Searching old newspapers is one of my favorite pastimes, and I have tried to use them many times to shed light on current events — or to inform readers about how the past is prologue to our very interesting present-day quandaries.


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Recently, I came across a syndicated column from November 1979 that seemed to point 30 years into the future toward an obscure campaign issue that arose briefly in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Though by no means definitive, it provides an interesting insight, at least, into how Chicago politics intersected with the black power movement and Middle Eastern money at a certain point in time. Whether it has any greater relevance to the 2012 presidential campaign, I will allow the reader to decide. In order to accomplish that, I will also take the unusual step of providing footnotes and the end of this column so that each of you can do the investigative work for yourself.

The column itself had appeared in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Evening Independent of Nov. 6, but it was the work of a veteran newspaperman who at the time was working for the prestigious Chicago Tribune and whose work was syndicated nationally. (1)

So far as I know, this 1979 column has not previously been brought to light, but it certainly should be because it broke some very interesting news about the “rumored billions of dollars the oil-rich Arab nations are supposed to unload on American black leaders and minority institutions.” The columnist quoted a black San Francisco lawyer who said, “It’s not just a rumor. Aid will come from some of the Arab states.”


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Read More at dailyinterlake.com. By Frank Miele.


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