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Rusk MMMMMM, Harry Shlaudeman, 1986 May

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:00 - The Dominican Crisis of 1965

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Partial Transcript: Interview with Ambassador Harry Shlaudeman...

Segment Synopsis: Shlaudeman recalls Dean Rusk's recommendation to send troops to the Dominican Republic, but claims that Rusk was generally not heavily involved in decision-making throughout the crisis.

Keywords: CIA; Central Intelligence Agency; Directorate of Operations; Ellsworth Bunker; Johnson; Thomas Mann; election

00:05:12 - The job of the special assistant / Travelling with Rusk

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Partial Transcript: If I can get you to describe very briefly what you did as Special Assistant.

Segment Synopsis: Shlaudeman explains the duties of the Secretary of State's Special Assistant, including administrative tasks and travel accompaniment. He explains that despite Rusk's natural talent as a public speaker, he was always nervous to present. Shlaudeman describes his travels with Rusk, mentioning that Rusk's habit of playing bridge in transit. He talks about several important cables they received on the road, and recalls being summoned back to the U.S. after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.

Keywords: Ben Read; Vietnam; correspondence; telegrams

00:13:27 - Anecdotes about Rusk

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Partial Transcript: There's a story I've told about him that may be at least partially apocryphal.

Segment Synopsis: Shlaudeman recounts anecdotes about Rusk, including one in which Rusk had to stop a presentation at the Democratic National Convention to respond to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He also recalls a briefing for the 1968 presidential candidates during which George Wallace fell asleep.

Keywords: Czechoslovakia; DNC; Dobrynin; George Wallace; Seven-Day War; USSR

00:19:54 - Command decision-making

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Partial Transcript: It was a very trying period for your father...

Segment Synopsis: Shlaudeman comments on Rusk's personal strength, attributing his perspective to his experience of WWII. He mentions Rusk's work on the technical points of the Nonproliferation Treaty and discusses the possible effects of wartime decision-making on Rusk, speculating that Rusk did not support many of the Pentagon's activities.

Keywords: Adrian Fisher; Creighton Abrams; Department of Defense; NPT; Vietnamization; command decision-making; military; nonproliferation regime

00:25:35 - Rusk's role in Johnson's cabinet / Rusk's retirement

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Partial Transcript: ...the strongest man in the administration next to the President...

Segment Synopsis: Shlaudeman describes President Johnson's reliance upon and respect for Rusk. He comments that Rusk began drinking too heavily during 1968. Shlaudeman recalls Rusk's final exit from the State Department, where he was met with hundreds of supporters.

Keywords: Africa; alcohol; health; retirement

00:30:27 - Side 2

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Partial Transcript: There was some resistance within the department by those who feared that the standards for entry and promotion would be lowered for blacks...

Segment Synopsis: [SIDE 2 NOT TRANSCRIBED; Side 2 is a recording of Richard Rusk reading what
seems to be a transcript back to Dean Rusk]