Historical Figures

Throughout history, individuals have been remembered for wealth and power, daring feats or taking a stand to change the course of history. These figures have more to their stories than the standard biographies have recorded.

  • Resurrecting Richard III

    Full Episode

    Follow scientists who are testing the bones of England’s King Richard III, unearthed in 2011.

Ben Franklin’s Bones

In November 1997, when the skeletal remains of at least 28 bodies were unearthed in the basement of an elegant townhouse, police feared it was the work of a serial killer. But when research indicated the bones actually dated to the mid-1700s, the implications became even more dramatic. This was no ordinary house: 36 Craven […]

Premiered January 28, 2015

Resurrecting Richard III

Find out what the bones of King Richard III reveal about his fitness for battle. When a group of amateur historians set out to find the bones of Richard III under a parking lot in England, everyone thought they were mad. Until, a skeleton — hunchbacked and with an arrow in its spine — emerged.

Premiered September 24, 2014

Dick Cavett’s Watergate

An intensely personal, intimate and entertaining look back at Watergate on the 40th anniversary of the historic resignation of President Richard Milhous Nixon, the only president to resign the office.

The documentary, featuring interviews from “The Dick Cavett Show” library — many not seen since the 70s — and new interviews with Carl Bernstein, John Dean , Timothy Naftali and Bob Woodward, premieres Friday, August 8, 2014, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS — exactly 40 years to the hour since President Nixon appeared on television to announce his resignation, which would officially take effect the next day, August 9, 1974.

Premiered August 8, 2014

The Mona Lisa Mystery

Hers is the most famous smile in the world — the one and only Mona Lisa. Or is it unique? With its striking similarities to the painting in the Louvre Museum, the so-called Isleworth Mona Lisa has remained an art world mystery since she was found in 1912. Did Leonardo da Vinci paint the legendary portrait twice? Or is the Isleworth the work of a talented forger?

Premiered July 9, 2014 | Video expires July 9, 2024

The Lost Diary of Dr. Livingstone

Examine new forensic techniques being used to study the explorer’s lost diary. Livingstone’s account of the mass slaughter of the village Nyangwe, recorded in his journal, horrified the American and British public and ultimately led to the end of the African slave trade, and closing down the world’s last open slave market. But Livingstone may not have told the entire story of the massacre in his journal.

Premiered March 26, 2014 | Video expires March 26, 2017

JFK: One PM Central Standard Time

Narrated by George Clooney, JFK: One PM Central Standard Time recounts the riveting story of the reporting from Dallas and the CBS Newsroom in New York from the moment President Kennedy was shot until Cronkite’s emotional pronouncement of his death at 1 p.m. CST.

Premiered November 13, 2013

Ultimate Tut

The documentary answers the persisting questions surrounding Tutankhamun: who was he; how did he die; why was his tomb found intact; and what makes his mummy unique?

Premiered July 10, 2013

The Man Who Saved the World

This is the little-known story of how close to nuclear destruction the world really was during those dark October days and how the heroism of one man saved us all.

Premiered October 23, 2012

Blackbeard’s Lost Ship

300 years after Blackbeard’s reign of terror on the seas, a marine archaeology team believe they have found his legendary sunken flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, off the North Carolina coast.

Premiered April 21, 2009

The Silver Pharaoh

The royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I is one of the most spectacular of all the ancient Egyptian treasures – even more remarkable than that of Tutankhamen. So why hasn’t the world heard about it? What mysteries does it contain? And what does it reveal about ancient Egypt?

Premiered November 3, 2010