Retiring cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin visits London – archive, 14 July 1961

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14 July 1961: Prime minister Harold Macmillan attended a reception for the man hailed ‘Columbus of the space age’

There must have been moments yesterday when Major Gagarin could have wished himself back in the solitude of space. Especially last night at a reception at the Hyde Park Hotel arranged by the Great Britain-USSR Association. It was attended unexpectedly by Mr Macmillan – who had earlier found Major Gagarin “charming” – Lord Home, and most of the Cabinet.

Related: From the archive: Russia hails ‘Columbus of space’

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Link : Retiring cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin visits London – archive, 14 July 1961

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