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Two cherished dreams of Nikita Khrushchev: Who inspired the General Secretary to sow the whole country with corn
Two cherished dreams of Nikita Khrushchev: Who inspired the General Secretary to sow the whole country with corn

Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev was the first Soviet leader to dare to visit the United States of America. The trip lasted exactly thirteen days. The secretary general visited Hollywood, hung out with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. He even visited an American farm and met with the chairman of IBM. What Khrushchev dreamed of accomplishing during his visit and why this was not destined to come true, further in the review.

Historical visit

Nikita Khrushchev became the first head of the USSR government who decided on such a visit. The fateful trip took place in September 1959. Earlier in the same year, US Vice President Richard Nixon visited Moscow. In return, Khrushchev was invited to visit the United States of America.

Khrushchev with journalists, September 19, 1959

The Soviet leader flew to America on September 15, 1959. He became a guest of US President Dwight D. Eisenhower (who was President from 1953 to 1961). Khrushchev had a very busy schedule during this historic visit. He visited New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Iowa, Pittsburgh, as well as the capital of the United States of America - Washington.

The general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU received enormous press attention. No wonder, because the Americans saw with their own eyes the real living leader of the Soviet state for the first time. Nikita Sergeevich openly enjoyed what was happening because he loved to be in the center of attention.

Nikita Khrushchev eats a melon during lunch at the National Press Club

How it all began

The first ever visit of a Soviet leader to America took place only 42 years after power passed to the Soviets. Prior to that, neither Lenin nor Stalin made international trips for a number of reasons. Firstly, they were afraid to leave Moscow and lose power as a result of the intrigues of their comrades, and secondly, they were not really expected there. Stalin left the country only twice during the war years: to participate in allied conferences in Tehran and Potsdam. But these were conferences, not official visits.

After Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev came to power in the USSR, he proclaimed a new policy of peaceful coexistence of the two systems. The new leader began to actively visit other countries. The first such trip was an official visit to Great Britain, then allied China.

Khrushchev loved the increased attention to his person

In the late 1950s, another exacerbation of the German question took place. Nikita Sergeevich then very thoughtlessly (as often happened to him) spoke to the United States in connection with this problem. Then the secretary general realized that he had said too much. The situation had to be somehow sorted out. For this purpose, the faithful Mikoyan was sent to the United States on an unofficial visit. There he met with the leadership of the United States. The American side assured Mikoyan that everything is fine, that they are ready for negotiations, and so on. In addition, Khrushchev was given an invitation to come on a visit to America. Nikita Sergeevich decided that this trip would be an excellent opportunity to once again discuss the German question, which became the main stumbling block in the late 50s.

Finally, the issue of the visit was settled in the summer, during the visit of US Vice President Nixon to Moscow and Soviet Deputy Chairman Kozlov to Washington.

Khrushchev meets Frank Sinatra, 1959

Secretary General's dream

During his historic tour, which practically became something of a circus, Khrushchev met Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. The latter, according to rumors, did not even know who he was.Monroe's maid Lena Pepiton wrote about this later in her memoirs as follows: “They told Marilyn that America meant two things for the USSR: Coca-Cola and Marilyn Monroe. This is very much for her and she agreed to go. " For the meeting she was advised to wear the "hottest" dress. Khrushchev was overwhelmed by the charm of an American movie star.

Marilyn Monroe did not even know who Khrushchev was

The Soviet leader had two cherished dreams. He dreamed of meeting his idol and western star John Wayne and visiting Disneyland. Both turned out to be too difficult to implement.

John Wayne was an ardent anti-Soviet and anti-communist, a fan of the Republican Party. The actor was one of the few who supported McCarthyism and spoke openly about the investigation of anti-American activities. He did not hesitate to denounce his colleagues, whom he suspected of sympathizing with the "red". The type of a brutal sheriff, a courageous cowboy and a gallant soldier endlessly admired Nikita Khrushchev. It was very difficult to convince such a person to meet with the Soviet leader. Nevertheless, it happened. John met with Khrushchev at a dinner party and they even talked a little, discussing which is better vodka or tequila.

Dispayland attracted Khrushchev with terrible force

Khrushchev's second dream was a visit to the famous Disneyland. And this, to the chagrin of the secretary general, was not destined to happen.

Why Khrushchev was not allowed to Disneyland

The idea of ​​a meeting between Nikita Sergeevich and Mickey Mouse looks rather surreal. The Americans did not particularly understand this passionate desire of Khrushchev to visit the Magic Kingdom. The famous amusement park opened just a few years before the visit of the head of the USSR. But in such a short time, he has already managed to become a grandiose famous world brand.

The American side even made the appropriate preparations, but at the last moment Khrushchev was denied a visit to Disneyland. Officially, the refusal sounded like the impossibility of observing all the security rules of the secretary general on the territory of a huge park. According to unofficial versions, it turned out that Walt Disney was an ardent anti-communist and did not want the Soviet leader to visit "his" Disneyland.

Not allowed!

There was a story that makes the first version plausible. The tomato ruined everything. Not a senior, but a completely ordinary red vegetable that someone threw into the car into Khrushchev's car. He missed the mark, but was hit by the car of LAPD Chief William Parker. On another occasion, along the route of the motorcade, the police detained a suspicious man with a pistol and a bow and arrow, who claimed that he was going to hunt deer. As a result, Parker was so scared that he issued an appropriate order.

The secretary general was persuaded not to risk your life for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and his team. Nikita Sergeevich was not impressed. In hysterics, he shouted: “Then what should I do ??? Is there a cholera epidemic there? Or have gangsters taken over this place and want to destroy me?"

We discussed with John Wayne which vodka or tequila is better

Khrushchev was furious. He even threatened to immediately interrupt the visit and return back to the USSR. After much persuasion and assurances that this is absolutely impossible, the secretary general's anger subsided and he resigned himself to it. Khrushchev's dream could come true at home. The Soviet leader wanted to build a similar park in the USSR. The project was developed, but it remained only on paper. Khrushchev was dismissed and this dream was also not destined to come true. The Councilland did not take place.

What did Americans think of the head of the USSR?

The Western press wrote about Khrushchev that he was clearly not ready for close-up filming. The Soviet leader was described as a man with "a mole on his cheek, a gap in his teeth and such a huge belly, as if he had swallowed a whole watermelon."

Despite his not very presentable appearance, Khrushchev behaved naturally and openly. He paid no attention to criticism, brushing off all comments with absolute confidence. 20th Century Fox is the stage for this impressive political show. Khrushchev visited the set of the musical Can-Can.There he met Shirley MacLaine, who invited him to dance, but Nikita Sergeevich did not want to. A grand dinner was organized at the Café de Paris, which was attended by many of the stars of Hollywood. Frank Sinatra and David Niven were there.

Khrushchev visited Hollywood

The only person who was not happy with the meeting with Khrushchev was Spyros P. Skouras, president of 20th Century Fox. During his public speech, he sought to emphasize as much as possible that he, a Greek immigrant, made his fortune in the United States under capitalism. Nikita Sergeevich, who joyfully broadcast about the funeral of capitalism, did not take Spiros' fiery speech seriously.

Western historians and political experts believe that Khrushchev's campaign of "de-Stalinization" was successful. Nikita Sergeevich tried to improve the Soviet standard of living and provide the citizens of the USSR with more freedom in cultural and intellectual activities. In America, Khrushchev was considered a rather controversial figure. In general, the Soviet leader made an impression on the Americans.

Shirley wanted to dance, but Nikita Sergeevich did not

Why corn

During the visit, Nikita Sergeevich visited the headquarters of IBM and met with its chairman, Thomas Watson, who is also called "the largest capitalist in history." The IBM artificial intelligence computer system (IBM Watson) was named after him. The Soviet leader was not very interested in computers. But the self-service coffee shop made an indelible impression on him. Later he organized a similar one in the USSR.

It is interesting to note that the head of the Soviet state even visited one supermarket in San Francisco, as well as Roswell Garst's farm in Iowa. This farmer was known for growing hybrid corn seeds. It was he who inspired Khrushchev to pay so much attention to this culture. Nikita Sergeevich organized the sowing of corn in all large state farms of the USSR. Subsequently, Garst repeatedly visited the Soviet Union at the invitation of Khrushchev.

Garst inspired Khrushchev to grow corn

Results of the visit

At the end of his historic tour of America, Nikita Sergeevich met with President Eisenhower. The meeting took place at Camp David, the famous presidential home in the wooded hills, Maryland. After that, Khrushchev returned to his homeland, convinced that he had developed a strong personal relationship with Eisenhower. The secretary general believed that he would now be able to reach a peace agreement with the Americans.

Khrushchev and Eisenhower

True, it so happened that none of the political goals was achieved. No agreement could be reached on any issue. Despite this, Khrushchev's visit to the den of world capitalism became historic. For the first time, the head of the USSR became as public as Western politicians. Unlike Lenin and Stalin, Khrushchev boldly traveled around America under the gun of numerous cameras and hundreds of journalists. He met with different people, talked a lot and did not always talk about business. In a word, he was quite at ease. It was from this moment that Soviet politicians first began to move towards the rest of the world. The iron curtain has leaked.

If you are interested in the history of the USSR, read our article about as a pioneer gift he spied for 7 years in the American embassy.

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