Search Results for world war II

Constance Ray Harvey, Diplomat and World War II Heroine

The life of Constance Ray Harvey at times sounded like something from the movie Casablanca. During World War II, after tours in Milan and Bern, she was stationed in Lyon, where she worked with the Belgian and French Resistance,which included getting members of the Belgian government out of France. She smuggled documents to the U.S. Military Attaché in […]

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
Spies and Prostitutes: Memories of a Visa Officer in Post-WWII Greece

In post-World War II Greece, U.S. consular officers met all kinds of people—from suspected spies to prostitutes.  Don Gelber was on his first diplomatic assignment. When a wealthy young American married a young Greek woman and sought to bring her to the United States, Geber did a routine background check — only to learn that […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Sound, Fury, Brilliance & Booze: Faulkner in Post-War Japan

William Faulkner, among the most decorated writers in American literature with the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award among his honors, was invited to Japan in 1955 under the auspices of the Exchange of Persons Branch of the United States Information Service (now consolidated into the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, East Asia and Pacific, Post-Colonialism, Public Diplomacy Tagged , |
Raymond Hare: Our Man in Cairo during WWII

Egypt and the Suez Canal became a point of global strategic interest during WWII because of the quick access the waterway could provide to Middle East oil, raw materials from Asia, and– for the British Empire particularly– a connection to its distant territories. Britain, as the first state to launch a completely mechanized military, was particularly […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Espionage, Europe, Middle East, Military, Post-Colonialism, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , |
Rebuilding Iraq after the Second Gulf War: Lewis Lucke

In January 2003, the U. S. Government established the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) to act as a caretaker administration and begin to rebuild Iraq. Coalition forces from the U.S., UK, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq two months later, launching Operation Iraqi Freedom. The initial phase, with major combat operations, lasted from March […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Middle East, Military 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 , |
Soft Power in a Cold War: Challenges of Reaching out to the Soviets

The “Iron Curtain” was a term used to denote the efforts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to block its citizens from contact with the West. It persisted from the end of World War II until the end of the Cold War. Throughout those decades, the U.S. endeavored to breach the Curtain and reach […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Foreign Service, Public Diplomacy, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , |
Establishing an Escape Network in Post-War Hungary

Throughout most of World War II, Hungary operated in conjunction with the Axis Powers and actively contributed to the Nazi war effort under the leadership of Miklós Horthy. While invading Soviet troops had pushed out the occupying German forces by April 1945, the newly established Russian presence quickly posed a precarious threat to Hungarian stability […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Espionage, Europe, Human Rights, Military, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged |
“The Wild West” — Peshawar and the Afghan Mujahedeen

In the late 1970s, the USSR had been supporting the Afghan government in its fight against rebels, who had made considerable inroads and controlled territory outside Afghanistan’s major cities. Determined to squash a growing threat, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. Soviet troops and swarms of helicopters overthrew the government, which Moscow believed had […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Military, Russia/Soviet Union, South Central Asia Tagged |