Khrushchev becomes USSR leader
On March 27, 1958, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev became the new Premier of the USSR, replacing Joseph Stalin as the Soviet leader. During his rise to power, Khruschev denounced crimes of the Stalinist regime and the "cult of personality" surrounding his predecessor. While in office as Soviet Premier, Khruschev oversaw some of the most famous and influential events of the Cold War: the launch of Sputnik, the Sino-Soviet split, the U-2 Spy Plan incident, and finally the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963, which led to his ouster by reactionary elements the following year. The conspirators forced Khruschev's resignation on October 15, 1964 and replaced him with Leonid Brezhnev.
Read the New York Times obituary of Nikita Khrushchev.