Video: The Last Bare Knuckle Boxer

A marker in Mississippi pays tribute to a larger-than-life athlete.
Monument Under Siege

Monument Under Siege

The Washington Monument in Washington, DC, is a 555-foot obelisk that was erected as a tribute to the United States’ first president, George Washington. But it has not always been a place for tribute and celebration. In December 1982, it was the scene of a harrowing standoff when anti-nuke activist Norman Mayer parked a truck that he said was filled with explosives at the base of the monument. 960 1280

Wendy Connett / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images  

Stone of Destiny

Stone of Destiny

In southeastern London, on the banks of the River Thames, lies Westminster Abbey, the coronation church of the British monarchy. The Gothic structure, which is more than 1,000 years old, houses a treasure trove of paintings, stained glass and other artifacts. It is also where many significant figures in English history are buried or honored. 960 1280

  

The Day the Falls Shut Off

The Day the Falls Shut Off

The American Falls in Niagara Falls, NY — pictured with Canada in the background — were temporarily shut off in 1969 by the Army Corps of Engineers. The group inspected, cleaned and repaired the structure in an effort to preserve the falls for future generations. 960 1280

  

Remember the Alamo

Remember the Alamo

The Alamo is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Texas. A former Franciscan mission and way station between Texas and Mexico, the impressive limestone edifice was constructed in 1744 and sits on 4 acres of land. But in 1905, the historic site was on the verge of collapse. That is, until a working-class teacher named Adina De Zavala made it her mission to preserve the Alamo by whatever means necessary. 960 1280

  

Take Down That Wall

Take Down That Wall

Berlin is home to the East Side Gallery. Now a popular open-air gallery, this iconic landmark is the longest surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall. It is considered to be an international memorial for freedom and is visited by countless tourists each year. Yet few realize that the Berlin Wall was once the location of one of the most bizarre escape plots of the 20th century. 960 1280

  

What Happens in Vegas ...

What Happens in Vegas ...

With more than 150 casinos, it's no wonder that the Las Vegas gaming industry makes over $6 billion annually. Greeting the more than 35 million visitors to the city each year is the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign. Designed by Betty Willis and the Western Neon Co., the colorful landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. 960 1280

  

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Known throughout the world for its remarkable medieval architecture gone wrong, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been tilted since its construction. But what people don’t know is that overnight, this Italian treasure went from being an architectural wonder to a vulnerable ancient building on the brink of total collapse, and its fate rested on the shoulders of 1 man. 960 1280

Pond 5  

London's Calling

London's Calling

The Tower of London in England was founded in 1066 under the rule of William the Conqueror. Located north of the River Thames, it has been used over the centuries as a royal palace and a prison. The tower has a rich history, including the disappearance of 2 young princes who, in 1483, were unwittingly involved in a sinister plot and were believed to have been murdered before they could take their rightful places as the heirs to the throne. 960 1280

  

Fire in the Hole!

Fire in the Hole!

Located just a few blocks away from the Texas state Capitol in Austin stands a statue of local heroine Angelina Eberly. In 1842, this feisty, quick-thinking innkeeper fired the cannon that thwarted Sam Houston's plan to relocate the valuable collection of republic archives from Austin, subsequently preserving the city as the true capital of Texas. 960 1280

  

Stonewall Inn

Stonewall Inn

The popular Stonewall Inn tavern in New York City's Greenwich Village became the center of a burgeoning civil rights movement after gay men and lesbians fought back against a routine police raid in 1969.  960 1280

  

Hawaiian Style

Hawaiian Style

Honolulu's Royal Hawaiian Hotel has welcomed visitors since 1927. The so-called "Pink Palace of the Pacific" sits on 10 acres of idyllic Waikiki beachfront. Over the years, the luxurious resort has welcomed VIP guests including Shirley Temple, Franklin Roosevelt and Clark Gable. 960 1280

  

Mount Everts

Mount Everts

This peak in Yellowstone National Park was named after Truman Everts, an explorer who was lost in the wilderness for 37 days in 1870. He had to use every trick up his sleeve to survive. 960 1280

  

The US Capitol

The US Capitol

The US Capitol building in Washington, DC, is home to the federal legislative branch and the seat of American democracy. But in the 1920s, a mysterious man known as "the Man in the Green Hat" successfully ran an illicit enterprise within its walls and subsequently exposed the glaring problems behind a contentious national law. 960 1280

  

The Biggest Little City in the World

The Biggest Little City in the World

The famous Reno Arch greets visitors to the rollicking casino town of Reno, NV. In 1969, a devoutly religious and brilliant engineer named Keith Taft invented an ingenious wearable computing device that helped him excel at counting cards and raking in the profits. This device, affectionately known as "George," would be the first prototype of a portable microcomputer that is prevalent today. 960 1280

  

Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery

The gates of the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, where many high-profile New Yorkers of the 19th century wanted to be buried. But it's a forgotten magician, billed as "the first and world-eminent mind reader," who may have the most surprising story of all the residents. 960 1280

  

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral in England was bombed in World War II, and its remains are preserved by the town and open to the public. 960 1280

  

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

The Himalayan mountain range boasts more than 100 peaks that rise over 23,000 feet tall. But the tallest of these massive monoliths is the world’s most famous summit — Mount Everest. This precarious peak was once the scene of a fatal disaster that descended into a heated rivalry between climbing experts. 960 1280

Bigstock  

Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol

On the grounds of Virginia's historic state Capitol in Richmond is a striking monument that demands any passer-by’s attention. Standing in front of a 9-foot granite wall is a group of life-size bronze figures, all youthful in appearance. And at the center of the group is its leader — Barbara Rose Johns, a 16-year-old girl who inspired a revolution that had far-reaching consequences for the civil rights movement. 960 1280

  

Blind Tom

Blind Tom

Thomas Greene Wiggins was an autistic savant who had an encyclopedic memory, which contributed to his phenomenal skill with the piano. After being enslaved for most of his life and forced to tour the countryside playing shows to provide income for his owner, Wiggins was finally freed in 1887. His mother, Charity, was able to win his legal guardianship back and “Blind Tom” was celebrated and revered within the black community. The final resting place of Wiggins is in Bushwick, Brooklyn. 960 1280

  

Blind Tom

Blind Tom

In the Evergreens Cemetery, to the west of a park, lies the tombstone of Thomas Greene Wiggins. Standing 2.5 feet tall by 2 feet wide, the solid granite tombstone features an engraved image of a man in a tuxedo and a brief memorial inscription. The man who is interred here displayed a surprising and unequalled talent in spite of his challenging childhood. 960 1280

  

Female Fliers

Female Fliers

Standing 8 feet high, this bronze lady wears a mechanic suit and goggles that rest jauntily on her head as she gazes up at the sky. This woman is Jackie Cochran, a former shampoo girl from Neillsville, WI, who had big dreams. In August 1943, Cochran established the Women Airforce Service Pilots -- or WASPS. Cochran became director of Woman’s Flying Training for the US and started a cadet flight school for female pilots. They delivered planes from factories to military bases and departure points across the country and tested newly overhauled planes and targets to give ground and air gunners training shooting. 960 1280

  

Female Fliers

Female Fliers

The historic hometown of Jackie Cochran includes the Wisconsin Pavilion from the 1964 World’s Fair and the castle-like Clark County Jail. In 1977, the WASPS military files were finally opened and for the first time, academics and researchers are privy to the role these women played in the war effort. They were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. A bronze statue of Jackie Cochran was erected in Neillsville, WI. 960 1280

  

Frisco War

Frisco War

With less than 400 residents, Reserve, NM, had just 2 grocery stores, a hardware store, a bar and a fairground. In 1884, Sheriff Elfego Baca withstood a 33-hour shootout with cowboys who were out for revenge. After Baca imprisoned one of their crew, the cowboys tracked him down and began one of the longest shootouts in history. Baca was able to hide in a makeshift bunker and return fire until the deputy in town intervened. 960 1280

  

Frisco War

Frisco War

A statue of Sheriff Elfego Baca was built in honor of his bravest moments of the Frisco War, the most shocking – and longest – unequal civilian gunfight ever recorded in the Wild West’s colorful history. After surviving the 33-hour gunfight against a gang of cowboys, Baca went on to become a criminal lawyer, district attorney and even chief bouncer at a Prohibition era gambling house in Juarez, Mexico. He lived to the ripe age of 84 and died of natural causes in 1945. 960 1280

  

Grandaddy of Snowboarding

Grandaddy of Snowboarding

An 18-foot-tall sinuous ribbon of shiny metal depicts a young girl on a strange contraption lunging down a flowing river, while another figure decked out in winter gear gazes up at her approach. This svelte and fluid bronze sculpture hints at an event that revolutionized winter sports and put Muskegon, MI, on the international map. 960 1280

  

Grandaddy of Snowboarding

Grandaddy of Snowboarding

Houses in the neighborhood where Sherman Poppen invented the first snowboard, which was known then as a “snurfer.” While playing outdoors with his daughters, Poppen got the idea to put 2 wooden skis together and ride sideways on them. The idea proved to be a hit, and the Brunswick Company began manufacturing snurfers for $15 each. The snurfer was re-envisioned in 1979 by Jake Burton Carpenter, who went on to create the modern day version of the snowboard. 960 1280

  

Tommy Gun Manor

Tommy Gun Manor

On the Kentucky side of the Ohio River is the Thompson House. This elegant, 19th century residence features a formal parlor, billiard room and imposing library. Built by British prisoners during the War of 1812, the mansion has since played an integral role in the region’s rich history. But this house was also the birthplace of a well-intentioned inventor whose creation took on a sinister life of its own. In 1918, John Thompson mass produced the Tommy Gun after originating the idea in the Thompson house. 960 1280

  

Statue of the First Circus Elephant

Statue of the First Circus Elephant

In Somers, NY, is a 20-foot granite obelisk on top of which sits a statue of an unlikely pioneer -- an elephant. 960 1280

  

Crew films the statue of "Old Bet"

Crew films the statue of "Old Bet"

"Old Bet" first arrived in America in 1805 and went on to a storied career as the first circus elephant. 960 1280

  

Historical marker explaining the Greenbrier Ghost

Historical marker explaining the Greenbrier Ghost

In a quiet graveyard in Greenbrier County, WV, is a historic marker to the "Greenbrier Ghost.” 960 1280

  

Zona Hester Shue's tombstone

Zona Hester Shue's tombstone

In 1897, a young woman by the name of Zona Heaster Shue is suddenly found dead. Weeks after Zona’s funeral, her mother approaches the authorities convinced that her daughter’s ghost revealed that she’d been murdered by her husband. The ghostly encounter is used as evidence in court and leads to a murder conviction. 960 1280

  

Monument dedicated to "Champ" the lake monster

Monument dedicated to "Champ" the lake monster

On the banks of Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT, is an intriguing stone slab with an etching of a strange aquatic creature. Sightings of this legendary beast date back to the first European explorers to visit the lake. Could there really be a monster lurking in Lake Champlain? 960 1280

  

Captain James Cook Statue

Captain James Cook Statue

On the island of Kauai in Hawaii is a statue to the great British explorer, Captain James Cook, who circumnavigated the globe 3 different times, exploring thousands of miles of previously uncharted territory. 960 1280

  

Crew filming a re-enactment of Captain Cook's visit to Hawaii

Crew filming a re-enactment of Captain Cook's visit to Hawaii

Captain Cook was the first European to reach Hawaii, but during his second visit to the Big Island, he met his tragic demise after a confrontation with a group of natives. What lead to this shocking outburst of violence? 960 1280

  

About The Show

Mysteries at the Monument host and history explorer Don Wildman investigates the world's most impressive - and sometimes obscure - structures, statues and national parks to uncover incredible tales hidden within them. Through compelling interviews, archival footage and enthralling recreations, the series takes viewers on an arresting journey, and leaves them with trivia perfect for any social gathering.
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