Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On April 12, 1961
Yuri Gagarin became the first human being in space.

Triumphant music blared across the land. Russia's radios saluted the morning with the slow, stirring beat of the patriotic song, How Spacious Is My Country. Then came the simple announcement that shattered forever man's ancient isolation on earth: "The world's first spaceship, Vostok [East], with a man on board, has been launched on April 12 in the Soviet Union on a round-the-world orbit." From Leningrad to Petropavlovsk, the U.S.S.R. came to a halt. Streetcars and buses stopped so that passengers could listen to loudspeakers in public squares.

Here, a massive audience of people pack Red Square in awe of their nation's accomplishment, and focus with delight on Yuri's speach.

bonus addon Dreams of Space

In post-World War II America anything seemed possible, even going to the Moon! There appeared in 1949, a book The Conquest of Space , which led to a new trend in children's books. These books outlined the future the children of the "baby boom" would grow up in, the world of space.

Dreams of Space You will go to the Moon
A wonderful collection of Space Art in Children's books

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