Yuri's Night logo. Note the faux Cyrillic "Y".
|Inaugurated||April 12, 2001|
Yuri's Night is an international celebration held on April 12 every year to commemorate space exploration milestones. The event is named for the first human to launch into space, Yuri Gagarin, who flew the Vostok 1 spaceship on April 12, 1961. In 2004, people celebrated Yuri's Night in 34 countries in over 75 individual events. The launch of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, has also been honored, as it was launched 20 years to the day of Vostok 1 on April 12, 1981.
The goal of Yuri's Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by space-inspired artistic expression and culminating in a worldwide network of annual celebrations and educational events, Yuri's Night creates a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. These global events are a showcase for elements of culture that embrace space including music, dance, fashion, and art.
Yuri's Night was created by Loretta Hidalgo, George T. Whitesides and Trish Garner. The first Yuri's Night was held on April 12, 2001, on the 40th anniversary of human spaceflight. This global celebration was preceded by Cosmonautics Day (Russian: День Космонавтики), which was established in the Soviet Union in 1962.
Locations with Yuri's Night celebrations have included Los Angeles , the San Francisco Bay Area , Huntsville, Alabama , New Orleans , Inverness , Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Lisbon , Afghanistan, Latvia, Romania, Peru, Antarctica, and the International Space Station , in addition to many other locations and virtual on line celebrations.
The 2004 event in Los Angeles was attended by over 100 prominent space leaders including author Ray Bradbury, space tourist Dennis Tito, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, *NSYNC's Lance Bass and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from the original Star Trek series). The event was followed by a large party with 2 dance floors and world-class DJs.
The 2007 event in the San Francisco Bay Area was located at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA. The event featured artistic installations, technology demonstrations, and DJ music continuing through dawn of the following day and takes place in an aircraft hangar not accessible to the public.
April 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's historic first flight.
See also 
- Teague, Jason Cranford (2011-02-14). "Celebrate 50 Years of Human Space Flight on Yuri’s Night". Wired. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
- Государственная Дума. Федеральный закон №32-ФЗ от 13 марта 1995 г. «О днях воинской славы и памятных датах России», в ред. Федерального закона №59-ФЗ от 10 апреля 2009 г «О внесении изменения в статью 1.1 федерального закона "О днях воинской славы и памятных датах России"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №52, 15 марта 1995 г. (State Duma. Federal Law #32-FZ of March 13, 1995 On the Days of Military Glory and the Commemorative Dates in Russia, as amended by the Federal Law #59-FZ of April 10, 2009 On Amending Article 1.1 of the Federal Law "On the Days of Military Glory and the Commemorative Dates in Russia". Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
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