The Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr. Interviews on Arms Control and Nuclear Disarmament consist of two oral history interviews conducted in the Fall of 2015 that were captured using, in each instance, digital video and audio recorders. Both sessions were led by Linda Richards, an instructor in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oregon State University, and a scholar of Cold War and nuclear history. Chris Petersen, a faculty member in the OSU Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center, also participated in the interviews. Graham was in Corvallis as a Visiting Lecturer for the term. Each of the interviews that Graham gave is available online; neither has been transcribed.
In his first interview (1:19:43), recorded on October 28, 2015, Graham discussed his authorship of a forthcoming book on nuclear-free zones; the negotiations that led to the extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995; his memories of learning the art of diplomacy; and the path that he took to becoming an arms control negotiator. He then shared his experience of having been politically persecuted for his work; commented on Linus Pauling's anti-nuclear activism; and praised President Barack Obama's activities with regard to nuclear non-proliferation.
From there, Graham relayed his memories of negotiating on behalf of multiple presidential administrations, and spoke of his work to ban the use of chemical and biological weapons. The interview concluded with Graham's thoughts on climate change, including the crucial role that nuclear power might play in reducing the world's dependence on fossil fuels.
In his second interview (2:28:40), recorded on December 3, 2015, Graham discussed his early years, including his family's involvement in politics, the shaping of his political perspective, and his first work in law and government. He then commented on the attempt, in 1993, to eliminate the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA); the Reagan-era struggle over the Anti-Ballistic Missiles treaty that was ushered in by the advancement of the Strategic Defense Initiative, also known as "Star Wars"; and his own personal memories of being denounced by political foes who harbored vested interests against his work. Next, he reflected on the ultimate dissolution of ACDA in 1999 and the role played by Sen. Jesse Helms in bringing about the agency's demise.
Later on in Interview #2, Graham spoke of participating in a group called Republicans for Obama; provided a lengthy remembrance of the negotiations that led to the signing and ratification of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe in the early 1990s; and shared his recollections of the collapse of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, including his personal experience of observing the final departure of Communist ministers from Prague. The interview concluded with Graham's reflections on the role that ACDA played in defending the nuclear test ban moratorium, including a pivotal decision related to Chinese nuclear testing ambitions. He also responded to a closing question asking for advice that he would offer to those hoping to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The raw *.wav audio files and *.mts video files captured during the Graham interviews have been deposited into the OSU Libraries preservation server space. Likewise, derivative *.mp3 and *.mpg access files have been created by SCARC staff and are available for patron use upon request. A signed permissions form is also held in the SCARC central files.