When you press the up arrow on the keyboard you see " ^[[A". You want to see the previous command that was entered. How do you enable history at the command line?
Root cause: The /etc/passwd file has an entry like this:
(This could be caused if you created the user quickly with a useradd command.)
Run this command:
sudo cat /etc/passwd | grep $(whoami)
Do you see a /bin/bash at the end? If not you need to modify the /etc/passwd file to have a /bin/bash at the end of the stanza for your user having the problem. This is how it should look when you are done: