Exactly 50 years ago today, a Soviet Cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin did something that even today most of us can only dream of – he traveled into outer space. On April 12, 1961, Yuri became the first human in history to leave planet Earth. Though his flight consisted of a single orbit around the earth and lasted only 108 minutes, it was nonetheless a huge leap forward for humankind – a truly historic event.
Forty years after Yuri’s epic flight, three individuals by the name of Trish Garner, Loretta Hidalgo and George Whitesides established the first Yuri’s Night, a night dedicated to celebrating and commemorating man’s first flight into space. They did this by setting up a website where anyone who was interested in participating in Yuri’s Night could register their celebration.
Ten years after the first Yuri’s Night, the night has grown to include hundreds of parties around the globe. These celebrations can range from as small as a few dozen people to as large as a few thousand. This year, there are 494 events in 72 countries on 6 continents. From Afghanistan to Jamaica to Peru, you can find a Yuri’s Night event. You can even find a few in Second Life!
There are a number of ways that you can participate:
- Attend a celebration. There are almost 500 events this year, so chances are you should be able to find one nearby. The official Yuri’s Night website includes a list of events.
- Launch your own celebration. You can easily register your event on the Yuri’s Night site. The site also provides resources for event organizers, including a global webcast, postcards, flyers and even music.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and join the worldwide celebration!