Tagged: Henry Kissinger

When Henry Kissinger almost visited Cape Breton

Henry 2 copy

In the summer of 1976, Tom Enders, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, and officials of the US State Department were negotiating the details of a meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Allan J MacEachen and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Since Kissinger had called upon MacEachen in Ottawa the previous October, the assumption was that the next meeting would take place in Washington.

As recorded in a confidential August 7, 1976, State Department memo to Kissinger, one of more than 1.7 million U.S. State Department cables dating from 1973-1976 released last week by Wikileaks, MacEachen suggested an alternative plan:

AMBASSADOR ENDERS HAS ALSO INFORMED US THAT MACEACHEN HAS SUGGESTED THAT YOU CONSIDER COMING TO CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA (MACEACHEN’S HOME) FOR THE TALKS. CLEARLY, YOUR GOING TO CAPE BRETON WOULD BE A PERSONAL COUP FOR MACEACHEN AND WOULD ALSO BE A DELIGHTFUL SCENIC VENUE FOR THE TALKS. THE DISADVANTAGES WOULD BE THE ADDITIONAL TIME REQUIRED OF YOUR SCHEDULE BECAUSE OF THE REMOTENESS OF CAPE BRETON AND ALSO THE FACT THAT YOU WOULD AGAIN BE THE GUEST OF MACEACHEN RATHER THAN ALLOWING YOU TO REPAY HIS HOSPITALITY IN OTTAWA LAST FALL. ON BALANCE, WE BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD PROCEED WITH PLANS TO HOST THE MEETING IN WASHINGTON.

Kissinger accepted the staff recommendation, and the visit went ahead in Washington on August 17 and 18.

Image of HK visiting Meat Cove: Peter Barss

Presidential home movies

The Watergate scandal really began to unravel with the discovery that President Nixon had secretly tape recorded most of what happened in the Oval Office. Forgotten, until now, was that the FBI also confiscated 204 reels of Super-8 film—home movies, shot inside the White, by the likes of H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and other officials.

Filmmakers Brian L. Frye and Penny Lane are turning this amateur footage into a feature-length documentary. They have prepared a trailer as part of a Kickstarter promotion to raise production money for the project:

Click here is the video is not visible. Andrew Rosinski elaborates on the footage:

They filmed the pivotal and the prosaic, from Nixon’s historic meeting with Mao to the bathroom fixtures in the Forbidden City. They filmed White House performances by Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Cash and Raquel Welch, the historic 1971 May Day Protests against the Vietnam War on the National Mall, and Tricia Nixon’s Rose Garden wedding. But mostly, they filmed each other: Higby standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and waving at the camera, Chapin and Kissinger clowning around at the beach, and a hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder. Ehrlichman was quite fond of hummingbirds.