Terry and the Pirates strip of December 2, 1943

“Terry and the Pirates” Spreads the Word on Security During World War II

Today's post is written by David Langbart, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. From August 28, 1943 to February 6, 1944, the plot line of one of America's most popular daily comic strips, "Terry and the Pirates" by Milton Caniff, included as one element the issue of information security.  Even though the action … Continue reading “Terry and the Pirates” Spreads the Word on Security During World War II

Drawing of the Dragon Lady

Milton Caniff Explains “Terry and the Pirates”

In early 1945, "Terry and the Pirates" was one of the most popular daily comic strips printed in U.S. newspapers. The strip, launched in October 1934, and written by Milton Caniff (1907-1988), was a serial action-adventure strip set in China and its environs.  Once World War II began, the action took place within the context … Continue reading Milton Caniff Explains “Terry and the Pirates”

The Department of State and the Battle Against Thalidomide

Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, a long-time medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), died recently.  Her obituaries describe a long and distinguished career at the FDA but highlight her role in preventing the approval of the drug Thalidomide for use in the United States.  When used by pregnant women, that drug caused fetal … Continue reading The Department of State and the Battle Against Thalidomide

Foreign Diplomats and Domestic Discrimination

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw the establishment of numerous newly independent nations in Africa and Asia.  This led to an influx of foreign diplomats from countries not previously represented in Washington.  At that time, the Nation’s Capital was still very much a Southern city and the non-Caucasian diplomats assigned there, and in other … Continue reading Foreign Diplomats and Domestic Discrimination

Foreign Policy Aspects of Integration of the U.S. Armed Forces

By Executive Order 9981 (NAID 300009), dated July 26, 1948, President Harry S Truman ordered the integration of the armed forces of the United States.  Given the stationing of large numbers of American forces overseas after World War II, that move potentially had ramifications for U.S. relations with host countries.  With that in mind, on … Continue reading Foreign Policy Aspects of Integration of the U.S. Armed Forces

The End of the Beginning: The United States Breaks Relations with Cuba, 1961

The recent announcement that the United States and Cuba will establish embassies in each other’s capitals signifies the beginning of a second era of formal relations between the two countries.  The first era lasted from 1902, when the U.S. sent its first diplomatic representative to independent Cuba, until January 1961, when the U.S. terminated diplomatic … Continue reading The End of the Beginning: The United States Breaks Relations with Cuba, 1961

Waterloo!

June 18, 2015.  The bicentennial of the battle of Waterloo, one of the most important events in early nineteenth century European history.  At that battle, an Anglo-Allied army commanded by the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard Blucher and defeated the French army commanded by Napoleon.  The battle … Continue reading Waterloo!

Led Astray by Published Documents

Scholars and others use the series Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), the official documentary publication of American foreign policy, and other printed primary sources, as sources of easily-accessible documentation.  Strict reliance upon published documents, however, can lead one astray if the point you are trying to draw is not the same as that … Continue reading Led Astray by Published Documents

Airplanes Over France, June 6, 1944

Airplanes filled the sky over Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  D-Day.  Some planes dropped bombs; some planes towed gliders; some planes dropped paratroopers; some planes dropped . . . paper.  Paper in the form of propaganda leaflets.  The propaganda was aimed both at the French and at the Germans. Two days after D-Day, William … Continue reading Airplanes Over France, June 6, 1944

The Making of a FRUS Volume

The Historical Office at the Department of State recently published a history of the documentary publication now referred to as Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS).  The book, entitled Toward "Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable:" A History of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series, also is available online.  The history describes the origins and … Continue reading The Making of a FRUS Volume