tv American Artifacts U.S. Diplomacy Center Museum Collections - Part 2 CSPAN December 22, 2019 11:43am-12:23pm EST
it's a country you want to maintain a strong, bilateral relationship with, establish an economic relationship with. i think this would help hem. >> back in 2000, during secretary albright's tenure, this began, and since then, it has really grown. it's a public private partnership that raises money, garner support. on the state department side, he office came into being, the collection has come into being, and we are moving forward in partnership with the foundation to develop partnerships with the museum and continuing to collect artifacts. we are looking forward to opening to the public in a few
years. >> up next, historians discuss .s. diplomatic and peace hey plan to open a museum. >> we are in the thick of the cold war now, 60's, late 50's. and there was some, not so much signs, but conversations happening to exchange culture and understand each other better between the united states and the soviet union. and so, in 1959, there was this big exchange of national
exhibition. they sent their national exhibition to new york city in 1959. here is the exhibition booklet. as you can see on the cover, they featured sputnik. >> what message were they trying to send? >> the exhibition covered sputnik and covered of course, soviet industry, agriculture, and cultural arts. >> eisenhower flew from washington for a preview tour in a last-minute decision. he and the russian delegation toured the show. all jovial despite the size of the crowd. the show is a counterpart of an american exhibition to be opened in moscow next month by mr. nixon. full scale models of sputnik are among the things russia is
proudest of. legitimately impressive achievements exploited to the utmost here. >> not too long after that, the united states sent their national exhibition to moscow, hich was a huge hit. over two million russian visitors came to the exhibition. this is a keepsake -- various things were handed out to the visitors, and this is a little polaroid keepsake. the american exhibition covered various topics, including polaroid technology, automobile technology, and of course, kitchen technology. we have heard a lot about the kitchen debates. >> indeed. >> you want to talk about the kitchen debate? >> clearly, what is going on during these exhibitions is
this idea of which industry is better, capitalism or communism? in terms of technology. one of the big features in moscow was an american kitchen. there, you have the translators working with president nixon -- sorry, vice president nixon and nikita khrushchev. >> vice president nixon escorts soviet premier khrushchev on a preview of the united states fair in moscow. the official opening of the american exposition. counterpart to the soviet show in new york and dedicated to showcasing the high standard of life in our country, but on this occasion, traditional diplomacy goes by and the story of the fair itself is eclipsed by a crackling exchange between sent and khrushchev. they finished off before the videotape recorders. every aspect of the cold war and soviet american rivalry is
argued in florida glorified terms. the threat of atomic warfare, diplomacy by ultimatum. economic partners. >> the soviet will overtake america and then wave bye bye. >> both khrushchev and nixon appeared to enjoy themselves. here is a communist spokesman dealing with a capitalist lawyer. >> all i can say from the way you talk and dominate the conversation, you would have made a good lawyer yourself. >> but the culmination is that both nations would remain uncensored. >> all of these reporters here, every word you have said has been taken down, and i promise you that every word you have said will be reported in the
united states, and they will see you say it on television. >>language] >> certainly, it will. > right. >> and by the same token, everything that i say will be recorded and translated and will be carried all over the oviet union. >> one of those diplomats involved in this event of touring khrushchev and nixon through this exhibition was a foreign service officer.
he actually worked for voice of america at the time. he had excellent russian language skills, he was part of the entourage, and he even had the opportunity to provide impromptu translation. he often got lost. his is a huge event. as allison mentioned, on the flight back, they inaugurated what they jokingly called the kitchen cabinet. you can see that picture you were mentioning of nixon tormenting khrushchev. >> right. >> and they even had a password for this exclusive club. in russian, it means "peace and friendship." and so, the language skills are so important for diplomats, you never know when you might need to pull it out.
so, we have some exchange in the conversation going on in the midst of the cold war, and eventually, things start to thaw. >> eventually. there is a recognition that the status quo cannot remain. during nixon's presidential administration, you start to see the salt talks, strategic arms limitation treaties being discussed between the soviets and the united states. during the reagan administration, this was a high priority, as well. this piece kind of speaks to that as well. in 1987, the united states and the soviet signed the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty. and so, that didn't happen so much with the number of arms but to limit how far, the range of them. > exactly. part of the inf treaty was witnessing the illumination of certain classes of issiles.
and this happened both here in the u.s. as well as an soviet territory. this piece tells a little bit about that story. it is a beautiful piece. diplomacy is an art form. it also inspires works of art. such as this. and so, as a result of the 1987 inf treaty in 1990, in kazakhstan, a diplomat who was the chief of the arms control section at the u.s. embassy moscow was part of the diplomatic entourage that went to kazakhstan to witness the elimination of the last of these missiles covered under he inf treaty. the missiles were laid out for display and for measurement and verification, and then of course, they entourage would go to a safe location and they were destroyed. the soviet military had
actually reserved some of the debris from previous elimination activity and contacted a local businessman to create these fantastic little sculptures. the soviets then gave the sculptures to their american counterparts as a celebration of the destruction of these issiles. you can see the soviet flag, the u.s. flag, and then this very inresting quite beautiful i think actually it's evocative of turning your swords into plow shares, this what was once a weapon is now a beautiful piece of art. >> and a reminder. >> exactly. this happening between stumplet and russia as far as arms control systems but berlin, germany, is still a divided city. >> very much so. >> and people are quite angry
about that. >> indeed they were. in 1961, almost overnight the wall, a physical wall divided berlin and so this presented a challenge for the united states. they had obviously an embassy in germany but still retained a sort of diplomatic presence with west germany. so they had a minister there. you can only have one ambassador to a country so we had a minister specifically to west berlin to protect american citizens over there. very quickly the wall started to come down. do you want to speak to that? because you played a rurebl role in that. the night, the u.s. minister was actually what was called
the allied chairman at the time. and the chairmanship rotated monthly. so the month of november was the u.s.'s turn. people started gathering at the checkpoints, words had gotten out that they could now cross. police were not prepared for this onslaught of people and so they yor of berlin -- were still in russian territory. there was a sort of buffer zone if you will between the actual checkpoint you crossed through. permission e needed to cross into that sector to help out the east berlin police with this crush of people. so harry gilmore, this was an on the spot decision had to make it. normally protocol would call
they never made it inside the embassy and finally were driven out by helicopter reinforcements coming in but the american diplomats were very brave. kept up the line of communication and never left their post. so the gentleman who retrieved that had an interesting narrative noticed they were ripping up the sidewalk. that is near where that hole was blown into the embassy ompound.
he went down to the mail room and got this piece of brown mailing paper, tacked it up on the wall in his office and started with the veemed president and started charting out his political family relations as well as some of the interrelations with his prime minister as well. this chart became pretty handy tool and pretty popular among his fellow officers. when he left vietnam and came back to washington, d.c. for his next post, this chart was left in the embassy for the use by his colleagues as they continued there. thankfully, this survived. it almost didn't survive. >> in 1975, of course south vietnam completely collapsed and so the american embassy was very hastely evacuated. there are very iconic figures
of helicopters landing on the roof and a lot of south vietnamese citizens attempting to board. so for american personnel working inside the embassies you have to make snap decision ons what to take with you, classified things but also in a helicopter, what's the weight. but this family chart was one of the things that an american diplomat grabbed and so here we have it today. >> it was salvaged and the political officer who created it had no idea. his colleague weeks later after the evacuation surprised him, walked into the office at the department of state and handed this over to much his surprise. >> i think it was actually a smart thing to do because there was so much fear of reprisele when the north vietnamese entered, hence the terror of the evacuation. this would have given a roadmap . any kind of political
>> we're happy to have it now. crises continued, unfortunately in the 1970s. there was a lot going on in iran in the late 1970s. a lot of protests. >> a lot of protests. in 1979 the islamic state was created after much political violence and unrest of course putting the americans in great danger. it all came to a head when the shaw of iran after he was exiled from iran sought asylum in the united states of america to treat medical treatment. he was suffering from cancer and president carter permitted him to come here to the united states which greatly angered the political leaders in iran. >> absolutely. nd so that anger boiled over and ultimately one day in november1979, the u.s. embassy
was overrun. the u.s. diplomats who happened to be there in the building at the time were taken hostage. they were held hostage for a total of 444 days. 52 american diplomats in total. we know some thing of their treatment and it was not that great. they were blindfolded, interrogated, and beaten. we are privileged to have this cloth. this was used as a blindfold. on the economic fficer robert blucher. the takeover of the embassy coincided with his first full day of the job. what a first day. on the second day, he was beaten . about a month later, he was called for interrogation
and said he was line folded in a cold room for six hours. he could hear the cooking sounds of his captor's rifles in the background. very harsh treatment. this blindfold came to us through a friend of his. we know the end of the story that they were ultimately freed. when he returned to freedom, he was visiting friends and gave this blindfold to his friend as a thank you gift for hosting him. and he said, just wash it. luckily, this friend did not and she treated it like a relic and we do consider it a treasure of the collection. there are so many stories surrounding the embassy takeover. there were some who escaped out the back door of the consulate. they ultimately became known as the kennedy and 6 -- canadian six.
the six americans found shelter with the canadian ambassador as well as the canadian consul general john sheared and. -- john shearden. they were there houseguests for three months before the cia was able to successfully extricate them from the country. as you can see in the image we have a pair of fake eyeglasses. this was part of the costume given to the member of the canadian six. her name was catherine stafford. they provided them with costumes and fake personas, and fake documents. they had to take on and memorize these cover stories to pass through the revolutionary guard at the tehran airport. these fake eyeglasses are a wonderful representation of that successful extrication. >> we have two sides of the story.
>> in addition, we have items that show the end of the story, he welcome home. the 52 hostages who were released on january 21, the day after ronald reagan's inauguration. they were showered with gifts and emorabilia. we have a button that was a gift to and swift. -- ann swift. ann was part of the two women of the 52 captives. the button celebrates their welcome home and ncorporates a yellow ribbon. as we know the yellow ribbon campaign was started by some of the family members to show solidarity and it really caught hold throughout the nation. embassies are still targets,
unfortunately. >> in 1998, there was a surprise attack in africa. we now know that this was an al qaeda attack on the embassy in tanzania and ken that -- kenya. we have a couple of items from that tragic event that are highly personalized. we really get a sense of the person and what it was like to be there during that time. >> cannot imagine anything more raumatizing than your office building exploding. >> this u.s. ambassador who was our ambassador to kenya at the time. on the morning of the attack, she was in a meeting with the kenyan minister of commerce. his office was quite close to
the embassy, just across the parking lot. she and some department of commerce colleagues were upstairs at the meeting -- >> when we heard noise which we learned was a stun grenade. there were about eight people in the room at the time and most of them got up to walk to the window to see what t was about. that was the purpose of the stun grenade, to bring people to the windows. i was thrown back, and was unconscious for a few minutes. the ceiling came in. i thought i was going to die. it is a feeling i will never forget. but i didn't. as i went down 21 flights of stairs with one of my department colleagues, i kept thinking, i just need to get
out of the building, back to my embassy, and into the medical nit and i will be all right. it was when we exited the building and i saw the charred remains of what was once human beings, looked up and saw that my embassy was destroyed that i realized there was a medical unit to go to, and i was going to have to take charge. >> she was injured on her head and she very graciously has donated the suit she was wearing on that day. you can see the bloodstains that remain on that suit from the horrible morning. the embassy building was completely destroyed, as were some of the surrounding buildings. as
embassy employees were able to go back and retrieve their parked car -- you can imagine the chaos of the scene. one embassy employee found this trunk of the -- chunk of the b uilding in the backseat of her car. it had blown to the window. in addition, ambassador bushnell gave us this personalized hard hat. after the attack, she wanted to go back and tour the site and see what happened and offer her love and sympathy to the people dealing with this. embassy staff personalized this hard hat with the word ambassador nd a gold sticker for her to wear. >> and when you mention the staff, it is not just americans. we have foreign service
nationals. their native to the company and often work there for 20 or 30 years and developed a very close relationship with the americans, and especially the ambassadors. this mutual sign of affection and appreciation that she was so severely injured, but came back the next day to show concern for the people of that nation and what a strong bond that was. katie, why don't we bring gifts to the secretary to give gifts of ppreciation to show that mutual respect. >> this medallion was a gift to a delegation of japanese iplomats back in 1860. this giftgiving is a wonderfully long tradition and americans absolutely took part in this tradition going back to the 19th century. >> very much
so. this story of opening up trade with japan is fascinating. the chinese had been forced into trading with the western powers. the japanese were concerned that they wanted to keep their own sovereignty. they begin welcoming communication with western nations and signed a treaty with the united states, imilar to the 1778 treaty. the japanese signed it but then the american president had to sign it. that was the reason for the delegation. it was three high-level samurais that came with 74 other japanese and some interpreters. of of the entire japanese. they were wind and
dine at the smithsonian and had a very elegant dinner. they weren't not quite all that heavy with everything they ate because they were served rice with sugar and butter on it, and they were horrified. >> nowadays you would not offer them that. it was considered to be a successful visit. and with the last visit with the president, he gave them what was a gold coin that had been engraved by a gentleman who worked at the rent who came up with the design and a number were struck to commemorate the visit. >> you can see the profile of president buchanan, and on the reverse commemorates the visit. it says, in commemoration of the first embassy from japan to the
united states 1860. again, the embassy meaning -- >> meeting people, not the actual building. >> the secretaries of state travel. a big part of their time in office is traveling and meeting with foreign counterparts area part of those meetings and trips involve an exchange of gifts, and our secretary works closely with the office's protocol for the giving and receiving. >> they can't keep them. >> they can't keep them all the time, so the diplomacy center has a number of examples of gifts to secretaries of state. they are wonderful pieces and have great stories behind them, including this girl inlaid box, which was a gift to secretary baker in 1991, a gift from the
mayor of bethlehem. >> bethlehem is an palestinian territory and considered to be an agent city. diplomatic relations with the arab world had been restrained. throughout the 1960's and 1970's, american presidents and secretaries were preoccupied with negotiating between egypt and israel which was during the carter administration. when ronald reagan became president and then his successor , they were focused on the palestinian conflict. this was very important that not only was it given in bethlehem in palestinian territory, it was an important shift in thinking about american foreign-policy and how they could mediate the settlement between the israelis and palestinians. >> this particular box came with a personalized note to secretary aker, and it is from the mayor
f bethlehem, and you can see that he writes, welcome to bethlehem. we pray that secretary of state, mr. baker, will succeed in helping us to have peace tween palestinians -- between palestinians and israelis. it is stated 1991. >> -- dated 1991. >> extreme violence broke out in the bosnian region and yugoslavia. it was the last gaps of the cold war. the americans were involved in the peace rss in dayton, ohio -- peace processes in dayton, ohio. it was a hot spot, and the secretary of state, marilyn
albright, was aware of what was going on in the region. >> she was, and a sheet managed the response in coordination with some of her foreign minister counterparts, and she held an almost daily conference call with the foreign ministers, and she later termed it conference call diplomacy to help manage the conflict. they coordinated and worked quite well together. at the end of secretary albright's tenure in january 2000 one, she and her conference call diplomacy counterparts together for dinner in paris to celebrate the end of secretary albright's 10-year, and she was presented with gifts -- tenure, and she was presented with gifts. this russian porcelain coffee set was a gift from the russian foreign minister. as you can
ee, on each of the cups is the image of albright and her foreign minister counterparts. these include igor even off of russia, robin cook of the united kingdom, hubert of france, fisher of germany, lloyd of canada, and lumbarerto of italy. they didn't stop at he faces, they dubbed this group madeleine and her dream team of foreign ministers. w>> what is so interesting is while adeleine albright is the first ecretary of state, this is a ender based. it is a gift to a
oman as secretary of state. as visitors come to the diplomacy center, that will very much be a parent. >> parts of diplomatic giftgiving involves trying to figure out who the pursuit is and what they are like and what they might be interested in. at the same time, it -- what represents me and my country? what are the atural resources and arts and artisans of my country? i think the set does that magnificently. >> we have been building the artifact ollection for many years and we are at about 7000 500 items in our collection. this collection is truly unique to the nation. there is no other institution in the nation that is solely focused on collecting diplomacy. these objects would
have nowhere else to go, and would be somewhat lost to history. with the diplomacy museum, we can't really bring these stories to life through these fascinating objects and their visual appeal and the many fascinating people and events behind these objects. >> also, in power -- part of our research, -- outreach, we traveled around. people don't understand sometimes what the function of the state department and what do americans service officers do. they will learn all of the displays and objects. >> what is diplomacy, who does it, and why does it matter, is the key question to answer throughout every exhibition. why is this history relevant to everyday americans? what are they doing today and what have
they done to promote security and our national interests abroad. >> this was the second of a two-part look at the u.s. diplomacy center museum collection. you can view part one and all other american history tc programs at c span.org/history. >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years c-span has been provided america unfiltered coverage of congress, and rand the country so you can make up your own mind created by cable in 1979. c-span is brought to you by your local cable and satellite provider. c-span your unfiltered view of government.