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Q: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: christianh-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 26 Jan 2003 02:34 PST
Expires: 25 Feb 2003 02:34 PST
Question ID: 148670
Is there a picture or not: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming
his shoe on the desk?

I am searching for a picture that shows Krushchev and the shoe in a
very clear way - but not the kind of this one:

In case it is only available in print, can you provide a source?

Or do we only believe that there is a picture, but it simply does not
Subject: Re: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
Answered By: nellie_bly-ga on 26 Jan 2003 10:03 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
This has been an interesting exercise.  As one old enough to remember
this incident, I'd have sworn I'd seen many photographs of Khruschev
in the process of banging the table with his shoe.  However, while
there may have been film footage, it's pretty clear based on my own
research and that of other Researchers that there is not a still photo

The New York Times photo pictures K. sitting with the shoe in front of

There is a Corbis stock photo of K waving his fist while standing at a

And here is a poignant article by Khruschev's grandaughter and her
investigation of this incident:
The case of Khrushchev's shoe.(Nikita Krushchev shoe banging incident
at United Nations)Author/s: Nina Khrushcheva
Issue: Oct 2, 2000

Search strategy: Khruschev photo United Nations shoe; Khruschev image
United Nations; Khruschev United Nations shoe; photo archive Kruschev;
stock photo Kruschev; Look  Khruschev photo; Life Khruschev photo

Search of Google Images; search of New York Times photo archive;
search of AP photo archive; search of Corbis stock photos

If you have questions about this response or require additional
information, please post a Request for Clarification before rating
this answer.

Nellie Bly
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by christianh-ga on 26 Jan 2003 12:14 PST

thank you very much for your answer. It is still difficult for me to
express the grade of satisfaction I feel with your answer (and as a
German I also lack the elegance and sophisticated way of communication
you American guys prove here every day in Google Answers).

The NY times photo you found is exactly the same that I mentioned in
my question and tried to exclude as a valid answer. First of all there
are reasons to believe that it is a fake, second it does not show him
slamming the shoe.

My problem is that I believe to be 100% sure having seen a photo from
him slamming the shoe - that's what I am looking for.

Please also compare the comments from digsalot-ga, aceresearcher-ga
and omnivorous-ga (thank you all very much for your efforts), who
basically came up with the same or similar information, which is:
everybody believes that there is a photo, many (including I) believe
to have seen on, there are a lot of sources that talk about the
picture, but the picture itself - unavailable.

I would therefore like to ask you to continue digging or eventually
find a proof that the photo does not exist at all. Take a look at: "Herewith, we present --
F.I.L.M. Archives' Top 10 Most Requested Shots That Simply Don't
Exist!" #7 is Krushev slamming his shoe!

Regards, christianh-ga

Clarification of Answer by nellie_bly-ga on 26 Jan 2003 17:24 PST
Dear Christianh --

I appreciate that you believe there is a photograph somewhere in the
world. Before I made my investigation, I too firmly believed that.
But, as I stated in my answer, I am now convinced that such a still
photo does not exist, and that belief is reinforced by the information
you provide from filmarchivesonline in your Request for Clarification.

Nonetheless, I cannot absolutely prove a negative. So, if you wish, I
shall request that my answer be removed by the Google editors and
perhaps some other researcher will be willing to spend more time on

However, I must point out, that I have already provided a level of
effort (number of research hours)  far beyond that normally associated
with a $10 fee and other researchers have made major contributions as
(Here is a link to guidelines about pricing )

I also respectfully remind you that your original question  asked "do
we only believe that there is a picture, but it simply does not
I submit that the photo does not exist.

Nellie Bly

Request for Answer Clarification by christianh-ga on 27 Jan 2003 00:38 PST
Nellie Bly,

thank you for a clear answer. All information I have received from you
and the comments leads to the same conclusion: there is no photo. Thus
said your last answer clarification is the answer and therefore fully
deserves the money.

Yes, now I agree that the efforts you and the other contributors have
shown exceeds the fee. It is probably always more difficult to find
out that something does not exist. I did not expect this. I thought
that the photo is somewhere, but I just couldn't find it, and for
someone who knows where it is, it would be simple to provide the

Let me express the respect I feel for your efforts and the whole
community participating here.


Clarification of Answer by nellie_bly-ga on 27 Jan 2003 06:30 PST

Thank you for your kind comments about Google Answers.  
I have in the interim checked with several newspaper colleagues and
they too initially thought such a photo might exist but have been
unable to produce one.
While there may be a photo in some photographer's archive, it appears
that the "public photo" is one we have created in our minds based on
vivid verbal accounts.

I shall continue to pose this interesting question to knowledgeable
people and should anyone provide a clue to an actual photo will post a
comment to the question and ask Google editors to notify you, but I
truly believe that highly unlikely.

Thank you again for initiating such an interesting investigation.

Nellie Bly
christianh-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
From: digsalot-ga on 26 Jan 2003 03:19 PST
Hi there

I didn't find any photo though some must exist.  However, it seems the
shoe pounding incident did involve some previous planning.  This from
the Cincinnati Enquirer, Friday, January 25, 2002:

"Anger can work as a negotiating tool but it should probably be
planned and contained, suggests Mark McCormack in What They Don't
Teach You at Harvard Business School. “A photo of Nikita Khrushchev's
historic shoe-pounding incident at the United Nations revealed that he
was still wearing both his shoes,” Mr. McCormack says. “A third
pounding shoe, now that's calculation.” - Third
article down the page
Subject: Re: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
From: aceresearcher-ga on 26 Jan 2003 03:52 PST

Brown University apparently has an
"Enlarged photocopy of photograph published in The New York Times,
October 13, 1960. Caption: 'Puts shoe to new use: Premier Khrushchev
with his shoe before him at U.N. He waved and banged with it.'"
However, the picture of this is missing from their web page. 

They also have a
"Pair of Nikita Khrushchev's shoes.
No, this is NOT the pair that he wore at the United Nations on October
12, 1960‹after his death his family threw it out by mistake‹but
another pair with which it had been confused. Sergei Khrushchev
subsequently learned that his father had sent a bodyguard to buy a
pair of American shoes more appropriate for the unexpectedly warm
weather. Gift of S. Khrushchev."

It does seem clear that at least one photo (possible made from
television footage) exists:
"At the time daily PSA's ran on television describing how to build a
home bomb shelter. That was followed by a picture of Khrushchev
pounding his shoe on the table at the UN yelling 'We will bury you!'"

There are numerous mentions of film footage of the incident:
"We've all seen the footage of Khrushchev hammering a podium with his

"Perhaps the most famous "irrational" negotiation ploy involved former
Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev. It occurred at the United Nations
when Krushchev practically woke up the world by pounding his shoe on a
table to emphasize a point... A published photo of Krushchev's
shoe-pounding antic later found him with two shoes on his feet while
he pounded a third shoe on the table."

"An intriquing example of what might be learnt by studying a person's
bodily behaviour concerns an allegation about Nikita Khrushchev's
conduct during a famous debate at the General Assembly of the United
Nations. Khrushschev interrupted proceedings by banging on the table
with his shoe... The allegation is that TV cameras revealed Khrushchev
had shoes on both feet and that the one he banged on the table just
before he left the platform was third shoe brought into the conference
chamber expressly for that purpose. If the allegation is true, it
reveals that the demonstration was a calculated piece of histrionics,
and not a spontaneous burst of anger."

I am sorry I was not able to find an actual picture for you!

Subject: Re: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
From: omnivorous-ga on 26 Jan 2003 09:22 PST
Christianh --

It appears that you're going to have to go to video to get Krushchev
in the act of banging the shoe.  The picture that you've referenced in
your link above is the exact picture carried in the New York Times on
p. 14, Oct. 13, 1960.

The photo carries a credit to the NY Times and photographer Carl T.
Gossett, Jr.  The caption reads: "Puts Shoes to New Use: Premier
Krushchev with his shoe before him at U.N.  He waved it and banged
with it."

The article says that Krushcheve "brandished the shoe at the
Phillipine delegate on the other side of the hall" before banging it
on the desk.  It also refers to Krushchev removing the shoe a second

Google search strategy:
Use of Proquest Historical Newspapers, the online access to the New
York Times archive.  This service is available via many public library
systems (for a fee).

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
From: aceresearcher-ga on 26 Jan 2003 15:35 PST

More than 40 years later, you would think that pictures of this would
be all over the Internet, wouldn't you?

I'll bet Brown University USED to have a picture of that clipping on
their webpage:

Given the surprising fact that Brown University shows pictures of
everything in their Khrushchev collection EXCEPT the newspaper
clipping with the picture of Khruschev with his shoe on their webpage,
coupled with the fact that this picture does not appear to be
available anywhere on the Internet, leads me to the inescapable
conclusion that whoever owns the copyrights to this footage (and any
pictures from it) has most likely embarked on a vigorous campaign
whereby any Internet sites showing such photos or footage have
received a letter from the attorney of the copyright owner ordering
them to "cease and desist" from such publication.

For What It's Worth, this is the reason that popped into my head last
night to explain this perplexing situation...


Subject: Re: Khrushchev at a 1960 UN conference slamming his shoe on the desk, picture?
From: coylec-ga on 19 Nov 2004 16:14 PST
While "everyone" claims that Khrushchev banged his shoe at the Oct.
12, 1960, UN meeting, there is a lack of evidence for the proposition.

No one can find visual evidence of Khrushchev banging his shoe at this
meet.  According to shows I have seen on the History channel, there is
no video footage of the incident either.  To me, this indicates a lack
of physical evidence for the event happening.

However, there are numerous accounts of the event happening. 
Unfortunately, these accounts are not congruent.

quoting William Taubman
A KGB general remembered that Khrushchev banged the shoe rhythmically,
??like a metronome.?? A UN staffer claimed Khrushchev didn?t remove
his shoe (??he couldn't have,?? she recalled, because the size of his
stomach prevented him from reaching under the table), but it fell off
when a journalist stepped on his heel. The staffer said she passed the
shoe wrapped in a napkin to Khrushchev, after which he did indeed bang
it. Viktor Sukhodrev, Khrushchev?s brilliant interpreter, for Soviet
leaders from Khrushchev to Gorbachev remembers that his boss pounded
the UN desk so hard with his fists that his watch stopped, at which
point, irritated by the fact that some ??capitalist lackey?? had in
effect broken a good watch, Khrushchev took off his shoe and began

When I talked about Khrushchev to veterans of his era in Washington,
one eyewitness confirmed the banging. But another eyewitness confirmed
the nonbanging. A third, who said he?d been standing several feet
behind the premier, insisted that the heel of the hand that held the
shoe slammed the desk but that shoe never actually touched it.

John Loengard, former picture editor for Life magazine, wrote me that
he was in a General Assembly booth, along with 10 or so photographers
from New York city dailies and national wire services. Loengard is
??certain?? that Khrushchev ??did not bang his shoe on the desk,?? but
that ??he certainly meant to do so.?? According to Loengard,
Khrushchev ??reached down and took off a brown loafer from his right
foot and put it on the desk. He grinned to delegates from the United
Arab Republic who sat across the aisle and mimed (with an empty hand)
that the next time he?d use the shoe to bang. I can assure you that
every camera in the booth was trained on Khrushchev, waiting for him
to use the shoe. He only put it on again and left. None of us missed
the picture ? which would have been a serious professional error. The
event never occurred.?? A woman whose parents emigrated from Ukraine
wrote to say that her husband, who was getting ready to go to work,
happened to see it as he was walking past the TV. ??He told me to run
quickly to watch, and we stood there transfixed,?? she wrote. ??We had
a house guest at the time ? my cousin Sonia, who was here from the
Soviet Union on a visit. When we told her what had happened she didn?t
believe us. Eventually, other relatives who had also been watching
told her they had seen it, too, so she finally conceded he must have
done so.??

One might think that the controversy could be resolved by television
or photo archives. Several years ago, Khrushchev's son, Sergei, asked
NBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a tape of the event,
but neither could find one. A former CBS Moscow correspondent told me
that his search turned up nothing either. My own Internet quest
unearthed a photo of the shoe (a light brown sandal, it turns out) on
the UN desk, but none of the former colliding with the latter.


I would contend that Khrushchev NEVER banged his shoe against the
desk.  At most, he banged his fist while holding the shoe.  More
likely is that Khrushchev intended to bang his shoe, but failed to do


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