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Rusk RR, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk circa 1984

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:03 - John Davies / Likelihood of McCarthyism recurring

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Partial Transcript: Do you recall having testified on behalf of John Davies in the early fifties?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses his long-term efforts to clear John Davies's name during the McCarthy era. He also talks about whether it is possible for McCarthyism to regain the foothold it once had in America.

Keywords: Alger Hiss; Attorney General; Bobby Kennedy; Bureau of Special Political Affairs; Bureau of United Nations Affairs; Foreign Service; General Joseph W. Stillwell; George Marshall; John Foster Dulles; Joseph McCarthy; President Ronald Reagan; Reagan Administration; Red Scare; Robert Kennedy; Secretary of State; State Department; United States Congress; political correctness

00:09:00 - Cox and Reece Committees / Eisenhower's response to McCarthyism

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Partial Transcript: In the books containing this testimony before the Cox and Rees Committees, didn't see any mention of the committee reports.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the effects of the Cox and Reece Committees (1952-1954), two select committees formed to investigate tax-exempt foundations and other non-profit organizations. He focuses specifically on the way the investigation affected the Rockefeller Foundation. He also briefly discusses investigations into the State Department. Later, Dean Rusk shares his views on Eisenhower's response to McCarthyism as a whole. He illustrates his views by telling a story about Senator William Jenner and George Marshall.

Keywords: Chief of Staff of the Army; Conservatism; Edward Eugene Cox; Edward H. Rees; Eisenhower Administration; Foreign Service; National Convention of the American Legion; President Dwight Eisenhower; Red Scare; Secretary of State

00:16:05 - Personal experience with McCarthyism / Start of McCarthyism

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Partial Transcript: Did you personally get touched by the McCarthy period?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the impact McCarthyism had on him, considering various reasons for this. He also shares about his work and personal relationship with Dean Acheson and the effect of McCarthyism. Later, he discusses the origins of McCarthyism, including Joseph McCarthy's motivations.

Keywords: Alger Hiss; Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs; Communism; Jean Kerr McCarthy; President Harry Truman; Red Scare; Republicanism; State Department; Tail-Gunner Joe; Truman Administration

00:21:34 - Contributors to McCarthyism

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Partial Transcript: So, was McCarthyism something that had to happen, given the mood of the times, or is this a case where one fellow in history was able to start something?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the various factors that contributed to McCarthyism, focusing on Joseph McCarthy and China.

Keywords: Chiang Kai-shek; Communism; Foreign Service; Japan; President Harry Truman; Red Scare; State Department; Truman Administration; Westchester County Democratic Committee; nonpartisan; party politics

00:26:00 - Acquiring new ideas

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Partial Transcript: One or two other questions: the specific question of the Reece Committee Report, I'm putting you as saying that you regarded it to be confused...

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the difficulty of finding novel ideas. He relates this to his work at the Rockefeller Foundation and as Secretary of State.

Keywords: Foreign Service; George Marshall; New York Times; Open Forum; Robert Lovett; Rockefeller Board of Directors; Rockefeller trustees; State Department; Washington Post; deterrence; disarmament; nuclear war; nuclear weapons

00:33:58 - Retirement

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Partial Transcript: This next tape deals with Dean Rusk and his years in Athens, Georgia starting from Fall of 1970 up through the present day.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares about the end of his career as Secretary of State. He talks about why he retired when he did and the feelings that accompanied leaving office.

Keywords: Andrei Gromyko; Boys Nation; Eagle Scout; JFK Presidential Library; Johnson Administration; Kennedy Administration; LBJ Presidential Library; President John F. Kennedy; President Lyndon B. Johnson; Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; Secretary George Marshall; assassination of John F. Kennedy

00:42:36 - Confidentiality of presidential conversations

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Partial Transcript: As a matter of practice you had a habit of advising both your presidents on a rather confidential basis...

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the private nature of his conversations with the presidents under whom he served, sharing the motives behind this practice. He also briefly talks about taping oral histories at Johns Hopkins University and the effect his presence had on the students.

Keywords: Eisenhower Administration; Foreign Service; Francis Orlando Wilcox; Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies; President Eisenhower; Rockefeller Foundation; Secretary of State; United Nations; presidential memorandum

00:48:04 - Gift-giving

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Partial Transcript: But anyhow, working on materials for that dictation took up a good part of the time.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares several protocols and anecdotes about gift-giving during his time as Secretary of State and into retirement. He focuses on gift-giving with foreign dignitaries and Lyndon B. Johnson's gift-giving habits.

Keywords: Accutron clocks; Chiang Kai-shek; General Services Administration; Johnson Administration; Lamar Dodd School of Art; Lyndon B. Johnson busts; Pope Paul VI; Protocol Office; Secretary of State William Pierce Rogers; UGA; University of GA; University of Georgia; Vatican City; folk music

00:55:48 - Professor of International Law

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Partial Transcript: From my observation--of course I was back and forth between Washington and Cornell during that time.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares about teaching International Law at UGA, focusing on the process of acquiring the job and discussing the benefits of working with students.

Keywords: Affirmation Vietnam; Atlanta Stadium; Dean Lindsey Cowen; Milner Ball; University of GA; University of Georgia; Vietnam War protests

01:01:32 - Time management as Secretary of State

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Partial Transcript: Pop, getting back to your earliest comments about the nature of your job and the way that you went at it.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses how he used his time as Secretary of State under different presidential administrations. He also talks about the most time-consuming duties of the Secretary of State position.

Keywords: Carter Administration; Foreign Diplomatic Corps; Foreign Service; George Marshall; James Harlan Cleveland; Kennedy Administration; National Day parties; President Jimmy Carter; President John F. Kennedy; State Department; United Nations

01:09:42 - Efforts to decrease time demands / Effect on White House fashion

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Partial Transcript: Now that the world has become a more complex place and is increasingly becoming so, would it be a good thing for the foreign ministers

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares various alterations to traditions and ceremonies that were attempted to save time for government officials. Later, he talks about an change he made to White House fashion at white tie events.

Keywords: Diplomatic Corps; Edward VII; Foreign Service; Secretary of State; United Nations General Assembly; ambassadorial calls; bat-wing collars

01:15:20 - Effect of fatigue on policy decisions

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Partial Transcript: I guess a lot of these questions about scheduling lead to the question, 'what happens to policy?'.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the problem of fatigue in political leaders, focusing on the possible consequences especially in the decision-making process.

Keywords: Cold War; Cuban Missile Crisis; Fidel Castro; Foreign Service; Kennedy Administration; President John F. Kennedy; Soviet Union; US foreign policy; United States foreign policy; sleep deprivation