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The Newsreel Americans Saw After the Soviets Sent a Man to Space

Two days after Gagarin's historic orbit around the Earth, this newsreel, headlined "Soviets Hail Space Hero," gave Americans a look at Moscow in the throes of jubilation as the Soviets defeated the West in the early laps of the space race. "Films like...
April 12, 2011, 9:07am

Two days after Gagarin’s historic orbit around the Earth, this newsreel, headlined “Soviets Hail Space Hero,” gave Americans a look at Moscow in the throes of jubilation as the Soviets defeated the West in the early laps of the space race. Films like this – which includes a rare glimpse of Soviet state television – along with the urgings of President Kennedy, helped give the U.S. the political will it would take to would eventually win.

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Before they started working on that however, they would have to watch the second part of the newsreel, about former President Eisenhower’s trip to Pennsylvania.

Update: This Soviet newsreel offers another perspective:

See also
‘New Moon: Reds Launch First Space Satellite’: The First American Newsreel About Sputnik
We Orbited the Earth for the First Time: The Original Newsreel