"The most terrifying moment in my life was October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I did not know all the facts - we have learned only recently how close we were to war - but I knew enough to make me tremble."
~ Joseph Rotblat
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a time in early 1960's that changed the way America looked at Nuclear Weapons
The map above shoves how close Turkey was to The Soviet Union. Turkey was a little over a thousand miles away from the Capital of the Soviet Union Moscow.
During the Cold War, the US had implanted missiles in Turkey and Italy, that could easily reach Moscow, the capital of The Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was scared, because they did not have any nuclear weapons in place that could reach the US.
The Lead Up
In 1959, The US attempted to overthrow the Cuban Government. This attempted invasion was called, “The Bay of Pigs Invasion". The invasion failed dramatically, and it served a warning to Cuba. Cuba was mad and wanted protection form the US, at the same time, The Soviet Union needed a place to put missiles that they could use in case the US fired at Moscow. On October 14 of 1962, a U-2 American Spy plane flew over Cuba and took pictures of long range Soviet Missiles. The US president at the time John Fitzgerald Kennedy, better known as JFK, heard news of these pictures and immediately scheduled an emergency meeting.
The Joint Chief of staff voted to invade Cuba to stop the crisis, however President JFK voted against this, because of the fear that it would start WWIII. Instead JFK came up with the idea of a naval blockade. This blockade would not allow any offensive weapons to enter Cuba, however, the blockade only heated the argument more.
The Drafted Speech
The US president's aids drafted a speech telling the American people that the US would attack Cuba or "Pursue a military invasion of Cuba." However, on October 22,1962 President JFK gave a speech that started with, "This morning, I reluctantly ordered the armed forces to attack and destroy the nuclear buildup in Cuba,” A different speech was written for this day with a drastically different message.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was basically between the US and The Soviet Union; Cuba was just the location it took place. So, most of the negotiating was between The US and The Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was telling the world that they were strong and powerful and, they were never going to back down. However, they were having secret negotiations with the US. After thirteen days of intense negotiations; the two strong headed sides reached an agreement.
The End Agreement
The Cuban Missile Crisis was officially over on October 28th of 1962 when Khrushchev, a leader of the Soviet Union, announced that the Soviet Union's missiles would be taken out of Cuba. The US also vowed never to invade Cuba again. Secretly, the US took its missiles out of Turkey & Italy.