With the recent news that MAD Magazine will be effectively ending publication after nearly 70 years, it’s worth revisiting the one gag that the Central Intelligence Agency liked so much that it became a state secret.
A letter in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that in late 1959, the Agency received an unsolicited suggestion from a helpful citizen on how to best weaponize haberdashery. While there’s no record that the CIA ever followed through on the advice, or even responded to the letter, it apparently left enough of an impression to remain classified for the next 44 years.
Formerly TOP SECRET records in Central Intelligence Agency’s archives, only declassified in 2013, outline the Office of Strategic Services plan to wage psychological warfare against Nazi Germany ahead of the D-Day invasion.
On this day 68 years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency’s Current Intelligence Bulletin contained financial concerns from around the globe, including Agency comments on the arrest of an Associated Press reporter, inflation in Korea, and India’s position in the United Nations.
Within the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives there are two volumes of the “Collected Works of Mao Tse-Tung 1917-1949,” originally translated by the Joint Publications Research Service in 1978 and declassified in 2008. While there’s nothing particularly surprising about the CIA’s interest in Mao’s body of work, it is notable that one of the earliest samples of that work is rather literally about Mao’s body: Namely, his preferred exercise routine.