American History in Photos

“I love you dad…” A teary-eyed Gabriel Vanderwalker, 12, tells his dad, John, after arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from the Soviet Union, where the children’s Seattle Peace Theater group was supposed to perform before the military coup changed their plans.

The group, consisting of 15 young performers aged 9-13 along with 5 adult guardians, were in Moscow on August 18 during the attempted overthrow of President Mikhail Gorbachev by high-ranking members of the military and Communist Party.

Immediate arrangements were made by the U.S. Embassy to evacuate the children and return them to the United States. Although the coup d’état appeared to be unsuccessful embassy officials were still concerned about the possibility of violence by hardline Communist elements within the Soviet Armed Forces and government. – 8/28/91

People with guns

PRESIDENT TRUMAN RECEIVES GERMAN PISTOL — SPRINGFIELD, MO.: President Truman waves a silver-plated German Luger that was given to him by Dr. Junior Mills, a Springfield dentist and former artillery captain, when the Presidential train stopped in that city, July 5. Someone in the crowd at the station asked the President if the weapon is for use at the convention. “Oh, no, not necessarily,” the President replied. “I can use it in the campaign.” 7/6/48