Today in History- Hoover begins his 48 years as FBI Director.


photo of detective from behind

Interesting facts about J. Edgar Hoover that I found:

-In order to conquer his problem with stuttering, he came up with the technique of speaking quickly, which earned him the nickname “Speed.” He then decided to join the debate team in high school as another way of honing this skill.

-In 1924, Hoover achieved the role of director of the BOI at age 29 following a major political scandal. In order to combat the criticism that followed, he let go of any agents who he thought had been employed for their political connections or were not adequately skilled for the job.

-The BOI’s only two female agents also departed in the exodus. J Edgar Hoover did hire Lenore Houston as a special agent shortly after, yet she ended up leaving in 1928. Women would not be welcomed back into the agency until after Hoover had passed away.

-Hoover capitalized on the Bureau’s wins to build its reputation, with agents referred to as ‘G-Men’ becoming famous figures. The agency had such a sterling name that, per Kenneth D. Ackerman, a Hoover biographer, it was tougher to become an FBI agent than get accepted into an Ivy League college.

-In 1935, the Bureau of Investigation officially changed its name to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). With World War Two on the horizon, President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned Hoover to investigate Nazi and communist espionage in the United States. The FBI apprehended its first German agents in 1938 and continued to track down spies and saboteurs during the war period.

-In 1956, the FBI established COINTELPRO, an undercover initiative to discredit certain American political organizations. It utilized aggressive techniques such as surveillance, infiltration, anonymous phone calls and letters, harassment, and even violence to undermine its targets: the US Communist Party, feminist movements, civil rights advocates, Black Power activists, and the Ku Klux Klan.

-J. Edgar Hoover was acutely aware of the power of information. As such, he collected files on various individuals, ranging from politicians and government officials to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Charlie Chaplin, Muhammad Ali, and Albert Einstein. These files contained surveillance data as well as speculation about their personal lives and political affiliations.

-By 1960, there were over four-hundred thirty-two thousand open case files in his office. He kept the most sensitive ones nearby or in his possession to threaten his rivals and maintain his post as FBI director.

-Following his passing, Hoover was chosen to ‘lie in state’ at the US Capitol Building. This was a sign of respect, and he is still the only government official to be given this recognition.

What are your thoughts? Saint or sinner?


What are your thoughts?

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