Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yuri Gagarin: Remembering the First Cosmonaut

Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space is being remembered this week, 40 years after his death. In April, 1961 when he went into space, he was only 27 years old.

Gagarin visited Rostov-on-Don in 1967, and this statue in his honor commemorates that trip. By the way, Gagarin is pronounced Guh-GAH-ren. This is important because perhaps you'll have an opportunity soon to drop that tidbit of information - ever so casually, of course - into a conversation. And knowing that you're pronouncing his name correctly will be a plus. How embarrassing to pronounce it GAG-a-rin. (Oh gag!)

Catch this neat video, Stars Await. See Gagarin in person, feted at a 1960's event in the USSR, the song apparently sung in his honor. It has been translated at that site, Windows to Russia. Watch it to catch a glimpse of Gagarin's jump-in-and-do-it personality.

In Moscow is this 40-meter titanium tower in honor of Gagarin. (Photo courtesy

Back to Rostov: With Gagarin's statue in front of Rostov Technical University, looking south over Voroshilovsky Prospect, a major north-south artery.

According to, Gagarin's death still baffles Russian folk. He was killed during a flight training accident at age 34. But some remain skeptical, even 40 years later. (Photo courtesy Wikipedia.)

Just wondering: Do you happen to remember Gagarin's trip into space back in April, 1961? As for me, I was in 4th grade but our family didn't have television, so we probably learned about his trip around Thanksgiving or so. . . But how about you? Please share your memories of that time.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Don't remember cuz I wasn't born yet, but it would be amazing to go to space