The Only US National Historic Site in a Foreign State Dates to George Washington and Is In…

I wrote yesterday how Trump found me at a Moroccan highway toll booth.

Morocco may seem peripheral to Americans, rather less so to Europeans due to its role as a transit point for refugees/migrants. Yet, Morocco is one of America’s earliest friends.

The first foreign soil purchased by the fledgling United States of America was for the American Legation in Tangier. Morocco was among the first countries to recognize the United States.

Tangier American Legation 01

Of the 2,540 US National Historic Sites, there are 17 among the US Commonwealths and Territories and 5 in Associated States, however only this 1 in a Foreign State. It is a highlight of a visit to Tangier, a beautiful museum on the edge of the medina, near the Jewish Cemetery.

Tangier American Legation 02 Tangier American Legation 03 Tangier American Legation 04

The building hearkens back to a time when overseas representation was meant to engage with the local population. Now we have ominous fortress embassies that even I as a US citizen am intimidated to approach.

As we contemplate the upcoming election where some candidates talk of walls, exclusion, violence and more, the meaning of a place of cultural understanding and engagement is never more relevant. You never know when an old friend or a new may come at a moment of need.

Tangier American Legation 05

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  • Mike

    Been there. Done that. 🙂

  • greg keller

    Any reason sites overseen by the American Battle Monuments Commission, such as the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach is not included in this list of national historic sites?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @greg keller – I do not, I will look into it sometime as those are among my favorites.