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Saudi Arabia and the United States

Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy Saudi Arabia and the United States: Birth of a Security Partnership “. . . a seminal contribution to our understanding of the origins and sometimes bumpy evolution of the U.S.-Saudi relationship in the overall Middle East context [by] one of the diplomatic pioneers in that bilateral relationship.” Hermann Fr. Eilts, […]

Duty and Danger: Escaping the Burning U.S. Embassy in 1979 Libya

On December 2nd, 1979, thousands of anti-American demonstrators attacked the U.S. Embassy; protesters broke down the door and set fires that damaged the lower floors. Political Officer James Hooper and other American officials inside the embassy hurriedly attempted to shred sensitive information before sneaking out past an angry mob, one by one, through a back […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
“Encouraging” Soviet Workmen in 1984—Vodka, Cigarettes, and Snow Plowing in Soviet Russia

The currency of Soviet Russia was the ruble—or was it? When General Services Officer Robert Weisberg was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1984, he found out first-hand that things sometimes get done a little faster with a few cartons of cigarettes and bottles of vodka. In a winter with heavy snowfall, it […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
The 1964 Murder of Noted Composer Marc Blitzstein in Martinique

In 1964 on the French island of Martinique, well-known American composer Marc Blitzstein was found on the street badly injured and shouting for help. Blitzstein had been brutally attacked and robbed by three sailors after attempting to pick them up in a bar. The U.S. consular officer in Martinique, William B. Milam, rushed to check […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Diamonds, Coal, and the Dutch Queen—NBC’s First Female Broadcaster Escapes The Netherlands in 1940

Reporting live from a shortwave radio station near the German border at the beginning of World War II, NBC’s first female correspondent, could hear the bombs begin to land outside her Dutch radio station—and so could her audience. Margaret Rupli Woodward knew it was time to go. In May 1940, Woodward was living in the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Being the Security Agent-in-Command During the 1985 Visit of Prince Charles and Princess Diana to America

When Prince Charles and Princess Diana of the United Kingdom came to visit the United States in 1985, Dennis Williams of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) volunteered to be Agent-in-Command (AIC) of the British Royals’ security detail.  Ahead of the two-week visit, Williams faced a challenge convincing State Department management that he […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Protecting Greenland: The American Consulate at Godthab, 1940-42

During World War II, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied continental Denmark, leaving the Kingdom’s other two territories, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, exposed to a possible German invasion. The United Kingdom quickly occupied the Faroe Islands and, along with Canada, made plans to occupy parts of Greenland, which would drag the otherwise neutral island into […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Consular, Europe, Military Tagged , , , |
You Know a Coup is Coming but No One will Listen: Sudan 1964

Sudan’s long history has been riddled with internal conflict. The United Kingdom and Egypt controlled Sudan for the first half of the twentieth century, then agreed to cede it self-government in 1953. In December 1955, the premier of Sudan declared unilateral independence. The newly independent Republic swiftly fell into a pattern of civil wars, coups […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Espionage, Foreign Service, Military, Post-Colonialism, Public Diplomacy Tagged , , , , , |
Ireland and the U.S.: The Best of Friends, Except When They Weren’t

Relations between the U.S. and Ireland have traditionally been strong, thanks to common ancestral ties, history and shared values. Irish citizens immigrated to the thirteen Colonies, fought in the War of Independence and were among the first to drive cattle westward. Prompted largely by the Great Irish Famine, from 1820 to 1860 two million Irish […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Europe, Post-Colonialism, Terrorism Tagged , , |
Looking at the War in the Falklands/Malvinas from Both Sides Now

In 1982 a long-simmering dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina over a small group of islands – the Falklands for the British, the Malvinas for the Argentinians – erupted into war. The disagreement arose from a dispute that goes back to the 1700’s when France, Spain, and Britain all tried to claim and settle the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Europe, Military, Post-Colonialism, Public Diplomacy, Western Hemisphere Tagged , |