Truman Presidential Museum and Library, Harry S. Truman Library
The Truman Library offers more than 400 selected documents and photographs. Material is organized into broad topics, including the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the Marshall Plan, the 1948 Presidential campaign, and the Korean War. Each collection includes a chronology, diary entries, official documents, and related items. Sixty teaching units, lesson plans, and classroom activities include 24 elementary school projects, 21 middle school activities, and 22 plans for high school students are also available.
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945–1972, U.S. State Department
Published annually by the State Department, Foreign Relations of the United States is the official record of major declassified U.S. foreign policy decisions and diplomatic activity, with material culled from Presidential libraries and executive departments and agencies. For the Truman Administration, the site provides “1945–50, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment.” Three volumes are available for the Eisenhower years, on American republics, Guatemala, and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Cyprus. The Kennedy years are represented by 15 volumes that cover Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, the Berlin crisis, and exchanges with Premier Khrushchev. 34 volumes are available on the Johnson Administration, and three volumes are furnished from the Nixon years. Volume summaries provide historical context.
National Security Archive, Thomas S. Blanton, Director; George Washington University
Founded in 1985 as a central repository for declassified materials obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Archives at present offers approximately 100 “Briefing Books,” each providing government documents and a contextual narrative on national security history and issues, foreign policy initiatives, and military history. While much of the material relates to events abroad, documents provide information on U.S. involvement and perceptions. Major categories include Europe (with documents on the Hungarian Revolution, Solidarity, and the 1989 revolutions); Latin America (overall CIA involvement, war in Colombia, contras, Mexico); nuclear history (treaties, Berlin crisis, India and Pakistan, North Korea, China, Israel); Middle East and South Asia (Iraq and WMD, hostages in Iran, October 1973 war); the U.S. intelligence community; government secrecy; humanitarian interventions; and September 11 sourcebooks.
Vietnam Center, Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
This site offers full transcriptions of 11 oral histories of U.S. servicemen who served in Vietnam. It also includes 15 papers from the 1996 symposium, “After the Cold War: Reassessing Vietnam”; a 1996 address by former ambassador William Colby on “Turning Points in the Vietnam War”; 11 issues of “Indochina Chronology,” a quarterly journal providing bibliographic resources; 17 issues of the Center’s newsletter; listings for 171 dissertations on the Vietnam War; and links to 20 related sites.
The Vietnam War Declassification Project, Gerald R. Ford Library
This site provides 15 samples of material newly declassified by the Gerald R. Ford Library, 27 additional documents related to the war already available, and 17 photographs of Ford and his advisors during meetings. The sample documents include important memos, letters, and cables regarding corruption in South Vietnam; “ominous developments” by the North Vietnamese reported to Henry Kissinger in March 1975; the evacuation decision and its execution; the seizure of the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez by a Cambodian gunboat crew in May 1975; the plight of Vietnamese refugees; “lessons of the war” imparted to Ford by Kissinger; and notes from Brent Scowcroft to Ford on the then-ongoing reconstruction of Cambodian society by the Khmer Rouge. This site will be valuable for those interested in the Vietnam War and its aftermath and the internal workings of the Ford Administration.
Sixties Project & Viet Nam Generation, Viet Nam Generation, Inc., University of Virginia
A valuable resource for teaching and researching America in the 1960s and during the Vietnam War, this site contains links to 17 primary documents. Resources include materials from the Black Panther Party, the Free Speech Movement, and GI’s United Against War in Vietnam. The site provides more than 100 images of political buttons and posters and a full-text version of Vietnam: An Antiwar Comic Book, written by civil-rights activist Julian Bond. Additional items include five keyword searchable, full-text back issues of Viet Nam Generation and 10 syllabi.
A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law, 1965–1971, Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of American History
This lively exhibit offers images from the 1960s counterculture as seen through the lens of photographer Lisa Law’s camera from 1965 to 1971. The site covers the 1960s folk and rock music scenes, California’s counterculture, and commune life in New Mexico in eight chronological sections. Each section offers a 250–300 word summary of the theme and four to eight photographs. A “What Else was Happening” link provides a timeline that covers the social, political, and popular culture highlights of each year from 1963 to 1973.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, LBJ Library and Museum
The heart of this collection of material about Lyndon Baines Johnson is the group of 64 oral histories. These include interviews with Dean Rusk, Johnson’s secretary, Bess Abell, Robert MacNamara, Thurgood Marshall, and Billy Graham. The site also links to a C-SPAN collection of more than 800 transcribed recorded excerpts and full conversations Johnson had while in office. A selection of 20 speeches and nine messages to Congress are available in transcription and address issues such as the Great Society and limitations on the war in Vietnam. A collection of 37 photographs depict Johnson in meetings with other important figures of the time, including Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, an exhibit from the Johnson museum provides a 6,200-word essay about events in Johnson’s lifetime. This site will be very useful for research about Johnson’s presidency and major events of the 1960s.
China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960–1998, Jeffrey T. Richelson, editor, National Security Archive
This site presents 15 annotated U.S. government intelligence documents—most of which have been declassified through Freedom of Information Act requests—that illuminate various phases of the evolving U.S.-China relationship from the Cold War period to the recent past. These materials have been selected from a published microfiche collection of more than 2,000 documents. The site offers memoranda and directives on U.S. fears concerning China’s weapons program; President Nixon’s rapprochement in 1972; the changed U.S. policy regarding Taiwan; U.S. concerns over the sale by China to Saudi Arabia of intermediate-range ballistic missiles; human rights issues; and the resumption of a military relationship between the two powers after a falling out over Tiananmen Square. Includes a White House memo of the conversation held at the first meeting between Nixon and Chairman Mao Zedong, a message by President Ford to Mao on the day of Nixon’s resignation, and two biographies of Chinese officials. Valuable for those studying U.S.-China relations and the role the U.S. intelligence community has played in that history.
Cold War Policies, 1945–1991, Steven Schoenherr, Professor of History, U. of San Diego
Arranged into eight chronological sections—from “Negotiation, 1945” to “Revolution, 1989–1991”—this site presents several dozen primary and secondary materials relating principally to the military and foreign policy dimensions of the Cold War. The majority of the primary materials consist of images—photographs, maps, political cartoons, ads, and charts—though transcriptions of important diplomatic documents are also provided. Secondary resources include short background essays of 200–350 words in length; “outline notes” that sketch major benchmarks in the Cold War and include links—many now dead—to documents in related sites; links to 36 related sites; a bibliography of 95 titles; and listings for nine relevant films.
White House Tapes, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
This website offers access to more than 2,500 hours of White House recordings of six American presidents between 1940 and 1973: Franklin Roosevelt (8 hours), Harry Truman (10 hours), Dwight Eisenhower (4.5 hours), John Kennedy (260 hours), Lyndon Johnson (550 hours), and Richard Nixon (2,019 hours). A brief introduction to each set of recordings is provided and edited transcriptions of the Kennedy tapes are available. “From the Headlines” relates current events to the recordings. Eight exhibits with short scholarly essays utilizing clips from the presidential recordings feature such topics as the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” and the Space Race. Additionally, the site presents 16 pre-selected multimedia clips that include recordings of Kennedy discussing withdrawing from Vietnam, Johnson talking to McNamara about leaks, Johnson discussing women in politics, and Nixon discussing Mark Felt during the Watergate cover up. The site is an outstanding resource for researching the administrations of these presidents.