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FBI: Behind the Scenes

((TRT: 05:48))
((Topic Banner:
FBI: Behind the Scenes))
Genia Dulot))
((Adapted by:
Philip Alexiou))
Simi Valley, California))
((Main character: 1 female))
((Sub characters: 1 female; 2 male))

It belongs to you. FBI: Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
So, this exhibition, which just opens and runs through January of 2022, tells the entire history of the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], from inception to its modern-day fight against domestic terrorism in the United States. And we use some of the biggest cases in American history to tell those stories.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))

The exhibition is called, FBI: From Al Capone to Al-Qaeda. And then our first gallery, we have an autographed photograph of Al Capone, who was a famous mobster. And then we have an actual piece of the jet engine from United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center South Tower. And that ties in the Al Capone to Al-Qaeda timeline of this exhibition. As you walk through the galleries, we want you to feel like you're in the FBI building. So, we sort of walk through some FBI rooms. Everything in these doors are actual items that came from the FBI: fingerprinting equipment, interrogation equipment, polygraph machines, actual desk typewriters, computers. This office is all the equipment used in the 1940s and 1950s. And then, in our next room, it's all the equipment used from the 1980s and 1990s that the FBI actually had in storage they allowed us to use. So, we brought in authentic artifacts and case files. We’ve over 300 artifacts from all of these different stories. It’s the first time ever that all these artifacts have ever been brought together at the same time to really help people understand what the FBI does.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
Bonnie and Clyde were ruthless, 19 and 21 year old’s who wreaked havoc across multiple states. Bonnie and Clyde learned early on that if they stole Ford automobiles, they could always outrun the police because they learned that Ford automobiles were faster than the cars that police were driving. And, in fact, they even wrote a letter to Henry Ford thanking him for making the automobiles in such a fast way. They were ambushed by the Texas police and the car was hit 167 times. The coroner counted 17 bullets in Clyde and 21 bullets in Bonnie. So, this is the actual car that they were killed in. And the blue shirt is the shirt he was wearing on his time of death.
((Maria, Visitor))
People don't realize sometimes when they label them, some put them so romantic, how real, in life, they are though, pretty evil people, did a lot of destruction, a lot of killing. I'm not very big in romanticizing all of that.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
The FBI was founded in 1908. President Roosevelt and his attorney general, Charles Bonaparte, agreed that they needed some sort of federal government agency to help fight corruption in the United States. In 1925 [1924], they hired J. Edgar Hoover to be the director of the FBI.
((NATS: J. Edgar Hoover))
We should all be concerned but with one goal: the eradication of crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is as close to you as your nearest telephone.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
In this gallery and the one behind me, we talk about J. Edgar Hoover, some of the things he did for the FBI that was really great, some of the weird things that he did and some of the things that were not so great. For example, when he was hired, he decided that a woman should not be an FBI agent. He fired every single woman that worked for the bureau. And it wasn't until his death in 1972, that women were brought back into the bureau.
((Shell, Visitor))
There are some reasons why every president never replaced him until he was ready to step down. Legend and rumor has it, that he had dirt on everybody. So, nobody would cross J. Edgar Hoover.
((Andre, Visitor))
I've actually visited the FBI building as well as Washington D.C., and it's really impressive to see how much work they do. And I think they get quite a bit of bad press for the failures because people don't really know their successes, the amount of work they do, preventing terrorism, preventing all this.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
I think most people are familiar with Ted Kaczynski, otherwise known as the Unabomber.
Over the course of the history of the FBI tracking this gentleman, this criminal, they tracked two thousand, I think it's 417 individuals. He was 2416. So, only him and one other person was still on the list when he was found. And this is just a full-scale replica of the cabin he lived in, in Montana. When the FBI cleaned out his cabin, they found bombs that had not yet been mailed out or detonated. He actually made shoes that were a smaller footprint and a different tread than the shoe he wore, to put the scent of the detectives searching for him in a different track because they were looking for someone with a smaller shoe size.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
9/11 was in September. So, in December of 2001, just a couple of months later, a guy by the name of Richard Reid decides he's going to go blow up an airline. He builds a bomb. He puts the bomb inside of the sole of his shoe. He gets on the plane and he goes and tries to detonate the bomb. And for whatever reasons, thank God, it didn't deploy. These are the actual shoes that Richard Reid was wearing. This is why we take our shoes off.
((Melissa Giller, Spokesperson, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library))
Yeah. So, the final gallery in the FBI exhibition you see is the Wall of Honor. This is every single agent, man and woman of the FBI, who have lost their lives in the line of duty. What's remarkable is it's not that many people, and not only is it not that many people, but with the exception of these two, who died very recently in a shootout, about the last 10 to 12, all died in the past three or four years, because they were all part of the FBI evidence team in 9/11 and all worked the rubble of the World Trade Center for a long enough period of time that they've all died of cancer. And even though they died 15, 16, 17 years later, the FBI, rightfully so, calls it dying in the line of duty.

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