Search form

History Detectives

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 6, 2016
6:00 am
(60 minutes)

Cromwell Dixon, Bartlett Sketchbook, Duke Ellington Plates  

The story of one of America's first barnstormers, pilot Cromwell Dixon, who died at age 19 when his airplane crashed. Also: whether a notebook that includes illustrations of the first U.S.-Mexico border survey belonged to John Russell Bartlett; if metal plates recovered from a Dumpster may have been the first to print the sheet music for the Duke Ellington classic "Take the A Train."

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 6, 2016
7:00 am
(60 minutes)

Korean War Letter, Diana, Lookout Mt. Painting  

The daughter of an MIA Korean War veteran hopes to locate a soldier her father, in a letter home, said saved his life. Also: the 1939 book "Diana: A Strange Autobiography," considered a groundbreaking memoir, of a lesbian; the mystery behind a prison painting that depicts a Civil War battle.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 6, 2016
8:00 am
(60 minutes)

St. Valentine's Day Massacre, George Washington Miniature, Stalag 17  

A shotgun that may have played a role in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre; a miniature painting of George Washington's profile that was found in one of Manhattan's first taverns. Also: a former WWII POW asks for help in tracking down a fellow inmate who sketched his portrait.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 6, 2016
9:00 am
(60 minutes)

Cromwell Dixon, Bartlett Sketchbook, Duke Ellington Plates  

The story of one of America's first barnstormers, pilot Cromwell Dixon, who died at age 19 when his airplane crashed. Also: whether a notebook that includes illustrations of the first U.S.-Mexico border survey belonged to John Russell Bartlett; if metal plates recovered from a Dumpster may have been the first to print the sheet music for the Duke Ellington classic "Take the A Train."

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 6, 2016
10:00 am
(60 minutes)

Korean War Letter, Diana, Lookout Mt. Painting  

The daughter of an MIA Korean War veteran hopes to locate a soldier her father, in a letter home, said saved his life. Also: the 1939 book "Diana: A Strange Autobiography," considered a groundbreaking memoir, of a lesbian; the mystery behind a prison painting that depicts a Civil War battle.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 6, 2016
11:00 am
(60 minutes)

St. Valentine's Day Massacre, George Washington Miniature, Stalag 17  

A shotgun that may have played a role in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre; a miniature painting of George Washington's profile that was found in one of Manhattan's first taverns. Also: a former WWII POW asks for help in tracking down a fellow inmate who sketched his portrait.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 13, 2016
6:00 am
(60 minutes)

Hot Town Poster, Face Jug, Lost City of Gold  

A poster that shows a stern police officer and the words "Hot Town---Pigs in the Street" is investigated; the history behind a peculiar piece of pottery. Also: etchings on a rock in Phoenix' South Mountain Park that may show that Spanish explorer Fray Marcos de Niza arrived in America earlier than believed.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 13, 2016
7:00 am
(60 minutes)

Jackie Robinson All-Stars, Modoc Basket, Special Agent Five  

A 1946 baseball scorecard for Jackie Robinson's All-Stars from Forbes Field in Pittsburgh that indicates Robinson played in an integrated game in a big-league park before 1947, the year he broke Major League Baseball's 20th-century color line; a basket with the name Toby woven into it that may have been made in honor of Toby Riddle, a Native American honored by Congress in 1891; the script for a crime-radio drama that was endorsed by J. Edgar Hoover.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 13, 2016
8:00 am
(60 minutes)

WB Cartoons, Galvez Papers, Mussolini Dagger  

A box of cartoon drawings and cels reveals information about the early days of animation and the people behind it; emancipation papers for a female slave that were signed by a regional governor; a dagger that may have belonged to Benito Mussolini.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 13, 2016
9:00 am
(60 minutes)

Hot Town Poster, Face Jug, Lost City of Gold  

A poster that shows a stern police officer and the words "Hot Town---Pigs in the Street" is investigated; the history behind a peculiar piece of pottery. Also: etchings on a rock in Phoenix' South Mountain Park that may show that Spanish explorer Fray Marcos de Niza arrived in America earlier than believed.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 13, 2016
10:00 am
(60 minutes)

Jackie Robinson All-Stars, Modoc Basket, Special Agent Five  

A 1946 baseball scorecard for Jackie Robinson's All-Stars from Forbes Field in Pittsburgh that indicates Robinson played in an integrated game in a big-league park before 1947, the year he broke Major League Baseball's 20th-century color line; a basket with the name Toby woven into it that may have been made in honor of Toby Riddle, a Native American honored by Congress in 1891; the script for a crime-radio drama that was endorsed by J. Edgar Hoover.

WETA HD Logo

Fri., May 13, 2016
11:00 am
(60 minutes)

WB Cartoons, Galvez Papers, Mussolini Dagger  

A box of cartoon drawings and cels reveals information about the early days of animation and the people behind it; emancipation papers for a female slave that were signed by a regional governor; a dagger that may have belonged to Benito Mussolini.

Full Episodes

HDSI - Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?

HDSI - Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?

Notorious teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared without a trace in 1975. Was he murdered?

HDSI - Texas Servant Girl Murders

HDSI - Texas Servant Girl Murders

Before Jack the Ripper, a serial killer walked the streets of Austin, Texas.

HDSI - The Disappearance of Glenn Miller

HDSI - The Disappearance of Glenn Miller

In 1944, bandleader Glenn Miller boarded a plane for Paris and was never seen again.

HDSI - Civil War Sabotage?

HDSI - Civil War Sabotage?

The steamship Sultana exploded without warning one night in 1865, killing 1,800 people.

Clips

Deleted Scene: Swing Kids in Hamburg

London professor Les Back tells Tukufu about WWII-era Germany's underground jazz scene.

Deleted Scene: Wartime Contradictions

Deleted Scene: Wartime Contradictions

London professor Les Back tells Tukufu about segregation of black soldiers during WW II.

Extended Interview: New insights into Abraham Lincoln

Extended Interview: New insights into Abraham Lincoln

Wes Cowan interviews Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer about Rueben Hatch,

Sultana mystery reveal

Sultana mystery reveal

The History Detectives come to a conclusion about the Sultana mystery.

Previews

History Detectives Special Investigations Preview

History Detectives Special Investigations Preview

The detectives are back solving the biggest mysteries in American history!

Mysteries from the Wild West - Preview

Mysteries from the Wild West - Preview

Premieres Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Check your local listings.