“The Freedom of Information Act is a critical and sometimes underappreciated tool that allows all of us access to the records of our government. It was through the act that I obtained copies of more than nine hundred pages of FBI documents related to the Black Legion. These proved vital.” -Tom Stanton
In the mid-1930s, Detroit reigned as the City of Champions. Within a six-month span, the Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings won a World Series, NFL title, and Stanley Cup -- a major-sports trifecta achieved by no other American city before or since -- and it happened as undefeated local boxer Joe Louis was becoming a national sensation. As the successes mounted, the national media made heroes of the city’s sports stars, and Detroit grew almost delirious, the string of victories providing a sweet diversion from the Great Depression.
But beneath the jubilance, a nefarious plague was spreading unchecked. A wave of mysterious crimes had police baffled: bodies dumped along roadsides, suspicious suicides, bombings of homes and halls, flogging victims who refused to speak, assassination plots. All were the work of the Black Legion, a secret terrorist organization that flourished in Detroit until the summer of 1936.
On a summer's evening in 2016 New York, award-winning author Tom Stanton took a teeming Clubhouse through a stunning tale of history, crime, and baseball in 1930s America. Listen in...