When Khrushchev Came to Town

Find out what the Soviet leader had to say about Pittsburgh when he visited in autumn 1959.




 

In autumn 1959, with the Cold War raging, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev took a whirlwind tour of the United States. He visited the White House, New York City, Hollywood, San Francisco, a farm in Iowa — and then he came to Pittsburgh to meet some real American workers.

When he landed at Greater Pittsburgh Airport around 11 p.m. on Sept. 23, Mayor Thomas Gallagher presented him with the only key to a city that he received in America. “Khrush” (as the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph nicknamed him) didn’t experience the Fort Pitt Tunnel-entrance effect because the tunnels weren’t yet finished — but Khrushchev was taken to Mount Washington so that he could see the city lit up to welcome him. At the Carlton House Hotel downtown, thousands of people greeted him.  While some protested Soviet policies, most Pittsburghers seemed honored by the high-profile visit.

The next day, Khrushchev made a mid-morning visit to Mesta Machine’s West Homestead plant, where he talked with steelworkers and women in the cafeteria. Around 11:30 a.m., he hopped in a convertible for a quick tour of the city. Pittsburghers of all ages lined the streets of his route, which was printed in newspapers — information that would never be shared today. His motorcade eventually headed up Bigelow Boulevard from downtown to the Pitt Student Union, where he gave a speech to hundreds of luncheon guests.

One newspaper reported Khrushchev was “in the jauntiest mood of his entire American tour.” He later called Pittsburgh “the friendliest of all cities.” In U.S.S.R magazine, Khrushchev wrote, “The impression that Pittsburgh and its people made on me is wonderful.”
 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

You'll have to work hard to make it through the 'Burgh Bucket List — but every entry is more than worth the effort.
Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu came to Pittsburgh craving the California sun. Nearly a dozen years later, he shares a rare glimpse of the relationships he developed here — with his God, the Steelers Nation and the city he and his family now call home. One thing is certain: he never wants to leave.
Granting the Perfect Wish

Granting the Perfect Wish

By fulfilling the wish of a 12-year-old boy, PittGirl learns that you don't always need a lot of money to grant the perfect wish.
Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Try an updated take on traditional trends with these winter must-haves for men.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

15 Beautiful Photos of Pittsburgh’s 2014 Light-Up Night

15 Beautiful Photos of Pittsburgh’s 2014 Light-Up Night

Our city never looks brighter than on this annual, celebratory nod to the beginning of the holiday season.
Two Cameras to Keep an Eye on Pittsburgh’s Bald Eagles

Two Cameras to Keep an Eye on Pittsburgh’s Bald Eagles

A Murrysville security company plans to install the new cameras, which should provide high-definition of the Hays eagles.
Pittsburgh Offers Free Holiday Parking

Pittsburgh Offers Free Holiday Parking

The city hopes that offering free parking to shoppers on some of the busiest commercial days of the year will give small businesses a lift.
Photo Gallery: Andy Warhol Bridge Yarn Bombing Wins Public Art Award

Photo Gallery: Andy Warhol Bridge Yarn Bombing Wins Public Art Award

The bridge was covered in more than 3,000 feet of colorful, hand-knit blankets in honor of the late pop artist’s 85th birthday.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

You'll have to work hard to make it through the 'Burgh Bucket List — but every entry is more than worth the effort.
Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu came to Pittsburgh craving the California sun. Nearly a dozen years later, he shares a rare glimpse of the relationships he developed here — with his God, the Steelers Nation and the city he and his family now call home. One thing is certain: he never wants to leave.
Granting the Perfect Wish

Granting the Perfect Wish

By fulfilling the wish of a 12-year-old boy, PittGirl learns that you don't always need a lot of money to grant the perfect wish.
Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Try an updated take on traditional trends with these winter must-haves for men.
Review: Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar

Review: Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar

Farm-to-table restaurant Eighty Acres brings food prepared with finesse to Plum.
Pittsburgh's Top 10: November 2014

Pittsburgh's Top 10: November 2014

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this month.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags