Helping Nature Along: Breeding Giant Pandas
Photo: John Dominis/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
'Panda-monium' in Washington
The first giant pandas were a gift of goodwill
, sent after former President Richard Nixon and first lady Pat Nixon, shown here in a red coat, made a historic visit to China in Feb. 1972. As part of the tour, the Nixon party visited the Peking Zoo to see the famed giant pandas.
When Pat Nixon revealed her affection for the animals to Chinese Premier Zhou En-lai, he reportedly replied, "I'll give you some."
Less than three months later, the Smithsonian's National Zoo welcomed its first two pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing.