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Questions tagged [united-states]

The United States of America is a nation-state stretching across North America between Canada and Mexico, plus 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 someone condemned to slavery for the last time in the United States?

These question and answer have established than even after the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, felons have been sentenced to be "sold as slave" for a given ...
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Has Puerto Rico experienced fewer privileges and autonomy than other US territories?

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated US territory. The US won the island from Spain in the Spanish-American War along with the Philippines and Guam, so it is also referred to as a colonial possession, ...
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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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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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Have there ever been maximum age limits for public office in the United States?

In doing some research, I came across this obituary in "The Sabbath Recorder" At his residence in Hopkinton, R. I., Sept. 18th, Deacon Daniel Babcock, in his 85th year of his age, and the 59th ...
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What is the context for Glennon's intelligence gathering trip to Russia in 1956

In 1956 my father, John J. Glennon (Librarian for the what is now the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), was one of the few fluent Russian speakers in the US, as I was given to ...
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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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USA membership pin - possible to identify?

The attached picture shows what is believed to be a membership pin. Is it possible to identify the organization? The pin is from the USA and dates from the period 1890-1914. A possibility is that it ...
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215 views

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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18th-century gubernatorial elections in the U.S.A

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 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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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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245 views

How did US anti-Irish sentiment decline?

Anti-Irish sentiment in the United States previously involved depictions of Irish migrants as non-human primates. While historians have debated the prevalence of contemporaneous "No Irish Need Apply" ...
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309 views

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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61 views

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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175 views

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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836 views

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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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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317 views

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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156 views

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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569 views

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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200 views

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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61 views

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 ...
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159 views

Who wrote that Americans believe their values are universal values?

I remember reading this statement (or something very close) years ago: Americans believe their values are universal values, which is the most American value of all. Who wrote this? I want to say ...
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259 views

Did Martin Luther King's political outlook change during the civil rights movement?

From the Montgomery bus boycott to his death in 1968, Martin Luther King always used nonviolence as a strategy. Did his political outlook change (and why) throughout the civil right movement until ...
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Iran and the point four program and the mutual defense act of 1949?

What were the US's and Iran's terms in these agreements? What was the total amount of aid Iran recieved from the US during this time?
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A memorial Georgia (U.S.) plaque

This memorial plaque lists the numbers of Georgians who served in various wars and details the casualties. What I find odd is that for WWI, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf round numbers are given for the ...
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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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Meaning of 19th-century American parlour games

I would really appreciate it if someone could explain to me the meaning of three American parlour games of the 19th century. I am now translating a novel where these games are mentioned and would like ...
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Did James Madison sign all copies of the Bill of Rights?

I'm aware that James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights but then 13 copies were distributed to the 13 original colonies to review and edit. Is it James Madison's signature on the copies that were sent ...
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How many total speakers of German were there in pre-WWI USA?

The 1910 US Census enumerates some 2.7 million foreign-born speakers of German in the United States then. That number must be an understatement because there were many communities of heritage German ...
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275 views

Where did the stereotype of Asians being bad drivers came from and how did it expand? (if it's not an internet phenomenon)

I'd like to know the historic start of such a stereotype and how it expanded, if it is really something that comes from before and it's not just some internet phenomenon (which may be). I'm linking ...
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207 views

What did Harry Truman think about the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution?

The American Presidential succession process is interesting in that it starts off in the executive branch (with the VP), moves to the legislative branch (Speaker of the House, then President Pro Tem), ...
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325 views

Are these Spanish American War uniforms?

Can anyone identify the uniforms these men are wearing? The young man in this picture may be my Grandfather, who fought in the Spanish American War. He was underage when he joined to fight.
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Where did United States colleges rank internationally during the 19th century?

I have read that the USA was far behind Europe until maybe the 1930s. But just what were the limitations of US colleges prior to that? EDIT: I realize there was unlikely to have been any published ...
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How do I find out some information about a business in the early 1980s?

I live outside the USA, and I need to find information about a certain "LAMO-LEM Laboratories", I have an address: Box 2382, La Jolla, CA 92038. But that's all. The web has not been kind to me wrt to ...
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Tomb of the Unknown soldier: why do they relax their jaw?

During the changing of the guard, I have always noticed the relief commander either relaxes their jaw before most sentences they say, or actively juts it out for every sentence (depending on the ...
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What other writings from the Constitutional Convention corroborate or dispute the definition of the duties of electors in Federalist Papers #68?

Is anyone here familiar with the details of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 enough to know if any of the actual participants of that event left any writings that either corroboration or dispute ...
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What food might they have at the Cold Harbor, Virginia, in 1860?

Cold Harbor Virginia was named for an inn, the Cold Harbor. You could stay there but you could not get hot food. It seems that already in 17th century Virgina a "cold harbor" was such an inn 1. It ...