In 1972 the United States knew very little about the country of China.  In face. most of the rest of the world didn't know much about China either.

But President Richard Nixon wanted to 'open up' China, and in this video clip he announces to the nation (and the world) that he'll be visiting Peking and will be holding talks with Chou En Lai and Mao Tse Tung, China's leaders.

The ramifications of relations with China since that trip in 1972 can certainly be debated.  What can't be debated is the historic nature of the announcement and the subsequent trip.

A President of the United States, the leader of the 'free world' was going behind the curtain, so to speak, and opening up relations with a nation of 750 million people (at the time).

One interesting note about the video clip: Notice there's no teleprompter? Nope, these were the 'old days', when the president had to glance down frequently at his prepared remarks.