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FBI Investigation of the Lemuel A. Penn Murder Papers

Identifier: MsC0507

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Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1964-1967


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.This collection is open for research. This collection is housed at an offsite location. Please allow two-three business days for retrieval and arrival to main library.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

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.


2.52 Linear Feet (6 containers)

Language of Materials



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.

Method of Acquisition

The University of Iowa Libraries purchased this collection in 1999.


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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)