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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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1answer
199 views

How was the transfer of personnel from British women's military services managed?

In the 1990's,the former women's services - WRNS, WRAC, and WRAF - were disbanded and women absorbed into the regular services. Whilst women still cannot serve in combat roles, they are armed and ...
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382 views

How did the Chinese help Khrushchev?

I read this in the source cited in this answer Initially the Soviet assistance in China’s nuclear programme was limited to the civil nuclear energy field. However, Moscow’s attitude shifted in ...
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774 views

Argentina's involvement with the League of Nations

Argentina was a founding member of the League of Nations. However, Argentina left in 1921 when an Argentine resolution was rejected. Why, and through what procedure (if any), was Argentina allowed to ...
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785 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 ...
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Italian History from 1870-1913: Why did Italy have such a hard time becoming a Great Power like Germany

Both Italy and Prussia-Germany were united from the years 1870-1871. Instead of small provinces, the country became united under one political leadership. Their unification received the help of France ...
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Why was an independant Saarland country created twice after each world war?

After World War I, some territories were removed from Germany, most of them had either a majority or a significant minority of non-german-speaking populations. The exception that comes to mind to me ...
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653 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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3answers
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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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Why were Austria-Hungary's Slavic minorities put into multinational states?

From the perspective of the post-Cold War generation that saw Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia break up over ethnic squabbles (peacefully in the case of the former, acrimoniously in the case of the ...
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691 views

Could you help me identify this photograph that was taken shortly after World War 2?

Could you help me identify this photograph? All I know is that it was taken shortly after World War 2.
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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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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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Why was the capital of Ukraine moved in 1934?

The Russian Revolution is fairly famous for moving the capital from Petrograd (St. Petersburg) to Moscow. But I was surprised to learn that the capital of Ukraine was Kharkiv until it was switched to ...
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Who was head of Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1907-1908

Do we know the names of people who would have made the decision not to admit Hitler in 1907 and 1908? Who was President of the Academy?
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338 views

Why didn't Saudi Unification Include the Coastal States like Qatar, UAE, Oman, Yemen, and Kuwait

Why are the following states independent and not a part of Saudi Arabia? Qatar, UAE, Oman, Yemen, and Kuwait While their annexation might be difficult in our current time period, it should have been ...
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507 views

Did the break up of AT & T in 1984 lead to technological innovation?

Are there examples of technologies developed since 1984 that would not have been likely to be developed had the Bell system stayed intact rather than being broken up by the US government? Let's pose ...
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341 views

What universities existed in Dutch East Indies, and how available were they to the native population?

In the introduction of his translation to the historical novel Footsteps, the translator Max Lane (who is also described as a researcher on Indonesia) said that in the beginning of the novel, the ...
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To what extent did Gandhi affect the factors that led to the partition of India?

From the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, we can learn that he was not as vehemently opposed to the Partition of India as one would expect. (See here) Probably no one is more distressed than I am ...
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823 views

What are the scholarly opinions on the idea of the “European Civil War”?

On Wikipedia, I ran into an article talking about World War I to World War II and some of the adjacent wars before WWI as being a "European Civil War" or a "Second Thirty Years War". What is the ...
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247 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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205 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 ...
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476 views

When did the word “Holodomor” appear?

Holodomor (Голодомор) is a part of the Soviet famine of 1932–33. The events in Ukraine were called "Holodomor", but when did the word appear? Google Books Ngram Viewer shows no mentions of Holodomor ...
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Did Radio Free Europe say that the Allies would come to the rescue during the Hungarian Revolution?

I found this video (in Spanish) where a woman claims that Radio Free Europe encouraged the Hungarians to resist, and that aid was on its way. Is this true? Is there any evidence? And if it is true, ...
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476 views

Did hanging tyres from Mostar's bridge help at all to protect it?

At various points (e.g. 00:14) in this BBC documentary on Mostar's Stari Most (Old Bridge) you can see dozens of car tyres hanging from the bridge prior to its destruction in the Croat-Bosniak ...
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Did Britain briefly recognize Mahmud Barzanji as King of Kurdistan?

The wiki entry on Mahmud Barzanji is very poorly written and very far from neutral. I turned to the Russian entry which is at least well-written and contains many interesting facts - some of them ...
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How did South Korea become one of the most developed nations on Earth? [closed]

What I've learnt from South Korean history (roughly, from one of my liberal arts classes) is that because of their geographical disadvantage, they were invaded by China and Japan numerous times in the ...
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How did the Falasha make contact with Jews outside Ethiopia?

I just read a book about an expedition to Ethiopia, The Last of Free Africa, published 1928. The author Gordon MacCreagh writes: An astounding fact which should be of absorbing interest to Jews the ...
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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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735 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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How were British personnel employed in the colonies after independence

A lot of colonies continued to employ British citizens in their government even after attaining independence. But how were these employees paid (in local currency, or in pounds)? Was it not considered ...
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479 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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10answers
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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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975 views

Chronology of Political Party Alignment with “Left” and “Right”

I once heard it said that U.S. political parties (Republicans and Democrats) have both spent the last century becoming increasingly liberal, such that 21st century Republicans now hold the same left-...
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1answer
887 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 ...
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2answers
3k views

Did Theodore Roosevelt ever say the “things that will destroy America” quote?

The fullest form of the quote I have been able to find online is from thinkexist.com and goes as follows: Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—...
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4answers
496 views

Was smoking ever considered a throat cure?

In the movie The King's Speech Prince Bertie at some point says his doctors had advised him to smoke, in order to improve his throat's condition. Does this stupid suggestion represent actual medical ...
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1answer
863 views

Who was in charge of the Barysaw massacre (20 October 1941)?

I'm looking for information about the Barysaw Massacre of 20 October 1941. Who performed it and who was in charge of this operation?
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1answer
362 views

Suffragettes vs. Einstein

A long time ago -- either when I was in school, or via some documentary -- I learned that Einstein had to face a public immigration hearing in 1933 [edit: probably it was a naturalization hearing in ...
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2answers
1k views

Was there anything like African American architecture style or symbolic in the beginning of 20th century?

At the beginning of 20th century, large masses of black people were migrating to North or between districts of the same towns (like in New York from Tenderloin or San Juan Hill to Harlem, previously ...
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7k views

What is the significance of “Flappers” in American history?

The Flapper image of the 1920's American history of cosmetics seems to transform the cultural image of the feminine. However, I cannot piece together exactly how this change came about. I read about ...
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1answer
3k views

Why did the Italians (and to some extent Jewish & Irish) dominate organized crime in the US in the 20th century?

Immigrants of a great many nationalities came to American shores, so why was it the Italians who reached such elaborate levels of criminal organization? (The Jewish & Irish seem to have come in ...
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1answer
711 views

Is there a way to find who died and what American plane crashed over a spot in Romania in 1942/1943?

My grandparents told me, that in the nearby forest, there was an American plane crash when American planes got back from bombing Ploiești. This is the place on Google Maps. To put things in a bit of ...
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How would Eastern European emigres have traveled across Eastern Europe to Warsaw in the early 20thC?

I was looking back at my grandmother's voyage to America, she made the trip from Zbaraz in the Ukraine through Warsaw and then on to Gdanks and through steerage class to the New York. I know she took ...
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277 views

Date this Jubilee Day photo

I participate in a Facebook group about the history of my hometown, Mechanicsburg, PA. We are trying to put a year on the following picture taken on the town’s annual street fair, called Jubilee Day. ...
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What rank is S. SGT in the Army Air Force during WW2?

I am looking over my Grandfather's DD214 (Military Discharge Paperwork) from WW2. His grade says "S. SGT" I am trying to figure out his rank conclusively. Nowhere on the DD214 does it display an E-5 ...
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511 views

Did FDR support Hoover for the presidency of the US in 1920?

Franklin Foer writes in a new Guardian article: Americans of all persuasions began yearning for the salvific ascendance of the most famous engineer of his time: Herbert Hoover. In 1920, ...
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14k views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
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1answer
328 views

From what time can this jewelry date?

Last summer my little brother dug up this piece of jewelry with his metal detector in France (near Vichy). It's roughly 5 cm from top to bottom. It has no hallmarks. From what time period could this ...
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1answer
419 views

1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic - Experience

From the spring of 1918 to the early months of 1919, the Spanish flu pandemic ravaged the world, killing an estimated 50 million to 100 million people. It came in three waves, with the last wave ...
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888 views

Did Franco really ask “Why? Are they going somewhere?”

The story goes that Franco on his deathbed in 1975 hears the noise of a crowd outside and asks what it is. And is told: "The people of Spain have come to say goodbye" Franco replies: "Why? Are ...