On May 1 at 5:30 p.m., Francis Gary Powers, Jr., will deliver a Banner Lecture entitled “Letters from a Soviet Prison: A Son’s Search for the Truth.”
For the past twenty-five years, Francis Gary Powers, Jr., has lectured on, taught, and researched the Cold War; in particular the U-2 Incident of May 1, 1960, in which his father was shot down while flying a CIA U-2 spy plane over the former Soviet Union. Gary started data entering his father’s journal in 1996. Over the next twenty years he found his dad’s letters to and from family while incarcerated, family photos sent to him in prison, and other correspondence that provides the reader with a unique firsthand account of the U-2 Incident, shoot down, imprisonment, and events that led up to his father’s exchange for Soviet Spy Rudolph Abel in 1962. In 2017, Powers, Jr., published his first book, Letters from a Soviet Prison: The Personal Journal and Correspondence of CIA U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers.
Francis Gary Powers, Jr., lectures internationally and appears regularly on the History, Discovery, and A&E channels. In 1996, he founded The Cold War Museum to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. Because of Gary’s efforts to establish the museum, the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. In addition to founding the museum, he created a mobile exhibit on the U-2 Incident, provided briefings to the CIA, NSA, DIA, and NRO, and in 2015 consulted on the Steven Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies.