Give Us Back Our Junk: Space Debris, 1968

According to the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1963, finding states are obligated to return space objects landing on their territory to the launching country.  In other words, pieces of American rockets and satellites … Continue reading Give Us Back Our Junk: Space Debris, 1968

Automobile Diplomacy, 1961

Many factors enter into the world of diplomacy and international relations.  Appearances count.  One need only note the imposing edifices erected by some countries to house their embassies overseas.  Something as mundane as the cars in which diplomats ride at their posts can also affect how people in other countries see them.  In a July … Continue reading Automobile Diplomacy, 1961

portrait of Eagleburger in gray suit and red tie

Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Comedian

Lawrence S. Eagleburger was a career Foreign Service Officer who rose in the ranks to become Secretary of State, albeit for only a couple of months.  In his career, he held the following senior positions in the Department of State: Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (1975–1977)Ambassador to Yugoslavia (1977–1981)Assistant Secretary of State for … Continue reading Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Comedian

soldier in uniform w/sunglasses looks down on camera smiling, ticker tape and skyscrapers stretch above him

Don’t Rain on My Parade

New York City has seen many ticker-tape parades.  Presidents.  Prime Ministers.  Kings.  Queens.  Astronauts.  Sports figures and teams.  Politicians.  Even one musician.  All have ridden through the high rise canyon of the Big Apple as the ticker-tape and shredded paper floated down and people cheered. U.S. Army Private First Class White waves an American flag … Continue reading Don’t Rain on My Parade

“An Act of Displeasure:” Reaction to the Possibility of a Woman Ambassador, 1951

In April 1950, the United States and Ireland elevated the diplomatic presence in their respective national capitals from a legation (headed by an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary) to an embassy (headed by an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary).  The last American minister and first American ambassador to Ireland was George A. Garrett, whose tenure covered … Continue reading “An Act of Displeasure:” Reaction to the Possibility of a Woman Ambassador, 1951

The Godfather Shoots Abroad

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the motion picture The Godfather.  Even before that movie saw its release, the studio began work on the sequel – The Godfather Part II.  Photography began in October 1973, and the picture came out in December 1974. Some of the action in Part II takes place in … Continue reading The Godfather Shoots Abroad

Chernobyl Before It Was CHERNOBYL!

[NOTE: This post was drafted before the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.] Chernobyl.  Today, the name of the city in present-day war-torn Ukraine conjures visions of a nuclear disaster of previously-unseen proportions.  On April 26, 1986, technicians at the nuclear power plant near Chernobyl lost control of one of the four reactors on the site … Continue reading Chernobyl Before It Was CHERNOBYL!

The Perils of Royal Protocol, 1914

On June 4, 1914, U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Walter Hines Page presented the following individuals to King George V: Mr. Ralph Page (the ambassador’s son)Mrs. Ralph PageMrs. Edward Bell (wife of the Second Secretary of the embassy)Miss Esther ClevelandMrs. Randolph MordecaiMiss Margarita PenningtonMiss Dorothy DoubledayMiss Mary Sanger Presentations at Court, June 4, 1914 (NAID … Continue reading The Perils of Royal Protocol, 1914

poster w/Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean shown standing in 3 columns with GIANT written below imposed over a sunset

Cutting “Giant” Down to Size

The 1956 motion picture Giant was exactly that.  Three hours and 17 minutes long.  Directed by George Stevens.  Filled with stars: Elizabeth Taylor. Rock Hudson. James Dean (in his last film). Sal Mineo. Dennis Hopper. Carroll Baker. Jane Withers. Chill Wills. Mercedes McCambridge. Rod Taylor.  Music by Dimitri Tiomkin.  “Giant” received 10 Academy Award nominations, … Continue reading Cutting “Giant” Down to Size

The Department of State and Oversight of Puerto Rico, 1900-1909

One of the original functions of the Department of State was oversight of the territories.  In 1873, an act of Congress (17 Stat. 484) transferred that function to the Secretary of the Interior.  In 1900, however, territorial responsibility was once again thrust on the Department of State after the United States conquered and seized Puerto … Continue reading The Department of State and Oversight of Puerto Rico, 1900-1909