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Francis Gary Powers Collection

Creator:
Powers, Francis Gary, 1929-1977  Search this
Names:
Lockheed Aircraft Corp  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971  Search this
Powers, Francis Gary, 1929-1977  Search this
Extent:
1.53 Cubic feet (2 legal document boxes, 1 flat box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Clippings
Diaries
Correspondence
Telegrams
Photographs
Logs (records)
Date:
1929-1986
bulk 1952-1977
Summary:
This collection consists of material relating to Francis Gary Powers's flying career in the Air Force, Central Intelligence Agency, and later pursuits. The majority of the documents deal with the May 1960 U-2 incident, in which Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union during a reconnaisance mission and imprisoned. Materials include: logbooks; flight records from his military and civilian careers; a pocket diary and journal he kept during his Soviet imprisonment; letters to his parents; materials collected by his parents as his father attempted to visit him including a telegram from Nikita Khrushchev and a New Testament given to Powers by his mother during his Soviet trial; Congressional hearing material; newspaper articles; Life magazine; and several photographs of Powers.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of documents relating to Francis Gary Powers and his aviation career, particularly the 1960 U-2 incident with the Soviet Union. Materials include: logbooks; flight records from his military and civilian careers; a pocket diary and journal he kept during his Soviet imprisonment; letters to his parents; materials collected by his parents as his father attempted to visit him including a telegram from Nikita Khrushchev and a New Testament given to Powers by his mother during his Soviet trial; Congressional hearing material; newspaper articles; Life magazine; and several photographs of Powers.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into three series: Early Career, the U-2 Incident, and Post U-2 Incident Life and Career.

Series 1 contains materials relating to Francis Gary Power's early career with the United States Air Force before resigning to join the CIA, including his birth certificate, military orders and forms, and his individual flight records.

Series 2 contains materials relating to the U-2 incident, in which Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union and imprisoned. The first set of materials relates to Powers' imprisonment, including his prison journal, pocket diary, New Testament, correspondence, and the subsequent congressional hearing. The second set of materials relates to the Powers family during the incident, including correspondence and telegrams with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and the United States government and Oliver Powers' passport. The third set of materials relates to the media reactions to the incident, including complete newspapers, article clippings, a television script, and artwork.

The Soviet Prison Journal and Soviet Prison Pocket Diary were on display in the Looking at Earth Gallery when the collection was digitized. The photocopies were scanned for digital access.

Series 3 contains materials from Powers' life and career after his return to the United States, including logbooks, public relations documents, flight training and insurance records, an employment application, and memorial items.

Documents with personally identifiable information (PII) have been redacted or not digitized.
Biographical/Historical note:
Francis Gary Powers (1929 -1977) learned to fly during high school. He enlisted in the United States Air Force after graduating from Milligan College in 1950. In 1956, he resigned from the Air Force to become a "civilian employee" of Lockheed on loan to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, authorized to fly Air Force aircraft. In reality, he was a covert employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), training for Operation Overflight—U-2 reconnaissance missions.

Powers was captured and imprisoned after his U-2 was shot down over the Soviet Union during an aerial reconnaissance mission on May 1, 1960. Powers was placed on trial and exchanged nearly two years later for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet agent. After his return to the United States, Powers continued to work for the CIA, but then left to work at Lockheed. Powers was working for NBC's Los Angeles affiliate KGIL in 1977, when his helicopter ran out of fuel and crashed, causing his death.
Provenance:
Claudia Sue Powers, Gift, 1994, NASM.1994.0010.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Lockheed U-2 Family  Search this
Cold War  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Aerial reconnaissance  Search this
Photographic reconnaissance systems  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics and state  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Diaries
Correspondence
Telegrams
Photographs
Logs (records)
Citation:
Francis Gary Powers Collection, Acc. 1994.0010, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1994.0010
See more items in:
Francis Gary Powers Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1994-0010
Additional Online Media:

The Kitchen Debate and Cold War consumer politics : a brief history with documents / Shane Hamilton, Sarah Phillips

Author:
Hamilton, Shane 1976- http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n2008016468 http://viaf.org/viaf/80949595  Search this
Phillips, Sarah T. 1974- http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n2006048758 http://viaf.org/viaf/72581679  Search this
Subject:
Nixon, Richard M (Richard Milhous) 1913-1994 http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n79018757 http://viaf.org/viaf/44303100  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971 http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n80021705  Search this
American National Exhibition (1959 : Moscow, Russia) http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n94075289  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 171 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Soviet Union
Date:
2014
20th century
1955-1965
1945-1991
1945-
Topic:
Cold War--Social aspects  Search this
Consumption (Economics)--History  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
Economic conditions  Search this
Social conditions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1107057

Total disarmament in four years; address before United Nations, September 18, 1959 and text of Soviet proposals

Author:
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
30 p. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1959
1959]
Topic:
Disarmament  Search this
Call number:
JX1974.K495X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_205542

For general and complete disarmament / speech by N.S. Khrushchev to the General Assembly of the United Nations September l8th, 1959, and the declaration of the Soviet government

Author:
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
39 p. ; 19 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Soviet Union
Date:
1959
1953-1985
1985-1991
Topic:
Disarmament  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Call number:
JX1974 .K45 1959
JX1974.K45 1959
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_213555

MAYDAY : Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and the U-2 affair / Michael R. Beschloss

Title:
May day
Author:
Beschloss, Michael R  Search this
Subject:
Eisenhower, Dwight D (Dwight David) 1890-1969  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
xvi, 494 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1986
C1986
Topic:
U-2 Incident, 1960  Search this
Call number:
E183.8.S65B47 1986X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_291598

Khrushchev remembers; the last testament. Translated and edited by Strobe Talbott. With a foreword by Edward Crankshaw, and an introd. by Jerrold L. Schecter

Author:
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Talbott, Stobe  Search this
Subject:
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
xxxi, 602 p. illus. 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Soviet Union
Date:
1974
[1974]
1953-1985
1985-1991
Topic:
Politics and government  Search this
Call number:
DK275.K5 A326X
DK275.K5A326X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_44981

To the brink : JFK and the Cuban missile crisis / by Stacey Bredhoff ; with a message from David S. Ferriero

Title:
JFK and the Cuban missile crisis
Author:
Bredhoff, Stacey 1955-  Search this
Ferriero, David S  Search this
Subject:
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
National Archives Building (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum  Search this
Physical description:
v, [1], 90 p. : ill., maps, ports., facsims. ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Place:
Cuba
Date:
2012
C2012
Topic:
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962  Search this
Military bases, Soviet  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1024191

High noon in the Cold War : Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis / Max Frankel

Author:
Frankel, Max 1930-  Search this
Subject:
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
xiv, 206 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Soviet Union
Date:
2004
Topic:
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_947776

Kennedy and the Berlin Wall : "a hell of a lot better than a war" / W.R. Smyser

Author:
Smyser, W. R. 1931-  Search this
Subject:
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 295 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Soviet Union
Germany (West)
Berlin (Germany)
Date:
2009
C2009
Topic:
Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
International status  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_948779

The fourteenth day : JFK and the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis / David G. Coleman

Author:
Coleman, David G  Search this
Subject:
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich 1894-1971  Search this
Physical description:
256 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Soviet Union
Date:
2012
C2012
1961-1963
Topic:
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962  Search this
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962--Influence  Search this
Politics and government  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_999420

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