1961 November 11

Rep. Moss Charges Government Agencies Hide More Information Than They Release


Rep. John E. Moss (D–California) began to investigate the problem of government secrecy on November 7, 1955, and for the next 11 years waged a campaign against secrecy almost single-handedly. On this day, in a speech at the Freedom of the Press Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, he declared that he had come to the “shocking conclusion” that federal agencies hide more information than they release.

His relentless investigations of government secrecy eventually led to the historic Freedom of Information Act on July 4, 1966.

Read the outstanding new book: Michael Schudson, The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945-1975 (2015)

Learn more at the John E. Moss Foundation: http://www.johnemossfoundation.org/

Read: Herbert Foerstel, Freedom of Information and the Right to Know: The Origins and Applications of the Freedom of Information Act (1999)

Learn more: Athan Theoharis, A Culture of Secrecy: The Government Versus the People’s Right to Know (1998)

Read FBI documents released under FOIA here.

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