In the Soviet Union in 1959, as on all of RN’s Vice Presidential diplomatic trips abroad beginning in 1953, PN continued to break ground by pursuing her own independent and substantive schedule. Her work was recognized by Life magazine with its 10 August cover.
The late Herb Klein was the Veep’s Press Secretary on this trip, and he later recalled an otherwise unheralded event:
Shortly after arriving at the Spaso House [the American Ambassador’s residence where the Nixons were staying], the Vice President asked Pat if she would like to take a walk with him through the town. I walked with them, and there was only one American Secret Service man, and one Embassy representative who acted as interpreter. This was one of the few times the Nixons have been able to go through a public area unnoticed. the Soviets seemed to notice only that Mrs. Nixon wore shoes with pointed toes. In a small store she gave two little children some candy. their parents were amazed when the interpreter told them that the candy was given by the wife of the Vice President of the United States.
In addition to Moscow, the Nixons visited Leningrad, Sverdlosk, and Novosibirsk — where PN broke through the language barrier (and the distancing ploys of her official hosts) to mix with the crowds.