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Soviet leader visits Los Angeles, January 12-13, 1959

January 12, 2009 |  8:00 am
Photograph by John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

LAPD officers keep control as a large crowd gathers at LAX in anticipation of the arrival of Deputy Soviet Premier Anastas Mikoyan. His plane was diverted to Burbank, where he landed without incident, The Times said.   
Today, Anastas Mikoyan (1895-1978) is hardly a household name and his trip to Los Angeles is mostly a footnote to history. His AP obituary didn't even mention that he had visited the city. With the nation's fears about communism and the Soviet Union, public sentiment was far different and his brief stay received wide publicity. 
Photograph by John Malmin / LAT
Photograph by John Malmin / LAT

Above, police remove protest signs from the car of George Petrovay, who said he had been a freedom fighter in Hungary. At left, Officer C.R. Casey, right, confiscates eggs from Zoltan Szabo.


1959_0112_cover Mass grave of 160 political prisoners, victims of the Batista regime, are
found in Cuba.
Mikoyan tells Gov. Pat Brown that the Russian bear looks more friendly than the bear on the state flag.
Photograph by Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times

Mikoyan meets Los Angeles Mayor Norris Poulson.


"I don't think you know what
you are talking about," Mikoyan tells one reporter.
Photograph by George R. Fry / LAT

Mikoyan arrives at the Ambassador Hotel accompanied by Times reporter Walter Ames, left, and Philip Weber, right, hotel manager.  Mikoyan stayed in the Presidential Suite, which The Times called "a modest three-room affair."
Photograph by John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Mikoyan examines computers at UCLA, escorted by Chancellor Raymond B. Allen.
Photograph by the Los Angeles Times

Mikoyan visits a sound stage at Paramount, where he meets Jerry Lewis.
The Times publishes a complete guest list for the Mikoyan dinner, including Mr. and Mrs. Norman Chandler.
Photograph by John Malmin / LAT

Look who's in one of the photos: Nieson Himmel of the Herald-Express!
Photograph by John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Mikoyan tips his hat to The Times' Walter Ames as he leaves Los Angeles.