History Detectives Previous Broadcasts

The Love Dish, Rebel Gun, Prison Plaque (Episode #110Z)

KQED 9: Fri, Dec 15, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* The Love Dish - Hearts and arrows blaze across an unusual set of china at the Powel House in Philadelphia. Family legend claims the Marquis de Lafayette gave the set to Elizabeth Willing, the popular wife of the Patriot Mayor. The History Detectives look into the facts and fiction behind this racy 18th century gift.
* Rebel Gun - Mercer County Historical Society has in its possession a late 18th century flint-lock rifle, which, according to local lore, once belonged to legendary Tory bandit Moses Doan, and was recovered after he was killed in a raid of his hideout in 1783. The Society would like to know: Was this the gun of one of the most infamous bandits operating to undermine the birth of our nation? The History Detectives travel west of Philadelphia, our nation's first capital, to uncover the truth.
* Prison Plaque - In the heart of Philadelphia, stands the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary building. Founded by Quakers in 18 29, this castle-like structure set new standards for prisons across the country with its progressive ideas for rehabilitation. Recently, a group in charge of preserving this historic structure found a strange plaque discarded in a pile of rubbish. Dusting it off, they found an intriguing inscription: "In the everlasting memory of the inmates of Eastern State Penitentiary who served in World War I". Even more intriguing is that fact that they are listed not by name, but by their prison numbers. From what they know, convicted felons were prohibited from enlisting or being drafted to fight in the war. Is this an example of the prison's progressive take on prisoner reform? Or is this a sign of desperate recruiting measures for the "War to end all wars", where even prisoners are being sent into battle? The History Detectives are on the case to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Sheridan's House, Mark Twain Watch, Prisoner Poem (Episode #109Z)

KQED 9: Thu, Dec 14, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Sheridan's House - On a dusty back road in the town of Grand Ronde, Oregon sits what appears to be an abandoned, early 2 0th Century Dutch Colonial Style home. But is it? Research conducted on behalf of the Oregon State Department of Parks and Recreation recently revealed an astounding discovery. At the core of the house is a U.S. Army officer's quarters - one of four built in the 1850's at nearby Fort Yamhill on the border of a Native American reservation. The construction of these buildings was supervised by a young officer who was destined to become one of the Union Army's greatest generals and a ruthless foe for Native Americans in the Far West. Now local residents want the History Detectives to find out -- was this the home of General Philip Sheridan?
* Mark Twain Watch - An Oregon man, Jack Ainsworth Mills, has a watch that may have been a gift to his grandfather from noted American author, Samuel Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain. Mr. Mills has always wondered how his grandfather, Captain Ainsworth, a prominent Oregonian, could have met Clemens, and why he would have been given such a gift. The History Detectives will follow the trail of these two adventurous men to discover if their paths could have ever crossed, to determine if the Mills family legend could be true.
* Prisoner Poem - History Detectives goes to Salem, Oregon to look into the story of a Revolutionary War poem found 25 years ago hidden in an antique trunk. The document appears to have been written by an American named Dan Goodhue while imprisoned in 1780 as a POW in England. Who was this man and how did his poem travel for over two centuries, across the sea and nation, to end up in Oregon?

Ventriloquist Dummy/Home of Lincoln Assassination Plot/34 Star Flag (Episode #108Z)

KQED 9: Wed, Dec 13, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Ventriloquist Dummy - An African American woman in Brooklyn, New York, has her father's black ventriloquist dummy, "Sam." Her father, John Cooper, was the first famous African-American ventriloquist. In a time of minstrel stereotypes, did "Sam" help transform how Americans viewed race in the early 20th century? How was this dummy created, and was it meant to be a protest against racial prejudice? < br />* Home of Lincoln Assassination Plot - A resident of Greenwich Village, New York, has a question about the home in which she's been living for the last few years. She's heard a rumor that John Wilkes Booth, the infamous assassin of Abraham Lincoln, spent some time in her house. Not only that, she's heard that her home is where the plot for the assassination was hatched. Is this really where Lincoln's murder was planned?
* 34 Star Flag - Twenty years ago, the Staten Island Historical Society received a beautiful 34-star flag and a fascinating mystery. Patched together with bits of fabric much like a quilt, the flag flew at a boarding house on Staten Island. According to local legend, an angry mob approached the owner of the boarding house. The mob claimed that one of his boarders had hung a Confederate flag outside the window. It was just before the outbreak of the Civil War, and with tensions running high the mob was threatening to burn down the boarding house. As several other buildings were already in flames, the owner knew to take them seriously. He ran back to tear down the flag, but that did not satisfy the crowd. To save his building from being burnt to the ground, he replaced the rebel flag with the 34-star U.S. flag. The Staten Island Historical Society wants to know, is there any truth to this story?

The Depot That Made Dallas, Mexican Peso, Pirate Spyglass (Episode #107Z)

KQED 9: Tue, Dec 12, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* The Depot That Made Dallas - A local historian in Dallas, Texas, has a question about an early railroad station in the middle of Dallas. He wants to know if this building was the first railroad station in Texas - and if so, was it responsible for creating the bustling metropolis that Dallas is today? HD hits town to investigate this railroad mystery.
* Mexican Peso - A man from San Antonio, Texas, found what looked like Mexican currency among his late great-grandfather's possessions. Are they linked to the Mexican bandits Zapata and Pancho Villa? Did they play a part in the Mexican revolution in the1910s and if so, how did they get into the hands of his great-grandfather, a quiet family man from San Antonio?
* Pirate Spyglass - Jean Lafitte has been called a fearsome pirate, an ingenious privateer and a war hero. His exploits are still recounted today in Texas and Louisiana. A librarian in Texas City, Texas, has a spyglass she believes may once have belonged to Lafitte. Old, but still in working condition, the object was donated to the local library by a descendent of Jim Campbell - a founder of the town and one of Lafitte's captains. Did Jean Lafitte give his trusted captain a spyglass, and if he did - is this Jean Lafitte's spyglass?

John Brown's Letters, Japanese House, Poems (Episode #106Z)

KQED 9: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* John Brown's Letters - Sacramento, California--A woman in Sacramento, California, has reason to believe she may be a relative of John Brown, the 19th-century abolitionist. Do her grandmother's letters prove that she is a descendant of the historical figure? The Detectives attempt to answer her query once and for all with a series of investigations into the authenticity of the letters and her family tree. Will this investigation prove to be a crucial piece in the puzzle of her family history?
* Japanese Tea House - Gilroy, California--How did an authentic Japanese tea house become part of the famed San Francisco World's Fair in a time just preceding World War II? The Detectives attempt to reveal the origins of the tea house and explain how it came to be featured in the fair at a time shortly before Japanese internment camps were established. How did the tea house make its way to America in the first place, and who was behind its inclusion in the fair?
* Poems -San Francisco, California--In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 250,000 Chinese immigrants attempted to enter the United States. Because of discrimination against Chinese, and laws meant to impede their passage, most were detained and interrogated on Angel Island, America's west coast immigration center. The experience of these immigrants is documented in hundreds of poems that have been carved into the walls of the Angel Island detention center. Many of these have been translated, but little is known about the authors. Kathleen Wong, a second-generation Chinese-American, believes that her grandfather and great-grandfather spent time on the island and that her great-grandfather committed suicide there. She knows little about her ancestors' experience on Angel Island and their possible connection with the poems. History Detectives will investigate the story of her family's passage to the United States to find out if any of the poems were written by her ancestors.

Lee's Last Orders, Natchez House, Napoleonic Sword (Episode #105Z)

KQED 9: Fri, Dec 8, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Lee's Last Orders - Beech Island, South Carolina--In the archives of a gentleman's club in this rural town is what is believed to be a signed copy of one of the most famous documents in the history of the Civil War - Confederate General Robert E. Lee's farewell address, " General Order #9," composed at Appomattox, Virginia, upon the surrender of his troops in April 1865. The Beech Island Agricultural Club, a social organization formed by local plantation owners in the 1840s, has owned this copy for almost 120 years. Now, Milledge Murray, the group's membership chair and a descendant of one of the club's founders, has asked History Detectives to find out if local lore is true - is this really the "original" copy of "General Order #9?"
* Natchez House - Natchez, Mississippi-- On the "Spanish Esplanade" overlooking the Mississippi River, there is a magnificent home that for years was believed to be the original home of one of the Spanish dons who colonized the area. Recently, this story was discovered to be a myth. The original owner was actually a free man of color named Robert D. Smith, who built it himself in 1851, 14 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. The new homeowners, Ruth and Jim Coy, have been actively pursuing the history of Robert Smith and they have a question. According to a recently discovered record, Smith arrived in New Orleans on a slave ship. How did Robert Smith go from traveling on a ship full of captive individuals destined for servitude to owning a luxurious home? The Detectives trace the rise of this unique individual.
* Napoleonic Sword - St. Martinville, Louisiana--A magnificent sword that has been handed down for generations in a St. Martinville family has a mystery around it. The sword belonged to their great-great- grandfather, who was a doctor/soldier in Napoleon's battle for Austria in Wagram. Family lore has it that Napoleon was injured and their great-great grandfather treated his wound. He was rewarded with this sword. Is this really the sword of Napoleon?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Sat, Dec 9, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Portrait of George Washington, Patty Cannon, Trumpet (Episode #104Z)

KQED 9: Thu, Dec 7, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Portrait of George Washington - Washington, DC--Could a portrait passed down through a Washington, DC, family for generations actually be an authentic portrait of the nation's first president, George Washington? That is the charge for the Detectives in this fascinating episode. The investigators attempt to prove whether or not the famed artist Gilbert Stuart, whose resume includes the portrait of Washington that appears on today's dollar bills, was the artist behind the painting in question. Might this painting prove to be a national treasure?
* Patty Cannon - Frederick, Maryland-- Could a Maryland family's home once have been the headquarters for the slave trade of Patty Cannon, coined "the most wicked woman in America? " Legend has it that she was a villainous woman who stole slaves and kidnapped free African- Americans to sell them back to plantation owners. Now the Detectives team investigates to see if they can prove once and for all that this is in fact the former home of Patty Cannon. Will they be able to draw long-sought- after conclusions or will the mystery remain?
* Trumpet - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania--Is a Philadelphia man's trumpet, which he bought at a local auction, somehow tied to the Revolutionary War? That is the mystery the Detectives solve this time around. Inscribed with the name "Captain Lewis," the trumpet appears to have been used by the aforementioned captain during the battles that won America's independence from England. Will the trumpet prove to be a valuable piece of American history?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Fri, Dec 8, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship, Witch's House, Jigsaw Puzzle (Episode #103Z)

KQED 9: Wed, Dec 6, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Morgan Whaling Ship - Might a whaling ship docked in Mystic, Connecticut, hold secrets to the Underground Railroad? That is the basis for the Detectives' investigation in this episode. The team speaks with the grandson of the last captain of the ship, known as The Morgan, in an effort to shed some light on the role of these kinds of ships during that period. Does The Morgan prove to be an integral part of the Underground Railroad?
* Witch's House - Could a house in Essex County, Massachusetts, have once belonged to an accused witch? The Detectives head to New England to research the likelihood with local historians and a descendant of the accused witch, Martha Carrier, who was executed by hanging in 1692 during the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Might the woman who was called the Queen of Hell have owned this home?
* 1909 Jigsaw Puzzle - Were women playing contact sports in the late part of the 19th century? That is the question asked by Bob and Hildegard Armstrong of Worcester, Massachusetts. A quirky jigsaw puzzle depicting women in the midst of a game of rugby or football has led to a History Detectives investigation, which begins with a visit to a jigsaw puzzle expert and continues with a sports historian, a magazine expert and finally to the Society for the Preservation of New England's Antiquities. Will the Armstrongs be able to put the pieces together once and for all?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Thu, Dec 7, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Bonnie & Clyde, Al Ringling Theater, Sears Home (Episode #102Z)

KQED 9: Tue, Dec 5, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Bonnie & Clyde - Brodhead, Wisconsin--Could bullets owned by a woman in a small Wisconsin town be responsible for the demise of the notorious Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow? The Detectives travel to key cities throughout the country in an attempt to link the bullets to the murderous twosome. Along the way, they chat with various experts and run extensive ballistics tests. Are these really the bullets that ended one of the most infamous crime-sprees in American history?
* Al Ringling Theater - Baraboo, Wisconsin--Is it possible that a theater in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin, could have been the country's first great movie palace? The exquisite theater, which was designed in 1915 by Chicago architects C.W. and George Rapp, is a masterpiece designed in the style of the great French opera houses. The Detectives enlist the help of the Theatre Historical Society of America to solve the mystery of this grand edifice. Why was such an ornate theater erected in such an obscure location, and how has it stayed relevant throughout the years?
* Sears Home - Akron, Ohio--Might an Ohio couple's residence be a long- forgotten Sears home? The Detectives head to Akron, Ohio, to investigate whether or not Sears & Roebuck could have built the home in question at a time when communities were springing up almost overnight during the industrial boom. Does this couple live in a relic from years gone by?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Wed, Dec 6, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Fire Station, Face Artifact, Pop Lloyd's Baseball (Episode #101Z)

KQED 9: Mon, Dec 4, 2017 -- 4:00 PM

* Fire Station - Morristown, New Jersey--Did President Ulysses S. Grant stop by a Morristown, New Jersey, firehouse on the Centennial of America? The Detectives are on the case to determine if and why such a visit might have occurred. By scouring old records and speaking to various experts, they hope to uncover the truth. Is the signature in the logbook authentic and if so, why was the Commander- in-Chief in town on such a historic date?
* Face Artifact - Mantoloking, New Jersey--Is it possible that a rock found along the beaches of the Jersey Shore could be an artifact left behind by Native Americans? The Detectives head to the home of Mrs. Betsy Colie, the woman who stumbled upon the treasure, in an attempt to unlock the secrets held inside this stone with an etched face. Is it really a link to an ancient civilization or just another pebble in the sand?
* Pop Lloyd's Baseball Field - Atlantic City, New Jersey-- Why was a baseball field in Atlantic City, New Jersey, named after an African- American ballplayer in a time of intense racial tension? The Detectives go to the park to unearth the explanation. John Henry "Pop" Lloyd was one of the greatest athletes of his time. A famed shortstop in the Negro Leagues throughout the first three decades of the 20th century, Pop was honored with a field in his name in 1949. What was the reasoning that led to this unlikely honor in a time of blatant prejudice and racial division?

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Tue, Dec 5, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
Become a KQED sponsor

TV Technical Issues

    • Audio Issue KQED DT 9.1 /25.1

      UPDATE: Audio has been restored, please report any issues! We are working to resolve a technical issue which has affected the Over The Air audio Thank you for your patience while we resolve the issue!

    • KQED will no longer broadcast the KQEH signal from Monument Peak Tower effective 1/5/2018

      KQED will be removing its over-the-air television signal from the Monument Peak Tower in the San Jose area on January 5, 2018 (Note: this maintenance was previously scheduled for December 15, 2017). KQED will now broadcast our full suite of channels (KQED 9, KQED Plus, KQED World and PBS Kids) on Channel 9 and 54 […]

    • KQED LIFE OFF AIR Friday, December 15

      KQED will no longer offer the KQED Life channel beginning Friday, December 15. Several of the most popular exercise, cooking and lifestyle programs exclusive to KQED Life will now be scheduled on KQED Plus and KQED 9, where they can be experienced by more viewers. View/Download Schedule

To view previous issues and how they were resolved, go to our TV Technical Issues page.

KQED DTV Channels



Channels 9.1, 54.2, 25.1
XFINITY 9 and HD 709
Wave, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQED, or as KQET in the 831 area code.
Outstanding PBS programming, KQED original productions, and more.

All HD programs



Channels 54.1, 9.2, 25.2
XFINITY 10 and HD 710
Wave, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQEH
KQED Plus, formerly KTEH.
Unique programs including the best British dramas, mysteries, and comedies.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids

Channel 54.4, 25.4, and 9.4
XFINITY 192 (Monterey/Salinas 372 and Sacramento/Fairfield 391)
Wave: Channel # may vary.
Quality children's programming. Live streaming 24/7 at

KQED World

KQED World

Channel 9.3, 54.3 and 25.3
XFINITY 190 Monterey/Salinas 371 and Sacramento/Fairfield 390)
Wave: Channel # may vary.
Thought-provoking television — public affairs, local and world events, nature, history, and science.