Chester, Pa.—In 1971, Media, Pa. became the focus of an intense FBI manhunt to discover who broke into the bureau’s office there and stole all of the files, leaving only questions that remained unanswered for more than 40 years. Earlier this year, former Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger answered many of the questions in her book “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.” Now, the story is also being told in the documentary film “1971” which debuted at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Widener University will host a screening of “1971” followed by a discussion including Medsger and Chester, Pa. Mayor John Linder at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 in Founders Hall Room 109. Copies of Medsger’s book will be available for purchase at the event, and she will hold a book signing following the panel discussion. Sponsored by Widener University, the Widener Black Student Union and the Widener Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the event is free and open to the public.
A group calling themselves the “Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI” took responsibility for the burglary and mailed copies of the stolen files to members of the news media, including Medsger, and to the organizations being investigated by the FBI. Among the documents stolen from the FBI office was a file on the bureau’s investigation of the Black Student Union at Widener, then known as PMC Colleges. Linder, a 1976 graduate of Widener, was a member of the Black Student Union at the time of the burglary.
Screening followed by panel discussion with “The Burglary” author Betty Medsger and Chester Mayor John Linder