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    Hostage "Welcome Home" Button

    In November 1979, 52 Americans in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran were taken hostage by Iranian students. The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days. Closely following the crisis for over a year, the American public wanted to show their support for the hostages and their families. The yellow ribbon became an iconic…

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    “Wing Tip” Missile Part Plaque

    In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which required both parties to eliminate all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a certain striking range. This wing tip is from a ground-launched cruise missile destroyed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in…

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    Anne Smedinghoff Memorial Plaque

    Tragedy struck a diplomatic delegation and their military escorts on April 6, 2013, in southern Afghanistan. A young diplomat named Anne Smedinghoff, three U.S. soldiers, and an Afghani interpreter were killed in a car bomb blast that targeted their group as they were delivering books to a boys' school. Anne was a…

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    Anne Smedinghoff Challenge Coin

    Tragedy struck a diplomatic delegation and their military escorts on April 6, 2013, in southern Afghanistan. A young diplomat named Anne Smedinghoff, three U.S. soldiers, and an Afghani interpreter were killed in a car bomb blast that targeted their group as they were delivering books to a boys' school. Anne was a…

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    U.S. Flag Flown For Hostages

    In November 1979, 52 Americans in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran were taken hostage by Iranian students. The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days. Closely following the crisis for over a year, the American public wanted to show their support for the hostages and their families. Yellow ribbons and flags were popular…

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    USAID Personal Hygiene Kit Items

    Items from personal hygiene kit, c. 2014. A “personal hygiene kit” is a box of basic hygiene supplies, utilized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to help prevent outbreaks of communicable illness in disaster areas across the globe.

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    Mechanical Sewing Machine

    In 2007, the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia distributed 1,200 sewing machines, like this one, to Muslim communities across the country. The sewing machines were part of the State Department’s “Shared Futures” initiative. They were used to establish micro-enterprise centers to help individuals and families become more financially self-sufficient.

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    Cocaine Press

    This press was recovered in 2013 by the Counter-Drug Brigade of the Colombian Army in Timbiquí, Cauca. The operation, supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Drug Enforcement Agency, dismantled a laboratory and confiscated five metric tons of cocaine that was finished and ready for transport. This press takes “base”…

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    Decorative Spherical Glass Container

    Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan of Turkey presented this decorative container to Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton on July 15, 2011, on the occasion of Secretary Clinton's visit to Istanbul for the fourth meeting of the Libya Contact Group to discuss the ongoing conflict in Libya.

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    Charred Great Seal

    Protesters in Belgrade, Serbia, attacked and set fire to the U.S. embassy on February 21, 2008, in response to U.S. support for Kosovo's independence. A large rally of Serbs, vowing to retake the neighboring territory which is viewed as Serbia's religious and national heartland, preceded the attack on the embassy. This seal, which…