By Mark Abrams (CBS/KYW Newsradio)
It’s a piece of the past that echoes today, given the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri. A 1963 memo from then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover about a racial incident in Philadelphia written to then Attorney General Robert Kennedy was forwarded to and seen by President John Kennedy.
The memo, part of a collection of JFK memorabilia now being sold by the Raab Collection, was written by Hoover to RFK in October 1963. Nathan Raab, president of the Philadelphia-based historical document firm, says it recounted an incident which touched off rioting.
Raab says the memo discussed the questioning of an African-American man stopped by Philadelphia police on Oct. 23, 1963 in connection with a robbery:
“Police claim he drew a knife and he was shot and killed by the police officer. A mob formed which claimed that actually he had been walking away from the police officer when he had been shot and it became a rallying point for the African-American community in Philadelphia.”
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