From 1953 to 1964, Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union. He was responsible for relaxing some of the more draconian elements of Stalinist domestic policy, and he was also an early supporter of the Soviet space program. However, what most people remember about him was when he pounded his shoe on the table at the United Nations in 1960. This outburst was typical of the flamboyant behavior he exhibited whenever he had a microphone in front of him.
One such outburst occurred in 1956, when he was addressing Western ambassadors at the Polish embassy in Moscow. Khrushchev was as combative as ever, and he told the ambassadors gathered there that C ommunism’s defeat of capitalism was inevitable. “History is on our side,” he said. “We will bury you.” Thirty-three years later, Communism collapsed, and two years after that the Soviet Union was dissolved.