History Detectives Previous Broadcasts

Hermann Goering's Shotgun/Calf Creek Arrow/The Edison House (Episode #308Z)

KQED 9: Wed, Jan 30, 2019 -- 11:00 PM

* Hermann Goering's Shotgun - In the dying days of the Third Reich, Hermann Goering, the former head of the mighty German Luftwaffe, was holed up in his castle in the German countryside, addicted to opium and terrified of capture by the advancing Allies. A Lewiston, New York, man believes his shotgun may have belonged to Goering and was looted at the time of his arrest in 1945. A signed affidavit from an American soldier says that he removed the gun from Goering's castle "from the wall over the living room fireplace" during the arrest. HD investigates the possible link to Hitler's once- feared right-hand-man.
* Calf Creek Arrow - An Oklahoma resident discovered an unusual bison skull while fossil hunting in a dry riverbed. Lodged in the bone was a handmade point, which the contributor believes dates back to the Calf Creek culture, around 3000 B.C. Could this be just another hoax or an incredible archeological discovery? HD learns more about this group of nomadic hunter-gatherers, while putting this handmade point through the extreme rigors of modern forensic testing.
* The Edison House - A Union, New Jersey, resident has heard a strange story about his home: that it was designed and built by inventor Thomas Edison. But Edison is known for inventing the motion-picture camera, electric lighting and wireless telegraphy, not house construction. HD investigates and discovers a surprising story of technological innovation, failed inventions and an approach to housing that was 30 years ahead of its time.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Thu, Jan 31, 2019 -- 5:00 AM

Episode #708H

KQED 9: Wed, Jan 23, 2019 -- 11:00 PM

* Mussolini Dagger - Many servicemen brought back souvenirs from World War II, but did the uncle of a Reno, Nevada, man score a dagger from Fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini? The dagger bears the symbols of Italian Fascism, and the initial "M" hangs from the belt clip. A family letter says the uncle had orders to pick up Mussolini, but when he arrived, Mussolini was already dead and hanging in the town square. The letter goes on to say that he went to Mussolini's apartment, where he grabbed the dictator's dagger. Wes Cowan connects various records, pictures and expert opinions to come up with an answer.
* Liberia Letter - A Lynchburg, South Carolina, woman has a scrapbook of handwritten letters sent to her great-great-grandmother, a freed slave who lived in South Carolina. She thinks her ancestor's brother, Harvey McLeod, wrote the letters. What caught her attention were the repeated references to Liberia. In 1877, Harvey writes: "I hope you will change your mind and come to Liberia, Africa with us." Was this family part of the post-slavery exodus to Liberia? As Tukufu Zuberi tracks the path of the letters, the story pieces together a tale of slaves adapting to freedom.
* N.E.A.R. Device - A Colorado ham radio enthusiast may have stumbled across some Cold War history. While sorting through a bucket of old power adapters, he came across a curious device, a hand-sized black box with the wording "National Emergency Alarm Repeater, Civilian Warning Device." The contributor believes it may have had something to do with nuclear attack preparedness, but he lived through the cold war and has never heard of a Civilian Warning Device. Gwendolyn Wright sifts through the secrets to find out whether anyone mass-produced this device and what happened to this Civilian Warning program.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Thu, Jan 24, 2019 -- 5:00 AM

Wb Cartoons, Galvez Papers, Mussolini Dagger (Episode #810H)

KQED 9: Wed, Jan 16, 2019 -- 11:00 PM

Tukufu Zuberi doesn't recognize many of the characters in this box of cartoon drawings and cels, but together they tell an unexpected story about the early days of animation and the people behind the art.
Then, Elyse Luray unravels a love story when she explores why a regional governor cared enough about a slave to sign her emancipation papers.
And (in a repeat segment), did this elaborate dagger once belong to Benito Mussolini? Wes Cowan retraces the last steps of Fascist Italian dictator to find the answer.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Thu, Jan 17, 2019 -- 5:00 AM

Arthur Szyk's Earliest Cartoons/Professor Lowe's Hot Air Balloon/Chemical Warfare Map (Episode #303Z)

KQED 9: Wed, Jan 9, 2019 -- 11:00 PM

* Arthur Szyk's Earliest Cartoons - A Polish-American art collector in Southern California came across four striking drawings while browsing an online auction. He believes they bear a remarkable resemblance to the work of one of America's most influential political cartoonists, Arthur Szyk. HD investigates whether these drawings are some of the earliest known works of the man whose illustrations helped persuade America to fight the Nazis in World War II and whom Eleanor Roosevelt described as "a one-man army against Hitler."
* Professor Lowe's Hot Air Balloon - A collector from Midland, Michigan, may have purchased a fragment of American aviation history. At first glance, it's a simple piece of frayed material in a frame. But on the back of the frame are the words, "A piece of Prof. Lowe's Aeronautical balloon `Enterprise'... after it was destroyed upon landing ... in 1862." Could this be an artifact from the dawn of American military airpower? HD reveals more about the ambitious and fascinating professor who launched the country's first aeronautic division by inflating his hot air balloon, the Enterprise, on the lawn of President Lincoln's White House.
* Chemical Warfare Map - A San Antonio, Texas, resident inherited a map of a World War I French battlefield from her grandfather, an engineer under General Pershing. The map is of St. Mihiel, where U.S. forces fought for the first time in Europe unaccompanied by French or British forces. The map also includes detailed warnings about what to do in the event of a gas attack. Could this be an authentic relic from this critical battle? HD sheds light on the origins of gas warfare and on a battle that helped pave the way for the Armistice.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Thu, Jan 10, 2019 -- 5:00 AM
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