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History Detectives: Andrew Jackson’s Mouth, Barton Letter, Spybook

Airs Monday, July 12, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: HISTORY DETECTIVES host Elyse Luray reunites the face of an Andrew Jackson statue with its mouth.

America's top gumshoes are back to prove once again that an object found in an attic or backyard might be anything but ordinary.

HISTORY DETECTIVES sets out to find out whether this is Clara Barton’s signature. If it is, why is she writing to a man in Burnt Cabins, Pa. about the death of a soldier named Israel Brown?
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Above: HISTORY DETECTIVES sets out to find out whether this is Clara Barton’s signature. If it is, why is she writing to a man in Burnt Cabins, Pa. about the death of a soldier named Israel Brown?

Wesley Cowan, independent appraiser and auctioneer; Gwendolyn Wright, historian and professor of architecture, Columbia University; Elyse Luray, independent appraiser and expert in art history; Dr. Eduardo Pagán, professor of history and American studies at Arizona State University; and Tukufu Zuberi, professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, leave no stone unturned as they travel around the country to explore the stories behind local folklore, prominent figures and family legends.

Based on the notes in this book, including entries about anarchist Emma Goldman, Pennsylvania resident Bob Brady wonders if his great grandfather, John Brady, was a spy.
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Above: Based on the notes in this book, including entries about anarchist Emma Goldman, Pennsylvania resident Bob Brady wonders if his great grandfather, John Brady, was a spy.

Can HISTORY DETECTIVES reunite the mouth and head of a vandalized sculpture of President Andrew Jackson that had been dismembered for more than 150 years? Host Elyse Luray discovers that vandals chopped the bust of Jackson off the frigate "USS Constitution" in the segment “Andrew Jackson’s Mouth.”

Then, in “Barton Letter,” Eduardo Pagán traces a letter from Clara Barton to Burnt Cabins, Pennsylvania. Why did the Red Cross founder write this letter about a Civil War soldier?

Finally, in the segment “Spybook,” Gwen Wright tracesa notebook’s history back to anarchist Emma Goldman. Did the notebook once belong to a World War I spy?

Think you have a case for HISTORY DETECTIVES? Send us your mystery.