The Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. Papers primarily consist of personal correspondence and are arranged in 148 folders and contained in 3 boxes. A majority of the collection consists of correspondence between Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. and his family, including his parents, Garret G. Ackerson, Sr. and Anna Ackerson, his wife Rhodita Edwards Ackerson, and his children. Of special interest are Ackerson's memoranda written during the outbreak of World War II when he was in almost daily contact with high officials in the Hungarian government.
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Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. was born in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1904 and attended Choate and the University of Virginia before graduating from Harvard in 1927. He married Rhodita Edwards and entered the Foreign service the next year, being posted to Cape Town, South Africa. Posted to Budapest, Hungary in 1935, he was obliged to close the American Legation as war engulfed Europe. He returned to Budapest as charge d'affaires in early 1957, a few months after Moscow had put down the uprising of November, 1956. He served there until he retired in 1961, at that time playing host to Hungary's Cardinal Josef Mindszenty after the primate fled the 1956 Soviet crackdown. His other postings during his 33-year career included Peru, Colombia, Cuba and Denmark. In 1949 Ackerson was removed from his post of chief of the division of Southeast European Affairs at the State Department after refusing to dismiss several staff members whom Senator Joseph McCarthy had accused of being leftists. When Mr. Ackerson retired from the Foreign Service from his post in Budapest in 1961, he was appointed European director of of the International Rescue Committee, a private refugee agency. He went to Vietnam in 1968 shortly before the Tet offensive to set up the agency's refugee relief effort for Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. He retired from the agency in 1987. Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. died at his home in Lexington, Massachusetts on September 14, 1992.
4.75 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Gift of Edmund E. Ackerson, 1993, 2006.
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository