Praise for Unsolved Mysteries of American History "The facts are presented clearly and concisely, and the answers have been thoroughly researched using the most up-to-date sources." -Newark Star Ledger "Everything that would make a great detective story. It has intellectual twists and turns, alleyways and dead ends; it has politics, espionage, intrigue, murder, cowardice, greed, courage, battles, liars, and frauds." - New Strait Times "Stimulating and pleasurable, fair and objective ...recommended for both the history buff and the fan of true-life mysteries." -Kirkus Reviews Praise for Unsolved Mysteries of History "Draws intelligently and entertainingly on respected-and disputed-primary volumes...Reading a chapter aloud to a group would almost guarantee a lively evening." -Baltimore Sun "Unerring good sense and ...well-paced prose." -Petersburg Monitor "Solid speculation ...full of clever advice." -Associated Press "Aron's latest offering proves again that history can be fun and as strange, at least, as fiction." -Booklist
Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1. Did St. Brendan Discover America? Before Columbus, before Leif Ericsson ... an Irish monk told of his voyage to the "promised land of the saints." 2. Why Did Cahokia Fall? Huge mounds near St. Louis were once the center of a flourishing civilization. By 1400, the people who built them had disappeared. 3. What Caused the "Starving Time"? Was it drought that almost did in the Jamestown settlers? Or were they poisoned? 4. Who Was to Blame for the Boston Massacre? It was a rallying point for the Revolution, yet John Adams defended the British soldiers in court ... and won. 5. Was Aaron Burr a Traitor? Was he plotting to invade Mexico or to set himself up as emperor of a new country? Or was Jefferson out to get him? 6. Was There a "Corrupt Bargain"? Andrew Jackson claimed there was, accusing John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay of stealing the presidency. 7. What Were Joseph Smith's Golden Plates? The search for the origins of Mormonism was interrupted by a modern murder mystery. 8. Did Lincoln Provoke the Attack on Fort Sumter? The battle over how the Civil War began continued long after it ended. 9. Who Was Emily Dickinson's "Master"? Her love poems have sent scholars in search of the man-or woman-who inspired them. 10.Who Lost (and Who Found) the Lost Order? When Lee's plans fell into McClellan's hands, it led to the bloodiest day of the Civil War. 11. Were the Dahlgren Papers Forged? Letters found on the body of Col. Ulric Dahlgren spoke of a Union plot to kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis. 12. Did Jefferson Davis Plot Lincoln's Assassination? John Wilkes Booth did not act alone. 13. Why Did Custer Attack? Did he ignore orders to wait for reinforcements? Or did cowardly and treacherous subordinates do him in? 14. Was Sitting Bull Murdered? The Sioux chief who defeated Custer died, suspiciously, at the hands of reservation police. 15. What Sank the Lusitania ? A German torpedo, of course. But some suspected a conspiracy to draw America into World War I. 16. Did Shoeless Joe Throw the Series? Say it ain't so. 17. Why Didn't the Allies Bomb Auschwitz? Did the United States abandon the Jews? 18. Was Alger Hiss a Spy? Or was he a victim of Richard Nixon's McCarthyism? 19. What Has J. D. Salinger Written? At the height of his fame, he stopped publishing his work. 20. Who Was to Blame for the Bay of Pigs? Kennedy's supporters pointed to the CIA. His detractors claimed JFK was out to kill Castro. 21. Who Won the Tet Offensive? The communist attack eventually led the United States to withdraw from Vietnam. Yet many in the military saw it as an American victory. 22. Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.? Did the FBI cross the line from character assassination to the real thing? 23. Who Was to Blame for Altamont? Were the Rolling Stones responsible for the murder that signaled the end of the sixties? 24. Who Was Deep Throat? Helms? Haig? Buchanan? Bob Woodward has protected his Watergate source, but also provided some intriguing hints. 25. Were POWs Left Behind in Vietnam? The military said they all came home, but many suspected a cover-up in Hanoi ... and Washington. 26. Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa? And was there a connection to the plots to assassinate Kennedy and Castro? 27. Was Howard Hughes's Will a Forgery? Would he leave a fortune to a milkman who once lent him a quarter? 28. Did Reagan Plan an October Surprise? When Iran released American hostages right after Reagan's inauguration, some suspected a secret deal. 29. What Caused Gulf War Syndrome? Are veterans suffering from the effects of stress ... or chemical weapons? 30. Was O. J. Simpson Guilty? The last "trial of the century" really was. Index.