A recording of a promo for a soldier musical from World War II may be a piece of forgotten history.
Blueprint Special - A WWII veteran from Chico, California, owns a unique souvenir from his time as a young GI. While stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, he picked up a 16-inch acetate recording of a promo for a soldier musical called "Hi Yank." The recording starts with a director's introduction, explaining that the musical is a "blueprint special" created by GIs for GIs to be performed anywhere in the world. The contributor has heard of USO shows, but never a "blueprint special" musical. Could this recording be a piece of forgotten history? In Washington, DC, and Virginia, HISTORY DETECTIVES host Elyse Luray meets with U.S. Army archivists and historians to discuss the military's efforts to boost morale and instill a sense of patriotism as the U.S. entered WWII. Monroe Letter - A Florida woman recently inherited a family mystery. In her late mother's belongings, she stumbled on a framed letter allegedly penned by future President James Monroe in 1807. The contributor has recognized a family name "Manwaring" scrawled near the date, and believes the letter references a monetary debt the financially unstable U.S. government owed the Manwaring family. The document leads HISTORY DETECTIVES to a tale of terror on the high seas, when American merchant ships were stalked by Britain, their cargo pillaged and their crews forced into the British Navy. Young America was desperate to avoid war, and James Monroe, then Minister to Britain, attempted to mediate with his pen. In Newport, Rhode Island, and Charlottesville and Fredricksburg, Virginia, host Gwendolyn Wright tracks a conflict that nearly bankrupted America. Atocha Spanish Silver - In 1985, one of the greatest treasure discoveries was made off the Florida Keys when the wreck of the Spanish ship Atocha was found. On board were some 40 tons of silver and gold, which in 1622 had been heading from the New World to the Spanish treasury as the means to fund the Thirty Years' War. A man from Cedartown, Georgia, was a diver on that legendary find and received two silver bars as compensation for his efforts. He's long been mystified by a strange mark that appears on one of the bars but the mark is mysteriously absent from the other bar. In Key West, HISTORY DETECTIVES host Tukufu Zuberi translates 300-year-old documents from the archives of the Spanish treasury in Seville to crack a unique code of communication among ship captains of that era.