On This Day, Oct. 12, 1960 – Krushchev Lets His Shoe Do the Talking

1960In one of the most surreal moments in the history of the Cold War, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev removes his shoe and pounds a table with it in protest against a speech critical of Soviet policy in Eastern Europe during a dispute at a U.N. General Assembly.

During a debate over a Russian resolution decrying colonialism, a representative of the government of the Philippines charged the Soviets with employing a double standard, pointing to their domination of Eastern Europe as an example of the colonialism they were criticizing in their resolution. In response, Khrushchev took off one of his shoes and began to furiously pound the table. The chaotic scene finally ended when General Assembly President Frederick Boland (Ireland) broke his gavel calling the meeting to order, but not before the image of Khrushchev as a hotheaded buffoon was indelibly etched into America’s collective memory.

1492 – Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, sighted Watling Island in the Bahamas. He believed that he had found Asia while attempting to find a Western ocean route to India. The same day he claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain.

1810 – Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The royalty invited the public to attend the event which became an annual celebration that later became known as Oktoberfest.

1892 – In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Columbus landing the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in public schools.

1895 – In Newport, RI, the first amateur golf tournament was held.

1915 – Former President Theodore Roosevelt criticized U.S. citizens who identified themselves by dual nationalities.

1920 – Construction of the Holland Tunnel began. It opened on November 13, 1927. The tunnel links Jersey City, NJ and New York City, NY.

1933 – The Department of Justice acquired Alcatraz Island from the U.S. Army.

1938 – Filming began on “The Wizard of Oz.”

1942 – During World War II, Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.

1945 – Private First Class Desmond T. Doss was presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery as a medical corpsman. He was the first conscientious objector in American history to win the award.

1961 – The first video memoirs by a U.S. president were made. Walter Cronkite interviewed Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1964 – The Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1 into orbit around the Earth. It was the first space flight to have a multi-person crew and the first flight to be performed without space suits.

1969 – The “Paul is Dead” craze began when a radio DJ played “Revolution #9” backwards.

1972 – During the Vietnam War, a racial brawl broke out aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. Nearly 50 sailors were injured.

1976 – China announced that Hua Guo-feng was named to succeed the late Mao Tse-tung as chairman of the Communist Party.

1989 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a statutory federal ban on the destruction of the American flag.

2001 – A special episode of America’s Most Wanted was aired that focused on 22 wanted terrorists. The show was specifically requested by President George W. Bush.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; History.com