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Friday, July 24, 2009

Fifty years ago today: The "Kitchen Debate" between Nixon and Krushchev

On July 24th, 1959, one of the more unusual events of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union took place. At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, visiting U.S. Vice-President (and future President) Richard Nixon accompanied Russian Premier Nikia Krushchev on a tour of a model "typical" American house, complete with all the modern conveniences of the late Fifties. It was meant to be a goodwill gesture on the part of both countries... but soon devolved (or escalated) into a rambunctious argument between Nixon and Krushchev about the pros and cons of their respective countries' systems of capitalism and communism. The impromptu discussion reached its climax in the kitchen of the model house, where Nixon enthusiastically pointed out American household appliances such as an automatic dishwasher.

And so it was that the "Kitchen Debate" received its more-or-less formal moniker.

Here's a newsreel clip of the event...

Fifty years ago, our country's leadership was arguing against government-run industry. A half-century later, and our "leaders" seem hellbent on running as much industry as they possibly can.

Kinda makes you pine for a simpler time, don't it?