Kitchen Debate

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) and US Vice President Richard Nixon (right) debate each other in Moscow
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (left) and US Vice President Richard Nixon (right) debate each other in Moscow

Historical Context

In 1959, US Vice President Richard Nixon traveled to the capital of America's communist arch-enemy, the Soviet Union. He was there to visit an American exhibition being held in the city; a house had been built as a set that the American designers claimed every family in America could pay for.

During their joint visit to the kitchen of this model unit, Khrushchev and Nixon debated each other on the merits of communism versus capitalism, using the technological developments of the age to make their arguments.

The debates were rebroadcast in both countries, though the Soviet broadcast did not translate some of Nixon's remarks. Nixon managed to impress not just the Soviet leader but also the American public, increasing his chances for the Republic Party presidential nomination in 1960 - though he would lose to John F. Kennedy.

Photo Info


Photographer: Thomas J O'Halloran
Date taken: July 24, 1959
Location taken: Moscow, Soviet Union

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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