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Rusk YYYYYY, C. Jane Peleuses and Gus P. Mossellem, 1985 March

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:54 - Traditional diplomacy in Fiji / Rusk's methods of relaxation

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Partial Transcript: We were on a trip.

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses recalls Rusk drinking a traditional brew during a diplomatic trip to Fiji. He remembers having plane trouble and leaving behind James Lloyd Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Peleuses mentions that because Rusk could not receive secured communications during flights, that was his only time for relaxation. He explains why Rusk always had Haig & Haig Scotch on hand.

Keywords: Ernest Lindley; Jim Greenfield

00:05:55 - Rusk's take on security's advice / Leo Crampsey / Playing bridge with Rusk

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Partial Transcript: After that detail was finished was when I came on the detail with your father...

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses tracks his career with Rusk, mentioning that Rusk asked for more advice in the beginning, as in the case of the 1961 Flight 54 hijack. He claims that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Rusk said the only good advice he could get was from Peleuses and security detail Leo Crampsey, who offered a retort that made Rusk laugh. Peleuses talks about Leo Crampsey and tells a story about Rusk's bridge-playing and betting.

Keywords: Dean Acheson; George Ball; Leo Crampsey; cards; leisure

00:12:31 - Rusk "caught with his pants down" / Anecdotes from Moscow Test Ban Treaty meetings

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Partial Transcript: This is an event that really surprised and caught him completely off guard.

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses tells a story about a time Rusk was unexpectedly taken into a sauna by the Finnish president, and he relays an accidentally crude statement by Gromyko. He shares a story about a Russian commander drinking too much and falling on Russian emergency phones and about rusk playing ping-pong after Test Ban Treaty meetings.

Keywords: Khrushchev; classless society

00:22:35 - Reactions to Kennedy's assassination

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Partial Transcript: We're talking now about the flight to Japan at the time that John [Fitzgerald] Kennedy was assassinated.

Segment Synopsis: Mossellem and Peleuses recall receiving the news of Kennedy's assassination on a plane, noting the single tear Rusk let out and discussing other officials' reactions.

Keywords: Luther Hodges

00:26:33 - Henry Cabot Lodge / Rusk's Vietnam visit

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Partial Transcript: We went to Vietnam.

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses discusses how powerful Henry Cabot Lodge, the ambassador to Vietnam, was during the war. He tells an illustrative anecdote to critique Lodge's secrecy as dangerous for security, and he notes that no reporters recognized the U-2s they passed. He recalls a speech during which the Viet Cong advanced toward Rusk, a flight lined by choppers to absorb fire, and Rusk's decision not to risk others' lives to visit Vietnam.

Keywords: U-2s; helicopters; safety; security detail

00:36:36 - Official travels with Rusk

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Partial Transcript: We went to Athens and I did the advance in Athens.

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses tells an anecdote about Rusk's trip to the Acropolis. He talks about the need to escape reporters to relax and some officials' bad behavior on trips. Peleuses recalls President Johnson's use of obscure idioms, and he contrasts Johnson's modus operandi with Rusk's homegrown appeal and concerted efforts to connect with GIs and contact each of their families.

Keywords: Labouisse; Manila

00:43:41 - Secretary Kissinger / Travelling with officials' dogs

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Partial Transcript: It was early on when he [Henry Alfred Kissinger] came in and I had been asked to be his personal assistant.

Segment Synopsis: Mossellem contrasts Kissinger and Rusk as Secretary of State. Peleuses recounts a tale about traveling to Jamaica with Kissinger. Peleuses notes that Kissinger preferred Secret Service to State Department security and often complicated things by bringing his dog along. Mossellem recalls her husband's wrangling of the Kennedys' dog.

Keywords: JFK; official travel; trips