Historical Dictionary of the 1960s

By Samuel Freeman; James S. Olson | Go to book overview

U

U-2 CRISIS. For several years during the late 1950s, the United States, from military bases in Turkey, had flown high-altitude reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union. It was essentially a covert operation of the Central Intelligence Agency* ( CIA). CIA pilots flew U-2 aircraft, which were capable of hovering above Soviet radar and were equipped with high-altitude photographic equipment. But in May 1960, Soviet surface-to-air missiles shot down an American U-2 and captured the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who had parachuted out of the falling aircraft. At first, the United States denied Soviet accusations of espionage, claiming it was only a weather flight over Turkey that had gone astray.

But when the Soviet Union displayed Powers at a press conference, exposing the U.S. explanation as a lie, the Eisenhower* administration came clean, explaining that the U-2 reconnaissance flights had been going on for years. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev* were scheduled for a summit meeting at the end of May, but an angry Khrushchev scuttled the meetings. Eisenhower canceled future U-2 flights, but technology was already rendering the aircraft obsolete. The United States now had satellites in orbit that were capable of photographing the same regions of the Soviet Union. Powers was sentenced to a long prison term at hard labor, but in 1963 he was traded for an East German spy and released.

REFERENCES: John L. Gaddis, Russia, the Soviet Union, and the United States, 1978; Paul Y. Hammond, Cold War and Detente, 1975.

THE UGLY AMERICAN (Book). The Ugly American is the title of a powerful, influential novel of the late 1950s and early 1960s. William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick The Ugly American was published in 1958 and spent seventy- eight weeks on the best-seller list. The book sold 4 million copies and was made into a movie starring Marlon Brando. The Ugly American is set in the fictionalized Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan. The book focuses on the failures of

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Historical Dictionary of the 1960s
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • A 1
  • B 35
  • C 83
  • D 125
  • E 145
  • F 161
  • G 184
  • H 212
  • I 239
  • J 246
  • K 254
  • L 272
  • M 284
  • N 317
  • O 347
  • P 359
  • Q 378
  • R 379
  • S 402
  • T 437
  • U 455
  • V 460
  • W 470
  • X 487
  • Y 488
  • Z 490
  • Chronology of the 1960s 493
  • Selected Bibliography 507
  • Index 527
  • About the Contributors 545
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