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Yugoslavia 1970: The Writing on the Wall

From time to time while working in the records, NARA staff find documents that provide new perspectives on events through which they lived.  I recently had that experience. I remember well the terrible humanitarian disaster that befell local populations as Yugoslavia ripped itself apart during the 1990s.  I remember, too, how many commentators expressed surprise […]

Remembering Dave Brubeck

Jazz great Dave Brubeck died on December 5, one day short of his 92nd birthday.  Since then, there have been many retrospectives – in print, on television, on radio, and on line.  Almost all of those remembrances mention the goodwill tour of Poland and the Far East that Brubeck and his quartet made in 1958 […]

Remembering Pearl Harbor

In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago today, agencies of the U.S. government swung into action.  The Army and Navy immediately went on a war footing as did American diplomats in the Department of State and at embassies and consulates around the world.  Since the formal outbreak of war […]

Thanksgiving around the world

Thanksgiving is considered by many to be the quintessential American holiday.  As Thanksgiving 1918 approached, American had more reason than the usual to give thanks.  On November 11, 1918, Germany signed the armistice that brought World War I to an effective end.  In the wake of that event, the United States made an attempt to […]

Vietnam and the Ironies of History

“This is an American soldier – he is your friend.”  So read the leaflet prepared by the United States for use in Vietnam.  Underneath that caption, it pictured several American infantrymen advancing into combat. The time, however, was not the 1960s; it was mid-1945 and World War II in the Pacific was drawing to a […]

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