History Speaker Series returns Monday with U-2 Incident presentation – Newnan Times-Herald

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Photos courtesy NHS
Pictured at top are U-2 designer Kelly Johnson, left, and pilot Francis Gary Powers, right, in 1966; bottom, "Spy Pilot" co-authors Francis Gary Powers Jr. and Keith Dunnavant.
Newnan High School’s History Speaker Series, on pause since 2019, will resume Monday with a commemoration of “the U-2 Incident,” considered by many to be a turning point in the Cold War.

Sponsored by the NHS history and social studies department and the NHS History Club, the event will feature Francis Gary Powers Jr. and Keith Dunnavant.

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Newnan High’s auditorium was destroyed in the 2021 tornado, so the series will resume at 6 p.m. at the Wadsworth Auditorium in downtown Newnan.
Powers Jr. and Dunnavant will discuss their co-authored book “Spy Pilot,” which documents the standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after Powers Sr.’s reconnaissance plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960.
Powers parachuted to safety but was captured and taken to Moscow. Nikita S. Khrushchev referred to Powers’ flight as an “aggressive act” by the U.S. Powers was tried, convicted of espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
He was released in 1962 in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. Powers died in 1977, when the helicopter he was piloting for a Los Angeles TV station crashed.
Monday’s event is free and open to the public. For more information, email frank.henderson@cowetaschools.net .
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