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Friday, July 15, 2016

On This Day in History ...July 15



July 15, 1940 --- The world's tallest man (8 feet, 11.1 inches), Robert Wadlow, died.

July 15, 1960 --- John F. Kennedy accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

July 15, 1971 --- Nixon announces trip to China
During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-Chinese relations.

At first glance, Nixon seemed like the last American president who would ever consider a visit to the People’s Republic of China. Since the communists came to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one of the most vociferous critics of American efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese. He was known as a fervent Cold Warrior, and had been one of the leading figures in the post-World War II Red Scare, during which the U.S. government launched massive investigations into possible communist subversion in America. By 1971, however, a number of factors pushed the anticommunist Nixon to make the dramatic decision to begin a rapprochement with communist China. 

First and foremost was the Vietnam War. In 1969, shortly after taking office, Nixon promised the American people “peace with honor” in Vietnam. Two years later, and with thousands more Americans having been killed in the conflict, peace seemed no closer than before. The United States was also aware that the Chinese were eager to improve relations. The Chinese split with Russia in the mid-1960s left the Chinese communists looking for new allies, and diplomatic relations with America would mean increased trade possibilities, something the growing Chinese economy desperately wanted.

July 15, 1975 --- The Russian Soyuz and the U.S. Apollo launched. The Apollo-Soyuz mission was the first international manned spaceflight.

July 15, 2010 --- After 86 days of gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico and several previous attempts to contain the flow, BP caps its leaking oil well.




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