May 16, 1960

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History.com: “In the wake of the Soviet downing of an American U-2 spy plane on May 1, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev lashes out at the United States and President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Paris summit meeting between the two heads of state. Khrushchev’s outburst angered Eisenhower and doomed any chances for successful talks or negotiations at the summit.”

“On May 1, 1960, the Soviets shot down a CIA spy plane and captured the pilot, Gary Francis Powers.… The incident was a public relations fiasco for Eisenhower, who was forced to admit that the plane had indeed been spying on Russia.”

“Tensions from the incident were still high when Eisenhower and Khrushchev arrived in Paris to begin a summit meeting on May 16. Khrushchev wasted no time in tearing into the United States, declaring that Eisenhower would not be welcome in Russia during his scheduled visit to the Soviet Union.

“Eisenhower’s planned trip to Moscow in June was scrapped.… The collapse of the May 1960 summit meeting was a crushing blow to those in the Soviet Union and the United States who believed that a period of ‘peaceful coexistence’ between the two superpowers was on the horizon.”

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