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Dean Acheson

Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson recalled his time as a "driver" in the horse-drawn artillery, after Pres. Wilson discovered the U.S. had practically no Army.

From "Practice Range," American Heritage, February, 1968 Read more >>

Miscalculations and blunders by world leaders precipitated the Korean War 60 years ago

On its 60th anniversary, the Korean War looks much like Vietnam, a pointless conflict that gained nothing for those who began it: North Korea’s Kim Il-sung and South Korea’s Syngman Rhee, with the consent of the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong. Yet it was far worse than that: The bloodletting in that corner of northeast Asia was an exercise in human folly that cost all sides in the fighting nearly 4 million lives lost, missing, and wounded, not to mention the devastation of the peninsula from Pusan in the south to the Yalu River in the north. Not a single northern or southern Korean city escaped the ravages wrought by modern warfare. Public buildings and private homes were turned into piles of rubble, while thousands of refugees fled from the scenes of battle. Read more >>
When the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, took office in 1790, his entire staff consisted of just six people, including himself and a part-time translator. The current Secretary presides over almost fifteen thousand employees scattered around the globe. Read more >>

Unpublished letters from Dean Acheson to Ex-President Harry Truman

Our former Secretary of State recalls his service fifty years ago in the Connecticut National Guard—asthmatic horses, a ubiquitous major, and a memorable

The “conversion” of Arthur Vandenberg, told by a former Secretary of State, his sometime adversary but also his friend