What are some interesting historical events of relatively swift, coordinated, mass betrayal, such as the Night of the Long Knives, or the Bleiburg Tragedy? Doesn't matter if the betrayers were "good" or "bad".
Can anyone recommend a good historical examination of literary and performed works throughout all of human history that stood out from their contemporaries for containing exceptionally violent/disturbing imagery, even for their own time? (more 'recent' examples being Titus Andronicus, the various Penny Dreadfuls, de Sade, Milton, etc) [more inside]
Was interracial marriage ever illegal in New York State? What was the status of the law in 1961? [more inside]
I'm about to finish Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era, which is a history of the songwriters and musicians who invented the classic "Brill Building Sound." What's the best book to read about Motown Records? [more inside]
Asking for my folks: tell me arts/ecology/sheep/theatre/rug hooking/banjo/history/alternative building materials stuff to do near Antigonish Nova Scotia in the first week of September this year.
In the novel "Wolf Hall" Liz Cromwell is shocked to realize she and Thomas are awake at 3 o'clock in the morning (quote, though no real spoilers inside). How does she know what time it is in 1527? Would a successful lawyer and merchant have a clock in his bedroom? Would a church or town clock tower ring the hours through the night? [more inside]
I'm trying to find out if anyone successfully escaped from a Japanese-American or Japanese-Canadian Internment camp during World War II. [more inside]
I just moved to Boston and don't know much of anything about it's history as a music town. I mean I'm generally aware of classic rock bands being from Boston, and then Mission of Burma, but what else? What books, documentaries, websites, magazine archives, etc should I read to find out more about the Boston (and surrounding area) scene? [more inside]
I'm looking for YouTube channels that are dedicated to providing education about or insight into interesting subjects. They can have humor in them, but I'd prefer for them to be primarily informative rather than humorous. [more inside]
Fragments of Roman Londinium are still visible around London. Bits of old London Bridge have been worked into St. Magnus the Martyr Church. What other leftover bits of old London are still hanging around the modern-day city? [more inside]
I have been reading some articles about housing costs in the U.S. and I'm interested in learning why – historically, culturally, economically, or otherwise – Americans spend a larger portion of their incomes on housing compared to other developed nations. [more inside]
I'd like to convert 729 livres in Lyon, France in 1736 to contemporary US dollars. [more inside]
It's time to take my love of spooky history to a new level. What are some shows, movies, podcasts, etc that do it well? Preferences within. [more inside]
Are there any surviving evidence of household decorations from medieval times in Europe? [more inside]
Google challenge: Name the architect who built the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. [more inside]
In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Help me solve a scientific History Mystery, AskMe! [more inside]
Once again, I'm reminded of everything I don't know, so it's time to start organizing my next round of what-to-read. This time: African history. Any recommendations would be very welcome. [more inside]
I'm interested in better understanding the rate at which data transmission has increased through human history. I would like to graph this to understand better how to compare ancient events with modern based on how long it would take an idea to filter through a population at a given time. I know this is a tall order, and so I've settled on one variable that I think will be useful for me: the speed at which the results of a battle were relayed back to the relevant parties. [more inside]
I'm embarking on Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," and won't be dissuaded (plus, I already bought a great, modern edition). I am, however, aware that some parts of it have aged better than others. What should I be keeping in mind as I read? [more inside]
For Louisville, Kentucky but I guess anyplace will do. I am trying to determine if I need to switch my aging furnace from gas to electric and for the life of me I can't find any pricing over time ( like years ) to compare rate hikes. Any suggestions?
I'm familiar with the William the Conqueror onwards verse about English kings (Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee, etc), but I know that I saw one for the Saxon kings somewhere and I can't find it. I recall bits like "With Egbert's name our tale is led, then Aethels Wulf, Bald, Bert, and Red" and "Never-ready Aethelred" and you'd really think I would be able to google up an answer with that as a start, but I've got nothing.
I was recently looking at my family tree and curious about the lives of my ancestors, many of whom emigrated to Massachusetts/Rhode Island/New York from England in the early 1600s. Especially interested in books about Rhode Island and particularly anything about Roger Williams or Stephen Hopkins, who are great-great-etc grandfathers of mine (but also interested in just learning about everyday life for colonists, and what the transition was like moving from England). Assume I know little beyond the basics of American history.
I recently finished The Making of The Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes and it is probably the best non-fiction book I ever read. I picked it up based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews not because I have any particular interest in WWII or wars in general. [more inside]
My 8 year old son LOVES history. He also loves audiobooks and podcasts as he can listen whilst doing his other great love - Lego! Can anybody recommend good history podcasts aimed specifically at primary school aged children? I would also appreciate details of any other good age appropriate podcasts that you think he would enjoy. Thanks!
I'm interested in reading a popular but scholarly book about the development of Yahweh from one of many gods in a polytheistic system to a singular monotheistic god. A history of the peoples of Palestine from pre-history up to Christianity, which tackles the Bible in its appropriate historical context, could hit the spot as well. What's best?
My 10 year old (Caucasian) daughter wants to participate in an end-of-school-year social studies project where she has to dress up as Maya Angelou. This is part of a class presentation on famous North Carolinians (we love to claim Dr. Angelou even though she wasn't born here), and my daughter will also give a short speech. [more inside]
I was staring at the map of Europe yesterday, and I realized that I know very little history. To start I would like to learn about the Colonial Period and the major power players there in. I seem to be ingesting a lot of podcasts and audiobooks lately so that would be perfect. To be clear, I'm looking for an introductory level work to get me started. [more inside]
I'm seeking pretty much what it says on the tin: books that are about medieval and early modern British history, especially anything about Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Non-fiction preferred, well sourced fiction okay. [more inside]
I'm putting together a book for a very little girl who is going through a princess phase, hoping to expand her idea of who a princess can be - e.g., "Here's Princess Sophie - she worked for the World Childhood Foundation." Most of the lists of favorite princesses are Disney characters, and others are too specific to an era or kingdom. I realize that this project is subject to criticism, but I'm thinking of it as a "Yes, and..." contribution to her enthusiasm. Can you name me some good role model princesses?
tau_ceti and I are leaving for a vacation in Spain this week, hitting Madrid/Basque Country/Barcelona. We're looking for recommendations of stuff to read on our Kindles about the history, culture, geology, etc of regions we might be driving through. Ideas? [more inside]
I would like to visit a city in the US that is not commonly thought of as a vacation destination, but still has a lot to offer a tourist. However, as a woman of colour that does not drive and will be travelling alone, I would like a safe and friendly choice. I would like ideas for places with a lot of history and fine dining, which are easy to travel by foot/ public transportation, and friendly towards different looking people. Examples of what I am and am not looking for inside... [more inside]
My 3-greats grandfather departed Liverpool, England with all of his children for America and arrived here in New York on November 18, 1866. The thing is, I am as sure as I can be that he lived in Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland. Why would he go alll the way to Liverpool when Londonderry was so close? [more inside]
Mr. K and I are interested in the history of the Oregon Trail. He's good at research, but is coming up blank on papers or discussions to help understand who went, and WHY they decided to spend six months on an incredibly difficult trek in order to try to carve out a living in Oregon. [more inside]
HIVEMIND! Does anyone know any examples of rules or institutions imposed by powerful individuals that other powerful individuals then copied, with the rule eventually spreading through a population? I imagine that someone might impose a rule and that someone else might think, "woah, that's a good idea - I'm gonna impose that, too," and then it spreads. Possible examples might include the origins of Jim Crow laws, or the development of norms of respect (like bowing to old people). I'm especially looking for examples that are discussed in the academic literature, but any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. THANKS!!
I'm applying to the bar in Virginia, and just realized I need a list of all traffic violations I've ever committed. My regular DMV record doesn't go back that far. I need this information in the next 7 days. Where to go? [more inside]
My daughter is 8 and she loves her bedtime stories, but she doesn't want to be read to, she would rather we recite a story out loud while sitting in the dark. Well yesterday my imagination ran out so I told her the story of Mata Hari as best I knew it and she loved it! [more inside]
Severnaya Zemlya, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia is censored on Google Maps. Anybody know why? Here it is: link
What is the origin of the term API (Application Programming Interface)? Who coined it? What terms did it compete with?
Did Helen Keller ever express any position for or against homosexual rights? [more inside]
I'm having some trouble finding historical data on (overall) ad spending by medium. What I would really like, is a single graph or at least table, with some numbers going back ~30 years (or more is fine) that goes up to the present (~2014 let's say). I am uninterested in forecasts, and I'm uninterested in data sets with shorter time windows; my search results are just getting swamped by organizations that (i) are selling something, usually forecasting, and (ii) aren't focused on anything older than a few years ago. [more inside]
In Eduard von Grützner's painting Vor der Brotzeit, the monk has something in his hand. What is it?
I'm trying to find an article by some historians that posited that the places described in the Bible we not actually in present day Israel. The historians had done some theorizing that the mountains and valleys mentioned in the bible (can't remember which book) fit better with an area in Saudi Arabia off the coast of the Red Sea. I've searched the Google but can't find any mention of this theory. I would love to find it again. Thanks, MeFi!
This quote is commonly attributed to John von Neumann: "You insist that there is something that a machine can't do. If you will tell me precisely what it is that a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that." Did he say it, or something like it? Where? If not, who did?
The impossible has happened - I am caught up with, or have finished, all my favorite history podcasts. I'm looking for some new ones to add to the line-up. [more inside]
I'm looking for the old time name of a job that I know one of my ancestors did for several generations. It's a weird sounding name for a person that makes sheep gates out of hazel or willow hurdles. I knew it a couple of years ago and have since lost it from my memory and bookmarks. The name was obscure enough that I had no inkling that it was a 'sheepgate maker'(portable sheep fencing) until I googled it and found a reference in a piece or blog about Victorian era occupations. I remember laughing at what it was. [more inside]
What is the equivalent of Halberstam's The Children for the American feminist movement of the late 60's and early 70's? [more inside]
I'm writing an article for my local historical society that I may expand into a book. Can anyone help me choose a citation manager? [more inside]
Hey -- when did film theaters start doing continuous showing, how frequent was it -- that is was it a big city thing or was it everywhere -- and when did continuous showing end, does anyone know?
A strange and learned young comedian once told me about a famous Futurist artist who professed that the best way to die was to be be killed by rival artists in the streets of a hyper-competitive future, or some such. He was most certainly paraphrasing. Anyone have a clue who he was talking about and what was actually said? [more inside]
At some point in the past, thigh and knee surgery wasn't as advanced / available / affordable as it is now, and the average Joe-Schmoe-Quad-Tear like me would have just put a splint on it and had a lame leg the rest of his life. I wonder how many years ago that changed? 1950's? 1970's? 1930's? [more inside]