Anastas Mikoyan, Kremlin’s number-two man, made his second trip to the United States on Jan. 4, 1959. In addition to meeting politicians, he chatted with waitresses, stopped at a bookstore, traipsed through Macy’s, lunched with Wall Street bankers, delivered a speech to union leaders, talked to furniture salesmen, toured a Hollywood studio, kissed Jerry Lewis on both cheeks and chatted with Sophia Loren.
Everywhere he talked peace and drew vigorous applause. “We are all tired of the Cold War and would very much like to have a hot peace”, he told 1,100 businessmen at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria.
The “New York Times” commended Mikoyan’s “outstanding gift of public relations” and referred to Mikoyan’s “blunt words, crackling wit, and unfailing good humor.”
At the Twentieth Party Congress (1956), Mikoyan stood and delivered the first anti-Stalin speech, opening the road for Khrushchev to catalog Stalin’s crimes.
By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto keghart.org