Webster, Texas: Supermarket Where Boris Yeltsin Gave Up Communism

Soviet leader Boris Yeltsin visited a Texas supermarket on a whim in 1989, and was so overwhelmed by the variety of food that his faith in Communism was shattered. Supposedly.
Address:
570 El Dorado Blvd, Webster, TX
Directions:
Food Town supermarket at the intersection of El Dorado Blvd and Hwy 3/Galveston Rd.
Admission:
Free
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Food Town supermarket.

Supermarket Where Boris Yeltsin Gave Up Communism

It looks like a typical suburban grocery store, because it is. Yet on Sep. 16, 1989, this store is supposed to have precipitated Russian leader Boris Yeltsin to abandon Communism. Yeltsin, then a member of the Supreme Soviet, was on a visit to the U.S. He stopped in Houston, had a tour of the Johnson Space Center, then on the way to the airport he went off-script and decided he wanted to see how and where Americans shopped for food. So the group pulled off into the shopping center with this supermarket, then owned by Randall's.

Once inside, Yeltsin was overwhelmed by the amount and variety of food available. Supposedly he was very taken by frozen pudding pops. Wandering the store, he told companions that if Russians were able to see how Americans lived and shopped, there "would be a revolution."

Associates reported that Yeltsin spent most of his subsequent flight sitting alone with his head in his hands, thinking about what he had seen. Less than two months later the Berlin Wall came down. The following year Yeltsin left the Communist Party, and later in 1991 the Soviet Union was officially dissolved.

[J.J. Kwashnak, 03/25/2016]

The history-subverting supermarket, unremarkable to Americans, definitely needs a "Pudding Pop Revolution Began Here" plaque.

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In the region:
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