Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park.
While the Foreign Service reporting found in Department of State files is mostly about the countries in which the U.S. has overseas representation or about U.S. relations with those countries, the files include a modicum of documentation reporting on foreign official and unofficial commentary about events in the U.S. One topic that usually attracts attention is a U.S. presidential election.
The election of 1960 was one in which foreign policy and national security issues played a major part, most notably the question of the (non-existent) missile gap between the U.S. and the USSR. Other foreign policy issues included the off-shore islands between mainland China and Formosa/Taiwan and Cuba.
The following documents from the Central Decimal Files (NAID 302021) consist of the reporting from the U.S. embassy in Moscow that touches on the election. The final document is a short intelligence assessment about foreign comment on the election the Department of State prepared for President Dwight Eisenhower.