At the turn of the 20th century the main theatrical entertainment was Vaudeville, a show with something for everyone.
It was a world dominated by white entertainers, but despite this, a pioneering new act with an African-American ventriloquist emerged onto the scene.
Not only was John W. Cooper black, but his dummy was too.
Did "Sam" the first black ventriloquist dummy, transform how Americans viewed race in the early 20th century?
The History Detectives investigate.
- Also in Season 1 Japanese House How did a Japanese house come to be at the San Francisco World's Fair just months before WWII began?
- Related Investigation Dempsey Fight Bell Is this the bell that sat ringside at the world's first boxing superstar's legendary match?
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- Also in Season 1 Lafayette China Did the Marquis de Lafayette give this china set to the popular wife of the Patriot Mayor?
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