Modern History

A:

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were a married couple from New York and active members of the Communist Party. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in 1951 and executed by electric chair in 1953.

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  • Why Did Apartheid Happen in South Africa?

    Q: Why Did Apartheid Happen in South Africa?

    A: Apartheid was created as a means of cementing economic and social control over South Africa and its resources. The country was colonized by the English and the Dutch in the 17th century. Yet, when gold was discovered in the 1900s, the British seized control, and war broke out. Eventually, peace negotiations were reached and the two shared power over South Africa until the Reunited National Party won the 1948 election.
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  • Who Were the Original Members of the Rat Pack?

    Q: Who Were the Original Members of the Rat Pack?

    A: Many people know the Rat Pack as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. However, the origins of the Rat Pack go back to actor Humphrey Bogart, and Bogart’s wife, the actress Lauren Bacall, and a few of their Hollywood friends.
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  • Which African Countries Were Never Colonized?

    Q: Which African Countries Were Never Colonized?

    A: Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two African countries that were not colonized. Liberia was founded by freed slaves and Ethiopia resisted Italian attempts at colonization.
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  • What Was in the Exercise Room on the Titanic?

    Q: What Was in the Exercise Room on the Titanic?

    A: The RMS Titanic had some of the finest amenities available for its first-class passengers, one of which was a top-of-the-line gymnasium. According to the National Museums Northern Ireland, the first-class exercise room contained “an electric camel, an electric horse, cycling machines and a rowing machine.”
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  • When Was Napoleon Attacked by a Horde of Rabbits?

    Q: When Was Napoleon Attacked by a Horde of Rabbits?

    A: In 1807, Napoleon was coming off of a high note. He had just signed the Treaty of Tilsit, which ended his war with Russia. To celebrate, he gathered his dignitaries for a rabbit hunt. Little did he know that, in a bizarre twist, he would become "hunted" instead.
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  • What Were Some of the Primary Crops Grown in the New England Colonies in America?

    Q: What Were Some of the Primary Crops Grown in the New England Colonies in America?

    A: Corn formed a majority of the colonial diet. Other native crops included pumpkins, squash and beans. European wheat, barley, oats and peas were also grown. In addition to the large-field crops, family gardens in the colonies contained herbs and vegetables, such as lettuce, parsley, carrots, spinach and turnips. In northern colonies farming produced less than in the southern New England colonies because of a shorter growing season and poor soil.
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  • Why Did the Bosnian War Happen?

    Q: Why Did the Bosnian War Happen?

    A: The Bosnian War took place when Bosnia and Herzegovina attempted to declare independence in the wake of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and when Serbia attempted to prevent this breakaway. Aided by forces from Serbia, Bosnian Serbs took up arms against the Bosniaks and Croats in the country, triggering a violent and destructive war that lasted for more than three years.
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  • What Did Nelson Mandela Fight For?

    Q: What Did Nelson Mandela Fight For?

    A: Nelson Mandela fought to end apartheid, which divided people in South Africans based on race. After his release from prison, he sought reconciliation. He is credited with helping South Africa move past its unjust history.
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  • What Were Some Types of Transportation in the 1800s?

    Q: What Were Some Types of Transportation in the 1800s?

    A: Transportation in the early 1800s was primarily by horse and sail, but the development and refinement of the steam engine spurred the development of rail and river transportation. Horses and horse-drawn conveyances remained the primary method of transportation through most of the century, at least for local travel. Toward the end of the 1800s, the automobile came into existence, although most 19th-century designs saw very limited adoption.
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  • What Was the City of Timbuktu Best Known For?

    Q: What Was the City of Timbuktu Best Known For?

    A: The city of Timbuktu is best known for its trade in gold, salt and superior schools. Some people even called it the “Golden City” for this reason. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Timbuktu was the center of learning in the Islamic world. This occurred due to the financial boom in growth in the city during the 13th and 14th centuries.
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  • How Did the Cold War Influence the Development and Early Goals of NASA?

    Q: How Did the Cold War Influence the Development and Early Goals of NASA?

    A: The Cold War helped drive the space race from both sides seeking political and technological advantage over the other. Neither country wanted to be seen as coming in second place in scientific exploration, and both sides were keenly aware of the potential intelligence and strategic advantages space dominance could provide.
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  • How Many People Were on the Titanic When It Sank?

    Q: How Many People Were on the Titanic When It Sank?

    A: Official reports vary, but the consensus is that there were between 2,200 and 2,340 passengers and crew members on board the Titanic when it sank. Of that number, 885 were crew members.
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  • What Was the Cause of the Cambodian Genocide?

    Q: What Was the Cause of the Cambodian Genocide?

    A: The Cambodian genocide was caused by Khmer Rouge party leader Pol Pot's attempt to eliminate anyone potentially opposed to his proposed system of labor in a federation of collective farms, according to World Without Genocide. Pol Pot's project was inspired by Maoist-Communist ideals.
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  • Did Einstein Help Invent the Atomic Bomb?

    Q: Did Einstein Help Invent the Atomic Bomb?

    A: While Einstein's theories and efforts contributed indirectly, he was not directly involved in building the world's first nuclear bomb. His theory, E=mc2, helps illustrate the energy released in an atomic reaction, but he was not responsible for instructing the United States on how to build a bomb. He did, however, warn President Roosevelt that Nazi Germany was attempting to build an atomic weapon, which influenced the United States' efforts to make their own.
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  • When Did South Africa Gain Independence From Britain?

    Q: When Did South Africa Gain Independence From Britain?

    A: South Africa gained its independence from Great Britain in 1934, though the African National Congress, which was formed 22 years prior to South Africa gaining its independence, did not gain power until 1994.
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  • Who Was the Husband of Queen Elizabeth?

    Q: Who Was the Husband of Queen Elizabeth?

    A: Prince Phillip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Phillip was born on the island of Corfu in Greece. The two met in 1934 at the wedding of a Greek princess.
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  • Why Is George Washington a Hero?

    Q: Why Is George Washington a Hero?

    A: George Washington became a hero due to his role as commander in chief of the Continental Army. Congress assigned him this position in 1775, and his leadership helped the army defeat the British in the American Revolution.
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  • Who Is the Current King of Nigeria?

    Q: Who Is the Current King of Nigeria?

    A: Nigeria does not have a single king, as it has a federal system of government. All kings were stripped of their power in 1963. As of 2014, the president of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathan, whom has held office since 2011.
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  • How Do Historians Study the Past?

    Q: How Do Historians Study the Past?

    A: Historians study the past by gathering dates from archives, books, artifacts and documents, according to the United States Department of Labor. They use this data to analyze and develop an interpretation of history.
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  • Why Was Nelson Mandela in Prison for 27 Years?

    Q: Why Was Nelson Mandela in Prison for 27 Years?

    A: Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years as a result of his efforts to bring racial harmony and equality to South Africa. He began his efforts as soon as he graduated from law school and founded the first black law firm in the country in 1952. As unrest spread in the 1950s and 1960s, Mandela found himself the target of law enforcement efforts, and after he secretly left South Africa to gain aid and training for the struggle, he was picked up and jailed until Feb. 11, 1990.
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  • Who Was Nelson Mandela, and What Did He Do?

    Q: Who Was Nelson Mandela, and What Did He Do?

    A: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. In South Africa, he is often called "Madiba," which was the name of the clan he was born into.
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