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The 1989 Romanian Revolution and the Fall of Ceausescu

1989 was the year of remarkable popular uprisings throughout the world, most notably Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. December saw the fall of one of Eastern Europe’s most brutal dictators, Nicolae Ceaușescu and it did not come peacefully. The Romanian Revolution started in the city of […]

Saving a Lost Generation – The Rush to Adopt Romania’s Orphans

The despotic reign of Romania’s Nicolae Ceauşescu caused deplorable living conditions for Romanians and left its most vulnerable citizens – abandoned children —  to be literally warehoused. Orphanages were overrun due to Ceauşescu’s policy of making abortions and contraception illegal while also practically forcing women to have at least four or five children. Most could […]

Life in Ceausescu’s Romania

Romania in the 1970s was a study in contrasts. Traditionally a rich agricultural breadbasket, its backward economy could not provide enough food for its inhabitants.  A despotic, communist dictatorship, it still enjoyed a close relationship with the United States, as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger used Nicolae Ceausescu, who ruled Romania from 1967 to 1989, […]

A Georgian Spring Amidst Autumn: The Rose Revolution from a U.S. Perspective

Revolutions are always exciting times for U.S. Foreign Service personnel, and the November 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia was no different. Denny Robertson served as a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) election observer. When President Shevardnadze’s government allegedly rigged a parliamentary election, Robertson saw first-hand how Georgians took to the streets and protested […]

African-American Ambassadors

As challenging as it is for anyone to become and serve as Ambassador for the United States, the hurdles are even greater for black Americans who must overcome domestic and international discrimination to achieve high-ranking positions. These Americans have served as representatives of the United States in over 40 Countries during the past 60 years. […]

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 […]

Roaring through the Riots of Libreville

Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, one the longest-serving rulers in history, opened his newly-independent country’s political system to multiple party participation in the wake of destructive riots in May 1990. As a young man, he held key positions in the government of first President Léon M’ba, was elected Vice President in 1966 and became Gabon’s […]