Vance Affirms Carter’s Interest In Human Rights

In the face of recent Soviet crackdowns on human rights activists, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance assures skeptics in the United States that the administration of President Jimmy Carter will hold the Soviet Union accountable for its actions. On June 1, 1977 the Soviets charged Anatoly Shcharansky, a computer expert […]

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Soviets Charge Shcharansky With Treason

The Soviet government charges Anatoly Shcharansky, a leader among Jewish dissidents and human rights activists in Russia, with the crime of treason. The action was viewed by many in the West as a direct challenge to President Jimmy Carter’s new foreign policy emphasis on human rights and his criticism of […]

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Chinese Government Removes Ban On Shakespeare

A new sign of political liberalization appears in China, when the communist government lifts its decade-old ban on the writings of William Shakespeare. The action by the Chinese government was additional evidence that the Cultural Revolution was over. In 1966, Mao Tse-Tung, the leader of the People’s Republic of China, […]

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Jimmy Carter Reaffirms His Commitment To Human Rights

President Jimmy Carter, in a speech delivered at Notre Dame University, reaffirms his commitment to human rights as a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy and disparages the “inordinate fear of communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in that fear.” Carter’s speech marked a new […]

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Chinese Leader Zhou Enlai Dies

Zhou Enlai, premier of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1949, dies of cancer at age 77. Zhou was second to Mao Zedong, the leader of the revolution that brought a communist regime to China, in terms of importance in the PRC. Beyond his significance as a leader of […]

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Summit Meeting In Helsinki Begins

Thirty-five nations, called together by the United States and the Soviet Union, begin a summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, to discuss some pressing international issues. The meeting temporarily revived the spirit of detente between the United States and Russia. By 1975, the policy of detente–the lessening of tensions between the […]

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American Ship Mayaguez Seized

The American freighter Mayaguez is captured by communist government forces in Cambodia, setting off an international incident. The U.S. response to the affair indicated that the wounds of the Vietnam War still ran deep. On May 12, 1975, the U.S. freighter Mayaguez and its 39-man crew was captured by gunboats […]

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U.S. Officially Ends Participation In A Cold War Conflict

The Paris Peace Accords are signed by officials from the United States and North Vietnam, bringing an official end to America’s participation in its most unpopular foreign war. The accords did little, however, to solve the turmoil in Vietnam or to heal the terrible domestic divisions in the United States […]

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SALT Agreements Signed

Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Richard Nixon, meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements. At the time, these agreements were the most far-reaching attempts to control nuclear weapons ever. Nixon and Brezhnev seemed unlikely candidates for the American and Soviet statesmen who would sign […]

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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 […]

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“Pentagon Papers” Damage Credibility Of Cold War Policy

The New York Times begins to publish sections of the so-called “Pentagon Papers,” a top-secret Department of Defense study of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The papers indicated that the American government had been lying to the people for years about the Vietnam War and the papers seriously damaged […]

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U.S. Table Tennis Team Visits Communist China

The U.S. table tennis team begins a weeklong visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at the invitation of China’s communist government. The well-publicized trip was part of the PRC’s attempt to build closer diplomatic relations with the United States, and was the beginning of what some pundits in […]

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