FBI File on the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weatherman Underground Organization

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Overview

This is one of the few collections on Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and its spin-off, the Weatherman Underground Organization, between 1962 and 1977. Strong in descriptions of antiwar rallies and SDS-produced materials, the file is particularly useful for its detailed coverage of the SDS-led protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

The FBI’s interest in the SDS was piqued by Communist party leader Gus Hall’s comment that his party had the SDS "going for us." Both J. Edgar Hoover and President Johnson came to view the SDS as a key fomenter of anti-Vietnam sentiment. When the Weathermen, the SDS "Action Faction," broke away, the FBI’s investigations could finally focus on the concrete problem of terrorist bombings. The file ends with the 1977 capture of Peter Clapp, one of the last "wanted" Weathermen.

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