Search Results for food

Stephen Thuransky’s 1947 Escape from Hungarian Political Police

Stephen T. Thuransky was arrested for calling the president of Hungary an obscene name. Communist Hungary in 1947 was a dangerous place to talk candidly, especially about politics. As a naturalized U.S. citizen, Thuransky and his family sought help from Harrison Lewis, the temporary head of the American Legation. Lewis confronted the Communist authorities and […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
FLOTUS For a Night—USAID Employee Stands in at First Ladies Conference

When USAID employee Judith Gilmore was asked to play First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), it wasn’t because a president had asked for her hand in marriage—it was because her boss had asked her to fill in for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the real FLOTUS, who was running behind and couldn’t make the opening ceremony […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
“A Special Place in My Heart:” Memories of USAID in Vietnam

Images of the U.S. military in Vietnam are part of the American consciousness. But these images are only part of the story.  Often the lives and sacrifices of USAID workers are overlooked. They too made great contributions, joining with military personnel to deliver supplies to locals, promoting development in dangerous areas, and working with hamlet […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
The Struggle for Equal Rights: LGBTQ Advocacy in the Foreign Service

While working at the U.S. embassy in Seychelles in 1985, David Buss fell in love with a Peace Corps volunteer, David Larson. After their relationship became common knowledge, Buss was investigated by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Allegedly, the State Department was concerned that foreign persons could blackmail Buss because of his sexual orientation. Buss […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Strong-arming Other Donors: Part of USAID’s Response to Famine in Ethiopia

Described by one reporter as “a biblical famine in the 20th century,” the 1983-1985 Ethiopian famine was a humanitarian crisis that was initially little known to much of the rest of the world.  For six months, General Mengistu Haile Mariam, the leader of the military junta ruling Ethiopia, refused to acknowledge the famine–even as millions […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Fake Eyeglasses and an Elaborate Ruse: Escaping Iran During the 1979 Hostage Crisis

With forged passport in hand, Kathleen Stafford donned fake eyeglasses and pulled her long hair back. If this plan worked, she would finally be free. Kathleen, a foreign service spouse, had been in hiding for the past three months. On November 4, 1979, Islamist revolutionaries attacked the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Smoke billowed from the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Thanksgiving: How U.S. Diplomats Celebrate an American Tradition Around the World

Gobble, gobble!  Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday —  one that U.S. embassies, foreign service families, and American expats of all kinds celebrate around the world.  We dipped into our oral history collection for some Thanksgiving memories. At its best, Thanksgiving is a celebration of food, family, friends, and cross-cultural exchange and understanding.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Freezing in the Dark: the First Years of the USAID Mission in Ukraine

Using candles for light, huddling into the warmest room, tapping into government telephone lines to make calls—these were the conditions USAID officers faced when trying to set up a regional mission in newly-independent Ukraine.  Food was scarce in the winter of 1994-95, and temperatures were among the lowest on record. Then politics in both Ukraine […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
A Foe in Need: Famine in North Korea

A disastrous famine struck the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1997.  Dubbed “The March of Suffering” by the North Korean government, hundreds of thousands of people in the countryside starved. The famine arose after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Pyongyang’s former patron, and was exacerbated by a series of floods.  It also came […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Building a USAID Program in a Country With No Roads: The Case of South Sudan

USAID Mission Director William Hammink’s troubles began shortly before his 2009 arrival in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital; President Omar al-Bashir had just expelled 13 international organizations providing humanitarian assistance in Darfur.  While negotiating to permit the return of these organizations, Hammink’s team also had to help a new, inexperienced government in southern Sudan build infrastructure, […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History