March 14, 1950

On this day in history, the FBI started its “Ten Most Wanted” list, changing the interiors of post offices forever.

The now-iconic list of the most-wanted fugitives was spurred by a wire service reporter who wanted the names of the “toughest guys” the Bureau wanted to capture. So many newspapers picked up the article that the late FBI director J. Edgar Hoover himself decided to make the list a standing feature.

From 1965 to 1974, ABC ran a one-hour drama called, you guessed it, FBI. At the end of the show, actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Inspector Lewis Erskine) would ask the public for help finding the real fugitives.

Of course, in the digital age, the list is also available online.

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