An American Car on the Road in the USSR, 1972

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. The tight restrictions on travelers in the USSR closed more than 97% of that country to most foreigners.  The travel restrictions particularly affected diplomats from the Western Powers.  Nevertheless, from time to time, staff of … Continue reading An American Car on the Road in the USSR, 1972

Tony Curtis on Creating Good Will for America: 1956

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. In 1956, Tony Curtis was an up-and-coming actor.  In a career stretching from the 1940s to the 2000s, he starred in both dramatic and comedic films.  By 1956, he had had some success in such … Continue reading Tony Curtis on Creating Good Will for America: 1956

Recognizing Women in Foreign Affairs, 1957

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. In 1957, the U.S. Foreign Service had relatively few women members and up to that date only seven women had ever held the position of Minister or Ambassador (head of a diplomatic post).  The … Continue reading Recognizing Women in Foreign Affairs, 1957

Reading the Riot Act: American Reaction to Leaks in the Foreign Press

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. The leak of sensitive information to the American press is a perpetual problem for U.S. Government officials.  See here, here, and here for earlier posts on that subject.  The U.S. government, however, is not … Continue reading Reading the Riot Act: American Reaction to Leaks in the Foreign Press

Diplomatic Reporting

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. American diplomats overseas have many functions.  Perhaps the most important is to serve as eyes and ears of the United States and reporting what they learn and what they think it means.  At various … Continue reading Diplomatic Reporting

Space: The Final Frontier (this is not a Star Trek story)

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. In any large organization, the location and size of office space is telling.  The large corner office, the office on the top floor, the office next to a senior official all connote power and … Continue reading Space: The Final Frontier (this is not a Star Trek story)

Presidential Holiday Greetings, 1933

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. {This is a revision of an earlier post.} In late October 1933, as the end of the first year of his Presidency drew near, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent the following note to Secretary … Continue reading Presidential Holiday Greetings, 1933

Dean Rusk Remembers World War II, 1968

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Dean Rusk served as Secretary of State from January 1961 to January 1969, the second longest tenure in that job in U.S. history.  As with many men of his generation, he saw military service … Continue reading Dean Rusk Remembers World War II, 1968

Humor in the Government, c. 1957

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Robert Bowie served in the Department of State as director of the Policy Planning Staff and as the Department of State representative to the National Security Council Planning Board from 1953 to 1957.  In … Continue reading Humor in the Government, c. 1957

George Kennan Says Farewell to the Policy Planning Staff, 1950

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Secretary of State George C. Marshall established the Policy Planning Staff in May 1947.  He created it to be the Department of State's office for long range planning, the first in the Department’s history.  … Continue reading George Kennan Says Farewell to the Policy Planning Staff, 1950