Nikita Khrushchev allegedly brandishes his shoe at the United Nations

Month Day
October 12

In one of the most surreal moments in the history of the Cold War, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev pounds his fist on the table, and according to some reports, removes his shoe and threatens to pound a table with it in protest against a speech critical of Soviet policy in Eastern Europe. 

During a debate over a Russian resolution decrying colonialism, a representative of the government of the Philippines charged the Soviets with employing a double standard, pointing to their domination of Eastern Europe as an example of the colonialism they were criticizing in their resolution. 

In response, sources said Khrushchev removed his loafer and waved it in protest (there is some debate around whether he removed the shoe from his foot and whether he then banged the table with it). 

The scene was, in any case, chaotic and it finally ended when General Assembly President Frederick Boland (Ireland) broke his gavel calling the meeting to order, but not before the image of Khrushchev as a hotheaded buffoon was indelibly etched into America’s collective memory.