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On July 27, 1789, the first federal government agency was established: the Department of Foreign Affairs

July 27, 2023

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 27 of July, repeating indefinitely

On July 27, 1789, the first federal government agency was established: the Department of Foreign Affairs (later renamed the Department of State, more commonly known today as the State Department).

The Department of State was originally charged with a broad array of duties, including oversight of the census, copyrights, and the U.S. Mint. Since then, the State Department’s responsibilities have shifted to a greater focus on external affairs: advising the President in foreign policy, representing our country through treaty negotiation, and fighting terrorism.

Did you know? The first leader of the State Department (the Secretary of State) was founding father Thomas Jefferson. At the time, the United States only maintained 2 (!) diplomatic posts in the world, located in London and Paris. Today, there are over 270 U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide.

 

Signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and of Alliance between France and the United States, Charles E. Mills, c.1900s/10s

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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July 27, 2023
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