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Khrushchev Congratulates President Kennedy and Colonel Glenn

Feb. 21, 1962 - Soviet Premier Khrushchev called on the U.S. today to join its efforts with those of the Soviet Union in the conquest of space. In a message to President Kennedy, the Soviet leader said all nations wanted scientific achievements to “benefit man and not to be used for ‘cold war’ purposes and the arms race.” Mr. Khrushchev’s message contained warm congratulations on the orbital flight of Lieut. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. Noting that a U.S. citizen had joined “the family of cosmonauts,” the Premier said that space flights inspired legitimate pride in the “unlimited potentialities of human genius to serve the welfare of man.” The Premier was joined by the two Soviet astronauts and scientists in extending congratulations to Colonel Glenn. Maj. Yuri A. Gagarin, the Soviet’s first man in space, in his message welcomed “friendly competition of cosmonauts of the two countries in the exploration of the secrets of space.” Major Gherman S. Titov, who circled the earth 17 times, addressed the Marine officer as “pilot cosmonaut,” a title awarded by Mr. Khrushchev to the two Soviet space fliers. “I am happy to pay tribute to your courage and skill,” Major Titov told Colonel Glenn. Academician Leonid I. Sedov, a leading Russian space flight scientist, said in a statement that Colonel Glenn’s flight was “a major achievement,” and “the result of long intensive labor of American scientists, engineers and specialists of various professions.” “It is with complete justification that we can congratulate them on the success of this experiment,” he said.

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