Guatemala, Great Britain, and the United States and Guatemala’s Claim to British Honduras (Belize), 1931-1948

Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, retired senior archivist from the National Archives at College Park. Guatemala, off and on for more than 100 years, claimed all or part of British Honduras (Belize), a British crown colony on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. Periodically Guatemala … Continue reading Guatemala, Great Britain, and the United States and Guatemala’s Claim to British Honduras (Belize), 1931-1948

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

Love Among the Ruins (Apologies to Robert Browning et. al.)

In July 1943, World War II raged around the world.  In Europe, the combined U.S./British bombing campaign against Germany proceeded.  In Nazi-occupied areas, mass murder continued.  On July 5, on the Eastern Front, the huge and pivotal battle of Kursk began.  In the Mediterranean, U.S. and British forces were about to invade Sicily on July … Continue reading Love Among the Ruins (Apologies to Robert Browning et. al.)

3 children w/bread in their hands behind a box stamped "CARE United States of America"

Department of State Records Relating to Refugees, Displaced Persons, Relief, and War Crimes During the World War II Era, Part 2: Decentralized Files

This is the second of three parts describing World War II-era records of the Department of State relating to refugees, displaced persons, relief, and war crimes.  It describes the decentralized files of the Department.  Part 1 described relevant central files.  As noted in that post, there is significant overlap among the central and decentralized files … Continue reading Department of State Records Relating to Refugees, Displaced Persons, Relief, and War Crimes During the World War II Era, Part 2: Decentralized Files

mother standing behind 2 children

Department of State Records Relating to Refugees, Displaced Persons, Relief, and War Crimes During the World War II Era, Part 1: Central Files

Perennial subjects of interest in the records of the Department of State for the World War II era are refugees, displaced persons, relief, and war crimes.  Among the headquarters records of the Department of State are many records relating to those topics.  This is the first of three posts to discuss those materials. The records … Continue reading Department of State Records Relating to Refugees, Displaced Persons, Relief, and War Crimes During the World War II Era, Part 1: Central Files

movie poster showing clouds w/silhouetted figures in foreground

International Reaction to the Motion Picture “On the Beach”

An earlier post discussed the 1959, United Artists release of the major motion picture On the Beach.  The movie was based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Nevil Shute.  To recapitulate - Both the book and the movie take place in a post-apocalyptic world.  The nuclear fallout resulting from World War III … Continue reading International Reaction to the Motion Picture “On the Beach”

Tutu and Gore smiling and shaking hands

Desmond Tutu, October 1931-December 2021

Archbishop Desmond Tutu greets Vice President Al Gore, May 10, 1994 (NAID 24717040) Bishop Desmond Tutu died on December 26, 2021.  He was best known for his human rights and nonviolence activities while the Anglican bishop of Johannesburg and then the archbishop of Cape Town, the first Black person to hold either position.  Tutu was a hero of … Continue reading Desmond Tutu, October 1931-December 2021

Attempted Assassination of a U.S. Ambassador, 1921

The murder of U.S. diplomats overseas is usually considered a modern phenomenon – a result of increased terrorist activities beginning in the 1960s.  While some American diplomats were murdered overseas earlier, John Mein, then U.S. ambassador to Guatemala, was the first sitting American Ambassador to be killed overseas.  He died on August 28, 1968, during … Continue reading Attempted Assassination of a U.S. Ambassador, 1921

Department of State Territorial Papers Now Available Online

Additional Department of State records are now available online.  The newly-posted records stem from one of the Department’s original functions later transferred to another agency – oversight of affairs in the territories of the United States.  You will find a description of other Department of State records now online in this series of occasional posts.  … Continue reading Department of State Territorial Papers Now Available Online

More Department of State Records Now Available Online: Diplomatic Instructions, 1785-1906 & Consular Instructions, 1801-1834

The National Archives is pleased to announce that more records of the Department of State have been digitized and are now available online through the National Archives Catalog.  This is the fourth in a series of occasional posts.  It is the final post describing the records that constitute the “central files” of the Department for … Continue reading More Department of State Records Now Available Online: Diplomatic Instructions, 1785-1906 & Consular Instructions, 1801-1834