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  • A new step in the conquest of space takes place with the first manned flight around the Earth by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
  • Cuban exiles in the United States disembark in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba and are soundly trounced in their bid to overthrow Fidel Castro.
  • American writer Ernest Hemingway commits suicide while in France, writer Céline (Louis-Ferdinand Destouches) dies.
  • A new episode in the Cold War with the erection of the Berlin Wall that divides the German city into two sections, East and West Berlin.
  • The remains of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin are removed from the mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow.

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