Ambassador Bushnell’s Hard Hat

Kenya 1998

When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi was attacked by a truck bomb in August 1998, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Prudence Bushnell was present in a neighboring building and injured by the blast. Ambassador Bushnell returned to inspect the damaged embassy the next day. Her staff presented this hard hat for her to wear; they had added “AMBASSADOR” and a Great Seal sticker to the front.

  • Source/Credit: Gift of Ambassador Prudence Bushnell
  • Catalog Number: 2015.0018.02
  • Created: 1998
  • Acquired: 2015

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MLA Format

Ambassador Bushnell's Hard Hat. 1998. National Museum of American Diplomacy,

Chicago Format

Ambassador Bushnell's Hard Hat, 1998, National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, DC,

APA Format

(1998). Ambassador Bushnell's Hard Hat [Object]. National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, D.C., United States.

U.S. Commercial Officer Riz Khaliq shields Ambassador Bushnell as Foreign Service National George Mimba (right) and Foreign Service Officer Steve Nolan (left) assist in evacuating the ambassador from the site.

Story of Diplomacy

Ambassador Prudence Bushnell: A Profile in Resilience

On August 7, 1998, at 10:30 AM, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania fell victim to coordinated and nearly simultaneous truck bombs, later linked to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. At the time of the bombing, U.S. Ambassador Prudence Bushnell was meeting with the Kenyan Minister of Commerce in the high-rise bank building across from the embassy’s rear parking lot. 

Read More