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Note: Search results do not reflect all ADST resources. To view the full text of our oral histories, please visit our Library of Congress series, Frontline Diplomacy.

Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Declared Persona Non Grata by Saddam

Iraq expelled an American diplomat stationed in Baghdad on November 17, 1988 for having contacts with Iraq’s Kurdish minority. Haywood Rankin, head of the American Embassy’s political section, was forced to leave the country after he and a British diplomat returned to Baghdad from a trip to Kurdistan that had been approved by Iraqi authorities. […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Foreign Service, Human Rights, Middle East, Military Tagged , , |
The Chilean Grapes of Wrath

Grocery stores throughout the United States pulled tons of grapes from their shelves when traces of cyanide were found in two grapes shipped from Chile to Philadelphia on March 13, 1989. The Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration advised Americans to get rid of all fruit in their homes unless they were certain it was […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Western Hemisphere Tagged |
A Sketch in Time: Cape Verde from an Ambassador’s View

The nation of Cape Verde, now known as Cabo Verde, is a group of islands located off the western coast of Africa. Its total territory is slightly larger than Rhode Island, and its citizens number just over 550,000 inhabitants. The United States and Cape Verde have deep historic links. Cape Verdeans have long been known […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Cold War, Foreign Service, Post-Colonialism
Crisis Management: Occupation of USIS in South Korea, 1985

On May 25, 1985, seventy-three South Korean students barged into the United States Information Services (USIS) library in Seoul and began a three-day occupation. The students’ primary demand was an apology from the U.S. Ambassador, Richard L. “Dixie” Walker, as the representative of the American government, for the United States’ alleged role and complicity in […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, East Asia and Pacific, Hostage, Human Rights, Military, Post-Colonialism Tagged , , , , |
Rooted in the Good Earth: From “China Brats” to Foreign Service

A confluence of two rising movements in the early 1800s, Western outreach to China and reinvigorated Christian evangelism, led to a surge in missionaries going to China from the U.S., the UK and Europe. The Protestant and Catholic missionaries were initially restricted to living in an area now known as Guangzhou and Macau. They were […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Foreign Service, Spouses and children Tagged |
The Overthrow of Haiti’s Aristide

Haiti has long been plagued by coups d’état and regime changes, leading to long-time political instability and weak governance. In this volatile political field, it was easy for a Haitian leader to assume dictatorial powers, as was the case with President François Duvalier, also known as “Papa Doc.” After becoming the President of Haiti in […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Human Rights, Military, Western Hemisphere Tagged , , , , , |
The Siberian Seven: Escaping Religious Persecution in the U.S.S.R.

From its inception, the Soviet Union became the first state in the world to actively attempt to eliminate religion from society. Religion was viewed by Soviet leadership as counter-intuitive to scientific reason and as a threat to the consolidation and exertion of state power. Correspondingly, under Soviet religious policy, tens of thousands of houses of worship […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Consular, Human Rights, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , , |
Kimberley Process: Commercial Diplomacy to Stem the Flow of Blood Diamonds

During the 1990s, several African countries, namely Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Liberia were plunged into chaos and embroiled in devastating civil wars. Thanks to economic and political insecurity and contentious inter-ethnic relations, rebel groups such as the Patriotic National Front of Liberia under the leadership of Guy […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Human Rights, Terrorism Tagged , , |
Embassy Islamabad in Flames

The November 21, 1979 attack on the American Embassy in Islamabad started as a small group demonstration in front of the embassy, where protesters shouted anti-American slogans and demanded entry into the campus. Police officers were able to stop the protesters and have them leave the area. However, about fifteen minutes later, some six busloads of Pakistani […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Military, Public Diplomacy, South Central Asia, Terrorism Tagged , , , |
Algeria’s Struggle for Independence

The modern-day People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is now a proud, sovereign state in North Africa that readily influences the region. However, before 1962, Algeria had been a French colony, dating back to the French invasion of Algiers in 1830. Following a brutal conquest that some termed as genocide, France began a policy of “civilizing” […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Middle East, Military Tagged , |