Yuri’s Night Is Your Night to Party

Celebrate space with an out-of-this-world bash at the Griffith Observatory

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A Pasadena woman co-organized a global party for the first human in space.

The Yuri's Night party was Tuesday at the Griffith Observatory and other locations around the world.The global party -- about 470 events in more than 70 countries -- celebrates cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's 1961 launch.

The event was organized by Loretta Whitesides, who came up with the idea in 1999 -- long after the end of the Cold War. Whitesides studied astrobiology at Stanford and Caltech.

The inspiration for Yuri's Night developed at a Vienna conference on the peaceful use of space.

Gagarin was launched into space on April 12, 1961. Less than a month later, Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

A curator will discuss space history and the launch at the Griffith Observatory. Whiteside's husband, the chief exec of Virgin Galactic and Yuri's Night co-founder, also plans to speak. 

Are you celebrating Yuri's Night? Share your plans-- and your space launch reminisces -- in the comments.

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