Khrushchev visits Hyde Park

Eleanor Roosevelt (C), Nikita Khrushchev and his wife Nina, and Andrei Gromyko at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park on September, 18 1959. Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration
Eleanor Roosevelt (C), Nikita Khrushchev and his wife Nina, and Andrei Gromyko at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park on September, 18 1959. Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration

NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 1959 (UPI) Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, apparently mollified after losing his temper under barbed questions last night, went before a security-conscious United Nations this afternoon with disarmament plans.

The No. 1 Communist spent the morning in a visit with Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt at Hyde Park, where he placed a wreath on the grave of her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt. A drizzle of rain fell on his bare head.


The wreath carried an inscription: "To the outstanding statesman of the United States, the great champion of progress and peace among peoples, President F.D. Roosevelt, from the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Nikita Sergeivich Khrushchev."

There was no demonstration by a small crowd which watched the squat premier leave the Waldorf-Astoria for the 78-mile drive through the rolling greenery of the mid-Hudson valley.

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A motorcycle police escort led the 25-car motorcade. Police were stationed 100 feet apart on both sides of the highway out of the city. Others could be seen on rooftops. Planes were banned over the route to Hyde Park.

Mrs. Roosevelt met with Premier and Mrs. Khrushchev at the entrance of the evergreen-circled rose garden where FDR is buried.


She then led the Red party through the ancestral home and the library and then went with them to her cottage "Val-Kill" three miles away.

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When they toured the library, Mrs. Roosevelt pointed out the 17th century family Bible, printed in Dutch, on which FDR took his oath of office as governor of New York and president of the U.S.

After leaving Hyde Park, Khrushchev went for a ride on a special New York subway train before going to the United Nations.

As he continued his tour of the world's capitalistic center, diplomats said it was clear that some barbed questions had begun to get under his skin despite his wisecracks.

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He became angry for the first time last night and threatened to walk out of a dinner given by the Economic Club, a group of top industrialists and financiers.

The No. 1 Communist reminded his hissing audience that he was invited to the U.S. by President Eisenhower.

"If you have no desire to listen, I can go," he said in a gruff voice and with a flustered face.

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Khrushchev seemed to have plenty of gusto left after a grueling three hours of official functions. But he lost his temper at the Waldorf-Astoria dinner.


The explosion came during a question period after a long speech in which he had boasted that the Communist system would surpass the American and taunted top businessmen for being afraid to trade with Russia.

The Russian leader was asked why the Soviet Union jammed American broadcasts, banned circulation of American periodicals and censored the dispatches of American correspondents when Russian newsmen here were free to write whatever they pleased.

There was loud and prolonged applause at the question and groans when Khrushchev began an evasive reply. Khrushchev's face flushed.

"I've come here at the invitation of your President," he said. "We have invited him to visit us. We agreed that our discussions would not touch on ... the internal affairs of others.

"I am an old sparrow, so to say, and you cannot muddle me by your cries. You do not have to listen ... but you must not interrupt. If you have no desire to listen, I can go."

Despite his apparent anger, however, the man who rose to power on Stalin's crimes put on an astounding performance of lulling with a joke in one sentence and jabbing with a threat or boast in the next.

He said that production in Russia had increased by 36 times in the last half century compared with four times in the United States.


"For a long time no one dared challenge your supremacy," he said. "But now the time has come when there is such a state which accepts your challenge, which takes into account the level of development of the United States of America and in turn is challenging you."

Khrushchev acknowledged that Ford had helped build Russian automobile works and that other industrialists and engineers had contributed to Soviet development. But, as usual, he added the needle. They got paid for it, he said.

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