History Detectives: Carson Family Secrets; Yakima Canutt’s Saddle; Tumbling Tumbleweeds; Modoc Basket
Airs Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
Thursday, March 28, 2013
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 an 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 or more 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.
In this episode, the history detectives investigate four stories from the American West. Did a biography of legendary frontiersman Kit Carson once belong to members of his family?
Then, from the rodeo to Hollywood, a saddle tells the story of Yakima Canutt, who made life safer for movie stunt artists.
What is the meaning behind the mysterious inscription on sheet music of the popular western song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”?
Finally, did a pivotal character in the Modoc Indian wars weave this basket?