Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with John H. Holdridge
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project
AMBASSADOR JOHN H. HOLDRIDGE
Interviewed by: Charles Stuart Kennedy
Initial interview date: July 20, 1995
Copyright 1998 ADST
Q: Today is July 20, 1995. This is an interview with John H. Holdridge, being conducted for the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. I am Charles Stuart Kennedy.
Could you tell me where and when you were born and a little about your family?
HOLDRIDGE: Too many years ago, 1924, in Brooklyn, New York. My father was an Army officer and at that time, stationed at Governor's Island. The Prospect Park area is where my family tells me that they lived at the time. It was within an easy commute, I presume, by subway or ferry to Governor's Island, which was the headquarters, I believe, of what they called The First Corps area in those days.
Q: Did your father come from a military family too?
HOLDRIDGE: No, my father was what you might call one of those who sort of pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. He was originally from Pontiac, Michigan where his father, I suppose, had something to do with the automobile industry but also tried farming for a while in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. And my father was not, shall we say, too well financially endowed. But he worked his way through high school and then he ran into someone who took a liking to him, thought the young man had possibilities, and got an appointment for him to West Point. So he managed to survive that ordeal. He graduated in the class of April 1917. That curtailed only three months or two months from the original full four year course that was shortened because of the entry of the United States into World War I. So, he went from there, he chose the cavalry and was stationed in Fort Bliss along the Mexican border. Really nothing very much happened down there.
Q: The Pancho Villa thing was all over by then?