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Friday, July 24, 2009

It Was 50 Years Ago Today: July 24 19 and 59 - The Kitchen Debate

Says Mr. K., "The Soviets will overtake America and then wave, 'Bye-bye'."

You never know what's going to become grist for the Dreamtime Theme Time Radio Hour mill.  Coincidentally, today is the 50th anniversary of the great kitchen debate between Nixon and Khrushchev, which Our Host mentioned during the "California" show and we blogged about in great detail a week or so ago.

The argument inside the model home which gave the kitchen debate its name was not captured on tape, but above a clip from a news conference on the same day shortly after the two had locked horns. In fact, the "kitchen debate" was an ongoing series of impromptu exchanges between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, on July 24, 19 and 59. Clips of the kitchen debate were aired on American T.V. the next day, July 25th, angering the Soviets, who thought they had an agreement with Nixon that the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. would broadcast the debate simultaneously. Two days later, the debate was released on Moscow television.

You'll hear a reference to the "American Ampex color video tape recorders" in the clip, which is what captured this last portion of the kitchen debate.  Although the newsreel is in black-and-white, you can see a small clip of the color recording - and a very nattily dressed K. - here.

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