Last month, we kicked off a crowdsourcing campaign to explore Ronald Reagan’s 30,000-page Federal Bureau of Investigation file. So far we’ve received nearly 100 submissions, and we wanted to highlight a few of the most interesting finds so far.
Ronald Reagan’s decades-long association with the Federal Bureau of Investigation - from his early days as an anti-Communist informant in Hollywood to the law and order governor of California to President of the United States during Iran-Contra - is attested to in his 30,000-page file, recently released to Emma Best. Due to the size and scope of the historical material contained in these pages, we’re using our new Assignments tool to start a crowdsourced project to hone in on the most interesting finds buried in the Bureau’s margins.
Last week, we took our first look into Ronald Reagan’s recently released Federal Bureau of Investigation file and how it documented the close personal friendship between Reagan and Director J. Edgar Hoover. However, a section of the file from a decade earlier reveals a much less auspicious first encounter between the Gipper and the G-Man, with Hoover repeatedly turning down a starstruck Reagan’s offer to guest star on General Electric Theater.
With nationwide protests calling for the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and countercharges alleging that such movements are the work of sinister foreign agents intent on sowing discord, it’s worth revisiting a similar period in American history when the Federal Bureau of Investigation framed opposition to House Un-American Activities Committee as Communist agitation - and faced pushback even within its own ranks.
We’re celebrating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s birthday with a look at five different ways MuckRock users have used FOIA to bring shed light on the Bureau’s 11 decades of skulking around in America’s shadows.