"Could you please inform us ASAP about the major measures you took at the time," Song asked the director of the Fed's International Finance Division, Steven Kamin in the July 27 email.
The message registered in Kamin's account just after 11 a.m. in Washington. Kamin quickly replied from his Blackberry: "We'll try to get you something soon."
What followed five hours later was a 259-word summary of how the Fed worked to calm markets and prevent a recession after the S&P 500 stock index tumbled 20 percent on Oct. 19, 1987.
Kamin also sent notes to guide PBOC officials through the many dozens of pages of Fed transcripts, statements and reports that were attached to the email.
All of the attached documents had long been available on the Fed's website and it is unclear if they played a role in shaping Beijing's actions.
Kamin's documents detail how the Fed began issuing statements the day after the market crash, known as Black Monday, pledging to supply markets with plenty of cash so they could function.
By the time Song wrote to Kamin, China had spent a month fighting a stock market slide and many of the actions taken by the PBOC and other Chinese authorities shared the contours of the Fed's 1987 game plan.