Search Results for hostage

Tie a Yellow Ribbon — The Iran Hostage Crisis as Seen from the Home Front

Penelope (Penne) Laingen is the wife of Bruce Laingen, who had served in Germany, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan before being named ambassador to Malta in 1977.  He was sent back to Iran to serve as Charge d’Affaires, and had been there for only a few months when the U.S. Embassy was overrun by student protesters.  […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Foreign Service, Hostage, Middle East, Spouses and children, Terrorism Tagged , |
Lessons Learned from a Former Hostage

In Captive in the Congo, Mike Hoyt describes his ordeal as one of 300 hostages taken by armed rebels. They were eventually rescued in a joint U.S.-Belgian operation code-named Dragon Rouge. In this article, he discusses U.S. government policy on hostages and argues for a re-evaluation, contending that the longer people talk with hostage-takers, the greater the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Foreign Service, Hostage, Terrorism
A Hostage in Communist China, 1948-49

As Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army swept through China during the Civil War against the Nationalists in 1948 and 1949, it took over Mukden (now Shenyang), a major trade center. The Communists demanded that American Consul Angus Ward surrender the consulate’s radio transmitter. Ward refused. In response, PLA troops surrounded the consulate on November 20, 1948, putting Ward […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, China, Cold War, Consular, East Asia and Pacific, Hostage Tagged , , |
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
Duty and Danger: An American Diplomat’s Service in Iraq on the Eve of 1991 Gulf War

American diplomat Stephen Thibeault watched as an airplane departed Iraq in 1990, carrying Rev. Jesse Jackson and American hostages liberated in the tense days following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait — and before the U.S. launched Operation Desert Storm, the United Nations campaign that ultimately routed Saddam Hussein’s forces.  Thibeault was tempted to fly away with […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Witness to the Start of Sri Lanka’s Brutal Civil War

The Sri Lankan Civil War was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent times, claiming the lives of nearly 100,000 people. Foreign Service Officer Dorothy Black was posted in Sri Lanka in the early years of the conflict (1983-86) and recalls a time of constant tension, political intransigence, and death.  Terrorists routinely placed plastic bombs […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
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 a […]

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 a […]

Guns, Oil and Education: Qatar’s Evolving Relationship with the U.S.

The State of Qatar declared independence from Great Britain on September 3, 1971 and the U.S. recognized it two days later, establishing diplomatic relations in March 1972. The American Embassy in Doha was launched the following year, and the first resident U.S. Ambassador to Qatar presented his credentials in August 1974. The relationship has developed […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Middle East, Military, Post-Colonialism Tagged , |
CNN, Tanks, and Glass Walls: The August 1991 Coup

In August of 1991, hard-liners opposed to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev initiated a coup attempt to overthrow him. The rebellion occurred in part because of financial strife as the Soviet Union transformed quickly from a statist to a market-based economy. Long lines formed for essential goods including medicine and fuel, and grocery shelves were empty. […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Foreign Service, Hostage, Military, Russia/Soviet Union, Spouses and children Tagged , , , |