(from Open Culture)
In any event, on this 40th anniversary of President Nixon's resignation we thought we would bring you one of the more startling revelations of the Watergate Tapes which THC recently learned of via Open Culture: Nixon's tips on how to get pandas to have sex.
The President was concerned about the difficulties the two pandas, Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing given to the US by the Chinese government as part of the reestablishment of relations between the two countries, were having in understanding how to have sex as a necessary prerequisite to generating baby pandas (for those THC readers who watched Anchorman you will already be fully knowledgeable on this subject).
As reported by Open Culture, the President was taped while on the phone with the foreign editor of the Washington Star, Crosby Noyes:
Ah, the shocking things we are still learning about Nixon!Nixon: The problem with, uh—The problem, however, with pandas is that they don’t know how to mate. The only way they learn how is to watch other pandas mate. You see?
Nixon: And, so they’re keeping them there a little while—these are younger ones—
Noyes: I see.
Nixon: —to sort of learn, you know, how it’s done.
Noyes: Sure, learn the ropes—
Nixon: Now, if they don’t learn it they’ll get over here and nothing will happen, so I just thought you should just have your best reporter out there to see whether these pandas—
Noyes: Well, we certainly will—
Nixon: —have learned. So, now that I’ve given you the story of pandas let me let you get back to your more serious questions. [laughter]
On August 9, 1974, THC was surprised to hear of Nixon's resignation. He had been hitch hiking for two weeks across Canada and then down the West Coast, not hearing any news during that period. On the ninth, he had gotten a ride in a pick up truck in Oregon's Cascade Range when the driver turned on the radio and we heard what THC thought was someone doing a parody imitation of Richard Nixon but it turned out to be the real thing - the rather odd talk he gave before leaving the White House.