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Sept.1999 Issue

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State Prepares its USIA Welcome

The USIA Headquarters
Photo by Barry Fitzgerald

The U.S. Information Agency will merge with the Department of State on Oct. 1, bringing public diplomacy closer to the center of policy formulation. An independent agency since 1953, USIA has roots that reach back to World War I. During the 1930s and 1940s, international information activities were called into service once again, and the Voice of America was created to counter adverse foreign propaganda.


POW/MIA Recognition Day

Sept. 17 is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, a day of special tribute to men and women who, in the service of the United States, became prisoners of war or were missing in action during wartime. While most of the nation's POWs and MIAs have been in the military, members of the Foreign Service, too, have suffered the hardships of enemy captivity with honor, dignity and distinction. Here, taken largely from their own accounts, are the stories of two Foreign Service officers held prisoner and one who narrowly escaped capture during the Vietnam War.



For city planners, Thessaloniki is a nightmare. When local authorities decided several years ago to build a desperately needed underground parking lot in the middle of town, bulldozers scraped a few feet of dirt away, only to find traces of Turkish buildings lying on top of successive layers of Byzantine, Roman and Hellenistic remains. The bulldozers moved out and the archaeologists moved in. No parking lot was built, but some startling finds were unearthed.


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1999 State Magazine, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Personnel

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