Cuban Missile Crisis - 13 Days

  • Day One: JFK learns of missiles in Cuba

    Day One: JFK learns of missiles in Cuba
    The first of the thirteen days were filled with panic and tension as President John F Kennedy learned of missiles in Cuba. A U.S. plane had pictures of these missiles. President JFK and his selected workers panicked and discussions began on how to respond to the challenge. One option is an air strike and invasion or a naval quarantine with the threat of further military action.
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    Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Day Two: What To Do?

    Day Two: What To Do?
    Military units began moving to bases in the Southeastern U.S. as intelligence photos from another U-2 flight showed additional sites along with 16 to 32 missiles! President JFK attended a National Day of Prayer at St. Matthew's Cathedral, and then he has meetings to decide what actions to take with these missiles.
  • Day Three: The Public Warning to Gromyko

    Day Three: The Public Warning to Gromyko
    President Kennedy is visited by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko. He affirms that the Soviet aid to Cuba is simply defensive and is not meant to threat the U.S. At this point, Kennedy acts like he doesn't know any information on the missiles "reads to Gromyko his public warning of September 4 that the "gravest consequences" would follow if significant Soviet offensive weapons were introduced into Cuba (".
  • Day Four: What Should We Do?

    Day Four: What Should We Do?
    While Kennedy leaves for a campaign meeting in Ohio and Illinois, there was a debate over what appropriate action should be taken with these missiles and this situation.
  • Day Five: The Decision

    Day Five: The Decision
    President JFK returned suddenly to the White House and had a discussion with some of his top advisors who decided on quarantine. Plans for deploying naval units are drawn and the preparation for the speech to notify the people began.
  • Day Six: Big News

    Day Six: Big News
    He attended mass with his wife at St. Stephen's Church with Mrs. Kennedy, and then JFK met with General Walter Sweeney of the Tactical Air Command. The General told him that an air strike "could not guarantee 100% destruction of the missiles" (
  • Day Seven: Letting People Know

    Day Seven: Letting People Know
    President Kennedy gets ahold of former Presidents Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower to brief them on the situation. Meetings continue. "Kennedy formally establishes the Executive Committee of the National Security Council and instructs it to meet daily during the crisis." He briefly informs the cabinet and congressional leaders on the situation, and he also called the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan about the situation.
  • Day Seven: Letting the Nation Know

    Day Seven: Letting the Nation Know
    "At 7:00 p.m., Kennedy speaks on television, revealing the evidence of Soviet missiles in Cuba and calling for their removal. He announces the establishment of a naval quarantine around the island until the Soviet Union agrees to dismantle the missile sites and to make certain that no additional missiles are shipped to Cuba. One hour before the speech, Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, notified Soviet Ambassador, Anatoly Dobrynin, of the contents of the President's speech."
  • Day Eight: Possible War

    Day Eight: Possible War
    After the Organization of American States endorsed the quarantine, President Kennedy asks Khrushchev to halt any Russian ships heading toward Cuba. The president's greatest concern is that a US Navy vessel would otherwise be forced to fire upon a Russian vessel, possibly igniting war between the superpowers.
  • Day Eight: Proclamation 3504

    Day Eight: Proclamation 3504
    The ships of the naval quarantine fleet move into place around Cuba. Soviet submarines threaten the quarantine by moving into the Caribbean area. JFK also signed Proclamation 3504, which authorized the naval quarantine of Cuba.
  • Day Nine: The Reply

    Day Nine: The Reply
    Chairman Khrushchev replied to JFK's letter.
  • Day Ten: The Missiles

    Day Ten: The Missiles
    JFK personally drafted another letter to Chairman Khrushchev after some missiles were operational. There was a lot more of public debate between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. And, in one debate, U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson confronted his Soviet U.N. counterpart Valerian Zorin with photographic evidence of the missiles in Cuba.
  • Day Eleven: The Offer

    Day Eleven: The Offer
    Photographic evidence shows accelerated construction of the missile sites and the uncrating of Soviet IL-28 bombers at Cuban airfields. In a private letter, Fidel Castro tries to persuade Nikita Khrushchev to initiate a nuclear first strike against the United States in the event of an American invasion of Cuba. Later, a long letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy makes an offer: removal of the missiles in exchange for lifting the quarantine and a pledge that the U.S. will not invade
  • Day Twelve: The Death of One of Our Own

    Day Twelve: The Death of One of Our Own
    Over Cuba, an American U-2 plane is shot down by a Soviet-supplied surface-to-air missile and the pilot, Major Rudolph Anderson. He was killed at this moment. President "Kennedy writes a letter to the widow of USAF Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr., offering condolences, and informing her that President Kennedy is awarding him the Distinguished Service Medal, posthumously."
  • Day Twelve: Secrets and Decisions

    Day Twelve: Secrets and Decisions
    "A second letter from Moscow demanding tougher terms, including the removal of obsolete Jupiter missiles from Turkey, is received in Washington. The Committee ultimately decides to ignore the Saturday letter from Moscow and respond favorably to the more conciliatory Friday message. Air Force troop carrier squadrons are ordered to active duty in case an invasion is required. In an additional secret understanding, the United States agrees to eventually remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey."
  • Day Thirteen: The End

    Day Thirteen: The End
    This day marked the most dangerous period of the Cuban missile crisis. "Radio Moscow announces that the Soviet Union has accepted the proposed solution and releases the text of a Khrushchev letter affirming that the missiles will be removed in exchange for a non-invasion pledge from the United States."(