Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More Nixon resources: Nixon's Trip to China

President Obama recently returned from an historic trip to Cuba.  (This video [2:45] from the Voice of America shows and discusses his arrival.)  You could use that current event to introduce your discussion of an analogous diplomatic initiative: the American initiative to normalize relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) that began under President Richard Nixon.
That initiative began with Mr. Nixon's 1972 trip to the PRC, which ended a quarter-century of isolation between those two nations.  A terrific resource to use with your student's is this curated collection from the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.  That site has excerpts of five taped audio conversations between the President and others.  Each one is accompanied by a transcript.  It would be fun to divide the class into five groups, assign each a different conversation, have them report out, then lead a whole class discussion of President Nixon's goals and methods in dealing with communist China during the height of the Cold War.

President Nixon's diplomacy also set up the next stage in that diplomatic relationship.  More specifically, it set in motion a series of steps resulting in full diplomatic relations between the United States and the PRC during President Carter in 1979.  (This video [4:20] shows President Carter's 1978 address to the nation announcing that agreement.)


Unknown said...

I like how you have provided an opportunity to relate a current day topic such as President Obama and his family going to Cuba, representing America for the first time in 75 years and relating that to an older topic that would be studied as a part of U.S. History. I think this ties nicely into trying allowing students to make a worthwhile connection and hopefully would aid in fostering interest in the topic as well as greater comprehension of said topic.

Daniel Hoffmann said...

Thank you!