This is the first time I heard of him. He made a positive contribution to space, therefore his hard work and achievements should be universally recognised. I argue that schools should ensure they teach children about him. As many others have already stated, that he was the first human being in space. What an achievement is that!
I am not of the United States of America, so I cannot make assumptions about the culture there. However, what makes me sad is that even in Canada, I have heard little of Yuri Gagarin, so rarely is he discussed in comparison to Neil Armstrong. Granted, walking on the Moon before anyone else is a great achievement, but being the first into space is great also, and thus Gagarin should be just as recognized and commemorated as Armstrong, if not more. However, I strongly doubt that achievement is the issue here, so much as racism. The fact that one of these great milestones of human achievement is far more recognized than the other is undoubtedly a product of the time of dark and unfortunate hatred between the Soviet Union and the United States of America. Thus, it would be natural that there was much racism and notion of national superiority in both countries. This would be the most obvious reason for Gagarin and other Russian astronauts to be less famous than Neil Armstrong and other United States astronauts in the United States of America and its Cold War allies, such as Canada; people of that era did not want to recognize the achievements of their proclaimed enemies. However, I firmly believe that nationality cannot alter achievement, and that petty clashes between governments should never be allowed to dampen the greatness of the people living under them. The Cold War ended decades ago; it is time for all of us to stamp our mindsets of national superiority and racism into the dust, so that we may work together as a species to help solve the problems of the world, and that can only start if we all recognize the great achievements of the citizens of countries that were once our enemies, such as the recognition by people of Canada and the United States of America of Yuri Gagarin.
Seriously, what did Alan even do that was soooooo great? Besides being an American. >_> Which we all know, is just the greatest thing, because our people are so awesome. ^(>_>)^ Yuri is best. Cosmonaut is best. Astronaut is worst. Boo America.
Seriously though, I really applaud the Soviets for their dedication and work during the space race.
To this day, we still use the Russian Soyuz rocket for the majority of transport to and from the International Space Station. It's only in the past two years where Space X and other private companies have been able to start filling the gap. Russians are the best space peoples.
The fact that most Americans don't know Yuri Gagarin's name is sad. The Cold War is over; we should forget about the anti-Russia propaganda and celebrate one of the most important people in history. It took incredible courage for him to go into space, and he should be recognized for that.
Yes, Yuri Gagarin should be just as famous as in the United States as the first Americans in space. As the first human in space, Gagarin broke barriers and laid the groundwork for the famous American astronauts to be able to complete their space travel. Without Gagarin, the Americans would have no fame.
Yuri Gagarin should be just as well known in the United States and other American astronauts for being the first human being in space. But he's not, because he is not American. Americans unfortunately generally just know about their own country, and have a massive issue with being one-track minded with regards to this.
As the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin took a huge risk in making this trip. Risking one's life in the name of science is an incredible sacrifice, and he should have notoriety worldwide for this accomplishment, regardless of his country of origin. He deserves recognition from every country's space program for making a sacrifice to further space exploration.