Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Discovery in Cuba

    Discovery in Cuba
    The United States sends U-2's to take pictures of the USSR base in Cuba. The U.S. finds out that the Soviet Union has placed nuclear war missiles in Cuba. They are aimed at the U.S., and the United States starts to get nervous.
  • Period: to

    The 13 Days

  • On the Move

    On the Move
    The American military starts setting up bases after photos from another U2 surface. Pictured in the photos are missiles ranging from 16-32 in numbers. JFK attends a service at St. Matthew's Cathedral in honor of National Day of Prayer.
  • " Purely Defensive"

    " Purely Defensive"
    USSR Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko visits President Kennedy. Gromyko assures JFK that the USSR's aid to Cuba is purely defensive. JFK then warns Gromyko of the consequences if in fact these weapons were intended for offensive strategy and given to Cuba.
  • Calm Before the Storm

    Calm Before the Storm
    No major events happened this day. JFK goes to Ohio and Illinois on a scheduled trip for campaigning purposes. JFK's advisors debate over the impending courses of action due to this crisis.
  • JFK Returns to Washington

    JFK Returns to Washington
    JFK comes back from his trip to Ohio and Illinois. He meets up with his advisors to discuss the action plan. They come up with a plan for naval deployment. Also, JFK begins to write a speech to notify the American people of what is going on.
  • Meeting with Sweeney

    Meeting with Sweeney
    JFK meets with Tactical Air Command General Walter Sweeney. Sweeney tells JFK that if they were going to be involved with an air strike, he could not guarantee that the missiles will be destroyed.
  • Kennedy Releases Information to Former Presidents

    Kennedy Releases Information to Former Presidents
    JFK calls former presidents Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower and informs them of the situation. JFK establishes the Executive Committee of the National Security Council. He orders for this committee to meet everyday until the crisis was over. JFK also briefs British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan of the situation at hand. JFK speaks on televison at 7:00 p.m. and exploits the USSR's missiles in Cuba and threatens their removal with a naval quarantine around Cuba until the Soviets remove them.
  • Naval Quarantine Begins

    Naval Quarantine Begins
    Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Edwin Martin reaches out to the Organization of American States for a resolution. Adlai Stevenson, Ambassador to the U.N., speaks to the U.N. Security Council on the issue. The naval quarantine begins to develop around Cuba. Meanwhile, JFK asks Khrushchev to cease any fleets of Russian Ships headed toward Cuba.
  • Khrushchev's Reply

    Khrushchev's Reply
    Khrushchev replies to JFK's statement, saying, "You, Mr. President, are not declaring a quarantine, but rather are setting forth an ultimatum and threatening that if we do not give in to your demands you will use force. Consider what you are saying! And you want to persuade me to agree to this!...You are no longer appealing to reason, but wish to intimidate us."
  • Freighters Go Back to Europe

    Freighters Go Back to Europe
    JFK knows that some missiles in Cuba are now operational, so he writes a letter to Khurshchev in efforts to persuade him to stand down. Soviet frieghters head back on their way to Europe. The U.N. hosts many debates between the U.S. and USSR. Adlai Stevenson confronts Soviet U.N. representative Valerian Zorin with the photos of the Cuban missiles.
  • Letters to the Leaders

    Letters to the Leaders
    A Soviet freighter is halted at the quarantine line and checked for contraband. When nothing is found, the freighter is let through. Fidel Castro, leader of Spain, writes a letter to Khrushchev, urging him to carry out the first nuclear strike against the U.S. if the U.S. was to invade Cuba. Later, Khruschev write a letter to JFK to come to a compromise: the USSR will remove the missiles if the U.S. agrees to lift the quarantine and not invade Cuba.
  • Coming to an Agreement

    Coming to an Agreement
    Khrushchev sends a second letter to the U.S. calling out for the removal of the nuclear missiles the U.S. has stationed in Turkey. An American U2 plane is shot down by a Soviet missile. JFK resists pressure for military action towards the Soviets in a stressful meeting of the Executive Committee. In a secret meeting, the USSR agrees to take the missiles out of Cuba, and in return, the U.S. agrees to take out the missiles in Turkey and not invade Cuba.
  • The Thirteen Days Ends

    The Thirteen Days Ends
    The most dangerous period of the Cuban missile crisis, the thirteen days, ends. Radio Moscow announces that the Soviet Union has accepted the compromise.