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The “Blood Telegram” That Angered Henry Kissinger: Violence in East Pakistan/Bangladesh

Shortly after joining USAID in 1969, Desaix “Terry” Meyers found himself witnessing both the aftermath of a major natural disaster, and the devastating levels of sectarian violence that followed in East Pakistan in the early 1970s. After a cyclone hit Pakistan in the fall of 1970, killing over 500,000 people, a famine ensued. This particular […]

Paying Calls in Shangri-La

Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy Paying Calls in Shangri-La: Scenes from a Woman’s Life in American Diplomacy “This is a wonderful memoir about Foreign Service life abroad and the author’s transition from Foreign Service wife to Foreign Service officer. She demonstrates how, by being out and about in the host country, you can sometimes be in the […]

House Un-American: Foreign-Born Wives of American Diplomats

Before World War II, there was a concern, particularly with upper-level Foreign Service officers like Ambassador William C. Bullitt, regarding American diplomats marrying foreign-born women. He used his influence with President Franklin Roosevelt to encourage a rule requiring FSO’s to submit their resignation and formally request permission to marry foreign spouses. Many people felt that […]

The “Lavender Scare”: Homosexuals at the State Department

In the 1950s and 60s, security within the U.S. government, including the State Department, was on high alert for internal risks, particularly Communists and what were considered to be sexual deviants—homosexuals and promiscuous individuals. Investigating homosexuality became a core function of the Department’s Office of Security, which ferreted out more people for homosexuality than for […]