Saturday, July 9, 1960*: U-2 incident: Powers indicted

U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, whose downing by the Soviet Union sparked a fresh round of tensions between the superpowers, is formally indicted for crimes against the state, specifically spying. (See entries of May 1, 5, 7, 11, 16 and 26.) The indictment recounts Powers' career, mission, capture and interrogation, and refers several times to American aggression. (Example: "Thus, the United States officially proclaimed in peace time a policy which can only be followed when countries are at war.") Powers' trial is scheduled for August 17.

Note: On July 1, a second incident had taken place when a U.S. reconnaissance flight with six men aboard was shot down over the Barents Sea. The two survivors were captured and imprisoned until their release in January 1961. More on that incident: @

* Most websites list the indictment date as July 8. The 9th is used here based on Powers' autobiography, "Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident" as well as the CIA link below.

To see the full indictment, go to www.foia.cia.gov and then search for GARY POWERS TEXT ON INDICTMENT-SOVIET GOV'T ORDERED U-2 SHOT DOWN

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