1964 March 4

Frank Wilkinson Assassination Plot: FBI Stands By, Does Nothing


On the evening of this day, political activist and anti-HUAC leader Frank Wilkinson was the target of an assassination plot by right-wing extremists. The FBI files on Wilkinson later revealed that the Bureau had information about the plot but did nothing to warn him or to arrest the plotters.

Wilkinson had lost his job with the Los Angeles Housing Authority on October 28, 1952, because of his political views, and from that time forward because a political activist, leading the campaign to abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee. He refused to answer questions before HUAC on January 30, 1958, and went to prison on May 1, 1961, as a result. He planned the famous demonstrations against HUAC in San Francisco, which began on May 12, 1960, the largest public protest of the committee up to that time. His FBI file of 132,000 pages is believed to be the largest file on any single individual. Wilkinson died on January 2, 2006.

Learn more: Robert Sherrill, First Amendment Felon: The Story of Frank Wilkinson, His 132,000 Page FBI File and His Epic Fight for Civil Rights and Liberties (2005)

Watch an interview with Frank Wilkinson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMAE8iun_RU

Frank Wilkinson’s work lives on at the Defending Dissent Foundationhttp://www.defendingdissent.org/now/

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!