Tag Archives: David Langbart

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Golf Diplomacy, 1957

In April of this year, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, made a state visit to the United States.  In June 1957, Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, then Japan’s prime minister, made a similar visit to the United States.  That visit came … Continue reading

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Leaks in the Department of State, 1963: Antecedents

An earlier blog post discussed the November 8, 1963, memorandum on the problem of leaks Under Secretary of State George W. Ball sent to President John F. Kennedy.  Since then, more documentation on what led to that memorandum has come … Continue reading

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