40th Anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy

Nixon Library

40TH ANNIVERSARY: Political catchphrases and topical shorthanding seem to come and go in a flash, but the term "ping pong diplomacy" has weathered a good chunk of time. How much time? Why forty years, in fact. President Richard M. Nixon's historic 1972 trip to Beijing was related to some famous table tennis matches. Now two of the players from the team representing China -- Huiaiying Zheng and Liang Geliang -- and two of the players from the American team -- Judy Hoarfrost and George Braithwaite -- will be reuniting to face-off again, four decades later, at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on Friday, July 8. And the best bit? The rematch is not only open to the public, but free.

LOOKING BACK: The day will include several stirring events, including remarks from speakers like Qiu Shaofang, Chinese Consul General of Los Angeles and Tim Boggan, a member of the '71 ping pong team. There will be a few table tennis matches, note, culminating in the rematch between the quartet of original players.

FIND OUT MORE: If the ideas behind bond-creating sportsmanship and international camaraderie and ping pong diplomacy intrigue, but you need a refresher (or a starter course), the Yorba Linda-based Nixon Library has a fine section on the topic. Make plans to visit, even if you can't make the rematch on July 8.

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