Today in History: U-2

The trial of Francis Gary Powers in Moscow in August, 1960.

The trial of Francis Gary Powers in Moscow in August, 1960.

On August 19, 1960, a Soviet military court sentenced U.S. pilot Gary Powers to 10 years in prison. On May 1st of that year, the Soviets shot down the U-2 spy plane, capturing Powers, who parachuted to safety. The U.S. initially declared the craft's purpose was weather research. However, the Soviets recovered evidence of surveillance, making it clear that Powers was on a spy mission. Powers served less than two years of his sentence, after which he was exchanged for a Soviet intelligence officer.

Thanks to WNYC Archivist Andy Lanset