Muscovites watch President Nixon’s address to the Russian people on a set in a state television store.
40 years ago today, President Nixon made his second television and radio address to the people of the Soviet Union. It was the second such time RN was given the opportunity to address the Soviet people directly, and a continuation of a short tradition that he and Leonid Brezhnev of the U.S.S.R. began two years ago in 1972.
“In these past 2 years, there has been a dramatic change in the nature of the relationship between our two countries,” President Nixon opened in his address. “After a long period of confrontation, we moved to an era of negotiation, and now we are learning cooperation. We are learning to cooperate, not only in lessening the danger of war but in advancing the work of peace.”
In his yellowpad notes, RN points out a particularly intriguing aspect cooperation of both country’s new relationship: the space program. Just as cooperation in space requires the utmost skill and intricacy, so does the overarching cooperation for peace:
Finally, and perhaps more important, this joint mission–for which our astronauts are now here in the Soviet Union training alongside your cosmonauts–is being made possible by careful planning, by precise engineering, by a process of working and building together, step by step, to reach a goal that we share, in pursuit of a purpose we share. This is the way that together we can build a peace that will last–a peace in which our children can live together as brothers and sisters, joining hands across the ocean in fellowship, and…
President Nixon uses this note almost word for word in his address. Watch his address below to see where he mentions it:
Television crews prepare for President Nixon’s address to the Soviet people.
Mrs. Nixon watches her husband deliver the address.