nobel Prizes are always presented in ...
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4 votes
0 answers
1k views

Is it true that the Jewish people signed O instead of X at Ellis Island?

I was trying to understand the etymology and history for the word 'kike'. With discovering some stuff on the Internet. After searching on many sources, I found out that Jewish people on Ellis Island ...
12 votes
1 answer
421 views

When did passenger ships first have an on board duty-free shop?

According to several sites, the first duty-free shop opened at Shannon Airport in Ireland in 1947, since when duty-free shopping has become an enormous international business even though some airlines ...
4 votes
0 answers
243 views

Why was Wang Zhiming apparently pardoned, unlike other Christian victims of the Cultural Revolution?

Wang Zhiming is a particularly famous Christian martyr of the Cultural Revolution in China – he is one of ten martyrs of the 20th century to have a statue above the Great West Door of Westminster ...
3 votes
0 answers
127 views

How were steam turbines typically manufactured in the interwar period (1918 - 1939)

Steam turbines are large rotating machinery, with many blades, that convert steam power into rotary motion. In the interwar period, 1918 - 1939, they were used principally in power plants and naval ...
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1 vote
2 answers
301 views

Are there any images within the time period of contemporary history (1945 to the present) that had different interpretations by historians?

Or could someone provide me with a certain event that I can search for which will have images with different interpretations? I am currently unable to find any images with keywords such as "different ...
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Time span of a decade

Wikipedia says that The 21st century began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. The first decade of 21st century is the 2000s. Here Wikipedia says that The 2000s was a decade ...
1 vote
2 answers
647 views

What happened to the compass platform on the Titanic?

Whatever happened to the Compass platform on the Titanic? Was it ever found in the wreck site? I’ve found out what it was used for but no explanation to whether They found any sign of it in the ...
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-4 votes
3 answers
227 views

Are there any documented cases where a society was capable of large scale selflessness for the benefit of future generations? [closed]

Are there any documented cases in history where a society has altruistically created or conserved something exclusively for the benefit of next generations at a large scale? An good example of such ...
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5 votes
1 answer
595 views

Are there notable incident(s) where Russia/SU was wrongfully accused by Western powers in the 20th century?

I would like to know incident(s) where SU/Russia was accused to have done something by Western powers where Western historians also came at least now to the conclusion that the accusation was ...
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0 votes
1 answer
180 views

Book recommendation on the Nazis for a (very) advanced reader [closed]

I want to get my history teacher - who has taught me for three years and given a lot of extra help and support - a book. He has been studying the Nazis for several decades and is very knowledgeable, ...
31 votes
2 answers
5k views

Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

In Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy (at about the time 00:54:55) a character says: We can get a day trip to France. You don't need a passport. (He is a commoner, no diplomatic status etc, in fact a ...
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who first conceived and developed the acoustic homing torpedo, and when?

Acoustic homing torpedoes did not see action until 1943 with the Falke/T4 from Germany and the Mark 24 Mine from the USA. These torpedoes were passive in that they homed in on the loudest sound that ...
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49 votes
3 answers
9k views

When did FDR announce he was running a 3rd time, and was there any outrage?

When did President Franklin Roosevelt announce he was running again for a 3rd term? And was there any shock or outrage at this? I noticed the Vice President, John Garner, actually ran against FDR in ...
  • 16.7k
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

In segregated South, would Asian-Americans be treated as "colored" or as whites?

During racial segregation in USA many businesses had signs that either restricted service to a particular race or that directed different races through different entrances. Some examples of this ...
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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 ...
  • 16.7k
5 votes
0 answers
413 views

Are there pictures expressing anti-occupation sentiment directed at British Forces in Germany before 1990?

Researching the history of the British Army of the Rhine it seems difficult to locate pictures of certain aspects regarding the German view of these times and troops. The Rhine Army or Rhine Garrison ...
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