U.S. Diplomacy Stories

Ambassador Edward J. Perkins portrait
8 Lessons in Diplomacy from Ambassador Edward J. Perkins (1928-2020)
8 Lessons in Diplomacy from Ambassador Edward J. Perkins (1928-2020) 781 960

Ambassador Edward J. Perkins knew segregation well. He was born into a segregated and racist society in 1928 on a small farm in the American south. His life took him from segregated  Louisiana, to a segregated military, to a world filled with anti-Black racism in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Every part of his journey…

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Collage DAH Secretaries Senators and the Presidency
From Secretaries to Senators: The Historic Road to the Presidency
From Secretaries to Senators: The Historic Road to the Presidency 1024 576

In the early years of the Republic, the Secretary of State cabinet position appeared to be a stepping stone to the presidency. This pattern began with Thomas Jefferson, who became the first Secretary of State and then the third President of the United States. However, in the 1830s, Secretaries of State became markedly less successful…

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Bassett Haiti Minister Diplomat
Ebenezer D. Bassett: America’s First African American Diplomat
Ebenezer D. Bassett: America’s First African American Diplomat 1024 576

In 1869, Ebenezer D. Bassett was appointed as the Minister of the Republic of Haiti, making him the first African American diplomat. Throughout his career, Bassett defended the civil rights of African Americans and black Caribbean nations 1862: Formal Recognition of the Republic of Haiti Map of Haiti in 1839 The Civil War (1861-1865), a…

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Ralph Bunche United Nations
A Hero of U.S. Diplomacy: Dr. Ralph J. Bunche (1904-1971)
A Hero of U.S. Diplomacy: Dr. Ralph J. Bunche (1904-1971) 1024 760

Dr. Ralph J. Bunche was a pioneering African American diplomat who shaped some of the most remarkable moments in the twentieth century.  Dr. Ralph Bunche as a civil rights activist Born in the era of segregation and Jim Crow, Dr. Bunche spent his life engaged as a civil rights activist in the United States while…

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From Holocaust Survivor to Ambassador: The Story of Robert G. Neumann
From Holocaust Survivor to Ambassador: The Story of Robert G. Neumann 1024 768

January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other lives lost. Today we pause to honor Ambassador Robert G. Neumann, sharing his story from a personal object of his in our collection.

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Welcome Group with Yellow Ribbons
“Tie a Yellow Ribbon:” The Origin of the National Response to the Iran Hostage Crisis
“Tie a Yellow Ribbon:” The Origin of the National Response to the Iran Hostage Crisis 1024 827

In November 1979, 52 Americans in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran were taken hostage by Iranian students. Everyone, from the most junior staff members to the person in charge of the embassy, were taken and held in captivity for 444 days. Closely following the crisis for over a year, the public wanted to show their…

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Meeting with Algerian diplomats - Christmas 1980-crop
John Limbert: Bringing Meaning to a “Bunch of Old Clothes”
John Limbert: Bringing Meaning to a “Bunch of Old Clothes” 1024 710

Think of an historic event you personally witnessed or experienced first hand. Do you remember what you wore? NMAD  has several articles of clothing in its collection belonging to diplomats who served on the front lines. The museum intends to interpret several of these items in its permanent exhibit, “The Challenging and Dangerous Work of…

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Top front of passport
Passport Travels: Meyer Franklin Kline, globetrotting guidebook editor
Passport Travels: Meyer Franklin Kline, globetrotting guidebook editor 1024 480

Have a case of wanderlust? As you take a look at this passport from the museum’s collection, join Meyer Franklin Kline and his wife Mildred Kline as they travelled the world in 1915 and 1916. The Klines, originally from California, planned to travel to Russia, China, Japan, India, the Straits Settlements, and Great Britain, “representing…

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About glifaa
About glifaa 150 150

glifaa–then known as Gays and Lebians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (then GLIFAA) was born in the living room of David Buss and David Larson on March 8, 1992 over brunch. The need for creating an employee organization was firmly established at this first meeting. Although there has been great progress in terms of achieving equality…

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U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, center, is helped by unidentified men, as she is evacuated from the area of the U.S. Embassy following an explosion in downtown Nairobi, Friday, Aug. 7, 1998. Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in both Kenya and Tanzania Friday, killing more than 67 people, injuring 1,100 and turning buildings into mountains of shattered concrete. At least eight Americans were among the dead in Kenya and seven more were missing, U.S. Embassy spokesman Chris Scharf said. Bushnell, was cut on the lip and helped from Cooperative Bank House, near the embassy, where she had just given a news conference, embassy spokesman Bill Barr said.
Ambassador Bushnell: A Profile in Resilience
Ambassador Bushnell: A Profile in Resilience 1024 728

Woman’s suit worn by U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Prudence Bushnell, 1998. Gift of U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell I was determined that we were going to get through this as a community even if as individuals we staggered and stumbled now and then.” —U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell On August 7, 1998, at 10:30 AM, U.S. embassies…

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