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Tag: David Langbart

Keeping the Public Informed

Today’s post is written by David Langbart. Public comment about what is now called the lack of transparency about U.S. foreign policy is not a new phenomenon.  The issue goes back to at least World War II, if not before.  Recognizing that it needed to better inform the public about its activities, in 1948, the Department […]

An Archives Filled with Firsts

The National Archives holds records relating to many firsts: First President. First airplane. First computer. First atomic bomb. First man on the moon. Here is another first. This is Lucile Atcherson. [Source: Lucile Atcherson; Official Personnel Folders-Department of State; Record Group 146: Records of the U.S. Civil Service Commission; National Archives, St. Louis, MO] The […]

A personal prologue at the National Archives

The motto of the National Archives is “What is Past Is Prologue.” Recently, while assisting a researcher at Archives II, I ran into my Dad, even though he died several years ago.  A bit of background will help you understand.  My father’s first Government service, like most in his generation, came in the military during […]

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 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 […]

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