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History Detectives: Korean War Letter, Diana, Lookout Mt. Painting

Airs Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: HISTORY DETECTIVES host Eduardo Pagán (left) shares a letter with Hal Barker (right), head of the Korean War Project. This letter details a heroic act that saved the lives of several soldiers. Was the hero ever decorated for his deed?

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

The five History Detectives (from L-R) Wes Cowan, Gwen Wright, Tukufu Zuberi, Elyse Luray and Eduardo Pagan.
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Above: The five History Detectives (from L-R) Wes Cowan, Gwen Wright, Tukufu Zuberi, Elyse Luray and Eduardo Pagan.

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.

Rhonda Bradley never met her father. He’s still listed Missing in Action from the Korean War. In a letter dated 1953, her father mentioned a man he said saved his life. Eduardo Pagán researches the “Korean War Letter” to find the man Rhonda believes is a hero.

Then Tukufu Zuberi searches for the author of "Diana: A Strange Biography." Could “Diana” be groundbreaking literature as the first widely published and true lesbian autobiography?

Then, Wes Cowan digs into the mystery of the “Lookout Mt. Painting,” depicting a Civil War battle. How did the artist of this painting end up in prison at the Rock Island Arsenal?

Video

History Detectives: Korean War Letter

Watch the full episode. See more History Detectives.

Above: In this segment from "History Detectives," Rhonda Bradley never met her father. He’s still listed Missing in Action from the Korean War. In a letter dated 1953, her father mentioned a man he said saved his life. Eduardo Pagán researches the “Korean War Letter” to find the man Rhonda believes is a hero.

Video

History Detectives: Diana

Watch the full episode. See more History Detectives.

Above: In this segment from "History Detectives," Tukufu Zuberi searches for the author of "Diana: A Strange Biography." Could “Diana” be groundbreaking literature as the first widely published and true lesbian autobiography?

Video

History Detectives: Lookout Mt. Painting

Watch the full episode. See more History Detectives.

Above: In this segment from "History Detectives," Wes Cowan digs into the mystery of the “Lookout Mt. Painting,” depicting a Civil War battle. How did the artist of this painting end up in prison at the Rock Island Arsenal?

Video

Submit Your Mystery To History Detectives

Above: Let HISTORY DETECTIVES solve your mystery! Please tell us about an object that you think may have played a starring role - or was just along for the ride - among the newsworthy people, places or events in American history. This could be blackouts or boycotts, inaugurations or integration, pop art or pop culture, Joe Frasier or Joe DiMaggio, the Golden Spike or the Golden Gate and more! Send us your mystery.