It was reported a Jamestown official invited a big time official to visit the city in July of 1959 although it might have all been in jest.
Bill Wright, he wrote a column called “Wright Angles” for The Jamestown Sun back in those days, reported that Jack Brown, president of the Jamestown Quarterback Club, had invited Nikita Khrushchev to Jamestown for a pheasant and duck hunting trip.
Yes, that would be the Jack Brown the baseball stadium is named after.
Brown said he had in mind a hunting party consisting of local coaches and other outdoor types,” Wright wrote. “One member would be Sid Grande, football coach at Jamestown College (now University of Jamestown).”
Khrushchev came to the United States in September of that year and the trip was in its planning stages during the summer.
The premier of the Soviet Union came to the United States ostensibly to meet with Pres. Dwight Eisenhower. However, the trip included visits to New York, California and Iowa as well time in Washington, D.C.
During the New York visit, he spent time with Eleanor Roosevelt and the grave of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In California, he met with celebrities including Gary Cooper, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. A visit to Disneyland was canceled because of security concerns.
Khrushchev visited a couple of farms in the Coon Rapids, Iowa, area. According to newspapers of the day, Khrushchev poked a rather rotund farmer in the belly and said that life in America must be good.
The trip wound up with a summit between Eisenhower and Khrushchev at the Presidents farm at Gettysburg. Little things like how to avoid global annihilation from nuclear war were on the agenda.
No wonder he didn’t have time to come to Jamestown for hunting trip.
According to the Wright Angle column, Brown sent a telegraph to the Soviet embassy in Washington with the invitation. There doesn’t seem to be any indication he received a reply.
The column also mentioned that Brown left out a little detail of a hunting accident the previous year from his invitation. It seemed to be an open joke within the community.
It seems Grande and Brown had been hunting the previous year when Grande swung his shotgun a little wide and a few pellets struck Brown.
“Nothing serious, you understand,” Brown is quoted as saying in the Wright Angle column. “… No indication that Grande would be carless hunting with the premier.”
It amazes me Khrushchev passed up an opportunity like that to meet Marilyn Monroe.
Keith Norman can be reached at Keith@KeithNormanBooks.com.