Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.

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Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing at National Zoo, by Cohen, Jessie, 1985, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 96-1378.

April 16, 1972

Two Giant Pandas, Hsing-Hsing (m) and Ling-Ling (f), arrive at Andrews Air Force Base on April 16, 1972 at 5 AM. The pandas are gifts to the United States of America from the People's Republic of China following President Richard M. Nixon’s historic visit to China. The pandas are officially presented to the National Zoological Park on April 20, 1972.More

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