Explain to students that manners are not only a matter of personal interactions and demonstrations of respect; manners are a matter of international diplomacy. Also explain to students that the word for manners and etiquette at a state or international level is protocol.
The sources below will help students gain an understanding of White House protocol and United States diplomacy. Direct students to review the sources below and to report back on the differences between researching information on the internet and researching information in a library by using the following questions as guides:
1. What are the credentials of the individuals who compiled information available on the Internet and authors of books?
2. Which process is faster and why?
3. Which process provides the most in-depth information and why?
4. Which process provides the most reliable information and why?
Once students have completed their review of materials have a class discussion using the above questions.
Brainstorm with students the different components of state dinners, state funerals, protocol and diplomacy from their review of the literature (i.e. the role of the first lady, the Cold War, Lincoln’s funeral))
End this lesson by having each student select one segment of the overall lesson, research it more in-depth and then teach the class what they learned.
Anthony, Carl Sferrazza. First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives and their Power, 1789-1961. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.
Buchanan, Wiley. Red Carpet at the White House: Four Years as Chief of Protocol in the Eisenhower Administration. New York: Dutton, 1984.
Caldwell, Mark. A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
Carol, Betty Boyd. Inside the White House. Pleasantville: Readers Digest, 1999.
Clinton, Hillary Rodham. An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Dembinski, Ludwik. The Modern Law of Diplomacy: External Missions of States and International Organizations. Hingham: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988.
Eban, Abba Solomon. Diplomacy for the Next Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
Garlik, Harry. Final Curtain: State Funerals and the Theatre of Power. Atlanta: Rodopi B. B, 1999.
Geert, Hofstede. Culture’s Consequences, Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations. Thousands Oaks: Sage Publications, 2001.
Heffner, Richard D. A Documentary History of the United States: Seventh Revised Edition. New York: Penguin Group, 2002.
Hillenbrand, Martin Joseph. Fragments of Our Time: Memoirs of a Diplomat. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998.
Jonas, Manfred. The United States and Germany: A Diplomatic History. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984.
Klose, Nelson and Lader, Curt. United States History Since 1865. Hauppauge: Barron’s Educational Series, 2001.
Patterson, James T. Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Richardson, Dick. Decisions and Diplomacy: Essays in Twentieth Century International History. New York: routledge, 1995.
Schlesinger, Arthur Meier. The Cycles of American History. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1986.
Smith, Joseph. The United States and Latin America: A History of American Diplomacy, 1776-2000. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Watson, Robert P. Life in the White House: A Social History of the First Family and the President’s House. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004.
Whitcomb, John and Whitcomb, Claire. Real Life at the White House: 200 Years of Daily Life at America’s Most Famous Residence. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Office of the Chief of Protocol
Ceremonial Division of the Office of the Chief of Protocol
Protocol and State Funerals
White House Time Machine
U. S. Diplomatic History
White House State Dinner Links
George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation
International Manners and Etiquette
Cross Cultural Comparisons of Manners
This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University.