Russian space hero, Major Yuri Gagarin, watched the May Day parade in a place of honour with Prime Minister Khrushchev and other Soviet Leaders, from the Red Square Mausoleum, in Moscow, May 1.
Russian space hero, Major Yuri Gagarin, watched the May Day parade in a place of honour with Prime Minister Khrushchev and other Soviet Leaders, from the Red Square Mausoleum, in Moscow, May 1. The vast parade lasted four hours and this year the twin themes were space and peace.
Opening the parade Soviet Defence Minister Marshal Malinovsky said that the "imperialist powers" were obstructing an improvement in international relations. He accused them of carrying on an arms drive that was turning West Germany into the main seat of war danger in Europe. He warned the West against resorting to military action to crush the "mounting national liberation movements" in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
At the start of the traditional parade was a demonstration of Russian military might with a march past of thousands of troops.
They were followed by armoured cars, tanks and rockets. A giant missile of a new type was on show. The Russians described it as practically invulnerable, with great range and accuracy.
After the military section came a patterned display by athletes and sports clubs.
A huge model of the "Vostok" spaceship halted in front of the Mausoleum and children of the pioneer youth organization poured out of it dressed in space suits. laughing they ran up to Mr. Khrushchev and Major Gagarin with bouquets of flowers. A rocket-shaped balloon was released over the Square.
Finally there was a procession of workers carrying banners inscribed with "World Peace" and similar slogans. Many of them held portraits of Gagarin and Lenin along with other Communist leaders. The traditional celebrations ended with dancing and variety shows throughout the cit. In the evening there was a display of multi-coloured rockets.