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Press release of telegram to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev

Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. National Security Files1961-04-12

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Boston, United States

Three months into President Kennedy’s administration, the Soviet Union achieved another milestone when Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space, orbiting the earth in a mission that lasted 108 minutes. Soviet leaders basked in his success, while Americans wondered how and when the United States would ever catch up.

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