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Rusk OOOOO, William Willard Wirtz, 1985 November

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:21 - Kennedy's choice for Secretary of State

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Partial Transcript: Am I correct in assuming that you were Secretary of Labor '62 to '69?

Segment Synopsis: Wirtz discusses Dean Rusk's appointment as Secretary of State and Rusk and Kennedy's relationships with diplomat and U.S Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson.

Keywords: Bureau of International Organization Affairs; UN

00:06:18 - Working with Secretary Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Maybe you could tell me something about your contacts with my dad more on an official basis and perhaps on a personal level.

Segment Synopsis: Wirtz describes cabinet meetings as superficial and comments that cabinet roles were characterized by close relationships with the president. He describes instances in which he worked closely with Rusk to prevent the extradition of Canadian labor leader Hal Banks and to limit the AFL-CIO's power in choosing foreign labor attach├ęs.

Keywords: American Federation of Labor; Canadian Foreign Ministry; Congress of Industrial Organizations; Seamen's Union; labor interests; unions

00:16:25 - The Kennedy and Johnson cabinets / Commenting on the Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: The cabinet during the '60s was a very close-knit personal group.

Segment Synopsis: Wirtz compares cabinet meetings under Kennedy and Johnson, noting that Dean Rusk was always a leader among cabinet members. Wirtz states that there was little overlap in his work and Rusk's work, but recalls the close relationship between their wives and mentions talking to Rusk about the Vietnam War. Wirtz discusses his disagreement with AFL-CIO leader George Meany regarding the war.

Keywords: International Labor Organization; League of Nations; Tet Offensive; foreign policy

00:27:50 - Command decision-making / 1960s Department of Labor programs

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Partial Transcript: I'll ask you a very general question that I've asked a lot of people...

Segment Synopsis: Wirtz considers how the loss of lives in Vietnam may have affected Rusk as a policymaker, as well as how the families of decision-makers deal with negative externalities. He discusses labor-related developments, including OSHA, the Manpower Program, and youth employment efforts, noting the difficulty of passing domestic legislation during wartime. Wirtz mentions Dean Rusk's son, David Rusk, a progressive labor activist.

Keywords: Marion Barry; Occupational Safety and Health Act; Pride