The Week That Changed The World 

Nixon Legacy Forum

University of Southern California

October 13, 2010

Together with the Nixon Center and the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, the Nixon Foundation presented its 8th Nixon Legacy Forum, “The Week that Changed the World,” a look back at the 37th President’s historic 1972 trip to China. The program is a first hand account of the trip from the top principals who accompanied the President, including Dwight Chapin, Deputy Assistant to the President, Larry Higby, Deputy Assistant to the President, and Col. Jack Brennan, Marine Aide to the President.

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Panelists

Dwight Chapin: Deputy Assistant to the President, Chapin was a field representative in Nixon’s 1962 California campaign and was Nixon’s personal assistant during his 1968 presidential run. He served as the President’s appointments secretary from 1969 to 1973.

Jack Brennan: Military Aide to the President, Colonel Brennan was appointed Marine Corp Aide to President Nixon after serving in Vietnam, where he earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. In 1972, he accompained Nixon on his historic trip to China, making him the first marine to set foot in the People’s Republic.

Larry Higby: Assistant White House Chief-of-Staff, Higby served as Chief-of-Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman’s assistant. He subsequently became a business leader and spearheaded California’s largest Republican political action committee.

Timeline (With Links to Primary Documents)

1971

July 15 – President Nixon Accepting An Invitation to Visit the People’s Republic of China (The American Presidency Project)

September 9 – Memorandum, Ron Ziegler to Al Haig, Re: Press Arrangements for the China Trip (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

October 1 – Memorandum, Dwight Chapin to Haldeman, Re: China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 32)

October 6 – Memorandum, Ron Ziegler to Kissinger, Re: Press Requirements for Trip to Mainland China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

October 9 – Memorandum, Ron Ziegler to Kissinger, Re: Press Plans for China Coverage (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

October 25 – Memorandum, To Haldeman, Re: Report – China Trip (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 32)

November 19 – Memorandum, Dwight Chapin to Kissinger, Re: Suggested Tentative Schedule for the Pre-Advance Visit to China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 32)

November 29 – Joint Statement Announcing the Date of the President’s Visit to the People’s Republic of China (The American Presidency Project)

1972

January 3 – Memorandum, Comments Regarding the President’s Schedule (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

January 4 – Memorandum, Questions to be Answered and Information Furnished [on President’s Nixon to China] (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

January 11 – Memorandum, Dwight Chapin to Haldeman, Re: China Trip (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 32)

February 8 – Media Event Coverage Schedule During President Nixon’s Trip to the People’s Republic of China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 27)

February 13 – Memorandum, General Information for Members of the President’s Party to China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 29)

February 17 – President Nixon’s Remarks During Departure to the People’s Republic of China (The American Presidency Project)

February 22 – Telegram, Dick Moore to Dwight Chapin on Media Coverage of President’s Trip (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

February 24 – Memorandum, Chapin to The President Re: Gift Presentations – PRC (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 27)

(undated)

Detailed Schedule of President Nixon’s Trip to the People’s Republic of China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Anne and Ron Walker Collection Box 4)

Schedule of First Lady Pat Nixon’s Trip to the People’s Republic of China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Anne and Ron Walker Collection Box 4)

Press List: Reporters Accompanying the Trip to the People’s Republic of China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 28)

Memorandum, Chinese-American Rapport During the President’s Visit (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

Department of State Background Report on The People’s Republic of China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 27)

List of Preparations for Advance Team to China (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

Basic Issue of Principle Communication Requirements To Support the President of the United States (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

Questions for Advance Team [President Nixon’s Trip to China] (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, White House Special Files, Staff Member Office Files, Dwight Chapin Box 30)

Additional Sources

The Opening of China Online Exhibit

Nixon in China (The Film)

Nixon in China: The Week That Changed The World (Film)

Books

China Calls: Paving the Way For Nixon’s Historic Journey to China by Anne Walker

Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World by Margaret Macmillan

On China by Henry Kissinger

White House Years by Henry Kissinger

“Only Nixon”: His Trip to China Revisited and Restudied by James Humes and Jarvis Ryals

A Cold War Turning Point: Nixon and China, 1969-1972 by Chris Tudda