Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Premier
by findingDulcinea Staff
On the eve of a thirteen day visit to the United States, Khrushchev had two requests: to visit Disneyland and to meet John Wayne, a the era's top Hollywood actor. But upon arrival to Disneyland, he was refused entry in light of the Cold War and the security risks posed. This symbolized the oft-tumultuous relationship between the Soviet leader and the United States.
Khrushchev became Chief Director of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. He was replaced in 1964 by Leonid Brezhnev and lived under the watchful eye of the KGB during the final years of his life. He is best remembered for his 1961 approval of plans proposed by East German leader Walter Ulbricht to build the Berlin Wall, thereby reinforcing the Cold War division of Germany, and of Eastern Europe. He also initiated the deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba, which led to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.