Explore the stories behind historic sites, artifacts and tall tales told in cities across the country, with the help of an inquisitive team of fact-finders with an uncanny talent for uncovering the truth.
The Chisholm Trail/Harry Houdini Poster/Mckinley Casket Flag #401
The detectives explore the history of 19th-century cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail while shedding light on a local mystery, examine a rare poster of Harry Houdini, and trace the origins of a flag that may have draped the coffin of President William McKinley.
- KET2 Wednesday, September 10 at 6:00 pm EDT
Wartime Baseball/Confederate Eyeglass/Howard Hughes' Invention #402
What can a baseball autographed by Dizzy Dean reveal about the influence of America's national pastime on racial integration? How can the intricacies of microphotography help uncover the truth behind a possible "secret handshake" for Confederate supporters? And did Howard Hughes really invent an oil exploration device with which he is credited?
- KET2 Wednesday, September 17 at 6:00 pm EDT
Vicksburg Map/Coca-Cola Trade Card/Lawrence Strike #403
A contributor in West Virginia owns a pocket-sized card, dated 1886, depicting an image of a female model and imprinted with a rhyming verse; a man from Arizona owns a map that he believes is connected to the Civil War siege of Vicksburg; and a contributor in Massachusetts owns a billy club with the words "Lawrence Strike" and the date 12/1/1912 cut crudely into the side.
- KET2 Wednesday, September 24 at 6:00 pm EDT
Alternative Service Certificates/Carolina Mystery Books/Mickey Mouse's Origin #404
Two possible historical treasures from South Carolina—a pair of mysterious $5 certificates titled "Brethren Service Committee" and a beautiful eight-volume set of Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire—plus a possible challenge to the popular notion that Mickey Mouse was born from a drawing sketched on a napkin by Walt Disney during a train ride from New York to Los Angeles in 1928.
- KET2 Wednesday, October 1 at 6:00 pm EDT
U.S.S. Indianapolis/Highlander Badge/Spirit of St. Louis #405
An Ohio man shows some intriguing artifacts that he believes may date back to a kamikaze attack on the U.S.S. Indianapolis. A Georgia man tries to identify a mysterious badge he found while scuba diving, and two brothers from New Jersey ask the detectives to look into their uncle's claim that he built the engine for Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis.
- KET2 Wednesday, October 8 at 6:00 pm EDT
Orphan Film Reel/Chinese Opium Scale/Hermann Goering's Shotgun #406
A Kentucky man inquires about the reel of 35mm nitrate film, marked "Dangerous Hour-Eddie Polo," that he found in his grandfather's attic. A woman in Montana asks the detectives to check out the story that an old fiddle case she bought actually held a scale Chinese immigrants used for weighing opium. And a New York man believes his shotgun may have belonged to Hermann Goering.
- KET2 Wednesday, October 15 at 6:00 pm EDT
Survivor Camera/Alcoholics Anonymous Letter/Tallahassee Mystery Cross #407
A Florida woman shows the detectives an antique camera she inherited from her uncle, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. A man from Maryland wants to learn more about a mysterious letter written in 1942, and archaeologists at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, FL unearth a beautiful and undamaged glass-like cross.
- KET2 Wednesday, October 22 at 6:00 pm EDT
Calf Creek Arrow/Doc Holliday Watch/Black Star Line Certificates #408
A man wants to know whether the handmade point he found embedded in a bison skull is from the Calf Creek culture of around 3000 BC. A Tulsa pawn store clerk is intrigued by the potentially historic inscription on an antique watch. And a North Carolina woman wants to know the history behind two Black Star Line stock certificates that appear to have been signed by Marcus Garvey.
- KET2 Wednesday, October 29 at 6:00 pm EST
Grace Kelly Automobile/Illicit P.O.W. Photos/Mystery Motorcycle #409
A Los Angeles resident believes he has the original Sunbeam Alpine car used in the Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief. A Florida man shows a set of photographs passed down from his great-great-grandfather, who fought in the Civil War and was a Confederate prisoner of war at Johnson's Island on Lake Erie. And a New Jersey man's 1914 Harley-Davidson motorcycle bears the "Cross of Lorraine," a historic symbol of French nationalism.
- KET2 Wednesday, November 5 at 6:00 pm EST
Lou Gehrig Autograph/Cleveland Electric Car/Philadelphia Freedom Paper #410
An Oregon man shows a baseball ticket that bears a "Lou Gehrig" autograph and a scribbled date: July 4, 1939. A Cleveland man wants to know the story behind an electric streetcar in his city's transit museum. And a collector from the Bronx with a long-time interest in black history shows an intriguing flea market find: a "freedom paper" for an African-American man named John Jubilee Jackson.
- KET2 Wednesday, November 12 at 6:00 pm EST
Superman Sketch/Lost Musical Treasure/Rebel Whiskey Flask #411
An Ohio woman shares an undated sketch of Superman with a note from the creators, and a man from Port Washington, WI shows a pair of metal "masters" that were used to press shellac records. A woman in New Jersey wants to know whether a glass whiskey flask is a relic from the 1794 "Whiskey Rebellion."
- KET2 Wednesday, November 19 at 6:00 pm EST
Official web site: http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/
TEACHER'S GUIDE: http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/classroom/index.html
Price available upon request.