Nina Khrushcheva, Mamie Eisenhower, Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower at a state dinner at the White House on 27 September 1959.

The state visit of Nikita Khrushchev to the United States was a 13-day visit from 15–27 September 1959. It marked the first state visit of a Soviet leader to the US. Nikita Khrushchev, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Council of Ministers, was also the first ethnic Ukrainian leader of the Soviet Union to set foot in the Western Hemisphere.[1] Being the first visit by a leader of his kind, the coverage of it resulted in an extended media circus.[2]

Background

Earlier in 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon visited the Soviet Union, attending a tour of the American National Exhibition in Moscow. He and Khrushchev took part in what later became known as the Kitchen Debate, in which both Nixon and Khrushchev defended their country's respective economic systems. In early August of that year, it was announced by President Dwight Eisenhower that Khrushchev was invited to visit the United States, and did so that September, spending thirteen days in the country.[3][4][5]

Itinerary

During the course of the visit, Khrushchev traveled to Washington, D.C., New York, California (briefly visiting a supermarket in San Francisco), Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Camp David.[6][7][8][9][10]