As we come to the end of 2008 and with the Obama Administration ready to lead the United States for at least the next four years my hope for an improved public diplomacy effort in the United States is high. To be sure, there will always be someone who wants to throw a shoe at the President.
This week I plan to focus my blog posts on international education and public diplomacy. To start off the week I'm posting a short historical piece about the public diplomacy efforts of the United States in 1936.
Perhaps the first public diplomacy effort of the United States government was in Latin America during the 1930’s in an effort to combat the growing influence and infiltration of German and Nazi propaganda on the continent. During the 1936 Pan American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace in Buenos Aires, the delegation from the United States proposed a Convention for the Promotion of Inter-American Cultural Relations which received unanimous approval from the other delegations. The 1936 Buenos Aires Convention called for the exchange of peoples in an effort to strengthen intellectual cooperation and cultural relations between the United States and other Latin American countries and wanted these exchanges to include nongovernmental groups of people such as college faculty, youth groups, and representatives from social service organizations and labor unions.
 Some may argue that the International Expositions/ World’s Fairs of the late 19th century and early 2oth century served this purpose.
 Cummins E. Speakman, Jr. International Exchange in Education, (New York: The Center for Applied Research in Education, Inc., 1966), 31-32.; Milton C. Cummings, Jr. Cultural Diplomacy and the United States Government: A Survey. (Washington, DC: Center for Arts and Culture, 2003), 1-2.
 Cummings Jr.,1.
 Kevin V. Mulcahy, “Cultural Diplomacy and the Exchange Programs: 1938-1978.” The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society 29, no. 1, (Spring 1999): 11.