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The “Leaky Bucket”—Brazil and the Cuban Missile Crisis

In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy sought to maintain an open dialogue with Brazil with the intent to create an intermediary in communications with Fidel Castro in Cuba. However, the troubled U.S.-Brazil relationship was riddled with distrust and hidden motives. In particular, the Brazilian president at the time, João Goulart, was infamous for […]

Books, Defectors, and Song — The Cuban Missile Crisis, as Seen from Moscow

The Soviet Union, in Churchill’s famous words, was a “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”; as such it made it extremely difficult for outsiders – including foreign intelligence services — to separate fact from fiction. The United States had a range of sources to gather intel:  spies, bugs, publicly available information like brochures and […]

Keeping “Enemies” Close: Diplomacy in Divided Cities

The twentieth century continues to captivate the attention of policy professionals, academics, and the general public. This is due to more than its contemporary salience; the century epitomized ideological contest on a global scale. As the threshold between Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism, the setting of both world wars, and a witness to the decades-long contest of […]

In the Heat of the Cold War: Diplomats in a Divided Germany

Ever since the Foreign Service’s infancy, Foreign Service spouses have traveled with their partners to all corners of the world, helping to represent America and her interests overseas. Many of these spouses were former Foreign Service Officers themselves. Helen Brady Lane is one such individual, who entered the Foreign Service in 1957 and left after […]

At the Negotiating Table for SALT

U.S.-Soviet relations during the Cold War were marked by increasing tension. Emerging from WWII as the two strongest countries, competition between the two states was inevitable. This competition ranged from the space race, the ability to exert ideological influence on other nations, and perhaps most deadly of all, the arms race. People all over the […]

Keeping the Skies Open: Defending the Open Skies Treaty

The checkered history between Russia and the United States was arguably the most transformational relationship for world events in the second half of the twentieth century. The ideological struggle between communism and capitalism waged under the dark cloud of potential nuclear annihilation led to the development of several arms control agreements like the SALT (Strategic […]

Students & Educators

Welcome! Explore our rich collection of primary sources by America’s diplomats that can inspire and support a variety of projects. Before diving directly into research, take time to familiarize yourself with what we do.    “I had never thought of diplomats as a source until I met you. Thank you for opening my eyes to […]

National History Day Resources

Welcome! Explore our rich collection of primary sources by America’s diplomats that can inspire and support a variety of projects. Before diving directly into research, take time to familiarize yourself with what we do.    “I had never thought of diplomats as a source until I met you. Thank you for opening my eyes to […]