This series explores 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.
History Detectives Previous Broadcasts
KQED Plus: Mon, Nov 17, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
* Amelia Earhart Plane - John Ott believes he may have a piece of Amelia Earhart's airplane, the missing Lockheed L-10E Electra in which she made her ill-fated around-the-world attempt. Ott says his grandfather served as a flight mechanic on the airfield in Honolulu where Earhart had a mishap on her first attempt at the flight. She crashed during takeoff, destroying the landing gear and damaging the right wing. Ott says his grandfather took a piece of the plane that came off during the accident and sent it to his mother as a souvenir. Elyse Luray tests the shape and the metal of the fragment against another Lockheed Electra, and checks the story against historic records to see if Ott truly has a piece of Earhart's plane.
* Fillmore Pardon - A Portland, Oregon, man inherited what looked to be a U.S. presidential pardon signed by Millard Fillmore in 1851. In it, the president commutes the death sentence to life in prison for a solitary Native American named See-See-Sah-Mah, convicted of murdering a St. Louis trader along the Santa Fe Trail. Fillmore's pardon saved See-See-Sah-Mah's life, but why? Tukufu Zuberi travels to Kansas City and St. Louis to retrace the crime and trial. Was See-See-Sah-Mah a murderer or a scapegoat? And why did this obscure case about an unknown Native American matter to a U.S. President?
* Boxcar Home - When a Lakewood, Colorado, couple found a new home, they noticed odd supports in the basement ceiling. The husband loves the railroads, so he immediately recognized the supports as railroad car rods. Could their home have been made from a boxcar? Gwendolyn Wright's search for answers takes viewers on an excursion from the scarcity of the Great Depression to the resourcefulness of World War II.
American West (Episode #1008H)
KQED Plus: Mon, Nov 3, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
The History Detectives investigate four stories from the American West. Did a biography of legendary frontiersman Kit Carson once belong to members of his family? Then, from the rodeo to Hollywood, a saddle tells the story of Yakima Canutt, who made life safer for movie stunt artists. What is the meaning behind the mysterious inscription on sheet music of the popular western song "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"? Finally, did a pivotal character in the Modoc Indian wars weave this basket?