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 ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Rightsizing PIT - Will Landslide Terminal, Tram Be Needed?

Rightsizing PIT - Will Landslide Terminal, Tram Be Needed?

Big changes are expected as the Allegheny Airport Authority draws up a new master plan for the 25-year-old midfield terminal.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Popping the Question Far Away from Home

Popping the Question Far Away from Home

Three grooms share how they carried their rings long distances to keep their brides-to-be in the dark until the moment they got on one knee.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Bombs Away: Arsenal 201 Apartments Open After Cannonball Removal

Bombs Away: Arsenal 201 Apartments Open After Cannonball Removal

Months after the Civil War-era cannonballs were discovered at the former arsenal and munitions factory in Lawrenceville, residents are given the green light to move into the 243-unit apartment complex.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module