President Eisenhower and Nikita Khruschev - 1959

The Ike and Nikita Show - a tour of the U.S. and signs of a thaw - for now.

President Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev - 1959
The Ike and Nikita Show – a tour of the U.S. and signs of a thaw – for now.
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As a hopefully cautious sign of a thaw in East-West relations, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, at the invitation of President Eisenhower, visited the United States for a summit meeting at Camp David to discuss a wide range of topics.

Members of the U.S. and Russian delegations were all on hand. Eisenhower said he was entering the Camp David talks with high hopes. He warned, however, that real progress could be achieved only if the Soviets eased their confrontational approach.

Before the summit, Khrushchev and his wife spent several days traveling across America, making stops in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Des Moines, Iowa. He became infuriated after being denied a visit to Disneyland, ostensibly for security reasons.

In a joint communiqué, issued after two days of meetings, the leaders said they “agreed that these discussions have been useful in clarifying each other’s position on a number of subjects.” They believed that “the question of general disarmament is the most important one facing the world today.”

The visit took place during period in time in which the ongoing-Cold War at the time was feared to be the force that causes nuclear war. The visit helped alleviate these fears. Khrushchev and Eisenhower reached an informal agreement that there would not be any firm deadline over the fate of Berlin and that any solution would be developed at a four-power summit. This summit would be postponed until 1960 due to actions by French President Charles de Gaulle. The premier left having achieved a personal relationship with Eisenhower and the possibility of détente with the Americans.

Since it was an eagerly anticipated visit, all eyes were on the comings and goings of Khruschev and the press reported frequently, and issued bulletins the second anything of remote interest surfaced.

Here is Report Number 11 from NBC Radio covering the Khruschev visit and the summit meeting at Camp David on September 25, 1959.

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