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History Detectives

Lou Gehrig Autograph/Cleveland Electric Car/Philad

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Episode Guide »
Lou Gehrig Autograph - An Oregon man has a baseball ticket that bears a "Lou Gehrig" autograph and a scribbled date: July 4, 1939. The contributor's mother was an avid Yankees fan who regularly paid homage to the team at their home stadium in the Bronx. The date is one of the most famous in baseball, when Gehrig announced his retirement, stating to a Yankee Stadium crowd of 62,000 that he was "the luckiest man on the face of the earth." For months, unbeknownst to Gehrig and his fans, he had been suffering the progressive effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease. HISTORY DETECTIVES heads to Yankee Stadium and Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame to learn whether this ticket was in fact signed by Lou Gehrig and to explore how the athlete once known as the "Iron Horse" was memorialized by fans and by his own family. Cleveland Electric Car - A Cleveland man with a passion for trains has long wondered about an electric street car in his city's transit museum. He is curious to learn what happened to the city's once extensive and highly praised electric trolley car network. Streetcars were once the most popular form of urban transportation in the country - by World War I, most cities of more than 10,000 people had an electric railway system. But by the 1950s, this form of transportation had all but disappeared. HISTORY DETECTIVES hits the road to Washington, DC, and Cleveland, Ohio, to track the evolution of urban mass transit systems, and investigate the fate of downtown areas and the rise of suburban sprawl. Philadelphia Freedom Paper - A Bronx, New York, man with a longtime interest in African-American history recently purchased an intriguing document at a flea market; he believes it is a "freedom paper" for an African-American man named John Jubilee Jackson. The paper was issued in Philadelphia in 1821, and indicates that Jackson was from Virginia, a state where, by 1780, nearly half of all slaves resided. HISTORY DETECTIVES heads to Philad
 

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