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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4answers
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Did the USA win the counter insurgency war in the Vietnam war?

What happened in the aftermath of the Tet offensive to the Viet Cong? Was it actually broken or did it just incorporate into the North Viet Nam army? Edit: I am fully aware that the USA lost the ...
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Why are the ceilings so high in older houses?

The majority of multi-storey houses built before World War II have ceilings higher than nowadays. Today, the standard is about 2.4m, but in the 19th century or the first half of the 20th century it ...
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Who were the Wright brothers' competitors?

I heard that there was a person who was sponsored by the government to make the first flying airplane. The Wright brothers beat him to it and this made him really depressed and he gave up his career. ...
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Why does the map of Jordan look as it does?

Most countries land borders are somewhat rounded, and it's easy to guess why - it's eazy to defend a rounded shape, and it's hard to defend "bulges" because it can be easily surrounded and occupied. ...
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What were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders during the Second Sino-Japanese war?

Just as it is often said that Operation Barbarossa is Hitler's biggest strategic blunder (either the whole thing, its timing or execution), what were Chiang Kai-shek's biggest strategic blunders in ...
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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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What is Poosball, an early 1900s women's team sport?

My girlfriend recently showed me a 1908 yearbook in which several women are marked as playing "Poos-ball" or "Poosball." An internet search for this reveals mostly misspellings of "Foosball," however, ...
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Are submarine launched ballistic missiles still inaccurate?

In the early 1980s documentary First Strike, one of the arguments made for the development of the MX missile program was that in the event of a massive Soviet attack on the land-based missile and ...
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Why did 1906 Iranian constitutionalists use the Belgian constitution as inspiration?

The Constitutional Revolution of Iran in 1906 resulted in a constitution that established a parliament and a constitutional monarchy. Interestingly, it was based on the Belgian constitution. Was ...
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Did the Olympics make the Star Spangled Banner the US national anthem?

A long, long time ago, I remember watching a TV miniseries about the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896. One of the amusing substories I remember involved the USA's National Anthem and the ...
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What alternative locations were considered for the United Nations?

When reading up on the United Nations on Wikipedia, I noticed that Navy Island near Niagara falls was being considered at the time of the groups creation for it's location. I'm wondering what ...
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What was Poland's involvement in the Vietnam War?

So far I've found a few stories about Poland's involvement in the Vietnam War: historycy.org (in Polish) Operation Marigold Multinational UN peacekeeping force International Commission of Control and ...
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What land did Polish nationalists claim in 1914?

In the early 20th century, Poland was split between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany. However, clear borders of the "country" did not exist. When the country was finally re-created after the Great ...
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Were any of the major battle plans in WWII changed last minute by officers on the ground?

I haven't found any consistent reference to a particular battle wherein the battle plans were changed by a lower level officer on the ground at the last minute. Specifically, a major battle plan, not ...
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What were the operating principles of Japan's MITI during the 1950s and 60s?

Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) guided Japan's economy through two decades of unprecedented economic growth. MITI was the primary instrument of Japan's industrial policy, ...
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Which Japanese military officers helped Ho Chi Minh?

According to Wikipedia, in 1946 during negotiations between the French and Ho Chi Minh, One demand by the French was the return to French custody of a number of Japanese military officers (who had ...
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1answer
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What were the FBI's motives for wanting to discredit MLK?

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI had a vendetta against Martin Luther King, Jr. They wiretapped him, threatened to expose his sexual misconduct, accused him of Communist sympathies, and even went so far as to ...
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Did Goebbels realize that his wife used to know Arlozorov?

One of the versions for Arlozorov's 1933 murder (not solved to this day!) is that it had something to do with his early friendship with Magda Goebbels. This is what wikipedia says, soberly hedging its ...
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Why did China annex Tibet?

This is probably a very naive question, but here it goes: Was there an economical or political reason for the invasion of Tibet by China in 1950? It does not seem to me that Tibet is a particularly ...
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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 ...
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How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire?

How did Egypt become a protectorate of the British empire in 1914? (Feel free to add more content to this question)
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Did Stalin want to restore the Russian Empire's borders?

On one hand, it seems so because the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact defined the border between the two spheres of influence to be the border of the Russian Empire before WWI. On the other hand, the USSR ...
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Were there any political checks on the U.S. executive during their covert support of the military junta of Pinochet?

U.S. secretary of state Kissinger- with the support of the executive- actively supported the overthrow of Chilean president Allende in favor of the military dictatorship of Pinochet. After the fact, ...
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What factors contributed to the popularity of Eastern cultures in the USA in late 20th century?

Question says mostly all. To be more concrete, I am talking about the popularity of Krishna and Buddhism on the religious side, and stuff like yoga on the more practical side. Some other things might ...
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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?
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Did Trotsky serve as a hate-figure in PRC propaganda?

Maoism and Trotskyism share some similar ideas (by Maoism I am referring specifically to the guiding philosophies of the PRC during Mao's rule, and by Trotskyism I mean the beliefs of Trotsky, not ...
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GDP per capita of major combatants before and after WWII?

Perhaps this is difficult to measure and maybe not even a good metric for anything meaningful, but what was the GDP and GDP per capita for nations around the world immediately before World War II? ...
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Why did anti-Chinese riots occur during the Indonesian Reformation of 1998?

The protests and events in Indonesia in May 1998 led to the fall of the dictator Suharto, the reform of Indonesian government and political system, and a more liberal and democratic era. During the ...
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267 views

When were public roads cleaned electromagnetically?

In the first half of the 20th century, tires were more often punctured, so metal waste on the roadway was a bigger problem. The book "Lorries, Trucks and Vans 1897-1927" features an electromagnetic ...
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843 views

Was it worthwhile for Britain to side with the USA in the Canada-Alaska border dispute?

In 1903 the Canada-Alaska border dispute was decided by a tribunal of 3 American members, 2 Canadian members, and 1 British member. The British member sided with the Americans with the stated goal of ...
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Did the German authorities respell Polish names to be more German during the time of the 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 ...
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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 ...
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665 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
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Was Heisuke Yanagawa really censored out in photos, and why?

Heisuke Yanagawa (柳川 平助) was an IJA Lieutenant General who commanded one of the main armies in the Battle of Nanking. He would have been one of the generals photographed marching into Nanking. I've ...
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During the U.S. Prohibition, how did they get away with drinking alcohol?

I have heard about countless stories talking about people drinking during the Prohibition. How was this possible? How did they get away with drinking alcohol without getting caught?
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Destruction of iconic structures in wars of the 20th century and later

I was thinking about this question I just asked, and I wonder whether the potential destruction of such an iconic building is even a realistic fear. Has there been any incident of deliberate ...
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Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
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Has there been other settlements in occupied territories in recent history?

The issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank (and other territories) is quite controversial, including its legality and its impact on the peace process. I'm wondering if there was any similar ...
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How did the US fall behind in airplane technology from 1909-1917?

In December 1902 a Wright brothers built glider flew 600 feet. A World Record December 17, 1903 The Wright built the first successful powered airplane and Wilbur Wright flew 852 feet (260 m) in 59 ...
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What is this strange uniform?

Colonel John Tiltman wears a very strange uniform in this picture, dated 1919. The original webpage where I saw the picture is http://www.colossus-computer.com/colossus1.html.
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What was Finland's position in World War Two? [closed]

What was Finland's position in World War Two? Apparently, they were fighting against the Soviet Union, but not as Nazi Germany's ally. Are there reasons for this, and were they actually on Germany's ...
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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 ...
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Why did Japan take so long to attack Wuhan?

On December 13, 1937 Japan captured Nanjing; from there they could have continued up the Yangtze to attack Wuhan, then the second most populous Chinese city and de facto wartime capital. But ground ...
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When did we figure out that Venus was too hot for humans?

Today it's well known that the surface of Venus is incredibly hot, over 800 °F (427 ºC). Depictions of Venus in fiction, however, used to portray it as something close to Earth temperatures, ...
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When and what was the maximum extent of Nationalist China?

The Republic of China (1912–49) claimed a large area of land, the most notable difference compared to present-day China being the inclusion of Mongolia. However, it's my understanding that at no point ...
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How common were horses at the beginning of the 20th century?

From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, in North America and Australia, how common were horses? Was it easy for every man or boy to own a decent riding horse, or were they relatively expensive and ...
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Why did the attempts to keep Africa colonized after World War II fail?

After World War II, though the Attlee-led British government decided to give freedom to India, they held on to much of Africa. But why did this attempt at colonization fail? Wikipedia explains that ...
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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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World War 1: Why did Italy not fight until 1915?

Today I learnt history about World War 1 and I have a question that has been bothering me. According to what I have studied, the Triple Alliance (1882-1915) was an alliance between Germany, Austria-...
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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 —...

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