United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia

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Ambassador of the United States to Czechoslovakia
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Incumbent
None
Inaugural holder Richard Crane
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Formation April 23, 1919
Abolished December 31, 1992
Succession United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic
United States Ambassador to Slovakia

Following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, the Czechs, and Slovaks united to form the new nation of Czechoslovakia. The United States recognized Czechoslovakia and commissioned its first ambassador on April 23, 1919.

Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in March 1939, establishing a German “protectorate.” By this time, Slovakia had already declared independence and had become a puppet state of Germany. German forces occupied Prague on March 15, 1939. The U.S. embassy was closed on March 21, 1939 and the ambassador left his post on April 6, 1939.

During World War II the U.S. maintained diplomatic relations with the government-in-exile of Czechoslovakia in London. Ambassador Anthony J. Biddle, Jr. established an embassy in London on September 17, 1941 and the embassy was maintained until the end of the war. Following the war the embassy in Prague was reopened on May 29, 1945.

In June 1992, the Slovak parliament voted to declare sovereignty and the Czech-Slovak federation dissolved peacefully on January 1, 1993. The United States recognized the Czech Republic and Slovakia as independent nations and moved to establish diplomatic relations. The previous ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Adrian A. Basora, continued as the ambassador to the Czech Republic. Paul Hacker, the incumbent U.S. consul general, served as the first chargé d'affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia (January 1-July 7, 1993), followed by Eleanor Sutter. In November 1993, Theodore E. Russell, former deputy chief of mission in Prague, became the first U.S. ambassador to Slovakia.

Ambassadors[edit]

U.S. diplomatic terms


Career FSO
After 1915, The United States Department of State began classifying ambassadors as career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) for those who have served in the Foreign Service for a specified amount of time.

Political appointee
A person who is not a career foreign service officer, but is appointed by the president (often as a reward to political friends).

Appointed
The date that the ambassador took the oath of office; also known as “commissioning”. It follows confirmation of a presidential appointment by the Senate, or a Congressional-recess appointment by the president. In the case of a recess appointment, the ambassador requires subsequent confirmation by the Senate.

Presented credentials
The date that the ambassador presented his letter of credence to the head of state or appropriate authority of the receiving nation. At this time the ambassador officially becomes the representative of his country. This would normally occur a short time after the ambassador’s arrival on station. The host nation may reject the ambassador by not receiving the ambassador’s letter, but this occurs only rarely.

Terminated mission
Usually the date that the ambassador left the country. In some cases a letter of recall is presented, ending the ambassador’s commission, either as a means of diplomatic protest or because the diplomat is being reassigned elsewhere and replaced by another envoy.

Chargé d'affaires
The person in charge of the business of the embassy when there is no ambassador commissioned to the host country. See chargé d'affaires.

Ad interim
Latin phrase meaning "for the time being", "in the meantime". See ad interim.
  • Richard Crane – Political appointee[1]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 23, 1919
    • Presented credentials: June 11, 1919
    • Terminated mission: December 5, 1921
  • Lewis Einstein – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 8, 1921
    • Presented credentials: December 20, 1921
    • Terminated mission: Left post, February 1, 1930
  • Abraham C. Ratshesky – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: January 25, 1930
    • Presented credentials: May 2, 1930
    • Terminated mission: Left post, May 13, 1932
  • Henry Frank Holthusen – Political appointee[2]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed:
    • Presented credentials:
    • Terminated mission:
  • Francis White – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 13, 1933
    • Presented credentials: September 7, 1933
    • Terminated mission: Relinquished charge on November 30, 1933
  • J. Butler Wright – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 9, 1934
    • Presented credentials: October 25, 1934
    • Terminated mission: Left post, June 1, 1937
  • Wilbur J. Carr – Political appointee[3]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 13, 1937
    • Presented credentials: September 16, 1937
    • Terminated mission: April 6, 1939
  • Note: The embassy in Prague was closed on March 21, 1939, following the occupation of Prague by German forces on March 15. The U.S. opened an embassy in London and maintained diplomatic relations with the government-in-exile of Czechoslovakia during the war.
  • Anthony J. Biddle, Jr. – Political appointee[4][5]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 17, 1941
    • Presented credentials: October 28, 1941
    • Terminated mission: June 4, 1943
  • Note: The title of the commission was changed to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in 1943. This required a new commission for the ambassador.
  • Anthony J. Biddle, Jr. – Political appointee[4]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 4, 1943
    • Presented credentials: July 12, 1943
    • Terminated mission: Left London on December 1, 1943
  • Note: After Germany’s surrender at the close of WWII in Europe, the mission of the embassy in London was terminated. Rudolph E. Schoenfeld was serving as chargé d'affaires ad interim when the embassy was closed.
  • Note: The embassy in Prague was re-established on May 29, 1945, with Alfred W. Klieforth as chargé d'affaires ad interim.
  • Laurence A. Steinhardt – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 20, 1944
    • Presented credentials: July 20, 1945
    • Terminated mission: Left post, September 19, 1948
  • Joseph E. Jacobs – Career FSO[6]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 15, 1948
    • Presented credentials: January 5, 1949
    • Terminated mission: Left post, October 12, 1949
  • Ellis O. Briggs – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 1, 1949
    • Presented credentials: November 8, 1949
    • Terminated mission: Left post, August 27, 1952
  • George Wadsworth – Career FSO[7]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 8, 1952
    • Presented credentials: December 29, 1952
    • Terminated mission: Left post, October 30, 1953
  • U. Alexis Johnson – Career FSO[8]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 10, 1953
    • Presented credentials: December 31, 1953
    • Terminated mission: Left post, December 29, 1957
  • John M. Allison – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 12, 1958
    • Presented credentials: April 24, 1958
    • Terminated mission: Relinquished charge on May 4, 1960
  • Christian M. Ravnda – Career FSO[9]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 21, 1960
    • Presented credentials: September 16, 1960
    • Terminated mission: Left post, May 6, 1961
  • Note: After 1961 the succeeding ambassadors were commissioned to the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
  • Edward T. Wailes – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 14, 1961
    • Presented credentials: July 28, 1961
    • Terminated mission: Left post, October 22, 1962
  • Outerbridge Horsey – Career FSO[10]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 14, 1962
    • Presented credentials: January 3, 1963
    • Terminated mission: Relinquished charge on August 1, 1966
  • Jacob D. Beam – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 27, 1966
    • Presented credentials: August 31, 1966
    • Terminated mission: Left post, March 5, 1969
  • Malcolm Toon – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 13, 1969
    • Presented credentials: July 31, 1969
    • Terminated mission: Left post, October 11, 1971
  • Albert W. Sherer, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 15, 1972
    • Presented credentials: March 15, 1972
    • Terminated mission: Left post, July 29, 1975
  • Thomas Ryan Byrne – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 1, 1976
    • Presented credentials: June 23, 1976
    • Terminated mission: Left post, November 15, 1978
  • Francis J. Meehan – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 23, 1979
    • Presented credentials: May 30, 1979
    • Terminated mission: Left post, October 20, 1980
  • Jack F. Matlock, Jr. – Career FSO[11]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 28, 1981
    • Presented credentials: November 11, 1981
    • Terminated mission: September 20, 1983
  • William H. Luers – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 14, 1983
    • Presented credentials: December 29, 1983
    • Terminated mission: Left post, March 11, 1986
  • Julian Niemczyk – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 18, 1986
    • Presented credentials: October 2, 1986
    • Terminated mission: Left post, July 7, 1989
  • Shirley Temple Black – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 3, 1989
    • Presented credentials: August 23, 1989
    • Terminated mission: Left post, July 12, 1992
  • Adrian A. Basora – Career FSO[12]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 15, 1992
    • Presented credentials: July 20, 1992
    • Terminated mission: December 31, 1992
  • Note: The Czech and Slovak Federal Republic ceased to exist on December 31, 1992. For later ambassadors, see United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic and United States Ambassador to Slovakia.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Crane was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on June 26, 1919.
  2. ^ Holthusen was not commissioned; his nomination was not confirmed by the United States Senate.
  3. ^ German forces occupied Prague on March 15, 1939. Ambassador Carr closed the legation in Prague on March 21, 1939, and left post on April 6, 1939.
  4. ^ a b The title of the commission was changed to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in 1943 and Biddle was commissioned to the new position while remaining in the office of ambassador.
  5. ^ Biddle was also commissioned to the governments-in-exile of Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia.
  6. ^ Jacobs was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on March 2, 1949.
  7. ^ Wadsworth was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on May 1, 1953.
  8. ^ Johnson was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on January 26, 1954.
  9. ^ Ravnda was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on August 27, 1960.
  10. ^ Horsey was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on March 12, 1963.
  11. ^ An earlier nomination of September 25, 1980, was not acted upon by the Senate.
  12. ^ Basora remained in Prague as the ambassador to the Czech Republic when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]