Cuban Missile Crisis - Summary

For 13 days beginning on October 14, 1962—when a U-2 spy plan found Russian missile sites on Cuba—America and Russia come very close to nuclear war. This story provides a timeline of the events as they occur.

Russian President Nikita Khrushchev decides that if the US has weapons in Turkey pointed towards Russia, then he should reciprocate with missiles in Cuba pointed towards the US. His other worry is that the US will overthrow Castro and communism. Khrushchev also believes that President Kennedy is unwilling to make tough decisions.

Operation Anadyr is the plan Russia presents to Castro. It includes shipping ballistic missiles to Cuba. Castro worries that his country will lose if there is a battle between the two super powers on his soil.

There is an earlier plan to overthrow Castro, "Operation Mongoose," but the US does not have enough information to complete it. Robert (Bobby) Kennedy—the younger brother of JFK—is the President's attorney general and trusted confidant. Bobby along with the Ex Comm (Executive Committee) comprises an inner circle of trusted Kennedy aides who advise JFK during the crisis. Kennedy finally tells the American people of the danger in a broadcast on October 22, 1962. It surprises everyone, including the Russians.

The tensions between the US and Russia mount each day; each country tries to bait the other. Finally the US decides to blockade Cuba, but even that doesn’t stop the Russians from constructing their nuclear launch sites.

Read many of the documents surrounding the Cuban missile crisis. Listen to recordings of JFK, Bobby Kennedy and others as the crisis escalates. Discover what the bombs look like and how they are transported. Look at images and maps showing missile sites. Discover how the US convinces the Russians to remove their missiles. Finally, read the differing accounts between Russia and the US about the end of the crisis.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Cuban Missile Crisis" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2002. Feb 22, 2020.
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