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Widener Screening Documentary “1971” about Burglary of Media, Pa. FBI Office

"The Burglary" author Betty Medsger and Chester, Pa. Mayor John Linder will join in a discussion about the book and the film following the screening.

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, burglar Keith Forsyth, 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.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,000 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.

 

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