Khrushchev's Visit

Eisenhower National Historic Site, National Park Service

Eisenhower National Historic Site, National Park Service

Khrushchev also presented Eisenhower with a Christmas ornament of a Sputnik landing on a moon emblazoned with hammer and sickle, a less than subtle reminder as to which country was first to launch a satellite into space.

Khrushchev met with Eisenhower at the farm and they went on to discuss their Cold War differences at Camp David. They parted with an agreement to conduct a peace conference in Paris the following spring. The visit engendered hope throughout the world that this was perhaps the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, two weeks prior to the conference, the Soviets shot down an American U-2 spy plane over their air space and captured the pilot. Francis Gary Powers. Pressured by Soviet hardliners, Khrushchev scuttled the conference by stalking out after Eisenhower refused to apologize for the U-2 incident.

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