Sept. 25 – Eisenhower and Khrushchev meet for talks

GabeAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On Sept. 25, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev met in the US with hopes of improving Soviet-United States relations.

The meeting marked a high point before relations between the two powers turned sour. After two days of meeting with each other, the two leaders issued a joint statement that seems to announce a positive meeting and understanding between the nations. They also planned on meeting again in the near future.

These terms of understanding did not last long, however, as tensions soon escalated. This was the result of the Soviets shooting down an American U-2 spy plane that had been flying over Russia, along with the capture of the pilot. To make matters worse, Eisenhower denied knowledge of any espionage flights in Soviet territory.

This event took place in May of 1960, and the planned upcoming meeting in Geneva was cancelled.

The shooting down of the U-2 spy plane led to an increase in distrust between the two global superpowers, and was one of the events that initiated the Cold War between them.

  1. Despite fear of a nuclear war, the Cold War was not a regular war, as there was no outright combat between the United States and the Soviet Union. How else was this war different than other wars?
  2. What is the purpose of diplomacy? Should the United States meet with dangerous leaders to work out solutions, or keep them in isolation?

Image Citation:

16, Oct. 2015 U2 Plane Crash still frame from Bridge of Spies film [Digital image].  Retrieved from <>.