Tag Archives: USSR

A Black worker in Soviet Union

A Black worker in Soviet Union


While much of the world faced depression, in the early 1930s the Soviet Union was booming. Stalin’s industrialisation programme was under way and to facilitate this, skilled foreign workers were brought into the country.  Among them was Robert Robinson (1907–1994) , a Jamaican-born Ford employee from Detroit. His experiences are detailed by Barbara Keys in “An African-American Worker in Stalin’s Soviet Union” (The Historian, vol71, no 1, Wiley-Blackwell).

The British secret service from 1918 to 2009

The British secret service from 1918 to 2009

The end of the First World war saw a great reduction in the size, scope and remit of the intelligence service. In 1919 the Secret Service Committee was created to look at the organisation and direction of British intelligence.

Yuri Gagarin – The First Spaceman

Yuri Gagarin – The First Spaceman
 12 April 1961
The people of the United States share with the people of the Soviet Union their satisfaction for the safe flight of the astronaut in man’s first venture into space. We congratulate you and the Soviet scientists and engineers who made this feat possible. It is my sincere desire that in the continuing quest for knowledge of outer space our nations can work together to obtain the greatest benefit to mankind.
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy’s telegram to president  Khrushchev after Vostok 1 mission

Cold War paranoia

Cold War paranoia

The poster Don’t Brag About Your Job was displayed in government and military offices dealing with sensitive material in the early 1960s. It is a strange cousin of the public health campaigns produced by the Central Office of Information, the government’s communications agency after the Second World War. Using a genial cartoon style like that which encouraged children to cross the road with care or smokers to give up, this breezy design alluded to a period of deep anxiety when the Cold War seemed to be getting hotter by the day.

On this day – 15th May

On this day – 15th May

1718   London lawyer James Puckle patents the machine gun

1829   The US Congress designates the slave trade as piracy
1918   The world’s first regular air mail service begins between Washington and New York
1957   Britain’s first H-bomb is dropped on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean
1988   The USSR begins evacuating troops from Afghanistan