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Highlighted Oral History: William C. Sherman
William C. Sherman, born in Kentucky, studied at the University of Louisville before joining the Navy in World War II, where he became a Japanese language specialist. He then joined the Army and served in Korea with the Economic Cooperation Administration. Entering the Foreign Service in 1951, he served at several posts in Japan, and was also a Political Officer in Rome. The following is from July, 1963, when he was supporting the visit of President Kennedy with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican.
Here's an excerpt: "Plans for a Kennedy-Pope John XXIII had been worked out earlier through non-State Department channels. But by the time the visit came, there was a new Pope. So the visit did not go as smoothly as might have otherwise. First of all, there was a big battle between the State Department and the Vatican Protocol staff concerning who would attend the audience. The White House wanted to have a large group present. The Vatican, on the other hand, was equally determined that only people listed as official members of the presidential party, would permitted to attend... When we arrived at the Cortile San Damaso where the entrance to the Pope's offices were, we were met by a mob scene, with everybody in Rome seemingly trying to get into the elevators. The protocol people were trying to clear a path for Kennedy.
Finally we ran into the last hurdle, which were the Swiss guards who were under instructions to let in only the members of the official party. The head of the Secret Service, who was more Catholic than the Pope, got very upset and was furious with me, wanting to know what I was going to do about this mess. At that point I saw Archbishop Dell’aqua hurrying through the crowd so that he could participate in the audience. I grabbed his cassock and told him that we had a problem. I also grabbed Angier Biddle Duke, who was the U.S. Chief of Protocol, and I got the two to talk about who was to be let in.
The Swiss guard, who had been so steadfast in his refusal to let anyone in not listed, was finally subdued and the whole group was allowed to enter into the chamber. Only Evelyn Lincoln was blocked because she was told that her costume did not meet standards; her blouse was too see-through. The Swiss guard would not let her in. She finally had to borrow a jacket from one of the newspaper people and that passed muster."
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Featured Publication: Building Diplomacy The Architecture of American Embassies
by Elizabeth Gill Lui
Introduction by Jane Loeffler
Structured geographically, Building Diplomacy portrays embassies in Africa, East Asia, Europe, the Near East, the Pacific, South Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. An appendix lists the architects and designers of the featured buildings.
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