Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy | Sunday Lecture with Francis Gary Powers, Jr.

@ East Tennessee History Center
East Tennessee History Center
Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm

One of the most-talked-about events of the Cold War was the drowning of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union, May 1, 1960. Tried for espionage and held for nearly two years in a Soviet prison, Powers was eventually exchanged by a senior KGB spy. Though cleared by the U.S. government of any wrongdoing while in Russia, Powers nevertheless found himself under a cloud of controversy due to bad press and the government’s unwillingness to heartedly defend him. His son, Francis Gary Powers, Jr., will discuss his family’s efforts to set the record straight through research into old audio tapes, letters to and from his father in prison, the transcript of his father’s CIA debriefing, and interviews with the spy pilot’s contemporaries. In addition to his new book, on which this talk is based, Powers is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison: The Personal Journal and Correspondence of CIA U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the program.

Lecture presented in partnership with the Center for the Study of War and Society, University of Tennessee.