A gangster, civil rights advocate, fashionista and businesswoman, St. Clair successfully took on one of the biggest crime bosses of the era.

Women Who Shaped History

Stephanie St. Clair, Harlem's 'Numbers Queen,' Dominated the Gambling Underground and Made Millions

In the 1930s, the enigmatic figure ran an illegal lottery while championing New York City's Black community

Informer William O'Neal (played by LaKeith Stanfield, seen wearing a beret in the foreground) provided the FBI with information used to plan Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton's assassination (portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya, standing with hand raised at the podium).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'Judas and the Black Messiah'

Shaka King's upcoming film dramatizes Black Panther leader Fred Hampton's betrayal by an FBI informant

Based on newly discovered and declassified files, the film MLK/FBI by the acclaimed Emmy Award winning director Sam Pollard, tells the story of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of King.


A New Film Details the FBI's Relentless Pursuit of Martin Luther King Jr.

Smithsonian scholar says the time is ripe to examine the man's complexities for a more accurate and more inspirational history

Illustration by Edward Kinsella III

Secrets of American History

The Mayor and the Mob

William O'Dwyer was beloved by New York City. So why did he abruptly leave office and head to Mexico?

People marching to protest the murder of Rev. James Reeb.

Trending Today

NPR Identifies Fourth Attacker in Infamous Civil Rights Murder

William Portwood admitted his involvement in attacking minister James Reeb to reporters just weeks before his death

Artifacts on display at Don Miller's farm in 2014. For more than seven decades, Miller unearthed cultural artifacts from North America, South America, Asia, the Caribbean, and in Indo-Pacific regions such as Papua New Guinea.

The F.B.I. Is Trying to Return Thousands of Stolen Artifacts, Including Native American Burial Remains

Five years after the F.B.I.'s six-day raid on a rural Indiana home, the agency is turning to the public for help identifying and repatriating the artifacts

Trending Today

'It Wasn't Aliens': Solar Observatory That Was Mysteriously Evacuated Will Reopen Tomorrow

The Sunspot Observatory in New Mexico was closed for ten days due to a 'security threat,' though aliens and solar flares have been ruled out

Objects Conservator Dawn Wallace examines the recovered pair of Ruby Slippers. Chief Conservator Richard Barden and Curator Ryan Lintelman also spent hours looking at the shoes in detail.

How the Smithsonian Helped Sleuth Out the True Identity of a Pair of Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers

When the FBI asked museum conservators at the American History Museum for assistance, they discovered the two pairs are twins

A massive task force—150 full-time personnel from the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service—hunted the Unabomber.

When the Unabomber Was Arrested, One of the Longest Manhunts in FBI History Was Finally Over

Twenty years ago, the courts gave Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences, thereby ending more than a decade of terror.

Governor Djehutynakht

New Research

The F.B.I. Helped a Museum Learn the Identity of a 4,000-Year-Old Severed Head

Cutting-edge DNA analysis revealed the mummified head belonged to Djehutynakht, a governor in Middle Kingdom Egypt, and not his wife as some believed

There's no rumor to the fact that a large elk population calls the north central Pennsylvania town of Dents Run home.

Was the FBI Searching for Lost Civil War Gold in Pennsylvania?

The agency was recently seen excavating a site where, according to some Elk County locals, a missing shipment of gold bars was buried

'It's a Wonderful Life' protagonist George Bailey with his family, Mary Hatch Bailey and Little Mary Hatch, at the end of the film.

The Weird Story of the FBI and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

The film supposedly had Communistic tendencies

The upstate New York home of Joseph Barbara where leaders of Mafia crime families met on November 14, 1957.

A 1957 Meeting Forced the FBI to Recognize the Mafia—And Changed the Justice System Forever

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover previously ignored the growing threat in favor of pursuing Cold War bugaboos

A makeshift shrine to Timothy Caughman, a black 66-year-old man who was fatally stabbed by James Harris Jackson, a white 28-year-old who reportedly traveled to New York with the intention of killing black men, on March 20th, 2017. The memorial was seen on the sidewalk at the Southeast corner of West 36th Street near to where Caughman resided and was slain. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones)

Trending Today

U.S. Hate Crimes Ticked Upward in 2016

The latest FBI stats show a 4.6 percent rise, but crimes may be underreported by a factor of 50

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing a bill that gave J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI enormous power, in 1934. The bureau has been heavily involved in politics since its origin.

History of Now

Has the FBI Ever Been Divorced From Politics?

From its earliest days, Congress feared it would act as a “secret federal police”

Italian-Americans were placed under suspicion when the United States entered World War II.

During World War II, the U.S. Saw Italian-Americans as a Threat to Homeland Security

The executive order that forced Japanese-Americans from their homes also put immigrants from Italy under the watchful eye of the government

A man administers a security screening at the Clinton Engineer Works, part of the Manhattan Project.

Lie Detectors Don’t Work as Advertised and They Never Did

Barred from use in U.S. court, lie detectors are still used today in other parts of the legal system

Artist sketches of D.B. Cooper, who vanished in 1971 with $200,000 in stolen cash.

Trending Today

After 45 Years, the FBI Has Officially Stopped Looking for D.B. Cooper

The mysterious skyjacker got away clean

Velvalee Dickinson, suspected spy.

The Spy in the Doll Shop

The FBI was confounded by mysterious letters sent to South America, until they came across New York City proprieter Velvalee Dickinson

Trending Today

FBI Admits Pseudoscientific Hair Analysis Used in Hundreds of Cases

Nearly 3,000 cases included testimony about hair matches, a technique that has been debunked

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