"History Detectives" Season 10 on PBS 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.

Each episode 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. The viewer is included in each aspect of the detectives' decision-making process, with explanations and rationales for each evaluative method. The viewers themselves get the chance to become armchair experts as the detectives describe in detail the purpose and method for each test.

"History Detectives" celebrates its tenth season and lets loose with a new energy and razor-sharp storytelling that cuts right to the "wow" of discovery and pierces to the heart of personal connections across the centuries. Rock Music, Vietnam, the Hollywood Sign, a Confederate spy's Civil War pistols, pin-up girls, and the Ku Klux Klan — the same intriguing history, but a whole new attitude.

The popular summer series roars into its 10th season with potentially the most valuable item in the show's history. If the show did in fact find the Bob Dylan Fender Stratocaster that changed Rock 'n' Roll history, its experts say the guitar could be worth as much as $500,000. When Dylan "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk festival, the audience booed him off the stage; but that rebellious moment changed rock music forever. The daughter of Bob Dylan's pilot in the '60s thinks she may have that guitar along with some original song lyrics tucked inside the case.

"History Detectives" devotes its entire first episode, July 17th, to Rock 'n' Roll history. In addition to the Dylan guitar, Tukufu Zuberi investigates two Beatles' autographs from their Miami appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Gwen Wright tracks a piece of artwork signed "FZ." Did Frank Zappa create this collage? Could this $5 vintage store find be worth tens of thousands of dollars?

A stirring "History Detectives" investigation grabbed national headlines when the Pentagon asked the "History Detectives" for permission to deliver a fallen soldier's diary back to Vietnam. In 1966, a U.S. soldier recovered a diary from the body of a North Vietnamese soldier. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta returned the diary to Vietnam's Defense Minister in a June 4th ceremony, exchanging it for letters found on the body of a U.S. soldier. Can "History Detectives" locate the soldier's family and return the diary to his widow and children?

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. The inquisitive sleuths include Wes Cowan, independent appraiser and auctioneer; Elyse Luray, independent appraiser and expert in art history; Eduardo Pagán, professor of history at Arizona State University; Gwendolyn Wright, historian and 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.

Funding for "History Detectives" is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS.

Plugged in to Bob Dylan's guitar


Network: PBS
Genre: Reality
Runtime: 60 mins.
Premiere Date: August, 2003
Seasons: 10
Theme Song:
"Watching the Detectives" written by Elvis Costello and performed by Elvis Costello
Production Company: Lion Television

PBS Greenlights Updated Format of 'History Detectives' — "HDSI - History Detectives Special Investigation" introduces the fresh perspective of a new detective and focuses on a single story per episode. Read more...
'History Detectives' Season 10 Unleashes New Attitude — Premiering Tuesday, July 17, the PBS series is back with riveting stories about rock music, Vietnam, the Hollywood sign, a Confederate spy's Civil War pistols, pin-up girls, and the Ku Klux Klan. Read more...

Got spoilers? What did you think of the last show?

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