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Khrushchev Scolds L.A. Mayor

September 19, 2009 |  2:00 pm
Sept. 20, 1959, Times Cover
Sept. 20, 1959: Mayor Norris Poulson makes headlines for his remarks to Khrushchev.

Sept. 19, 1959, Khrushchev, Poulson

Photograph by Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 20, 1959, Poulson

Sept. 19, 1959: Los Angeles Mayor Norris Poulson, above left, greets Nikita Khrushchev at Los Angeles International Airport.

Are you tired of Khrushchev yet? At this point, even Khrushchev was getting tired of Khrushchev. In one day, he had flown from New York, addressed a Hollywood luncheon, watched staged scenes from "Can-Can" and toured the San Fernando Valley.

Now, followed by a throng of reporters and photographers, he went to the Ambassador Hotel, where he was to make another speech.

Sept. 19, 1959, Ambassador Hotel Photograph by the Los Angeles Police Department

Khrushchev's limousine (a Chrysler Imperial) at the Ambassador Hotel.

Sept. 19, 1959, Ambassador Photograph by the Los Angeles Police Department

A crowd of news photographers covers Khrushchev. 

Sept. 19, 1959, Ambassador Hotel Photograph by the Los Angeles Police Department

From left, Khrushchev and Andrei Gromyko at the Ambassador Hotel. I believe the man just behind Khrushchev is Mikhail Menshikov.

Sept. 19, 1959, Khrushchev, Ambassador Hotel Photograph by Wayne F. Kelly / Los Angeles Times

Khrushchev and translator Oleg Troyanovsky at the Ambassador Hotel.

In an appearance at the World Affairs Council and Town Hall, Khrushchev was introduced by Mayor Norris Poulson, who said: "We do not agree with your widely quoted phrase 'We shall bury you.' You shall not bury us and we shall not bury you. We are happy with our way of life. We recognize its shortcomings and are always trying to improve it. But if challenged, we shall fight to the death to preserve it." 

Khrushchev finished his speech and then scolded Poulson, saying that he had already addressed that issue in previous remarks before arriving in Los Angeles and asked Poulson, in essence, "Don't you read the newspapers?"

Khrushchev told Poulson: "At least in our country, our chairmen of cities read the press or risk not being elected next time." The audience roared, The Times said.

Sept. 20, 1959, Khrushchev and Poulson

Sept. 20, 1959, Khrushchev Speech

The entire text of Khrushchev's speech, back in the days when newspapers had the space to run such things.

After a banquet that lasted until 11:30 p.m., Khrushchev retired for the evening.

Next stop, Union Station, tomorrow!