I need to show unemployment figures for Germany during the Weimar Republic (starting no later than 1923) in a way that consistently compares apples to apples and not apples to oranges -- i.e., total number of unemployed OR total percentage of workforce, but not sometimes one and sometimes the other. (Having both would be ideal.) I would also prefer a specific month for each figure, if possible, rather than just the year (i.e., "Unemployment reaches 5.1 million in September 1932" is more useful than "Unemployment reaches 5.1 million in 1932"). [more inside]
Watching A period piece film and wondering if, before gas and electric lighting, having a roomful of candles ever really illuminated things as much as they appear here or were all large rooms of the time like spotily-lit caverns after dark? [more inside]
I want to know more about the material culture of a large English country house or great house in the Victorian era. [more inside]
So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
I'm in a mood to read non-fiction history books dealing with sailing ships. Any suggestions? [more inside]
Am I ruining a great relationship with my anxiety or am I anxious because my relationship is not great? Is there a way to tell the difference between irrational anxiety and alarm bells? [more inside]
What is the best book on the history of sending mail, news, orders and other information by ship?
I am seeking recommendations for (reputable/peer-reviewed) essays or books that could help me develop a nuanced but well-rounded understanding of the social, political, and economic climate in 1980s America (economic deregulation is a particular point of interest). [more inside]
In the case of unpublished historical manuscripts in copyright till 2039 in the UK, where the original author is long dead and there is no designated copyright holder, how does copyright work once you get down a generation or two and have multiple heirs of seemingly equal standing? (eg. several grandchildren or multiple great nieces and nephews) Must everyone be consulted and agree, or if a will never mentioned the manuscript but left everything to a given child or even a non-family member, do only their heirs count and not the other grandkids etc? [more inside]
I've been scouring the internet for a way to pick a certain date and time in modern history and see what was being broadcast at that moment, but so far no luck. Does anybody know of an archive of this information, or any clever ways to repurpose any other existing data?
I'd like to compile a list of businesses in New York City—starting with Manhattan—that have been around for 100 years or more. I'd also like to include places the public can visit that aren't "businesses" per se. I'm guessing this information is publicly available, but I don't know where to start. Any guidance would be extremely helpful. Thanks!
What are the best blogs or other online publications about history (any kind) out there? I'm looking for medium-to-long, well-researched, smart, readable articles by a variety of authors with some expertise in their subject matter. I don't want anything too clickbaity, but nothing straight from an academic journal either.
I'd like to have a list of every US Supreme Court decision ever, including which justices voted how. I'd like the list to be easily parsable by a computer program. Details and alternatively acceptable things inside. [more inside]
How do I figure out what chemical plants in Houston-Beaumont-Port Arthur and South Louisiana are union shops? [more inside]
Can anyone provide instances of humanitarian efforts on a global or national scale that ended up exacerbating matters or creating new problems? What made these efforts different from successful ventures? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of period movies/series - particularly of ancient times - that are absolutely, obsessively, flawlessly historically accurate. As in 'if I emerged from a time machine, that's how it would be' accurate, or universally-blessed-by-eminent-historians accurate. [more inside]
I'm beginning a project that looks partly at biological classification, primarily in western science. I have no background in this, and so I'm digging around. I'm interested to know more about the current rules for nomenclature, and also to know more about historical, philosophical, sociological, knowledge practice, ethnographic, anthropological, science technology and society (STS), sociotechnical, etc., approaches to the study of biological classification. I'll take monographs, articles, papers, web sites, etc. I have access to a university library. What are some good sources that can introduce me to this? Many thanks!
I'm looking for a technology tree for the early early history of human technology. I want one that is detailed but it doesn't need to go any further than the Classical age. Do you know of any resources on-line or have any book recommendations that would give me a good part of what I need? [more inside]
I'm looking to explore the big shifts and major revolutions that have made a historical impact. Examples in the modern age: the rise of democracy, the proliferation of capitalism, and the Information Age / Internet. What other big shifts and major revolutions have changed humanity? [more inside]
I want to read some non-Western history, from pre-colonial periods. All I ask is that it be a good read, but non-Western authors would be a cool bonus. [more inside]
US dollar bills before 1928 were larger than they are now, 188mm by 79mm. Are there records of why that particular size was chosen? [more inside]
How would one write "The Fast Ones" in Ottoman-era Turkish? I'm making a mildly humorous sign for a Turkish friend, and for various reasons I'm pretending it's Ottoman-era (1650). [more inside]
I'm looking for a good overview of Western philosophy for beginners. [more inside]
I'm working with a small-town historical preservation group to get a grant to preserve and display their old, now defunct, USFS Ranger Station cabin. I'm primarily burying my nose in archives and old newspapers to do the historical research, but the group is curious about whether or not they should also apply to be listed by the NRHP, and I agreed to help them out. Any pertinent anecdotal experiences or anything you could share about your own knowledge of the NRHP? Any advice or strong opinions on the matter? [more inside]
I am trying to write a story that takes place in 1660s Massachusetts. I have a great plot and characters, but the action stops when they open their mouths. I simply don't know how they spoke. How can I find examples of 17th century English as spoken by ordinary people? [more inside]
I could have sworn I read Ta-Nehisi Coates write somewhere on the internet something along the lines of - "The North didn't win the Civil War, America did." The thinking behind this was that the war shouldn't be framed as "North vs. South" - but rather, "America vs. the CSA" or "America vs. some traitors." Does this ring any bells? [more inside]
I love conversing with people who know history and are sparkling, highly opinionated storytellers. Often these are foreigners or emigrants speaking about their country. They're unafraid to draw sharp, outspoken conclusions that frame major situations (e.g. that some leader was an incompetent fool or that an accident of geography is what will ensure conflict between two groups continues). What are some book equivalents of that conversational experience? They can be on any period or region. I do not want a magisterial treatise. I want a keen-eyed, slicing talk with someone really well-informed and cynical over several drinks who's gonna say what's what.
My favorite part of museums these days are the visible storage units. My favorite part of natural history museums are old-fashioned drawers filled with air-tight cases. I want to know more about the history and practice of storing/preserving art objects, paintings, sculpture, textiles, etc. What books/websites should I be reading to find out more? The more weirdly medium specific and detailed the better. Strange anecdotes very much welcome.
What, exactly, was a Lonely Hearts' Club? Was it a personals ad service? A "marriage bureau" such as one still sees in societies where arranged marriage is common? An actual club of people that would put on events? All of the above? [more inside]
I'm trying to write a sort of walking tour of the Southwark/Borough area in London (UK). I need help resources for information on buildings/history of the area and stories tied to that place or its people. Preferably things which are freely available online. More specific details inside. [more inside]
I'm craving a particular subtype of historical novel: the kind that posits a dimly-remembered reality behind a famous myth/legend/story, sort of filling it out and extrapolating the details into realism. My favorite of this kind is Mary Renault's "The King Must Die" about Theseus (also the sequel). I also enjoyed "Eaters of the Dead", about the events of 'Beowulf'. But what are some other good ones you can recommend? More examples and specifics inside! [more inside]
How did people commit suicide in the US in the 1930s? Does it make a difference if it's a female? [more inside]
I'm researching my Irish ancestry and am befuddled by inconsistent birth dates. When I compare my ancestors' Irish baptism records (baptisms being close after birth) to their much later American records, the birth dates almost never match up, being sometimes up to six years apart. [more inside]
What are some subtle or lesser-known examples of current-day real-world USA being a dystopia? [more inside]
I'm new to history as a field of study, and I chose World War 1 as a place to start. Having finished reading several books on the topic, I'm ready to move past World War 1 for now. My first instinct was to dive into the seemingly infinite pool of literature that is World War 2, but I'm not sure if I'd be doing the 20th century justice by skipping the intervening years. Essentially, I'm looking for a book that covers the period between the World Wars. Ideally, this book would focus on Europe but touch on at least some of the rest of the world. Bonus points if this book is available as an audiobook.
Coincidence or something real? Two "relatives" have contacted me with a similar story: born to teenage mothers in Indianapolis in the 1960s or 1970s. Was there a home for unwed mothers there? [more inside]
Having a little trouble finding the source for this quote. Believe it was Reagan. who said "Of all the imperfect forms of government, our is the best man has so far come up with."
"Massive resistance" was a shameful state effort from 1956-1959 to cancel out the Brown v. Board decision. Virginia's Harry Byrd launched it, but the courts ultimately killed it off. I've heard that there was [at least one] petition or letter circulated in opposition to it, but can't find any mention of it. It would have been remarkable in the climate of the time, because signers would surely have lost their jobs. I checked several relevant websites, including that of the Southern Historical Association, but nothing even close. Is anyone familiar enough with the details of this sad chapter to have heard of such an effort?
What did the bloodletters of olden times do with the blood they collected? Presumably it was disposed of, but how? [more inside]
I want to write about obscure and little known gin cocktails, ideally ones with fun stories attached or a vintage pedigree . What are your favorite obscure gin cocktails? The more outlandish and exotic the better.
Recommendations for a recent popular history of Alta California before the American annexation? [more inside]
I like reading Reddit's /bestof comments and have been following for a while. However, the /bestof page only keeps a month or so of history. Is there a way to find every comment that's ever been bestof'd?
I've heard stories from time to time about stiff penalties for distributing maps of cities, because in times of war, the enemy could use them as intelligence. Obviously, not contemporary stories, now that most everything is mapped a million different ways. I've heard it was true for Japan in WW2, but don't know. [more inside]
What was the first message sent by the Soviet Union over the infamous 1960s "hotline"? [more inside]
What resources might be recommended for tracking down info about an NYC criminal trial from the summer of 1917? Do you think the court transcript might somehow be available?
I am not sure I recall the details correctly, but I am amused by a news story in my memory. I think my memory is accurate, so here goes. A police officer is testifying in court about his (commercial and sexual) relationship with a prostitute, with whom he had sex in the course of an anti-prostitution sting. The officer is questioned by opposing counsel about whether he climaxed. He explains that he did, but that he didn't take any pleasure in it. Can you give me a link to this news story or tell me where I read it?
I just finished reading Zealot, by Reza Aslan, and I found it to be a fascinating book. I'm looking for similar books! [more inside]
I'm looking for historical cases in which a neighboring country has intervened militarily in a domestic conflict to support one side, ostensibly at its invitation. [more inside]
Alan Watts, in some of his lectures, tells stories of the experiences of Zen teachers and their students- a sort of mystic, mythic history from ages past. Are there books of these sorts of legends? [more inside]
I spent about five years compiling a technology timeline. It started as a class project and grew into an obsession. For a while, I was making an enormous number of Wikipedia contributions. After a while, I started posting my work to my blog . Then, I started writing "This Day in History" columns for a few paying venues. It's actually grown well beyond what's currently available on my blog. The problem is that I've grown bored of pouring time into the project. [more inside]