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History Detectives: World War II Leaflet; Tiffany Window; Spanish Civil War Eulogy

Airs Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: David Fellman’s father wrote this eulogy for Douglas Roach, a soldier who fought at his side in the Spanish Civil War. David (left) asks Tukufu Zuberi (right) to find out more about Douglas Roach and why Americans volunteered to fight in that foreign war.

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

Your Investigation

If you need more help with your own investigations, visit Detective Techniques, with guides on how to research a WWII military record, rock and mineral identification, and more information on art and photo evaluation. You can also find a step-by-step guide to genealogy, researching buildings, document evaluation and much more.

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.

Donna Stevens and her sister-in-law, Marjorie Lehman discovered this leaflet that had been tucked away in a box for more than 60 years. Wes Cowan decodes the message and the strategy behind a U.S. World War II propaganda leaflet.
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Above: Donna Stevens and her sister-in-law, Marjorie Lehman discovered this leaflet that had been tucked away in a box for more than 60 years. Wes Cowan decodes the message and the strategy behind a U.S. World War II propaganda leaflet.

Brian Frey from Kalispell, Montana, wants to know if this watercolor his great-great grandmother painted, every became a Tiffany stained glass window.
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Above: Brian Frey from Kalispell, Montana, wants to know if this watercolor his great-great grandmother painted, every became a Tiffany stained glass window.

"World War II Leaflet" - Going through her brother’s belongings in El Paso, TX, a History Detectives fan came across a leaflet with Japanese writing and startling war images. A note taped to the box says, “This box contains an original propaganda leaflet dropped on Japan. I know the woman who did most of the artwork and printing for the U.S. propaganda leaflets.” The pictures are provocative: a clenched fist with people struggling inside its grasp, a soldier wielding a dagger against a civilian, planes flying over billows of smoke. Who was the artist? Did the US Military use this leaflet during World War II?

"Tiffany Window" - Our contributor cherishes a small, framed watercolor handed down from his great-great grandmother, Anne Weston.But he has reason to believe the value of this painting may extend beyond his family bond. He knows Anne Weston once designed windows for the famous American glass manufacturer Louis Comfort Tiffany. According to her daughter, Anne used to call this watercolor her favorite ‘window’ because she could see it every day. Did this artwork ever become a Tiffany window?

"Spanish Civil War Eulogy" - War traumatized Sol Fellman. He rarely discussed his Spanish Civil War experience until shortly before his death when he passed on his mementos. Among the documents, his son found a moving four-page eulogy titled, “A Negro Hero Dies.” The words reflect admiration and respect for a man named Douglas Roach. Sol fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade with his brother Harry, but they were separated in Spain and Harry went missing. Who was Douglas Roach? And what happened to Sol’s brother Harry?

"History Dectectives" is on Facebook, and you can follow @histdetectives on Twitter.

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History Detectives: Season Nine Preview

Watch the full episode. See more History Detectives.

Above: Our five intrepid detectives are back with new investigations and fascinating stories in season nine of the "History Detectives."

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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.