Unique Autograph of 1st Man in Space Found in Bulgaria
The staff of the emblematic Trimontium hotel in Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv have found an unknown until now autograph of Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin.
On May 23 1961, Gagarin has written the following in the book for guests impressions:
"I am very grateful to this hotel for the happy moments I spent here. I wish you more visitors from all countries, and in the future – from other planets."
The hotel employees and management, quoted by the Bulgarian news site Actualno.com, say the autograph has been found by accident and until now no one knew of its existence.
The length of Gagarin' stay in the hotel also remains unknown, but some sources remember the cosmonaut had coffee there with the leaders of the Bulgarian Communist Party in the city.
Gagarin is an honorary citizen of Plovdiv.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (March 9 1934 – March 27 1968) was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12 1961.
Gagarin became an international celebrity, and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation's highest honor. Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but he served as backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash). Gagarin later became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre outside Moscow, which was later named after him. Gagarin died in 1968 when the MiG 15 training jet he was piloting crashed.
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