YOUR FINGERPRINTS (Apr, 1934)
This is rather big-brotherish.
A Guest Editorial
AMERICA can have widespread fingerprint identification only through education concerning its benefits. Here is an agency which can be looked upon by the average citizen as proof of identity and of good standing in a community. It must be looked upon as his protector in case of accident, amnesia, loss of identity or death, through circumstances which make his identification under ordinary means impossible.
As conditions exist today, the criminal who is found dead may be returned to his loved ones for decent burial and for the eradication of the uncertainty, the worries, the fears and torments which descend upon a family when one of its members has been lost for years. However, the honest citizen who dies under such circumstances and who is not protected by his fingerprint identification goes to a grave in a potter’s field and his family sorrows for years in ignorance of his fate.
It costs nothing to file a civil fingerprint card in the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington. There are now cards of 200,000 reputable citizens on file. A totai of 600 such cards are being received every day. There is no stigma to such a method of identification. It is a badge of honor. It should give one a standing in
the community. It should be a letter of recommendation to any bank or insurance or business institution, and it should be the duty of good citizens everywhere to assume the leadership in this movement by preaching its usefulness to employees and friends everywhere.
J. Edgar Hoover
Federal Bureau of Investigation