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Foreign affairs and diplomacy

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

‘The lamps are going out…’: tweeting the July Crisis

Sunday 28 June 1914 was warm and sunny, and most Londoners were enjoying a day of rest. One exception was the resident clerk at the Foreign Office who was on duty to deal with any unexpected crisis that might occur. …

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 …

‘We shall fight on the beaches’: 3 things you never knew about Churchill’s most famous speech

Ask anyone to name Winston Churchill’s best-known speech and nine times out of ten they will answer: We shall fight them on the beaches. It’s not an exact quotation – Churchill did not include the word ‘them’ – but the …

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 …