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

  

Escape From Slavery

Escape From Slavery

On the north side of Boston, sitting along a narrow cobblestone street, is a regal and admirable mansion. Built in 1833, 66 Philips Street was considered one of the most expensive mansions in Beacon Hill, MA. The sophisticated structure features 4 grand stories with a red brick facade and delicate square windows decorated with wooden shutters. Today, it’s a private house, but it remains 1 of 14 sites on the Beacon Hill Black Heritage Trail where tour groups walk by daily to learn the amazing story of how this house became the scene for one of the most riveting talks of the time. 960 1280

  

Escape From Slavery

Escape From Slavery

The Hayden House is known as an Underground Railroad station that sheltered slave fugitives on the run. In 1848, Ellen and William Craft escaped from Macon, GA, to the Hayden House. When the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850, Ellen went into hiding and William remained at the Hayden House. Lewis Hayden threatened to blow up the house if any captured slave stepped foot on the grounds. The tactic worked, and Ellen and William were able to marry at the Hayden House. 960 1280

  

The Cloudbuster

The Cloudbuster

Mount Lemmon in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, AZ, rises more than 9,000 feet above sea level, and the peak can be buried under 57 inches of snow a year, which makes it a magnet for skiers. But, it’s actually the lack of precipitation of a different kind that once inspired a dreamer to come here on a seemingly impossible mission. 960 1280

  

The Cloudbuster

The Cloudbuster

In 1954, Dr. Wilhelm Reich came to this church in Tucson, AZ, with his “Cloudbuster” machine to help end a 4-year drought. He spent more than a month pointing the pipes of his device at the sky and drawing “deadly orgone” energy out of the sky. With the skies “unblocked,” rain clouds gradually started to appear. By December 10, a steady rain began to fall in the Arizona desert. Reich felt he had proved that his “Cloudbuster” really could draw rain from the skies, but scientists and the government were not convinced. They declared Reich to be at best a madman who’d happened to be in the right place at the right time for it to rain and, at worst, a man who was deliberately raising false hopes in his inventions in order to make money. 960 1280

  

The Horn That Made A Big Bang

The Horn That Made A Big Bang

This church in Holmdel, NJ, is where 2 Bell Lab scientists, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, began researching a massive horn antennae. They discovered the antenna picked up a constant hum that interfered with incoming signals, but couldn’t find any reason for its existence. It was not until they were referred to Princeton physicist Robert Dicke that they began to unravel the mystery. Dicke had a theory that a “big bang” explosion created the universe, and the left over energy was still detectable at very low levels. Penzias and Wilson discovered that this hum was indeed leftover energy -- accidentally confirming the big bang theory. 960 1280

  

The Horn That Made A Big Bang

The Horn That Made A Big Bang

This odd-looking device positioned in the middle of a clearing at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ, stands 30 feet tall and 50 feet long. It’s primarily made of aluminum and weighs 18 tons. The device sits upon a steel turntable that allows it to swivel in all directions. This bizarre piece of equipment was built to make our everyday lives easier, but inadvertently revolutionized what we think of humanity’s place in the universe. 960 1280

  

The Legend Of Ol' Rip

The Legend Of Ol' Rip

In 1897, a small horned lizard known as “Old Rip” was placed inside a time capsule at the Eastland County Courthouse in Texas. Thirty-one years later, the capsule was opened and Old Rip was found alive and well. The lizard became a celebrity, but there are many cynics who believe it wasn’t possible. No one ever admitted to switching the lizards before the capsule was opened. 960 1280

  

The Legend Of Ol' Rip

The Legend Of Ol' Rip

Eleven months after his unveiling, Old Rip died of pneumonia. The lizard’s body was preserved and stored in a custom casket that is on display outside the Eastland County Courthouse. In 1973, his body went missing and a ransom note was found. Someone was demanding that town officials admit that they switched the lizards when the capsule was first opened. Old Rip’s body was never found, but it was replaced with a new one that people from all over the state still come to visit. 960 1280

  

The Real Arsenic and Old Lace

The Real Arsenic and Old Lace

A look at the entrance of Hillside Cemetery in Cheshire, CT, where a key piece of evidence was found in the case of The Real Arsenic and Old Lace. Carl Goslee, a full-time insurance man and part-time investigative reporter, was convinced that Amy Archer was a mass murderer. An alarming number of residents at her Home for Aged People had passed away with no explanation. When patient, Franklin R. Andrews’ sister went to him to inform him that Archer had been pressuring her brother for money, Goslee finally had the essence of motive. He was able to exhume the body of Andrews and show that Archer had been feeding him large amounts of arsenic to collect his life insurance policy. 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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