As part of an international victory tour to celebrate the toppling of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro arrived to New York City in April 1959 to jubilant crowds and celebrations. Ironically, in 1961 Castro would officially declare himself a Marxist-Leninist, solidifying the strain between the United States and Cuba.
A group of students from Clayton High School of Clayton, Missouri, take a stroll down the street with Fidel Castro. The 32-year-old Cuban leader met the teenagers on his outing and invited them along as company for a brief walk to a nearby park.
Fidel Castro looks up at a statue of Abraham Lincoln after laying a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.
Castro smiles and waves to a crowd of admirers who greeted him on his arrival at New York’s Penn Station on April 21, 1959. Castro was scheduled to spend five days in New York before going on to Boston.
A 19-year-old woman kisses Fidel Castro as he signs his autograph for her collection.
Then Vice President Richard Nixon shakes hands with Fidel Castro as they leave Nixon’s office after a two hour chat behind closed doors. The meeting had been listed on Castro’s program as a 15 minute visit. In answer to a question, Castro said the meeting had been “very friendly.”
An ecstatic crowd waits for Fidel Castro to arrive in New York City.
Castro holds a four-year-old boy outfitted in fatigues and a Castro-style beard, during a reception at the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. on April 17, 1959.
Castro has his beard admired during a visit to his hotel by youngsters who attended a Queens school with his son. The boy was secretly living here while his father led the Cuban revolution.
Fidel Castro halted a walk around Washington D.C. on April 16, 1959, to talk with nine-year-old Willie MoNeil and his five-year-old brother, Garry.
Castro is presented with an invitation to the New York Press Photographer’s Ball in New York City on April 23, 1959.
Castro greets baseball great Jackie Robinson at the Overseas Press Club luncheon.
Fidel Castro waves to onlookers outside Statler Hotel in New York City.
Fidel Castro tosses a peanut to an elephant at the Bronx Zoo as he tours New York City.
Cuban president Fidel Castro faces and points at a Bengal tiger in a cage at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
Fidel Castro reaches out to touch a Charbray Herd bull at the J.B. Ferguson ranch near Wharton, Texas, on April 28, 1959.
Castro eats an ice cream cone as he rides in the Bronx Zoo train.
Fidel Castro is caught taking a good sized bite of hot dog during his trip to New York’s Bronx Zoo. Hot dogs are not unknown to Cuba, but are not nearly as common as they are in the U.S.
Construction worker Bernhard Berntsen of Brooklyn greets Fidel Castro as the latter emerged from a visit at the New York coffee and sugar exchange. Berntsen told Castro he’d done “a good job.” Berntsen said he encouraged Castro with an Old Norwegian expression, “when you’re heading the right way, keep on the right road.”
Castro gestures with his hand while speaking to an estimated crowd of 10,000 persons at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 25, 1959. Members of Castro’s party stand behind the speaker.
Celia Sanchez, left, assistant to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and Dr. Teresa Casuso, ambassador in charge of Castro’s public relations, post at the New York Statler Hotel where the rebel leader was making his New York headquarters.
Fidel Castro answers a question from a panel on the NBC television program, “Meet the Press,” in Washington D.C. on April 19, 1959. He said at one point that Cuba would be committed to the West in event of any struggle between Democracy and Communism. At left is Ned Brooks, the moderator.
Seeming quite amused, Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro holds up a newspaper headlining the discovery of a plot to kill Castro here on April 23rd. Castro was at the Overseas Press Club at the time. Police said five brothers had been sent here from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to assassinate Castro. Earlier in the day, when asked about a reported assassination attempt, Castro had replied, “In Cuba, they had tanks, planes and they run away. So what are they going to do here? I sleep well and don’t worry at all.”
Patrolman Walter Marlino puts handcuffs on John Gregory Feller, age 23, in the Central Park police station of New York City. Feller was seized on carrying a homemade bomb only 200 feet from where Fidel Castro was addressing a crowd of 35,000 in Central Park.
Fidel Castro smiles to reporters in New York City on April 22, 1959.
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