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Tag: 1960s

FBI: Louisiana Governor in 1960s Gave KKK Money to Quell Racial Violence

KKK members.

KKK members.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Louisiana’s governor in the mid-1960s doled out privately raised money to Ku Klux Klan members in hopes of avoiding racial violence, FBI records show.

The Advocate reports that Klan members were promised money after the 1964 gubernatorial election in exchange for peace.

FBI agents believed that Gov. John J. McKeithen, who received campaign donation from the Klan, was behind the payments.

It’s unclear whether McKeithen’s strategy worked. Federal agencies note that there were at least a half-dozen Klan-related homicides, scores of beatings and dozens of fire bombings in central Louisiana between 1964 and 1969.

McKeithen fell out of favor of the Klan after he began working on pro-civil rights efforts.

Famous San Francisco Activist, Black Panther Was FBI Informant

Richard Masato Aoki

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Richard Masato Aoki, widely considered a hero among activists and liberal political groups in the San Francisco area, was an FBI informant who filed more than 500 reports about activists with the bureau.

The Mercury News reports that newly revealed FBI documents show for the first time the extent that Aoki was a government informant.

Aoki was trusted in the activist community, especially among Black Panthers. But FBI records show that Aoki provided “top level” information the Black Panthers and their leaders, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.

What’s unclear is whether the FBI knew Aoki was providing guns to the Black Panthers.

” If the FBI knew Aoki was arming the Panthers, or was involved in that, it would raise questions about whether the bureau was attempting to foment violence that would discredit the Panthers or set them up for a police crackdown,” the Mercury News wrote.

Aoki committed suicide in his Berkeley home in 2009.

FBI’s Obsession with ‘Louie Louie’ Made the Song an Anthem for Rebellious Youths

 
By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The song “Louie Louie,” which turns 60 years this year, may not be as popular today if not for the FBI’s obsession with it during the 1960s.

The Tampa Tribune recalls the bureau’s countless hours spent trying to find something profane in the lyrics.

“Agents at the Tampa FBI office managed to find time in February 1964 to spend hours each day listening to a version of the song ‘Louie Louie’ recorded by the Portland, Oregon, band The Kingsmen,” the Tribune wrote.

“Looking back, it’s funny,” said Dick Peterson of The Kingsmen. “But the FBI was serious. They wanted to prove the song was dirty and they wanted to punish us for it. Even funnier of course is there was nothing dirty about it.”

When the public became aware of the FBI investigation,  people in the counter-culture made the song “an anthem in their protest against a controlling government.”

“There is no way the band would have been this big without that controversy,” Peterson said. “The song sounded horrible but the investigation turned it and our band into a huge success.”

 

John Doar, a civil rights fighter for Justice Department in 1960s, dies at 92

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Few people in law enforcement played as key a role as John Doar in protecting civil liberties of African Americans.

A top civil rights lawyer for the Justice Department in the 1960s, Doar died Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

He was 92 and had congestive heart failure in New York.

Doar served as a civil rights lawyer from 1960-67 and rose assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s Civil Rights Division.

One of Doar’s most memorable times was escorting James Meredith onto the campus of the University of Mississippi when the governor and angry crowd tried to maintain segregation at the school.

Doar also was the lead prosecutor in the successful case against white thugs who killed three civil rights workers.

“This was the first time that white persons were convicted for violent crimes against blacks in Mississippi. It was a historic verdict,” Doar said in a 2009 C-SPAN interview.

Attorney General Eric Holder described Doar in a statement as a “giant in the history of the rights movement” as well as “a personal hero and an embodiment of what it means to be a public servant.” President Barack Obama described him as “one of the bravest American lawyers of his or any era.”

FBI Used Fake Underground Newspapers to Neutralize Anti-War Sentiments in ’60s, ’70s

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI produced fake newspapers in the 1960s and ’70s to combat anti-war sentiment, the Austin Chronicle reports.

The newspapers, which were recently discovered in a cache of declassified documents, included a campus newspaper at Indiana University Bloomington, called the Rational Observer.

“[They are] one of the ‘smoking guns’ that activists who produced the underground press in the Sixties and Seventies could little have imagined: right-wing campus papers produced by the FBI,” said James Danky, instructor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, and author of Undergrounds, a librarian’s catalog of alternative press publications. “These papers’ faltering efforts … speak to the cultural and political distance between the forces of repression led by J. Edgar Hoover and the seismic changes in America’s social fabric.”

Part of the point was to expose the identities of so-called leftists in the newspapers.

“The purpose of this program is to expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize the activities of this group and persons connected with it.,” a letter to Domestic Intelligence Director William C. Sullivan said. “It is hoped that with this new program their violent and illegal activities may be reduced if not curtailed.”

Late Sen. Byrd Got FBI Documents on Civil Rights Movement

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s and fought against legislation protecting black people, received secret FBI records about the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the Associated Press reports.

Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who died in June 2010, suspected Communists and others were beginning to infiltrate the civil rights movement.

Turns out, the CIA leaked the documents to Byrd, prompting a feud between the two federal agencies, the AP reported.

Although Byrd caught heat form the FBI for obtaining the records, he was an outspoken supporter of the agency’s long-time director, J. Edgar Hoover, according to the AP.

FBI Opens Civil Rights Probe into Teen Who Ran Down Black Man in Miss.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Shades of Mississippi in the 1960s?

The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of a black man who Mississippi authorities say was intentionally run down and killed by a white teenager in a pickup truck in June near a Jackson hotel, the Associated Press reports.

Deborah Madden, an FBI spokeswoman in Mississippi, said Wednesday that the bureau is investigating the June 26 death of James Craig Anderson.

A surveillance video shows Deryl Dedmon running over Anderson near a hotel in a green 1998 Ford F-250, AP reported. The video stirred anger across the country. Dedmon is already facing a murder charge.

AP reported that John Aaron Rice has been charged with simple assault for assaulting Anderson before his death. Both teens were 18 at the time.

Mississippi authorities allege that Dedmon and Rice and a group of other teens were searching for a black person to assault.

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