History

Khrushchev, Nixon and the Birth of California Cool

When Nikita and Dicky Inspected an American Home “Don’t you have a machine,” Khrushchev chuckled, “that puts things into the mouth and pushes it down?” Nixon didn’t respond as the crowd broke into laughter. It was a pleasant summer’s afternoon in Moscow in 1959, and the American Vice-President was heading the delegation for a national exhibition staged in Sokolniki Park. Richard Nixon had been showing the Soviet Premier the display’s highpoints. If the purpose of their short tour was to stress “peaceful competition”, each statesman was intent on boasting of his economic system’s capacity to deliver high standards of living.…

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