76. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (Frankel) to the Director of the United States Information Agency (Marks)1

Dear Leonard:

Had I not been away from my desk, I would have answered your letter of January 14 before this.2 I am delighted to have this expression, not only of your own concern, but that of Mr. Palmer Hoyt,3 in our exchange of persons program in Asia. I found his suggestions, which you forwarded with your letter, both interesting and valuable.

In recruiting American participants for the Far East exchange program, as well as for other areas of the world, it has been our practice constantly to seek to reflect the multiracial character of our society. In fact, if we proceed on the principle of asking the outstanding people in their fields, the multiracial character of our society is almost automatically reflected, since we happen to have a society in which people with ability rise to the top, no matter what their origins. Thus, in recent years we have sent the following persons abroad:

Dr. Sammy Lee, Korean ancestry, Olympic High-Diving Champion (1948, 1952)

Mal Whitfield, Negro, Olympic 800-Meter Champion in Track (1948, 1952)

The San Francisco Chinese-American Basketball Team

The Harlem Globetrotters,4 Negro

AAU Basketball Teams, racially-mixed

AAU Softball Team, racially-mixed

The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, composed of Negroes, Caucasians, and an Asian

Jade Snow Wong, Chinese ancestry, author of The Fifth Chinese Daughter

Dr. James M. Nabrit, Negro, President of Howard University

Dong Kingman, Chinese ancestry, renowned water-color artist.

The foregoing does not include a substantial number of Americans of Asian origin and Negroes whom we have “re-exported” under aca [Page 218] demic programs to the Far East as teachers, professors, and research scholars.

As an indication of our continued concern to give a multi-racial content to our cultural features, we have under active consideration for presentation such integrated groups as the Cornell University Glee Club, the Charlie Byrd Trio, the Northwestern Saxophone Quartette, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Among outstanding Negroes who recently have responded affirmatively to our solicitations are: John Wheeler, President, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, Durham, North Carolina; Harry H.C. Gibson, Vice-President and General Counsel for the Supreme Life Insurance Company, Chicago, and Dr. Frank M. Snowden, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Howard University.

For reasons of policy, members of Congress are not funded through the exchange program because of the partisan issue, but we encourage their trips. We are not, however, under such limitation in the selection of officials at the state and local levels.

On the other hand, popular personalities such as Miss Pat Suzuki have ample opportunity through commercial channels for appearances in Asia. And World Series Baseball Champions, as Mr. Hoyt may know, have been visiting Japan for years under such auspices.

Among other persons mentioned by Mr. Hoyt, Minoru Yamasaki was approached about the possibility of participating in the exchange program, but without success, and the Koda brothers are associated with a technical and developmental field and are thus beyond the normal purview of our operations.

As funds and other priorities permit, we shall certainly consider the names on the list suggested by Mr. Hoyt to see if they are qualified for Department sponsorship.

I hope this information will be helpful and that you will continue to let me have your views on this and other subjects.

Sincerely yours,

Charles Frankel5
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Files, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Subject Files, 1965–1966, Lot 69D260, Entry UD UP 175, 1966—EDX 32—Cultural Presentations. No classification marking. Drafted by Esterline on February 5; redrafted by Frankel on February 7.
  2. See Document 72.
  3. Reference is to Hoyt’s December 20, 1965, letter to Marks; see footnote 2, Document 72.
  4. Reference is to the popular African-American exhibition basketball team, which was founded in 1926.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.