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Questions tagged [popular-culture]

Questions related to the history of a societal set of practices, beliefs, art forms or and/or objects that are popular in a society for only a given period of time, often viewed as trivial in nature.

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375 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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6answers
354 views

What is the earliest known book / novel trilogy in literature?

Having recently finished (again) The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I wondered what is the earliest known book / novel trilogy in literature? (Yes, I know J.R.R. Tolkien wrote LOTR not as a trilogy but as ...
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0answers
141 views

What was the early understanding of static electricity shocks?

What was the common understanding of electric shocks caused by static electricity in the ancient world and middle ages? I'm talking about the shock when you touch something on a dry day for example. ...
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1answer
218 views

Why do people not talk about Tokyo fire bombing during WW2? [closed]

I was wondering why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are remembered as some of the most devastating attacks during WW2; but, the Tokyo firebombing March 9, 1945—which caused more casualties and was a really ...
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2answers
4k views

Where does this hairstyle originate from?

I've seen the shaved head with a pony tail hairstyle in some cartoons and video games. Examples: Are these hairstyles "historically accurate"? Are they based upon a certain culture / history or were ...
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2answers
648 views

Whatever happened to Elvis Presley's Federal badge?

Question: Whatever happened to Elvis's Federal badge? Did he ever use it? Did Elvis, probable one of the most recognizable icons of the 50's, 60's and 70's ever use that federal badge and ...
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2answers
173 views

What are the most famous individual toys in modern history? [closed]

Continuing my interest in the history of toys: Have there been any famous individual toys besides Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear? (Both were inspired by actual stuffed animals.) By individual I ...
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2answers
473 views

Who was “The famous American Roberts” in 1920's Europe?

Reading this clip from a German newspaper left me puzzled: Die praktischen, die smarten Amerikaner! Das Girl haben sie bei uns eingeführt und den Jazz und die Songs mit Rachenkatarrh, und die ...
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1answer
99 views

Racial Themes in Rocky Movies [closed]

Recently, I was working on a project concerning the Cold War, and cultural themes throughout the period. I mentioned in my report that popular culture often took part in shaping the conflict during ...
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0answers
1k views

Where and how did pinky promises / swear originate?

So I found this article around it, but does not mentioned references and not sure if its comprehensive. The pinky-promise, more serious than we thought Posted by Camayak plug-in | Nov 4, 2015 | ...
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2answers
472 views

When did people start believing aliens are abducting cows?

I think all of us must have seen the following scene in a film, or read it in a book: It is night, and there are cows standing in a field. All of a sudden, a flying saucer appears, and starts to beam ...
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1answer
257 views

Bears on Bicycles - What are early examples of photographs or paintings showing bicycles used with animals in circus acts?

Bicycles became popular during the early to mid-nineteenth-century. Around the same time, Isaac A. Van Amburgh was active as the first circus wild animal trainer. When did the practice of training ...
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4answers
2k views

What made early 20th-century Vienna such an incubator for various intellectual activities?

There are almost too many examples to cite(the Austrian school of economics, Sigmund Freud, modernist figures in culture, Joseph Schumpeter, etc.). Here's a quote from Wikipedia's Vienna entry: ...
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1answer
187 views

Which was the earliest book of names for naming babies?

Nowadays one finds books and online websites that help you to name babies. What are the earliest instances of these? I would assume that these would be in Europe, China or the Middle East, but if ...
6
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1answer
388 views

Which side of the Atlantic does the jack-o'-lantern come from?

There is an often-repeated 'fact' that although the pumpkin is an American plant, the Jack-o-Lantern tradition is an older Irish tradition (e.g., in today's Washington Post) in which turnips were ...
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1answer
250 views

Did the 1962 comedy album about JFK impact the presidency or US prestige abroad?

On October 22, 1962 -- the same day President Kennedy appeared on television to announce the discovery of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba and the American response -- commedian and JFK impressionist ...
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6answers
2k views

When did formal social dance fall out of favor in the US?

Up until about the 1950s, one can see instances of social dance (especially ballroom) dominating the social scene. This includes instances such as the tennis court scene with Humphrey Bogart and ...
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2answers
714 views

Was “the modern cocktail” intended to mask the foul taste of Prohibition-era liquor?

I have long suspected that what we know today as a "cocktail" was invented to mask the taste of bad liquor. Indeed I've found several unsupported assertions to this effect online, generally pointing ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the origin/history of the practice of standing up if an elder or respectable is approaching?

It is usually witnessed that whenever someone respectable (parents), of a higher status (king/president) or an elderly approaches e.g. enters the room, people tend to stand-up as a sign of respect. ...
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1answer
454 views

What was the earliest professional recording of “Happy Birthday to You”?

Since it's creation, there has been confusion over the copyright status of the familiar song "Happy Birthday to You". As it became widely popular, the original copyright holders lost control of when ...
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1answer
497 views

When did the first major group of Eunuchs started to congregate at this Khawaja Polytheistic Shrine? [closed]

In India, Eunuchs revere the Khawaja Polytheistic Shrine and make an annual pilgrimage to its shrine in large numbers. What is the authentic historical reason for Eunuchs in large numbers ...
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6answers
33k views

Does the forearm grip/handshake have a historical basis?

I was wondering where the forearm handshake came from. I found absolutely nothing in Wikipedia, so I have no idea if this is really historically based or just a recent popular greeting. I was led to ...
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1answer
203 views

Where can I find information about classical sailor culture/general nautical knowledge? [closed]

Out of strong curiosity, I would really love to know what it was like on sailing ships centuries ago. I can look up nautical terms all day, but those don't express the culture, or much of the ...
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2answers
1k views

Why was Woody Woodpecker a “natural” hit during WW2?

Woody Woodpecker "with his innate chutzpah and brash demeanor, ... was a natural hit during World War II. His image appeared on US aircraft as nose art", Wikipedia says. Why was Woody Woodpecker a "...
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2answers
480 views

What is Adios Bruce Lee?

A co-worker of mine came in wearing a shirt with this image on it: This looks like a movie poster, but I'd never heard of that particular Bruce Lee movie, so I tried looking it up. As near as I can ...
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4answers
805 views

Earliest examples of “pop culture” in history

What is the earliest evidence of pop culture/viral trends throughout history? By pop culture I mean music, theater etc... Basically "gangam style" of the olden days. I understand that any sort of ...
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1answer
3k views

“No sane man will dance.”? When / where / about-what did Cicero say this?

I hate quotes out of context, even great lines like "No sane man will dance." -- which was allegedly uttered by Cicero. But every time the quote is used, context is omitted. Was Cicero really ...
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6answers
2k views

Were there any war movies made during WW2 that were well regarded by front-line American soldiers?

I've read in a few places that American soldiers during WWII (meaning men who had actually seen combat, not rear echelon troops) preferred light comedy or romance movies to the sanitized propaganda in ...
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5answers
737 views

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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2answers
1k views

Was there actually a project by the Nazis to create supernatural monsters/weapons? [closed]

In many American sci-fi/fantasy fictional works, there's a trope about Nazis creating/attempting to create/use supernatural weapons/monsters (examples Hellboy movie, Indian Jones movie etc.) What, if ...