The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) turns 106 years old today. Before the FBI was established in 1908, investigations went through the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice lacked internal investigators for years, and any investigators needed were often hired detectives or Secret Services personnel.
Attorney General Charles Bonaparte wanted more control over investigations and disliked pulling personnel from other places that didn’t report to him. Bonaparte appointed special investigative agents within the Department of Justice in early 1908 to circumvent this issue. On July 26 of the same year he ordered agents to report to their chief examiner. This date marks the establishment of the bureau.
Then-president Theodore Roosevelt and Attorney General Bonaparte both suggested the FBI become a permanent bureau before their terms were over. The FBI has indeed followed countless investigations since its establishment. Although in its early years the FBI tackled mostly financial crimes, it has investigated gangsters, mobs and acts of terror and continues to do so. Read the rest of this entry »
Today in History: 1972, Five Men Were Arrested for Breaking into the DNC Headquarters in the Watergate ComplexPosted: June 17, 2014
Today in 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. In their possession were cameras, film, and tear gas guns. Ultimately, the suspects were charged with burglary and convicted in January 1973; however, the real scandal as would later be uncovered by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein revealed that the suspects all had ties to the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, a support group for President Richard M. Nixon. While Nixon denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the burglary, a secret tape later surfaced and revealed that Nixon had known about the burglary cover-up and had tried to use the FBI to stop the investigation.
With Woodward and Bernstein’s persistent news reporting, their investigation sparked one of U.S. history’s biggest stories of crime, espionage and cover-up and shed a light on the importance of journalism and a free press – leading to the downfall of a presidency, with Nixon resigning office on August 8, 1974.
• “Whoa, really strong butterscotch flavor in the beginning.”
• “Stings the nostrils…in a good way.”
• “Pretty damn scotchy.”
• “Too sweet”
• “So the butterscotch ice cream is one scotch, butterscotch swirls are the second scotch…what’s the third kind of scotch?”
• “This needs scotch”
• “Well, you could put the ice cream in a bowl and pour scotch over it.”
We’ll leave that up to you. However, as much as you love the ice cream, don’t even think about taking one of these pints to the Anchorman exhibit at the Newseum next month because no outside food or beverages are allowed inside the building. You can always bring it to the pants party.
FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER NASHVILLE, TENN.
WASHINGTON — In a survey released today by the Newseum Institute, 34% of Americans say the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, up from 13% in last year’s survey. This is the largest single-year increase in the history of the State of the First Amendment national survey.
The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center-sponsored survey has been conducted since 1997 to determine public knowledge and opinion about the First Amendment and related issues. The results were released today by First Amendment Center President Ken Paulson and Newseum Institute Chief Operating Officer Gene Policinski at a luncheon for high school students attending the 2013 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference.
“It’s unsettling to see a third of Americans view the First Amendment as providing too much liberty,” said Paulson, who also is the dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. “This underscores the need for more First Amendment education. If we truly understand the essential role of these freedoms in a democracy, we’re more likely to protect them,” Paulson said.
On other issues, the survey found:
- Americans identified freedom of speech as the most important freedom that citizens enjoy (47%), followed by freedom of religion (10%), freedom of choice (7%), and the right to vote and the right to bear arms (both 5%).
- 80% agreed it is important for our democracy that the news media act as an independent “watchdog” over government on behalf of the public, up 5 percentage points from 2012; 46% believe that “the news media try to report the news without bias” — the highest number since the survey began asking the question in 2004.
- Only 4% of those surveyed could name “petition” as one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment, the lowest percentage this year for any of the five freedoms.
- Only freedom of speech was named by more than half of the respondents, 59%. Freedom of religion was named by 24%, while just 14% named freedom of the press and 11% named assembly.
- 75% believe high school students should be able to exercise their First Amendment rights just as adults do, while 23% disagreed.
“Americans remain generally supportive of First Amendment freedoms. But the inability of most to even name the freedoms, combined with the increase of those who think the freedoms go too far, shows how quickly that support can erode,” said Policinski. “As a nation, we must better prepare our fellow and future citizens for the hard decision of defending core freedoms against those who would damage or limit them by violence or by law.”
Complete survey results are available at newseum.org and firstamendmentcenter.org
About the Newseum
The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment. One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits, and its Newseum Institute serves as a forum for the study, exploration and education of the First Amendment. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit newseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Slogan or no slogan, the news is not coming to life, at least as far as newspapers are concerned.
The Newseum is chock-a-block with television studios, both actual ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos is now broadcast from it and pretend facilities allow visitors to anchor their own “newscasts”. Nonetheless, its true subject is the glorious history of the newspaper and its vital role in American life since the early 1700’s. But herein lies a stark and bitter irony. For the simple fact is that, slogan or no slogan, the news is not coming to life, at least as far as newspapers are concerned.
For newspapers, these are the end times, or something very much like them. Every week provides a new marker on the road to apocalypse: hundreds of layoffs in Los Angeles, circulation scandals in Dallas and Long Island, buyout packages in New York and Washington. Newspaper-circulation numbers are released twice a year, and for the past decade those numbers have charted an uninterrupted downward curve, accelerating at speeds now approaching an avalanche.
Designed as a monument to the daily, the Newseum may in fact be its mausoleum, with the marble First Amendment slab serving as its tombstone…
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