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Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)

Nikita KhrushchevNikita Khrushchev was born on April 17, 1894.  He grew up in a mud hut and worked many hours in coal mines throughout his childhood.

He joined the Russian Revolution in 1918, fighting for the Bolsheviks during the Civil War.

His first work for the Soviet Government took him to the Ukraine.  Eventually he joined the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party in 1934, and became the first secretary of the Ukrainian party.

"Politicians are the same all over: they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."

After improving agricultural methods in the Unkraine, he returned to Moscow.  Although he was an important figure in the government, he was not closely tied to Stalin.

"Everyone can err, but Stalin considered that he never erred, that he was always right. He never acknowledged to anyone that he made any mistake, large or small, despite the fact that he made not a few mistakes in the matter of theory and in his practical activity."

When Stalin died, Khrushchev took power.  In 1956, he denounced Stalin and his policies.  He became the first secretary of the Communist party and later the Soviet premier as well.

Khrushchev wanted a "peaceful coexistence" between the US and the Soviet Union, and met with the American leadership on several occasions.  He cancelled a summit meeting in Paris when an American plane was shot down while spying on the Soviet Union.

Khrushchev and the other Soviets were very pleased to learn that Cuba's new government would be aligned with them.  After American attempts to overthrow the Cuban Government, Khrushchev placed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.

"The Americans have surrounded our country with military bases and threatened us with nuclear weapons, and now they will learn just what it feels like to have enemy missiles pointed at you; we'd be doing nothing more than giving them a little of their own medicine."

He agreed to remove the missiles in return for a promise from Kennedy not to invade Cuba.  This was done with great loss of face for Khrushchev.

Due to poor harvests, declining relations with the C

On the Missile Crisis: "They talk about who won and who lost. Human reason won. Mankind won."

hinese Government, and the embarrassment caused by the Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev was forced out of office in October of 1964.  He died September 11, 1971.

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