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December 1960–November 1963


1. Memorandum From Thomas C. Sorensen of the United States Information Agency to the Special Counsel to the President-Elect (Sorensen)

Source: Kennedy Library, Pre-Presidential Papers, Transition Files—Task Force Reports, Task Force Reports 1960, Box 1073, Exchange of Persons. No classification marking. A piece of paper is taped over the date on the copy of the memorandum printed here.


2. Memorandum Prepared by Thomas C. Sorensen of the United States Information Agency

Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Staff Memoranda, Box 64, Neustadt, Richard E., 1961–1962. No classification marking. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Neustadt, who was coordinating the transition team, sent the paper to the President-elect under a January 2 memorandum, in which he stated: “On December 21 you asked me for a memorandum on the United States Information Agency. In response, I am enclosing two memoranda prepared by Thomas C. Sorensen. You requested a report from him some time ago, through Sorensen’s brother Ted. By the time his memoranda were written the Sharon task force on this subject had come into being and Sorensen, who was consulted by Sharon’s associates, assumed that their work superseded his own. Accordingly, he did not send these memoranda to you. But it seems to me that you should see them; having fished them out of limbo I forward them herewith.” (Ibid.)


3. Report Prepared by Deputy Director-Designate Donald M. Wilson

Source: Kennedy Library, Personal Papers of Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General’s General Correspondence, Box 78, United States Information Agency (USIA), 12/;1960–5/;1962. No classification marking. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Wilson sent the report to Robert Kennedy under a December 13 covering memorandum, indicating that it was the “preliminary report” on USIA. (Ibid.)


4. Memorandum From James J. Halsema, Office of Plans, United States Information Agency to the Acting Director (Washburn)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Entry UD WW 372, Box 603, Director’s Correspondence—1960. No classification marking. Drafted by Halsema and Dalcher. A copy was sent to Dalcher.


5. Report Prepared by the Task Force on the United States Information Agency

Source: Kennedy Library, Pre-Presidential Papers, Transition Files—Transition Reports, Transition Reports 1960, Box 1072, United States Information Agency—Task Force Report. Confidential. Free and Davison chaired the Task Force on USIA; its members were Alexander, Almond, Barrett, Bingham, Blum, Bogart, Cantrill, Carlson, Carroll, Cleveland, Fischer, Gallup, Carl Marcy, May, Murrow, Neilson, Oshins, deSola Pool, Sargeant, Speier, Strauss-Hupe, and Thompson. The Task Force was an outgrowth of a study undertaken by Stevenson, aided by Ball and Sharon, regarding foreign policy issues. The resultant report outlined decisions Kennedy needed to make during the transition and the foreign policy challenges facing the administration following the inauguration. According to The New York Times, Sharon had suggested that Kennedy “go beyond the report and use the pre-Inauguration period to set up task forces on United States foreign policy—what it has been, what is wrong with it, the decisions and actions ahead.” (Dana Adams Schmidt, “Kennedy Gets Aid on Foreign Policy: Dozen Groups Assay Wide Area of Problems—Will Offer Ideas by Dec. 31,” December 20, 1960, p. 36)


6. Memorandum From Barry Zorthian, Broadcasting Service, United States Information Agency to the Director, Broadcasting Service (Loomis)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1961, Entry UD WW 142, Box 6, Broadcasting Service—(IBS) General 1961. Secret. Loomis sent the memorandum to Wilson under an attached January 13 cover memorandum, copies of which were sent to Roberts and Zorthian, in which he stated: “I believe the enclosed memorandum on the subject—Servicing Radio in Africa—deserves serious consideration. I agree wholeheartedly that the U.S. has an opportunity to not only help African countries, but also to gain a continuing position of influence in the radio medium.”


7. Memorandum From the Acting Director of the United States Information Agency (Wilson) to President Kennedy

Source: Kennedy Library, United States Information Agency Records (RG 306), Series 1, Records, 1961–1964, Box 1, Memoranda 1961–1964 [1 of 3]. No classification marking. Printed from an uninitialed copy. A notation in an unknown hand in the top right-hand corner of the memorandum reads: “President read.” Another copy of the memorandum is in the National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1961, Entry UD WW 142, Box 7, Government Agencies—White House 1961 January–March.


8. Memorandum From the Acting Director of the United States Information Agency (Wilson) to President Kennedy

Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Box 91, USIA 1960–5/61. No classification marking. Attached but not printed are an undated cover sheet from Smathers to Kennedy marked “personal and confidential,” an undated paper entitled “Need for New Type of Leadership and Reorientation for the United States Information Agency,” and an undated paper entitled “Key Positions in the United States Information Agency and Suggested Candidates for Appointment.” Another copy of Wilson’s memorandum is ibid., National Security Files, Subjects Series, Box 296, Cultural and Social Activities, General, 1/61–8/61.


9. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Box 296, Cultural and Social Activities, General, 1/61–8/61. No classification marking.


10. Memorandum From the Director-Designate of the United States Information Agency (Murrow) to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Box 296, Cultural and Social Activities, General, 1/61–8/61. No classification marking. No drafting information appears on the memorandum; another copy of the memorandum indicates that it was drafted by Thomas Sorensen. (National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Entry UD WW 382, Box 119, 1962 IOP/Rm 823)


11. Memorandum From the Director, Motion Picture Service, United States Information Agency (Shelton) to the Director (Murrow)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1961, Entry UD WW 142, Box 7, Miscellaneous #2—Various Subjects. Limited Official Use. Payne initialed the top right corner of the memorandum.


12. Memorandum From the Director, Broadcasting Service, United States Information Agency (Loomis) to the Director (Murrow)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Box 35A, Cuba, General, 1/61–4/61. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Loomis. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Copies were sent to Wilson and Dave Phillips.


13. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Box 328, National Security Action Memoranda: NSAM 13 re: Exchanges of Persons Behind the Iron Curtain. Official Use Only. Drafted by Siscoe on February 16. A stamped notation indicates that it was received in S/S at 8:10 p.m. on February 16. A notation in an unknown hand for Battle at the top of the memorandum reads: “Mr. Rusk talked with Ralph Dungan on Thursday March 9, concerning this memo. Mr. Dungan said that it was cleared with the President and action could be taken. (LB: JMR, 3/13/61).” Battle sent a copy of the memorandum to McGeorge Bundy under a March 23 typewritten covering note. (Ibid.) Also printed in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. V, Soviet Union, Document 30.


14. Potomac Cable From the United States Information Agency

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Entry UD WW 382, Box 117, MASTER COPIES—Jan–Jun 1961. Unclassified. Drafted by Halsema and Pauker; cleared by Burris; approved by Halsema. Pauker initialed for Burris. Sent via Wireless File.


15. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Policy and Plans, United States Information Agency (Sorensen) to the Director (Murrow)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Acc. # 67A222, Entry UD WW 379, Themes—General 1963 & Prior. No classification marking. Drafted by Sirkin. A notation in an unknown hand indicates that a copy was sent to Wilson.


16. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Policy and Plans, United States Information Agency (Sorensen) to the Director (Murrow)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Acc. # 67A222, Entry UD WW 379, Themes—General 1963 & Prior. No classification marking. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Drafted by Sirkin and Sorensen. A copy was sent to Wilson.


17. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the United States Information Agency (Wilson) to the President’s Assistant Special Counsel (Goodwin)

Source: Kennedy Library, United States Information Agency Records (RG 306), Series 1, Records, 1961–1964, Box 1, Memoranda 1961–1964 [1 of 3]. Secret.


18. Memorandum From the Assistant Director, Latin America, United States Information Agency (McKnight) to the Deputy Director (Wilson)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Entry UD WW 288, Box 130, Food for Peace 1961 IOP/823. Official Use Only. Wilson sent a copy of the memorandum to Sorensen under a March 9 typewritten note, to which he also attached his March 9 response to McKnight. An unknown hand, presumably Sorensen’s, wrote on Wilson’s note: “McKnight to do memo for me to pass McG, wrapping it up.” (Ibid.)


19. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Gilpatric) and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Box 290, United States Information Agency: General, 1/61–6/61. Confidential. A copy was sent to Sylvester.


20. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow) to the Director of the Peace Corps (Shriver)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Acc. #67A222, Entry UD WW 379, Basic Documents, Peace Corps, 61–63. No classification marking. Drafted by Meiklejohn, Halsema, and Sorensen on March 10. Copies were sent to Wilson, Meiklejohn, and McKnight; Wilson initialed the memorandum, indicating that he had seen it. Attached but not printed are a March 23 memorandum from Sorensen to Shriver concerning Shriver’s upcoming press conference in New York and including “angles” that Shriver might stress with foreign correspondents and a March 24 memorandum from Sorensen to Roberts, Phillips, Neilson, McKnight, and King describing the relationship between USIA and the Peace Corps.


21. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow) to President Kennedy

Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Box 91, USIA, 1960–5/61. No classification marking. A stamped notation indicates that it was received in the White House on March 21 at 3:52 p.m.


22. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Policy and Plans, United States Information Agency (Sorensen) to the Director (Murrow)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1961, Entry UD WW 142, Box 7, Policy and Plans—General (IOP) 1961 January–June. No classification marking. Payne initialed the top right-hand corner of the memorandum.


23. Memorandum of Conversation

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1961, Entry UD WW 142, Box 7, Miscellaneous #1—Motion Pictures. Confidential. Drafted by Shelton on April 21. Copies were sent to Murrow, Wilson, Neilson, Tubby, Steeves, and Unger in Bangkok. Smith initialed the top right-hand corner of the memorandum.


24. Paper Prepared in the Policy Planning Council

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Acc. #65A175, Entry UD WW 288, Box 131, State—Policy Planning 1961 IOP/823. Official Use Only. McGhee sent the paper to Murrow under an April 19 covering memorandum, in which he commented: “I thought you might be interested in the attached paper, ‘Positive Foreign Policy Themes’, from the standpoint both of action and of public relations. I should in any event appreciate your reactions, together with any additional positive themes which occur to you.” (Ibid.) Murrow’s May 2 response to McGhee is ibid.


25. Letter From Abbott Washburn to the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow)

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1961, Entry UD WW 142, Box 6, Office of the Director—(I) General 1961. No classification marking.


26. Memorandum of Discussion

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Acc. #67A222, Entry UD WW 379, Themes—General 1963 & Prior. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Brooke on May 4. Under a May 9 covering memorandum to Halsema and Sirkin, Sorensen sent a copy of the memorandum of discussion and a copy of a May 8 memorandum from Pauker to Moceri, Halsema, and Brooke. (Ibid.) In the May 8 memorandum, Pauker stated: “In our consideration of Themes, I hope we do not lose sight of the extent to which a Theme is effective only insofar as it engages a real need and a real will to work; otherwise it is likely to be (and to be readily identifiable as) mere window-dressing behind which lurk the realities of the diverse and often conflicting interests which nations and peoples hold dear.”


27. Infoguide From the United States Information Agency to Multiple Diplomatic and Consular Posts

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Entry UD WW 382, Box 117, MASTER COPIES—Jan–Jun 1961. Official Use Only. Drafted by Meiklejohn and Pauker; cleared by Ehrman (IAA) and Battey (IAF) and in IAE, IAL, IAN, Peace Corps, and P/PG; approved by Sorensen. Pauker initialed for Meiklejohn and for all clearing officials. Sent via pouch to Accra, Addis Ababa, Amman, Ankara, Athens, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beirut (also for RSC), Bogota, Bonn, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Canberra, Colombo, Conakry, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Djakarta, Guatemala City, Hong Kong, Jidda, Kabul, Kampala, Karachi, Katmandu, Khartoum, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, La Paz, Leopoldville, Lima, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Manila (also for RSC), Managua, Mexico City, Mogadiscio, Monrovia, Nairobi, New Delhi, Nicosia, Panama City, Paris, Phnom Penh, Pretoria, Quito, Rabat, Rangoon, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Saigon, Salisbury, San Jose, Santiago, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tegucigalpa, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Tripoli, Tunis, Vientiane, Wellington, Yaounde, SECNAV, SECAF, ARMY/SPWAR, POLAD (CINCPAC), USCAR (Okinawa), and POLAD (USARYIS). Sent for information to OSD and JCS (JSAG).


28. Circular Airgram From the United States Information Agency to All Principal USIS Posts

Source: National Archives, RG 306, Office of Plans, General Subject Files, 1949–1970, Entry UD WW 382, Box 117, MASTER COPIES—Jan–Jun 1961. Unclassified. Drafted by Halsema and Thomas Sorensen on April 27; cleared by Ehrman, Battey, George Mann, Brooke, Siemer, Vogel, Donald Mann, Guarco, Elizabeth Stephens, and in IAE and IAL; approved by Sorensen. Sent via pouch.


29. Memorandum From the Special Assistant to the President (Schlesinger) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (Coombs)

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Subject Files, 1961–1962: Lot 63D135, Entry A1–5072, Box 5, White House—1961. No classification marking. A stamped notation indicates that it was received in CU on May 15 at 2:22 p.m. A notation in an unknown hand indicates that it was received in the Office of Educational Exchange (OEE) at 10:20 a.m. on May 17. An attached slip from Warren Roberts (ACE/S) to Cook reads: “For immediate attention.”


30. Paper Prepared in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Subject Files, 1961–1962: Lot 63D135, Entry A1–5072, Box 5, White House—1961. No classification marking. No drafting information appears on the paper. Isenberg sent the paper to Schlesinger under an attached May 25 covering memorandum, indicating that the paper “provides the material requested by the President, as outlined in your recent memorandum to Phil Coombs.” See Document 29.