History Detectives: Bill Of Sale; Powder Horn; Star Spangled Banner; 1775 Almanac
Airs Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
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.
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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 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, HISTORY DETECTIVES tells four stories of our nation’s beginning. First, Eduardo Pagán starts with a simple bill of sale for a 17-year old “negro girl” and learns how young Willoby’s life unfolds from being property to owning property.
Then Gwen Wright traces a powder horn from a muddy Minnesota field to a military captain in Massachusetts during the American Revolution.
Elyse Luray asks what role a handwritten score played in making “The Star Spangled Banner” our national anthem.
Finally, notes in a 1775 almanac show how conflicting loyalties strained family ties during the Revolution.