Monday, October 19, 1970
On October 19, 1970, Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, accompanied two Soviet cosmonauts, Andrian Nikolayev and Vitaly Sevastyanov, on a visit to Mount Vernon as part of their goodwill tour of the United States. They were received by the Regent, Elizabeth Cooke, and given a tour of the estate by the Resident Director, Charles Cecil Wall.
After more than a decade of competing in the Space Race, which culminated with the moon landing in July 1969, the United States and the USSR slowly began to acknowledge the benefits of international scientific cooperation. NASA invited these cosmonauts, who had recently set a record for the longest amount of time in space, to the United States in an effort to begin diplomatic collaboration.
During their tour, they visited Washington, D.C., Houston, Huntsville, AL, and the West Coast. Five years later in 1975, the U.S. and the Soviets completed their first successful space partnership with the Apollo-Soyuz mission.