April 12th is the day Yuri Gagarin made his historic flight in 1961 and Russia won the space race. As you can imagine it’s still a source of some pride for Russians, and it’s quite amazing to me how many remember this holiday. Research by the The Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) found that 73% of subjects gave affirmative answers to the following question: “Would you tell us what historical event happened on April 12?. Only 13% of those surveyed said they didn’t know and another 13% found it difficult to answer.
With that in mind, you can understand why Russians look warmly on Google’s acknowledgement of Yuri Gagarin and his success, with several people coming up to show me this today. Good marketing Google.