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.
All Past Episodes
56:46 | #1008 | TV-PG
The History Detectives investigate four stories from the American West including a biography of Kit Carson, a saddle that tells the story of Yakima Canutt, an inscription on sheet music of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," and basket from the Modoc Indian wars.
56:46 | #1009 | TV-PG
Stories from our nation's beginning involve an early American bill of sale for a 17-year old "negro girl," a powder horn from the American Revolution, a handwritten score and the "Star Spangled Banner," and a 1775 almanac.
56:46 | #1006 | TV-PG
Can the history detectives return the diary of a fallen North Vietnamese soldier to his family? U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta takes part in the exchange. A notebook with recipes for large volumes of liquor makes an Indiana man wonder if his rich uncle earned money bootlegging during Prohibition. What can a ledger tell us about Hollywood's treatment of Native-American actors?
56:46 | #1007 | TV-PG
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) helps uncover details about the heroic acts pictured in a poster of two African-American soldiers in World War I. Also, a hand-drawn map of Valley Forge used by George Washington, one of the first transistor radios, and a Washington man wonders whether a business card ties his father to Prohibition-era underworld crime.
56:46 | #1005 | TV-PG
Was a picture frame crafted from the staircase banister of the Titanic, the Lusitania, or neither? Were Woolworth signs part of the scene at the 1960 Winston-Salem lunch-counter sit-ins? For 70 years, toy soldiers have haunted their owner with a question: Was the father of his childhood friend a Nazi spy? Then, a journal full of liquor recipes makes a man wonder if his uncle was a prohibition bootlegger.
56:46 | #1004 | TV-PG
What does the evocative symbol of a bird dropping a bomb mean? Did two patches with the symbol belong to a World War II unit? Then, Gwen Wright connects a tiny swatch of tattered red fabric to a pivotal moment in U.S. Civil War history. Did a neckpiece and leggings once belong to Chief Black Kettle, known as a Cheyenne Peace Chief? Finally, did President Lincoln actually sign this note?
56:46 | #1003 | TV-14
Country music singer Clint Black's turn-of-the-20th-century book of wanted posters; a chunk of molten metal thay may be linked to the B-25 Bomber that crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945; a slide of Bettie Page, "Queen of Pinups," that may have escaped the censorship of the 1950s; and a six-foot metal bar tells the story behind the original iconic Hollywood sign.
56:46 | #1002 | TV-PG
Wes Cowan travels to Frankfort, Kentucky to research the identity of an Owensboro, Kentucky man whose name is engraved on a rare set of Civil War-era pistols. He visits local landmarks including Rick's City Cafe and discovers his family history intersects with that of original owner of these guns. Also, the story behind an old 78rpm distributed by K.K.K and Eduardo Pagan tries to prove that Motown bass player James Jamerson owned a battered Ampeg B-15 amp.
56:46 | #1001 | TV-PG
A Fender Stratocaster may be the guitar that Bob Dylan plugged in at the '65 Newport Folk Festival, autographs allegedly signed for two brothers in Miami Beach could be from the Beatles' legendary 1964 "British Invasion" tour, and a $5 thrift store find unearths a little-known artistic side of musician Frank Zappa.
56:46 | #912 | TV-PG
A one-of-a-kind photograph poses a jarring question: Is the African American wearing a Confederate uniform slave or free? And, did Hollywood treat the Native Americans listed in this payment ledger fairly? Then, an ornate stock certificate unlocks secrets to the earliest days of Harlem.
56:46 | #911 | TV-PG
What can a Club Continental business card tell us about California's prohibition-era underground? Then, did gangs use this shotgun in the Chicago St. Valentine's Day massacre that shocked the nation? And why is FDR on the guest list for a High Society Circus during the depths of the Depression.
56:46 | #910 | TV-PG
Gwen dissects the mystery behind an ornate Belgian war medal. Elyse traces a pennant to the early battle for the women's vote. And a cartoon cel leads Tukufu to unsung heroes of animation.
56:46 | #909 | TV-PG
Loyalist or patriot? What can the notes in a 1775 Almanac tell us about how the revolution may have strained family ties? Do phonograph records called "Get Thin to Music" reveal Jack Lalanne, the media exercise guru of the 1920s? Did NASA unwittingly transport Andy Warhol's art to the moon?
56:46 | #908 | TV-PG
Did the first woman photographer assigned to the White House use this camera to shoot President Truman? Then, did families of the Confederate South use a child's doll to smuggle medicine past the Northern blockade? And, what does a 15th century map, with a mix of French, English, and Spanish labels, tell us about how Europe colonized Florida?
56:46 | #907 | TV-PG
The images and the words on this poster suggest a battle is brewing: a clenched fist, police described as "pigs." Who made this poster and why? Then, was a woodcarving of a mouth and chin once part of the Andrew Jackson figurehead affixed to the bow of the USS Constitution? And, how does a basket connect us to a woman the U.S. Congress honored as a heroine of the Modoc Indian Wars?
56:46 | #906 | TV-PG
A carved cane may unlock the mystery of a family's past in a World War II relocation camp.
56:46 | #905 | TV-PG
A propeller from a World War II drone, a wooden club that could be Teddy Roosevelt's, and a letter that Clara Barton could have written concerning a soldier's life.
56:46 | #904 | TV-PG
A Civil War soldier's letter, fabric from an aircraft that could be linked to Charles Lindbergh and Igor Sikorsky, and a 1950s comic book Negro Romance.
56:46 | #903 | TV-PG
Wes Cowan investigates a raid on the federal armory in Harpers Ferry. Eduardo Pagan wonders why U.S. troops were in Siberia during World War I and Elyse Luray sizes up a Ronald McDonald costume.
56:46 | #902 | TV-PG
Wes Cowan decodes the message and strategy behind a U.S. World War II propaganda leaflet. Researching a family heirloom, a watercolor, leads Gwen Wright to Tiffany stained glass, and opportunity for early 20th century women. And a touching eulogy unites a nephew and a son of two American soldiers who fought in the Spanish Civil War.
56:46 | #901 | TV-PG
Mysterious airplane engine parts lead Eduardo Pagán to a heroic story on a forbidden Hawaiian island. Elyse Luray tries to match metal shavings to the right Civil War cannon. Wes Cowan connects a rodeo saddle to a star that changed Hollywood movie-making.
56:46 | #811 | TV-PG
How could one clock regulate time for an entire region, and was this that clock? Then, a document seems connected to an early controversial religion, the first founded by an American-born woman. So why is her name missing from this document? And, in an encore segment, Tukufu Zuberi investigates what went wrong during a WWII dog-training program on Cat Island.
56:46 | #810 | TV-PG
A box of cartoon drawings and cels tell an unexpected story about the early days of animation and the people behind the art. Then, why did a regional governor care enough about a slave to sign her emancipation papers? And (in a repeated segment), did a dagger once belong to Fascist Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini?
56:46 | #809 | TV-PG
Does the roster on a Jackie Robinson All-Stars scorecard signal early steps toward integration of major league baseball? Then, see the name 'Toby' worked into the weave of a basket. Could it be Toby Riddle, the woman congress honored as a heroine of the Indian Wars of the American West? And, why did J. Edgar Hoover endorse a radio script, a crime suspense drama based on an FBI case?
56:46 | #808 | TV-PG
The images and words on a poster suggest a battle is brewing: a clenched fist, police called "pigs." Who made this poster and why? Then, did the artist mean to scare someone with the grimace on a face jug? And, what does the inscription on a rock in Phoenix tell us about when Spain first arrived in America?
56:46 | #807 | TV-PG
Family lore says their 12-gauge shotgun played a role in the Chicago St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Is their story true? Then, why is this miniature of George Washington much more than a piece of art? And, a portrait sketched in a World War II prison leads to a moving meeting 65 years later. These three encore segments first aired in 2009.
56:46 | #806 | TV-PG
The daughter of a Korean War Veteran (MIA) looks for the man her father mentioned in a letter - the letter says this man saved her father's life; the book Diana may be the first true, widely published lesbian autobiography; the story behind the prisoner who painted the Civil War battle of Lookout Mountain.
56:46 | #805 | TV-PG
A four-inch square of fabric tells the story of one of America's first barnstorming pilots; a sketchbook may illustrate scenes from the first-ever US-Mexican border survey; and a dumpster find could be the printing plates for Duke Ellington's hit "Take the A Train"?
56:46 | #804 | TV-PG
The reunification of two halves of a vandalized sculpture of President Andrew Jackson; why did Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, write a letter about a Civil War soldier; and does a Pennsylvania man have a notebook that once belonged to a World War I spy?
56:46 | #803 | TV-PG
A clip of the first talking picture, the story behind Gold Rush sketches of five and eight-pound gold nuggets, and a beachcomber finds a section of the first transatlantic cable.
56:46 | #802 | TV-PG
The history of a hand-drawn map taken from the body of a Japanese soldier during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima, a cane topped with a coiled snake with ties to the anti-Abraham Lincoln group the "Peace Democrats," and the origins of the Theremin — one of the first electronic musical instruments.
56:47 | #801 | TV-PG
A scrap of metallic Mylar that could be one of America's early satellites, the audacious notion that Andy Warhol's art may be on the moon, and a jury-rigged ski boot with a magnetic metal brick bolted to the bottom that may be one of the first prototypes for a NASA space boot.
56:46 | #511 | TV-G
56:15 | #711 | TV-G
The site where a bridge may have been burned to thwart General Sherman's attempt to cross into Columbia, S.C.; a penny stamp that may be connected to a landmark civil rights case; and metal sheets that look like printing plates for Billy Strayhorn's "Take the A Train," a song made famous by Duke Ellington.
56:16 | #710 | TV-G
A portrait created in a German prisoner of war camp; the Seadrome, a floating airport anchored to the ocean floor where trans-Atlantic passenger flights could refuel; and an intact artillery shell that may have been part of an attack on the U.S. in WWI.
56:15 | #709 | TV-G
Mural studies that may have been commissioned by the WPA in the 1930s or 40s, a miniature painting that may depict George Washington, and a balloon scrap that may be a missing piece of a secret weapon.
56:46 | #708 | TV-G
A dagger that may have belonged to dictator Benito Mussolini, letters from a man who may have been part of the post-slavery exodus to Liberia, and a device that could have had something to do with nuclear attack preparedness.
56:46 | #707 | TV-G
Encore presentations: An instrument that may have been recovered from the Hindenburg, a book that may have been a gift from John Adams to his son, and a home in the Bronx that may have been the birthplace of hip hop.
56:46 | #706 | TV-G
A fragment that may been a piece of Amelia Earhart's plane, a letter from President Millard Fillmore commuting the death sentence of a Native American, and a Colorado home whose supports may have been constructed from a railroad boxcar.
56:15 | #705 | TV-G
A recording that may have played a part in the World War II treason trial of Tokyo Rose, a photo ostensibly of Crazy Horse, and the poignant diary of a World War II pilot.
56:46 | #704 | TV-G
A child who may have been exhibited in an incubator at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, an early movie mogul's dramatic rise and fall, and a controversial design woven into a Navajo rug.
57:46 | #703 | TV-PG
A gun that may have belonged to a member of Al Capone's gang, a letter allegedly written by John Wilkes Booth's father, and a device meant to guard against grave robbers.
56:46 | #702 | TV-PG
An invention that may have been used in the atomic bomb; a 23-pound block of beeswax with strange markings; and a French manuscript kept by an American family for 160 years.
56:15 | #701 | TV-PG
A couple in Cincinnati acquired a machine that may have been intended to record messages from the dead; dogs trained for war; and a watch fob commemorating Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, N.M.
56:46 | #611 | TV-G
A small, cloth-bound book, titled Slave Songs of the United States, has a publication date of 1867 and contains a collection of 136 plantation song; a Guild brand acoustic guitar that may have belonged to legendary African-American folksinger Josh White; and the birthplace of hip hop.
56:46 | #610 | TV-G
A recording of a musical created by GIs for GIs to be performed anywhere in the world, a letter purportedly from James Monroe, and a silver bar from the wreck of the Atocha.
56:46 | #609 | TV-G
Objects that may be cannons from the 1846 shipwreck of the USS Shark, a Connecticut farmhouse that may have sheltered numerous Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, and an oil portrait that might be the work of Lebanese-American poet and artist Kahlil Gibran.
56:15 | #608 | TV-PG
A book that may have been a gift from John Adams to his son, a spoon that depicts an eerie scene, and a small square of fabric that may have come from a U.S. Navy "flying boat."
56:46 | #607 | TV-G
An intact artillery shell that may be left over from an attack on the U.S. during World War I, etched glass that may depict the cruiser commanded by Commodore George Dewey, and a house that may have guarded against attacks during the French and Indian War.
56:00 | #606 | TV-G
Encore segments include a Reconstruction-era photo of 20 white men in full dress uniform standing shoulder to shoulder with two black men; a saddle that may have belonged to Bill Pickett, an African-American Wild West Show star; and film canisters that may contain German home movies of Nazi officials—possibly even Hitler.
56:15 | #605 | TV-G
An artifact that could be a souvenir of the Hindenburg disaster, a stamp that may be connected to the Bonus Army March on Washington in 1945, and a bell that may have been ringside at Jack Dempsey's legendary world heavyweight championship match.
56:16 | #604 | TV-G
A World War II Marine's jacket with stitched inscriptions, a vintage Airstream that may have made a historic journey, and sheet music bearing Abraham Lincoln's signature.
56:46 | #603 | TV-G
A balloon scrap that may be a missing piece of a secret weapon; a circus program that connects a society woman, FDR, and the Boy Scouts; and a letter from Ronald Reagan that links a Navy captain to the development of Camp David.
56:15 | #602 | TV-G
A flag that may have been carried into battle by one of the few African-American infantry regiments in World War I, a painting that may be the work of Seth Eastman, and a two-story building that may once have housed a Chinese tong (secret society).
56:11 | #601 | TV-G
The diary of a young American pilot stationed in England during World War II, an 1856 book purported to be the memoirs of a New York woman who was married to a Mormon elder, and an 1853 Napoleon field gun said to have been shot by Annie Oakley.
56:02 | #510 | TV-G
A stack of technical drawings and engineering documents that appear to have belonged to the nuclear submarine USS Thresher; storyboards from a comic strip about Pete Gray, the first one-armed major league baseball player; and a scrapbook of typed and handwritten documents connected with the top-secret Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.
56:03 | #509 | TV-G
Did a saddle owned by a Staten Island woman really belong to legendary African-American Wild West show and film star Bill Pickett? A Washington man shows a flag that may once have draped the casket of President William McKinley, and a contributor in Staten Island has several film cans, unseen since World War II, that he believes may contain home movies of Nazi officials—possibly even Hitler.
56:46 | #508 | TV-PG
A Tampa man wants to know whether he has a genuine Abraham Lincoln signature. A New Jersey woman's hand-drawn map entitled "Meetings of Friends" may actually be a map of the Underground Railroad, and an Ohio man's intriguing artifacts may date back to a kamikaze attack on the U.S.S. Indianapolis.
56:01 | #507 | TV-G
A Nebraska man obtained a curious letter from his grandfather from the sculptor of Mount Rushmore to a Lakota leader named James Red Cloud; A man wonders if his 1932 Ford roadster was used for dry-lake racing, a sport that had its heyday in Southern California in the 1930s and 1940s; a cast-iron eagle in a New Jersey zoo may have adorned the old Grand Central Station in Manhattan.
56:46 | #506
A small square of canvas-like fabric that may have come from the NC-4, one of four U.S. Navy "flying boats"; a 1940s altimeter a Wyoming man received from his father, who claimed it came from Howard Hughes' Beverly Hills crash; and a piece of frayed material that could be a link to the dawn of American military airpower.
56:02 | #505 | TV-PG
The detectives look into whether some Great Mexican War posters could identify an eyewitness to the Mexican Revolution, investigate the authenticity of an autograph book that may have belonged to Nora Holt, and get the real story behind the Revolutionary War-era legend of the Muhlenberg Robe.
56:50 | #504 | TV-G
Two silver bars from the wreck of the Spanish ship Atocha, discovered in 1985; a book at the Wesleyan University Library that's emblazoned with the name and address of the legendary anarchist Lucy Parsons; and a typewriter that may have belonged to World War II journalist Ernie Pyle.
56:46 | #503 | TV-G
A striking vintage photograph depicting about 20 older white men in full-dress uniform, standing shoulder to shoulder with two black men; a list of signatures from public figures of the early 1800s, including President Thomas Jefferson, offering money to build a pair of elementary schools; and a bell at a local bar that might have been ringside at Jack Dempsey's legendary world heavyweight championship fight.
56:46 | #502 | TV-PG
A puzzling $6 bill dated February 17, 1776; a British 10-shilling note dated July 25, 1942 and signed by a collection of luminaries from the Allied side of World War II; and an unassuming pin that, according to family lore, is made of metal drawn from the Liberty Bell.
56:46 | #501 | TV-PG
A woman in Portland, OR has a portable projection screen that may have ties to the Cuban Missile Crisis. A man in Lakeland, FL shows an aluminum record with the words "Amos 'n' Andy" handwritten on its label. And a woman from League City, TX wants the story behind a watercolor painting printed with the words "Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession Washington D.C. March 3, 1913."
56:46 | #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."
56:46 | #410 | TV-G
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.
56:47 | #409 | TV-G
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.
56:46 | #408 | TV-G
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.
55:45 | #407 | TV-G
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.
55:45 | #406 | TV-G
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.
55:45 | #405 | TV-G
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.
55:24 | #404 | TV-G
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.
55:46 | #403 | TV-G
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.
56:46 | #402 | TV-G
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?
56:15 | #401 | TV-G
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.
56:01 | #311 | TV-G
A Kansas City woman wants to find her parents, but the only clue she has is a medallion of the Virgin Mary that was attached to her diaper when she was presented for adoption from a Home for Unwed Mothers. Along the Missouri River in Omaha, archaeologists dig into an encampment from the "Long Expedition" of 1819, which is considered the first exploration expedition to be accompanied by scientists. And a woman in New Jersey shows the portrait she believes is a lost masterpiece by one of America's greatest illustrators and artists, Howard Chandler Christy. The subject is purportedly Evelyn Nesbit, the actress and model who came to fame in 1906 when her husband killed a famous architect accused of "taking advantage" of her.
56:15 | #310 | TV-G
The grandson of Andrew Geller, designer of the Leisureama homes, tries to track down some of those homes while learning more about Cold War history and the influence of leisure on architecture. A Jamestown, NY resident has tickets for a 1927 basketball game featuring Jim Thorpe—but none of Thorpe's biographies refer to a career in pro basketball. And a Virginian's fragment of aged parchment may be evidence of one of the first revolts against slavery in the Americas.
56:15 | #309 | TV-G
A New York resident wonders whether a pair of giant zinc lion's claws once adorned a huge lion that greeted visitors to Steeplechase Park in Coney Island. A Maryland woman shows a rare and beautiful "Greiner" doll with a note pinned to its dress that says it once belonged to a former slave of legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. And a 13-year-old ballerina in Long Island, NY explores her grandmother's stories of having made ballet shoes for many of the top dancers of the 1920s and '30s, including legendary Ziegfeld star Marilyn Miller.
56:15 | #308 | TV-G
A Lewiston, NY man believes his shotgun may have belonged to Hermann Goering—the former head of the mighty German Luftwaffe—and was looted at the time of Goering's arrest in 1945. An Oklahoma resident shows an unusual bison skull found in a dry riverbed. Does the handmade point lodged in the bone date back to the Calf Creek culture of 3000 BC? And a Union, NJ resident wonders whether his home was designed and built by inventor Thomas Edison.
56:15 | #307 | TV-G
A pawn store clerk in Tulsa, OK has a watch that may have been a gift from frontier lawman Wyatt Earp to dentist, gambler, and gunman "Doc" Holliday—perhaps in gratitude for his help at the OK Corral. A Louisiana resident wonders whether the fine-boned, slight-figured soldier featured in a Civil War photograph is actually a woman in disguise. And an intern at a San Francisco historical archive shows a set of 10 postcard-size watercolors painted on the back of a Japanese-American internment notice from 1942.
56:15 | #306 | TV-PG
A man in Opelika, AL thinks he may have the first commercially produced car tape player in the U.S. Was its technology stolen from the Nazis in the closing days of World War II? A resident of Modesto, CA wonders whether an unusual leather satchel was used by a Norwegian immigrant who risked life and limb to hand-deliver the mail across the Sierra Mountains in the years before the Civil War. And a Missouri resident shows an unusual wooden box that may once have contained a birth control device. How would a family in remote, rural Missouri have obtained such a device during a time when they were banned as lewd and immoral?
56:15 | #305 | TV-G
A painting passed down through a Maryland family may be an authentic portrait of George Washington by famed artist Gilbert Stuart, whose résumé includes the portrait of Washington that appears on today's dollar bill. In Salem, OR, a poem found hidden in an antique trunk appears to have been written by an American named Dan Goodhue who was a POW in England in 1780. And an old cannon now kept in a Boston-area national park storage facility may have played a role in precipitating the first battle of the Revolutionary War.
56:15 | #304 | TV-G
A Texas woman of Cherokee descent is intrigued by what appears to be Cherokee writing on a mysterious Bible she inherited from her father. A banjo recently purchased by a Chicago resident dates to the mid-1800s and was bought from a former slave. And the detectives follow the trail of the United Empire Loyalists, descendants of the more than 50,000 people who fled to Canada following the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War.
56:15 | #303 | TV-G
An art collector in Southern California may have discovered some of the earliest known works by one of America's most influential political cartoonists, Arthur Szyk. A collector from Midland, MI wants to know whether a simple-looking piece of frayed material is from the country's first aeronautic division of hot-air balloons. And a San Antonio resident inherited a map of a World War I French battlefield from her grandfather, an engineer under General Pershing. Could it be an authentic relic from a critical battle?
56:07 | #302 | TV-G
A North Carolina woman wants to know whether her two Black Star Line stock certificates were really signed by company founder Marcus Garvey. A San Francisco toy collector shows a small mouse figurine that may turn the legend of Mickey on its ears. It has a red label on its chest that reads "Micky" and a patent label on the bottom of one foot that says "Pat. Aug. 17, 1926"—two years before Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse. And a tiny printing block from a pro-Nazi newspaper, discovered by a Texas A&M archaeologist, may hold the key to the mystery of a German POW camp rumored to be based in Hearne, TX during World War II.
56:46 | #301 | TV-G
Two brothers from Parsippany, NJ check up on their uncle's claim that he built the engine for Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis. A toolmaker and artist in Kansas City wonders whether two peculiar liquid-containing pins, wrapped in a newspaper dated 1960, could be the prototypes for a poison-filled pin that U2 pilot Gary Powers was carrying when his spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. And a Kentucky woman tries to discover the connection between her great-great-grandfather, lieutenant governor of the New Mexico territory in the 1870s, and a photo of legendary Apache warrior Geronimo.
56:46 | #212 | TV-G
The excavation of a 17th-century settlement in Maryland uncovers a grisly mystery when a skeleton is discovered in the basement. In Boston, two brothers hear a rumor that the large propellers on the grounds of a hotel in Newport came from a German submarine that sank off the coast of Rhode Island at the end of World War II. Could it have been the same sub that killed their father? And was an antique golf club recently donated to a Scotch Plains, NJ children's golf foundation really used in the 1896 U.S. Open?
56:46 | #211 | TV-G
A woman in Oakland wants to know whether her beautiful old alto saxophone really did belong to legendary jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker. In Philadelphia, the detectives investigate why an old plaque found in a progressive prison honors "the inmates of Eastern State Penitentiary who served in World War I." And a viewer in Mulvane, KS owns a 200-year-old schoolbook that belonged to a young woman on the Kentucky frontier in 1800. How did it come to contain two passages translated from the Koran?
56:46 | #210 | TV-G
A man in La Verne, CA owns a vintage Colt automatic handgun that, according to family legend, once belonged to Depression-era desperado Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. A Las Vegas man owns a 1780 Continental Army muster roll, issued by the town of Falmouth, MA, that lists one "Paul Cuffee." Could it be the remarkable African American who was a whaling captain, shipbuilder, and early advocate of the "Back to Africa" movement? Finally, why was a baseball field in Atlantic City, NJ named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of intense racial tension?
55:46 | #209 | TV-G
Could a wreck in the Copper River Delta near Cordova, AK be the SS Portland, the steamship whose cargo of nearly two tons of gold started the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897? Was a saddle now owned by John Walden of Bourbon County really used by Confederate general John Hunt Morgan on his famous 1863 raid? And is a beautiful old banner stored in a San Francisco archive the same one carried at the head of the famous Delano Grape Boycott march led by César Chávez in 1966?
55:45 | #208 | TV-G
Could bullets now owned by a woman in Brodhead, WI have been responsible for the demise of the notorious Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow? What's the story behind a Revolutionary War poem found hidden in an antique trunk in Salem, OR? And could a painting passed down through a Maryland family actually be an authentic portrait of the nation's first president, George Washington?
55:45 | #207 | TV-G
The detectives visit the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell to investigate the origins of a black ventriloquist dummy owned by John Cooper, the first famous African-American ventriloquist. A house in Essex County, MA is reputed to have once belonged to an accused witch. And the experience of Chinese immigrants in the first half of the 20th century is documented in hundreds of poems carved into the walls of the detention center at Angel Island in San Francisco.
55:46 | #206 | TV-G
According to family lore, a beautiful old riding crop owned by a Long Island man was given to an ancestor by the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. A resident of Greenwich Village, NY questions a rumor that John Wilkes Booth planned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in her house. And a Boston woman is fascinated by an old cannon kept in a local national park storage facility.
55:45 | #205 | TV-G
Pistols now owned by a San Francisco bank may have been used in the last great duel on U.S. soil, an 1856 confrontation between an abolitionist senator and a California Supreme Court justice. A New Jersey woman believes that a portrait she owns (possibly of Evelyn Nesbit) is a lost masterpiece by one of America's greatest illustrators and artists, Howard Chandler Christy. And in Cookstown, NJ, renovations of the family home of a military hero who served with Gen. Custer reveal an old bayonet hidden in the attic rafters. Could the bayonet have been used in the Battle of Little Bighorn?
55:45 | #204 | TV-G
Hollywood mysteries: A resident of Lincoln Heights in northeast Los Angeles thinks that a broken gateway in her neighborhood park may once have been the entrance to the city's first motion picture studio. The engraving on an antique Kaschie lighter bought for $50 at a flea market may make it a piece of Hollywood history. And a Washington resident believes that an old movie camera he owns was used to film the original version of King Kong.
56:46 | #203 | TV-G
Is a craft used for dredging and hauling rocks in a Wisconsin harbor one of the 1,500 "landing craft tanks" that supported the amphibious D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy? A look into the politically charged abolition movement reveals the surprising past of a Michigan family and a flag found in an old trunk, while visits to California and Chicago investigate extortion and corruption in the Victorian-era marriage industry.
55:45 | #202 | TV-G
A Delaware man shows an old board game similar to Monopoly—but made 20 years before the Parker brothers patented their creation. The detectives also explore a set of 10 postcard-size watercolors painted on the back of a Japanese-American internment notice from 1942 and a wooden cane reportedly given to a viewer's ancestor by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as thanks for his help during their famous Corps of Discovery expedition.
55:45 | #201 | TV-G
The detectives examine a Civil War-era submarine salvaged from the depths of a New Orleans lake, an American Indian pipe that family legend suggests was given to an ancestor by the famous warrior Chief Red Cloud, and a New Jersey home rumored to have been designed and built by inventor Thomas Edison.
54:45 | #110 | TV-G
Three Pennsylvania mysteries: What's the story behind some racy 18th-century china at the Powel House in Philadelphia? Did a late-18th-century flintlock rifle in Mercer County once belong to notorious Tory bandit Moses Doan, who made it his mission to undermine the American fight for independence? And why is a plaque newly unearthed at the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia dedicated to prisoners who served in World War I?
55:15 | #109 | TV-G
Three Oregon mysteries: Was a house in Grand Ronde built around General Philip Sheridan's officers' quarters from the 1850s? Was a family heirloom watch originally a gift from Mark Twain? And what's the story behind American POW Dan Goodhue and the Revolutionary War poem he wrote while imprisoned in England in 1780?
55:15 | #108 | TV-G
What can "Sam," the dummy owned by early African-American ventriloquist John Cooper, tell us about race relations in the early 20th century? Did John Wilkes Booth plot Lincoln's assassination in a home in Greenwich Village, NY? And what's the story behind a 34-star flag owned by the Staten Island Historical Society?
55:15 | #107 | TV-G
Was an early railroad station in the middle of Dallas the first one in Texas? Does a San Antonio man own pesos linked to Mexican bandits Zapata and Pancho Villa? And did a spyglass now in private hands once belong to the pirate Jean Lafitte?
55:15 | #106 | TV-G
Is a woman in Sacramento, CA related to firebrand 19th-century abolitionist John Brown? How did an authentic Japanese house become part of the famed San Francisco World's Fair just before World War II? And what do the hundreds of poems carved into the walls of the Angel Island detention center tell us about the Chinese immigrants detained there?
55:16 | #105 | TV-G
Does a gentleman's club in Beech Island, S.C. own a signed copy of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's farewell address, "General Order #9"? How did Robert Smith escape from servitude and end up owning a luxurious home in Natchez, Miss.? And was a sword handed down for generations in a St. Martinville, La. family originally a gift from Napoleon?
55:15 | #104 | TV-G
Is a painting passed down through a Frederick, Md. family an authentic period portrait of George Washington? Was a Federalsburg, Md. home once the headquarters for the kidnapper and slave trader Patty Cannon? And how is a Philadelphia man's trumpet, which he bought at a local auction, tied to the Revolutionary War?
55:16 | #103 | TV-G
Does a whaling ship docked in Mystic, Conn. hold secrets about the Underground Railroad? Did a house in Essex County, Miss. once belong to an accused witch? And were women really playing contact sports in the late 19th century?
55:15 | #102 | TV-G
Were bullets now owned by a woman in Brodhead, Wis. responsible for the demise of the notorious Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow? Could a theater in the small town of Baraboo, Wis. have been the country's first great movie palace? And is a home in Akron, Ohio a previously unknown example of a Sears catalog house?
55:15 | #101 | TV-G
Three New Jersey mysteries: Did President Ulysses S. Grant really stop by the firehouse in Morristown on America's Centennial Day? Could an odd rock found in Mantoloking be an artifact left behind by Native Americans? And why was a baseball field in Atlantic City named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of intense racial tension?
TEACHER'S GUIDE: http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/classroom/index.html
Price available upon request.