Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History

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Here’s a handy calendar of events linked to Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History. Remember, this is not a complete list of all Moments, only those tied to a specific date.

 

January

1    Batista Flees Cuba, 1959
1    U.S. De-recognizes Taiwan in Favor of Communist China, 1979
1    NAFTA Goes Into Effect, 1994
1    Zapatista Revolt in Chiapas Begins, 1994yeltsin-mcdonalds1
3   U.S. Closes Down Embassy Havana, 1961
4   Embassy Mogadishu Evacuated, 1991
6   Crown of St. Stephen Returned to Hungary, 1978
9   Panama Riots Erupt, 1964
15  Martin Luther King’s Birthday
16  Officially Unofficial – The Opening of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), 1979
16  Finale of the Persian Monarchy and Prelude to the Iranian Revolution, 1979
17  Desert Storm Begins, 1991
17  U.S. Drops Four H-bombs Over Spain, 1966
18  Death of an AUB President and Father of a Future NBA Coach
18  Military Attache Charles Ray Assassinated at Embassy Paris, 1982
23  Spy Ship USS Pueblo Seized by North Korea, 1968 
25  The Rise to Power of the Butcher of Uganda, 1971
26  Cairo Fire, 1952
27  Paris Peace Accords on Vietnam Signed, 1973
27  U.S. Officially Recognizes Mongolia, 1987
30  Tet Offensive — Vietnam, 1968
31   First McDonald’s Opens in the USSR, 1990

china -- nixon banquetFebruary

1  Celebrating the Leadership of America’s Ambassadors of African Descent
1   U.S. Opens Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 1992
3   Paraguay’s Alfredo Stroessner Overthrown, 1989
5   Togo President Eyadema Dies in Plane Crash, 2005
6   Haiti’s Baby Doc Duvalier Goes Into Exile, 1986
7   Josef Mengele Dies, 1979; His Body Identified, 1985
9   Senator Joseph McCarthy Claims Communists in the State Department, 1950
11  A Crack in the Iron Curtain: Freeing Sharansky, 1986
gary cooper12  Hezbollah Mastermind Killed, 2008
12  Red Hand Day to Stop Use of Child Soldiers
14  Ambassador Spike Dubs Killed in Kabul, 1979
14  Reunited on Valentine’s Day, 1968
17  First VOA Broadcast to USSR and Challenge of Soft Power in a Cold War, 1947
18  Julia Chang Bloch’s Whole-of-Mission Approach in Nepal, 1990
22  Nixon Goes to China, 1972
22  Bad Blood: USSR and the U.S. Normalization of Ties with China, 1972 
25  Managing the End of the Marcos Regime, 1986
26  Chinese Dissident Fang Lizhi Disinvited to State Dinner, 1989
26  Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos Go Into Exile in Hawaii, 1986
27  U.S. Ambassador in Bogota Kidnapped at Reception, 1980

March

1   Terrorist Attack on Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, 197333
1   H-bomb Explosion in Bikini Atoll, 1954 
3   Beginning of Ill-fated Iraq Uprising, 1991
7   Creating Bangladesh: The Triumph and Tragedy of Sheikh Mujib, 1973 
9   Stalin’s Daughter Asks for Asylum at Embassy New Delhi, 1967
11   Supreme Council of Lithuania Declares the Nation’s Sovereignty, 1990  
12  Poland and Others Become NATO Members, 1999
12  Tardencilla Recants Regarding Cuban Involvement in El Salvador, 1982
12  Survivor of Two Concentration Camps, U.S. Ambassador to Three Countries, 1938
13  Chilean Grapes with Cyanide Found, Causing Bilateral Issues, 1989
16  My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, 1968
17  Ireland and the U.S.: The Best of Friends, Except When They Weren’t 
19  U.S. Invades Iraq; Pillaging of Iraq Museum, 2003
19  Warriors without Weapons – Recruiting FSOs to Rebuild Iraq, 2003
20 HARRIMANAmbassador Pamela Harriman Born, 1920
20 Martinis, Carpets and Sacks of Gold: A U.S. Diplomat in French Tunisia, 1956 
23  President Reagan Announces SDI, aka “Star Wars”, 1983
25  Leveling the Playing Field in the Salvadoran Civil War, 1984
25  Escape from Japanese Internment in China, 1943 
29  King and I Premieres on Broadway, 1951
30  Al Haig “In Charge” After Reagan Assassination Attempt, 1981
31   Military Carries Out Coup in Brazil, 1964

April

1    April Fool’s Day
1    U.S. and Chinese Planes Collide Off Hainan, Leads to “Letter of Two Sorries” 
1    Start of Mariel Boat Crisis in Cuba, 1980
2    Argentina Invades Falkland Islands, 1982; Seeing the War from Both Sides
marshall-plan23    Marshall Plan Goes Into Effect, 1948 
3    Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown’s Plane Crashes in Croatia, 1996
4    Execution of Pakistan’s Ali Bhutto, 1979
4    NATO Treaty Signed, 1949
5    Beginning of War in Bosnia, 1983
6    Blood Telegram on Massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh), 1971
6    Nazis Invade Yugoslavia and Greece, 1941
6    Operation Provide Comfort Begins in Iraq, 1991
6    When the Sudanese Autocrat Met President Reagan and Lost his Job, 1985
7    President Carter Announces Suspension of Neutron Bomb, 1978
7    Fleeing Rwanda to Survive, then Returning to Rebuild, 1994
7    Rwandan Genocide — View from Ground Zero, 1994 
7    Rwandan Genocide — View from Washington, 1994
10  Visit of U.S. Ping Pong Team to China, 1971
10  Signing of the Good Friday Peace Accords on Northern Ireland, 1998
12  Surviving the Coup that Transformed Liberia, 1980
12  Operation Eagle Pull before the Fall of Phnom Penh
13 trudeau A Front Row Seat to the 1975 Coup d’Etat in Chad, 1975
15  U.S. Bombs Libya, 1986
17  New President, Bad Plan: the Bay of Pigs Fiasco, 1961
18  Bombing of Embassy Beirut, 1983
20 Pierre Trudeau Sworn in as Canada’s 15th Prime Minister, 1968
20 Pot-pourri
21  Iraq’s Rocky Road to Recovery Post-Saddam, 2003 
22  Crash of Pan Am Flight in Bali, 1974 
23  Communist Chinese Seize Nanking, 1949
23  Shirley Temple Black Born, 1928
24  Ambassador John Evans Calls 1915 Armenian Massacres “Genocide,” 2004
25  Portugal’s Peaceful Carnation Revolution, 1974
26  Fall of South Korean Strongman Syngman Rhee, 1960
27  The Saur Revolution: Prelude to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1978
27  Burundi: With Independence Came Genocide, 1972
28  Pres. Nixon Announces Incursion into Cambodia, 1970
28  U.S. Invasion in Dominican Civil War, 1965
29  Evacuation from Consulate General Can Tho, Vietnam, 1975
30  Fall of Saigon, 1975

 May

Powers on trial (AP Credit)1   U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers Shot Down Over the USSR, Reaction in Washington, 1960
4   Nancy Reagan and the Runaway Chopper, 1985
5   Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child: A Caning in Singapore, 1994
7   Dien Bien Phu Falls, 1954
7   Bombing of Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, 1999
7   Vladimir Putin Becomes President of Russia, 2000
8   Nazi Germany Surrenders, 1945
8   CIA Pilot Captured in Indonesia, 1958
9   Nelson Mandela Inaugurated, 1994
9   “Years of Lead” — Domestic Terrorism and Italy’s Red Brigades, 1978
11  Non-Proliferation Treaty Extended Indefinitely, 1995
12  Ceasefire Reached in Nagorno-Karabakh, 1994
13  A Black Day in May for Malaysia, 1969
13  Venezuelans Attack VP Nixon, 1958
14  Deadly Founding of Israel, 1948
15  “Austria is Free!.” 1955
16  De-Baathification Order Takes Effect in Iraq, 2003
18  India Conducts First Nuclear Test, 1974
18  Pope John Paul II Born, 1920
21  India’s Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi Assassinated, 1991
22  North and South Yemen Merge, 1990
25  Crisis Management: Occupation of USIS in South Korea, 1985
25  Roaring through the Riots of Libreville, 1990
29  Hillary and Norgay Summit Mount Everest, 1953; Sue Cobb in 1988 
30  Assassination of Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo, 1961
30  Japanese Terrorists in Israel, 1972

June

ronald-reagan-berlinwall4    Tiananmen Square Massacre, 1989
4    Tiananmen Square as Seen from Washington, 1989
4    Jerry Rawlings Leads Coup in Ghana, 1979 
4    JFK-Khrushchev Meeting in Vienna Touches Off Berlin Crisis, 1961
5    The Six-Day War Begins, 1967
6    D-Day Invasion of Normandy, 1944
6    Start of the Nigerian Civil War and the Famine in Biafra, 1967
7    Israel’s Attack on Osirak, 1981
8    Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty, 1967
8    Kurt Waldheim Elected President of Austria, Later Banned from U.S. as Nazi, 1986
9    Taiwan’s President Addresses Cornell, Tensions Spike with China, 1995
12   President Reagan’s “Tear down this wall!” speech, 1987
14   Hijacking of TWA Flight 847, 1985
14   Nazis Take Paris, 1940
15   Politics, Pinatubo and the Pentagon: The Closure of Subic Bay, 1991
15   How a Former Secretary of State Won an Ancient Temple for Cambodia, 1962
16   Assassination of Ambassador Meloy and Robert Waring — Beirut, 1976
16-17 East Berlin Uprising, 1953
16  Soweto Uprising, 1976
17  Break-in at the Watergate HQ of the Democratic National Committee, 1972 
18  Cleaning up America’s Backyard: the Overthrow of Guatemala’s Arbenz, 1954
21  France Withdraws from NATO, 1966
25  North Korea Invades South Korea, 1950; Creating Motion Pictures to Fight the War of Ideas in Korea
25  Secretary of State Al Haig Resigns, 1982
25  Yugoslavia Collapses as Croatia and Slovenia Declare Independence, 1991
25  Khobar Tower Bombings, 1996
26  Berlin Airlift Begins, 1948
26  “Ich bin ein Berliner,” 1963
27   Siberian Seven Allowed to Leave USSR after Five Years in U.S. Embassy, 1983 
28  Little Boy Lost: The Case of Elian Gonzalez, 2000
30  Congo Wins Independence from Belgium, 1960 
30  USSR Withdraws Troops from Hungary, 1991

July

4th July fireworks1    Hong Kong Returned to China, 1997
1    U.S. Bombs Afghan Wedding, 2002
1    Somalia Gains Its Independence, 1960
2   Thai Devaluation Leads to Economic Crisis, 1997
2   The Chile Burn Victims Case: Containment vs. Human Rights under Pinochet, 1986 
3    USS Vicennes Shoots Down Iran Air Flight 655, 1988
4    Fourth of July
5    Creating Yaounde’s First Consulate of Any Kind, 1957 
5    Life as a U.S. Ambassador in Cape Verde
7    The Stolen Victory and Mysterious Death of Moshood Abiola
10  Birthday Coup Attempt Against Morocco’s King Hassan II, 1971
11   Katanga Secedes from Congo, 1960
14   Iraqi Revolution, 1958
14  “Football War” between Honduras and El Salvador Begins, 1969
15  Marine Invasion of Lebanon, 1958 
15  Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, 1974
16  Trinity Plutonium Bomb Test at Los Alamos, 1945 
17  Nicaragua’s Somoza Flees, Sandinistas Seize Power, 1979
17  Disneyland Opens, 1955
18  Rudolf Hess and Others Imprisoned in Spandau, 1947
18  Leeds Castle Negotiations Between Israel, U.S. and Egypt, 1978
19  U.S. Announces Withdrawal of Financing for the Aswan Dam, 1956
19  Operation Rolling Thunder Begins in Vietnam, 1964
20  Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, 1974
20  Jordan’s King Abdullah I Assassinated, 1951
21   Geneva Conference on Vietnam and Korea Concludes, 1954
22  Cease-fire Reached in Transnistria, 1992
23  Drug-Sniffing Mongooses and other Tales of the Sri Lankan Civil War, 1983
24  Khrushchev vs. Nixon in “Kitchen Debate,” 1959
25  Ambassador April Glaspie Meets with Saddam Hussein Shortly Before Invasion, 1990
25  A Day of Mixed Messages over Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait, 1990
26  Suez Canal Nationalized, 1956
27  Uganda President Obote Overthrown, 1985
27  Attempted Coup in Trinidad and Tobago, 1990
28  Jacqueline Kennedy’s Birthday, 1929


August

1   Glomar Explorer Secretly Recovers K-129 Soviet Sub from Pacific Ocean Floor, 1974
1    The Signing of the Helsinki Final Act and Charter 77, 1975
2   Saddam Invades Kuwait, Takes American Hostages, 1990
2   Gulf of Tonkin Incident Leads to U.S. Escalation in Vietnam, 1964
nixon-resigns4   Kuala Lumpur Hostage Crisis, 1975
4   Operation Storm in Croatian War for Independence Begins, 1995
5   Pakistan Invades Kashmir, 1965
5   Limited Test Ban Treaty is signed, 1963 
7   Embassy Nairobi Bombings, 1998
7   Embassy Dar Es Salaam Bombing, 1998
8   Burma’s 8888 Demonstrations and Rise of Aung Sun Suu Kyi, 1988
8   Elections in Democratic Republic of Congo Leads to Civil War, 1992
9   President Richard Nixon Resigns, 1974
13  Berlin Wall Is Built, 1961
13  East Germany Builds Berlin Wall, 1961
15  Republic of Korea Established, 1948
15  Observing the 50th Anniversary of VJ Day, 1995
16  CIA-backed Coup Against Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh, 1953 
16  Cyprus Gains Independence, 1960
17  Ambassador to Pakistan Arnie Raphel Dies in Plane Crash, 1988
17  134 Cells, One Inmate: The Closure of Spandau Prison, 1987
18  Tree-Cutting, Axe-Murder Incident in the DMZ, 1976
19  Ambassador Davies Killed in Cyprus, 1974
19  Attempted Coup in the USSR, 1991
19   Welcome to Moscow, Mr. Ambassador! Ignore the Coup, 1991
20  USSR Invades Czechoslovakia, 1968
24  Mt. Vesuvius Erupts, Destroying Herculaneum, 79
24  Ukraine Declares Independence, 1991
25  Paris Liberated, 1944
26  Mother Teresa Born, 1910
26  Embassy Moscow Fire, 1977
27  President Johnson Born in 1908
28  Ambassador John Gordon Mein Killed in Guatemala, 1968
29  PFLP Hijacking of TWA Flight 840, 1969
29  Michael Jackson’s Birthday; His Underwhelming Visit to Gabon, 1992
29  Signing the Chamizal Convention to Mark the Mexican-U.S. Border, 1963
30  General Douglas MacArthur Assumes Control in Japan, 1945

September

9/11 WTC1    Qaddafi Coup in Libya, 1969
1    Qaddafi Seizes Power in Libya, 1969
1    Black September Attacks in Jordan, 1970
1    USSR Shoots Down KAL Flight 007, 1983
2    Observing the Fiftieth Anniversary of VJ-day in Japan, 1995
3    Qatar Declares Independence from Great Britain, 1971
3    PRC Begins Bombing Tachen Islands, Starting Taiwan Straits Crises, 1954
4    U.S. Ambassador Kidnapped in Brazil, 1969
4    UN Conference on Women Opens in China, 1995
6   Swaziland Becomes Independent, 1968
7    Panama Canal Treaty Signed, 1977
8    The 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan
9    Tracking China’s Political Change through Dazibao Posters
10  UN General Assembly Approves Resolution on Comprehensive Test Ban, 1996
11   9/11, 2001
11   Attack on U.S. Compound in Benghazi, 2012
11   Coup Against Chile’s Salvador Allende, 1973
12   The Overthrow of Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie I, 1974
13   Oslo Peace Accords Signed at White House, 1994
13   Philippine Senate Rejects Lease Extension on Subic and Clark bases, 1991 
15   Khrushchev Begins Visit to America, 1959
16   Sabra and Shatila Massacre, 1982
16   Starting an Embassy from Scratch in Papua New Guinea, 1975
17   Camp David Peace Accords Signed, 1978
17   U.S. Suspends Obligations to New Zealand Under ANZUS Treaty, 1986
19   Mexico City Earthquake, 1985
19   U.S. Intervenes in Haiti, 1994
21   Letelier-Moffitt Assassinated in Washington, DC, 1976 
25   Black Hawk Down Incident in Somalia, 1993
26   Egypt-backed Coup in North Yemen, 1962
26   Stopping the MADness through Arms Control and Disarmament, 1961
28   Death of Israeli Statesman Shimon Peres, 2016
29   The Overthrow of Haitian President Aristide, 1991

October

assassination sadat

1    The Communist Takeover of Nanking
1    U.S. Embassy Jakarta and Indonesian Purges 1965-1966
3    Germany Reunified, 1990
3    Yeltsin Under Siege in Constitutional Crisis, 1993
3    Picking Up the Pieces After Black Hawk Down
5    Start of “October Crisis” as Quebec Separatists Turn Violent, 1970 
5    Plebiscite Ousts Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet, 1988
6    Assassination of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, 1981
6    Start of Yom Kippur War,  Evacuation of U.S. Citizens, 1973
7    Achille Lauro Hijacked, 1985
8    Hadamar Trial on WWII Atrocities Begins, 1945 
9    Execution of Che Guevara, 1967
9    When North Koreans Tried to Kill the President of South Korea, 1983
11   Reykjavik Summit Held, 1986
14   Cuban Missile Crisis as Seen from Moscow and the Ops Center, 1962
18   What Goes on Behind the Scenes When POTUS Comes to Town: Bush in Shanghai, 2001
18   Jesse Helms: the Senator who Just Said No
19   Polish Priest Jerzy Popiełuszko Murdered by Security Service, 1984
20   Diplomatic Ties Established with Pakistan, 1947
20   Trouble in the Mountains: The Sino-Indian War, 1962
21    Agreed Framework Signed to Limit Nuclear Proliferation in North Korea, 1994
23   Hungarian Revolution, 1956
25   U.S. Invades Grenada, 1983
25   U.S. Army Transfers Arlington Hall to State Dept, Allowing Creation of FSI, 1989
26   Windshield Tour of a Military Coup in Benin, 1972
28   Cuban Missile Crisis Resolved, 1962
28   Diplomacy Despite It All – Kissinger’s India Fix, 1974
29   Admitting the Shah to the U.S.:  Every Form of Refuge has its Price, 1979
29   Modern Turkey’s History of Military Coups
29   Ghana-Guinea-U.S. Diplomatic Hostage Crisis Begins, 1966
30   Madrid Peace Conference on the Middle East Begins, 1991
30   Argentina Holds Democratic Elections After “Dirty War,” 1983
31    Indira Gandhi Assassinated, 1984 
31    Halloween; FSOs and Witch Doctors

November

1     U.S. Detonates First H-bomb, 1952
2    The Last Emperor – The Fall of Haile Selassie
3    Federated States of Micronesia Gain Independence, 1986
3    Beginning of Georgia’s Rose Revolution, 2003
3    Beirut Newspaper Reveals Details About Iran-Contra, 1986
4    Iran Hostage Crisis (held at the Foreign Ministry — Laingen), 1979
iranian hostage crisis_1      Iran Hostage Crisis (held at the embassy — Limbert), 1979
4    Iran Hostage Crisis (solitary confinement — Metrinko). 1979
4    The Canadian Caper, Argo, and Escape from Iran
4    Cardinal Mindszenty Seeks Asylum in Embassy Budapest, 1956
4    The Murder of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Warrior for Peace, 1995 
6    Resolving the Czechoslovak Gold Dispute, 1981
6    Pablo Escobar and the Siege of Colombia’s Palace of Justice
7    Presidential Election Leads to Florida Recount and Bush v. Gore, 2000
9    Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989
9    Escape from the Nazis after Kristallnacht, 1938
10  Marine Corps Ball
10  Embassy Kampala Closed, DCM to Marine Corps Ball in Nairobi, 1973
11   Guerrillas Seize Sheraton Hotel, Later Kill Jesuits in El Salvador, 1989
13  Iran-Contra: Who Knew What When?, 1986
13  President Reagan Speaks on Iran-Contra, 1986 
17  U.S. Diplomat PNG’d from Iraq, 1988
17  17 November Terrorizes Greece
18  French Colony to Sovereign State: Moroccan Independence, 1956
18  Jonestown Massacre, 1978 
19  Taking the Chill off the Cold War: the First Reagan-Gorbachev Summit, 1985
20  Consulate in Mukden (Shenyang) Held Hostage by Communist Chinese, 1948
20  Spain’s Post-Franco Emergence from Dictatorship to Democracy, 1975 
21   Embassy Islamabad Seized and Burned by Rioters, 1979
21   Embassy Islamabad Account, Two Days After Incident, 1979 
21   When Friends Spy on Friends: The Case of Jonathan Pollard, 1985
22  Assassination of John F. Kennedy, 1963
23  Hijacking of Ethiopian Flight 961, 1996
24  Dragon Rouge Rescue Operation — Congo, 1964
25  Kleptocracy and Anti-Communism: When Mobutu Ruled Zaire, 1965 
28  Attack on JFK Library by Congolese Students — Cairo, 1964
29  North Korean Agents Blow Up Korean Flight 858, 1987

December

Panama JustCause Tank in Store1    Treaty of Lisbon Goes Into Effect, Creates the European Union, 2009
1     UNGA Passes Framework for Kimberley Process to Stem Blood Diamonds, 2000
2    First Children on Kindertransport Arrive in UK, 1938
3    Bhopal Chemical Disaster, 1984
3    Passage of the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, 1997
4    Bokassa Crowned Head of Central African Empire, 1976
5    Escape from the Congo, 1961 
7    Bombing of Pearl Harbor (Yokohama), 1941
7    The Failed Negotiations with Tokyo, 1941
7    Life at Embassy Tokyo After Pearl Harbor, 1941
8    Get While the Getting’s Good: Departing Communist China, 1949
9    Start of First Intifada, 1987
11   Tiananmen: Another Bump in China’s Road to WTO Accession, 2001
13   FSO John Service dismissed by State Department for “losing China,” 1951
14   Marine Clayton Lonetree Confesses to Espionage, 1986
14   Dayton Peace Accords Ending War in the Balkans Signed, 1995
16   Romanian Revolution and Fall of Ceausescu, 1989
17   Hostage Crisis, Japanese Residence in Lima, 1996
18   The Christmas Bombings over North Vietnam, 1972
20  Invasion of Panama, 1989
21   Lockerbie Bombing, 1988
22  Tripartite Accords Signed, Ending Foreign Troop Involvement in Angola, 1988
24  USSR Invades Afghanistan, 1979
25  Christmas Letter Puts Writer in an Irish Stew, 1980
26  Kopeks and Big Macs – Russia’s Move to a Market Economy, 1991
31   Ringing in Y2K in Fiji, 1999 
31   New Year’s Eve with the Roosevelts, 1941

 

 

 

 

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Today in History

by Chris Sibilla time to read: 10 min
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