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December 08, 1987
This is the big day. Staff meeting was small talk and actually so was N.S.C. because at 10 A.M. a full ceremony on the S. Lawn for Gorbachevs arrival. He & Raisa arrived in a limo made in Russia that’s bigger than anything we have. After the usual routine he & I went to the Oval O. All our talk must be through interpreters. A good rousing meeting—we got into a debate about human rights. He thinks we have fewer of those then they do. After a while we brought in additional members of our teams. It was a good meeting & it’s plain he really wants more reduction of nuclear weapons. I think we’ll make progress on the START treaty.
After lunch Nancy & [I] met he & Raisa and went up to the East Room for the signing of the I.N.F. treaty. It was T.V.’d live and really was an historic moment. Back to the Cabinet room for another session—with a full house—34 people in the room. Not nearly as good a meeting as this mornings.
Tonite the State Dinner—Van Cliburn entertaining.
Everything turned out fine—a very enjoyable evening. Then came word that the mkt. on Wall Street zoomed up 56 points right after we signed the treaty.