Program 298: History of the US Passport; Americans Living in Europe

Release Date: 09-01-2012


If you dread the mug shot that passes as your passport photo, you're not alone. We examine how the passport became the required document for international travel to and from the U.S. Also, three American tour guides offer tips for Americans who are thinking about moving to Europe, and tell us how they fit into living in France, Spain, Germany and Italy.


  • Dr. Craig Robertson, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University (Boston), and author of "The Passport in America: The History of a Document" (Oxford Univ. Press)
  • Rebecca Berry, tour guide based in France
  • Ben Cameron, tour guide based in Rome and Seattle
  • Nygil Murrell, tour guide based in Madrid

Related Links

  • Transitions Abroad has a variety of topics and tips on its website for living, working, studying, teaching, volunteering, and traveling abroad. 
  • France-USA Contacts, or FUSAC, has an online version of its free magazine.

Haiku Awards

Pgm 298 "Where I Live" award:  Judy Endressen Worthy writes us about living in Stuart, Florida:


"People used to call Stuart the best-kept secret in America. The Sailfish Capital of the United States, Stuart, Florida is on the Atlantic coast, about 100 miles north of Miami and 120 miles south of Orlando. It has miles of unspoiled beaches and meandering waterways, unique bird, animal and plant life, unrivaled climate and friendly people.


"There are wonderful beaches, lots of golf courses, great parks, lovely motels and fabulous weather! Stuart is home to Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Burt Reynolds and Celine Dion.


"If you come to Stuart, I’ll take you to Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island. It opened in l876 to provide food and shelter to shipwrecked sailors. It's the last of its kind in the USA.


"This area is called the Treasure Coast because of all the ship wrecks and buried treasure that are found here. If we go snorkeling at Bathtub Beach, we might even find a gold coin. The living reef is 40 yards offshore. It's exposed during low tide, turning the beach into a natural bathtub.


"I’d also take you to the Florida Oceanographic Society, to see the game fish lagoon, and even pet star fish and sting rays! Hutchinson Island is a prime nesting ground for several endangered turtle species. In season, we can watch them laying their eggs on a moonlit night.


"There are several interesting nature trails and board walks, both along the Inter-coastal Waterway, and through ancient oak hammocks. You can go boating and fishing in the maze of waterways here, too.


"We can dine outside at one of many restaurants beside the waterways. Let's relax, watch the water and wildlife, and reflect on the wonders of nature we have experienced in our newly found paradise in Stuart, Florida."