The U-2 incident.

Essay by thegr8t1College, UndergraduateA, November 2002

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This essay is an analysis of a US History event, examined through two different sources, one being a traditional and other being a non traditional source.

May - July 1960:

The U-2 Airplane Episode

In September of 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visited United States. During the visit, the government of the United States would not allow Khrushchev to enter Disney World because they believed that they could not provide adequate protective services in such an environment. Khrushchev joked that they might have rocket-launchers located inside. After, the relations between the United States and the Soviet Union grew increasingly wary. Both countries grew bitter about each other's accomplishments in space and warfare technology. On May 1, 1960, two weeks prior to the United States-Soviet Summit in Paris, a U-2 high altitude reconnaissance airplane was shot down by a surface to air missile, while flying a spy mission over the Soviet Union (The U-2 Incident 1960).

The Soviet Union captured the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who confessed he was a spy. President Eisenhower accepted personal responsibility for the flight and he admitted that U-2 planes had been flying over the U.S.S.R. taking photographs for four years. When the summit conference began on May 16, Khrushchev demanded that Eisenhower apologize for the U-2 incident. Eisenhower refused, and Khrushchev angrily canceled his invitation for the President to visit the U.S.S.R. (U-2 Incident).

This flight had been originally planned to occur earlier, but bad weather forced a delay. However, Pres. Eisenhower had previously ordered that no flights could occur after April 30 because of the important US-Soviet summit scheduled to begin on May 16, 1960. Although the flight was nearly cancelled, the CIA convinced the White House to proceed for the following reasons: good weather conditions were predicted, intelligence reports indicating that a...