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"The Only Good Communist is a Dead One" Sign in Des Moines, Iowa, September 23, 1959

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A man holds a anti-communist protest sign as many other Iowans gather to see Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, O'Halloran, Thomas J., 23 September 1959


This black and white photo shows a crowd gathered on a street in Des Moines, Iowa, to see Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev was in town to meet with the owner and see the operation of Garst Farms. One man on the street holds a sign that reads, “The Only Good Communist is a Dead One.”

Source-Dependent Questions

  • How does the man’s sign compare to the behavior of the crowd? Support your claim with evidence from the picture.
  • What does the behavior and body language of the crowd say about their feelings toward Khrushchev?
  • How could a photograph like this be misleading?

Citation Information 

O’Halloran, Thomas J., "Crowd gathered on street to see Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Des Moines, Iowa; man holds sign reading 'The only good communist is a dead communist,'" 23 September 1959. Courtesy of Library of Congress