The Central Intelligence Agency’s “The World Situation in 1970” report was a strange mixture of realistic concerns, candid admissions, and forced optimism. In one of its more realistically optimistic moments, the CIA reported that the Soviets believed “rational Americans” would want a stable Europe. In response, President Richard Nixon asked if anything could be done to “cause more trouble” instead.
The Central Intelligence Archives document then-Vice President Richard Nixon’s disastrous 1958 “goodwill” tour to Latin America, in which Nixon faced multiple mobs of angry protestors - and at least one surprisingly heavy soccer ball.
After discovering the Soviet Army’s 1948 borscht recipe in the Central Intelligence Agency archives last month, we challenged our readers to try and make the sour soup themselves. While David and Shannon Perry made a slightly scaled-back version in an outdoor firepit, food historian - and professional fermenter - Julia Skinner adapted the recipe for home kitchens.
On Valentine’s Day eve 1976, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a column by Bob Lancaster, in which the veteran humorist bemoans having the flu. In a self-described malaise, Lancaster ponders what a Valentine’s Day card would look like written in a such a sour state, and then - capturing the post-Church Committee zeitgeist - pens one for our “secret admirers” at the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Lancaster would no doubt be delighted to know that his sweethearts at the CIA were so smitten by his sentiment that they kept a copy, and it remained classified for just shy of 30 years.