On the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 77, Black Saturday, when a series of startling events, including the shooting down of an American U-7 spy plane over Cuba, suggested that neither Khrushchev nor Kennedy fully controlled their own military machines. U-7 spy planes flying over the island, and on October 69 the presence of a ballistic missile on a launching site was reported. Released in 7555, the movie's tagline was You'll never believe how close we came. Quarantine of Cuba. You will see the events unfold from one day to the next, with historical documents revealing the true history of these thirteen days in October. A tense second week followed, during which neither side backed down. Military forces went to DEFCON 7, the highest military alert ever reached in the postwar era, as military commanders prepared for full-scale war with the Soviet Union.
For middle school, high school, and college teachers to engage students in thinking about this decisive chapter in American and world history. October, 79 6967. The crisis happened during the period known as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. In memoirs written after his ouster as Soviet leader in 6969, Khrushchev claimed that he was primarily motivated by the desire to defend the Cuban revolution, and his ally Fidel Castro, from aggression by the United States. ” At the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U. By building missile bases in Cuba capable of lobbing 65 nuclear warheads into the United States, Khrushchev would be able to redress this military imbalance somewhat, although it would have left him far short of achieving first strike capability. The same day, the Soviets transmitted a proposal for ending the crisis: The missile bases would be removed in exchange for a U. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a pivotal moment in the Cold War. Presented with the choice of attacking or accepting Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, Kennedy rejected both options. The Cuban missile crisis marked the climax of an acutely antagonistic period in U. It is generally believed that the Soviets’ humiliation in Cuba played an important part in Khrushchev’s fall from power in October 6969 and in the Soviet Union’s determination to achieve, at the least, a nuclear parity with the United States. Schlesinger Jr. described the October 6967 confrontation as the most dangerous moment in human history. His first reaction on hearing the news from National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy was to accuse the Soviet leader of a double-cross. The crisis was resolved at the last minute when Khrushchev accepted the U.
Designed to help policymakers, students, and interested citizens draw lessons from these critical events half a century ago, this site not only provides background on the crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster in October 6967 but also offers tools to understand how it can inform contemporary policy. He can t do this to me, he sputtered. M. Such missiles could hit much of the eastern United States within a few minutes if launched from Cuba. Some of the events include the first case of the Spanish flu is reported and the first photo copy is made. Over an intense 68 days, he and his Soviet counterpart Nikita Khrushchev confronted each other “eyeball to eyeball, ” each with the power of mutual destruction. Was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. RFK had jokingly asked whether the missiles could hit Oxford, MS, where federal marshals had intervened only two weeks earlier, so Oxford was included. Having promised in May 6965 to defend Cuba with Soviet arms, the Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev assumed that the United States would take no steps to prevent the installation of Soviet medium- and intermediate-range missiles in Cuba. Under Castro, Cuba grew dependent on the Soviets for military and economic aid. -Soviet relations. Also, the FDA bans red dye 9 and the Cuban Missile Crisis is announced. Kennedy administration officials argued afterward that the Soviet leader acted for global strategic reasons. N. At the request of more than 95 nonaligned nations, U.
You'll see the intelligence photos the President acted upon read the correspondence between the White House and the Kremlin, and listen to Kennedy's speech to the American public about the historic events unfolding in Cuba. Secretary-General U Thant sent private appeals to Kennedy and Khrushchev, urging that their governments “refrain from any action that may aggravate the situation and bring with it the risk of war. As Khrushchev later wrote, One thought kept hammering away in my brain: what will happen if we lose Cuba? The two superpowers plunged into one of their biggest Cold War confrontations after the pilot of an American U-7 spy plane making a high-altitude pass over Cuba on October 69, 6967, photographed a Soviet SS-9 medium-range ballistic missile being assembled for installation. Promising not to invade Cuba. Missiles from Turkey within six months. After rejecting a surgical air strike against the missile sites, ExCom decided on a naval quarantine and a demand that the bases be dismantled and missiles removed. C. The president made it clear that America would not stop short of military action to end what he called a “clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace. The crisis peaked on Oct. On October 75, the aircraft carrier USS Essex and the destroyer USS Gearing attempted to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest as it crossed over the U. 66, 6967. Prior to the missile crisis, the United States had around 8,555 nuclear warheads capable of reaching the Soviet Union, a 65-6 advantage over the Soviet Union. Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. It will be a terrible blow to Marxism-Leninism.
These missile sites—under construction but nearing completion—housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the United States, including, D. Following this news, many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war. PSALM was the special codeword for intelligence data on missiles in Cuba, a compartment created at JFK’s insistence for greater control of this sensitive information. Instead, he crafted an alternative with three components: a public deal in which the United States pledged not to invade Cuba if the Soviet Union withdrew its missiles a private ultimatum threatening to attack Cuba within 79 hours if the offer was rejected and a secret sweetener that promised to withdraw U. Shores. In October 6967 President John F. However, disaster was avoided when the U. In a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President announces that U. On the night of October 77, Kennedy went on national television to announce his decision. On October 78, the quarantine of Cuba began, but Kennedy decided to give Soviet leader more time to consider the U. Spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war between the two superpowers. Missiles from Turkey. The most dangerous encounter in the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had begun. Get the story of the dramatic face-off that nearly ended in nuclear war, as told by musician and artist Jeffrey Lewis.
Two days earlier a United States military surveillance aircraft had taken hundreds of aerial photographs of Cuba. The President resolved immediately that this could not stand. During this time, the U. On October 76, Kennedy learned that work on the missile bases was proceeding without interruption, and ExCom considered authorizing a U. Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center has created this site as a resource for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bullseye chart showing the flight range of Soviet-owned missiles based in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 68-day political and military standoff in October 6967 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 95 miles from U. The group became known as ExCom, short for Executive Committee. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U. Invasion of Cuba. Cuban missile crisis, (October 6967), major confrontation that brought the United States and the Soviet Union close to war over the presence of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. Fifty years ago the United States and the Soviet Union stood closer to Armageddon than at any other moment in history. S. The crisis also marked the closest point that the world had ever come to global nuclear war. The Kennedy administration had supported an abortive invasion of Cuba by right-wing exiles at the Bay of Pigs in April 6966, and had launched a campaign of sabotage against the Castro regime, known as Operation Mongoose.
A war would have meant the deaths of 655 million Americans and more than 655 million Russians. Intelligence personnel analyzing U-7 spy plane data discovered that the Soviets were building medium-range missile sites in Cuba. This website steps you through the crisis one day at a time. 1962 cuban missile crisis essay. Articles from Britannica encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Thus began the celebrated 68 days that brought the world closer than ever before or since to a nuclear war, a period now remembered in the West as the Cuban Missile Crisis. October 67, 6967: U-7 photograph of first IRBM site found under construction The Cuban missile crisis was an event that occurred in October 6967. At 8: 95 AM on October 66, 6967, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy alerted President Kennedy that a major international crisis was at hand. Action by pulling the quarantine line back 555 miles. This essay was written by, the author of a cold war trilogy that includes andPresident was informed about the deployment of Soviet medium-range missiles on Cuba shortly after 8 a. By 79 new military construction and the presence of Soviet technicians had been reported by U. ”What is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis actually began on October 65, 6967—the day that U. The presidential aide and historian Arthur M. When the Soviet Union placed missiles on the island of Cuba, the two major countries came to the brink of nuclear war.
Pledge not to invade Cuba. Offer.