Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover suspected John Hope Franklin had links to communists and scrutinized the esteemed educator for opposing the House Committee on Un-American Activities, according to Talking Points Memo, which filed a Freedom of Information Act for Franklin’s FBI file.

It’s unbelievable stuff; you can read the file at TPM’s Web site. But here’s a sampling:

In the 515-page file, a note dated Oct. 14 1963, says

“All persons interviewed reported favorable information concerning Franklin who is regarded as an outstanding educator in the field of American History. … He reportedly praised a book concerning the history of the negro in this country written by Herbert Aptheker, admitted CP [Communist Party] member. In The New York Times, March 20, 1961, his name appeared with 250 educators signing a statement urging the abolition of HCUA [House Committee on Un-American Activities] by the American Civil Liberties Union.”