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History Detectives: Our Colored Heroes; Valley Forge Map; Transistor Radio; Continental Club Card

Airs Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: HISTORY DETECTIVES Elyse Luray consults with expert Vera Grant to help give historical context to this poster, titled Our Colored Heroes.

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.

Browse By Location

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

Tukufu Zuberi at Arlington Cemetery meeting with Tara Johnson and DeMarqus Townsend, descendants of the one of men honored in his World War I poster, Our Colored Heroes.
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Above: Tukufu Zuberi at Arlington Cemetery meeting with Tara Johnson and DeMarqus Townsend, descendants of the one of men honored in his World War I poster, Our Colored Heroes.

Ruth Taylor, Director of the Newport Historical Society, asks HISTORY DETECTIVES host Wes Cowan to find out whether George Washington could have used this hand-drawn map of Valley Forge during the American Revolution.
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Above: Ruth Taylor, Director of the Newport Historical Society, asks HISTORY DETECTIVES host Wes Cowan to find out whether George Washington could have used this hand-drawn map of Valley Forge during the American Revolution.

The Club Continental, a glitzy gambling nightspot in Los Angeles in the 1930s, reportedly had mob connections. The HISTORY DETECTIVES contributor wants to know why his father’s name is on this Club Continental business card.
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Above: The Club Continental, a glitzy gambling nightspot in Los Angeles in the 1930s, reportedly had mob connections. The HISTORY DETECTIVES contributor wants to know why his father’s name is on this Club Continental business card.

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.

"Our Colored Heroes" - What are the details behind the heroic acts pictured in a poster about two African-American soldiers in World War I? Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) helps find the answer.

"Valley Forge Map" - Then, is this a hand-drawn map of Valley Forge that George Washington used during the American Revolution? And does a Tucson man own one of the first transistor radios ever made?

"Continental Club Card" - Finally, after 70 years, a Washington man wonders whether a business card ties his father to Prohibition-era underworld crime. HISTORY DETECTIVES host Eduardo Pagán steps in to connect the dots and reveal the facts about Fred Nicolls and his business card.

Video

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!