The President’s third day in Peking consisted primarily of meetings with Chinese officials. Three members of the American delegation accompanied President Nixon into these meetings: Henry Kissinger, the President’s National Security Advisor, Winston Lord, Kissinger’s Senior Staff Assistant, and John Holdridge, a senior staff member of the National Security Council.
While the President was holed up in meeting rooms, the First Lady had another full day of activities scheduled for her. Mrs. Nixon was able to go out and meet the Chinese people during her visit to the Evergreen People’s Commune. There she was introduced to various aspects of Chinese culture and commune life. The First Lady observed classes at the commune school, toured an acupuncture clinic, and learned a few things about the commune’s pig farming industry.
That evening the President and the First Lady were treated to another showcase of Chinese talent and culture, this time in the form of an athletic exhibition. The show included impressive displays of skill in gymnastics, badminton, and table tennis. After the performance, the President and Mrs. Nixon retired to their lodgings to prepare for a busy schedule the following day.
Harmony Barker is a Research Assistant at the Richard Nixon Foundation.