Updates from our FBI crowdsourcing projects

Updates from our FBI crowdsourcing projects

Users discovered J. Edgar Hoover’s early antipathy towards ABC’s “The F.B.I.” and Ronald Reagan’s questionable budgeting practices as governor of California

Written by
Edited by Jessie Gomez

Here’s the latest finds from our ongoing crowdsourced efforts to explore Ronald Reagan’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file and hunt down Director J. Edgar Hoover’s handwritten notes.

The Great Hoover Hunt

User Vicki discovered a memo showing that Hoover’s long love affair with ABC’s “The F.B.I.” actually had quite a rocky start:

The show offered dramatized versions of some of the Bureau’s biggest cases, and early on it appeared Hoover had serious concerns about which cases would be featured. His “specific instructions” that no script be based on cases that involved serious violence, especially violence towards women, was apparently not followed to his satisfaction, and Hoover wasn’t happy. Though this was far from the only time the FBI had strong feelings about their depiction in their media, in this case the message was received loud and clear, and the slightly sanitized show became one of Hoover’s favorites.

Ronald Reagan FBI File Crowdsource

User HankTallman uncovered an intriguing paragraph in a 1975 FBI background check of then-Governor Reagan for a potential presidential appointment. While interviewing Edwin Beach, the Acting Director of Finance for the state of California, Beach revealed that Reagan had seen to it that California Department of Justice, California State Police now merged with the California Highway Patrol, and the California National Guard were not subject to the “normal fiscal review” of other agencies.

Beach, who noted on the same page that Reagan had come to office with the “philosophy of curtailing government expenses,” apparently did not notice or care about this discrepancy, seeing it as Reagan’s commitment to “law and order.”

Thanks to Vicki and HankTallman for their finds, and please reach out to claim your respective swag packs! Interested in contributing? Pick an assignment and jump right in!

Image via FBI.gov