WHITE AND MCDIVITT MEET GAGARIN.
Menu for a luncheon held during the "26' Salon International de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget airfield, Paris, June 19, 1965, 6 x 4 inches, light soiling.
SIGNED by ED WHITE, JIM MCDIVITT, and YURI GAGARIN. The "Gemini space twins," as the press called them, traveled to the Paris Air Show with Hubert Humphrey soon after their flight on Gemini 4, to build relations with French President Charles de Gaulle and to promote the American aviation industry. Gagarin and his handlers were also present, and by all accounts the Soviet Union stole the show.
"A scheduled formal meeting between the American astronauts and Lt. Col. Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, fell through when the Soviets announced that Col. Gagarin would be "too busy." However, at an official luncheon, Gagarin stopped at White's table and the two shook hands and spoke briefly" (Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, Washington, DC, NASA, 1966, p 290). For obvious reasons, items signed by Gagarin and American astronauts are rare.
Provenance: by descent from Charles W. Mathews, who was present at Le Bourget.
See illustration on preceding page.