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.
Lost Gold Ship/John Hunt Morgan Saddle/Cesar Chavez Banner (#209Z) Duration: 55:46 STEREO TVG
* Lost Gold Ship - Environmentalist Gabriel Scott was working in the Copper River Delta near Cordova, Alaska, when he came across the wreckage of an old ship. According to locals, these are the remains of the SS Portland, the famous steamship that carried 68 miners and nearly two tons of gold from the Klondike River to Seattle harbor and began the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. Could the stories be true? To find out, Elyse Luray joins a team of experts in Alaska to investigate the wreck. Mixing maritime history and forensic science, the team reveals the dramatic story of the SS Portland and confirms whether Scott has found the remains of this legendary ship.
* John Hunt Morgan Saddle - A man in Paris, Kentucky, owns a beautifully preserved Western-style saddle, believed to have been used by the Confederate general, John Hunt Morgan, on his famous raid into Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio in July 1863. Could this be a relic from one of the most audacious attacks launched by the South during the Civil War? Wes Cowan is on the case and reveals a surprising personal connection: Wes' great-grandfather was actually one of "Morgan's Raiders" and was captured alongside Morgan during the historic raid.
* Cesar Chavez Banner - A San Francisco woman has heard about a beautiful old banner owned by a local archive that, rumor has it, was carried at the head of the famous Delano Grape Boycott march led by Cesar Chavez in 1966. The banner features a painted Virgin of Guadalupe and a Union of Farm Workers Eagle, but its original ownership is a mystery. The contributor wants to know what role this banner may have played in Chavez' campaign to pursue better living conditions and rights for Mexican-American farm workers. HD travels to the West Coast to investigate the importance of art in one of the most famous civil rights campaigns in U.S. history.
Jackie Robinson All-Stars, Modoc Basket, Special Agent Five (#809H) Duration: 55:16 STEREO TVPG
Tukufu Zuberi tallies the facts on a 1940s Jackie Robinson All-Stars scorecard. Black and white athletes played this game before Robinson became the first black major league baseball player. What role did this game play in the integration of major league baseball?
Then, we see the name 'Toby' worked into the weave of this basket. Could that be Toby Riddle, the woman congress honored as a heroine of the Indian Wars of the American West?
And, why would J. Edgar Hoover endorse a crime radio drama? Does the script portray actual events?
Episode #703H Duration: 56:15 STEREO TVPG
* St. Valentine's Day Massacre - HD stares down the barrel of a shotgun for clues that one of Al Capone's men fired it in a Chicago gang massacre that shocked the nation. The gun came to the contributor's family after it was handed down through two generations of prominent Chicago families. It's a Western Field single-barreled repeating action 12-guage shotgun. The barrel and the stock were once shortened just the way the Capone gang liked its guns: easy to conceal and with greater destructive force. Elyse Luray tests the gun's firepower, consults with ballistics experts and combs through physical evidence to see if she can place this gun at the scene of the crime.
* Booth Letter - A contributor gave HD a letter indicating that, 30 years before John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, Booth's father threatened to kill another sitting president, Andrew Jackson. Signed "Junius Brutus Booth," the letter to Jackson reads, "You damn'd old scoundrel ... I will cut your throat whilst you are sleeping." The writer insists that Jackson pardon two men who were sentenced to death. Why did the fate of these two men incite such fury? Tukufu Zuberi travels to Nashville to consult historians at The Hermitage, the ancestral home of President Andrew Jackson, and to Washington, DC, to talk with a Booth biographer. Was the letter a hoax? Or did assassination run in the Booth blood?
* Cemetery Alarm - A Midland, Michigan, man who collects war munitions snapped up an item at an estate auction that looked like a Civil War-era weapon. On closer inspection, after consulting with other collectors, he decided he had a grave alarm: an explosive device meant to guard against grave robbers. Is this truly a grave alarm? Wes Cowan's investigation winds through tales of body snatching and cadaver dissecting, unusual crimes and the most unlikely suspects.
Episode #909H Duration: 55:16 STEREO TVPG
Loyalist or patriot? What can the notes in a 1775 Almanac tell us about how the revolution may have strained family ties? Do these 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?