History Detectives

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Tuesday 9:00 PM on PBS Premiered Jul 01, 2003 In Season

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  • Web Extra: Wes on Fakes

    Clip

    8/14/12

    History Detectives host Wes Cowan talks about fakes and explains what happens when fake or stolen artifacts turn up his auction house.
  • World War II Patch: Bird of War

    Clip

    7/31/12

    A Louisiana man received a military style foot locker filled with papers that apparently belonged to a World War II airman, Lionel B. Potter. Also inside were two patches embroidered with an evocative symbol: a bird in the clouds dropping a bomb. Is this a unit insignia? He'?s turned the investigation over to Wes Cowan. Were these patches used in World War II? Who made them and why?moreless
  • Bob Dylan's Fender Stratocaster

    Clip

    7/17/12

    Is this the guitar that changed music? Two History Detectives dive into the provenance of a Fender Stratocaster that the owner claims was used by Bob Dylan at his legendary 1965 plugged-in performance at the Newport Folk Festival. Be sure to tune in to the History Detectives season premiere on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET.moreless
  • Beatles Autographs

    Clip

    7/17/12

    Two South Carolina brothers have a pair of Beatles autographs -- a menu signed by John Lennon and a publicity photo signed by Ringo Starr -- they collected in 1964, the year the Beatles first visited America. The brothers have cherished these autographs for years but aren'?t sure if they are real. Tukufu Zuberi takes on the challenge of determining whether these autographs are genuine or forged.moreless
  • Ford Roadster

    Clip

    8/20/07

    Discover what has been Tukufu's favourite mystery after 10 seasons of History Detectives. Tukufu got the chance to drive a 1932 Ford Roadster in this investigation from Season five.
  • Season 10 Preview

    Clip

    The History Detectives are back for a tenth season of fascinating investigations. They scour the country for clues and piece together the stories behind some intriguing historic finds: Bob Dylan'?s electric guitar that revolutionized Rock '?n Roll, a piece of the B-25 that crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945, Clint Black'?s 1909 book of wanted posters and more.moreless
  • Our Colored Heroes, Valley Forge Map, Transistor Radio, Club Continental Card

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 9 - 10/9/12

    What are the details behind the heroic acts pictured in a poster about two African-American soldiers in World War I? Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) helps find the answer. Then, is this a hand-drawn map of Valley Forge that George Washington used during the American Revolution? And does a Tucson man own one of the first transistor radios ever made? Finally, after 70 years, a Washington man wonders whether a business card ties his father to Prohibition-era underworld crime.moreless
  • Colored Heroes, Valley Forge Map and a Transistor Radio

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 8 - 10/9/12

    In this episode, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer helps us find the details behind the heroic acts pictured in a poster about two WWI African American soldiers. Then, do we have a hand-drawn map of Valley Forge that George Washington used during the American Revolution? Finally we investigate an early first transistor radios ever made and a business card'?s link to Prohibition-era underworld crime.moreless
  • Vietnam Diary, Bootleggeras Notebook and a Hollywood Ledger

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 6 - 10/2/12

    In this episode, can History Detectives return the diary of a fallen North Vietnamese soldier to that veteran'?s family? Then, a notebook full of recipes for large volumes of liquor makes an Indiana man wonder if his rich uncle was a Prohibition-era bootlegger. And what can an old ledger tell us about how Hollywood treated Native American actors?moreless
  • Titanic Frame, Nazi Spy Toys, Woolworth Sign

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 5 - 8/7/12

    HISTORY DETECTIVES steps into a family dispute: Was this picture frame crafted from the staircase banister of the Titanic, the Lusitania or neither? Then Tukufu Zuberi wonders whether Woolworth signs were 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 another man wonder if his uncle was a prohibition bootlegger.moreless
  • Bird of War, Lincoln Oath and War Spoils of a Peace Chief

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 4 - 7/31/12

    In this episode we investigate an evocative symbol of a bird dropping a bomb. Did these patches belong to a World War II unit? Then, Gwen connects a swatch of tattered red fabric to a pivotal moment in U.S. Civil War history. And, did this neckpiece and these leggings once belong to Chief Black Kettle, long known as a Cheyenne Peace Chief? Finally, did President Lincoln actually sign this oath?moreless
  • Clint Black's Book of Rogues, B-52 Empire State Building

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 3 - 7/24/12

    We take a deeper look into Country Music singer Clint Black's Book of Rogues. Could this chunk of molten metal be part of the B-25 that crashed into the Empire State building?

  • K.K.K. Records, Civil War Pistols, James Jamerson

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 2 - 7/24/12

    Tukufu makes an intriguing discovery while researching a 1920s album by "All K.K.K. Records." Can we trace these Civil War era pistols to the family of the officer who purchased them? Did Motown great James Jamerson feed hisMy Girlbass line through this Ampeg Amp?

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  • Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Frank Zappa

    Full Episode

    S 10 : Ep 1 - 7/17/12

    Season 10 of History Detectives takes on Rock 'n Roll. Is this the Bob Dylan guitar that changed rock music forever? Are these autographs from the Beatles' Miami concert? And, did Frank Zappa create this collage?

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  • Club Continental, St. V-Day Massacre, Society Circus Program

    Full Episode

    S 8 : Ep 24 - 9/27/11

    Our Prohibition Era episode: Why does our contributor's father have a Club Continental business card? What did Fred Nicolls do for this glitzy LA underworld night club? Then was this shotgun used in the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre? And why was FDR on the celebrity list for this Society Circus benefit?moreless
  • Top Secret Drone, Roosevelt's War Club & Clara Barton Letter

    Full Episode

    S 8 : Ep 17 - 7/19/11

    In this episode, Elyse Luray investigates a propeller that may be from a WWII-era drone aircraft. Then, an inscribed, wooden club appears to be a gift to Teddy Roosevelt. Tukufu Zuberi find out who gave him this club, and why? And Eduardo Pagan follows the trail of a letter and learns about Clara Barton's humanitarian work during the Civil War.moreless
  • Civil War Letters, Aviation Fabric & Negro Romance Comic

    Full Episode

    S 8 : Ep 16 - 7/12/11

    This episode fills in the moving story behind letters from a Civil War soldier to his brother and his desire to lead an African American unit. Then, Tukufu Zuberi sets out to identify the source of a piece of fabric with signatures of Charles Lindbergh and helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky. Finally, did black artists create the 1950's comic book, Negro Romance?moreless
  • The Spear That Stoked the Civil War

    Clip

    7/5/11

    Wes Cowan looks into whether this antique spear weapon was part of abolitionist John Brown's notorious Harpers Ferry raid. Our contributor bought the spear, or pike, from an antique shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio where John Brown is known to have lived. Follow Wes on the trail to the blacksmith who forged the weapon over 150 years ago and the ground at Harpers Ferry where the battle took place.moreless
  • History Detectives

    Full Episode

    S 8 : Ep 5 - 7/19/10

    A four-inch square of fabric tells the story of one of America’s first barnstorming pilots.
  • Episode 11

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 11 - 9/6/09

    Could these music plates be the originals for "Take the A Train?" How is a stamp connected to the landmark civil rights case of the "Scottsboro Boys?" Has the discovery of an old bridge abutment changed the location of an historic site?moreless
  • Episode 10

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 10 - 8/30/09

    What happened to a WWII POW who sketched portraits at the German camp Stalag 17B? What's the story behind photographs of the Seadrome project? Was an old artillery shell involved in an attack on Black Tom Island?moreless
  • Episode 9

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 9 - 8/24/09

    Are six large paintings part of a mural project commissioned by the WPA? Why would abolitionist White Matlack own a miniature profile of George Washington? Is a piece of paper a fragment of a Japanese Balloon Bomb?moreless
  • Episode 8

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 8 - 8/16/09

    Could a World War II souvenir be a dagger that belonged to Benito Mussolini? Could references in family letters refer to a post-slavery exodus to Liberia? Was a little black box a Civilian Warning Device for nuclear attacks?moreless
  • Episode Seven

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 7 - 8/10/09

    In this episode, 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.moreless
  • Episode 6

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 6 - 7/26/09

    Could this be a piece of Amelia Earhart's lost airplane? Why did an obscure court case about an unknown Native American matter to a US President? Was this unusual home made from a boxcar?moreless
  • Episode 4

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 4 - 7/12/09

    Why were babies exhibited at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair? How are these photos linked to an early movie mogul? Did the weaver of this Southwestern rug violate a taboo?
  • Episode 3

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 3 - 7/5/09

    Was this gun used in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre? Does this letter reveal a Booth plot to assassinate Andrew Jackson? How is this explosive device connected to grave robbing and cadaver dissecting?moreless
  • Episode 2

    Full Episode

    S 7 : Ep 2 - 6/28/09

    Did a Manhattan Project insider sell his invention to the government for a single dollar? Is this huge block of beeswax linked to a ship that wrecked 300 years ago? Could this French manuscript solve a family mystery?moreless
  • Episode 1

    Clip

    6/21/09

    Did Thomas Edison invent this machine to unlock the secrets of the dead? What went wrong on Cat Island? Was the owner of this watch fob witness to Francisco "Pancho" Villa's infamous 1916 raid?moreless
  • Episode Eleven

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 11 - 1/20/09

    In a special presentation of the sixth season, America's top gumshoes investigate the first book of African-American spirituals ever published, an acoustic guitar that may have belonged to legendary folksinger Josh White, and the story behind the birthplace of hip-hop.moreless
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