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    The Camp David Peace Accords signed on September 17th 1978.

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    Don Gregg spent thirty-one years as an operations officer in CIA and ten years in the White House under Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Pot Shards is his memoir.

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    Interested in learning more about our nation's diplomatic history? Visit our sister site,!

Khrushchev Visits America – A Cold War Comedy of Errors

Khrushchev and Corn 2Amid the descent of the Iron Curtain, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the conflict in Vietnam lies one of the more bizarre moments of the Cold War – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s goodwill tour of the United States in September 1959. From angry journalists to scandalous movie stars, the entirety of the visit was cloaked by barely concealed threats and marked by chaos – almost to the point of political farce.

Read more Moments in Diplomatic History.

“The State Department has always been a whipping boy”

Bohlen39_sglG_BGv1Charles “Chip” Bohlen served in the Foreign Service from 1929 to 1969 and succeeded George Kennan as Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1953–1957. In 1943 he served as FDR’s interpreter at the Tehran Conference and later at Yalta. Bohlen discusses the ever-present problem of poor Foreign Service morale, his dislike of summits, Vietnam, and the role of the U.S. in the world.

Read about other Fascinating Figures

Inside Foggy Bottom

C Street entranceFoggy Bottomusa-consulate (1) refers not only to that neighborhood of Washington, DC, but also to the State Department itself. In this feature, we will try to dispel that fog and smoke and cast light on some of the lesser known aspects of the State Department and diplomatic history.  

A Brief History of the Consular Service

Consular service has a rich history and attracted such luminaries as writer Brett Harte and future mayor of New York Fiorello LaGuardia as well as its share of the corrupt and power hungry. Herewith a brief history from the time of the pharaohs to the courts of France to the growing pains of the American Republic.



The Stump

The StumpChas_W_Freemanstump photo is an online forum to encourage creativity and discussion on issues regarding the State Department and foreign policy. The views expressed should not be considered official statements of the U.S. government or ADST.

“Military overreach cannot be offset by diplomatic incapacity”

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the devastating “war to end all wars.” Retired Ambassador Chas W. Freeman notes that on the eve of WWI, nations began to conflate “military posturing with diplomacy, much as events in the East and South China Seas, the Middle East, and Ukraine seem to be doing today” and calls for dialogue over militarism and a reinvigorated Foreign Service of professionals, not dilettantes. 



Big Ben’s Top Ten


Powers on trial (AP Credit)Your BF serves them up the way you like them -- great taste and more filling!

Check out Big Ben's Top Ten of All Time. He's got a wide selection from around the globe.


china Nixon and MaoSo share the Moments -- they're good for whatever ales you.




Palomares_H-Bomb_Incident1.  Korean Air 007 Shot Down                           6.  Murder in an Embassy        

2.  Trial of U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers          7.  The Tet Offensive          

3.  Terrorist Attack in Khartoum                        8.  Nixon Goes to China           

4.  The Jonestown Massacre                              9.  8 Weird Things You Didn't Know About Diplomats  

5.  The U.S. Drops Nukes on Spain                  10.  Nasser and the Suez Crisis


ben_cool (2)The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  — William Faulkner

The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1986. Located at the State Department’s George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, ADST advances understanding of American diplomacy and supports training of foreign affairs personnel through a variety of programs and activities.

Over the past quarter century ADST has conducted more than 1800 oral histories, which are also posted on the Library of Congress website, with more to come. Interviewees include such fascinating people as Prudence Bushnell, who describes her harrowing experiences during the bombing of U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Julia Child, Philip Habib, Dean Rusk, George Ball, Kathleen Turner, and many others. Excerpts from our oral history collections highlight the horrifying, the thought-provoking, and the absurd. In other words, they reflect the reality of diplomacy, warts and all.

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