Moments Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History

This is an archive of Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History posted in the A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History category.

Hong Kong Returns to China, Part I






In September 1982, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher went to Beijing to begin a dialogue on the issue of Hong Kong, a small nation that had been a colony of Great Britain for over a century. At issue was the 99-year lease which gave Britain authority over the islands was set to expire in 1997, […]






Evolution of the European Union: Early Seeds of Dissolution?






Britain has always been a part of Europe and yet at the same time, it has seen itself as distinct from the rest of the continent — the English Channel has often proven to be more than just a geographic barrier. However, in the shadow of World War II, as the continent realized the need for greater […]






Shirley Temple Black: From the Good Ship Lollipop to the Ship of State






Shirley Temple Black, born April 23, 1928, served her country in vastly different ways. As a child star in the late 1930s, she cheered up a nation suffering the effects of the Great Depression, making 20 movies by the time she was six years old. Born April 23, 1928, Shirley Temple was known for films […]






How Did We Get Here? A Look Back at the Creation of the European Union






Welcome to Part I of our crash course on the formation of the European Union (EU). Each treaty signed between 1948 and 2007 brought Europe one step closer to today’s EU. Back in the aftermath of World War II, a group of European countries decided that the Dunkirk Treaty of 1947, which the UK and France […]






Spain’s Post-Franco Emergence from Dictatorship to Democracy






Spanish leader Francisco Franco died November 20, 1975 at the age of 82 after 36 years in power, first as a dictator, then as head of a semi-pluralist authoritarian system. His regime was held responsible for the deaths of as many as 400,000 political dissenters, many during the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939. Franco persecuted […]






We Don’t Give a Dam — The Feud Over Financing the Aswan High Dam






Egypt’s agriculture has always depended on the water of the Nile; the river’s perennial floods, while critical in replenishing the fertile soil, constantly threatened to wash away a season’s harvest. The Aswan High Dam was built to regulate the river’s flooding as well as to create hydroelectric power and a reservoir for irrigation. Its planning […]






Getting on the Seoul Train — The 1988 Summer Olympic Games






The Olympic Games represent the height of sporting diplomacy, with thousands of athletes transcending politics for two weeks as they represent their countries on the world stage. While the athletic spectacles entrance and amaze on television, without the behind-the-scenes political efforts and negotiations, there would be no Olympic Games. For many countries, hosting the Olympics […]






The Day the Fountain Ran Dry: An Indian Duck Tale






As a Foreign Service Officer serving abroad, it is natural to become close friends with the colleagues with whom you share embassy offices; in many cases, they get to be like your family away from home. In the same way, any creatures which happen to be resident in diplomatic spaces become like family pets. As […]






What Have I Gotten Myself Into? Tales from Rough First Tours






Life in the Foreign Service certainly has its advantages – working in often exotic locales, meeting fascinating people, being a part of important, sometimes historical, events. But, like other glamorous jobs, it has its drawbacks, not the least of which come with the drudgery of first and sometimes second tours, where most FSOs end up […]






Who Let the Dogs Out? – A Pet Evacuation from Kinshasa






Dear Fido, If you’re reading this, we’ve been evacuated (and you learned how to read!…). But don’t worry ol’ pal! I’ll send for you as soon as I can. I left one of each sock behind, so it’ll be like nothing changed. Food is in the pantry and water’s in the toilet. Call for Lassie […]






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