On April 7, 2011, the United Nations’ General Assembly declared April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight (at the 85th plenary meeting, 7 April 2011, resolution AVRES/65/271).

Fifty-one years ago (April 12 1961) a Soviet Cosmonaut, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, journeyed into outer space in the Vostok 3KA-3 (Vostok 1), orbited the Earth, and returned. His historic flight made Yuri an international celebrity.  

He stood only 5 ft. 2 in. tall (1.57 m), but had an engaging smile and a remarkable public persona.

With the NHL playoffs official start yesterday, it’s apropos to mention that Yuri Gagarin was an avid hockey player (he was a goalie).

His death (on March 27 1968) was steeped in conspiracy theories: Gagarin and flight instructor Vladimir Servogin crashed and died during a routine training flight in a MiG-15UTI.