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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 7, Virtual item 8, Q048-Rep. Ryan address to Jonestown community (November 17, 1978)

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_07.08


  • Digitized: 11/17/1978


Summary Note

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States. On June 24, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B60-1. This tape was found to contain the following: A short speech by a male, identified on the tape as Congressman RYAN. He states he is leaving the next day. During the speech he states his visit was a congressional inquiry but everything was acceptable. There was applause on several occasions. In this fairly short tape, Rep. Leo Ryan addresses the Jonestown community on the evening of November 17, 1978. He notes that he is there in an official capacity, to answer questions about Jonestown which both the media and some relatives of Jonestown’s residents have raised. To thunderous applause, he remarks that "whatever the [questions and criticisms] are, there are some people here who believe this is the best thing that ever happened to them in their whole life." This is one of the few tapes known to have a separate and independent videotape documenting the same event. NBC taped the speech, and aired it numerous times in the weeks following the deaths of the congressman (and of the NBC cameraman who taped it, among others) at the Port Kaituma airstrip, and the deaths in Jonestown on November 18. Full summary of the recording available at Alternative Considerations of Jonestown website, along with the tape transcript.

Rights Statement Note

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Physical Description Note

Original audio cassette tape recording digitized and made available as .mp3 audio file.

Publisher Note

Publisher: The Jonestown Institute

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

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