In 1968 on this date, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, the first person in space, died in an airplane crash. Due to his fame following his space flight, the Soviet leadership did not want to risk him on another flight, but they later relented; while requalifying for flight status, he crashed his MiG-15 trainer, and was killed instantly.

Learn more about Yuri Gagarin.

Image courtesy of Arto Jousi / /Suomen valokuvataiteen museo / Alma Media / Uuden Suomen kokoelma; Restored by Adam Cuerden / Public domain