Nikita Khrushchev Goes to Hollywood | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

Fifty summers ago President Dwight Eisenhower, hoping to resolve a mounting crisis over the fate of Berlin, invited Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to a summit meeting at Camp David. Ike had no idea of what he was about to unleash on the land whose Constitution he had sworn to defend.

In 1959, Soviet premier Nikita Krushchev - a year prior to pounding his shoe on the table like a gavel at the United Nations - visited Hollywood.

A star studded luncheon was arranged at Twentieth Century Fox, where celebrities vied for invitations. Present were Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, Tony Curtis, and many others. Mind you, this was during the House Committee on Un-American Activities hysteria, when writers and producers seen so much as seen in the presence of a communist could be blacklisted from all of Hollywood.

During the banquet, Charlton Heston commented to Mikhail Sholokhov, the Soviet novelist who would win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1965, "I have read excerpts from your works."

Sholokhov thanked Heston, but added, in between mouthfuls, that "When we get some of your films, I shall not fail to watch some excerpts from them."

By the way, Kruschev's famous comment made to Vice-President Richard Nixon that same year - "We will bury you" - was supposedly mistranslated. His comment "we will bury you" was a mistranslation of an old Russian saying, "we will still be around after you are gone," meaning "we will outlast you." It was not a threat, but was purposely misquoted to appear as one.