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Interim Dean Veit Hitches a Ride on ‘Drive By History’

Richard F. Veit, Ph.D., professor of Anthropology and interim dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School Of Humanities and Social Sciences, appeared in two episodes of the fourth season of ‘Drive By History,’ which airs on PBS and NJTV. On each episode, series host Ken Magos investigates the stories behind historical road markers in New Jersey and New York to discover hidden details of the region’s history and provide insights that give the history new meaning.

In episode three, ‘Nikola Tesla’s Lab and The Trent House,’ Veit leads Magos to an archaeological dig conducted by Monmouth University students at the Trent House in Trenton, N.J., where real-time discoveries reveal stories about living in the Delaware Valley during colonial times. According to Veit, the Trent House, which dates to 1719, is one of the oldest homes in the region.

In the season finale, ‘Misunderstood Hessians and Aviation Firsts,’ Veit discusses how a roadside marker in Springfield, N.J. points to a link between Hessians and their connection to Washington Irving’s gothic classic, ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.’ The Guggenheim Memorial Library also serves as a backdrop to the start of the episode where Magos and series staff historian Anthony Bernard launch their inquiry.

“Participating in Drive By History has been a thrill,” Veit said. “I love the concept behind the show, which draws inspiration from local historical markers. Folks sometimes think that history is dry and boring, but the ‘Drive By History’ team of Lee Brophy, Ken Magos, and Anthony Bernard bring it to life through compelling storytelling and videography.”

Veit previously appeared in three episodes of the third season of ‘Drive By History,’ which aired in 2018. He appeared first in episode four for an exploration of the Jersey Devil legend in the Pinelands and the confluence of events that transpired in colonial America that gave birth to the folklore, including the legend’s direct connection to Benjamin Franklin.

He also served as an expert commentator on episode five at the site of Point Breeze, the N.J. home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, Joseph, who was the former King of Spain; and appeared in the final episode of the third season, ‘The History of Christmas.’

For more information and to watch additional episodes, visit PBS online or the Drive By History season overview.