On July 15th of 1971, U. S. President Richard Nixon shocked the nation by announcing his intention to visit the People’s Republic of China and meet with Chairman Mao. Understandably public reaction was mixed, as illustrated by the following: Two of many messages sent to the White House in response — the first from a Maryann Grelinger of Kansas City, Missouri; the second from Kirk Douglas.
Transcripts follow. Images courtesy of the Nixon Library.
K LLD037 POM PD KANSAS CITY MO 16 1242P CDT
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON
THE WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
HAVE FUN IN RED CHINA. HOPE THEY KEEP YOU
July 16, 1971
Dear Mr. President:
Your announcement last night of your impending visit to the People’s Republic of China was a giant step forward, not only toward peace in Vietnam but global peace.
May I join the millions of Americans, as well as others around the world, in commending your efforts.
(Signed, ‘Kirk Douglas’)
President Richard M. Nixon
The White House