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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Kennedy Administration > Volume III
Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume III, Vietnam, January-August 1963
Released by the Office of the Historian

List of Sources

Unpublished Sources

Department of State

1. Subject-Numeric Indexed Central Files: Through January 1963, the Department of State continued to use the decimal central file system familiar to users of previous volumes of the Foreign Relations series. In February 1963, the Department changed its decimal central files to a subject-numeric central file system. This is the first volume to be published in the Foreign Relations series in which documents selected from the Department's central files come primarily from the new system. As part of the transition to the new system, the Department of State encouraged its indexers to cross-reference extensively and to include the first page of the referenced document in the cross-referenced file. The system allows the researcher to use a basic file and find other pertinent files by noting the cross references.

The subject-numeric system was divided into broad categories: Administration, Consular, Culture and Information, Economic, Political and Defense, Science, and Social. Within each of these divisions were subcategories. For example, Political and Defense contained four subtopics: POL (politics), DEF (Defense), CSM (Communism), and INT (Intelligence). Numerical subdivisions further defined them. An important file for the Buddhist crisis is SOC 14-1 S VIEI SOC is the general category for social conditions, 14 relates to human rights and race relations, 14-1 concerns religious discrimination, and S VIET is the country designator for South Vietnam.

The following were the principal files used in this volume:

POLS VIET, containing background material for general policy;

POL 2 S VIET, general reports and statistics;

POL 2-4 S VIE T, political -military reports;

POL 13-6, religious groups;

POL 15 S VIET, government;

POL 15-1 S VIET, head of government/Executive branch;

POL 23 S VIET, internal security/counterinsurgency;

POL 26 and 26-1 S VIET, undesignated but used in Vietnam for coup planning;

POL 27 S VIET, military operations;

POL 27-10 S VIET, chemical weapons;

POL 27-14 S VIET, truce/cease-fire/armistice.

The system could also combine two countries or a country and an individual. Files of these types from the POL series cited in this volume include:

POL S VIET-US, general policy documents relating to U.S. relations with South Vietnam.

POL 1-1 S VIET-US, contingency planning concerning U.S. policy toward South Vietnam;

POL 17-2 US-S VIET, documents concerning immunities and privileges;

POL US-MANSFIELD, correspondence between Senator Mansfield and other U.S. officials.

The POL Files are frequently cited in the volume. Other extensively cited files include the key SOC 14-1 S VIET file, which contains much of the material relating to the Buddhist crisis. The SOC 12 and 12-1 files also relate to religious matters and pertain to the Buddhist crisis. Most military-related documents were in DEF 19 US-S VIET, the general file for U.S. military assistance to Vietnam or in DEF 19-2 and 19-3 US-S VIET files, relating to reports and conferences dealing with military assistance. The CSM S VIET file was surprisingly sparse, indicating that it was little used by indexers during this period, but there is documentation from the CSM 9-6 S VIET file. Documentation on economic assistance was found almost exclusively in AID (US) S VIET PER-LODGE, HENRY CABOT is Ambassador Lodge's personnel file. Documents concerning press coverage are in files PPV 1-2 S VIET and PPV 7 S VIET-US. These files are miscited and should read PPB rather than PPV.

2. Lot Files. Documents from the central files have been supplemented by materials from decentralized office files, the lot files of the Department of State. A list of the major lot files used or consulted for this volume follows

Conference Files: Lot 66 D 110
Collection of documentation on international conferences abroad attended by the President, the Secretary of State, and other U.S. officials, May 1961-December 1964

Har-Van Files
Files created for Ambassador Averell Harriman and Cyrus Vance, U.S. Delegates to the Paris Peace Conference in 1968, including background documents beginning in the early 1960s. The file contains texts of documents found nowhere else.

Presidential Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 66 D 149
Cleared memoranda of Presidential conversations with foreign victors, 1956-1964, as maintained by the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State.

Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 476
Correspondence of the President with various heads of foreign governments, 1961-1966, as maintained by the Executive Secretariat.

Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330
Memoranda of the Secretary of State and Under Secretaries of State, 1961-1964

Secretary's Staff Meetings: Lot 66 D 147
Records of the Secretary of State's Staff Meetings, 1961-1963, and additional ad hoc meetings, reports, papers, and memoranda of Chester Bowles' telephone conversations.

S/P Files: Lot 70 D 199
Files of the Policy Planning Council for 1963-1964.

Special Group, Counterinsurgency Files: Lot 68 D 451
Minutes and memoranda of the Special Group, Counterinsurgency, January 1962-Decmber 1963

S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316
Master File of National Security Action Memoranda (NSAMs), 1961-1968, as maintained by the Executive Secretariat.

S/S-NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95
Administrative and miscellaneous National Security Council documentation, including NSC Records of Action, 1947-1963, as maintained by the Executive Secretariat.

Top Secret and Secret Summaries: Lot 65 D 142
Top Secret and Secret Summaries, 1962-1963.

Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 67 D 54
Files of the interagency Vietnam Working Group, 1963-1964


National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State

Public Opinion Studies
Files of the Office of Public Opinion Studies, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State

S/PRS Files
Record set of volumes of Department of State Daily Press Briefings for the years 1977-1978


Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland

Record Group 84, Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the United States

Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 67 A 677
Classified records of the Embassy in Saigon for 1962-1963 (formerly Lot 66 F 57).

Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 5159
Top Secret files of the Embassy in Saigon, 1955-1963

Record Group 306, Records of the United States Information Agency

USIA/TOP Files: FRC 67 A 222
Subject files of the Office of Policy, 1963-1965.

USIA/IAF Files: FRC 68 A 1415
Files of the Office of the Director of the U.S. Information Agency, 1961-1962; action copies retained by the Assistant Director for the Far East, 1963-1964.

USIA/IAF/VN Files: FRC 68 A 4933
Files of the Vietnam Working Group, 1963-1965

USIA/Vietnam Working Group Files: FRC 68 A 5160
Files of the Vietnam Working Group, 1963-1965

Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

McNamara Files: FRC 31 A 3470
Files of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, 1961-1968

OASD/ISA Files: FRC 67 A 4564
Country files of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, 1962-1963.

OASD/ISA Files: FRC 69 A 6214
Miscellaneous files of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, 1962-1965.

OASD/ISA Files: FRC 75-163
Records of the OASD/ISA representative on the Vietnam Task Force, 1963-1971

OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542
Records of the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense and their Special Assistant, 1963.

OSD Files: FRC 69 A 3131
Official records of the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary for 1963.

Record Group 334, Records of Interservice

MAC/V Files: FRC 69 A 702
Records of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, 1962 and after.


National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

Taylor Papers
Papers of General Maxwell D. Taylor, Chief of Staff of the Army, 1955-1959; Military Adviser to the President, 1961-1962; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1962-1964.


U.S. Army Military Historical Institute, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Kraemer Papers
Papers of Fritz Kraemer, adviser to the Army Chief of Staff.


John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts

National Security Files

Chester V. Clifton Series
Departments and Agencies Series
Meetings and Memoranda Series
Regional Security Series
Trip and Conference Series
Country Series, Vietnam

President's Appointment Book (cited as President's Log Book)

President's Office Files

Staff Memoranda
Vietnam Security

Hilsman Papers

Schlesinger Papers

Sorensen Papers

Thompson Papers


Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.

Harriman Papers
Special Files of W. Averell Harriman, Public Service, Kennedy and Johnson Administrations


University of Montana, Missoula, Montana

Mansfield Papers
Papers of Senator Mike Mansfield


Hoover Institution, Palo Alto, California

Lansdale Papers
Papers of Major General Edward G. Lansdale, USAF, pertaining to his entire career.


Published Sources

Documentary Collections, Congressional Documents, and Periodicals

The Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalog and microfiche. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications (formerly Washington: Carrollton Press), 1977 onwards.

The Pentagon Papers: The Department of Defense History of United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam [The Senator Gravel Edition]. 4 vols. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1971.

U.S. Department of Defense. United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967 [The Pentagon Papers]. 12 vols. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971.

U.S. Department of State. American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1963. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1967.

----. Department of State Bulletin, 1963. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1963.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F Kennedy, 1963. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964.

U.S. Senate. Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders. An Interim Report of the Select Committee To Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities. U.S. Senate, 94th Congress, 1st Session, Report No. 94-465. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975.


Note: The Department of State takes no responsibility for the accuracy of these memoirs nor endorses their interpretation of the events.

Ball, George. The Past Has Another Pattern: Memoirs. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,1982.

Colby, William, and Forbath, Peter. Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.

Hilsman, Roger. To Move a Nation. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1967.

Mecklin, John. Mission in Torment. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1965.

Nolting, Frederick. From Trust to Tragedy: The Political Memoirs of Frederick Nolting, Kennedy's Ambassador to Diem's Vietnam. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1988.

Salinger, Pierre. With Kennedy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1966.

Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. A Thousand Days: John F Kennedy in the White House. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.

Sorensen, Theodore C. Kennedy. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

Taylor, Maxwell D. Swords and Plowshares: A Memoir. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1972.

Tran Van Don. Our Endless War: Inside Vietnam. San Raphael, CA: Presidio Press, 1978.



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