Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Minutemen: Rise of the Militia Movement in America, 1963-1969

Date Range: 1960-1969 (additional documents through 1981)
Content: 47,854 pages
Source Library: Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters Library


The word "militia" has been a part of the American vocabulary since colonial days, yet its definition has changed considerably over the years. Groups that were once formed for the protection of all citizens have, in many cases, evolved into radical, right-wing extremists. Due to the extensive media coverage of events such as those in Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City, interest in these organizations has increased dramatically. Minutemen: Rise of the Militia Movement in America, 1963-1969 sets the stage for the political evolution of the contemporary militia movement by detailing the philosophies and activities of one early example of the changed definition of “militia”: the Minutemen. This collection details the philosophy, leadership, plans and programs that were the driving forces of the Minutemen organization. 

The Minutemen was a militant anti-Communist organization formed in the early 1960s. The founder and head of the right-wing group was Robert Bolivar DePugh, a veterinary medicine entrepreneur from Norborne, Missouri. The Minutemen believed that Communism would soon take over all of America. The group armed themselves and was preparing to take back the country from the “subversives.” The Minutemen organized themselves into small cells and stockpiled weapons for an anticipated counter-revolution.

Researchers need only look at the immediate post World War II era to find the roots of today’s militia movement. It was a time of distrust and competition for international supremacy between America and the Soviet Union.  For Americans, Cold War extremism – the intense fear of communism that characterized this period – along with rapid economic and social development, and sharp disagreement over racial equality, foreign wars, the United Nations, and McCarthyism provided a seedbed for political extremism—shaping it, encouraging it, and propelling it.  Minutemen: Rise of the Militia Movement in America, 1963-1969 provides an accurate historical record of the Minutemen as well as insight and documentation about the Minutemen organization and its views on the Cold War period, Communist subversion, ideology, and the shape, fears, and themes of far right radicalism in the 1960s.

This collection includes a range of primary source documents:

  • FBI surveillance and informant reports and correspondence from various offices
  • FBI and military service surveillance reports on activities at military and naval bases, including Camp Pendleton
  • Ephemera from support groups 
  • Justice Department memoranda, correspondence, and analyses
  • Newsclippings and articles
  • Copies of handbills, pamphlets, and newsletters
  • Organizational training materials
  • Extremist Intelligence Section reports
  • Transcriptions of meeting tapes, conversations, and coded messages
  • Speech excerpts
  • Trial transcripts
  • Local and state police reports
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations E.E.I Reports on activities of Minutemen
  • Navy Department and NCIS investigation Reports on activities of service members affiliated with the Minutemen
  • U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Reports on activities of service members affiliated with the Minutemen in South Vietnam

Minutemen: Rise of the Militia Movement in America, 1963-1969 provides a wealth of information necessary for research in Politics and Government, Radical Studies, American Studies, Social History, Conflict Studies, Human Rights, and Sociology.

An intuitive platform makes all collections within the Archives Unbound platform cross-searchable by subject or collection.

Help us create