It turns out Lucille Ball's hair wasn't her only red trait. The FBI had a file outlining its suspicion that Ball was a scheming commie. This little-known nugget of America's history of terror and subversion is just one of hundreds displayed in this exhibit from the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., "The Enemy Within." Although the all-encompassing term "war on terror" has gained substantial popularity since 2001, administrations have been battling terroristic groups and individuals since the end of the American Revolution. A few prime examples include the 1919 bombing of Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer's home in response to his anticommunist raids, the explosion of the Munitions Depot in New York Harbor in 1916, and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. In addition to these past terror threats, the exhibit identifies current hate groups functioning inside the U.S. today, and an eight-minute film, Under Siege (no, not the one starring Steven Segal fighting mercenaries on a Navy battleship, although that film would be fitting, too), analyzing current terror threats to America today. As part of the History Lounge series, this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., author and Minnesota historian Annette Atkins and Minnesota Historical Society Curator Patrick Coleman will discuss how Minnesotans dealt with fear, terror, and government surveillance in the early part of the 20th century.
Jan. 26-May 4, 2008