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.
  • Titanic Picture Frame, Woolworth Signs, Nazi Spy Toys

    Clip

    8/7/12

    In this episode, was this picture frame was crafted from wood from the Titanic, the Lusitania, or neither? Were these Woolworth signs at the 1960 Winston-Salem lunch-counter sit-ins? And, for 70 years the owner of these toy soldiers has wondered if the father of his childhood friend was a Nazi spy.moreless
  • 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
  • War Spoils of a Peace Chief

    Clip

    7/31/12

    Family lore says that George'?s great, great-uncle Taylor fought alongside General Custer at the Battle of Washita. Peace Chief Black Kettle of the Southern Cheyenne, lost his life in the confrontation. Taylor returned from the war with an Indian neckpiece and leggings, which he said belonged to the chief. George asks Wes, could the family legend he knows so well actually be true?moreless
  • Marshall House Flag

    Clip

    7/31/12

    Gale Bay finds a swatch of red fabric in an envelope labeled '?relics.'? She also has a letter from her great-great grandfather Ira Wilson, about a slain commander, Col. Ellsworth. Ellsworth was the first Union officer killed in the Civil War, shot at as he took down a confederate flag near the White House. Gale asks Gwen to find out if this red fabric came from the flag that cost the Col. his life.moreless
  • Clint Blackas Book of Rogues

    Clip

    7/24/12

    Fifteen years ago, country music star Clint Black received a crumbling, faded scrapbook as a gift from his wife. The cover reads '?1909'? and inside Clint found hundreds of clippings for lost and wanted men from the early 20th century. Clint asks Elyse to find out the purpose behind this book and more about the Sheriff who used it.moreless
  • Bettie Page And The Forbidden Pinup

    Clip

    7/24/12

    Sorting through a suitcase filled with 1950s educational slides, our contributor found a color negative of 1950s pin-up model Bettie Page, whose uninhibited style earned her the name '?Queen of Pin-ups.'? '?Pin-up King'? Irving Klaw supposedly destroyed most of his pin-up photos during a wave of 1950'?s censorship. If this is one of Klaw'?s photos, how did it survive?moreless
  • Web Extra: Empire State Building Plane Crash, Eyewitness

    Clip

    7/23/12

    Eyewitness, Gloria Pall recounts the day in 1945 when a B-25 bomber flew into the Empire State Building.
  • 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
  • Frank Zappaas Lost Collage

    Clip

    7/17/12

    A life-long art collector spotted a striking piece in a South Carolina thrift store, a graphic collage of percussion instruments, intrigued by the signature '?FZ.'? His research led him to an intriguing possibility: Rock and Roll legend Frank Zappa. Gwen Wright meets with friends and biographers of Zappa to see if she can find out whether Zappa made this collage.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.
  • Gold Ship

    Clip

    9/6/04

    Discover Elyse's favourite investigation location after 10 seasons of History Detectives. This investigation from Season two took Elyse to Alaska to investigate a sunken Gold Ship.
  • 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
  • Web Extra: Clint Black

    Clip

    After History Detectives helped country star Clint Black investigate the mystery of his rogue book, he treated us to a special performance of The Code of the West. Watch the full performance here.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
  • 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 1

    Clip

    6/30/08

    Does this diary hold the key to understanding the fate of a missing bomber pilot from World War II? Was this coin a target for one of the Wild West's most popular female sharpshooters? Is this tattered book a true account of female slavery in the old West?moreless
  • Sneak Preview: Ince's Hollywood Indian Payroll

    Clip

    10/11/11

    Who were "Two Lance and Wife" and "Luke Big Turnip and Wife?" And why did the New York Motion Picture Company pay them each week? Two California teens found the 1914 ledger in their great grandfather's attic. They ask HISTORY DETECTIVES host Eduardo Pagan to find out how these Native Americans earned their pay. Did Hollywood treat them fairly?moreless
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