Questions tagged [united-states]

The United States of America is a sovereign state stretching across North America between Canada and Mexico, Alaska in the continent's northwest, the mid-Pacific archipelago of Hawaii and several territories in the Pacific & Caribbean. Founded by European émigrés rebelling from British control in the 1700s, the US spread across the continent by conquest and land-purchase to become the most powerful country on the planet after the Cold War in the 1900s.

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When was the last US letter of marque issued?

Article I of the United States Constitution lists "grant[ing] Letters of Marque and Reprisal" as an explicit power of the Congress. Are these still being issued? If not, when was the last ...
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What is the context for Glennon's 1956 intelligence gathering trip to the USSR?

In 1956, my father, John J. Glennon (Librarian of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, now the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) was one of the few fluent Russian speakers in ...
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How did 18th-century gubernatorial elections in Vermont compare to similar elections in other states?

In an disorganized way I have been reading various things about the 18th-century history of Vermont and I wondered whether their way of choosing and installing governors was unique, or the same as ...
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Is today (April 8, 2020) the first time the NYTimes has had content superimposed on its name?

I notice that today's print edition of the New York Times has part of it's front page infographic overlaid on the name of the paper. As a frequent reader, this stands out to me because while this kind ...
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Why did the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company have a banking company?

I am reading newspapers from Savannah, GA 1842 (Oct. & Nov.) and they often mention the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company (originally called Georgia Railroad Company). I am not understanding ...
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Can anyone identify this uniform? Is it from Sweden or USA?

I have 2 photos of my husband's grandfather Edwin Albin (1884-1962) that were taken in Minnesota in 1906. I’m hoping to find out more about the uniform Albin is wearing. Albin's father Claus August ...
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What did a 19th century New Orleans Yellow Fever immunity passport look like?

In response to proposals for a so-called "immunity passport" system to be developed so that people who have recovered from COVID-19 can return to life as usual (without being subject to ...
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Who would have used this c1890s canvas bag?

I have an OLD canvas bag measuring 14 x 11", opens to two pouches. It has a leather strap on the back that makes it look like it was possibly used as a backpack. Printed on the front is "2 SEP.CO. ...
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In 1940s/50s how did refugees earn US citizenship?

I'm writing a piece about a polish refugee at the start of WW2 and I am trying to figure out the process for an unaccompanied minor, whose parents are supposed to be dead if that makes a difference, ...
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How is Phi Beta Kappa and Skull and Bones historically connected to Sigma Pi Phi fraternity also known as the Boulé?

According to the history of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity also known as the Boulé the organization was founded in 1904 by Henry McKee Minton and five other men Sigma Pi Phi fraternity was formed in ...
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What did “Dr.” after a person's or a business's name mean around the turn of the 20th century in the USA?

I am putting together a historical presentation about a late-19th / early 20th-century U. S. ruralite who was involved in many things including operating a general store. I have seen the abbreviation "...
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When the 'speedy trial' amendment was written, how long did trials usually take?

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution promises "the right to a speedy and public trial," to prevent the accused from being held without a conviction for a long pretrial period. What ...
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Why was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed there?

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican-American War was signed "at the main altar of the old Basilica of Guadalupe", or possibly in an adjacent building. This is a major Catholic ...
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Looking for information on “Schwartz Toy Mfg. Corp.” and products

I found a stuffed animal in my attic of a masked mouse with a label having "Schwartz Toy Mfg. Corp." on it. The spelling differs from FAO Schwarz, and I can't find much on Google except a few sites ...
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Christmas trees - real or fake? When did the U.S. Christmas tree consumer begin preferring artificial trees to real trees?

Source: National Christmas Tree Association via Statista. Background Our family was watching (again) A Christmas Story last night, and during the scene where the Old Man is bargaining to purchase a ...
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Why did the US give up the portion of Vancouver island below the 49th parallel but insist on keeping Point Roberts?

Point Roberts remained US territory because the Americans insisted on maintaining the strictest interpretation of the Treaty of Oregon, even though it was pretty much useless being a tiny exclave. But ...
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Did any American political party have a legal personality anywhere at any time? Did it ever lapse?

After the War of Independence, some institutions such as the Bank of the United States were granted legal personality by the state or federal authorities. Of course, some of them ceased to exist (inc. ...
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Is this character based on a real person?

In the 2014 historical novel Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles, chapter 29: A black Mississippian who left his native state in the early 1950s to go to law school, Quentin Avery fought on the front ...
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Did most colleges in the United States have semesters that began in September and ended in January during the 1890s?

I have been researching college calendars from the 1890s and have found that their semesters are very different from most "modern" semesters in the United States. Here are two examples: Texas, Bryn ...
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When did US federal government's revenue exceed combined state and local revenue?

Approximately when did the US federal government's revenue become larger than state and local revenue? Even after the Constitution in 1787 the federal government's revenue was still much smaller than ...
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Did “errand boys” really have to wear handcuffs attached to the briefcase?

In a Donald Duck comic published in 1994 (possibly conceived up to a few years prior, and possibly "set" in the 1950s), Donald Duck is forced to become an errand boy. The boss gives him a ...
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Why was 'France' excluded from Henry Lane Wilson's clique during the Mexican Revolution?

The book by Friedrich Katz, The secret war in Mexico, mentions that the USA minister Henry Lane Wilson organized in part the overthrow of president Madero during the first phase of the Mexican ...
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Is the argument for a means test on public education a new one?

In the United States, the last Democratic debate a widely discussed proposal for free tuition for all students who attend public Universities ( State and Land-Grant Universities ) came up. ...
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Was Frisbee criticized in the Soviet Union?

In the U.S. of the 1950s, the Space Age and molded plastic flying discs (Frisbees) were both novel. New materials and a supposed resemblance to UFOs made this linkage irresistible for early disc ...
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Why did many scientists spy for the Soviet Union and contribute to their atomic program?

I want to understand why some scientists collaborated with the Soviet Union and its atomic program during and after the WWII. What I want to know is if there were some specific characteristics or ...
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What actions did the USA take in 2003 to prevent other countries from coming to Iraq's aid?

When the US invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, I believe that neighboring countries and one of their major arms suppliers- Russia- stood down, at best. What actions did the USA take to dissuade any ...
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Thomas Cole's Political Commentary

I'm studying Thomas Cole's "Course of Empire" paintings, but despite what is implied through the artwork itself, I cannot find any references from Cole himself regarding his political motivations. ...
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Were there 'voting irregularities' in early Utah history?

I'm reading excerpts from Among the Mormons, which is a collection of primary-source documents regarding Utah history from the Mormon migration to, roughly, the Great Depression. One of the pieces ...
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Is there any evidence of racism from the US Supreme Court Justices who decided Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)?

I am trying to know more about the personal lives of the 8 Justices engaged in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), and whether personal opinions (e.g. racism) might have affected their decision. I did ...
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How successful was the Anti-Imperialist League?

America's imperialist era was characterized by informal empires and the annexation of various states, such as the Philippines. Eventually, people such as William J. Bryan found out about the immoral ...
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Ethnic composition of antebellum Massachusetts

What was the ethnic composition of Massachusetts in the decades before the Civil War? I am particularly interested in knowing what percentage of the population claimed English, Scottish, North Irish, ...
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Can anybody please identify the military uniforms in this these photos?

It's a large tintype. He was in the 5th Infantry and the 16th Infantry. He joined the Army in 1858 and in 1869 then joined the Navy and was aboard the U.S.S. Lancaster until 1871. (Ignore the 1858 ...
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How often were slaves raised by their parents in 19th century USA?

American slave owners wanted their slaves to have children, but they didn't always allow their slaves to marry, and often sold families piecemeal. About what percentage of slaves were raised by both ...
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Is there audio of Malcolm X's original The Ballot or the Bullet speech?

Malcolm X's famous Ballot or the Bullet speech - his first after leaving the Nation of Islam and "ranked 7th in the top 100 American speeches of the 20th century by 137 leading scholars of ...
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Where from, and in what way, did the first detailed account of the use of self-propelled torpedoes reach the RN and USN?

Three possible candidates seem to exist for the first verified (non-participant) observation of a torpedo boat assault. The options are the Russo-Turkish War, at Caldera Bay, or at Weihaiwei, all of ...
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What is the origin of white mourning clothes in African-American culture?

I've noticed that in pictures from the funerals of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, a large number of attendees are wearing white. I've found a few resources online that suggest this is a ...
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Why have the northern plains states voted consistently Republican in Presidential elections since 1940?

Beginning in 1940 (with Wendell Wilkie), the four northern plains states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska have voted Republican in all but one Presidential election (the Johnson ...
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Why does some US banknotes have abstract art on the reverse instead of detailed scenes of history/monuments?

Most US paper currency has detailed images of national monuments or historical scenes on the reverse side. Why wasn't the same treatment given to all currency, such as the $500 bill? It simply ...
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Is this “Westinghouse All Electric House” video, called a “promo from the mid 1950s”, a hoax?

This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyrTgtPTz3M It barely has any description, the comments are turned off, and the Wikipedia article on "Westinghouse Electric Company" does not help to clear ...
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How did Adam Worth make sure his crooks didn't keep what they stole?

I'm currently reading through the The Life and Times of Adam Worth and as much as I'm fascinated by Adam Worth and his mastermind for 19th century crime, there is one thing that the book fails to ...
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Were prisons in Maine mixed race in 1947?

In the movie The Shawshank Redemption, white Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) and black Ellis "Red" Redding (played by Morgan Freeman) are in the same prison. I don't remember if it was said ...
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Largest congressional letter writing campaign in US history?

In the United States, there is a system where folks can write letters to their representative and senators in congress to bring attention to a particular issue, sometimes as a timely event or a hot-...
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How did age affect the probability of being drafted during WWII?

Did the Selective Service System and the draft boards select younger registrants first? Were 30-year olds less likely to be selected in the early years of the war, or more likely to be selected in ...
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What happened to railroad workers whose jobs became redundant?

In the early 20th century, the steam locomotive was the king of land transportation. The railroad industry was one of the largest employers in the US, employing massive numbers of workers to build and ...
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I am looking for a database of US aircraft casting numbers

I have found many US aircraft have casting numbers in their aluminum parts, bosses, tools, to identify the specific aicraft. 28 is a PBY, I believe. Is there a book or database on these, and when ...
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What is the correct timeline of events for the boycott of the Olympic Games 1980 in Moscow

Coming from the recent question of How did the US government manage to enforce the 1980 boycott of the Olympic Games in Russia? and a comment in that thread I kept wondering. Who was the first and ...
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Did the United States colonize California?

Upper California was a province of Mexico from the 1820s to the 1840s (sometimes unified with Lower California). Near the end of this period it was overrun with Anglo-American men that lived apart ...
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What police department served the Kenwood neighborhood in Chicago in 1907?

Today it's the 2nd District Police Department on Wentworth, but the building is new. Can anyone tell me (or recommend sources that might tell me) where the nearest police department was at the turn of ...
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Has Congress ever offered a proposed admission of a new state without being approached?

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 said that the territory northwest of the Ohio River should ultimately become at least three, but not more than five, states. (It ultimately became five states plus part ...
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Antebellum White Collar Workplace Architecture and Design

Does anyone know what offices would have looked like in the U.S. roughly between 1830-1860? In particular, did clerks and others work in a more open plan environment, or did people tend to have their ...