New Artifact Acquisitions

Artifacts are powerful storytelling tools that will shed light on the work and history of our nation’s diplomats that may otherwise go unnoticed by the general public. At over 8,000 items, the collection reflects a wide range of people, places, and issues that make up our nation’s rich diplomatic history. Here is a spotlight on a few of the stories the items in our collection tell.

Sign from Black Lives Matter protest
Recent Artifact Acquisition: Jamaican Black Lives Matter Protest Sign
Recent Artifact Acquisition: Jamaican Black Lives Matter Protest Sign 1024 693

NMAD curatorial staff worked with U.S. Embassy Kingston, Jamaica to collect a sign from a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Kingston which took place outside the embassy building. As an artifact, this sign represents the current spirit of protest reaching around the world and also serves as an example of U.S. embassies’ role as…

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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 traveled 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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Photo of Lucys Briggs Passport
A 1928 Passport of Lucy Barnard Briggs, Diplomatic Spouse
A 1928 Passport of Lucy Barnard Briggs, Diplomatic Spouse 1024 785

Lucy Barnard Briggs used this passport in our collection for more than 12 years to travel the world. Shortly after her marriage to American diplomat Ellis O. Briggs in May 1928, Lucy received this diplomatic passport and traveled with him to his post in Lima, Peru. In 1929, Lucy and Ellis returned to the United…

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Patti Morton Meritorius Honor Award
Patti Morton: The First Female Diplomatic Security Special Agent
Patti Morton: The First Female Diplomatic Security Special Agent 1024 785

May 30, 1935 – October 16, 2019 (age 84) As the first female Diplomatic Security special agent, Patricia Anne (Patti) Morton was very aware of the legacy she would leave for women.  Originally from Washington State, Patti joined the State Department as a Foreign Service staff officer in 1965 and during nearly 30-year career served…

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Freed hostage Bruce Laingen makes ?V? signs as he steps from the first of four planes carrying the freed hostages from West Point, N.Y., to their official welcome in Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 1981 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Laingen was the charge d?affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Iran.
Veterans in Diplomatic Service: L. Bruce Laingen, 1922-2019
Veterans in Diplomatic Service: L. Bruce Laingen, 1922-2019 1024 676

We salute our nation’s veterans! An estimated 7,100 military veterans serve our nation in diplomatic capacities at the Department of State. Throughout our nation’s history, the branches of the military and the Department of State have worked closely together to promote our national security and protect Americans at home and abroad. Building upon this partnership,…

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Passport, Diplomacy Center, Rufus King
Piracy and Passports: How American merchants protected themselves from capture and enslavement
Piracy and Passports: How American merchants protected themselves from capture and enslavement 633 181

May 13 marks the 218th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson ordering U.S. naval vessels to stop Barbary interference with American trade in the Mediterranean. Jefferson’s decision to use force against the Barbary nations of Algiers and Tripoli (semi-autonomous Ottoman Empire states) came after 15 years of negotiations and the Americans’ refusal to continue paying monetary…

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Crowd of soldiers walk by citizens in a black and white photo with Austrian Alps in background
Medal of Freedom
Medal of Freedom 1024 811

The Consulate General had its windows and doors blown in or out several times, and all of us had narrow escapes, but no one was actually hit, a miracle in view of the thousands of flying and rocket bombs directed our way. We owe our lives to Divine intervention and to the efficiency of the…

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in a case, items from the NATO treaty and accession instruments
Commemorating 70 years of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO)
Commemorating 70 years of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) 1024 574

In 1949, the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations created the North Atlantic Treaty, to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. April 3, 2019 marked 70 years of a strategic military alliance among the signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty. Secretary Mike Pompeo, with the 30 Foreign Ministers of the signatory countries,…

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Photograph of Wolfgang J. Lehmann (far left) in Austria in the early 1950s, sitting with former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (far right) and fellow embassy staff member B.J. McGuigan (center) for a press conference.
Evacuation under pressure
Evacuation under pressure 1024 688

Wolfgang J. Lehmann served as a Foreign Service Officer from 1951 to 1983, experiencing significant events in diplomatic history during the cold war era. The Diplomacy Center recently collected several artifacts representing his distinguished career that spanned eight presidential administrations. Lehmann’s Foreign Service assignments included: Political Officer U.S. Embassy Vienna; supervisor of the U.S. Refugee…

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Old photograph of Washington DC bridge and crowd
The Embassy Presence in Washington D.C.
The Embassy Presence in Washington D.C. 976 710

by Priscilla R. Linn Finding embassies on a map of Washington, D.C. is a relatively straightforward task. They lie in northwest quadrant of one of the smallest capitals in the world, often lining up along (or close to) the avenues that city planner Pierre L’Enfant drew up over 200 years ago. Other locations in Washington,…

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Patti Morton stands smiling next to Diplomacy Center Mary Kane
Director’s Note: A Conversation with “Pistol Packin’ Patti”
Director’s Note: A Conversation with “Pistol Packin’ Patti” 1024 658

Patti Morton (1935 – 2019), pictured right, is presented with a Meritorious Step Increase award by Chief of Mission Hank Cohen in Kinshasa, 1968. Morton received this award for the excellent quality of her work as post security officer, which she took on in addition to her regular duties as secretary to the Administrative Counselor.…

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Document of Martin Van Buren's Secretary of State Commission
Signed by President Jackson, and Hamilton’s son
Signed by President Jackson, and Hamilton’s son 1024 765

Martin Van Buren served as the 10th U.S. Secretary of State and the 8th President of the United States. He entered politics in 1813 and served as a New York state senator, a U.S. Senator, and later as New York governor. He resigned to join President Andrew Jackson’s cabinet as U.S. Secretary of State, serving…

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U.S. Special Passport Issued to Sheldon Whitehouse (Sr) 1914
Ambassador Sheldon Whitehouse’s 1914 Special Passport
Ambassador Sheldon Whitehouse’s 1914 Special Passport 836 1024

Sheldon Whitehouse, a career Foreign Service Officer (FSO), served as U.S. Minister to Guatemala (1929-1933) and to Colombia (1933-1934). Prior to these posts, he used this Special Passport to travel to his post at the U.S. Legation for Greece and Montenegro. It was issued on June 30, 1914, just as war was about to break…

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United States flag and pole
A Symbol and an Inspiration
A Symbol and an Inspiration 640 386

This flag graced the office of Colonel Ron Roughead, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Kenya, at U.S. Embassy Nairobi. On August 7, 1998, in coordinated attacks by al Qaeda terrorists, U.S. Embassies Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, were devastated by car bombs. Embassy Nairobi and the surrounding neighborhood suffered extensive damage and…

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Ambassador Dubs in Afghanistan holding flag
“I would rather sacrifice my life”: The Assassination of Ambassador Dubs
“I would rather sacrifice my life”: The Assassination of Ambassador Dubs 1024 750

Adolph “Spike” Dubs was a career Foreign Service Officer and noted Soviet expert. From 1973-74, he served as charge d’affaires at Embassy Moscow, and in 1978, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. On February 14, 1979, Ambassador Dubs and his driver were stopped in their car by armed militants posing as police. They overpowered…

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