Hope for the World
During the Cold War, Bob Hope represented the United States abroad in initiatives designed to ease global tensions. Following a State Department-sponsored trip to Moscow in 1958, Hope received the George Foster Peabody Award for his contribution to international understanding. In his television special about the trip, Hope included some of Russia’s top performers, prompting critic Jack Gould to write, “It was Mr. Hope who penetrated the Iron Curtain and brought to a large mass American audience a new awareness of the country that is uppermost in our national concern.” Two decades later, when Hope traveled to Communist China, a Chinese sleight-of-hand artist conveyed the desired aim of cultural diplomacy when she displayed a banner reading, “Long live the friendship between the Chinese and American people.” In 1963, President Kennedy deemed Hope “America’s most prized ‘Ambassador of Good Will’ throughout the world” as he presented him with the Congressional Gold Medal.
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