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History Detectives: Vietnamese War Diary; Bootlegger’s Notebook; Ince Ledger

Airs Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta presents Vietnamese Minster of Defense, Phung Quang Thanh, with the diary of a Vietnamese soldier from the Vietnam War while visiting Hanoi, Vietnam, June 4, 2012. The diary had been in the United States since the end of the war and was brought back to Vietnam to be given to the family of the fallen soldier.

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Discover where all the stories came from on the HISTORY DETECTIVES interactive map.

A Vietnam soldier's diary included several entries and a photograph of two young women.
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Above: A Vietnam soldier's diary included several entries and a photograph of two young women.

HISTORY DETECTIVES host Elyse Luray and Liquor Historian David Wondrich investigate whether a leather-bound journal is evidence of a secret family business – Prohibition era bootlegging.
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Above: HISTORY DETECTIVES host Elyse Luray and Liquor Historian David Wondrich investigate whether a leather-bound journal is evidence of a secret family business – Prohibition era bootlegging.

This 1915 ledger seems to record the payroll for Native Americans who acted in Westerns. HISTORY DETECTIVES host Eduardo Pagán looks into the stories behind these Hollywood Indians. Did the film industry treat them fairly?
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Above: This 1915 ledger seems to record the payroll for Native Americans who acted in Westerns. HISTORY DETECTIVES host Eduardo Pagán looks into the stories behind these Hollywood Indians. Did the film industry treat them fairly?

HISTORY DETECTIVES is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects.

Traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, and plenty of legwork are the tools the HISTORY DETECTIVES team of experts uses to give new - and sometimes shocking - insights into our national history.

The hosts of the program are a high-energy group of renowned experts in the world of historical investigations. Their expertise ranges from architecture, popular culture and sociology to archeology, collectibles and genealogy.

Wes Cowan is an independent appraiser and auctioneer; Elyse Luray is independent appraiser and expert in art history; Gwendolyn Wright is a professor of architecture, planning and preservation, and professor of history, Columbia University; Tukufu Zuberi is a professor of sociology and director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Eduardo Pagan is the Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History at Arizona State University.

Each hour-long episode of HISTORY DETECTIVES features three investigations that delve into family legends, local folklore and stories behind potentially extraordinary objects in everyday American homes, cities and small towns. Follow the twists and turns of each investigation and find out more about the historical events that shaped America.

"Vietnamese War Diary" - Can HISTORY DETECTIVES return the diary of a fallen North Vietnamese soldier to that veteran’s family? U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta takes part in the exchange. Read excerpts from the soldier's diary.

"Bootlegger's Notebook" - A notebook with recipes for large volumes of liquor makes an Indiana man wonder if his rich uncle earned money bootlegging during Prohibition.

"Ince Ledger" - What can a ledger tell us about Hollywood’s treatment of Native-American actors? How did they earn their pay? Did producers treat them fairly?

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Preview: History Detectives: Vietnamese War Diary; Bootlegger's Notebook; Ince Ledger

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Above: Get the facts about a Vietnamese soldier’s diary, a bootlegger’s notebook and a Hollywood Indian ledger in this episode of HISTORY DETECTIVES.

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History Detective's Most Common Artifacts

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Watch History Detective's Most Common Artifacts on PBS. See more from History Detectives.

Above: Of the thousands of objects submitted to HISTORY DETECTIVES each season, by far the most common are from the Pacific theater of World War II. Gwen Wright explains how many wartime souvenirs came home with American G.I.s.

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History Detectives: Season 10 Preview

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Watch Season 10 Preview on PBS. See more from History Detectives.

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Submit Your Mysteries To History Detectives

Above: Do you have an object that you think may have played a starring role in American history but don't quite know how? Why not give the HISTORY DETECTIVES a crack at it!