PBS’ ’History Detectives’ Unravels New Mysteries
PBS’ ’HISTORY DETECTIVES’ UNRAVELS NEW MYSTERIES
SEASON THREE PREMIERES JUNE 27 AT 9PM ET/PT
New Season Features Investigations Spotlighting Mickey Mouse;Geronimo; The Spirit of St. Louis; World Wars I and II; and Special Themed Episodes Focusing on Children Who Could Be the Next Generation of History Detectives and Genealogy
New York, April 5, 2005 – Providing answers to the familiar query— "Hey, what’s the story with that?" — the critically acclaimed PBS series, HISTORY DETECTIVES returns for its third season on Monday, June 27 at 9PM ET/PT. Combining the latest forensic technology with old-fashioned, pavement-pounding detective work, the series lifts the lid on intriguing artifacts and objects, family legends and local folklore in cities and small towns across America.
HISTORY DETECTIVES is again hosted by the four inquisitive fact-finders: Wesley Cowan, independent appraiser and auctioneer; Elyse Luray, an independent appraiser and expert in art history; Gwendolyn Wright, professor of architecture, Columbia University; and Tukufu Zuberi, professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Each hour-long episode of this 11-part, weekly series is comprised of three compelling explorations that uncover everything from interesting trivia — what was the true inspiration for one of America’s best loved animated characters — to shocking revelations about illustrations that might have helped persuade America to fight the Nazis in World War II. In addition, the program will feature a special "kids" episode that put the detectives’ tools into the hands of young sleuths, and a show devoted to the study of genealogical research where investigations center around people who have unknown ties to historic events and personalities. Below are some highlights:
* MICKEY MOUSE’S BIRTHPLACE - Could a San Francisco toy collector’s figurine of a mouse, seemingly produced two years prior to Walt Disney’s famous character, be the inspiration behind the world famous Mickey Mouse? Does this mouse prove that Mickey was not Disney’s original idea?
* THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS - A New Jersey man heard many a tall tale about his uncle’s adventures including his claim that he helped lift Charles Lindbergh into the skies. Is it possible that this man’s uncle built the engine for the Spirit of St. Louis which carried Lindbergh on the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1927?
* WORLD WAR I MAP - A San Antonio, Texas, resident inherited a map of a World War I battlefield in France that offers detailed warnings about what to do in case of a gas attack. Is this a relic from a key battle where US soldiers routed the Germans? Does the document shed some light on the origins of chemical warfare?
* HERMANN GOERING’S SHOTGUN - A Lewiston, New York, man believes his shotgun belonged to Hermann Goering, Hitler’s right-hand man and former head of the German Luftwaffe. An American soldier says that he removed the gun from Goering’s castle "from the wall over the living room fireplace" during the arrest. HISTORY DETECTIVES travels to Washington, DC, and New York City to investigate.
* IMAGE OF APACHE WARRIOR GERONIMO - A New Mexico woman’s heritage dates to the 1870s, when her great-great-grandfather was lieutenant governor of the still-wild New Mexico territory. Her only keepsake from that time is a photograph of an Indian warrior on horseback. Could this be a photo of the legendary Apache warrior Geronimo on this family’s land?
*GARY POWER’S "SUICIDE PIN" PROTOTYPE--A toolmaker and artist in Kansas City, Missouri, recently bought two peculiar pins at an auction. Dated 1960, the pins had been manipulated to contain some sort of liquid. Could these actually be prototypes of a poison-filled pin that U2 pilot, Gary Powers, was carrying when his spy-plane was shot down over the Soviet Union during the Cold War?
A co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and Lion Television, HISTORY DETECTIVES is executive produced by David Davis of Oregon Public Television and Lion TV’s Nick Catliff and Tony Tackaberry. Series producer is Christopher Bryson; producers are Kristian Berg, Jim Cozza, Amy Goodman, Kirsty Hunter, Angela Martenez, Billy Shebar, Chris Thompson and Candice Weiner. The series is funded by Public Television Viewers and PBS.
On the Web
The HISTORY DETECTIVES site (pbs.org/historydetectives) includes highlights from the televised investigations called case files. Visitors can study the techniques used by professional investigators; learn how to conduct their own historical investigation; or get to know the HISTORY DETECTIVES team of experts. The site also provides a number of interactive features and learning activities. Classroom resources include lesson plans and other tools to reinforce concepts from the programs, and to develop student interest in the study of history, science and other core subjects.
PBS Program Club Pick
HISTORY DETECTIVES is a PBS Program Club pick. PBS Program Clubs work like book clubs, but for TV. To learn more or to start your own club, visit pbs.org/pbsprogram club.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation’s 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS’ premier kids’ TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents’ and teachers’ most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million unique visits and 380 million page views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.