Old Photos: Khrushchev’s Trip To America

© Time Inc. Hank Walker

I’ve written before about Khrushchev’s visits to America in 1959 and 1961. Life Magazine printed this report in October of 1959.

At the climax of Nikita Khrushchev’s astounding cross-country stampede, the Soviet dictator met his democratic match. In man-to man debate with President Eisenhower he found that, just as there was little concession to him, there was no budging the President, particularly form his stand on West Berlin. After tough rounds of talks, extended beyond the original schedule, the best that could be promised the waiting world was more negotiations later. It was agreed that they would announce agreement on rough terms of an interim settlement of the Berlin dispute, no present cutoff date for Western occupation.

On the face of it, this was progress. But full interpretation of the dictator’s incredible 12-day tour required study. He had swaggered in New York, thundered threats in Los Angeles, beamed in San Fransisco. Only once, all unknowing, had he been topped by a side -splitting gag. The net effect was one of chilling political showmanship.

And now some photos:

© Time Inc. Francis Miller

© Time Inc.Francis Miller

Nikita S. Khrushchev during his tour of the US.© Time Inc. Stan Wayman

Nikita S. Khrushchev motorcade going up Park Ave.© Time Inc.Al Fenn

Nikita S. Khrushchev (C) and wife during their tour of US.© Time Inc.Carl Mydans

People protesting to the Nikita S. Khrushchev visit.© Time Inc.Stan Wayman

Nikita S. Khrushchev (L) with Shirley MacLaine (C) and wife (R) in Hollywood.© Time Inc.Nat Farbman

Nikita S. Khrushchev (C) with Shirley MacLaine (R) in Hollywood.© Time Inc.Nat Farbman

Nikita S. Khrushchev (C) during his tour of the US.© Time Inc.Stan Wayman

Nikita S. Khrushchev (C) trampling silage as he tours model corn and cattle farm.© Time Inc.Michael Rougier

Farmer Roswell Garst (R), w. Russian Nikita S. Khrushchev during his visit at Garst’s farm.© Time Inc.Michael Rougier

Nikita S. Khrushchev (R) escorting Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower.© Time Inc.Hank Walker

  • As I look at these pictures, I realize how many truly lousy poets lived in America back then.

  • Cool pix. Was the open car a Bolchevy?

    • looks like Fordskiy to me

  • re Khrushchev – it’s oddly surrealistic that the horror of our(U.S.)collective imagination tuned out so banal.(The bit with the pounding shoe should have provided some foreshadowing, n’est-ce pas?)

    A relief, yes, but also rather sad. For which there is undoubtedly a Russian term, yes?

    I wonder if those that came of age in the USSR, rather than Russia, feel the same…

    • I think after Stalin no Soviet leader was perceived as threatening inside the USSR. And American presidents were mostly portrayed as capitalist underhanded crooks, not threats. I don’t think there was an equivalent level of paranoia to what you had here.
      I liked the use of the word “dictator” in the mainstream magazine. Too bad the same verbiage is not used today.

  • I Travel for JOOLS

    Hey that’s the “We Will Bury You” dude. At least that’s the way I remember him as a kid (fearfully). But, I think the new dude on the block is probably a lot more sinister.

  • Yes. That one is of the class “once seen – never forgotten”. Cool.