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Questions tagged [death]

For questions related to last moments of someone's life.

12
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1answer
661 views

Was Heinrich Himmler's death a suicide?

The corpse of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler lying on the floor of British 2nd Army HQ, May 23, 1945. Source: Rare Historical Photos Background - I'm intrigued by Martin Allen's theory that Himmler ...
71
votes
9answers
25k views

Where is the bloodiest square mile on Earth?

In terms of repeated wars and other violent encounters, where have the most people died throughout history (cumulatively over time) within one square mile? This will include deaths at the hands of ...
-1
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1answer
281 views

What killed Ferdinand Magellan? [closed]

Did Ferdinand Magellan die because of a poisonous arrow that Indians shot him with?
5
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1answer
496 views

How did England react to the arrival of the Black Death?

For an assignment, I need to be studying the Black Plague, and different people's reactions to it. I know about England when the Black Plague hit it. However, were people in England aware of the fact ...
2
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1answer
751 views

How did knights in full suits of armor eventually die in combat? What were the most common causes of death for soldiers in full-body plate armor? [closed]

I've heard about the battle of Agincourt that many knights probably died of drowning as they fell and their helmets filled with mud. It got me thinking: If you're going into battle on foot and in full-...
20
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2answers
12k views

What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

I can imagine that after World War 2 the ratio of women versus men changed drastically. During World War 2, Soviet casualties amounted to over 20,000,000, and as military casualties were almost all ...
2
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0answers
116 views

Meaning of carving on backside of headstone?

Did this carving (on the backside of a headstone from 1903, in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL, USA) have some particular meaning at that point in time? I ask because the family at the time ...
10
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1answer
282 views

Apart from Australia, has a serving head of government or state disappeared without trace?

In December 1967, then-serving prime minister of Australia, Harold Holt, disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach, Victoria. His body was never found, though an inquest held much later stated that ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What does a leaning cross on a gravestone mean?

I found this photo I took in 2010 of a gravestone located in Fenstanton Parish Church graveyard. It is dated 1886. I've done a little research (1,2,3) but none of them were especially helpful. Why ...
2
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2answers
879 views

Why were there so many US military deaths outside of the major battles in WW2?

Recently I have started to take a huge interest in WW2. I've been researching new information everyday about it. But one of the things I've been interested in is the number of deaths each country ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Did Andrew Jackson threaten to kill the Vice President?

In my Government and Politics class the other day, we were taught that Andrew Jackson threatened to kill the vice president. This sounded a bit odd to me so I wrote it in my notes and resolved to look ...
9
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1answer
211 views

Which town or village in Britain lost the greatest percentage of men in WWI due to “Pals Battalions”?

The British decision to create "Pals Battalions" of men from a single town or village led to unanticipated disasters when Pals battalions ran into heavy resistance, with large numbers of men from a ...
1
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1answer
361 views

What's the story behind this photo from WWI?

Warning: the photograph below is very graphic and may disturb some viewers, hence the spoiler tag. Click at your own risk. The picture shows the skeletal corpse of a dead German infantryman (the ...
0
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2answers
304 views

About how long ago was the most recent day on which a human did not die [closed]

Currently, we have around 7.5 billion people on earth, and 150,000 deaths per day. But a while ago, there were fewer people. At some point in the past, there must have been a day when nobody died. ...
-4
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2answers
219 views

Why did sculpture and architecture become unpainted white, like skeletons of the dead? [closed]

In ancient times sculptures and buildings were painted and colorfully decorated maybe even with clothes and jewels, and sometimes made out of glowing bronze. What was the motive and, if any, the ...
2
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1answer
312 views

What evidence is there that Lenin died because he was poisoned?

Many historians, such as Massie, mention that Lenin may have abruptly become ill in 1922, and died two years later, because he was poisoned. However, nobody ever mentions why this is thought, who may ...
13
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1answer
2k views

What was a “searcher” associated with a funeral in 1690?

Life In A Noble Household 1641-1700 by Gladys Scott-Thomson, 1937, analyses the household accounts of William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford. On page 236 is listed an entry from December 1690 where the ...
36
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3answers
4k views

Which year in history had the highest ratio of non-natural deaths?

A silly question maybe but wondering which year in history was the bloodiest? Is it one of the last two years of WWII? Or are there any other such bloody time in history? I only wish to include non-...
6
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0answers
150 views

When did individual graves and modern cemetary and tombstones become common place?

There is already a question on when the tombstone was first recorded, but my question is when did the modern Western concepts of cemeteries with organized plots and tombstones and other markers with ...
2
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1answer
445 views

Why did Meriwether Lewis think that William Clark was coming to help him just before he killed himself?

It is well known that Meriwether Lewis suffered from some kind of mental illness, and that the his symptoms were especially pronounced during his final days of life, in the weeks leading up to his ...
-2
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1answer
371 views

Was Black Death a weaponised disease? [closed]

There has been many attacks/accidents involving diseases that have been purposefully used with a sole purpose to kill people. In history there has been many examples of mass deaths caused by an ...
5
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1answer
833 views

What killed Takeda Shingen?

What killed Takeda Shingen? A sniper's bullet? Illness? Old wounds? A combination of the above? Why is the cause of his death shrouded in mystery? Did the Takeda try and keep his death secret or ...
12
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3answers
15k views

Why did Japanese samurai disembowel themselves?

Japanese samurais were known to commit ritual suicide by stabbing themselves in the belly. Why? Why not hang themselves? Cut their own throats? Does Japanese culture view disembowelment differently ...
-3
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1answer
365 views

Is there documented evidence of Israel concentration/death camps used against the Arabs? [closed]

According to some articles I've been reading, there is testimony that as Israel began its conquest and subsequent occupation of Palestine, they sent Arab men to concentration, labor and even death ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Where did the so-called “Jap Skulls” end up?

I have read that there was a disturbingly common practice of American soldiers in the Pacific theater of WWII to take the skulls of dead Japanese soldiers as trophies to take home, give to girlfriends,...
1
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1answer
495 views

What was the death toll of Plague of Justinian?

I am looking for approximate number of people that died in Europe during 541–542 Plague of Justinian. All wiki has is Modern scholars believe that the plague killed up to 5,000 people per day in ...
5
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1answer
498 views

Why is there a Herakles/Hercules sarcophagus?

I recently visited the Archeological museum of Antalya, seeing two 'Herakles sarcophagi' like this one, depicting his twelve labours. I learned some about him like how he reached immortality. I was ...
7
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1answer
583 views

What deaths were caused by weapons deployed during a war long after the war has ended? [closed]

Inspired by Last death caused by World War I. Even as recently as 2013, we still have had casualties from abandoned munition stockpiles and the likes from WW1. I'm wondering if there are any wars ...
7
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3answers
1k views

What English king died from water intoxication?

I vaguely remember reading a story about an English king that died from drinking too much water after a hunt. I'm sorry to say that all parts of this story may be untrue…I'm not sure whether it was a ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Was it customary for an executioner in Elizabethan England to ask for forgiveness from the executed?

The question is basically in the title already. I recently saw what is supposedly a historically correct account of Elizabeth I reign in the form of a documentary. The executioner there asked Maria I ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Did Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigate the globe?

As we know, Magellan died on the Philippines, so he did not circumnavigate the globe. However, I found an opinion claiming that he actually did, because he'd made some travels to east Asia before his ...
22
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2answers
2k views

When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
7
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1answer
5k views

When did the Greeks start the practice of burying their dead relatives' bodies?

I was told that at the time around 1 B.C. to 2 A.D Greeks were still cremating bodies of their dead relatives. When did the Greeks start burying them?
8
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4answers
10k views

How many Russian people did Tsar Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) kill?

Ivan's rule was full of contradiction, success and failure. Was his rule bloody? How many Russian people were killed by him?
7
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2answers
4k views

Were the Nazis the first to use phenol as a means of execution?

Phenol was discovered in 1834 by Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge.... Injections of phenol were used as a means of individual execution by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was originally used by the ...
10
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1answer
4k views

Latest recorded government sanctioned use of scaphism or cyphonism (torture)?

Scaphism, also known as "the boats", and cyphonism both seem to involve smearing an individual in honey and exposing them outdoors to insects for a prolonged period of time as a form of torture. ...
9
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1answer
2k views

First US police officer killed in the line of duty

Who was the first US police officer killed in the line of duty? When and where did it take place? By US police officer, I mean any active-duty police officer working for any force in the US post-...
7
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1answer
354 views

First recorded use of a traditional tombstone?

The question is rather straight-forward. I consider a "traditional" tombstone as some sort of monument having an inscribed name and date of birth/death or age.
10
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1answer
967 views

How Many Members of US Congress Have Died While In Office?

As best I can tell, Leo Ryan of California is the only U.S. Member of Congress murdered while in office. He was killed by members of the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978. What I'm looking for are how ...
4
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0answers
240 views

How dangerous duels were? [closed]

I know that duels (in the form popular in Europe of XIX and early XX century) didn't always end in death (dueling to death was even prohibited by some code e.g. Boziewicz code). I would like to know ...
22
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4answers
191k views

Does the number of legs in the air of a horse statue indicate how its rider died? [closed]

I have heard that the number of legs a horse has in the air in a statue indicates how the rider died. According to what I have understood: 2 legs in the air: rider died in battle 1 leg in the air: ...
8
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1answer
176 views

How did Pancrace Royer die?

Pancrace Royer was a well known French harpsichordist who published a book in 1746. He died in 1755, but I can't find the cause of death (which would probably be easier if I knew French). Does anyone ...