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Gill Bennett

Formerly Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Senior Editor of the FCO’s official history of postwar foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas, 1995-2005. She was a Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2002-03 and formerly Assistant Editor of Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939.

What’s the Context? 4 February 1945: the Yalta Conference opens

Yalta conference Churchill Stalin Roosevelt 1945 (The National Archives ref: INF14/447)

The Yalta Myth Between 4 and 11 February 1945, while the Second World War still raged both in Europe and in the Far East, the ‘Big Three’—Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill—met at the Black Sea resort of Yalta, supported by large …

What’s the Context? President Richard M. Nixon announces his resignation, 8 August 1974

‘The most powerful government ever to fall as a result of American covert action was the administration of Richard Nixon’ Christopher Andrew, For The President’s Eyes Only

What’s the Context? 4 April 1949: the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty

The signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

How the West was won 65 years ago today the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in the State Department auditorium in Washington. An organisation was born—NATO—that remains a cornerstone of Western defence up to the present day. In 1949 there …

What’s the context? 22 January 1924: Britain’s first Labour government takes office

Ramsay MacDonald

Ninety years ago today, the British political mould was shattered by the election of the first Labour government. After an inconclusive election on 6 December 1923 that the ruling Conservatives lost but nobody won, Ramsay MacDonald took office as both …

What’s the context? 22 November 1963: The death of President John F Kennedy

Portrait Photograph, President John F. Kennedy. White House | US National Archives

  Fifty years ago today, the 35thPresident of the United States of America was shot dead as his car drove through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. The brutal shock of the assassination made it one of the defining moments of …

What’s the context? 30 September 1938: The Munich Agreement

Image from German Federal Archive

75 years ago today, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew back from Munich after two days of tense discussions with the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He had reached an agreement setting out a timetable and terms for the Nazi takeover of …