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187 votes
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On 1941 Dec 7, could Japan have targeted the Panama Canal instead of Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack?

So I want to know, did the Japanese Navy have the ability to destroy it in a surprise attack, let's say on 1941 Dec 7? I'm asking if the Japanese Navy had the ability. I'm not asking if it was a ...
Schwern's user avatar
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154 votes
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Is there any evidence to support the claim that the United States was "suckered into WW1" by Zionists, made by Benjamin Freedman in his 1961 speech?

tl; dr Is there any evidence to support the claims made by Benjamin Freedman in his 1961 speech? No. The United states entered the First World War in response to the exposure of the proposed ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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142 votes
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Why did the Confederacy think they could win the American Civil War?

The Military Militarily, the south did not need to win the war by invading and defeating the north. Their belief was that they just had to hold on to what they had, hence their largely defensive ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
124 votes

Identify the era or any other clues from this soldier's picture?

My thoughts so far: Standardized nametapes weren't a thing in the Army until at least the mid-50s, I believe, so this photo was taken after both the Korean War and the occupation of Japan ended. The ...
Patrick N's user avatar
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108 votes

Have American urban rioters ever looted residences?

To pick just one notorious example, 99 years ago to the day, black people's homes were heavily looted by whites in the Tulsa riots of 1921. As this article describes, at least 65 looters were arrested....
Brian Z's user avatar
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100 votes
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Why didn’t Japan attack the West Coast of the United States during World War II?

There were several well-known attacks. Aleutian Islands Campaign On June 6, two days after the bombing of Dutch Harbor, 500 Japanese marines landed on Kiska, one of the Aleutian Islands of ...
Rathony's user avatar
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94 votes
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Was murdering a slave illegal in American slavery, and if so, what punishments were given for it?

Yes, murder of a slave was illegal in the antebellum South, and it was a capital offence. An example is the case of John Hoover of North Carolina. He was arrested on 28 March 1839 for the murder of ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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93 votes

How did the authorities not find the speakeasy clubs during the prohibition?

Prohibition was enacted largely at the behest of pressure groups. This was a very new political tactic in the US where a group uses an emotional issue to create themselves a sizable cadre of single-...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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85 votes

Were there large scale protests after earlier presidential elections in the US?

You could call this a 'large scale protest'. Following the Presidential election held on 6 November 1860, I assume once the votes were counted and reported by telegraph it was known by 7 or 8 November ...
Timothy's user avatar
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85 votes
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Why does Japan use the same type of AC power outlet as the US?

Japanese AC power outlets were first standardised in 1926 with the publication of the "挿込型接続器標準仕様書" (lit., "Standard for a Insertable Connector"), which became JIS C 8303. At the time, Japan was ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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81 votes

Why did North America economically prosper, and maintain stable government and South/Central America didn't?

I don't believe the answer to this is known objectively. However, it may be worth looking at the different settlement histories of the two areas you are comparing. Most of the American possessions, ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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78 votes

Why are many African-Americans in Mississippi concentrated in the northwestern area?

You are describing part of what is referred to as the Black Belt in the American South. It can be seen here in a map of majority-black US counties. Your suspicions for the reason for this are quite ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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74 votes

Did the leaflets from the US to Hiroshima/Nagasaki civilians on bombing cities reduce the civilian casualties of the two nuclear bombs in August 1945?

There is a 1946 book by John Hersey, Hiroshima, which is an excellent compilation of personal testimonies from Hiroshima residents following the atomic bombing. Although it doesn’t mention Allied ...
taylor swift's user avatar
71 votes

Was the "natural born citizen" requirement for the President inserted into the US Constitution by Alexander Hamilton's enemies?

No, because it wouldn't have had any effect. The relevant clause reads "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution..."...
jamesqf's user avatar
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69 votes
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Why was the Japanese Army's fatalities inflicted:suffered ratio so low in the Pacific theatre?

Training and morale of Japanese soldiers First of all, Japanese Forces were by no means inferior to their enemies in terms of fighting spirit or training. Beyond a doubt, No nation in WW2 had soldiers ...
NSNoob's user avatar
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69 votes
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What do the numbers on this 1960s anti-integration sign mean?

Short and "to the point" answer: Those numbers are just identifiers for various school district organization plans. The digits refer to the number of years a student spends in each "...
K.T.B.'s user avatar
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63 votes
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Has the United States ever had a non-Christian President?

Only two US presidents haven't self-described themselves as being Christians to date: Lincoln (whose case is murky) and Jefferson (who rejected the idea of the divinity of Jesus and became a deist ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
61 votes
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What do the phone number suffixes J, M, R, W in 1940 New York phone book mean?

You are correct that these are party lines. The letters represent an additional digit dialed after the others in cases where automatic operations was implemented. This article goes into great depth ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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58 votes

Why did LBJ, a staunch segregationist, champion and sign the 1964 Civil Rights Bill?

"Why?" questions are particularly difficult to answer. It is not possible to stare into Johnson's soul, searching for motivation, from our vantage point more than fifty years later; instead we are ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
58 votes
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Why was the Cold War carried out over the whole world instead of between Siberia and Alaska?

Location of Conflicts This is because fundamentally, the Cold War was about which ideology would dominate the world. Both sides wanted to export their ideology, or perhaps more importantly, stop each ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
58 votes

What would have been the typical drinks for a US farmer in the late 18th/early 19th century?

The time period of interest is entirely prior to the rise of the railways, and even to the construction of such infrastructure as the Erie Canal (completed 1825). Thus anything regarded as a typical ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
58 votes

Did they actually have "mushroom cloud tourist attraction" to Nevada Test Site in the 1950s?

Yes. There are many articles supporting this claim. Here's one from Bloomberg: For four decades, the U.S. Department of Energy tested more than a thousand nuclear devices at the Nevada Test Site, a ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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57 votes
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What exactly is the US national anthem?

There is no "exactly". First, one minor clarification: the bill itself actually passed Congress in 1930 (April 21st), but wasn't signed into law until March 1st of 1931. What you linked ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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54 votes
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Why did North America economically prosper, and maintain stable government and South/Central America didn't?

T.E.D.'s answer is very good, and points to the most important issue: the difference between colonisation methods in North America vs Latin America. There are a few missing nexus that I feel could be ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
54 votes
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Are there precedents of 'I am not a racist' from US Presidents?

Yes, Ronald Reagan frequently denied being racist. In 1983, Reagan wrote a letter to Benjamin Hooks, then head of the NAACP, stating (in response to accusations that he wanted to rollback civil ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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53 votes

Why was the Scout movement so successful?

Baden-Powell had been besieged in the town of Mafeking during the Second Boer War. He had formed the Mafeking Cadet Corps, which was a group of youths that supported the defending troops by carrying ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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53 votes
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Why was the US so pro-China and so anti-Japan before WW2?

Japan was a threat to the US's Pacific territories, and those of other European powers. China was not. Unlike China, and every other Asian nation at the time, Japan had defeated and humiliated a ...
Schwern's user avatar
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52 votes
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When did official documentation stop referring to black people as Negros in the States?

It seems that the term was used on a number of pieces of legislation as late as the 1970's. In 2016, President Obama signed legislation into law which struck outdated racial terms such as “Oriental” ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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