Their grandfathers’ argument in a mock-up of an American kitchen made Cold War history.
Now a grandson of President Nixon and a granddaughter of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sat side by side Sunday, 36 years to the day after Nixon had predicted in a speech that Khrushchev’s grandchildren would live in freedom.
“Nixon was right and Khrushchev was wrong,” Nina Khrushcheva, 32, told the crowd gathered at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.
Christopher Cox, 17, said “I’m sure the spirit of this moment would have meant a lot to both our grandfathers,” he said.
The moment was a far cry from 1960 when then-Vice President Nixon made his prediction.
Responding to a statement the Russian leader had made the year before, Nixon said, “When Mr. Khrushchev says … our grandchildren will live under communism, let us say, his grandchildren will live in freedom.”
The two men had dueled in 1959 in Moscow in what became known as the “kitchen debate.”
The two grandchildren were at the library to kick off the exhibit, “‘46/‘96 The Politics of Peace: The Uncertain Legacy of Victory in World War II and the Cold War.”