The Cold War came to the San Fernando Valley in September of 1959 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev paid a visit to Southern California.
Rinaldi Street seems like an unlikely place to take the leader of the Communist world. Bill Robertson, director of L.A.'s Bureau of Street Services, says it's an ordinary street.
"It was simply named after the ranch owner Karl R. Rinaldi. He was a citrus grower in the late 1890s up in that area, Granada Hills and Mission Hills."
Rinaldi Street's real fame came 50 years ago. In 1959, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev toured Southern California and wanted to go to Disneyland. But local police worried about security. Disneyland was a "nyet."
How about a trip to suburbia? Khrushchev was taken to the "magic kingdom" in the Valley – a new tract home in the 16,000 block of Rinaldi. The premier was not happy. It was a hot day. He simmered like a pot of borscht and never got out of the car.
He complained, "This development causes me bitter regret. I thought I could come here as a free man." And the Cold War continued for another 30 years.