Nikita Khrushchev Facts

Nikita Khrushchev Facts
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) was the premier of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and a major personality during the Cold War. Khrushchev's trademark bald head and often animated gestures made him a recognizable and often polarizing figure. In 1959, Khrushchev became the first communist head of state to visit the United States after American Vice President Richard Nixon visited the Soviet Union earlier that year. Although an ardent communist, Khrushchev was seen as a breath of fresh air after the oppressive Joseph Stalin had ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist for so many years. Khrushchev was firm in his ideology and supported communist regimes and insurgencies around the world, but was willing to discuss peace with the United States and the West in order to avoid world war. Khrushchev was born Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev on April 15, 1894 in a small village on the Russian side of the Russian-Ukrainian border, although his family were ethnic Ukrainians. Young Nikita worked as a metal fitter in factories, which is where he became acquainted with labor organizing and leftist politics. He later joined the Bolsheviks and became a political commissar during the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War, serving with distinction and gaining many new friends and allies in the nascent Communist Party. Khrushchev married three times: his first wife died after only a few years of marriage, he divorced his second wife, and he remained married to his third wife, Nina Kukharchuk, until his death. Khrushchev had five children from his three marriages.
Interesting Nikita Khrushchev Facts:
Khrushchev's meteoric rise in the Communist Party took off when he was enrolled at the Stalin Industrial Academy in Moscow during the late 1920s and early 1930s, which is where and when he first became acquainted with Joseph Stalin.
His early career was boosted when he oversaw the complete of Moscow's subway system in 1935
Despite later turning against the policies of Stalin, Khrushchev was an ardent supporter of his purges and other repressive acts during the 1930s.
Khrushchev walked a tight rope with Stalin, advancing in the government and party despite the dictator's capricious and increasingly unstable personality. Khrushchev claimed that Stalin once made him do a traditional Ukrainian dance.
When Stalin died in 1953, Khrushchev worked quickly to take control of the military and KGB, putting his primary rival, Lavrentiy Beria to death in the process.
The "Virgin Lands" program was one of Khrushchev's major policy initiatives as premier. The goal was to boost agricultural production by farming previously virgin land, but its results were mixed.
When Khrushchev visited the United States in 1959 he visited a farm in Iowa, a supermarket in San Francisco, and a television studio in Los Angeles. He was scheduled to visit Disney Land, but the trip was cancelled due to security concerns for which he was very upset.
Khrushchev was forced from power by his successor, Leonoid Brezhnev and a cabal of others in the Central Committee. He was allowed to retire with an apartment, a dacha in the country, and relatively generous pension.
Khrushchev died September 11, 1971 of a heart attack at the age of seventy-seven near his home in Moscow.

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