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Bizarre Cold War moments of UK-US ‘special relationship’ revealed

Saturday, January 2, 2016 9:27
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(Before It's News)

Declassified papers reveal US President Ronald Reagan urged Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to read Tom Clancy to interpret Soviet Cold War strategy, and that a jar of moon dust, given by Richard Nixon, was left in a Downing Street cupboard for years.

The files disclose a series of bizarre moments in the nations’ so-called ‘special relationship’ during the 1980s, when Cold War tensions flared between the West and Soviet Russia.

RT picks the highlights of these newly declassified documents from The National Archives.

Reagan’s reading list

Then-US President Reagan urged then-PM Thatcher to read ‘Red Storm Rising’ ahead of a summit in Reykjavík with the Soviet Union on nuclear disarmament.

The fictional thriller by Tom Clancy imagines WWIII being fought with conventional weapons in Europe, the Atlantic Sea and even Iceland.

The president strongly recommended to the prime minister a new book by the author of Red October called (I think) Red Storm Rising,” Thatcher’s private secretary wrote at the time.

It gave an excellent picture of the Soviet Union’s intentions and strategy. He had clearly been much impressed by the book.

Thatcher’s reaction is not recorded and it is not known whether the PM acted up upon Reagan’s recommendation.

Nixon’s moon dust

Four tiny specks of moon dust were discovered by a Thatcher aide in a Downing Street cupboard years after they were donated in 1970 by then-US President Richard Nixon to his British counterpart, Harold Wilson.

The moon dust initially sparked a battle between British museums over who would display the artifacts, which were later described as “disappointing” by the Science Museum in London.

They eventually returned to Downing Street in 1973, where they “languished for several years” in a cupboard during Edward Heath’s premiership. When Thatcher won power she suggested putting the dust in a display cabinet, but the idea was never acted upon.


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