Major Yuri A. Gagarin, age 27, was the first man to orbit Earth. He was a Soviet cosmonaut. He was also a Soviet Air Force pilot and a parachutist.
Yuri Gagarin's parents were peasants on
a collective farm in the village of Gzhatsk. Gagarin thus represented
the ideal of the "new communist man." Gzhatsk is now
called "Gagarin City."
Books and Videos about the Space Race
The Right Stuff - This film is based on Tom Wolfe's book. It begin's with the story of the Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier. It then gives an historical drama about the Mercury space program.
The Dish - Historical drama-comedy about the town of Parkes in New South Wales, Australia. A 1,000-ton radio observatory dish is built in Parkes to relay telemetry, voice, and television signals from the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969.
Apollo 13 - Astronaut's Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise make an heroic return to Earth after an internal explosion cripples their Apollo 13 service module. - Starring Tom Hanks. Directed by Ron Howard.
October Sky - Homer H. Hickam Jr. and his friends build and launch models rockets in a West Virginia coal mining town in response to the launch of Sputnik. Based on a true story.
The Rocket Men : Vostok and Voskhod, the First Soviet Space Flights - History of the Soviet space program.
Books and Videos about the Cold War
Atomic Cafe - Director Jayne Loader used government film clips in an expose of the madness and propaganda of the "Duck and Cover" era.
Days - Historical drama about President's Kennedy's response
to the Cuban missile crisis - Starring Kevin Costner.
The Russians are Coming - Popular comedy about a Russian submarine that lands off New England coast. Starring Alan Arkin, Eva Marie Saint, Carl Reiner, Brian Keith, and Jonathan Winters.
The Manchurian Candidate - Suspenseful political thriller about a Korean war hero's decoration and his mother's machinations to promote her Joseph McCarthy-like husband's career. Starring Angela Lansbury, and Frank Sinatra.
The Iron Giant - As Sputnik orbits the Earth, Hogarth, a young boy who lives in the Maine woods during the cold war, befriends a giant robot.
WarGames - Teenage computer whiz hacks into a computer system looking for games. He inadvertently causes the system to begin countdown for thermonuclear missile strikes against the Soviet Union. Starring Matthew Broderick.
The Day the Earth Stood Still - A flying saucer lands at Washington D.C.An alien named Klaatu and his robot Gort emerge from the saucer. Klaatu warns the people that the Earth will be destroyed if they continue nuclear warfare. The film is very suspenseful. Some critics regard it as the greatest science fiction film ever made despite its lack of special effects.