“Letters from a Soviet Prison: A Son’s Search for the Truth”

Time Period
1925 to Today
Media Type
Military History
Politics & Government
Francis Gary Powers, Jr.

On May 1, 2018, Francis Gary Powers, Jr., presented a Banner Lecture about his book, Letters from a Soviet Prison: A Son’s Search for the Truth. For the past twenty-five years, Francis Gary Powers, Jr., has lectured on, taught, and researched the Cold War; in particular the U-2 Incident of May 1, 1960, in which his father was shot down while flying a CIA U-2 spy plane over the former Soviet Union. In 2017, Powers, Jr., published his first book, which includes his dad’s letters to and from family while incarcerated, family photos sent to him in prison, and other correspondence that provides a unique firsthand account of the U-2 Incident, shoot down, imprisonment, and events that led up to his father’s exchange for Soviet Spy Rudolph Abel in 1962.

Francis Gary Powers, Jr. has lectured internationally and appears regularly on the History, Discovery, and A&E channels. In 1996, he founded The Cold War Museum to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. Because of Gary’s efforts to establish the museum, the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. In addition to founding the museum, he created a mobile exhibit on the U-2 Incident, provided briefings to the CIA, NSA, DIA, and NRO, and in 2015 consulted on the Steven Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies. He is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison: A Son’s Search for the Truth.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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