Thursday, May 01, 2008
Interesting historical event today 1960
At first, the United States government denied the plane's purpose and mission, but was forced to admit its role as a covert surveillance aircraft when the Soviet government produced its remains (largely intact) and surviving pilot, Gary Powers. Coming just over two weeks before the scheduled opening of an East-West summit, the incident was a great embarrassment to the United States and prompted a marked deterioration in its relations with the Soviet Union.
Check a not complete article at Wikipedia.
Gary Powers died 1977_august_01 when his helicopter ran out of fuel and crashed just a few miles from Burbank Airport.
In 2000, on the 40th anniversary of Powers being shot down, his family was finally presented with his posthumously awarded Prisoner of War Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and National Defense Service Medal. In addition, then CIA Director George Tenet, authorized Powers to posthumously receive the CIA "Director's Medal" for extreme fidelity and courage in the line of duty.
According to his son, when asked how high he was when flying on May 1, 1960, Powers would often reply, "not high enough".
So today is a day to remember Gary Powers.