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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 26, 1961

EXCERPT FROM MINUTES Nº 325 OF THE APRIL 26, 1961, MEETING OF THE CPSU CC PRESIDIUM, 'ON THE FURTHER COMMEMORATION AND POPULARIZATION OF THE FIRST FLIGHT OF A SOVIET MAN IN SPACE'

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    Presidium (or Politburo) decree on publicity for the flight of Yuriy Gagarin.
    "Excerpt from Minutes Nº 325 of the April 26, 1961, Meeting of the CPSU CC Presidium, 'On the Further Commemoration and Popularization of the First Flight of a Soviet Man in Space'," April 26, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Selected, edited, and annotated by Asif Siddiqi. Translated by Gary Goldberg and Angela Greenfield. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/260546
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New Sources on Yuri Gagarin (April 2021)

DOCUMENT No. 19

Presidium (or Politburo) decree on publicity for the flight of Yuriy Gagarin. – Asif Siddiqi

April 26, 1961

TOP SECRET

Nº P325/LVI

Excerpt from Minutes Nº 325 of the April 26, 1961 meeting of the CPSU CC Presidium

On the Further Commemoration and Popularization of the First Flight of a Soviet Man in Space.

The world’s first space flight of a Soviet man on the Vostok satellite-ship spacecraft is the achievement of an age-old dream of humanity, a remarkable historic event. The feat of the first Soviet pilot cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union Party member Yu. A. Gagarin, is a great victory of the Soviet people, Soviet science and technology, and our remarkable scientists, engineers, technicians, and workers. The mighty power of socialism, its decisive superiority over capitalism, which has had its day, the enormous successes of the Soviet people in building a Communist society, and the powerful unity of the Communist Party and the peoples have found their reflection in this feat.

In order to further popularize the world’s first space flight of a Soviet man in space and the achievements of the Soviet Union in mastering space the CPSU CC [Central Committee] decrees to:

1. Suggest that the [Central Committees] of the Communist Parties of the union republics, and kray, oblast’, city and rayon Party committees organize wide-scale propaganda and mass explanatory work devoted to the historic worldwide importance of the world’s first space flight of a Soviet man into space and also the outstanding achievements of our Motherland in space research.

All the agitation and propaganda work inside the country is to be done under the banner of molding workers, especially young people, in the spirit of Soviet patriotism and the mobilization of workers, collective farmers, and intellectuals to fulfill the third year of the seven-year plan ahead of time.

In propaganda to foreign countries make especial note of the great historical significance of the world’s first space flight of a Soviet man for progressive humanity and peace in the entire world, stress that the successes of socialism in the USSR gave rise to this outstanding feat, and that it reflects the very great gains of the Soviet system in all fields of the economy and culture, science and technology, public education and the Communist upbringing of the Soviet people.

2. Hold the editorial boards of national and local newspapers and magazines, the State Committee for Radio and Television Broadcasting under the USSR Council of Ministers, the radio and television organizations of the union republics responsible for more broadly popularizing the historic flight of a Soviet man into space among the masses.

Entrust the publication of academic journals, popular books and brochures, posters, albums, and envelopes devoted to the achievements of the USSR in space research and the first space flight of a Soviet man on the Vostok satellite-ship to the publishing houses of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the State Political Literature Publishers, the Fine Arts Publishers, and the Pravda, Izvestiya, Ministry of Defense, and Znaniye Publishing Houses. Suggest that the leaders of the publishing houses involve skilled and competent authors for the preparation of books and brochures about the mastery of space.

Charge the USSR Academy of Sciences with issuing a special memorial edition devoted to the world’s first space flight of a Soviet man in the Vostok satellite-ship.

Charge the USSR Union of Journalists with preparing and publishing a book devoted to the world’s first space flight of a Soviet man around the Earth in the Vostok satellite-ship.

3. Charge the Presidium of the Board of the All-Union Society for the Dissemination of Political and Scientific Knowledge with organizing lectures everywhere about the outstanding achievements of Soviet science and technology in space research, the flight of the Soviet space ship Vostok, and the significance of space flights for the study of the Universe.

4. Suggest that the management of the All-Union Exhibit of the Achievements of the National Economy organize a special pavilion devoted to the mastery of space in coordination with the USSR Ministry of Defense and the USSR Academy of Sciences.

5. Hold the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade, the USSR Ministry of Communications, the State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers for Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries with organizing the publication and distribution in foreign countries through trade and other channels of photographic portraits, photo albums and booklets, postage stamps, phonograph records, souvenirs, and badges devoted to the first space flight.

Prepare special display stands about the Soviet Union’s mastery of space for a demonstration at international exhibitions.

Charge [Comrades] Vetoshkin, Keldysh, Vershinin, Serbin, Polikarpov, and Snastin with considering and approving all materials designated for export which are connected with the flight of a Soviet man into space and the mastery of space.

6. In commemoration of the world’s first triumphal flight of a Soviet man into space set up a monument in Moscow and an obelisk at the site of the landing of Soviet pilot cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union, Yu. A. Gagarin.

Charge the USSR Ministry of Culture, the State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers for Construction Matters, the Board of the Union of Artists, the Academy of Architecture and Construction, and the Academy of Arts with submitting proposals within a month concerning the design and construction of a monument and obelisk in honor of the outstanding feat of Soviet science and technology in the mastery of space and the heroic flight of a Soviet man into space.

7. Charge the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences with:

a) holding a meeting of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow with the participation of the scientific community of the capital devoted to the flight of a man into space;

b) preparing a series of scientific reports by Soviet scientists about the accomplishment of the world’s first space flight and the leading role of the Soviet Union in the mastery of space for publications in foreign scientific institutions, societies, and conferences.

8. Suggest that the Soviet representative in the Presidium of the International Astronautical Federation, President of the Federation Academician L. I. Sedov, make a proposal to hold a special session of the Federation devoted to the Soviet Union’s accomplishment of the first manned space flight.

9. In connection with the proposals coming from abroad about a foreign trip by [Comrade] Yu. A. Gagarin charge the USSR Ministry of Defense, the Committee for State Security under the USSR Council of Ministers, and the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs with considering this question and submitting appropriate proposals to the CPSU CC.

CC SECRETARY

Archival source: APRF, f. 3, op. 47, d. 286, ll. 76-80. Typescript. Original.

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