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The first attempt to sell weapons to Iran through Israeli middlemen failed. Reagan then convened a group of advisors, including Secretary of State George Shultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Both Shultz and Weinberger, as well as White House Chief of Staff Don Regan, objected to selling weapons directly to Iran, which the U.S. had…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1985

In this activity students analyze a timeline and official and unofficial documents that reveal the events of the Iran-Contra Affair. This activity also models the types of questions that can help students analyze foreign policy documents from other events. The activity instructions include suggestions for how to differentiate the activity for…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2010

The first attempt to sell weapons to Iran through Israeli middlemen failed. Reagan then convened a group of advisors, including Secretary of State George Shultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Both Shultz and Weinberger, as well as White House Chief of Staff Don Regan, objected to selling weapons directly to Iran, which the U.S. had…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1985

The C.I.A. airdropped thousands of these 15-page illustrated manuals telling "Nicaraguans who love their country and cherish freedom" how they could sabotage the Sandinista-led government. The leftist Sandinistas had overthrown a military dictatorship in 1979; the U.S. supported rightwing Contras in their efforts to remove the Sandinistas from…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: Circa 1983

Writing from a British prison in 1941, Jawaharlal Nehru, the future post-Independence prime minister of India, attempts to explain his political outlook. In these excerpts, Nehru gives particular vent to his thoughts on Communism and the Soviet Union. Nehru's views on Soviet Russia typify those of many post-colonial leaders, who admired the…

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Item Type: Biography/Autobiography
Date: 1941

After the creation of the Peace Corps in 1961, communist newspapers and other propaganda outlets in Asia, Africa, and, South American were quick to denounce the U.S. humanitarian program as a trick to stop the spread of revolution in underdeveloped countries. At the time, the Kennedy Administration was considering a proposal to use U.S. army…

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Item Type: TV/Film
Date: 1961

Kennedy had first spoken of an "Alliance for Progress" between the United States and Latin America in his inaugural address. Citing a shared heritage, Kennedy outlined his vision for a "large-scale Inter-American effort... to attack the social barriers which block economic progress" at a 1961 White House reception for Latin American diplomats.

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1961

Henry A. Wallace, Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice president and Secretary of Commerce under Harry Truman, delivered this speech to a gathering of leftist and liberal groups in New York's Madison Square Garden in 1946. In it, he urges taking a more conciliatory approach in America's foreign policy toward the Soviet Union. In contrast to Truman's…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1946

President Harry S. Truman proclaimed the Truman Doctrine in a speech addressed to Congress on March 12, 1947. In addition to drawing a stark contrast between the two different "ways of life" represented by the United States and the Soviet Union, the speech marked a shift in American foreign policy toward a policy of "containment" of Soviet…

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Item Type: Speech
Date: 1947

This 1955 government pamphlet, issued by the Federal Civil Defense Administration, warns Americans about the dangers of radioactive fallout in the event of a nuclear explosion, and suggests measures citizens can take to protect themselves. With its upbeat tone and cartoon illustrations, the pamphlet seems to downplay the danger presented by a…

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Item Type: Pamphlet/Petition
Date: 1955