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HISTORY DETECTIVES: Korean War Letter, Diana, Lookout Mt. Painting

Airs Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 11 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,...
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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?

This episode originally aired in 2010.


HISTORY DETECTIVES: Korean War Letter, Diana, Lookout Mt. Painting

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