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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the FBI Investigation of the Lemuel A. Penn Murder Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1964-1967
Creator: Penn, Lemuel A. (-1964)
Extent: 3.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0507
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act in 1999, these papers document the FBI's investigation into the murder of Lemuel A. Penn. Ku Klux Klan members who murdered him were the first persons convicted under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The University of Iowa Libraries purchased this collection in 1999.

Preferred Citation: FBI Investigation of the Lemuel A. Penn Murder Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Lemuel A. Penn was an assistant superintendent of education in the District of Columbia's public schools. He was also a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves. Lt. Col. Penn was murdered on July 11, 1964, near Athens, Georgia, as he was driving from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Washington, D.C. The four Ku Klux Klan members who shot Penn were later convicted in federal court of violating his civil rights. It was the first such conviction under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The papers on the FBI investigation of the Lemuel A. Penn murder were released under the Freedom of Information Act. These three feet of photocopies, dating from 1964 -- 1967, were kept in their original order, as filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There are telegrams, interviews, notes on surveillances, and newspaper clippings all relating to the investigation.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: FBI REPORTS

  • Series 1: FBI REPORTS
  • Box 1: FBI Reports: Photocopies of sections 1a - 11b
    22 folders
  • Box 2: FBI Reports: Photocopies of sections 12a - 23b
    17 folders

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Personal Names:
Penn, Lemuel

Corporate Names:
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )

Topics:
African Americans
Civil rights
Racism

Geographic Names:
United States -- Georgia