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Subjects Matter: FBI Files

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This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI archival material we've released, so we can better understand why the Bureau had an eye on these people - and through that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.

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FBI’s predecessor once tried to keep the ACLU off the airwaves

FBI’s predecessor once tried to keep the ACLU off the airwaves

When we last wrote about the Federal Bureau of Investigation file for former head of the American Civil Liberties Union Roger Baldwin, we looked at one of many instances in which Baldwin butted up against Director J. Edgar Hoover on the issue of balancing liberty and security. An earlier section of the file, however, reveals their relationship was relatively tame compared to that of Hoover’s predecessor, who once urged radio stations not to let the “ultra-radicals” at the ACLU broadcast the “rotten propaganda” that they weren’t on the Soviet payroll.

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The postcard that pitted the ACLU against the FBI

The postcard that pitted the ACLU against the FBI

The recently released Federal Bureau of Investigation file for former head of the American Civil Liberties Union Roger Baldwin document numerous times the groups came into conflict with each other. One notable incident, related to the Bureau’s wartime “Postal Censorship” program, led to a testy exchange between Baldwin and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover after the Bureau investigated the writer and pioneering Libertarian Rose Wilder Lane over her comments on a postcard.

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What you've found in Ronald Reagan's FBI file so far

What you’ve found in Ronald Reagan’s FBI file so far

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.

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How to read an FBI file: A beginner's guide

How to read an FBI file: A beginner’s guide

With the recent launch of both our book of Federal Bureau of Investigation files and a crowdsourced effort to analyze Ronald Reagan’s 30,000-page file, we thought it would be the perfect time to answer one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at MuckRock: How do you even begin to tackle these huge releases?

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Ronald Reagan couldn't get J. Edgar Hoover to guest star on "General Electric Theater"

Ronald Reagan couldn’t get J. Edgar Hoover to guest star on “General Electric Theater”

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.

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