Celebrating the 26th of July


In 1961, with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin at his side, Cuban leader Fidel Castro acknowledges the crowd during Havana’s 26th of July celebrations. July 26 is honored as the beginning of the movement to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista. On that day in 1953, revolutionaries launched a failed attack on the Moncada army barracks. Gagarin piloted his Vostok 1 spacecraft to world-wide celebrity on April 12, 1961, becoming the first man to orbit the Earth.

National Archives, Records of the U.S. Information Agency