Researchers are hoping to obtain the last bits of information the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is keeping secret about former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Roosevelt was a particular target of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who believed she was a Communist sympathizer. He amassed a 3,000-page file on Roosevelt, most of which has been released. However there are still 12 pages of the file, dealing with Roosevelt’s trips to the Soviet Union in 1957 and 1958, which the FBI has not made available.
George Washington University researcher Christopher Brick, director of that school’s Eleanor Roosevelt Records Project, wants to see those pages. He’s suing the federal government under the Freedom of Information Act for access.
The Public Broadcasting System reports that the files contain “charges against her for suspected Communist activities, threats to her life on the grounds of her disloyalty to the country, close monitoring of her activities and writings, and a record of possible insurrectionary groups that she may have influenced.”
Those old FBI rantings would probably come as a surprise to those who have made Roosevelt the leading contender to have her face on the $10 bill. A Marist poll found that 27% of those surveyed named Roosevelt as their choice to be on the currency, which will soon be redesigned to feature a woman. Harriet Tubman is in second place at 17%.
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FBI’s Final Files on Eleanor Roosevelt Sought (by Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service)