Harold Washington’s FBI File

I recently read Fire on the Prairie and it is an excellent book about the life of former mayor of Chicago Harold Washington. It was really eye opening in many ways. I have always heard about the so-called Council Wars, but I had no idea that one of the main driving factors was Washington’s race; the other was he was a non-machine politician.

I could probably do another blog post on the book and how a lot of the bigots in power then are still around today, but I want to talk about an omission from the book.

After finishing the book, I filed a FOIA request to the FBI asking for records about Washington. The documents surprised me as I learned that there was a plot to assassinate Washington. The accused plotter, Lawrence Oberman, was later acquitted.

There also was a threat against Washington before he won the mayor’s office.  But it sounds like the threat was made by a “chronic caller.”

To my knowledge, these files have not been released before, so here they are. 

Please note that I would embed these, but I haven’t found a great solution for that on WordPress without having to pay for another account.

File 1

File 2