Gagarin post-flight tour, Bulgaria, 1961

Gagarin post-flight tour, Bulgaria, 1961

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gagarin post-flight tour, Bulgaria. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) holding in his hands a dove presented to him by Bulgarian Young Pioneers. The dove is an international symbol of peace. Gagarin had become the first human in space, orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft on 12 April 1961. This presentation took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 7 May 1961, during one of many post-flight tours made by Gagarin. At this time Bulgaria was part of the Soviet-dominated Eastern Bloc and part of the Warsaw Pact. The Young Pioneers were organisations for children that were set up during the Soviet era. They were similar to the Scouts but were operated by the communist parties. Following Gagarin's historic spaceflight, he became a hero for many children worldwide.

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