U-2 incident, in U.S. and Soviet history, the events following the Soviet downing of an American U-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft over Soviet territory on May 1, 1960. The incident led to the collapse of a proposed summit conference between the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France in Paris. President Eisenhower's initial claim that he had no knowledge of such flights was difficult to maintain when the Soviets produced the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who had survived the crash. Eisenhower met Khrushchev's demand for an apology by suspending U-2 flights, but the Soviet Premier was not satisfied and the summit was canceled. Powers was sentenced to ten years in prison, but was released in 1962 in exchange for convicted Soviet spy Rudolph Abel.
See M. R. Beschloss, Mayday (1986).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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