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He sign this printed card on the fourth anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, which took place five days after the cosmonaut's flight into space
Printed Card signed in Ink: "Gagarin" in Russian as President of the Sociedad de Amistad Soviético-Cubana, 5¾x3¾ card. Moscow, no date but circa April 1965. Countersigned: "I. Baskakova" as Secretary General. In Spanish, translated. In full: "Society of Soviet-Cuban Friendship. On the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the glorious triumph of the Cuban town Playa Girón, we send our warm and brotherly congratulations. The heroes of Playa Girón will live eternally in our hearts. We ardently greet the heroic Cuban town that builds Socialism and defends bravely the freedom and independence of its mother county." At the time, Russia was a major financial and military supporter of Cuba. On April 17, 1961, about 1300 Cuban exiles armed with U.S. weapons were landed at Playa Girón on the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the south coast of Cuba. Hoping to find support from the local population, they intended to cross the island to Havana but were quickly stopped by Castro's army. By the time the fighting ended on April 19th, 90 men had been killed and the rest were prisoners. The failure of the invasion embarrassed the Kennedy administration, which was blamed by some for not giving adequate support and by others for allowing the invasion to happen. On April 12, 1961, five days before the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Soviet cosmonaut YURI GAGARIN (1934-1968) became the first man in space when he orbited the Earth aboard Vostok 1. In 1968, he was in training for another mission when the Mig-15 he was piloting crashed, killing Gagarin. Fine condition.

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Born: March 9, 1934 in Klushino / Smolensk Oblast / Russia
Died: March 27, 1968 in Novoselovo / Vladimir Oblast / Russia

Colonel Yuri A. Gagarin was born on a collective farm in a region west of Moscow, Russia on March 9, 1934. His father was a carpenter. Yuri attended the local school for six years and continued his education at vocational and technical schools.

Yuri Gagarin joined the Russian Air Force in 1955 and graduated with honors from the Soviet Air Force Academy in 1957. Soon afterward, he became a military fighter pilot. By 1959, he had been selected for cosmonaut training as part of the first group of USSR cosmonauts.

Yuri Gagarin flew only one space mission. On April 12, 1961 he became the first human to orbit Earth. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted 108 minutes. At the highest point, Gagarin was about 327 kilometers above Earth.

Once in orbit, Yuri Gagarin had no control over his spacecraft. Vostok's reentry was controlled by a computer program sending radio commands to the space capsule. Although the controls were locked, a key had been placed in a sealed envelope in case an emergency situation made it necessary for Gagarin to take control. As was planned, Cosmonaut Gagarin ejected after reentry into Earth's atmosphere and landed by parachute.

Colonel Yuri Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 when the MiG-15 he was piloting crashed near Moscow. At the time of his death, Yuri Gagarin was in training for a second space mission.

Born: August 25, 1956 in U.S.S.R.

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