Diplomat Resigns for Love
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Several Americans were shocked to learn of a U.S. diplomat’s resignation on this day in 1939. The diplomat, Norman Christianson of Fargo, had resigned in order to marry Senorita Amalia Viesca y Palma of Mexico. Christianson had been raised in Fargo, attended the North Dakota university, and completed his Ph. D. from University of Minnesota. He had dreamed of working as a diplomat since his sophomore year of high school, and those dreams were finally realized when he was appointed to the vice-consulship of Mexico in 1937. While there, he met and fell in love with Senorita Palma, but was denied permission to marry the woman due to the State Department’s strict ban on marriage between career diplomats and citizens of their assigned countries. Christianson was transferred to Winnipeg after his superiors became aware of the relationship, but the couple maintained close ties until Christianson shocked everyone by announcing his wedding to the Senorita and subsequent resignation.
The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.). December 26, 1939: p. 1.
–Jayme L. Job