1960 Russian San Francisco and Los Angeles, California City Plans

Сан-Франциско, Лос-Анджелес / [San Francisco, Los Angeles]. - Main View

1960 Russian San Francisco and Los Angeles, California City Plans


California Comrades.


Сан-Франциско, Лос-Анджелес / [San Francisco, Los Angeles].
  1960 (undated)     16 x 17.5 in (40.64 x 44.45 cm)     1 : 54500


A curious c. 1960 Russian-language two-sided map of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The origin of the maps is unclear, but they may have been produced to coincide with Nikita Khrushchev's visit to both cities in September 1959.
A Closer Look
Both maps are overlaid with red illustrations referring to museums, universities, sports stadiums, and other important public venues and attractions. The San Francisco map retains an American Automobile Association (AAA) logo on its compass rose, suggesting it is a modification of a published English-language map. Small flags appear throughout, perhaps indicating gas stations, while numbers correspond to neighborhoods and attractions listed at bottom. Local landmarks are identified, including ones that have since been demolished, such as Playland and the San Francisco Ice Arena near Ocean Beach. Some placenames are transliterated (Golden Gate Park as 'Парк голден гейт') while others are literally translated (the Golden Gate, in the vicinity of the eponymous bridge, as 'Золотых Ворот').

The Los Angeles map bears many similarities with the San Francisco map. Like the recto map, it also includes at bottom a detailed list of sites noted with numbers on the map, such as television and movie studios and aircraft factories (Douglas and Northrup among them). Aside from the City of Los Angeles, surrounding cities like Pasadena, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica are prominently noted. Just to the left of the legend is an illustration of Mickey Mouse for Disneyland (Диснейленд).
Khrushchev's 1959 Visit to the U.S.A.
Between September 15 - 27, 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev undertook a state visit to the United States at the invitation of President Dwight Eisenhower. Both leaders were eager to turn down the temperature on the Cold War and avoid the potential of nuclear conflict. Khrushchev and the Soviet delegation were also intent on using the American media frenzy over the trip to make the case for the superiority of the Soviet system over American capitalism.

Though he publicly thanked host cities and local politicians wherever he went, the always feisty Khrushchev also complained about not interacting with regular people ('workers'), engaged in impromptu debates on the virtues of socialism, and cast exaggerated scorn at American cities. In a brief, surreal trip to Los Angeles, he met with movie stars, watched the filming of the Frank Sinatra film Can-Can (calling it 'depraved' and 'pornographic'), and hoped to go to Disneyland, a trip that was cancelled for security reasons, putting the premier in an especially sour mood, and threatening to cut his trip short. Nevertheless, the trip was important in creating a basis for détente between the two superpowers, the Cuban Missile Crisis a few years later notwithstanding.
Publication History and Census
Based on the sites noted, these maps were most likely produced in the year 1959 or 1960. Aside from the aviation factories and oil fields mentioned in the Los Angeles map, they do not appear to have an obvious military or intelligence use, more closely resembling a tourist map instead. As stated above, the San Francisco map looks to be based off a map produced by AAA. There are no other known examples of these maps in institutional collections or on the market.


Excellent. Original fold lines visible, minimal wear at fold intersections.